Thomas Jefferson believed an educated citizenry is necessary for a people to remain free. But how has the federal government done in advancing this goal?

Ever since President Jimmy Carter oversaw the creation of the Department of Education, we have witnessed a decline in test scores and basic proficiency in math, reading, civics, and the sciences, even as extracurricular activities like sports and music have also suffered. Meanwhile, government spending per pupil has risen across the country, and at the college level federal financing has inadvertently increased the cost to students and parents.

Not that long ago, the federal government was much less involved in education. Instead, schooling was driven by local communities, the people most invested in their children’s success. As homeschooling and private schools have consistently outperformed government education even at a lower cost, now is the time to move away from the bureaucratization of this very fundamental part of society.By removing the influence of Washington, which itself does not add at all to the teaching of our children, we can save many billions a year, but more important, we can improve the sad conditions of education in America.

For the purposes of the MyGovCost Calculator, education is a spending category includes programs administered by the Department of Education, such as spending on elementary, secondary, and higher education, vocational education, educational research, and a variety of education-related training and employment programs.

Learn more about the Education problems and the solutions:

“Making College Affordable”
Vicki E. Alger (Star Tribune) August 20, 2012

“Higher-Education Accreditation: Market Regulation or Government Regulation?”
Joshua C. Hall (The Independent Review) Fall 2012

“The Mass Production of Credentials: Subsidies and the Rise of the Higher Education Industry”
Carl L. Bankston III (The Independent Review) Winter 2011

“Will Universal Preschool Give All Kids a Head Start?”
Wendy McElroy (Independent Institute) November 30, 2005

“Education Reforms Typically Ignore Root Causes”
John D. Merrifield (Independent Institute) November 6, 2000

“Higher Education at Lower Cost”
Richard K. Vedder (Wall Street Journal) August 31, 1998

“Education: A Bad Public Good?”
Jane S. Shaw (The Independent Review) Fall 2010

“Albert J. Nock on Education”
Wendy McElroy (The Freeman) January 1, 2000

See Also:

Independent Institute’s Archive on Education