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Part 3: From the Vault

CAN A CONSTITUTIONALIST PRESIDENT DO ANYTHING? (Part 3)

Cong. Ron Paul in his manifesto for the Young Americans for Liberty magazine cites education as a crucial area where the federal government needs to have a very limited role.  The Constitution does not speak to education (except in my opinion as far as civil rights is concerned) as a federal role.  The governance of education, standardized tests and curriculum is a state and local concern only.  I turn to the manifesto:

Eliminating federal involvement in K-12 education should be among a constitutionalist president’s top domestic priorities. The Constitution makes no provision for federal meddling in education. It is hard to think of a function less suited to a centralized, bureaucratic approach than education. The very idea that a group of legislators and bureaucrats in D.C. can design a curriculum capable of meeting the needs of every American schoolchild is ludicrous. The deteriorating performance of our schools as federal control over the classroom has grown shows the folly of giving Washington more power over American education. President Bush’s No Child Left Behind law claimed it would fix education by making public schools “accountable.” However, supporters of the law failed to realize that making schools more accountable to federal agencies, instead of to parents, was just perpetuating the problem.

This will bring about a fierce struggle over who controls education:  Parents and local leaders or educrats.  Usually when someone suggests some reasonable idea like vouchers or easier home schooling access or charter schools, this is painted as “anti-public schools”.   Paul again suggests how to frame the debate:

But who is really anti-education?  Those who wish to continue to waste taxpayer money on failed national schemes, or those who want to restore control over education to the local level?  When the debate is framed that way, I have no doubt the side of liberty will win.

I am not sure.  The educrats have plenty of ammunition to use to beat back constitutional educational reform.  Again, we must ask the question:  Is the educational system working now?  Let’s try something new.  Let’s try liberty.  But this will require every bit of our cunning and resources to prevail in the marketplace of ideas against the educrats and their mainstream media allies.

In my next post, we will discuss how President Paul can use Cabinet and judicial appointments and executive orders to turn back bad legislation and restrict federal power.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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