Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Betty Olson: Jimmy Carter 'inflicted US with Dept. of Education'

Reading reports from District 28's Republican senator Betty Olson can be a bit of a trip. One has to suspend some disbelief when reading lines like these:
I got HCR 1003 urging the federal government to abolish the US Department of Education passed in the Senate on Thursday. Pres. Carter inflicted the Dept. of Education on us in 1979 so the feds could dictate to the states how we educate our children. If the Dept. of Ed. was abolished, it would save between $30 and $50 billion that could go toward the $18 trillion national debt and allow the states to control education. [Communities, Rapid City Journal]
From the editor of the Yankton Press and Dakotan:
Advocating the closure of the Department of Education has been a conservative talking point to varying degrees since the 1980s. It still seems useful: In his successful campaign for Senate last year, Mike Rounds often used such a call as a sure applause line in partisan crowds. A few years ago, when South Dakota received a $26.5 million block grant from Washington specifically earmarked for education, the state indeed gave that money to the schools — but then took out $26.5 million from elsewhere in the education budget. Thus, the state effectively pocketed the money instead of letting the schools have that needed funding. (As an aside, federal education money is not a novelty for the state. The Argus Leader reported last spring that South Dakota ranked third in the nation in receiving federal funds, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. Last year, for instance, the Yankton School District had $2.1 million in federal funding expenditures. So, apparently, federal involvement isn’t ALL bad.) [Kelly Hertz]
Democrats in the South Dakota Legislature concur with Hertz.

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