The federal government's role in education today is far too intrusive and counterproductive. I believe our Constitution empowers parents, teachers and local communities — not federal bureaucrats — to manage our children's education. Congress should do everything in its power to limit the federal role in education and return education dollars and decisions to local communities.
America became a great and prosperous nation in part through strong local education that was controlled by parents, families, faith-based groups and community organizations. I do not believe it is a coincidence that as the federal government's role in education has greatly expanded test scores across our country have stagnated or declined. The bureaucratic administration of education in Washington, D.C. has resulted in widespread waste and duplication among more than 760 different federal education programs with virtually no benefit to our children.
Congress needs to reconnect our children's education with the local resources and caring individuals who will make a difference in their lives. The education tax dollars we are sending to Washington would be better spent if they were controlled and managed by our local communities.
It is critical we have the courage to reform education in the United States and in Oklahoma, and not continue to pour federal funding into a wasteful system. Students must have the resources and preparation needed to complete their educational goals and succeed in a technologically driven work-force.
The young people of our state and nation deserve the best education we can provide.
Dr. Coburn is a co-sponsor of the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) Act (S. 893). The A-PLUS Act will give every state the option of entering into a five-year agreement with the U.S. Department of Education during which time the state will continue receiving federal funding at the same levels as under No Child Left Behind, but will be allowed more flexibility and control over curriculum and evaluation.