A new executive order issued by President Donald Trump on Wednesday implores Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to determine the areas in which the federal government has overstepped its bounds when it comes to U.S. education policy.
DeVos will be given 300 days to complete the task, which will include reviewing and modifying or repealing any regulations within the Department of Education that appear to be an overstep, with a prime focus on Obama-era policies, Reuters reported.
As the outlet noted, proponents will surely see the move as a positive attempt to restore more local control over education, while opponents will see it as a potentially dire move that could end up leading to decreased school quality.
Either way, Trump didn’t mince words in explaining his motivations for focusing in on education policy, explaining his belief in the need to, as conservatives have long advocated, return control over education to local communities rather than federal authorities.
“We know that local communities do it best and know it best,” Trump said, according to CNN. “Previous administrations have wrongly forced states and schools to comply with federal whims and dictates for what our kids are taught. The time has come to empower teachers and parents to make the decisions that help their students achieve success.”
DeVos, too, shares this sentiment, telling the New York Times that, “When it comes to education, decisions made at local levels and at state levels are the best ones.”
The education secretary’s findings will be published in a report that will be made public after the 300-day review period.
We’ll leave you with the full text of the executive order below:
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to restore the proper division of power under the Constitution between the Federal Government and the States and to further the goals of, and to ensure strict compliance with, statutes that prohibit Federal interference with State and local control over education, including section 103 of the Department of Education Organization Act (DEOA) (20 U.S.C. 3403), sections 438 and 447 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), as amended (20 U.S.C. 1232a and 1232j), and sections 8526A, 8527, and 8529 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (20 U.S.C. 7906a, 7907, and 7909), it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. It shall be the policy of the executive branch to protect and preserve State and local control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, and personnel of educational institutions, schools, and school systems, consistent with applicable law, including ESEA, as amended by ESSA, and ESEA’s restrictions related to the Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
Sec. 2. Review of Regulations and Guidance Documents. (a) The Secretary of Education (Secretary) shall review all Department of Education (Department) regulations and guidance documents relating to DEOA, GEPA, and ESEA, as amended by ESSA.
(b) The Secretary shall examine whether these regulations and guidance documents comply with Federal laws that prohibit the Department from exercising any direction, supervision, or control over areas subject to State and local control, including:
(i) the curriculum or program of instruction of any elementary and secondary school and school system;
(ii) school administration and personnel; and
(iii) selection and content of library resources, textbooks, and instructional materials.
(c) The Secretary shall, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, rescind or revise any regulations that are identified pursuant to subsection (b) of this section as inconsistent with statutory prohibitions. The Secretary shall also rescind or revise any guidance documents that are identified pursuant to subsection (b) of this section as inconsistent with statutory prohibitions. The Secretary shall, to the extent consistent with law, publish any proposed regulations and withdraw or modify any guidance documents pursuant to this subsection no later than 300 days after the date of this order.
Sec. 3. Definition. The term “guidance document” means any written statement issued by the Department to the public that sets forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory, or technical issue or an interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue, including Dear Colleague letters, interpretive memoranda, policy statements, manuals, circulars, memoranda, pamphlets, bulletins, advisories, technical assistance, and grants of applications for waivers.
Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
DONALD J. TRUMP
THE WHITE HOUSE,
April 26, 2017.
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