Local school districts set the curriculum. They hire the staff. States set standards and certify teachers. States and localities raise and spend 93 percent of all education funding. A lack of local control is not the problem. It is a lack of sufficient support and resources. States, school districts, parents, and teachers are demanding that we, at the Federal level, work in partnership to ensure our kids get a good education. What matters to parents is that their kids get the best education possible. Parents don’t care how the workload is divided. They care about results. And Democrats are focused on results.
One of the problems with block grants is that–in the budgeting process–they always end up getting cut because those dollars are no longer tired to a specific need. With block grants, our kids end up with fewer educational resources than they had before. In fact, we are already seeing a move underway to give our students fewer resources. The Republican budget plan passed out of the House could jeopardize our ability to meet the special needs education in America’s schools. Their plan could jeopardize our ability to keep hiring new teachers to make classrooms less crowded. They could jeopardize our ability to provide afterschool programs, to ensure safe and drug-free schools, to modernize old schools, and to build new ones.