Trump: Education should be a Main Function of the Federal Government

Trump_CNN_DeptofEd

In the lead-up to April 5th’s Wisconsin presidential primary, CNN’s Anderson Cooper hosted a town hall-style forum where each presidential candidate took questions from the audience on important policy issues, including defense, education, and healthcare.

One exchange in CNN’s town hall included brief but confusing remarks by businessman Donald Trump on the federal government’s role in education:

(You can read the full transcript here.)

QUESTION:  In your opinion, what are the top three functions of the United States government?

Trump:  Well, the greatest function of all by far is security for our nation. I would also say health care, I would also say education….

Cooper:  So in terms of federal government role, you’re saying security, but you also say health care and education should be provided by the federal government?

Trump:  Well, those are two of the things. Yes, sure. I mean, there are obviously many things, housing, providing great neighborhoods…

Cooper:  Aren’t you against the federal government’s involvement in education? Don’t you want it to devolve to states?

Trump:  I want it to go to states, yes. Absolutely. I want – right now…

Cooper:  So that’s not part of what the federal government’s…

Trump:  The federal government, but the concept of the country is the concept that we have to have education within the country, and we have to get rid of common core and it should be brought to the state level.

Donald Trump’s comments on the federal role in education are confusing. Not only do they directly contradict his avowed position of ending the federal role in Common Core, but they also show a fundamental misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution’s grant of limited power to the federal government—especially the limitations imposed by the 9th and 10th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which state that all powers not expressly granted to the federal government remain with the states and the people.

The Constitution provides for a limited federal government, one that does not interfere with the day-to-day lives of citizens. Not only is the U.S. Department of Education NOT expressly provided for in our Constitution, but it takes over a job that historically (and, as HSLDA believes, constitutionally) has been held by state and local governments.

Making education one of the top three priorities for the federal government is a huge mistake. It will lead to a continuation of the massive growth in federal involvement and control in education. As the federal role in education grows, programs like the Common Core Sate Standards and Race to the Top will continue to threaten the freedom of families, and ultimately the educational freedom of homeschoolers.

Moreover, the U.S. Department of Education does not show any signs of shrinking anytime soon. Be it longitudinal data collection programs, universal early education programs, or national standards, federal involvement in education will do nothing but grow unless educational responsibility is given back to the states.

Education—particularly homeschooling—works best when decision-making is left to the primary interest-holders in the future of children: their parents and families. Expanding and continuing the federal role in education is likely to do nothing but add burdensome regulations to homeschools and remove educational responsibility from parents and from state and local governments.

As this elections season moves on, HSLDA will continue to track the position of each presidential candidate on issues that matter to homeschoolers. You can read more of our articles on the 2016 race here.

-Andrew Mullins

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23 Comments on “Trump: Education should be a Main Function of the Federal Government”

  1. Ges X
    March 31, 2016 at 8:01 pm #

    Trump is by far our best option. He’s not perfect, but the best we have to choose from. Often you have to take the bad with the good. Though I strongly believe education is NO ONE’S business other than the parent’s, there is currently an education system controlled by all levels of government. As such we must accept that it is that way, but only until it can be changed. If Trump becomes POTUS, and if he receives enough input that the feds need to be taken out of the equation, I believe he will do his best to make just that happen. Until then he can only do what his supporters urge him to do. If that’s continue with fed involvement then that’s what he’ll do. Therefore we need, no must, let him know that fed involvement must end. And then continue to push for such until we succeed. If he doesn’t know what we want, he can’t try to get it done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angela
      April 2, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

      I agree with you Ges X. I feel that Donald Trump sincerely wants to restore the United States to a nation that supports our freedoms versus domineering and manipulative control over it’s citizens.

      He is sometimes misunderstood and I believe there is a Democratic agenda to trip him up and try and get people to believe he is saying something bad or shocking–they’re trying very hard to do that I’ve noticed.

      I think Mr. Trump is so out-spoken and bold because he genuinely believes that our freedoms need defending–he has developed a military-style approach to problem-solving when he attended military cadet school and was promoted to Captain. Quite impressive. The military gets things done in short order–our country has severe problems and we need this mentality and approach in a President.

      We can’t afford to WAIT for the political correctness of Liberalistic attitudes that “feel sorry” for every pathetic demoralizing criminal who wastes their day and ours planning ways to destroy our infrastructure, happiness, security, liberty, and freedoms as originally written and implemented by our founding fathers.

      Our country is falling down a sink-hole into Hell and Communistic Government control. We desperately need a LEADER like Donald Trump.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer J
      April 5, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

      I am genuinely curious why so many people would support Trump over Cruz when their platforms are so similar, would love to understand why someone would choose one over the other.

      Like

    • Nicole
      April 5, 2016 at 10:21 pm #

      Trump is our best option? He has been a life-long Democrat, donated large sums of money to many Democrat politicians, including Hillary Clinton, was pro-partial birth abortion until just recently (supposedly), was for the assault-weapons ban, praises Planned Parenthood as doing good things, praises socialized health care in other countries, and thinks health care and education are two major functions of the Federal Gov’t. He brags about his numerous adulterous affairs, claims he doesn’t need God’s forgiveness, and publicly boasts about the size of his penis. How is he our best option if we want a Godly leader who understands and protects the U.S. Constitution?

      Like

  2. Carl
    April 5, 2016 at 6:38 pm #

    Trump will have to rely on really good advisors if he is going to pull off being POTUS. He is fantastic in business but very deficient in how Washington works.

    Like

  3. Barbara Abner
    April 5, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

    I want to put my support behind Cruz, but I just keep thinking we have to pull away from the establishment. I believe Anderson Cooper, who is a strong democrat did his best at trapping Mr. Trump. We know obviously Mr. Trump hasn’t had a class in every current event because he is not a politician. He is a business man that has stepped in because he truly does love the American people and wants to find that safe secure place he remembers as a young man. I believe though Mr. Trump may be lacking some political grace, he really has Americas best interest in his heart.

    Like

    • mturner11
      April 7, 2016 at 11:33 pm #

      If you think Cruz is part of the establishment, you should consider why everyone in the establishment hates him. I suggest a little research on that. As for Trump, this dialogue is just one more thing that shows he is not grounded in what he believes and is not competent to be President.

      Like

    • Thomas and Catherine Stachowiak
      April 8, 2016 at 11:40 am #

      While it is obvious HSLDA implies support for Ted Cruz, because of his views on education, and their belief in his profession of Christianity; the truth is Cruz is very much backed by the same types of billionaire shadow govt puppet masters who have been promoting Common Core and Islam in the schools. His wife, as a CFR member pushed for a North American Union similar to the European Union that gave parents the very usurping govt oppressive policies destroying and preventing homeschooling in Europe. I know HSLDA is not intentionally promoting that. But voting for Ted Cruz would promote that happening here.

      Like

  4. voiceofjustice
    April 5, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

    I am confused by Trump’s answer. He has made it CLEAR in all of his speeches that he intends to turn education back to the states. For more info on his stand on education issues including common core, student loans, charter schools, Dept of Ed, ,
    here is a link:

    http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Donald_Trump_Education.htm

    Like

  5. Loy Niwa
    April 5, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

    Saying Donald Trump is the best option shows the desperate feeling of angry and upset Americans. I, as a naturalized citizen, totally disagree. Mr. Trump as a president would be a danger to Indonesia, in the same way some Americans were the danger to Soekarno in 1965-1966 (you can easily google the role of CIA in Indonesia in the 1960s-70s). Mr. Trump has shares in Freeport Indonesia (the reason of the corruption and scandal). He received the visit from Setya Novanto and Fadli Zon, two Indonesian Muslims Congressmen (one is under investigation of corruption). His comments on Muslims and terrorism are questionable.

    Donald Trump is not a faithful husband. Granted, Ronald Reagan also divorced, but he didn’t divorce because of younger, better looking, sexier new wife. President Reagan also never belittled women the way Donald Trump did to Megyn Kelly, and many other women.

    Donald Trump is not the wealthiest or most successful businessman. He has loud and big mouth, I agree. Successful man doesn’t need to be loud. President Joko Widodo from Indonesia is not loud, in fact he is very soft spoken, yet in two years time, Indonesia successfully paid part of her debt, which never happened before. How about Trump’s bankruptcy? How about Taj Mahal? How about Trump’s University? Or, Trump’s steak? You have to eat it to know it, like Obamacare?

    Please, be nice, don’t say that if I don’t like America I should go back to Indonesia. That is not your or my decision. It’s God Almighty’s decision that my family and I should live and become Americans. It’s to share my opinions and give you different perspectives.

    Here is my question to so-called Christians, can you meditate on Titus 1:6-9, vote Donald Trump, and proudly smile to Jesus and say, “I have done the best stewardship for my country.”?

    Like

  6. Scott Wiley
    April 5, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

    I love the idea of limited federal government. In general, I believe that most functions of government are best left to the states and local entities.

    In the example cited above, I believe the National government should expressly NOT be in the education business and should not be in the healthcare delivery business.

    I have supported Trump thus far, but am becoming gravely concerned when I hear him deliver a convoluted response to what should be a simple question. I am left wondering: 1). Has he even thought this through? 2). If he has not thought this fundamental position through, what does that say about him? 3). What does he really believe?

    What should concern us all, is that he really has no voting record, we can therefore only judge his words and not his history. When his words become confusing, that doesn’t leave much to judge him by. I for one am watching closely and wondering, “Who is he really and what he really does stand for?”

    Like

    • mturner11
      April 7, 2016 at 11:36 pm #

      Scott, you should listen to your concerns. The consequences are far bigger than who wins “The Apprentice.”

      Like

  7. PJ
    April 5, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

    Seriously Angela, Ges X?

    A man is known by is fruit, not his words. This man has given MONEY (more than I make in 4 months) to Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Andew Cuomo, and every one of these persons has used their position to advocate for significant government growth, increased legislation that mandates the Common Core and and limits God given, constitutionally protected (and now ignored) rights to liberty, Don’t tell me :it is business” because it is immoral, unethical and self serving to do business with pornographers (an example) and organizations are popping up the world over to stop that…but here you are advocating for a guy who has done the very same thing (in effect) to those of us living behind enemy lines in NY. Then you all say “We will never let those things happen in our state…while voting for the very guy who is helping fund it. Wake up.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kevin
    April 5, 2016 at 10:24 pm #

    It is a bit chilling to hear a man with Trump’s popularity in this presidential campaign only get one out of three answers correct in response to a question about the basic functions of federal government according to the Constitution.
    Common Core needs to be abandoned and the U.S. Department of Education should close its doors, never to re-open. Its mere existence is a usurpation of the U.S. Constitution which places education under the jurisdiction of the state and local governments.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Kelvin Smith
    April 5, 2016 at 11:27 pm #

    I’m not sure which scares me more: Trump, or the Christians who think he’s going to be their savior. While anyone who runs for president has to be at least a little arrogant (or you wouldn’t think you could fill the office), his is off the charts. The fact that he thinks he doesn’t need advisors for foreign policy (“My primary consultant is myself”) when he clearly knows so little about what’s really happening in the world is only one disqualification for the office. Suggesting that Mexico will pay for a wall is delusional. His admiration for Putin is appalling. Blocking all Muslims from entering the United States would be a violation of basic human as well as constitutional rights, and would likely come back to haunt us in many ways (what will we say when Muslim countries take the cue and decide to prohibit Christians from entering, and how do we think this is going to affect relations with the Muslims who are already here?). His vulgarity is disgusting: talking about his genitals, comparing his wife’s body to the wife of another candidate, suggesting that he’d date his daughter if she were of another family. His petulance endangers our freedom, with his talk of using libel law to destroy people or media who say things about him he doesn’t like. Encouraging his supporters to physically attack protestors (including suggesting he’d pay their legal bills) is an attack on civil behavior. He believes in might making right, and using the powers of government to enhance his own, as witness his attempts to use eminent domain to grab private property he wanted. He has virtually no real policy proposals, and no principles other than narcissism to guide himself by. He’s simply a voice for anger, and for our exhibitionistic celebrity culture.

    I understand that people are angry about where the country is going, politically, socially, and economically, and that it’s exciting to have someone who speaks without worrying about whom he’s going to offend. But civility is what makes living in the civitas possible, and anger isn’t a useful governing principle. And it’s astonishing that the same people who felt that Bill Clinton had disqualified himself from office because of his immorality seem totally unfazed by Trump’s behavior (for which he says he’s never needed to ask forgiveness). If he ever goes to church, it sure doesn’t seem like he’s listening.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Heather
    April 6, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

    Trumps comments aren’t confusing or contradictory. In fact, your labeling it as such shows your lack of understanding, and your liberal-method of critisism of trump. He obviously wants to do away with common core, have education managed at the state level, and feels it is part of the federal government’s job. Trump has a big mouth, but he doesn’t contradict himself or try to lie. So, deductive and logical reasoning, my reasoning…. : lets take security, another example. There is federal, state, county, and local or city “security ” or type of law enforcement… it gets even smaller… an individual business’s security…. but as with the federal government on any topic, the federal funds and gives grants, and backs up supports the state first, then the local. It is the federal government’s job to manage and harmonize and balance EVERYTHING inbetween the states, and support them. The federal gives teachers reimbursements on their tax returns for items they spent on children for school. That is one thing. I believe the federal government should issue tax return credits for all homeschooling families expenses up to a certain amaount ( such as how much the local district gets per year/ per kid . That would be a good example of federal management at the local level….. we do pay our taxes as much as the next person. Another job, i believe the federal government should have in dealing with the education system is prosecution of harassment and discrimination of homeschooling students and parents. Such as this case in Missouri. …. a fake court??? Really??? That judge should have his rights as a judge ripped away, possible jail time, and a federal law allowing the harrased family to sue for money up to a certain amount plus legal fees and expenses, MUCH LIKE THE FEDERALLY BACKED AND ENFORCED FDCPA, FCRA, FACT ACT, AND TCPA , that deals with credit and similar violations of decency from credit bureaus, debt collectors, and other harassing issues; federally backed and enforced by the federal law that trumps state and local BUT THE FEDERAL LAW GIVES THE POWER TO THE INIVIDUAL; it allows me, a nobody, to go in there and sue the pants off any bottom feeding debt collector, or even the credit reporting agengies who keep reporting unvalidated credit items i dispute, violating the federal law, but giving me the power to defend myself, and my credit. But i have to take the law up on it’s allowances, not something the federal law requires me to do….. if there was a federal law like the credit ones for homeschooling families, i dont think we would have to worry about the harassment frome the local education system. … but then again, if there was a law like that, there wouldn’t be as much of a need for you guys here at HSDLA…. but, that actually should be your goal; to work so well, that you work yourselves out of a job! That is one thing i never got, why not do more than defense? ?? Does HSLDA run any offense? ?? Do they patitition for a federal or local law to cause these harassments to end? I really appreciate what you all hear do, but i think a little more offense or preventative efforts would be more fruitful…. not just defense. Look at the FDCPA, and FCRA…. I dare you to bounce my idea off Trump; a law simular to those federal laws, to allow harrased homeschoolers, a method for reproach and collection of damages…. i think you’d get more support than you’d think.

    Like

  11. AGood
    April 6, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

    Wow, Mr. Mullins. This is very poor reporting. I expected better from HSLDA. During this interview, which I watched, CNN’s Anderson Cooper fired a big question at Trump, listened to a brief answer, then continued interrupting Mr. Trump with question after question. When Trump finally did get to finish his thought, he said that education was a priority in that Common Core had to go, and that education needs to be controlled at a local level.

    In his book CRIPPLED AMERICA, in many stump speeches, and in several debates, Trump has said that as President he would abolish the Dept. of Education.

    My question to Mr. Mullins is this, were you deliberately being obtuse when you misreported Trump’s educational position, or did you not do your research properly?

    As a matter of ethics, I believe you need to correct the misinformation that you sent out to the members at HSLDA.

    Like

    • Rose
      June 1, 2016 at 6:25 pm #

      my reaction as well.

      Like

  12. Randy Larrivee
    April 6, 2016 at 8:01 pm #

    Donald Trump once again shows how little he knows about being President. He is friends with the KKK on Friday and against them on Monday. He is a raciest and he is vulgar. However, this does not give the GOP leaders the right to rig the primary election. And does NOT excuse the do nothing Republican congress from thinking that their only job is getting re-elected. I sound like a democrat but I am a DISGUSTED registered republican. I would welcome a new face but not that new face.

    Like

  13. Thomas and Catherine Stachowiak
    April 8, 2016 at 11:56 am #

    While HSLDA apparently implies its support for Ted Cruz because of his stated stand on education and his profession of Christianity (questionable as it is after he cheated and lied and bought porn etc); Ted Cruz stands for the very establishment types that promote
    Common Core and Islam indoctrination in our public schools and wars in the Middle East killing and martyring Christians. For example he is backed by big billionaire oil donors who use their bought off media to promote him in the media. His wife was a member of the CFR wherein she promoted a globalist North American Union similar to the European Union (the EU promotes the very policies that undermine parental rights and homeschooling in Europe.) To rid ourselves of the globalist influence on POTUS and our politics we must elect people not paid off by such billionaire donors. Throw off the shackles of the shadow govt puppet masters who want illegal immigration (modern day slavery.) Simply put, we must elect a real American.

    Like

  14. Rose
    June 1, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

    it was an excellent answer — a concern for the nation, responsibility of gov to overturn common core and return of education to states.

    Like

  15. Jane
    July 23, 2016 at 9:49 pm #

    Please include Gary Johnson. He’s been a wonderful governor for school choice.

    Like

  16. A L
    September 12, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

    In the video below, Trump makes this quote “School Choice means that parents can home-school their children 100%” – Right after the 17 min mark.

    Liked by 1 person

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