The House will use the Congressional Review Act to overturn the Department of Education’s teacher preparation and accountability rules today. The teacher preparation rule ties the availability of some student aid funding to whether or not a teacher program is “effective.” However, it forces states to use criteria dictated by Washington’s Department of Education—such as an over-reliance on student outcomes—determine what counts as “effective.”
The accountability rule constitutes an unfunded mandate and is an unprecedented move by the federal government to take state power. Though the original law (The Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA) allows for states to decide how to assess schools, this rule dictates a Washington standard that undermines state and local control over education and further strains state and local budgets.
Congress supports properly assessing teacher preparation programs and the quality of schools, but these regulations are a prime example of the federal bureaucracy taking something good and doing it the wrong way.
Though the Department of Education requires states to fund the accountability rule, it drastically underestimates the costs. California—generally friendly to Obama-era mandates—estimated it would cost $230 million to set up the rating system plus $485 million per year to maintain, while the Department of Education claims it would cost the entire nation only $27 million per year.
Who It Hurts
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education believes that the preparation rule could also exacerbate the nation’s “critical shortage of special education teachers.” By linking funding to student-outcomes, the rule potentially provides a disincentive for teachers to help traditionally under-performing students, including those with disabilities.
Ironically enough, a rule intended to help education could do the exact opposite. Requiring states to spend millions on new rating systems could draw funds away from other programs or force states to raise taxes. Not only would this directly hurt residents throughout the states, it could decrease state funding for education or even increase the cost of higher education.
Why We’re Doing This
The bureaucracy is a threat to our
· and People
The House has already passed legislation to change the structure in Washington so the federal bureaucracy is subject to the people and so we stop getting the same bad results year after year. Now, we’re targeting specific harmful regulations and stripping them off the books.
What We’ve Already Done
The House has already voted to overturn five harmful regulations using the Congressional Review Act: