Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said on Monday that if elected president she would drastically pare back the federal government, possibly by doing away with the U.S. Department of Education.
Bachmann has made the suggestion before, and she reiterated her stance in response to a question from Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., at his Palmetto Freedom Forum.
The Constitution does not specifically enumerate nor does it give to the federal government the role and duty to superintend over education, Bachmann said. That historically has been held by the parents and by local communities and by state government. To put that into the federal government as we saw a Department of Education in the late 1970s has eviscerated the constitutional understanding that the control of education truly lies with the parents.
Bachmann's Education Experience
Bachmann has experience in the matter, having helped to found a charter school in Stillwater, Minn. and subsequently resigning amidst complaints that the school violated state regulations by pushing a religiously oriented curriculum. She has denounced what she sees as government overreach throughout her career, also calling for the abolishment of the tax code and calling the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Commerce unnecessary. In 2001, she likened president George W. Bush's education policies to the failed ideas of a state-planned and managed economy similar to that of the former Soviet Union.
Bachmann also renewed her attack on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul on Monday, emphasizing her belief that the federal governmen's expansion represents a breach of the Constitution.
My guiding principle will be that the government works best when it acts within the limitations of the Constitution, she said. The current president of the United States has failed to demonstrate an understanding.