Atlanta School Turnaround Gets A Big Boost With $2.1 Million Grant From Walton Family Foundation

Must-See: Hundreds of NYC Students Rallied Thursday at Stonewall in Support of Transgender Classmates

After Reported Opposition, DeVos Defends Ending Transgender Protections to Friendly CPAC Crowd

How YouCAN Is Growing Grassroots Education Leaders to Improve Their Schools and Communities

A Toast to Ale-Truism: Pub Patrons’ Donations Help Put Books in Hands of Portland’s Needy Kids

An Oval Office Brawl Over Transgender Kids: 7 Things We Know About the DeVos-Sessions Showdown

10 Kids + 1 Teacher = The Smallest School in the Tiniest District in America’s Least Populated State

Hard to Game, Easy to Use: Chronic Absenteeism Gains Ground as New ESSA Measure of Student Success

The 74 Interview: L.A. Education Activist Yolie Flores on Schools, Politics, and Why She’s Running for Congress

No Birds No Bees: Texas Students Rarely Get Quality Sex Ed Despite High Teen Birth Rates

Study: Weakening Tenure in Louisiana May Have Caused Thousands of Teachers to Quit

Obama-Era Protections for Transgender Students to Be Revoked, Gavin Grimm Supreme Court Case at Risk

‘We Must Draw a Line in the Sand’: Inside Nevada’s New Campaign to Rescue Failing Schools

Suburban Districts Cry Foul As Connecticut Governor Looks to Shift State Funds to Poorer Urban Schools

‘A Huge Win’: Washington State Charter School Supporters Celebrate Major Courtroom Victory

CogniToys Dino Can Answer Kids’ Questions All Day Long, in and out of the Classroom

At Philadelphia’s Mastery Charter Network, Culture Is Key to Turning Around Failing Schools

WATCH: Understand Open Enrollment in 120 Seconds or Less

Elementary Schools Across America Celebrate Their First 100 Days of School With Style on Social Media

How’s Your School Culture? ESSA Says It’s Important, but Only 1 in 3 Students Nationwide Think It’s Good

Jeb Bush Calls for ‘Earthquake’ in Federal Education Funding and Policy Under GOP Control

Photo Credit: Getty Images

December 1, 2016

Talking Points

Bush calls for cutting federal strings on money to states

Says families, not institutions, should be empowered to make education decisions

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Washington, D.C.
Jeb Bush wants to see big changes in federal education funding and policy in the coming years under the newly unified Republican government.
“I hope they’re bold about this,” Bush said Thursday at the Foundation for Excellence in Education’s annual conference. “I hope there’s an earthquake as it relates to education funding and education policy.”
(74 Interview: Jeb Bush – Yes on Choice and Standards, No on Trump and Clinton)
This is an important time for broad education reform, said Bush, the former Florida governor, presidential candidate, and founder of the foundation.
“There’s a reason why people are anxious. There’s a reason why they’re angry,” he said, referencing the results of the presidential election. “The basic institutions in their lives don’t work they way they used to work 30 or 40 or 50 years ago, education being front and center.”
He urged Republicans in Washington, from Congress to the incoming Trump administration, to cut federal requirements on state and local education decisions.
Bush said 80 percent of employees in Florida’s Department of Education are responsible solely for compliance with federal grants and programs, even though federal dollars represent only about 10 percent of school funding.
“This is the time to change that, to trust states to make the decisions,” he said.
States should be able to put more federal dollars into charter schools “or any schools where teachers are succeeding with our most disadvantaged students,” Bush said.
(The 74: GOP Education Priorities: 13 Stalled Bills That Could Now Make It to President Trump’s Desk)
He also encouraged Congress to give block grants for preschool and early-childhood funding to states, where local leaders could focus on early literacy and kindergarten readiness.
Bush, who will join the faculty at Texas A&M next year to teach a course on governors, also called on states to expand college savings accounts to be used for K-12 and other education expenses.
“The best way to deal with the sense of disenfranchisement that truly exists across this country is not to empower institutions,” he said. “It’s a bottom-up approach where we empower families and trust them to make decisions.”
Bush also praised education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos, who used to sit on his foundation’s board of directors.
DeVos is a “phenomenal, strong woman, and she will do an extraordinary job as secretary of education. We all are looking forward to working with her,” Bush said.
The Walton Family Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Eli & Edyth Broad Foundation, Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, Doris & Donald Fisher Fund, and the Triad Foundation provide funding to The 74 and the Foundation for Excellence in Education. The 74’s Editor-in-Chief, Campbell Brown, sits on the American Federation for Children’s board of directors, which was formerly chaired by Betsy DeVos. Brown played no part in the reporting or editing of this article. The American Federation for Children also sponsored The 74’s 2015 New Hampshire education summit.