Baltimore’s New Mayor Proposes $288 Million in Education Spending to Save City’s Schools

Nevada’s Governor Rushes to Save Education Savings Accounts. But Will Program Survive Legislature’s Democrats?

Will the Same Conservative Coalition That Derailed Health Care Bill Now Kill Federal School Choice?

DeVos Hints at ESSA as Means for Feds to Push School Choice but Downplays Federal Oversight

As NY Lawmakers Mull Budget to Expand Charter Schools, Fears of Federal Cuts May Shift Political Alliances

Arne Duncan Makes Two Big Endorsements in L.A. School Board Race, Throws Support Behind Reformers

Our School’s Too White? Outraged Parents Vow to Lie About Child’s Race to Keep City From Removing Teachers

Ivanka Trump, Betsy DeVos Tout STEM Education to 200 Students at Air & Space Museum

Black Girls 6 Times as Likely to Be Suspended as Whites. ‘Let Her Learn’ Looks to Reverse the Trend

Can Mónica García Unify L.A.? How the Longest-Serving School Board Member Cruised to Her Fourth Election Win

WATCH: 4,000 Kids Take Over NYC’s Radio City Music Hall With America’s Biggest Academic Pep Rally

Where Education Research, Politics & Policy Intersect: 3 States Reveal How Data Help Shape Their ESSA Plans

Tennessee Bets Big on Personalized Learning, Launching Pilot Program & Eyeing Big 2020 Goals

MUST-SEE: School Films Epic 12-Minute ‘Trolls’ Music Video to Lift Spirits of Sick 5-Year-Old Girl

In Uniting Students With Prospective Employers, the Whether Job Search App Wins SXSWedu Tech Competition

More HS Students Are Graduating, but These Key Indicators Prove Those Diplomas Are Worth Less Than Ever

Race & Class: Chicago Schools Sue State, Claim Minority Kids See 78 Cents Per Dollar Sent to White Schools

KIPP v. UFT: Charter Network Sues Union, Arguing It Doesn’t Represent School’s Teachers

Supreme Court Sets New Standard for Special Ed, Unanimously Rejects Minimal School Progress

D.C. Approves ESSA Accountability Plan That Emphasizes Testing Standards & Transparency

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.