Alexander: “Education Secretary Must Think He is the U.S. Congress as Well as Chairman of a National School Board”

Says proposed education rule is unlawful, will upend state and local education funding and collective bargaining agreements in many states

Posted on August 31, 2016

MARYVILLE, August 31, 2016 – The chairman of the United States Senate education committee today said that a proposed rule by the United States Department of Education suggests that “the U.S. Education Secretary must think he is the U.S. Congress as well as Chairman of a National School Board.”

“The rule would regulate the way states and school districts spend nearly all state and local tax dollars on schools in order to receive federal Title I dollars,” said U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). “These Title I dollars are only about 3 percent of total national spending on schools.” Alexander said that the rule is unlawful and predicted that it would “upend state and local education funding and collective bargaining agreements in many states. If anything resembling it becomes final, I will do everything within my power to overturn it.”

“Last December, with broad support and the President’s signature, Congress reversed the trend toward a national school board and restored control of public schools to states and communities,” Alexander said. “Now the Secretary is heading in the exact opposite direction. His proposed regulation would give Washington, D.C., control over state and local education dollars that it has never had before. Federal law gives him zero authority to do this. In fact, our new law specifically prohibits his doing this.” 

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To access House Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline’s (R-Minn.) statement on today’s proposed rule, click here.

For access to this release and Chairman Alexander’s other statements, click here.