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  • Obama Vastly Underestimates Size of Education Budget in Twitter Town Hall

    During his Twitter Town Hall yesterday, President Obama vastly underestimated the size of the bloated Department of Education budget.

    The nice thing about the defense budget is it’s so big, it’s so huge, that, you know, a 1 percent reduction is the equivalent of the education budget. I’m exaggerating. But it’s so big that you can make relatively modest changes to defense that end up giving you a lot of headroom to fund things like basic research or student loans or things like that.

    That’s a pretty gross exaggeration. A 1 percent reduction in the Department of Defense’s proposed fiscal year 2012 budget equates to approximately $5.5 billion. That’s a mere 7 percent of the Department of Education’s proposed $77.4 billion budget for elementary, secondary, and higher education.

    If the President’s proposed FY2012 education budget is enacted, spending at the agency will have increased 20 percent since 2010 alone, and 58 percent since 2000, after adjusting for inflation. (By contrast, the defense budget has increased only 4.7 percent since 2010.)

    Instead of considering meaningful reforms like funding flexibility for states or portability of federal education dollars for low-income children—reforms which would save taxpayer dollars, begin reducing the failed federal role in education, and empower parents—President Obama wants to continuing pouring more money into the oversized and ineffective Department of Education.

    More money is not the answer to improving education in America. Since the 1970s, federal education spending has nearly tripled—after adjusting for inflation—yet academic outcomes have remained flat.

    Instead of continuing to throw money at the problem and propping up the failed status quo, the President should support measures that could provide immediate relief to states and create meaningful, long-term reform. The A–PLUS proposal would allow states to opt out of the many federal programs under No Child Left Behind, allowing state and local leaders to target federal education dollars to those areas most in need.

    At the same time, federal policymakers should work to streamline the Department of Education and drastically reduce the federal role in education by eliminating ineffective and duplicative programs and empowering low-income children through portability of Title I funding for poor school districts.

    These steps would represent a bold new approach to federal education policy and a fundamental shift in Washington’s role in education. State and local leaders would have more control over education dollars, spending would be reduced, and parents would be empowered with more decision-making authority about where their children attend school.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Obama Vastly Underestimates Size of Education Budget in Twitter Town Hall

    1. David says:

      You would think our President would be closer to the numbers during these challenging times. That he has no concept of the relative numbers is scary. How can he develop a plan out if this mess when he has no concept of what a mess it is?

    2. sbanicki says:

      From the perspective of the Tea Party and yourself, is tis an impeachable offense?

    3. From the perspective of the Tea Party and yourself, is tis an impeachable offense?

      • Pete says:

        This really isn't a mistake, it's more of people trying to find every error in his speech and highlighting it to change others opinions. He may have under estimated the education budget but I assure you that the defense budget is entirely to massive, I wonder if the defense budget listed earlier factors in all the money that pays for college students currently in the military or all the national guard programs that pay for education.. What about all the money veterans get to pay their Childs way through college.. I know 3 of my friends with full rides thanks to the military, you don't qualify for the money it's just handed to more families than the public realizes..

    4. martin d says:

      If we are going to hold someone accountable for being accurate on stated numbers, even if it was said that he was exagerating to make a point, at least be accurate. The figure given in this article is only the pentagon base budget. The 2012 budget that passed the house includes current operations and is at $690 billion. In addition, there is a lot of non dod spending for defense.

    5. bobbymike says:

      NOTICE that he wants to cut defense to SPEND not to save and reduce the deficit. Plus defense has to be a national priority. The States can do most everything else.

    6. Pete says:

      I agree we can't keep throwing money at problems and that we should adjust the actual policies in place which are responsible for how the money is spent.. I think we should get our government to publicly post all the expenses for all the federal programs for example … We would list defense, then under that look at the money for jet fuel, money for military housing, military pensions .. The. We list education and see the money for no child left behind then list welfare or other government aide…. Maybe we don't need to make cuts.. Maybe we just need to make the money flow more direct instead of having to go through so many organizations

    7. Pete says:

      I agree we can't keep throwing money at problems and that we should adjust the actual policies in place which are responsible for how the money is spent.. I think we should get our government to publicly post all the expenses for all the federal programs for example … We would list defense and under list how much jet fuel cost annually, the cost for military housing annually, the cost of military pensions, then list education, welfare, slurries for congress etc. Basically everything the government spends on one easily accessible page so the people can decide for themselves what direction the government should go in and then vote for the leaders who share the same plan

    8. blvd says:

      To illustrate the gross overfunding of the Dept of Education; the DOE Inspector General dispatched a heavily armed in full military battle dress SWAT team to apprehend a woman wanted for undisclosed financial aid issues. SWAT conducted an early morning Gestapo assault, smashed in the door of the wrong address (she had moved out two years previously), dragged her husband out, made him and his crying children sit in a vehicle for hours until they thanked him for cooperating and left.

      The DOE uses SWAT?!!!! The DOE is not concerned with violent criminals. Too much DOE funding and DOE arrogance.

    9. Lloyd Scallan says:

      This guy looks right into the cameras and lies to the American people when ever he opens his mouth.
      Do you really expect he will all of a sudden, tell the truth on twitter?

    10. Laurie H. Rogers says:

      Not only is President Obama's estimate completely off-base, but he was only talking about federal taxpayer dollars. Think, for a moment, about the entire country's expenditure on K-12 educ…ation — federal, state, local and other (like Bill Gates and various foundations). That equates to nearly $700 billion, which is MORE than the entire Department of Defense's proposed budget. I suppose if that's what it takes to properly educate a child, then that's what it takes. It doesn't, though. America spends more than almost every other country on education and does poorly in comparison.

    11. Laurie H. Rogers says:

      Not only is President Obama's estimate completely off-base, but he was only talking about federal taxpayer dollars. Think, for a moment, about the entire country's expenditure on K-12 education — federal, state, local and other (like Bill Gates and various foundations). That equates to nearly $700 billion, which is MORE than the entire Department of Defense's proposed budget. I suppose if that's what it takes to properly educate a child, then that's what it takes. It doesn't, though. America spends more than almost every other country on education and does poorly in comparison.

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