President Trump just gutted two Obama-era education rules put in place to guarantee students a quality education by competent teachers.
Using procedure put forth in the Congressional Review Act — an obscure piece of legislation passed in the late 1990s meant to overrule regulations passed by the executive branch– House Republicans axed the regulations in February. Because the vote was done through procedure, Senate Republicans were able to send the bills to President Trump’s desk without having to risk a filibuster from their Democratic counterparts.
Under the regulations, schools receiving federal money from the Department of Education were required to abide by certain accountability rules that ensured all students, regardless of race, gender, or income, were receiving a quality education. This was known as the Every Student Succeeds Act. The second rule that was just erased put in place a series of training requirements for teachers in order to made sure they passed muster as educators before being put in the classroom.
The rules were largely opposed by Republicans, as they conflicted with GOP orthodoxy that believes the federal government should have less say in public school policy, instead leaving it up to states to come up with their own standards. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has also called for similar policies in the past in her advocacy for education reform in Michigan. At the time the regulations were killed, Congressman Jared Polis (D-Colorado) warned that they would “undo all of that state-level work … creating mass chaos and uncertainty in public education, and destroy the civil rights safeguards that Republicans and Democrats worked so diligently to put in the Every Student Succeeds Act.”
Ironically, while Trump signed the bills into law that gutted the education regulations, he ridiculed the desk he used to sign the bills.
“It’s a child’s desk,” Trump said at the signing ceremony. “Very, very glamorous, right?”
Watch the video of the signing ceremony below, courtesy of Axios editor Justin Green:
VIDEO: "This is a child's desk, but that's ok … It's smallest desk I've ever seen!" pic.twitter.com/6xeM20m3tr
— Justin Green (@JGreenDC) March 27, 2017
Tom Cahill is a senior editor for the Resistance Report based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at [email protected], or follow him on Facebook by clicking here.