Ohio Gov. John Kasich may be one of the two GOP presidential candidates who supports the Common Core State standards. (Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is the other one.)
And Kasich doesn’t want to entirely get rid of the Education Department altogether, like some of his rivals.
But that doesn’t mean he’s happy with the current federal role.
Kasich wants to “shrink the federal education bureaucracy” by consolidating over 100 programs into “four block grants” for states, he said Thursday in a speech in New Hampshire.
He would also “repurpose the Department of Education to support the states with research and suggested innovations—and end its interference.” (He also said earlier this year that he wants to get rid of teachers’ lounges.)
No word on exactly what those four programs would be. Maybe one for higher education, one for K-12, one for early learning, and ... Impact Aid? (Just guessing here.)
Kasich expanded on his plans in a Washington Post op-ed Thursday.
Washington isn’t America’s principal or its teacher. Education is a local issue, and decisions should be made by parents, our communities and our local educators. We need high standards, but they are not Washington’s business. I will bundle the department’s funds and send them back to the states with fewer strings attached. The department will be a research center and a local school booster, not a micromanager.
That line about shrinking the bureaucracy isn’t new for Kasich, he’s used similar language as the Buckeye State’s governor.
But he’s also pushed (successfully) for more education spending, and even some state money to reward districts for trying out “innovative learning strategies.”
Republican presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during an appearance before the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the Newseum, in Washington earlier this month.
Jose Luis Magana/AP