Education issues barely moved the needle in the most recent Republican presidential candidates’ debates, held at the University of Colorado at Boulder, last week. Aside from a few passing references to career and technical education, gun-free zones around schools, vouchers, and a question involving student loan debt, the 14 GOP candidates—split into two groups, based on polling numbers—steered clear of detailed K-12 discussion.
In the meantime, Education Week’s Politics K-12 blog looked at where the candidates stand on what’s been a conservative rallying cry for decades: the possibility of eliminating the U.S. Department of Education. Here’s a roundup.
Scrap Department (or Consider It)
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas:that if he’s elected, he would like to abolish the U.S. Department of Education.
Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO: Named the Education Department asin an interview in October with MSNBC.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: Hasgetting rid of the Education Department.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky: Hasthat if he’s elected, he’ll move to scrap the Education Department.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida: Said at ain September that he “honestly think[s] we don’t need an Education Department.” Some of its functions—like overseeing the student loan program—could be transferred to other agencies.
Donald Trump, Real Estate Mogul: Said last month on “Fox News Sunday” that he’dgetting rid of the department.
Slim It Down
Ohio Gov. John Kasich: Hasso that it just operates four major block grant programs, but doesn’t appear to want to get rid of the agency entirely.
Put a Twist on It
Ben Carson, Neurosurgeon: Hasn’t called for eliminating the Education Department. But he hasa new role for it: Monitoring institutions of higher education for political bias.
No Explicit Proposal
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: Hasn’t floated the possibility of eliminating the department, but does think states should be.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: His education platformsteps like revamping teacher tenure and expanding charter schools, not getting rid of the Education Department.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina: Hasn’tabout eliminating the Education Department in years. But back in the 1990s, he was on the House education committee when it tried to dismantle the department.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal: Has focused on school choice and, not on eliminating the department.
Former New York Gov. George Pataki:, but doesn’t appear to have called for eliminating the Education Department.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum: Has, not getting rid of the Education Department.
Assistant Editor Andrew Ujifusa contributed to this story.
A version of this article appeared in the November 04, 2015 edition of Education Week as Keep the Ed. Dept., or Scrap It? Where GOP Hopefuls Stand