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Rick Perry: ‘I Don’t Think The Federal Government Has A Role’ In Education

By Ian Millhiser and Scott Keyes  

"Rick Perry: ‘I Don’t Think The Federal Government Has A Role’ In Education"

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At a campaign stop in Iowa yesterday, Perry added something else to the long list of things he insists are beyond the federal government’s power — any involvement whatsoever in education:

QUESTION: I would like to know your position on the federal government’s role in my children’s education.

PERRY: I don’t think the federal government has a role in your children’s education. . . . I know there’s probably a few of you in here who have not read my book “Fed Up.” But I talk about the intrusion into our lives by the federal government in a host of different areas. Education is one of them.

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Of course, this is hardly the first time time that Perry took a constitutional swipe at federal education programs. In a recent interview with Glenn Beck, Perry suggested that Texas should not have to comply with any of the conditions associated with the billions of dollars of federal education funds it gladly accepts.

But Perry’s blanket statement that the federal government doesn’t have any role in education whatsoever goes much further than his previous position that Texas should simply be able to suckle at the federal Department of Education’s teat. If the federal government truly has no role in education, that means millions of college students must lose their Pell Grants and federal student loans overnight, depriving many of them of their ability to pay for higher education altogether. And that’s just the lucky students who are still able to get accepted into college after their public schools lose all federal funding — funding that disproportionately benefits the most needy schools.

Sadly, federal education programs are hardly the only thing Perry wants to eliminate. For those of you keeping track at home, Perry has also called Social Security, Medicare, the Clean Air Act, Medicaid, SCHIP, federal bank regulation and federal consumer financial protections unconstitutional.

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