Lawmakers in Oklahoma are considering legislation that would phase out almost $1 billion in federal funding for its government-school system. The goal: allow the state to re-take control of education from the Biden administration and increasingly radicalized federal bureaucrats who now dictate practically everything.
Under the legislation, known as Senate Bill 863, the Oklahoma Department of Education would be charged with developing a plan to free the Sooner State from the federal boot over a decade. With an end to federal funds would come an end to costly federal mandates, potentially even saving taxpayers money.
“The U.S. Constitution is very straightforward about education – this is a state power protected by the 10th Amendment and the federal overreach is alive and well in our education system,” Senator David Bullard, a Republican, said in a statement announcing the legislation. The Tenth Amendment also reserves powers not delegated to the federal government to the people in addition to the states.
Senator Bullard said he filed the bill to have education officials in the state create the ten-year plan in order to “remove the federal government where it does not belong,” and replace federal funding and control with state oversight instead. “The federal government does not need to be in Oklahoma education,” added the conservative lawmaker.
Despite the Tenth Amendment’s clear prohibition on federal meddling in areas where the states did not delegate power under the U.S. Constitution — fields such as education — Washington, D.C., has gradually usurped more and more control over schools nationwide to the point where schools have been federalized and now globalized. The primary mechanism was federal funding with strings attached.
“Oklahoma needs to be in control of our own destiny when it comes to education – not a liberal bureaucrat from D.C. or California,” continued Bullard, the author of the bill and one of its key sponsors in the Senate. “We must not put our children up to the highest bidder. They are not for sale.”
Anticipating the attacks from the teachers’ unions and federal supremacists, Bullard also addressed their concerns. “Oklahoma will be better off without federal government interference in how we educate our kids,” he explained. “Schools will not lose any money, and we will be in sole control of our education system and classrooms.”
Under the plan, the Oklahoma Department of Education would have until the end of 2024 to submit its plan to the speaker of the State House of Representatives, the president pro tempore of the Senate, and Gov. Kevin Stitt. The state’s elected leadership would then have to decide whether to proceed once the plan is available.
The Oklahoma measure follows a similar bill introduced in Tennessee that would create a task force to study how the Volunteer State could cut ties with the feds on education. In both cases, the legislation is primarily aimed at restoring state sovereignty over education and allowing state authorities to develop more effective and less extreme schools.
Lawmakers supporting a restoration of state and local control over public schools have pointed to numerous controversial federally prescribed schemes. Among them: gender confusion, leftwing indoctrination, Critical Race Theory, fake history, pseudo-science, Common Core, Social-Emotional Learning (SEL), godlessness, and more.
Removing the increasingly lawless and out-of-control federal government from children’s classrooms is a step in the right direction and constitutionally needed. Ultimately, though, the goal should be to restore parental responsibility and control over education. There is no reason for government at any level to be overseeing the education of children.