Education, both constitutionally and as a practical matter, is a state and local responsibility. The Constitution gives Washington no authority to fund or govern education, and individual communities know their needs better than politicians in DC. If the federal government is going to start funding construction and maintenance of schools, there must be a serious crisis, right?
Democrats on the House Committee on Education and Labor seem to think there is. Yesterday, the committee held a hearing titled Underpaid Teachers and Crumbling Schools: How Underfunding Public Education Shortchanges America’s Students, largely to introduce legislation that would commit federal dollars to school construction and maintenance. According to remarks by committee chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA), the Rebuild America’s Schools Act “would create a $70 billion grant program and $30 billion tax credit bond program targeted at improving the physical and digital infrastructure at high-poverty schools.”
$100 billion is a lot of new spending, especially considering that the national debt just surpassed $22 trillion. The condition of public schools must be atrocious, right?