As the Federal Government has increased the size of the Department of Education, test scores and scholastic performance have markedly dropped. More money, more bureaucracy, and more government intervention are eroding this nation’s educational standards. The existence of the Department of Education is an overreach of constitutional authority by the federal government. State and local governments, parents and teachers are far better equipped to meet the needs of their students than the red-tape-laden department, which was established for and tends to benefit teachers’ unions rather than students. I believe in more local control over education, where states, localities, and parents can play a much more significant role in their children’s schooling. The federal government has simply used its power to disregard parental rights, restrict teachers, and leave kids with an unsatisfactory education, unable to compete in a quickly advancing world. Innovation in education will never come from an overgrown federal bureaucracy, mandating standards and discounting local input. The responsibility for education ultimately lies with the parents and education is one of the greatest gifts parents can give their children. I believe that parents should be empowered to take an active role in their children’s education. I support reduced taxes and increased flexibility so families can choose the most effective educational institution for their child, whether it be public, private, charter, homeschool or online. I also seek to prevent the Department of Education from regulating private and homeschooling options and will fight to keep the Federal Government’s hands out of these promising alternatives to conventional public education. I recognize the great potential of local schools and parents who are allowed the freedom to manage their own children’s educational needs, according to the community they live in, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all federal government approach that has been proven to not work for most kids.