This week the House is scheduled to approve H.R. 3221, an education lending bill that CBO reports will increase the deficit by $50 billion. The bill includes a little-known provision to give the Secretary of Education $500 million - to be provided to to any entity he deems “appropriate” - to develop and disseminate free and “freely available” online courses.
This is unprecedented.
Federal curriculum is contrary to longstanding government policy - and it’s unnecessary. For decades, Federal law has prohibited the U.S. Department of Education from exercising control over the “curriculum, program of instruction . . . or over the selection or content of library resources, text books, or other educational materials by any educational institution or school system.”
Now the Obama Administration and Congress are poised to provide the Secretary of the Education half a billion dollars, and give him the authority to enter into contracts with any entity he deems “appropriate” to “develop, evaluate and disseminate” “freely available” “education courses.”