The Department of Education – Who Needs it?

September 21, 2010 05:44

It seems obvious that the principal function of the DOE has nothing to do with improving the quality of public education and everything to do with doing the bidding of the nation’s powerful teacher’s unions and supporting politicians such as Mr. Obama.

By Philip V. Brennan  Monday, September 20, 2010 at Canada Free Press


‘To the horror of some members of the media a couple of Republican candidates including Nevada’s Sharon Angle are pledging that if elected they will fight to abolish the Department of Education.’

‘One can’t call them teachers anymore. Probably as the so-called “rubber rooms” – holding areas for inept teachers who can’t be fired suggests – a lot of them just can’t teach.’

‘With an annual budget for about 5,000 employees of whopping $77.8 Billion for 2011, it provides little bang for the big bucks it spends.

It seems obvious that the principal function of the DOE has nothing to do with improving the quality of public education and everything to do with doing the bidding of the nation’s powerful teacher’s unions and supporting politicians such as Mr. Obama.’

‘Senator Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) condemned the new law as a straight political payoff by Carter to teacher unions for their endorsement in the 1976 presidential election. “This is a back-room deal, born out of squalid politics.’

‘But efforts to rid the nation of this boondoggle have failed thanks to the power of the teacher’s unions and their huge contributions to the National Democratic party and its candidates.’

‘Put simply, the principal justification for why the Department should be abolished, is that Congress does not have the constitutional authority to either fund or regulate education. None whatsoever!’

‘Instead of being criticized, Sharron Angle should be applauded for having the guts as a candidate for elected office to say “no.” ‘


From the Center for Reposnsive Politics:

Since school districts, colleges and universities are general prohibited from forming political action committees, political contributions from the education industry generally come from the individuals associated with the field.

While this category does not include teachers unions, it does include all levels of schooling, from primary school teachers to graduate level administrators.

Contributions to federal candidates and political committees from this industry have consistently increased during the past two decades, with significantly more cash donated during presidential election years.

In the 2008 election cycle, the education industry donated $57.4 million, with 82 percent of that money going to Democratic candidates and committees. During the past two decades, the percent of money going to Democrats has generally increased.

The top contributor in the 2008 election cycle, based on its employees political contributions? The University of California. The employees of its10 campuses across the state of California gave more than $2.8 million at the federal level. Other top contributors are Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University and University of Chicago, of the employees of which gave at least 86 percent of their political cash to Democratic candidates and committees.

Nearly $23 million of this money — about 40 percent of total industry contributions — went to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Since educators often harbor strong political ideologies, these trends don’t necessarily reflect the political leanings of the institution administrators for whom they work.

Lobbying by the education industry has also generally increased, but experienced a slight decline in 2009 with a total of $106 million. In the realm of lobbying, educational institutions may — and frequently do — directly lobby the federal government, often in an attempt to influence appropriations legislation.

The top lobbying client for 2009 was the State University of New York, a public system with 64 campuses across the Empire State. The SUNY system spent $1.5 million on lobbying the federal government regarding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Patent Reform Act of 2009 and extensive appropriations legislation. California State University, a higher education system with 23 campuses, came in second with $1.2 million spent on lobbying for appropriations.

Johns Hopkins University and University of Colorado also reported extensive lobbying expenditures in pursuit of medical research grants.

Three of the top four lobbying universities reported support for the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act of 2009, a bill aimed at increasing the number of American students who study at a foreign institutions by providing grants to students who study abroad and to institutions that promote study abroad programs.

— Cassandra LaRussa – Updated April 2010

Top 20 Recipients of non union

education industry money 2009-2010

Rank Candidate Office Amount
1 Schumer, Charles E (D-NY) Senate $172,175
2 Boxer, Barbara (D-CA) Senate $169,969
3 Crist, Charlie (I-FL) $169,069
4 Reid, Harry (D-NV) Senate $143,700
5 Coakley, Martha (D-MA) $138,600
6 Bennet, Michael F (D-CO) Senate $135,575
7 Foster, Bill (D-IL) House $126,945
8 Khazei, Alan (D-MA) $124,590
9 Miller, George (D-CA) House $115,961
10 Feingold, Russ (D-WI) Senate $112,216
11 Specter, Arlen (D-PA) Senate $108,341
12 Hodes, Paul W (D-NH) House $93,700
13 Reed, Maureen (D-MN) $89,750
14 Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY) Senate $87,566
15 Meek, Kendrick B (D-FL) House $83,752
16 Bishop, Timothy H (D-NY) House $82,900
17 Brown, Scott P (R-MA) Senate $78,481
18 Fisher, Lee Irwin (D-OH) $75,550
19 Blumenthal, Richard (D-CT) $75,500
20 Carnahan, Robin (D-MO) $73,436

Top Teacher Union Contributors, 2009-2010

Contributor Amount
American Federation of Teachers $1,913,820
National Education Assn $1,134,913
Nea $7,200

Top 20 Recipients of teachers

union money 2009-2010

Rank Candidate Office Amount
1 Chu, Judy (D-CA) House $29,500
2 Murphy, Scott (D-NY) House $27,500
3 Garamendi, John (D-CA) House $25,000
3 Critz, Mark (D-PA) House $25,000
5 Carnahan, Robin (D-MO) $20,750
6 Titus, Dina (D-NV) House $20,500
6 Elliott, Joyce (D-AR) $20,500
8 Van Haaften, Trent (D-IN) $20,000
8 Deutch, Ted (D-FL) House $20,000
8 Grijalva, Raul M (D-AZ) House $20,000
8 Ellsworth, Brad (D-IN) House $20,000
8 Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY) Senate $20,000
8 Lentz, Bryan (D-PA) $20,000
8 Driehaus, Steve (D-OH) House $20,000
8 Kosmas, Suzanne (D-FL) House $20,000
8 Dahlkemper, Kathleen (D-PA) House $20,000
17 Heinrich, Martin (D-NM) House $17,500
17 Owens, Bill (D-NY) House $17,500
19 Reid, Harry (D-NV) Senate $17,000
19 Grayson, Alan (D-FL) House $17,000

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