1) Combine the Department of Education with Department of Health and Human Services. This proposal makes sense since the DoE was formerly combined with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
2) Cut the DoE budget to $45 billion. Department of Education budget by $45 billion, with $30 billion going to the states (addressed in the next point), $14 billion toward Pell Grants, and $1 billion toward staffing and offices. (Pell Grant funding would decrease to $10 billion max annually within 5 years) This proposal will also enable states to lower taxes that support education.
3) Re-appropriate $30 billion in educational funding to be paid directly to the states.
a) States are required to enforce ALL federal laws regarding equal access.
b) States, districts, and schools are required report important student data.
c) Student services for ALL students should be available, including those with special needs.
4) Reorganize the Department of Education as follows:
a) Create a DoE Executive Committee of 25 employees.
b) One district director to coincide with each Congressional district throughout the US. If 435 Congressmen work to represent a district, it makes sense to follow this model.
c) Two district officials to work with the director to oversee education issues and
d) A total of 1,325 employees in the US DoE.
e) Use Survey Monkey to receive important data from each school and district.
5) Reduce Amount of Pell Grants Being Given. Why would we do this? The only way to get colleges and universities to stop increasing tuition is to decrease an expected revenue stream of federal funding. I’m not against colleges and universities making money, but the cost of a college education has more than doubled in the past 30 years at a rate faster than that of inflation. As a result, college tuition is becoming unaffordable. We can ensure a reasonable profit for colleges and universities, while defending lower costs for students.
6) Renegotiate with lenders on behalf of student loan holders to lower rates. Over 5 million students have currently defaulted on student loans, and leaders in the federal government have an opportunity to help lenders and students solve this problem. If loans can be renegotiated, students can get relief and lenders can receive funds.
7) Use technology with built-in logic to procure educational records. States and districts will be REQUIRED to input their school data or risk losing funding if they do not provide annual education information required.
8) Bring US accreditation under the purview of the US Department of Education. All agencies currently functioning should retain their function in the accreditation process, but the federal government should work alongside of the Council for Higher Education (CHEA) to guarantee consistency in the process and transferability of credits among accredited colleges and universities.
WAYS FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO REDUCE BUDGET DEFICITS
1) Additional federal funding will help fund budget deficits, but it gives power back to the states to educate their people.
2) Allow school districts to negotiate naming rights of buildings, schools, and stadiums.
3) Consider 4-day school weeks with a daily increase of 10 minutes per class to help reduce the cost of air conditioning and heating. (This proposal may be more likely in smaller, rural districts)
4) More emphasis on electronic documents and less on printed papers. In 2010, I proposed the replacement of textbooks with the iPad or tablets, a stance many school shave since adopted.
5) Give schools the freedom to secure funding from private business within their district or a 50-mile radius.