Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump declared that in order to cut federal spending he wants to eliminate the Department of Education on “Fox News Sunday.”
Host Chris Wallace pressed Trump about how he planned to curb spending, asking him whether he will eliminate entire departments. Trump quickly indicated the Department of Education is first on his target list, though he only said it “may” be eliminated in order to dismantle Common Core.
“I’m not cutting services, but I’m cutting spending. But I may cut Department of Education,” Trump says. “I believe Common Core is a very bad thing. I believe that we should be — you know, educating our children from Iowa, from New Hampshire, from South Carolina, from California, from New York. I think that it should be local education.” (RELATED: Trump Says Bush Is The ‘Unelectable’ One)
“So the Department of Education is one,” Trump continues. “Environmental Protection [Agency], what they do is a disgrace. Every week they come out with new regulations.” When Wallace countered that there’d be nothing to protect the environment without the EPA, Trump fired back that “we’ll be fine with the environment.
“We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses.”
Trump’s suggestion to eliminate the Department of Education outright goes a bit further than his earlier rhetoric. Back in August, Trump said he wanted to gut the department and leave only “little pieces” remaining. Some other Republican candidates, including Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul, have also proposed eliminating it.
Despite Trump’s pledge, it’s unlikely he can eliminate Common Core by himself if he s president. While Common Core is promoted indirectly by the Department of Education, it is still adopted individually by state governments, and the federal government does not control it.
While the Department of Education is one of the smallest departments of the federal government, employing about 5,000 people, eliminating it would free up about $68 billion a year. Though much of this is spent on the dispersal of federal funds to states, which may continue even if the department itself is eliminated.
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