FREEZE Act 'probably a good thing'

FREEZE Act 'probably a good thing'

FREEZE Act 'probably a good thing'

A proponent of freedom in education comments on the political palatability of a proposal that aims to give parents the "loudest voice" in their kids' educational development.

Representative Aaron Bean's (R-Florida) "Fostering Resource Efficiency in Education by Zero Employment (FREEZE) Act" states that "no individual may be appointed to any position within the Department of Education" and "no new position may be established at the Department of Education."

He says it is past time for unelected bureaucrats and the federal government to get out of the classroom.

"Parents should have the loudest voice in their kids' educational development," Rep. Bean declared in a press release earlier this month. "Imposing a hiring freeze at the department is just the first step to decrease the role of the federal government and return education policy to where it belongs—the state and local level."

Neal McCluskey, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, says the growing demand for parents' rights could have something to do with this proposal.

"Having the U.S. Department of Education have a lot of power takes power away from parents," he explains.

McCluskey, Neal (Cato Institute) McCluskey

While many Americans may like to see the Department of Education eliminated altogether, McCluskey thinks others fear such a drastic move would hurt education. Meanwhile, he points out that the Education Department is relatively small compared to other federal agencies.

"If it's just a freeze on hiring, that is closer to a sort of incremental move; that may be politically palatable," he submits. "People don't like to grow the bureaucracy."

So if the FREEZE Act simply aims to decrease the influence the department has, that could be "politically viable and probably a good thing," McCluskey concludes.