President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday (April 26) directing U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to conduct a study to “determine where the federal government has unlawfully overstepped on state and local control” with regard to K-12 schools. According to the White House, the executive order is “intended to return authority to where Congress intended—state and local entities.”
In response to the executive order, an Education Department task force, led by Robert Eitel, a senior adviser to the secretary, will take a close look at all of the K-12 regulations put out by the past administration and decide which intrude upon local control. After 300 days, the department will release a report on its findings, according to a department spokesperson.
You can find the executive order here.
“For too long, the federal government has imposed its will on state and local governments. The result has been education that spends more and achieves far, far, far less,” Trump said in remarks about the executive order Wednesday before signing it. “My administration has been working to reverse this federal power grab.”
It is not clear whether the order gives DeVos any new authority. As Secretary, she already has broad powers to revise or withdraw policies promulgated by her predecessors. She has used that authority, for example, to rescind Obama era policy guidance on transgender students (see previous post) to rescind some Obama administration regulations intended to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
View video of presidential news conference announcing the signing of the executive order.
Read The White House Blog On the Record Press Call on the Executive Order (Transcript)