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Five Presidential Contenders Have Called for Abolition of the U.S. Department of Education

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Rebecca Hain: 513-479-3335


Five Presidential Contenders Have Called for Abolition of the U.S. Department of Education

WASHINGTON / July 18, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Education has introduced two proposed Title IX regulations in the past year (1,2) that would expand the definition of sex to include “gender identity,” a change that would have far-reaching effects on students, families, and women’s sports. The proposals also would serve to revamp the meaning of the Constitution, especially its provisions regarding free speech (First Amendment) and due process (Fourteenth Amendment).

In response, five current or previous Republican presidential contenders, listed below in alphabetical order, have called for the abolition of the Department of Education (3):

  1. Ron DeSantis: In response to the question, Are you in favor of eliminating any agencies: “We would do education, commerce, energy, and the IRS….With the Department of Education, we reverse all the transgender sports stuff. Women’s sports should be protected.”
  2. Mike Pence: “Eliminate the U.S. Department of Education and convert some of its current budget to grants to states and localities, providing maximum flexibility in how to deploy federal dollars.”
  3. Mike Pompeo: Asked by commentator John Stossel, “Should America abolish the Department of Education?” Pompeo replied, “Yes, you should get rid of it.” (Pompeo subsequently announced his decision to not run as a presidential candidate).
  4. Vivek Ramaswamy: “I would shut down the U.S. Department of Education…Do I favor 6-year-olds being educated on sexuality and gender ideology? No, I don’t.”
  5. Tim Scott: “The federal government has absolutely no role in our education system whatsoever. So let’s get them out and let’s abolish the Department of Education.”

Four other persons, discussed in media accounts as possible presidential candidates, have called for major changes to Title IX-related education policies (3):

  1. Nikki Haley: “When I was in school you didn’t have sex ed until seventh grade. And even then, your parents had to sign whether you could take the class. That’s a decision for parents to make.”
  2. Kristi Noem: “The [South Dakota] Board of Regents should remove all references to preferred pronouns in all school materials…Students should have the ability to exercise their right to free speech.” “Our universities should not be hosting and/or promoting drag shows…Just as other dangerous theories have been allowed to thrive on college campuses, gender theory has been rebranded and accepted as truth across the nation.” (Noem subsequently announced her decision to not run as a presidential candidate).
  3. Donald Trump: “On Day One, I will revoke Joe Biden’s cruel policies on so-called ‘gender-affirming care,’…we will promote positive education about the nuclear family…I will ask Congress to pass a bill establishing that the only genders recognized by the U.S. government are male and female…the bill will also make clear that Title IX prohibits men from participating in women’s sports.”
  4. Glenn Youngkin: “Political indoctrination has no place in our classrooms….Inherently divisive concepts, like Critical Race Theory and its progeny, instruct students to only view life through the lens of race and presumes that some students are consciously or unconsciously racist, sexist, or oppressive, and that other students are victims.” (Youngkin subsequently announced his decision to not run as a presidential candidate).

State lawmakers in Alabama, Delaware, Idaho, Missouri, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Tennessee also have gone on record to abolish the federal Department of Education (3).

In addition, former Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has stated, “I personally think the Department of Education should not exist.” (4)

All persons are invited to sign the petition, “Tell the Dept. of Education to Stop Its Radical Title IX Plan:”

Note: This press release was updated to clarify that Mike Pompeo, Kristi Noem, and Glenn Youngkin later announced their decision to not run for president.