To the editor:
The Wichita Eagle editorial (Leavenworth Times, July 24) speaks of the U.S. Department of Education (DoED) and says that President Eisenhower established it "as a Cabinet-level agency in 1953;…".
A DoED was created in 1867, was demoted to an Office in 1868, was a minor bureau in the Interior Department, and in 1939 was transferred to the Federal Security Agency. In 1953 during Eisenhower's time in office that Agency was upgraded to cabinet-level status as the Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare. It was Jimmy Carter who pushed through a cabinet-level DoEd in 1979 and the annual budget was $12 billion.
The U.S. Constitution doesn't mention education and a lot of Republicans think that making it a department was an unnecessary and illegal takeover by federal bureaucrats into what should be controlled by local and state governments. They were right. By 2011 the DoEd had a mandatory and discretionary budget totaling around $100 billion! In 2013 we lost local control when education was nationalized by Common Core Standards (reminiscent of nationalized education in Germany prior to WWII).
By the way, the Eagle thinks it is great to take four prime acres in D.C. and bless off on the arts commission's vote to spend $142 million tax dollars to build the Eisenhower Memorial in front of the "Lyndon Baines Johnson Education Building"!
Dates and dollar figures by Wikipedia.