Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s recent statement to the news media about education is making waves among Tennessee constitutionalists. He said:
“Obama administration’s efforts on education, by and large, are right on target. The things they’re putting influence on and emphasizing are on target. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, we’ve probably averaged calls once a week since I’ve been in office to (talk about) things I’m working on and how they might help.”
Ay yi yi, where to start? When taking the oath of office, Governor Haslam swore to support the Constitution of the United States. So let’s compare his statement with what the U.S. Constitution says about education.
The U.S. Constitution states that the role of the federal government in education is … um … well … oops, there’s absolutely nothing in the Constitution about education. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
(If you want to verify this for yourself, go to the full text of the Constitution online, and press Ctrl + F to open your browser’s word search feature. Search for the words like school, education, teaching, etc. in the full text of the Constitution. You won’t find them, because they’re not there.)
Hm, so then why is Gov. Haslam saying that Obama is right on target with his education efforts? According to the Constitution, President Obama shouldn’t be creating any education policies, agendas or efforts. The Constitution gives the federal government no role in education whatsoever. Because education is not an enumerated power delegated to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution, it is clearly a power left to state and local governments, or to individuals, per the Tenth Amendment which states:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.