In his rush to show activity in his first 100 days (something that he cares about far more than the rest of us), President Trump signed an executive order giving Education Secretary Betsy DeVos 300 days to reverse the overreach of the federal government into K-12 education.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that aims to reduce the federal government’s role in K-12 education.

Trump is giving Education Secretary Betsy DeVos just short of a year — 300 days — to identify areas where Washington has overstepped its legal authority in education, and modify and repeal regulations and guidance from her department, if necessary. A report will be returned to the White House and eventually made public, officials said.

Trump complained that the government over the years has forced states and schools to comply with “federal whims.” He said the order will help restore local control over education.

“We know that local communities do it best and know it best,” Trump said, surrounded by governors, members of Congress and teachers. “The time has come to empower parents and teachers to make the decisions that help their students achieve success.”

As a former and unsuccessful candidate for the Milwaukee School Board, I can appreciate local control of public school systems. But there are good reasons that the federal government should have some input into education. The big one is…the United States will progress or wither depending on the quality of their elementary education system…and there need to be universal standards that all schools and educators meet to insure all of our students are getting a quality education. We should never again hear jokes or condescending comments about education in one state or region of the nation from the rest of the nation. The nation as a whole is falling behind on the world stage and the nation as a whole has to rectify it.

And as education gets more expensive to support and state and local resources continue to struggle to keep up, only the federal government has the wherewithal to financially contribute in any significant way.

So yes, the federal government needs to find the balance between micromanaging local schools while maintaining educational quality across the nation…and help provide the resources to allow our students to compete on the world stage.

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