President Barack Obama's near-term spending proposal is a budgetary bonanza. Take for instance his proposal to increase spending for the Department of Education by $1.78 billion over last year's spending level, bringing the total agency funding to a staggering $69.8 billion.
Fun fact: If enacted, this spending level would mean that in one term, President Obama has spent almost as much on education as President George W. Bush spent in two terms — this is especially startling considering the fact that Bush nearly doubled the size of the Department of Ed during his time in office.
And according to the Heritage Foundation's Lindsey Burke, the president's increased spending proposal is just the tip of the iceberg:
The President’s “blueprint” contains $60 billion in new spending proposals that are supplemental to his FY 2012 budget and FY 2013 budget request. The blueprint spending includes $25 billion in federal funding to “keep educators in the classroom,” $5 billion in federal funding to provide additional teachers compensation, and $30 billion in federal funding for school construction.
In his testimony about the budget before the House Education and the Workforce Committee last Wednesday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan stated that it is “unconscionable for us to ask a generation of students to pay the price for adult political dysfunction.”
What is unconscionable is for American taxpayers to keep pouring billions into more than 150 federal education programs that are failing children. Increasing spending on the status quo won’t improve outcomes. Instead, policymakers should free states to spend dollars on the education priorities that they believe would best meet student needs.