On Monday, March 13, 2023, former President Donald Trump made his first official visit to Iowa for his 2024 campaign, focusing on education reform. The event, named the America First Education Policy Speech, aims to address the education establishment and revitalize failing public schools across the country. Trump recently voiced his desire to eliminate the Department of Education, a long-standing issue for many conservatives who believe that the federal government holds too much influence on public schools through its funding.
The speech took place at the Adler Theatre in Davenport, Iowa, with the doors opening at 3:00 pm CT, and the speech starting at 6:15 pm CT. While the specifics of Trump’s education platform are unclear, it is likely that his plan will include the closure of the Department of Education. In an interview with reporters at the Conservative Political Action Conference, he stated that we should close the department and that local areas and states should manage education.
The Department of Education has been a contentious issue among Republicans since President Carter created a cabinet-level education secretary, with President Reagan advocating for the department’s elimination two years after its creation. Although the department does not set curriculum or school policies for state-run public schools explicitly, it controls a substantial amount of federal funding. Schools that disregard the department’s guidelines may lose millions of dollars in federal funding for various school programs, making the department a de facto voting member of school boards and administrations nationwide.
Trump’s call to close the Department of Education adds him to the list of Republicans advocating for its elimination. He would be the most recent and vocal voice of the group, if successful. The Department of Education has grown in unintended ways, as with all federal agencies, and although it is not explicitly involved in setting curriculums or policies, it has a considerable amount of control over public schools’ funding.
In conclusion, Trump’s first official campaign stop in Iowa for the 2024 campaign aims to revitalize the education system in the United States. His plan includes closing the Department of Education, which many conservatives believe has too much influence on public schools. The event hopes to highlight Trump’s educational platform, which is still under wraps, and his vision for education reform in America.