Like many Republicans, Atlanta’s Stella Lohmann — a blogger, teacher and former journalist — is fed up with mandates, funding requests, lawsuit avoidance and a one-size-fits-all approach to education and says the federal government has undertaken a massive overreach.

Now, her question on what Republicans are going to do about it – asked during the Fox News/Google debate on Thursday night — has re-ignited a once-novel debate over eliminating the U.S. Education Department. And judging by the GOP candidates’ reaction, the option may come back in vogue, if not into reality.

Indeed, all of the GOP candidates said they would either get rid of the department — created in 1980 under President Jimmy Carter — or seriously diminish its function. Their uniform responses earned wild applause during the debate.

On Friday, Obama announced that he was going to propose an opt-out.

“We’re going to let states, schools and teachers come up with innovative ways to give our children the skills they need to compete for the jobs of the future. Because what works in Rhode Island may not be the same thing that works in Tennessee — but every student should have the same opportunity to learn and grow, no matter what state they live in,” Obama said.

Continue reading →