Leaving No Interest Group Behind

(Guest post by Dan Lips)

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed its first major K-12 education initiative for the 110th Congress: “21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act,” (H.R. 3021) —  legislation authorizing a new $6.4 billion federal program for school construction and modernization. 

This is a great proposal…if you think that the biggest problem in American education is that public schools aren’t environmentally friendly enough. For anyone who thinks that federal power in education should be limited, or that states and localities are better positioned to decide how to allocate resources to improve school facilities, it earns an F. 

I have an op-ed on National Review Online today discussing the bill’s problems. In short, the bill is a regulatory gift bag to environmental groups and labor unions. 

The bill is unlikely to move in the Senate.  And if it passed, President Bush would probably veto it.  So Americans shouldn’t expect to see federally-mandated “green” public schools anytime soon.  But the House vote serves as a preview of where federal education policy could be headed. 

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