A conservative nonprofit that was formed to oppose what it calls “radicalism” in American education has launched an effort to abolish the Department of Education.
“As everything from declining test scores to far-left ideology infiltrating classrooms shows, the federal Department of Education has failed students and parents,” Adam Waldeck, president of 1776 Action, told Fox News Digital. “There is a growing sense that the top-down, centralized approach is hopelessly broken.”
Waldeck’s comments come as 1776 Action officially released a petition aimed at drumming up support for abolishing the Department of Education, which it claims has produced little results for students despite continued increases in funding.
According to numbers compiled by Education Data, the U.S. Department of Education Budget rose from $10.9 billion in 1980 to a high-water mark of $192.3 billion in 2010. While that funding generally declined throughout the next decade, numbers from K-12 Drive show funding ticked up again every year between 2019 and 2023, reaching $79.6 billion this year.
According to the 1776 Action petition, taxpayers have not seen a return on that investment.
“Academic achievement is plummeting while politics runs rampant in our classrooms, and like any bureaucracy, the federal education bureaucracy has become bloated, unaccountable, and focused on its own survival,” and explanation of the petition on the organization’s website reads.
In a press release promoting the petition, the organization also accused the Department of Education of “pushing Critical Race Theory” in classrooms and forcing schools that receive “federal funding to allow biological males to compete on women’s sports teams and use women’s restroom and locker room facilities.”
Xi Van Fleet, a senior fellow at 1776 Action, told Fox News Digital that the department’s agenda reminds him of growing up in Communist China.
“As someone who was once a poster child for Mao’s centralized, government-run school system, I understand first-hand how dangerous it is,” Van Fleet said. “My education was not designed to fulfill my dreams and aspirations. Instead, it was designed to cultivate an unwavering loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party and its socialist agenda.”
Van Fleet argued that the same history is “repeating itself in America” in large part because of the Department of Education.
“The Left wants to use schools to brainwash kids into becoming activists for radical social causes instead of helping them to become successful and responsible citizens,” Van Fleet said.
Waldeck called on candidates and elected officials to support the petition, arguing that is “time to return more power to states and localities.”
“That’s why 1776 Action is launching this petition to give these parents a voice and let candidates and elected leaders know it’s time for a change,” Waldeck said.
The Department of Education respond to a Fox News request for comment by time of publication.