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Get The Federal Government Out Of Education? That Wasn't The Founding Fathers' Vision

Author(s): Jack Jennings
Published: April 13, 2011

In this paper, CEP president and CEO Jack Jennings tracks the federal government’s involvement in education through the course of American history, and argues that this involvement must continue.  Jennings provides evidence that the government has played an essential role in the development of public schools – consistent with the founding fathers’ vision – and that this role is vital to the continued success of the country.  Supplemental papers by Wayne Riddle and Alexandra Usher discuss in more detail two aspects of federal involvement: special provisions written into the U.S. tax code that provide substantial indirect financial support for public education, and the federal land grants given to states for the support of public schools.  PDFs of states’ original Enabling Acts establishing their land grants are also available below.

Download files:

Full Paper (Jennings) (PDF format, 342 KB)

Supplemental Paper: How Public Education Benefits from Tax Code Provisions (Riddle) (PDF format, 400 KB)

Supplemental Paper: Public Schools and the Original Federal Land Grants (Usher) (PDF format, 423 KB)

Media Advisory (PDF format, 112 KB)

Alabama Enabling Act (JPG format, 1928 KB)

Alaska Enabling Act (JPG format, 2084 KB)

Arkansas Enabling Act (JPG format, 1969 KB)

California Enabling Act (JPG format, 1914 KB)

Colorado Enabling Act (PDF format, 1305 KB)

Idaho Enabling Act (JPG format, 2025 KB)

Illinois Enabling Act (JPG format, 1778 KB)

Indiana Enabling Act (JPG format, 1873 KB)

Iowa and Florida Enabling Act (JPG format, 1798 KB)

Kansas Enabling Act (JPG format, 1909 KB)

Louisiana Enabling Act (JPG format, 1622 KB)

Michigan Enabling Act (JPG format, 2037 KB)

Minnesota Enabling Act (JPG format, 1929 KB)

Mississippi Enabling Act (JPG format, 1885 KB)

Missouri Enabling Act (JPG format, 1841 KB)

North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington Enabling Act (JPG format, 2149 KB)

Nebraska Enabling Act (JPG format, 1878 KB)

Nevada Enabling Act (JPG format, 1747 KB)

Ohio Enabling Act (JPG format, 1742 KB)

Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona Enabling Act (JPG format, 1350 KB)

Oregon Enabling Act (JPG format, 1981 KB)

Utah Enabling Act (JPG format, 2061 KB)

Wisconsin Enabling Act (JPG format, 2028 KB)

Wyoming Enabling Act (JPG format, 2052 KB)


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