Ramaswamy: Shut Down Dept Of Education, Move Funding To Parents To Allow School Choice
Vivek Ramaswamy, chairman and co-founder of Strive Asset Management and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, during the Republican primary presidential debate hosted by Fox News in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US, on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. Republican presidential contenders are facing off in their first debate of the primary season, minus frontrunner Donald Trump, who continues to lead his GOP rivals by a double-digit margin.
Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy called for shutting down the Department of Education and moving that funding “in the hands of parents” so they could have the opportunity to decide where to educate their children. 

Ramaswamy made the comments Wednesday during the first 2024 Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. More than $79 billion was allocated to the Department of Education in fiscal year 2023. Ramaswamy also advocated the end of local teachers unions, which have been a barrier to school choice and charter school initiatives. 

“We have a crisis of achievement. Let’s shut down the head of the snake, the Department of Education. Take that $80 billion and put it in the hands of parents across this country. This is the civil rights issue of our time,” he said. “Allow any parent to choose where they send their kids to school. End the teachers unions at the local level to allow public schools to compete, and then revive our national identity.”

Additionally, Ramaswamy said that high school seniors should be required to take the same civics test that immigrants must pass to become citizens. He said that the crisis in American education, as kids have seen declining scores in key subjects like math and reading, is partly linked to fatherlessness. 

“Part of the problem is we also have a federal government that pays single women more not to have a man in the house than to have a man in the house, contributing to an epidemic of fatherlessness, and I think that goes hand in glove with the education crisis as well, because we have to remember: Education starts with the family; and, the nuclear family is the greatest form of governance known to mankind,” Ramaswamy said. 

Other candidates had similar answers on the topic of education. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott also went after teachers unions. 


“The only way we can change education in this country is to break the backs of the teachers’ unions. They are standing in the door-house of our kids, locking them into failing schools, locking them out of the greatest future they can have,” Scott said. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that Left-leaning politics were hampering education nationwide. “We need education in this country, not indoctrination in this country,” he said. 

The debate took place at the Fiserv Forum and featured eight Republican candidates. Notably absent was former President Donald Trump, who opted to do a one-on-one interview with Tucker Carlson that was released on X minutes before the debate began.

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