Did you know?
The Connecticut Attorney General announced plans to sue the
U.S. Department of Education for requiring
One would think at first blush that
The Connecticut Attorney General almost had it right. For the federal government to mandate states to do anything about education is unconstitutional, that is, if the federal government is not providing money to the states. That’s because, as NHELD continually has stated, the Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:
“The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:
“The powers not delegated to the
The power to regulate education is not a power delegated to the federal government, therefore, it is a power that is reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. The federal government gets around this problematic provision, nonetheless, by utilizing the United States Supreme Court interpretations of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, Article One, Section 8, which reads in relevant part:
“The Congress shall have Power…To regulate Commerce…among the several States…”
Thanks to judicial interpretation, the federal government uses this clause to assume authority to regulate all manner of activities as long as federal money is attached to the activity. That is why the federal government dictates to the states what to do about education issues. Because the states want to receive federal money, the states acquiesce to the regulation that goes along with that money. CT State Senator, Thomas Gaffey, Co-Chair of the Education Committee publicly stated that this amounts to nothing more than extortion.
In this case, the Connecticut Attorney General is suing the
federal government claiming No Child Left Behind, a federal law proscribing conduct
primarily in public schools, is unconstitutional. The state of CT doesn’t want to adhere to the
mandates of No Child Left Behind. One
would think that’s a good thing. The
state is finally telling the federal government to pay attention to the tenets
of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments and to leave education up to the states and
to the people. But that’s not really
States don’t have to comply with No Child Left Behind and
they don’t have to sue the federal government to do so. All states have to do is to just
say “NO” to the federal money.
If the states do not accept the federal money that goes along with No
Child Left Behind, the states do not have to comply with any of the so-called
“requirements” contained in No Child Left Behind.
Can we not tell our legislators to pay attention to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution? Can we not tell them how important those amendments are, not just for homeschoolers but also for all taxpaying citizens?
Will officials in all branches of government ever really read, pay attention to, and apply the Constitution properly? NHELD hopes so for all of our sakes.
Judy Aron - Director of Research, NHELD – email@example.com