ALTOONA – David Funk, a Republican candidate for Congress in Iowa’s Third District, today called on one of his primary opponents to clarify comments stating the federal government has the constitutional authority to control local schools.
In an interview with the political blog Caffeinated Thoughts, Jim Gibbons of Perry said, “It’s fine for me where the Constitution says that the federal government should be in charge of education. Now, I understand testing, benchmarks and standards. But, a lot of that can be accomplished at the state Ievel. … It appears we’ve got some sort of a brain drain going on but those things mostly have to be attacked at the state level and at the local level. Bigger is not necessarily better.”
Funk, a retired military and Northwest Airlines pilot, said he would “like to know what constitution Jim Gibbons is looking at when he says that.”
“Not only is he wrong about the U.S. Constitution, but he’s drastically out of step with Republicans and, for that matter, most Iowans about the federal role in education. We’ve long recognized that local districts should control education. States have a legitimate role in the process, but the federal government has clearly overstepped its bounds by trying to dictate standards from Washington, D.C.,” Funk said. “It’s troubling that we have a candidate in this primary who is more aligned with the education philosophy of Leonard Boswell and Nancy Pelosi than with common-sense Iowans.”
Funk expressed concerned that Gibbons’ comments reflect “a sense of confusion” about the issue. Funk said his core philosophy on education is clear.
“The federal government has no business sticking its nose in the local classroom – and we don’t need anyone in Congress who thinks it has the authority to do so. This issue is managed best at the local level by local school boards. School choice and home schooling should be available to all of our citizens. With the reintroduction of competition, we can fix our broken public school system,” he said.
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