TN-5 Candidates Share Their Plans For The Federal Department Of Education

Image Credit: Chris Zubak-Skees / CC

The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

A recent forum for candidates running for Tennessee’s fifth congressional district was hosted by the Wilson County Republican Party and Wilson County Conservative Republicans and moderated by The Tennessee Star Report’s Michael Patrick Leahy.

This is the last in a series of four articles covering the questions and responses of the Republican congressional candidates running for the newly redrawn district. Read the first article regarding abortion here, the second article regarding the rights of Tennessee National Guardsmen here, and the third article regarding the candidates stance on impeaching the Secretary of Homeland Security here.

Fourth Question: If elected, would you introduce legislation to abolish the Federal Department of Education?

Geni Batchelor: Hell yes. Among others. All departments in the government need really intense scrutiny. Are they functioning? Are they producing a result for the American people? In many cases, no is the answer. And certainly the Department of Education is number one because they’re producing results all right, but it’s not for us, and it’s not for America, and it’s not for our children. So, adios.

Stewart Parks: That’s an interesting question and I will be 100% transparent, I have no problem doing that. I’ve said this on the Moms of Liberty Wilson County survey, I’ve said this at the Davidson County debate, the problem with our educational system is 1962 Engle vs. [Vitale] and 1963 Abington School District vs. Schempp. Those Supreme Court rulings took Bibles out of school, took prayers out of school, took the Lord’s prayer out of school. Once that happened, the public schools have never recovered. You can throw a billion dollars and it’s still the – the administration will just take it and run it and buy a new car with it, they’ll teach communism, they’ll change your child’s gender, they’ll you know do all this… stuff. They’ll make sure your child graduates and not know how to define a woman. So whether it’s on a federal level or a state level we gotta get the Bible back in the school…

Timothy Lee: Yes, for all the good it will do. For the next two years, the presidency is going to be controlled by the Democrats so it would be overridden and not signed into law. After that, it would definitely have a good chance of passing but as I said in Davidson County, I am totally for getting rid of the most useless department in the entire government which is the Department of Education. It is controlled by a whole bunch of Democrats, and career people that have never taught anybody. They have no clue. It’s mandated down to the local level [and] our children are educated at a local level, not a federal level so the federal government needs to stay the hell out of our lives.

Jeff Beierlein: Yes, I would. They’re failing us in tremendous ways. You know, first and foremost, what’s happened the past several years with the whole woke agenda – our children are being indoctrinated – and if you think about what funds education it’s actually, mostly, your property taxes. Correct me if I’m wrong with that, about – I think – 70 to 75% are. And we’re seeing tremendous, tremendous pressure by the federal government who funds a fraction of that. The states can do a hell of a lot better job. Locally, we can do a much better job running this than the federal government who ties strings to that as soon as you take that money, which is broken. We’ve got to get off that crack pipe of federal dollars and do a better job. And that’s why of all the awfulness of covid, one of the bright and shining results of that [was] parents involved in their kids education again the way we needed to be instead of the Biden administration wrecking our children, taking God and the flag out of our schools.

Andy Ogles: This country is going broke being woke so it’s time that we get rid of the Department of Education. It’s time that we repeal Obamacare. It’s time that we get rid of Health and Human Services. And it’s time that these regulatory agencies that wrecked our lives during covid, like OSHA, like CMS, it’s time that congress strips them of their unbridled authority.

Beth Harwell: That’s one of the things I’ve been running on since day one. You know, I went back and researched the budget. Last year alone, the U.S. Department of Education was allocated 68 billion dollars. Now as a taxpayer that ought to make you angry. But here’s something that ought to break your heart. Last year, you tell me one U.S. bureaucrat that taught one child how to read, or write, or do a math problem. The answer is none of them have. And then I had schools, in the fifth congressional district, that had to hold fundraisers for school supplies. What is wrong with that picture? If we destroy the U.S. Department of Education, it’s going to take time, it won’t happen overnight, but if we certainly chipped away at it, year after year after year, within six years I believe we can dissolve the U.S. Department of Education and return this domestic issue back to the state and local governments where it can be much more efficiently and effectively run. I agree, the good news that came out of covid is you had parents, for once, showing what was being taught in their schools.

Tres Wittum: Again, I say my job is to go get our federal tax dollars. We are owed that money, I’m gonna go get them. How we handle the Department of Education is different. We can do a phase out. We can go through their budget and pull their strings and we can hold them accountable. We can phase them out. But my job as a congressman is to go get the money, bring it back to Nashville, and let Nashville decide. And what Nashville has decided is that parents make the rules and we’re going to do what’s best for kids. And actually, the speaker’s correct, students can’t even read. The average reading level in America is third grade. And here’s the thing – we want to teach them all this other stuff, but if you can’t read, you can’t do all this other stuff. So again, bring that back to fundamental levels. Let Nashville decide, in accordance with what the parents want. But my job as your congressman is to go get that money – let’s be clear. And no, I’m not going to pass it up and give it to some other state.

Natisha Brooks: Yes. Education should be left to the states and local levels under the tenth amendment – states’ rights. Also, it’s not a national issue. Superintendents of school districts should be elected every two years and not appointed by the school board.

About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at

One thought on “TN-5 Candidates Share Their Plans For The Federal Department Of Education

  • July 12, 2022 at 9:36 pm

    Campaign talk, the stuff for the uninformed to be hoodwinked. Here is how I see this election. “Tough ole’ General Weathervane” was a Democrat until 2010 when it became obvious the Republicans were going to be in control of this state and he was approaching retirement and wouldn’t it be swell to buy himself some high office when he did so whaddaya know we got ourselves a spanking new Republican (though his Democratic wife has seen no need to make a change I don’t believe). HE IS OUT OF THE QUESTION AND MUST BE BEATEN. Now unquestionably Andy Ogles is the most conservative candidate with the slightest chance of winning but he has decided campaigning is something he doesn’t need to do. Conservatives in the Fifth, do you think Andy has a reasonable chance? I don’t so I will vote for Beth Harwell.


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