Republicans love block grants. That is the purpose of HR 610, which would take a bunch of federal categorical programs with specific purposes and turn them over to states as block grants, to be used as they see fit.

State control of federal funds, in short, with no strings attached. What could possibly go wrong?

Denis Smith, who worked for the Ohio Department of Education for many years, explains that block grants will open the door to waste, fraud, and abuse.

The Republican introduced a bill called HR 610 with that goal in mind.

At the Network for Public Education, we have heard that the bill won’t go anywhere, but that is by no means certain. For many years, Republicans have longed to change federaid aid for specific groups of children into block grants. So, we will keep a close watch on HR 610.

Another Trump-DeVos gambit that might make it into federal law is encouragement for vouchers via tax credits. This is a sneaky, seemingly benign way of accumulating hundreds of millions, even billions, that will not be paid in taxes but will be used instead to pay for vouchers at yeshivas, madrassas, and creationist schools. We have to fight this strategy so that Trump-DeVos can’t divert tax dollars from public institutions to religious schools. It is a terrible idea. The public doesn’t want public money to be used for religious schools.

We will keep a close eye on all of their efforts to undermine our nation’s public schools.