Federal laws and regulations such as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) levy a mighty bureaucratic compliance burden on state departments of education.

A recent report conducted by The Heritage Foundation finds that state departments of education on average have 142 employees per million state residents.


To manage the decades of federal growth and the corresponding paperwork burden placed on states, state departments of education have staff to manage the hundreds of hoops and federal regulations requiring them to demonstrate compliance with federal programs and mandates.

While the bulk of the 8.9 million people employed by state and local governments in education are teachers and school staff, a significant percentage is employed for largely administrative purposes.

Conservative alternatives to the bureaucratic NCLB would restore local control and significantly limit the bureaucratic bloat in the U.S. Department of Education and the spillover to state departments, increasing the likelihood that education spending actually makes its way to the classroom instead of getting lost in the bureaucratic ether.