States should have more power in educational policy, said expert

Aug 7, 2023, 12:30 PM

States should have more power in educational policy, according to Christine Fairbanks, the educatio...

Henry Christiansen, a senior at Skyline High School, reads a book at the library at Skyline High School in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)

(Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — States should have more power in educational policy, according to Christine Fairbanks, the education fellow for the Sutherland Institute

Fairbanks said the states should have more power in making educational policies than Congress. 

“States have a better track record of creating bolder reforms,” said Fairbanks.

Fairbanks said states are more capable of responding to different crises or needs their residents have. Educational policies created by states have the potential to better fit their students. 

When the states had more power over creating educational policies, many of them were already doing fairly well, according to Fairbanks. Now that Congress has more power, states often just “check boxes” to get funding. 

Before common core standards were adopted, states were already designing their own education standards. Massachusetts’ standards were “looked to as a template,” for the common core. 

States were incentivized to adopt common core standards with funding, and when Massachusetts adopted them, they decreased, Fairbanks said. 

Fairbanks said a solution to the issue is to end the “conditional relationship” between states and the federal government when it comes to education. Currently, if states do certain things, they receive funding. 

States should be given funding and allowed to use it as they see fit, said Fairbanks. 

“There need to be less performative politics and more understanding what policies are,” said Fairbanks. When people just align with their parties instead of considering what would best serve the public, it creates polarization. 

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Education + Schools

Tony Hawk is set to make an appearance at the Tony Hawk's Vert Alert skating competition....

Josuee Sanchez

Tony Hawk event sparking a desire to skate

Tony Hawk is visiting Utah for the Tony Hawk's Vert Alert skating competition, and it' sparking a desire for people to learn to skate.

1 day ago

The Utah Prison Education Project has officially accepted 15 students. They now can pursue their ag...

Emma Keddington

Utah Prison Education Project accepts first class of students

The Utah Prison Education Project has admitted 15 students in the project's first effort to help inmates earn their degree.

4 days ago

Chris Jay and and "Army of Freshmen" from Ventura, California play Kilby Court Sunday June 15, 2003...

Josuee Sanchez

Heavy metal isn’t as damaging to the voice as you may think

Heavy Metal singers might sound like they're screaming, but it's not damaging their voices the way a normal scream might.

6 days ago

The Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah held its annual "Guns to Gardens" event Saturday, June 8...

Emma Keddington

The Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah holds ‘Guns to Gardens’ event

Every year, the Utah based non-profit hold an event where they turn unwanted guns into garden tools. 

6 days ago

Benefits of higher education...

Heather Peterson

Data shows benefits of getting a higher education

A new study confirms that perusing higher education has multiple benefits including economic and positive societal impacts.

8 days ago

An employer and employee shaking hands. Jobs accelerated in May, but is that a good or bad thing?...

Kennedy Camarena

Jobs accelerated in May; why that’s a bad thing

Jobs have accelerated for the month of May. While most think that is a good thing, there might be a reason it isn't.

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

States should have more power in educational policy, said expert