ERIC Number: ED206116
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Interest Groups and the Future of Educational Policy. Final Report.
Peterson, Paul E.; Rabe, Barry G.
Interest groups have historically contributed more to the maintenance of existing national educational policies and programs than to the creation or shaping of new ones. The uncertain political acceptance of the recently increased federal role in education complicates attempts to predict the degree of change in policy development to expect during the 1980s. A review of the history of federal educational policy and the group pressures affecting it emphasizes how partisan, how ideological, and how conflictual an arena this has been. Dominance of both the Congress and the White House by either Republicans or Democrats has allowed rapid, decisive change. Interest groups have retarded or modified shifts in educational funding levels only when the balance of power between the two parties has been fairly even. Current Republican dominance in policy development could increase if economic conditions improve, though the improved conditions could make Republican funding and regulation reductions seem less necessary. On the other hand, poor economic conditions could lead to the return of the Democrats to power while making increased spending less appealing. The future of the federal role in education will apparently depend more on the outcome of future elections than on the influence of interest groups. (Author/PGD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Prepared for the School Finance Project.