Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Rapid City, South Dakota, on September 8, 2023.
CNN  — 

Former President Donald Trump said Wednesday he wants to close the Department of Education and have state governments “run the education of our children,” pushing for a long-held Republican goal that has been endorsed by several other 2024 GOP candidates.

“We’re going to end education coming out of Washington, DC. We’re going to close it up – all those buildings all over the place and people that in many cases hate our children. We’re going to send it all back to the states,” Trump said in a new campaign video.

But eliminating the US Department of Education would not necessarily give any more power to states over K-12 schools. While the federal agency helps the president execute education policies, the power to set curriculum, establish schools and determine enrollment eligibility already lies with the states and local school boards.

Trump has been floating the idea of eliminating the Department of Education since his 2016 presidential campaign. When Trump was president, his administration proposed merging the Education and Labor departments into one federal agency as part of a larger plan to restructure the government. The proposal needed approval from Congress and was never implemented. Trump, as president, also tried to cut billions of dollars from the Education Department’s budget.