Two weeks before the 1980 presidential election, the Associated Press published a story explaining that the two major-party candidates were “poles apart on education issues.”
Carter, the story reminded readers, was the Founding Father of the federal Department of Education.
“The fate of the Department of Education, the $14-billion federal agency elevated to Cabinet status less than six months ago, may hang in the balance on Election Day,” said the story.
“Republican Ronald Reagan,” it said, “hopes to dismantle the agency, which was created following a promise that Jimmy Carter made to the National Education Association in seeking and winning the union’s support four years ago.”
The story ended with a direct quote from Reagan.
“I think that this Department of Education is hoping to make come true the dream of the National Education Association, which for many years has been that we should have a federal school system, a nationalized school system,” said Reagan.