Republicans say education department should go

Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate's Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, left, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, center, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, greet each other prior to a debate Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Republican presidential contenders say vast parts of the Department of Education would be on the chopping block — if not completely shut down.

The GOP candidates on Thursday universally panned the education department as they met for a debate. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota says she would push the repeal of federal education laws and personally go to the department's headquarters, turn out the lights, lock the door.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says the Education Department is too aggressive and criticized former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for supporting it. Romney says Perry has his facts wrong yet again.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich says he would roll back much of the department's regulation and would introduce grants to help parents pay for the schools of their choice.

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