White House Wants to Merge Labor, Education Departments
“We must reform our 20th century federal agencies to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”
When I taught high school English, I realized that education is best handled as locally as possible and developed a hatred for the Department of Education. I’ve often said I would abolish that department immediately if I ever became president.
This may be the first step in the right direction. The White House has proposed merging the Department of Education with Labor after officials spent months reviewing different agencies to figure out how to downsize the government.
Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, showcased his plan this week during a Cabinet meeting. Mulvaney said “[I]t has been almost 100 years since somebody reorganized the government on this scale.”
Officials would name the new agency the Department of Education and the Workforce (DEW) and have it “oversee programs for students and workers, ranging from education and developing skills to workplace protections and retirement security.”
JUST IN: White House announces plan that would merge the Depts. of Education and Labor into single Cabinet agency. pic.twitter.com/8mtbRdLw4M
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 21, 2018
The White House said that the work of these two departments have inhibited “the Federal Government’s ability to address the skill needs of the American people in a coordinated effort,” which has led to “the creation of a complicated web of funding streams for States and localities to administer.”
Officials claim the move “would reduce unnecessary bureaucracy, streamline access and better integrate education and workforce programs, and allow the Administration to more effectively address the full range of issues affecting American students and workers.”
(As I stand on my libertarian soapbox I’d like to say that the government is what’s affecting the students and workers so why not just eliminate the departments?)
The two departments have been working closely together due to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in 2014:
For example, Labor programs providing training to dislocated workers are intended to be done in conjunction with Education programs focused on adult education and vocational rehabilitation.
“Since the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the department is working closer than ever with the Department of Education to align workforce education programs, plans, and performance requirements,” Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta told lawmakers last year.
Mulvaney even noted that the two departments are “doing the same thing” so “[W]hy not put them in the same place?”
Education Week reported that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos supports the changes:
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said the plan would help break down “artificial barriers” between education and career-development programs.
“President Trump campaigned and won with his promise to reduce the federal footprint in education and to make the federal government more efficient and effective. Today’s bold reform proposal takes a big step toward fulfilling that promise,” said DeVos in a statement. “Artificial barriers between education and workforce programs have existed for far too long. We must reform our 20th century federal agencies to meet the challenges of the 21st century. This proposal will make the federal government more responsive to the full range of needs faced by American students, workers, and schools.”
Mulvaney’s proposal has changes for other departments. From Fox News:
Along with that merger, the proposal also calls for the creation of a single food safety agency under the Department of Agriculture and moving the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, from the USDA to Health and Human Services, which would be renamed the Department of Health and Public Welfare and be refocused more broadly on public assistance programs.
Housing programs run by the USDA would also move to the Department of Housing and Urban Development and certain functions of the Army Corps of Engineers would be moved to the departments of transportation and interior.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s policy function would be moved into the Executive Office of the President, while background checks would move over to the Department of Defense.
The left, including unions, don’t like the idea. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said Trump’s plans “to drastically gut investments in education, health care, and workers” will always receive criticism from Congress and “he should expect the same result for this latest attempt to make government work worse for the people it serves.”
Yeah, about that, Senator Murray. MORE government tends to make things worse. My healthcare costs are out of control even though you claim you wanted to help people like me with pre-existing conditions. Your education department treats children like numbers.
The best thing to do would be to completely eliminate the Education Department and return education to the locals. I’m not even talking about the states. I’m talking about the individual schools. Education should be as local as you can get.
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This will supercharge the negative cable news coverage throughout the summer. Especially since they can continue to falsely claim it hurts “the kids” and other nonsense they seem to think is working regarding the other issue, immigration.
I know it’s trite, but it’s never the wrong time to do the right thing. It would be even better, as suggested, if Education (and a few more agencies) was just folded up altogether, but small steps are better than standing still or backing up.
I always thought Labor and Coomerce should be merged, but I can understand and get behind this idea.
Let’s merge in Commerce and HUD as well and then elim8nate the hew department!
From the author: “The best thing to do would be to completely eliminate the Education Department and return education to the locals…
Education should be as local as you can get.”
Agreed! And parents should have as many choices as the market allows.
I’ve long said that school choice is the civil rights issue of this century.
The teachers union’s near-monopoly stranglehold on government schools allows the union to control entire districts as jobs programs for adults – not the best educational opportunity for parents & students.
And we the people are forced to fund them regardless of quality, effectiveness, or even safety or security concerns.
What other product or service provider operates with such authoritarian control over a guaranteed annual revenue stream of hundreds of millions of dollars?
Merge Labor & Education? That sounds like a recipe for a government flavored ‘too big to fail scenario,’ and funding must ever increase, or you hate children and workers, etc. The political ads almost write themselves.
Plus, when (not if) another oppressive marxist bastage, like Obama, ascends to the throne, we can expect more ‘dear colleague’ letters, bathroom war edicts, and everybody is racist diversity training at all schools – and work places.
I want smaller government and agencies, not bigger.
Im ok with these departments existing but think they should only exist to facilitate coordination amongst the states but never to make top down policy decisions. Federal government shouldn’t be funding programs, education and labor programs should stop at state lines. Should be enforcing constitutional/civil rights to ensure state and local government don’t step on actual rights. Ie: free speech policy, admissions quotas etc…
Watch and see if Republicans don’t oppose this as much as Democrats.
You got that right! Both sides have already pronounced that this is dead in Congress.
Mulvaney said “[I]t has been almost 100 years since somebody reorganized the government on this scale.”
The Department of Education is administered by the United States Secretary of Education. It has under 4,000 employees.
The Department of Labor has 17,450 (2014)
Call it about 25,000 employees for round numbers in total.
One ponders the organizational effect of the proposed agency compared to the Department of Homeland Security
In fiscal year 2017, DHS was allocated a net discretionary budget of $40.6 billion.
With more than 240,000 employees, DHS is the third largest Cabinet department, after the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.
On March 1, 2003, DHS absorbed the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and assumed its duties. In doing so, it divided the enforcement and services functions into two separate and new agencies:
– Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE]
– Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The investigative divisions and intelligence gathering units of the INS and Customs Service were merged forming Homeland Security Investigations.
Additionally, the border enforcement functions of the INS,were consolidated into a new agency under DHS: U.S. Customs and Border Protection. These include
– the U.S. Border Patrol,
– the U.S. Customs Service, and
– the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
The Federal Protective Service falls under the National Protection and Programs Directorate.
Further it now includes
– US Coast Guard
– Transportation Security Administration [TSA]
– US Secret Service
– Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA}
Prediction: If this goes through (it probably won’t but anything is possible) the budget of the new agency will be greater than the combined budgets of the two agencies were separately.
If he carries this through, it will be huge, not for itself but because it will be the first step away from the cliff instead of towards it. And because it’s something Reagan promised and didn’t deliver.
But the new secretary should be DeVos, not Acosta.
I’m leaning to Mike Rowe.
LBJ…no friend of small government…tried an initiative that would have consolidated cabinet posts. It never went anywhere in Congress.
There was no federal education department prior to Jimmy Carter. On average, there was better publicate you Kasian prior to Jimmy Carter. Abolish the education department, case closed.
*** Dam mmm Auotcorrect!
You know those specialized license plates that you have to read aloud several times before you get it – I’m assuming that “publicate you Kasian” = “public education”.
Are you using a voice to text software?
While you’re at it, tie labor to education and push policy that removes the frivolous majors.