“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.DONATE
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