President Trump proposes combining U.S. Departments of Education, Labor

As reported by Education Week’s Politics K-12 Blog, President Donald Trump wants to merge the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor into a single agency focused on workforce readiness and career development. The plan, part of a broader effort to overhaul the federal government, was announced during a cabinet meeting today (June 21).  It would require congressional approval.

A summary of the proposal contained in a White House outline of the federal overhaul plan indicates the combined agency would be renamed the Department of Education and the Workforce, “charged with meeting the needs of American students and workers from education and skill development to workplace protection to retirement security.”  The summary adds, “merging ED and DOL would allow the Federal Government to address the educational and skill needs of American students and workers in a coordinated way, eliminating duplication of effort between the two agencies and maximizing the effectiveness of skill-building efforts.”

The new department, as outlined in the plan, would house four main sub-agencies: K-12, Higher Education/Workforce Development, Enforcement, and Research/Evaluation/Administration.

The K-12 sub-agency, under the reorganization plan, would include Title I programs for disadvantaged students, Impact Aid, school improvement programs, school safety and citizenship programs, Indian education, innovation and improvement, English-language acquisition, and special education.

The office for civil rights (OCR) would be folded into a new Enforcement Office, which would also include worker protection agencies from the former Labor Department.