The Trump Administration Proposes to Merge Education, Labor Departments

Education Secretary Betsy DeVoss and President Donald Trump at St. Andrew Catholic School in Orlando, FL

***See update below***

The White House plans to propose today merging the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

A source within the Trump Administration with knowledge of the proposal told the Wall Street Journal that the plan is the result of a review of Cabinet agencies ordered by the President to look for ways to shrink the federal government.

This proposal would require Congressional approval since an act of Congress established both departments.

I have mixed feelings about this:

  • This┬áproposal will not end federal involvement in education; it will just move the responsibilities and oversight to a new department. So, unfortunately, it will not diminish their influence.
  • The merger of the Education and Labor Departments will further institutionalize the workforce development model of education. This idea is what led to the testing and accountability reforms, Common Core, a hyper-focus on STEM, and corporate influence in K-12 education.
  • There are data privacy concerns as far too much student data has been shared with the U.S. Department of Labor as they have been funding state databases to link workforce data with education data. This┬ámerger, I’m afraid, will advance preK-workforce tracking.
  • On the flip side, since I favor limited government, reducing the bureaucracy is welcome, I would rather see the U.S. Department of Education eliminated. The Department of Justice can address civil rights abuses in schools. ┬áThe Department of the Treasury can disburse Title I funding to states, preferably in the form of block grants or, better still, eliminate federal funding. Federal funding is a small piece of the education funding pie but drives many of the regulations.

I don’t want to discourage government reorganization or finding ways to reduce the size of the bureaucracy in DC, but the Trump administration does have to consider the implications of certain mergers. I hope that they would go big and eliminate an unconstitutional department.

Update: It’s official. The plan is to merge the two departments and create a “Department of Education and the Workforce.” You can read the details below.

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6 thoughts on “The Trump Administration Proposes to Merge Education, Labor Departments

  1. I’m with you on a number of things, but not one. I don’t think Common Core came from a need to truly consider workforce needs and and competitency reforms. Common Core was the left’s way to brainwash kids to think, react and accept their progressive mandates. Workforce readiness and OBE and PK-Work are all a part of that implementation – they just make it sound better. It’s a good excuse.

    1. Which came first the chicken or the egg? I don’t think it really matters which led to what. They are both intertwined.

      1. Common Core’s primary agenda is to instill a certain mindset in our youth and to control them. Straight out of Hitler’s playbook.

  2. Remember the words of Arne Duncan; “the day will come when we can look at a 2nd grader and tell if they will go to college or not.” Get it?? The data will determine the needs of the workforce and career path/train kids to fill that need. Our children are and will be in the future human capital for the planned global economy. This is how they “educate” in Communist countries and this has been the agenda for many decades. Trump is falling for the trap and being led by all the wrong people when it comes to education and it starts with Pence and his buddy Betsy Devos.

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