White House Proposes Merger of DOL and Education Department

The proposed Department of Education and the Workforce "would allow the Federal Government to address the educational and skill needs of American students and workers in a coordinated way," the OMB reform plan says.

The White House has proposed merging the federal Department of Labor with the Department of Education into a single Cabinet agency, according to a reform plan developed by the Office of Management and Budget. Several media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, reported the proposal on June 21.

The proposed new Department of Education and the Workforce "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 OMB reform plan says.

DEW would have four main sub-agencies after the merger is completed, according to the plan:

  • K-12, which would support state and local educational agencies to improve achievement of preschool, elementary, and secondary school students
  • American Workforce and Higher Education Administration, which would include both adult and youth workforce development components, as well as a disability employment component
  • Enforcement, which would include OSHA, MSHA, DOL's current Wage and Hour Division, and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
  • Research/Evaluation/Administration, which would include centralized offices focused on policy development, research, and evaluation; IT; procurement; financial management; and budgeting
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