Education Department Cuts and the Impact on States

Education Department Cuts and the Impact on States

February 26, 2019

Alyson Klein takes a look at how the U.S. Department of Education has cut staff during the tenure of Secretary Betsy DeVos. This streamlining includes the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), which oversees K-12 policy (including ESSA implementation) and funding. OESE, which has lost almost 14 percent of its staff since the end of the Obama Administration, has also “gone through a top-to-bottom reorganization that consolidated some smaller offices within the agency and merged K-12 with the office of innovation and improvement, which oversaw charter school grants and other programs.” The goal of this streamlining and shuffling, according to an Education Department spokeswoman, is to make OESE “more efficient and to enable its staffers to look at the various grant programs it handles more holistically.” However, civil rights groups are worried that a smaller OESE staff will not be able to make sure states are adhering to federal statutes regarding vulnerable student populations.