Accountability Betsy DeVos U.S. Department of Education

DeVos Shakes Up Department of Education Staff, Breaks Up Budget Office

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Let’s be clear. Betsy DeVos never ran any organization other than the American Federation for Children, a lobbying group for vouchers and charters, which she funded and owns.

Now she is the U.S. Secretary of Education, overseeing a large department with many functions crucial to K-12 education, higher education, student aid, and civil rights enforcement.

She has just announced a major reorganization of the department, over the objections of the Trump Office of Management and Budget. 

Given her well-known disdain for the federal role in education and her appointment of people determined to destroy the functions of the federal agency, we can assume that this reorganization is designed to cripple the agency and introduce a new level of dysfunction and chaos.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is moving to break apart her agency’s central budget office despite objections from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

DeVos last week removed the department’s top budget official and at least one other budget division director from their posts, reassigning the employees to jobs elsewhere in the agency. Top political appointees are also taking steps to make further reassignments of staff and functions in the budget office.

The budget office has had a strained relationship with DeVos and political appointees ever since the department’s full budget request last year was published by The Washington Post, days before its official release. And the office had been blamed, incorrectly, for other leaks, several department staffers said.

As part of a sweeping agencywide government reorganization ordered by President Donald Trump, DeVos wants to break up and decentralize all of the Education Department’s budget functions. The department’s overall plan, according to an internal presentation obtained by POLITICO last month, calls for a “restructuring of how we approach policy and budget development.”

OMB officials have objected to breaking apart the department’s Budget Service, according to four officials with knowledge of the situation. The disagreement comes as OMB has green-lighted most other parts of DeVos’ proposed overhaul of the agency, two officials said.

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