White House Plan Would Do Away with an Independent Department of Education: Report

A new plan from the White House would merge the Department of Education with the Department of Labor, according to a Wall Street Journal report, accomplishing a long-time conservative goal of trimming down the federal government.

The plan has not yet been officially announced, but the Journal reports that the decision will be announced Thursday.

However, the White House can't implement such a plan on its own. It needs Congress to pass legislation for any formal changes to the structure of the administration to be enacted, and it's pretty clear that elected officials have little interest in pursuing the proposal as a legislative agenda this year.

The Department of Education's primary responsibility is overseeing the administration of millions of college loans. It is also responsible for administering federal education funding for K-12 schools and enforcing civil rights laws in schools.

The Journal reports that other consolidations of major federal departments have also been considered at the White House. Officials have considered potentially reorganizing the Department of Health and Human Services to include some programs currently run by the Treasury Department, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

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