Despite what you’ve heard about the time stopping effects of the sequester, government hiring and spending continues. Imagine that.
Libby A. Nelson of Inside Higher Ed reports.
WASHINGTON — The next few months should be a busy time for the U.S. Education Department. The administration is gearing up for several rounds of negotiations over possible new rules, including rewriting controversial regulations governing for-profit colleges. Congress is beginning the process of renewing the Higher Education Act. And in the days after President Obama won re-election, Education Secretary Arne Duncan promised an increased focus on higher education issues in the administration’s second term.
Six months after inauguration, though, one of the biggest questions facing the Education Department is whether it has the personpower to carry out its ambitious, if still hazy, agenda.
Turnover at the midpoint of a two-term presidential administration is common, and the federal hiring process — especially for political appointees — can involve lengthy vetting. But while the departures themselves aren’t out of the ordinary, observers here say they have created an almost unprecedented number of vacancies among career Education Department staff, political appointees and White House crafters of education policy.