Sen. Elizabeth Warren is one of the numerous Democratic presidential applicants highlighting training as key coverage trouble of their campaigns. A few weeks after
pronouncing a bold proposal to forgive almost 1/2 of all awesome scholar debt and strip for-earnings schools’ admission to the real economic resource (amongst different issues),
she returned to the subject earlier of a town corridor occasion with the American Federation of Teachers in Philadelphia. In a tweet earlier this week, Warren promised that her secretary of education would be a public faculty trainer.
Selecting a former instructor as secretary of training might be a long way from unheard of: Both Rod Paige (under George W. Bush) and John King (below Barack Obama) had been public school instructors before preserving administrative positions. But if Warren or any other Democrat wants to affect American education to the finest quantity possible, the candidate ought to rent a person with a sturdy history in higher schooling instead of—or further to—K-12 education. (The equal also applies to Donald Trump, who
apparently will want a new secretary of education if he wins a 2nd time period.) Below, I discuss some reasons why the Department of Education’s next leader ought to come from higher ed.
First, the Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law in 2015, shifted a tremendous amount of power from the Education Department to the states. Putting a trainer or another K-12 professional in charge of the branch may result in a better K-12 policy. However, the trade is likely to be small because of the decreased quantity of discretion. ESSA-required state duty plans have already been accepted with the aid of the branch, getting rid of a key oversight function of the branch. This means that the federal authorities’ power in K-12 schooling has shifted greater in the direction of the appropriations procedure, which Congress managed. An instance of this is the Trump management’s proposed $5 billion in tax credits to assist school preference programs, which is not likely to advantage support from House Democrats.
Meanwhile, on the better schooling side of the ranch, I nevertheless see a comprehensive Higher Education Act reauthorization as being unlikely before 2021—despite the fact that Sen. Lamar Alexander is promising a bill soon. This means the Education Department will hold its authority to behave on a wide variety of coverage troubles while probably permitting the subsequent secretary to persuade what destiny rules look like.
I could see a narrowly targeted bill on FAFSA simplification getting thru Congress, but HEA reauthorization will be difficult in the 3 most important areas.
The first is for-earnings university responsibility, in which Republicans want to treat all sectors identical, and Democrats normally want harder policies on the for-profit zone. The 2d is the setup of scholar loan compensation plans, as Democrats opposed Republican-subsidized efforts to stop Public Service Loan Forgiveness and make reimbursement plans for graduate college students less generous. Finally, the events are at loggerheads on numerous objects widely tied to social troubles, including Title IX, campus protection, and free speech. Warren’s idea from last month probably makes HEA reauthorization more difficult because it will pull many Senate Democrats farther to the left on the first two problems. The disagreements on social troubles are large enough to kill any predominant reauthorization probably.
Unless the Higher Education Act is reauthorized in a manner that sharply limits the secretary of training’s authority (that’s quite unlikely), the following secretary of education will maintain to have electricity on a wide range of troubles thru the negotiated rulemaking manner, both the Obama and Trump administrations used negotiated rulemaking to shape guidelines without going via Congress. A Democratic president probably depends on a new secretary to undo Trump-generation regulations and suggest new policies in regions consisting of Title IX and campus protection.