Follow NWPE on:

Subscribe to RSS Feed:

Department of Education Remains Almost Empty
posted by: Ruthie | October 14, 2013, 03:59 PM   

As the government begins its third week of partial shutdown, the Department of Education (DOE) faces yet another week of limited staffing and minimal productivity. Many Department of Education employees’ phones go straight to voicemail, the website merely announces the furlough, and progress remains stalled.

The indefinite suspension of all work, including processing Race to the Top proposals, grant applications, and research, as well as a variety of different education technology projects, not only hurts the morale of 4,000 DOE employees, but also the progress of educational initiatives.

"I think the big damage is the psychological damage," said one department source. "Everybody there works their tails off, and really believe in what they're doing, helping out the nation's children. And just the fact that we've all been taken away from this thing we love doing, I think that's probably had a real morale effect on everybody."

Steven Hicks, a senior policy adviser for the department’s Office of Early Learning echoes that sentiment. "I think most of us didn't think this was going to actually happen."

Luckily, the federal government shutdown has not had a large affect on schools across the country– yet. However, District of Columbia Public Schools teachers may not get another paycheck after tomorrow. While the city has been using contingency reserve funds in lieu of federal funding, the cash is running out and public charter schools could soon be closing their doors. While Mayor Gray and other D.C. leaders are pushing for a bill that would allow the District to use its own dollars to fund city government, Congress has yet to decide.

The effects of the government shutdown unfortunately extend not only to federal employees and taxpayers, but also to students. Only time will tell when the government will reopen and if the closure’s effects will be felt long-term.

What do you think about the government shutdown?
Comment below.


Comments (0)Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.