- The Obama administration's proposed budget for the U.S. Department of Education for fiscal year 2017 asks for 269 new positions to be created, increasing staff from 4,269 to 4,538.
- It also calls for an increase of $156 million for departmental management costs, which is a 7.2% boost over fiscal 2016.
- Conversely, the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) calls for the department to reduce the number of full-time staff in programs the law eliminates or shrinks, Education Week reports — though the department reduced staff by 6% from 2005-2015.
In addition to grappling with the upcoming implementation of ESSA, the Obama administration has said that more Education Department staff are needed to help handle the number of civil rights complaints that have been filed with the department. The administration also pointed to an ongoing need for a larger focus on student data collection, use, and security.
Of the 269 proposed new positions, the biggest gain would be for the department's Office of Civil Rights, which stands to gain 164 new staff. In fiscal 2016, 589 positions at the Office of Civil Rights existed, compared to a proposed 753.