The seventh floor of the Education Department’s headquarters near the Mall used to bustle. Now, nearly a dozen offices sit empty and quiet.
The department’s workforce has shrunk under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has said she wants to decrease the federal government’s role in education, including investigations and enforcement of civil rights in schools. In all, the department has shed about 350 workers since December — nearly 8 percent of its staff — including political appointees. With buyouts offered to 255 employees in recent days, DeVos hopes to show even more staff the door.
Just two key positions have been filled so far, and buyouts are being offered to other staff.