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|United States Department of Education
Created in 1979, and officially established in May 1980, the primary mission of the Department of Education is to ensure equal educational opportunity for all; and to improve the quality of that education through federal support, research programs, and information sharing.
Congress authorized a Department of Education in 1867, to collect and disseminate information on education. The department was abolished about a year later, however, and its functions transfered to an Office of Education in the Department of the Interior. The office became part of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1953.
Over the years, the Office of Education acquired responsibility for aiding public and private schools at all levels. In 1979, Congress, at the urging of President Jimmy Carter, split the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare into two separate departments -- the Department of Education, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
The primary mission of the department is to ensure equal educational opportunity for all; and to improve the quality of that education through federal support, research programs, and information sharing. To that end, it oversees a variety of financial-aid programs, including support to states and local school districts to assist underprivileged and disabled students, provide vocational education, and promote bilingual education.
For colleges and universities, the department provides money for programs in international studies, adult education courses, grants to improve instruction, assistance in building facilities, and financial aid to students.
The Department of Education also enforces civil rights and school desegregation, and conducts research and gathers educational information.
Office of the Secretary
Office of the Deputy Secretary
Office of the Under Secretary
Secretaries of Education
The official website of the Department of Education is www.ed.gov.
Library >> Education >> History of Education
This page was last updated on July 16, 2017.