U.S. Department of Education

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 09:01, 15 April 2014 by PhilH (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Department of Education
Secretary:Arne Duncan
Deputy Secretary:Tony Miller
Annual budget:$65.7 billion (2013)
Total employed:4,400 (2013)
Year created:1980
Official website:http://www.ed.gov/


Executive Departments of the United States

Executive Departments
Department of DefenseDepartment of StateDepartment of Homeland SecurityDepartment of JusticeDepartment of CommerceDepartment of EducationDepartment of the TreasuryDepartment of AgricultureDepartment of EnergyDepartment of LaborDepartment of TransportationDepartment of the InteriorDepartment of Health and Human ServicesDepartment of Veterans AffairsDepartment of Housing and Urban Development

Department Secretaries
Ashton CarterJohn KerryJeh JohnsonEric HolderPenny PritzkerArne DuncanJack LewTom VilsackErnest MonizTom PerezAnthony FoxxSally JewellSylvia Mathews BurwellRobert McDonaldJulian Castro
The Department of Education is a United States executive department established in 1980. The Department was formed to promote educational excellence and ensure equal opportunity for public schooling.[1] The Department is led by the current Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.

The Department employs 4,400 employees.[1] The operating budget for fiscal year 2013 was $65.7 billion.[2] The United States education industry was estimated at about $1.15 trillion in 2011-2012. Federal contributions to elementary and secondary education come to about 10.8%, including the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services' Head Start and the Department of Agriculture's School Lunch program. The rest of the funding comes from state, local and private sources.[3]


Education policy in the U.S. is primarily the responsibility of states and local districts, according to the Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights, United States Constitution. The federal department is intended to assist the states. The original Department of Education was created in 1867, with the aim of gathering information about teaching, schools and teachers in order to help states set up school systems. The current Department of Education was established by Congress on May 4, 1980, with passage of the Department of Education Organization Act, (Public Law 96-88 of October 1979). It united several existing offices across different agencies into a Cabinet level agency located in the Executive branch of the federal government. Over the years the location of the department in the government and its name has changed several times, and its scope, number of personnel and budget have greatly increased.

The department's mission arose out of the cultural and political events in the post World War II era, beginning with the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) passed by Congress in 1958, the first comprehensive federal education law. This came about in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik during the Cold War. The department continued to grow and added its "public access" mission in response to anti-poverty and civil rights legislation of the 1960s and 1970s. The number of employees and budget have grown from 2,100 employees and a budget of $1.5 billion in 1965 to 4,400 employees and $68 billion budget in 2013. Although the federal government provides only about 10.8 percent of the overall education spending of $1.15 trillion, the role of the federal government in setting education policy has grown considerably over the last several decades. The department implements laws passed by Congress and administers grants to states for certain programs, such as the No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top and Title One School Improvement Grants.[1][4][5] Following is a list of important dates in education policy:[3][6]

  • 1890: Second Morrill Act gave the Office authority to establish a support system for land-grant colleges and universities
  • 1896: U.S. Supreme Court case, Plessy v. Ferguson, legalized segregation in "separate but equal" schools
  • 1917: Smith-Hughes Act extended federal aid to vocational education programs
  • 1944: GI Bill authorized assistance to veterans for postsecondary schools
  • 1946: Georgia-Barden Act established agricultural, industrial and home economics classes
  • 1954: U.S. Supreme Court case, ''Brown v. Board of Education'', outlaws segregation precedent set in Plessy v. Ferguson
  • 1958: National Defense Education Act (NDEA) supported loans for college students, improved science, technology and foreign language support in elementary and secondary schools and provided fellowships in response to the Cold War
  • 1964: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibited discrimination based on race, color or national origin in public schools
  • 1965: Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act gave federal aid to schools in poor rural and urban areas
  • 1965: Higher Education Act authorized federal aid for poor postsecondary students
  • 1970: Standardized tests were given to public schools and the results are reported to the government and public in an effort to hold educators accountable
  • 1972: Title IX of the Education Amendments prohibited discrimination based on sex in public schools
  • 1973: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibited discrimination based on disability in public schools
  • 1980: the Department of Education was officially formed by Congress
  • 2001: No Child Left Behind program increased education funding and established standards-based testing reforms
  • 2010: Race to the Top program encouraging states to compete for federal grants in education



The Department of Education website states the mission:

to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.[7]

—Department of Education, [3]

According to the Department of Education website, the department is committed to:

  • Establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds.
  • Collecting data on America's schools and disseminating research.
  • Focusing national attention on key educational issues.
  • Prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.[7]

—Department of Education, [1]


The current Secretary of Education is Arne Duncan.

Note: Votes marked "N/A" represent voice votes or unrecorded votes.


Office of the Secretary of Education

According to the Department's official website, the Office of the Secretary:

  • Provides advice on a wide range of policy matters and issues.
  • Maintains White House liaison on personnel and scheduling matters and on sensitive political issues.
  • Supervises Federal advisory committee establishment and operating procedures and coordinates the provision of administrative services.
  • Coordinates the processing and placement for all appointments for non–career and advisory council positions.
  • Responds to appropriate inquiries concerning the Secretary's views and positions.
  • Reviews communications going to the Secretary for signature or information to assure that the Secretary's specific interests, viewpoints, and policy are properly reflected.
  • Prepares and coordinates the preparation of all speeches and comments for the Secretary's use, and arranges for all substitutes when the Secretary is unable to be present at a function external to the Department.
  • Carries out priority assignments and special projects for the Secretary.
  • Coordinates and conducts, in cooperation with the Office of Inspector General, the development of advance security planning and surveys involving risk analysis for the Secretary's speaking engagements and travel, and provides a security presence at all official social functions attended by the Secretary.[7]

—Department of Education, [8]

Organizational chart

Doe org chart.gif



Obama administration

U.S. Department of Education[9] Annual Budget
YearBudget (in billions)% Difference from previous year
  • Note: 2014 only represents the Department's budget request, not an enacted budget.


The Best Places to work in the Federal Government is a website that tracks workforce trends in federal agencies. According to their analysis, from 2005-2011, the Department of Education has gained an average of 26 jobs per year.[10]


While Secretary Duncan suggested the cuts would result in furloughs, a May 10, 2013 memo stated no furloughs were necessary.[11]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term U.S. + Department + Education

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

U.S. Department of Education News Feed

  • Loading...

External links