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The United States Department of Education, also referred to as ED or the ED for (the) Education Department, is a Cabinet-level department of the United Statesmarker government. Created by the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88), it was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on October 17, 1979 and began operating on May 4, 1980.

The Department of Education Organization Act divided the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare into the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. The Department of Education is administered by the United States Secretary of Education.

It is by far the smallest Cabinet-level department, with about 5,000 employees. The agency's official acronym is ED (and not DOE, which refers to the United States Department of Energy.)


Department of Education is to create programs to generate funds for education and enforcement of privacy and civil rights laws.

On March 23, 2007, President George W. Bush signed into law H.R. 584, which designates the ED Headquarters building as the Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building.[10943]

Chief Operating Officer

Office of the Under Secretary (OUS)

Office of the Deputy Secretary (ODS)

Associated federal organizations

Federally aided organizations


President Ronald Reagan promised during the 1980 presidential election to eliminate the Department of Education as a cabinet post, but he was not able to do so with a Democratic House of Representatives. In the 1982 State of the Union Address, he pledged: Throughout the 1980s, the abolition of the Department of Education was a part of the Republican Party platform, but the administration of President George H. W. Bush declined to implement this idea.

In 1996, the Republican Party made abolition of the Department a cornerstone of their campaign promises, calling it an inappropriate federal intrusion into local, state, and family affairs. The GOP platform read: During his 1996 presidential run, Senator Bob Dole promised, "We're going to cut out the Department of Education."

In 2000, the Republican Liberty Caucus passed a resolution to abolish the Department of Education.

In 2008, presidential candidate Ron Paul campaigned in part on an opposition to the Department.

No Child Left Behind

Under President George W. Bush, the Department primarily focused on elementary and secondary education, expanding its reach through the "No Child Left Behind" law. The Department's budget increased 69.6% between 2002 and 2004.


As with other federal agencies, the ED operates with the assistance of several advisory committees. The Federal Interagency Committee on Education (FICE) is known in higher education for originating the FICE code, the six-digit institutional identifier assigned to each higher education (two-year and above) institution.


For 2006, the ED discretionary budget was US$56 billion and the mandatory budget contained $23.4 billion. Currently, the budget is $68.6 billion, according to the Dept. of Education website.

See also


Cabinetmakers: Story of the Three-Year Battle to Establish the U.S. Department of Education. Author: Robert V. Heffernan. 2001. ISBN: 9780595158706

External links

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