Education Department (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
Created in 1980, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) is the cabinet-level agency that establishes policy for, administers, and coordinates most federal assistance to education. It is directed by the secretary of education, who assists the president of the United States by executing policies and implementing laws enacted by Congress.
The DOE has six major responsibilities: (1) providing national leadership and building partnerships to address critical issues in U.S. education; (2) serving as a national clearing-house of ideas on schools and teaching; (3) helping families pay for college; (4) helping local communities and schools meet the most pressing needs of their students; (5) preparing students for employment in a changing economy; and (6) ensuring non-discrimination for recipients of federal education funds.
Although the current DOE has existed for only a short time, its history dates back to 1867, when President ANDREW JOHNSON signed legislation creating the first education department as a non-cabinet-level, autonomous agency. Within one year, the department was demoted to the office of education because Congress feared that it would exercise too much control over local schools. Since the Constitution did not specifically mention education, Congress declared that the secretary of education and other officials should be prohibited from exercising direction,...
(The entire section is 2431 words.)
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