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Department of Education

The United States Department of Education also referred to as ED or the ED for (the) Education Department, is the smallest Cabinet-level department of the United States government (“U. S. Department of Education”). It is an agency set up by the federal government to establish policies and regulations for administrators, and coordinates many federal aids to education (“U.

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S. Department of Education”). It assists the president in executing his educational policies (“U. S. Department of Education”). The Department of Education purpose is to assist America’s students, and to make sure everyone has equal access to education (“U. S. Department of Education”).

When congress passed the public law in 1979 creating the Department of Education it also declared these purposes; to strengthen federal commitment to making sure everyone has equal access to education, to supplement the state and local school system, to encourage the public, parents and students to be involves in federal educational programs, to help with improvements in the school system by gathering data and sharing information with them, to improve with coordination of federal educational programs, to help improve the efficiency of educational programs, including the dispersal of funds, and also to increase the accountability of federal education programs to the president, congress, and the public (“U. S. Department of Education”). The Department of Education is fairly new itself, but it dates back to 1867 (“U. S. Department of Education”). The first Department of Education was created by President Andrew Johnson (“U. S.

Department of Education”). Its main purpose was to collect information about America’s schools (“U. S. Department of Education”). Many people were afraid the Department of Education would have too much control over state and local schools, therefore it was eliminated (“U. S. Department of Education”). In 1868, the new Department of Education was an Office of Education (“U. S. Department of Education”). In the 1950’s, the Department of Education was in need of expansion in federal funding (“U. S. Department of Education”). Again in the 1960’s the Department of Education received an expansion in federal funding (“U. S. Department of Education”).

President Johnsons War on Poverty required the creation of many more programs to improve education, primarily for underprivileged youth from grade school through Post-secondary schooling (“U. S. Department of Education”). The Department of Education continued to expand with the needs of racial minorities, women, people with disabilities, and non-English speaking students (“U. S. Department of Education”). In October 1979 Congress passed the U. S. Department of Education Organization Act (“U. S. Department of Education”). The Department of Education is headquartered in Washington, D. C. , where about 3,600 staff work in several buildings (“U. S. Department of Education”). Another 1,400 staff work in ED’s ten regional offices (“U. S. Department of Education”).

These offices help represent ED’s goals and views in their particular region, especially in the area of student financial assistance, civil rights enforcement, vocational rehabilitation services, and audits and investigations (“U. S. Department of Education”). The budget and workforce of the Department of Education has changed drastically over the past 150 years. In the 1860’s the budget was $15,000 and only had 4 employees, by the 1960’s the budget was $1. 5 billion and had more than 2000 employees, and as of 2002, the Department of Education had a budget of $54. 5 billion and almost 5,000 employees (“U. S. Department of Education”). Although the number of employees has not changed much in the last ten years the budget has fluctuated from year to year. The 2012 overall budget is set for $77 billion which is an increase of 11% over the 2011 budget (Anderson).

The amount for the 2012 budget has not been approved by Congress and is being funded through continuing resolutions (Anderson). The Department of Education has four main duties (“U. S. Department of Education”). First, the Department of Education establishes policies relating to financial aid, distributes said funds, and monitors their use (“U. S. Department of Education”). The second duty is to collect data and supervise research on America’s schools and relays information to the public (“U. S. Department of Education”). The third duty of the Department of Education is to identify major issues and problems in education and draw them to the attention of the public (“U. S. Department of Education”).

The fourth and final main duty of the Department of Education is to enforce federal statutes prohibiting discrimination in federally funded programs, and to ensure equal access to all (“U. S. Department of Education”). How is the Department of Education organized? The secretary of education, Arne Duncan, leads the Department of Education and publicizes the goals and objectives of the Department of Education (“U. S. Department of Education”). The secretary of education is a member of the president’s cabinet and is the main advisor to the president on anything to do with the Department of Education (“U. S. Department of Education”). The secretary of education is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate (“U. S. Department of Education”).

The deputy secretary and the under-secretary help the secretary of education in the overall scheme of things in the Department of Education (“U. S. Department of Education”). The secretary of education also appoints an assistant to manage the eight program offices (“U. S. Department of Education”). These offices include: the office of English Language Acquisition, Office for Civil Rights, Office of Innovation and Improvement, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Post-Secondary Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Office of Federal Student Aid, and Office of Vocational and Adult Education (“U. S. Department of Education”).

The Office of General Counsel provides the secretary of education and other Department of Education officials with legal services (“U. S. Department of Education”). The Office of General Counsel also prepares documents, and oversees the regulatory review process (“U. S. Department of Education”). The Inspector General audits and investigates Department of Education programs to detect and prevent fraud and abuse (“U. S. Department of Education”). The office of Public Affairs supports the secretary of education at public functions and also provides information pertaining to education to the media, students, parents, and the public (“U. S. Department of Education”).

The Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs deal with external relations and also serve as a contact for the Department of Education to Congress (“U. S. Department of Education”). The Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs serves as the contact to state and local agencies (“U. S. Department of Education”). The Planning and Evaluation Services are involved with program evaluations, planning, and policy analysis (“U. S. Department of Education”). They also work with the Budget Service (“U. S. Department of Education”). The Office of Management, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, and the Office of the Chief Information Officer handles Department of Education Operations (“U. S. Department of Education”).

The Department of Education is a very complex system and requires a large organizational structure. This form of management is very successful due to the fact that it has worked for the Department of Education for the past twenty-five years. Any company or governmental agency such as the Department of Education must grow with the times, but for the most part the organizational style chosen here has remained the same. There is no need to change something that is functional. References Anderson, Nick. “Budget 2012: Department of Education. ” Washington Post (2011): n. pag. Web. 08 Jul 2011. . U. S. Department of Education. Washington, D. C. : , 2009. Web. 8 Jul 2011. .

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