Department of Education Organization Act

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The Department of Education Organization Act is a United States federal law enacted in 1980.


Congress established the United States Department of Education (ED) on May 4, 1980, in the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88, 93 Stat. 668, October 17, 1979). Under this law, ED's mission is to:

  • Strengthen the federal commitment to assuring access to equal educational opportunity for every individual;
  • Supplement and complement the efforts of states, the local school systems and other instrumentalities of the states, the private sector, public and private nonprofit educational research institutions, community-based organizations, parents, and students to improve the quality of education;
  • Encourage the increased involvement of the public, parents, and students in federal education programs;
  • Promote improvements in the quality and usefulness of education through federally supported research, evaluation, and sharing of information;
  • Improve the coordination of federal education programs;
  • Improve the management of federal education activities; and
  • Increase the accountability of federal education programs to the president, the Congress, and the public.[1]


In the Senate, 69 voted in favor and 22 voted against separating education from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.[2] In the House of Representatives, 215 voted in favor and 201 voted against.[3] President Carter signed the bill on October 17, 1979.[4]

Following the establishment of the Department of Education, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was renamed the Department of Health and Human Services.[4]


  1. ^ Mission. Education Department. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
  2. ^ Allen, Ira R (September 25, 1979). "New Education Division Facing Trouble In House". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. United Press International. 
  3. ^ "Department of Education Approved by House". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , via Google News. Associated Press. September 28, 1979. 
  4. ^ a b "Education Department Created". The Palm Beach Post, via Google News. United Press International. October 18, 1979. 

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