US Federal Department of Education

  Tags: politics   education   federal programs   school   teacher

Background: What is the U.S. Department of Education?

The U S. Department of Education formed in 1979, is the agency of the federal government that establishes policy for, administers, and coordinates most federal assistance to education. It assists the president in executing his education policies for the nation and in implementing laws enacted by Congress. The Department's mission is to serve America's students -- to ensure that all have equal access to education and to promote excellence in our nation's schools.

Size and Scope

Employees 5000 people (2007)
Total Annual budget: $69.4 billion(2006)


Congress established the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on May 4, 1980, in the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88 of October 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]

Arguments For

Essential Programs

Eliminating The Department of Education would also eliminate Or Severely Cripple vital educational programs, grants, research, and state funds,And initiatives. Some of these programs include Education for the Disadvantaged (Title I, Low Income Families), No Child Left behind Act,Special-Education (I DEA), English language acquisition, and safe schools and citizenship education.[2]

Educational reform

Technology is core and essential to the strategies we are using to reform education." That was the message from both Jim Shelton, assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement at the Department of Education, and Aneesh Chopra, chief technology officer for the White House.[3]

School Safety - Policy Update

United States Department of Education has implemented new regulations meant to clarify when universities can release confidential information about students. The move is meant to reassure school officials that the government will not second-guess their decisions to share information about students whom may be at risk of harming themselves or others.[4]

(Note: Comparison of education rankings in U.S. before and after ED was created. Key numbers that support the effectiveness and success of the educational system; previous problems that were eliminated since ED was formed.)

Arguments Against

Fact: Under Pres. George W. Bush, the No Child Left behind Law Was Created Resulting In a Budget Increase Of 69.6% In a Two-Year Period.

1980s Republican Party platform was the abolition of the Department of Education citing the department as an inappropriate federal intrusion into local, state, and family affairs. Pres. Ronald Reagan promised major savings by dismantling the department of education.During the 1996 presidential run, Sen. Bob Dole promised, "were going to cut out the Department of Education."[1]

Department of Education oversteps its constitutional authority to control schools and the workplace.[5]

If education were left at the local level, parents would become more involved in reform efforts. Differences in school effectiveness among states and communities would be noted, and other regions would copy the more effective programs and policies.

The $47.6 billion spent each year by the Department of Education could be much better spent if it were simply returned to the American people in the form of a tax cut. Parents themselves could then decide how best to spend that money.

The Department of Education has a record of waste and abuse. For example, the department reported losing track of $450 million during three consecutive General Accounting Office audits.

The Department of Education is an expensive failure that has added paperwork and bureaucracy but little value to the nation's classroom. Abolish the Department of Education and return education to the state, local, or family level is provided by the Constitution.[6]

Senator John McCain once called for the elimination of the Department of Education.[7]

(Note: Private schools versus Public schools: A comparison of effectiveness and value)


 1  Wikipedia - Department of Education Aug 31, 2009 (wikipedia.org)
 2  Overview Mission Aug 31, 2009 U.S. in Department Of Education
 3  Obama Administration: Technology at the Heart of Education Reform Jun 29, 2009 Fletcher, Geoffrey H. The Journal of Technological Horizons in Education
 4  The Wall Street Journal
 5  World Net Daily
 6  Cato Institute
 7  Flashback: McCain Favored Abolishing Department Of Education Sept 9, 2008 Sargent, Greg (tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com)

Related Debates

No Child Left Behind Act
Should evolution be taught in schools?

User Comments & Opinion


3 Voted Yes

profile pic
we should keep schools - jennyhooah (twitter) 0

6 Voted No

profile pic
I vote NO on ED. Give the tax money back, let schools compete, and lets return to high quality education. - thorie (twitter) vote up image vote down image 0
profile pic
WE DONT NEED NO EDUCATION - stonecoldvt (twitter) vote up image vote down image 0
Vote "Yes" Comment:
* Note: Your comment will be tweeted.
Vote "No" Comment:
* Note: Your comment will be tweeted.
Recent Changes   dot   Latest Comments   dot   63 Total Users   dot   260 Total Debates since Aug '09