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Essay On The United States Department Of Educatiom

1352 words - 5 pages

The United States Department of EducationIn providing funds to education in the U.S., the federal government plays a vital role in the education system. Overall, the federal government provides nine percent of education expenditures in this country. More specifically, the Department of Education (ED) contributes about six percent of the total amount spent on education per year. This figure comes out to about $42 billion a year, which is just a small piece (1.9%) of the Federal Government's budget of $1.9 trillion per year. Education in this country is primarily a state and local responsibility, but when it is necessary to "fill in the gaps" in the state and local support, ED steps in, making it a crucial department in this country.The Department of Education was created in 1867. The primary emphasis in the beginning was on getting information on what works in education. Over the times, ED has been affected and changed by many laws and bills, but this original concept has remained intact. One of the laws was the Second Morrill Act, passed in 1890. This act gave the responsibility of administering support for land-grant colleges to the Office of Education, as it was known at that time. During the 1940's, around the time of World War II, federal support for education increased greatly. For example, the GI Bill passed in 1944. This bill provided postsecondary education assistance for WWII veterans to go to college. The late 1950's also had an impact on education. This was the time when the Russians were beating the Americans in the space race, and it was believed that ifAmerican were more highly trained in mathematics and science, that they would be able to compete with Russia. Therefore, federal funds were used to improve instruction in these fields in schools. Finally, in the 1960's and 1970's, ED was dramatically changed due to the emergence of civil rights laws. The department made it clear that equal rights was one of their areas of concern. The passage of Title VI in the Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments are proof of this.For 130 years, ED changed with the times, providing service every step of the way, proving how truly necessary the department is. In 1980, the Department of Education was made a Cabinet level agency, giving it the ability to have a hand in every area of education. Today, ED's programs reach more than 50 millions students nationwide.The Department of Education is currently headquartered in Washington, D.C. Most of its operations take place in this city and about 3,600 of its 4,900 employees work here. The other 1,300 work in 10 regional offices located throughout the country, in Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, and Kansas City. These offices were set up as liaisons to state and local education organizations and also so that the Secretary's Regional Representative, who heads the office, can advocate the department's policy.The Department of...

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