Department of Education Organization Act

Department of Education Organization Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long title An act to establish a Department of Education, and for other purposes.
Enacted by the 96th United States Congress
Public law Pub.L. 96–88
Statutes at Large 93 Stat. 668
Legislative history
Major amendments
No Child Left Behind Act of 2002

The Department of Education Organization Act is a United States federal law enacted in 1979.


Congress established the United States Department of Education (ED) with the Department of Education Organization Act. Under the law, ED's mission is to:[1]

  • 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;
  • Increase the accountability of federal education programs to the president, the Congress, and the public.


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]

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