The mission of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), created in 1980 by the Department of Education Organization Act, is to strengthen the Federal commitment to assuring equal educational opportunity for all students. One way the DOE does this is by supplementing and complementing the efforts of states, local school systems and other state and private organizations. The DOE delivers almost $13 billion to states and school districts for elementary and secondary education, primarily through grants designed to support:
- improvements in basic and academic skills based on challenging standards,
- school safety,
- increasing parent involvement and teacher quality, and
- to help states and school districts meet the special needs of schools and students.
Other initiatives of the DOE include
- support for research, evaluation and the sharing of information to promote improvements in the quality and usefulness of education; and
- improving the coordination, management and accountability of Federal education programs and activities.
Of the eight program offices within the DOE, some directly impact young people and adults to develop the knowledge and skills they need for careers that are demanding ever-higher levels of education and training. They are listed below, and describe in more detail on subsequent pages.
Assists in the education of disabled children and the rehabilitation of disabled adults and conducts research to improve the lives of disabled persons regardless of age.
Administers grants, contracts, research, and technical assistance for vocational-technical education and for adult education and literacy. The Office collaborates with the Depart. Of Labor in administering the School-to-Work Opportunities.
Provides financial assistance to State and local education agencies for public and private preschool, elementary, and secondary education to promote and support equal educational opportunities and educational excellence for all students.
Directs, coordinates, and recommends policies for programs that are designed to provide financial assistance to eligible students; improve postsecondary educational facilities and programs; recruit and prepare disadvantaged students for postsecondary programs; among other things.