Seal of the United States Department of Education

Overview and Mission Statement

The Department of Education’s mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.

ED was created in 1980 by combining offices from several federal agencies. ED’s 4,400 employees and $68 billion budget are dedicated to:

  • Establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds.
  • Collecting data on America’s schools and disseminating research.
  • Focusing national attention on key educational issues.
  • Prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.



Budget and Performance

What We Do


Laws & Guidance

Legislation, regulations, guidance, and other policy documents can be found here for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and other topics.

Please note that in the U.S., the federal role in education is limited. Because of the Tenth Amendment, most education policy is decided at the state and local levels. So, if you have a question about a policy or issue, you may want to check with the relevant organization in your state or school district.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

Civil Rights

IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)

WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act)

Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended through P.L. 114–95

Higher Education Act

Regulations and Rulemaking