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CHAPTER 1 - ED s Mission and Organization

Our Mission Is to Promote Student Achievement and Preparation for Global Competitiveness by Fostering Educational Excellence and Ensuring Equal Access

The U.S. Department of Education was established on May 4, 1980 by Congress in the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88 of October 1979). The Department'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.

Offices that may provide contracting opportunities are described below. A more complete discussion of the Department’s programs is found in the Guide to Department of Education Programs.


Office of the Secretary The secretary is responsible for the overall direction, supervision, and coordination of all activities of the Department and is the principal adviser to the president on federal policies, programs, and activities related to education in the United States.

Office of the Deputy Secretary The deputy secretary serves as the principal policy advisor to the secretary on all major program and management issues. The deputy secretary is also responsible for the internal management and daily operations of the Department. The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is a component of this office.

Office of the Under Secretary

Develops policy resources, recommendations, and initiatives that help define a broad, coherent vision for achieving the President and Secretary's priorities. Also supports the implementation of critical policies by the Department and education providers through application of resources, analysis, strategic planning, and evaluation.

Doing Business with the Department of Education

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