The Department of Education is responsible for many areas of education. Among its many duties, it oversees the federal budget for all education initiatives. This funding is distributed to public elementary and secondary schools, postsecondary institutions, and college students. Its Office for Civil Rights protects students from harassment in school and investigates any allegations of sexual assault on college campuses. Read on to learn more about this agency and the various services and programs it provides.
It fills gaps
The Department of Education (DOE) was formed in 1867 to collect data about schools and teaching. While its name has changed and its location within the Executive Branch has been reshuffled, the emphasis on getting educational information to teachers has not. As a result, the DOE has stepped up its work to help improve education for American youth. The DOE continues to address inequities caused by the pandemic and is making major strides toward improving educational opportunities for all students.
It enforces Title IX
In an effort to protect students from discrimination in government education, the U.S. Department of Education has implemented Title IX enforcement procedures. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) oversees compliance with Title IX. The OCR conducts nationwide compliance reviews, investigates complaints of sex discrimination, and negotiates appropriate remedies. In addition to investigating Title IX violations, the OCR investigates sexual incidents involving teachers.
It oversees assessment programs
The U.S. Department of Education receives $38 billion each year for its major K-12 education programs. In order to make sure that those programs are working properly, the Department is constantly assessing them through the government’s watchdog agency, the Government Accountability Office. But how can the Department of Education fix its mistakes? In part, this problem stems from the fact that the department has removed authority from the experts who are best suited to do the job.
It Provides financial assistance to local systems
The U.S. Department of Education provides financial assistance to local systems of government education, which are responsible for educating the nation’s children. In 2013, federal, state, and local funds for major higher education programs totaled $75.6 billion. That does not include student loans and other higher education-related tax expenditures. The DOE has a separate capital budget of over $20 billion for schools and districts. Most school districts receive funding through a formula called Fair Student Funding, or FSF, based on the number of students attending each school and the needs of each student. Here is an overview of how the FSF amount is calculated for each school.
It was a tool in the War on Poverty
The War on Poverty was launched on the eve of a turbulent decade. A decade of sustained economic decline spawned a massive federal poverty program. The war in Vietnam and the civil rights movement were largely responsible for shaping poverty policies. Moreover, millions of African Americans had fled the Jim Crow South into the poorest urban areas of the north and west. When the manufacturing industry collapsed, a vast majority of African Americans lived in extreme poverty.
It was a proxy for race politics
The Department of Education was a proxy for race political discourse in government education, according to a study conducted by the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. This study showed that most assigned reading lists at three leading public universities tended to feature works by critical race scholars such as Gloria Ladson-Billings. These scholars were largely opposed to the role of race in government education.