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

  • Budget Office
    • FY 2020 President’s Budget Request
    • Budget Tables
  • Annual Reports
  • Strategic Plan
  • Open Government Initiative
  • More…

What We Do

  • The Federal Role in Education
  • Mission
  • An Overview of the U.S. Department of Education
  • ED Initiatives
  • ED Programs
  • Recursos en español


  • ED Publications Online
  • Order ED Publications
  • Research Publications and Reports
  • Education Resources Information Center (ERIC)

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

  • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Information page
  • ESEA Flexibility: Information about flexibility from certain No Child Left Behind requirements that ED is offering to states.
  • Text of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by ESSA and the National Defense Authorization Act, 2017:
     Introductory materials — Title I — Title II — Title III — Title IV — Title V — Title VI — Title VII — Title VIII
  • Text of No Child Left Behind Act: For certain ESEA programs, the requirements of NCLB apply through the 2016-2017 school year.
  • Guidance and Regulations

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

  • Overview
  • Guidance for Students
  • Guidance for Parents
  • Regulations

Civil Rights

IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)

  • IDEA Website
  • Text of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act(PDF, 529KB)

WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act)

  • WIOA Information Page
  • Text of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act

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

  • Text of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (PDF, 505KB)

Higher Education Act

Regulations and Rulemaking