Unlike the educational system of many other countries, education in the United States is highly decentralized, and the Federal government and Department of Education are not heavily involved in determining curriculum or educational standards. Rather, the primary function of the United States Department of Education is to administer federal funding programs involving education and to enforce federal educational laws involved with privacy and civil rights. The quality of educational institutions and their degrees is maintained through an informal process known as accreditation which the Department of Education has no direct control over.
A previous Department of Education was created in 1867, but was soon demoted to an Office in 1868. Its creation a century later in 1979 was controversial and opposed by many in the Republican Party, who saw the Department as unwanted Federal bureaucratic intrusion into local affairs. Throughout the 1980s, the abolition of the Department of Education was a part of the Republican Party platform, but several Republican administrations declined to implement this idea, and by the 1990s there was bipartisan support for the continuation of the department.
Office of Federal Student Aid
Office for Civil Rights
Office of Educational Research and Improvement
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students
Office of Postsecondary Education
Office of Special Educational and Rehabilitation Services
Office of Vocational and Adult Education
 (http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/index.html?src=oc)Office of Inspector General
We also provide a variety of detailed budget tables on key aspects of the Department's budget, including the President's Budget Request, Congressional action on appropriations, State allocations, and historical funding levels.
The Department's elementary and secondary programs annually serve more than 14,000 school districts and approximately 56 million students attending some 97,000 public schools and 28,000 private schools.
That said, it is important to point out that education in America is primarily a State and local responsibility, and ED's budget is only a small part of both total national education spending and the overall Federal budget, as we explain in a primer on the Federal role in education.
Her experience in education is varied and includes appointments by former Governors McWherter and Sundquist to the Advisory Council for the Education of Children with Disabilities and by Governor Bredesen to the Tennessee Board of Regents, University of Tennessee Trustees, Education Commission of the States, Southern Regional Educational Board, Jobs Cabinet, and the Children’s Cabinet.
She has testified before the U. Senate Education Subcommittee for K-12 Education and is a member of the USDepartment of Education task force on growth models.
Seivers holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Middle Tennessee State University, a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Tennessee and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Tennessee.
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