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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
9/13/1978--Introduced. Department of Education Organization Act - Title I: Findings and Purpose - Declares the purpose of this Act to be to establish an executive department to administer Federal education laws. Provides that no Federal control shall be exercised over curriculum, program of instruction, school personnel, accrediting agencies, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks or other instructional materials. Title II: Establishment of the Department - Establishes an executive department to be known as the Department of Education, with a Secretary of Education as its head. Provides for the appointment by the President with the consent of the Senate of 13 principal officers of such Department. States their functions to include (1) intergovernmental relations; (2) congressional relations; (3) public information; (4) management and budgeting; (5) planning and policy development; and (6) monitoring and assisting public involvement in the development and implementation of departmental programs. Establishes within such department: (1) an Office of Inspector General; (2) a General Counsel; (3) a Research and Development Office; (4) an Elementary and Secondary Education Office; (5) a Postsecondary Education Office; (6) an Office for Civil Rights; (7) a special education and rehabilitation services office; and (8) an overseas dependents office. Establishes an Intergovernmental Advisory Council on Education. Directs such Council to conduct studies and make recommendations for improving the intergovernmental system for developing and carrying out educational policies. Directs that such council shall remain in existence until terminated by Act of Congress. Title III: Transfers of Functions - Transfers to the Secretary from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (1) all functions vested in the Assistant Secretary for Education or in the Education Division of such Department; (2) specified educational functions of the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare; (3) specified functions administered through the Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Randolph-Shepard Act, and all functions of the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under certain sections of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; (4) authority for any advisory committee established by statute under such Department primarily concerned with education; (5) all functions vested in the Institute of Museum Services in such Department; and (6) all functions vested in the Advisory Council on Education Statistics. Transfers to the Secretary of Education all functions of the (1) Secretary of Defense or the Department of Defense regarding schools for overseas dependents of Defense Department personnel; (2) Attorney General, the Department of Justice, or the Administrator of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration regarding certain student loan and grant programs authorized under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968; and (3) Secretary of Housing and Urban Development or the Department of Housing and Urban Development regarding college housing loans under the Housing Act of 1950. States that the effect of any transfer of a function or program from an officer or an agency to the Secretary of Education or the Department of Education under this Act includes any aspect of such function or program vested in a subordinate of such officer or in a component of such agency. Title IV: Administrative Provisions - Authorizes the Secretary to appoint and fix the salary for the Department's employees in accordance with the civil service laws. Allows certain higher level appointments to be made by the Secretary without Civil Service Commission approval if the individual so appointed is transferred to the Department in connection with a transfer of functions under this Act. Provides that personnel working in schools for overseas dependents of Defense Department personnel shall be treated as if employed by such Department for access to Defense Department services and facilities. Authorizes the Secretary to employ the services of experts and consultants as needed. Grants rulemaking authority to the Secretary. Requires such rules to be in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act and specified provisions of the General Education Provisions Act. Requires that each proposed rule of the Department be accompanied by an economic impact statement containing (1) the cost impact of the rule; (2) its effect on productivity, efficiency, and economy; (3) its effect on the improvement of education; (4) the estimated cost of its implementation; (5) its unavoidable adverse economic impact; and (6) alternatives to the proposed rule. Authorizes the Secretary to (1) enter into contracts with public agencies and private persons and organizations; (2) maintain, alter, or discontinue field offices; (3) construct or acquire schools (to the extent operation of schools is authorized by this Act), laboratories, and related facilities, to contract for eating and related facilities, and to provide day care centers; (4) provide and maintain various facilities for employees and their dependents at remote locations; (5) utilize, with their consent, Federal, State, local, or foreign facilities; (6) rent out departmental real property; (7) acquire necessary copyrights and patents; (8) accept and utilize gifts and bequests of real and personal property; (9) transfer funds within the Department if so authorized in an appropriation; and (10) provide technical advice to participants or potential participants in Departmental programs. Authorizes the establishment of a working capital fund without fiscal year limitation for the operation of common administrative services. Requires the Secretary to submit an annual report to the President. Authorizes appropriations necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act. Provides that except where inconsistent with provisions of this Act the General Education Provisions Act shall apply to functions transferred by this Act. Title V: Transitional, Savings, and Conforming Provisions - Redesignates the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare as the Department of Health and Welfare, and the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare as the Secretary of Health and Welfare. Title VI: Effective Date and Interim Appointments - Provides that this Act shall take effect on October 1, 1979. Authorizes the President to make initial interim appointments to the Department of Education under specified conditions.