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The Department has responsibilites for public and non-public elementary and secondary schools. It administers state and federal aid, ensures compliance with state and federal laws and regulations, oversees student transportation, and directs education programs for adults and for persons who are handicapped, disadvantaged or foreign-born. It is comprised of four divisions: Field Services, Finance, Learning Supports and Specialized Services, and Teaching and Learning. It also oversees numerous boards, offices, and commissions.

The Department was established in 1945, merging the functions of the Commissioner of Education, the State Board of Education, the Board of Regents, and the Department of Public Instruction. It was not included among the thirteen departments established under the Constitution of 1947, but was re-established as an executive department in 1950.

Authorizing law(s) and reorganization plans: Chapter 51 of the Laws of 1945; Chapter 254 of the Laws of 1950.


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