20 USC 1232a: Prohibition against Federal control of education
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20 USC 1232a: Prohibition against Federal control of education Text contains those laws in effect on June 23, 2024

§1232a. Prohibition against Federal control of education

No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system, or to require the assignment or transportation of students or teachers in order to overcome racial imbalance.

(Pub. L. 90–247, title IV, §438, formerly §422, as added Pub. L. 91–230, title IV, §401(a)(10), Apr. 13, 1970, 84 Stat. 169 ; renumbered §432 and amended Pub. L. 92–318, title III, §301(a)(1), title VII, §717(b), June 23, 1972, 86 Stat. 326 , 369; Pub. L. 94–482, title IV, §404(b), Oct. 12, 1976, 90 Stat. 2230 ; renumbered §438, Pub. L. 103–382, title II, §212(b)(1), Oct. 20, 1994, 108 Stat. 3913 .)

Editorial Notes

Prior Provisions

A prior section 438 of Pub. L. 90–247 was renumbered section 444, and is classified to section 1232g of this title.

Another prior section 438 of Pub. L. 90–247 was renumbered section 448, and was classified to section 1233g of this title prior to repeal by Pub. L. 103–382.


1976-Pub. L. 94–482 substituted provisions prohibiting any applicable program from exercising Federal control of education, for provisions prohibiting such specific Federal laws as the Act of Sept. 30, 1950, National Defense Education Act of 1958, Act of Sept. 23, 1950, Higher Education Facilities Act of 1963, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, Higher Education Act of 1965, International Education Act of 1966, Emergency School Aid Act, and the Vocational Education Act of 1963 from exercising such Federal control.

1972-Pub. L. 92–318, §717(b), inserted "the Emergency School Aid Act;" after "the International Education Act of 1966;".

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date of 1976 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–482 effective 30 days after Oct. 12, 1976, except either as specifically otherwise provided or, if not so specifically otherwise provided, effective July 1, 1976, for those amendments providing for authorization of appropriations, see section 532 of Pub. L. 94–482, set out as a note under section 1001 of this title.

Executive Documents

Ex. Ord. No. 13791. Enforcing Statutory Prohibitions on Federal Control of Education

Ex. Ord. No. 13791, Apr. 26, 2017, 82 F.R. 20427, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to restore the proper division of power under the Constitution between the Federal Government and the States and to further the goals of, and to ensure strict compliance with, statutes that prohibit Federal interference with State and local control over education, including section 103 of the Department of Education Organization Act (DEOA) (20 U.S.C. 3403), sections 438 and 447 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), as amended (20 U.S.C. 1232a and 1232j), and sections 8526A, 8527, and 8529 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (20 U.S.C. 7906a, 7907, and 7909), it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It shall be the policy of the executive branch to protect and preserve State and local control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, and personnel of educational institutions, schools, and school systems, consistent with applicable law, including ESEA, as amended by ESSA, and ESEA's restrictions related to the Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Sec. 2. Review of Regulations and Guidance Documents. (a) The Secretary of Education (Secretary) shall review all Department of Education (Department) regulations and guidance documents relating to DEOA, GEPA, and ESEA, as amended by ESSA.

(b) The Secretary shall examine whether these regulations and guidance documents comply with Federal laws that prohibit the Department from exercising any direction, supervision, or control over areas subject to State and local control, including:

(i) the curriculum or program of instruction of any elementary and secondary school and school system;

(ii) school administration and personnel; and

(iii) selection and content of library resources, textbooks, and instructional materials.

(c) The Secretary shall, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, rescind or revise any regulations that are identified pursuant to subsection (b) of this section as inconsistent with statutory prohibitions. The Secretary shall also rescind or revise any guidance documents that are identified pursuant to subsection (b) of this section as inconsistent with statutory prohibitions. The Secretary shall, to the extent consistent with law, publish any proposed regulations and withdraw or modify any guidance documents pursuant to this subsection no later than 300 days after the date of this order.

Sec. 3. Definition. The term "guidance document" means any written statement issued by the Department to the public that sets forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory, or technical issue or an interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue, including Dear Colleague letters, interpretive memoranda, policy statements, manuals, circulars, memoranda, pamphlets, bulletins, advisories, technical assistance, and grants of applications for waivers.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Donald J. Trump.