Following passage and signing of the Free School Law on April 1, 1834, the Secretary of the Commonwealth acted as head of the Common School System until 1837. In that year a separate Department of Schools was created with a Superintendent of Common Schools as its chief officer. In 1873, the title was changed to Superintendent of Public Instruction, and greater responsibilities were assigned to that official and to the Department. In 1969, the name of the Department of Public Instruction was changed to the Department of Education, with the title of Superintendent of Public Instruction changed to the Secretary of Education.
The mission of the department is to academically prepare children and adults to succeed as productive citizens. The department seeks to ensure that the technical support, resources and opportunities are in place for all students, whether children or adults, to receive a high quality education.
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