The Mercatus Center at George Mason University just published a really helpful overview of the role of the federal government in education.

Reading, Writing, and Regulations: A Survey of the Expanding Federal Role in Elementary and Secondary Education Policy by Rhodes College economics professor Courtney A. Collins examines the history of federal education laws and regulations, focusing on the latter half of the 20th century.  Indeed, passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965 initiated a new era of federal intervention in public education, an area that had been considered a state responsibility since the Founding Era.

Here is one of the many interesting (and revealing) graphs from the report:

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