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Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is the administrative arm of the State Board of Education. It is primarily a service agency that works with educators, legislators, government agencies, community leaders and citizens to maintain a strong public education system. Through its statewide school-improvement activities and regulatory functions, the Department strives to assure that all citizens have access to high-quality public education. DESE does not regulate, monitor or accredit private, parochial or home schools.

The Department’s responsibilities range from early childhood to adult education services. The Department employs about 1,700 people throughout the state and has a total budget of about $5.4 billion. About 96 percent of the budget consists of state and federal funds that are distributed to local school districts and other agencies.