Education Act 1494

National Defense Education Act

For the nitrosamine, see N-Nitrosodiethylamine

The National Defense Education Act of 1958 (NDEA) (Public Law 85-864) is a United States Act of Congress, passed in 1958 providing aid to education in the United States at all levels, both public and private.

It was prodded by early Soviet success in the Space Race, notably the launch of the first-ever satellite, Sputnik, the year before.


Influenced by the Soviet launch of the satellite Sputnik on October 4, 1957. The launch shook the American belief that the USA was superior in Math and Science to all other countries. The citizens of the United States feared that schools of Russia were superior to American schools, and Congress reacted by adding the act to take US schools up to speed.


The NDEA was instituted primarily to stimulate the advancement of education in science, mathematics, and modern foreign languages; but it has also provided aid in other areas, including technical education, area studies, geography, English as a second language, counseling and guidance, school libraries and librarianship, and educational media centers. The Act provides institutions of higher education with 90% of capital funds for low-interest loans to students. NDEA also gives federal support for improvement and change in elementary and secondary education. The Act contains statutory prohibitions of federal direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution.


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