The Education Department was first established in 1970. In his 1993 State of the State Address, Governor Carlson stated his intention: "We are proposing to create a new department - the Minnesota Department of Children and Education Services - to address the needs of the total child, from infancy through the teenage years." (see page 7).
In 1994, bills were introduced in both bodies, but saw little (if any) action. 1995 Laws of Minnesota, First Spec. Sess. Chap. 3, Art. 16 (HF4), took functions of the Education Department and merged them with others to form the Department of Children, Families and Learning. The legislation was effective October 1, 1995.
In 2003, Governor Pawlenty as a symbol of his intention to fundamentally change the way education was working in Minnesota - and as part of larger reorganization efforts - announced his intention to shorten the title of the Department of Children, Families and Learning to its former name: the Minnesota Department of Education. (2003 Laws of MN, Chapter 130, Section 13, SF296)