A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Summary February 5, 2007
Section IV. Departmental Management
(BA in millions)
Full-time equivalent employment (FTE)
The 2008 budget request for Salaries and Expenses (S&E) will pay the costs of staff, overhead, contracts, and other activities needed to administer and monitor the Department's educational assistance programs and provide more than $90 billion in grants and loans to more than 11 million postsecondary students and parents.
The Department is requesting $1.32 billion for its discretionary S&E budget in 2008, an increase of $35 million over the 2007 level. This includes $522 million for payroll costs, which reflects the 3 percent proposed Governmentwide pay raise in 2008 as well as employee benefit increases. The total payroll increase accounts for approximately $23.9 million of the total increase requested.
The non-personnel costs for the administrative accounts cover such items as travel, rent, mail, telephones, utilities, printing, information technology (IT), contractual services, equipment, supplies, and other Departmental services. The total request for non-personnel activities in 2008 is $794 million.
Department administrative costs continue to constitute a small fraction of the total education budget. For example, even with the increase requested for 2008, the discretionary administrative budget would be approximately 2 percent of the Department's total discretionary appropriation and less than 1 percent of all grants and loans made by the Department last year.
The 2008 budget request for salaries and expenses supports Department initiatives designed to improve Government performance through the successful implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, the American Competitiveness Initiative, and the goals outlined in the President's Management Agenda.
To carry out the President's Management Agenda, the Department's S&E budget request places a heavy emphasis on the following high priority items:
The 2008 staffing request of 4,201 FTE, an increase of 24 FTE from the planned 2007 level, is 44 percent below the level of 7,528 FTE when the Department was created in 1980. The additional 24 FTE in 2008 are for the following activities:
Office of Elementary and Secondary EducationAn increase of 6 FTE is requested in 2008. The additional FTE are for two primary purposes: 1) to administer high priority programs and initiatives related to the No Child Left Behind Act and the American Competitiveness Initiative; and 2) to enhance grant monitoring.
Institute of Education SciencesAn increase of 3 FTE is requested in 2008 to 1) conduct a new National Center for Education Statistics longitudinal study designed to provide detailed, ongoing information about the educational experiences of middle and high school students and 2) to assist with essential National Assessment of Educational Progress activities related to assessments at the 12th grade level in reading and mathematics.
Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy DevelopmentAn increase of 1 FTE is requested in 2008 to enable the Budget Service to devote additional time to Department staff workload and administrative contract analysis. The Budget Service will also serve as the Managing Partner for the Budget Execution and Formulation Governmentwide Line of Business exercise.
Office of the Inspector GeneralAn increase of 14 FTE to conduct audits of Department programs, high-risk grantees, and Departmental contracts; and to perform oversight of non-Federal audits.
Despite steadily reducing its workforce, the Department has maintained and even improved its operational performance, in part by relying heavily on automation and private contractors to handle such functions as awarding grants, processing student aid applications, and providing grants and loans to more than 11 million college students. Already the smallest of the Cabinet agencies, the Department streamlines administrative tasks and privatizes functions that can be handled more efficiently by outside contractors. A prime example of this management approach is the effective use of contracts to operate the Federal Direct Student Loan program.
As shown in the following chart, staff is divided among the Washington, D.C. headquarters, 10 regional offices, and 10 field offices. Approximately 75 percent of the employees are assigned to headquarters, and 25 percent are assigned to the regional and field offices. Most regional and field office employees are in the Federal Student Aid office, the Office of the Inspector General, and the Office for Civil Rights. Regional and field office activities include review of lenders, institutions, and guaranty agencies participating in the student financial aid programs, as well as collections on defaulted student loans; audits and investigations of Department programs and operations; and civil rights complaint investigations and compliance reviews.
The Program Administration account provides administrative support for most programs and offices in the Department. The 2008 request totals $446.9 million, an increase of $36.4 million from the 2007 level. The budget request includes $268.2 million for personnel compensation and benefits to support 2,112 FTE, an increase of $12.4 million from the 2007 level.
Non-personnel costs cover such items as travel, rent, mail, telephones, utilities, printing, information technology (IT), contractual services, equipment, supplies, and other Departmental services. The total request for non-personnel activities in 2008 is $178.7 million, an increase of $24 million from 2007. The increase is primarily for the renovation of the Mary E. Switzer building in Washington, D.C., as directed by the General Services Administration, and IT upgrades to enhance financial management, telecommunications, and data collection capabilities.
In fiscal year 2008, the Department of Education will administer over $90 billion in new Federal student aid grants and loans to more than 11 million students and parents, and consolidate an estimated $37 billion in loans made in earlier years. In awarding this aid, the Department and its contractors will interact on a daily basis with over 6,000 schools; 3,200 lenders; 35 guaranty agencies; and dozens of accrediting agencies, participants in the secondary market for student loans, and other organizations. Ensuring the smooth operation of the complex array of financial transactions and participants involved in the student financial aid programsand safeguarding the interests of both students and Federal taxpayersis perennially the Department's greatest management challenge and one of its highest administrative priorities. Primary responsibility for administering the Federal student financial assistance programs rests with Federal Student Aid (FSA) and the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE).
In total, the account represents 54 percent of the Department's total administrative budget. The request provides $708.2 million to administer student aid programs in 2008, a decrease of $10.3 million from the 2007 level. Of the total request, $139.3 million is for staff pay and benefits for 1,132 FTE and $480.7 million is for information technology contracts, primarily for the processing of student aid grant and loan applications; payments to students, schools, guaranty agencies, and lenders; and to collect defaulted loans.
To carry out the President's Management Agenda and to achieve its Strategic Plan goal of achieving management excellence, the Department is focusing on the following high priority items:
The Department's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) investigates discrimination complaints, conducts compliance reviews, monitors corrective action plans, and provides technical assistance on civil rights issues. The 2008 request for OCR is $93.8 million, an increase of $3.5 million over the 2007 level. About $73 million of the OCR budget is for staff pay and benefits for its 629 FTE; the remaining $20.8 million covers overhead costs as well as computer equipment, data analysis and reporting activities, travel, staff training, and other contractual services.
The requested funds will ensure essential program support to resolve complaints of discrimination filed by the public and to ensure that institutions receiving Federal financial assistance are in compliance with the civil rights laws enforced by OCR. The request also will provide resources for technical assistance to recipients, parents, and students to informally address civil rights concerns and to prevent problems from arising in the future. OCR provides extensive information on its Internet site, including self-assessment materials for recipients, data on school characteristics, brochures, and other information for the public.
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducts audits and investigations of the Department's programs and activities to help ensure accountability for taxpayer-provided funds and to identify management improvements. The 2008 request for the OIG is $53.2 million, an increase of $4.8 million over the 2007 level. Approximately 70 percent of this amount, or $37.1 million, is for personnel compensation and benefits to support a staffing level of 293 FTE.
The non-personnel request of $16.1 million includes $2 million to contract for the mandated annual audit of the Department's financial statements. The scope of the audit will include the examination and analysis of account balances, review of applicable financial systems, and evaluation of internal controls and compliance with significant laws and regulations.
For further information contact the ED Budget Service.
This page last modifiedFebruary 5, 2007 (mjj).