ARCHIVED INFORMATION -- Annual Accountability Report Fiscal Year 1995

Profile of the U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education had its beginnings in 1867 with a budget of $15,000 and three employees to provide information to states to help them establish efficient school systems. This role has continued into and throughout this century and remains an important part of Education. As we approach the next century, the Department's support for learners in America remains a critical part of our Nation's success.

Education is a national priority as well as a state responsibility under local control. The nation spends more than $500 billion a year on education at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels. State, local, and private expenditures account for about 90 percent of this spending, while the Federal government contributes about ten percent.

In Fiscal Year 1995, the Department administered $33 billion in education funding that was distributed to programs supporting students of all ages. This represents only about 2% of the total Federal budget. The Department of Education has six important areas of responsibility:

What Does the Country Get for Spending 2% of the Federal Budget on Education?

  • The Department's elementary and secondary education programs annually serve about 15,000 local school districts and almost 50 million students attending approximately 84,000 public and 24,000 private schools

  • Approximately 7 million postsecondary students receive grant, loan, and/or work study assistance each year through Department programs, which is about 1 out of 2 college students

  • About 4 out of 5 disadvantaged elementary and secondary school students get extra help from the Department to learn the basics

  • The Department assists 4 million adults annually to become literate and upgrade their skills


                WHERE DO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION DOLLARS GO?         TYPES OF RECIPIENTS      -------------------          Grants to Local       Education Agencies =============================> 36.3%           Grants to State       Education Agencies ===========> 12.6%          Grants and Loans      to College Students =============> 14.8%       Grants and Loans to          Institutions of ==============> 15.2%         Higher Education   Loan Subsidies to Banks =============> 14.0%                      Other ======>* 7.2%                          +--------+--------+-------+-------+--------+                          0        10       20      30      40       50                                             PERCENT 

* Multiple types of recipients including Indian tribes and non-profit agencies. Based on Department of Education Budget Outlays for Fiscal Year 1995 by Type of Recipient Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics 1995
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