ARCHIVED INFORMATION -- Fiscal Year 1996 Annual Accountability Report

Profile of the Department of Education

The United States spends more than $500 billion a year on education at the elementary, secondary and postsecondary levels. State, local and private expenditures account for over 90 percent of this spending, and agencies of the federal government contribute less than 10 percent. While education is a national priority, it is clear from these percentages that education is a state responsibility under local control. The Department of Education exists to facilitate and assist state and local governments in meeting the education needs of their communities.

In an exit poll following the 1996 election, education was rated as one of the top four concerns of the voting public. Given the dramatic developments which took place at the Department of Education during fiscal year 1996, the Department is better able to address this concern than ever before. Fiscal year 1996 was a year of continued commitment to a positive school improvement agenda of raising standards, improving teaching, making schools safer and drug-free, preparing students for school-to-career transitions, providing more choice in public education and expanding access to technology in every classroom in America. It was also a year of improvements in the delivery of student aid and in other services to our customers.

Education is and always will be a critical part of our Nation’s success. That is why the Department of Education is working hard to provide the best support possible for students of all ages and abilities, and to educate America into the 21st Century.

In fiscal year 1996, the Department administered $30.6 billion in education funding that was distributed to programs supporting students of all ages. This represents only about 2 percent of the total federal budget. The table on the following page shows how each major education program was funded in fiscal year 1996.
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