A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

This information in this document has been superseded by more recent budget information available elsewhere on this site. This document is for historical purposes only.

President's 1997 Budget
for the
U.S. Department of Education

Released: March 19, 1996


  • Overview of the President's 1997 Budget
  • Totals in the Budget
  • Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
  • Vocational and Adult Education
  • Postsecondary Education
  • Research and Improvement
  • Departmental Management
  • Appendices

    "We've got to give every single American citizen the education that all of us need to compete and win in the new century."

    William J. Clinton
    March 4, 1996

    Overview [Up to TOC]

    The 1997 budget for the Department of Education demonstrates President Clinton's continued commitment to a strong Federal investment in education to ensure that America's children and families are prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

    The 1997 budget reflects three major education priorities:

    1. Helping States and communities maintain the momentum to develop their own comprehensive, effective education reforms.
    2. Increasing State grant support in key areas of education to help schools deal with the highest elementary and secondary school enrollments in history. Nearly 1 million new students will enter America's public and private schools this fall, for a record high enrollment of 52 million.
    3. Keeping the doors open wide to college and other postsecondary education.

    Priority 1: Helping States and communities maintain the momentum to develop their own comprehensive, effective education reforms.

    -- $476 million to help States and local school districts raise academic standards and implement their own comprehensive reform plans through Goals 2000.

    -- $200 million, combined with $200 million from the Department of Labor, to help nearly all States implement their School-to-Work Opportunities systems.

    -- $250 million for a new Technology Literacy Challenge Fund aimed at leveraging State, local, and private sector efforts to provide all students with technology-rich learning environments by the dawn of the next century.

    -- $40 million to enhance public school choice and spur innovation through an expansion of Charter Schools.

    Priority 2: Increasing State grant support in key areas of education to help schools deal with the highest elementary and secondary school enrollments in history.

    -- $7.2 billion for Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies, up $467 million or 7 percent over 1995, to raise the academic achievement of 7 million disadvantaged students.

    -- $540 million for Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities, up $74 million or 16 percent over 1995, to help end violence and eliminate drugs in 14,575 school districts serving 40 million students.

    -- $610 million for Eisenhower Professional Development, up $359 million over 1995, to provide intensive teacher training opportunities in core academic subjects to an estimated 750,000 educators.

    -- $3.3 billion for Special Education to maintain Federal support for 7 percent of the excess costs of educating almost 6 million children with disabilities.

    -- $290 million for Adult Education State Grants, up $38 million or nearly 15 percent over 1995, to help 4 million adult Americans improve their literacy skills.

    -- $100 million for Immigrant Education, doubling the funds available to help States respond to the educational needs of growing numbers of immigrant students.

    Priority 3: Keeping the doors open wide to college and other postsecondary education.

    -- Increasing the Pell Grant maximum award to $2,700, up $360 or 15 percent from the 1995 level of $2,340, to provide grant aid to 3.8 million low- and middle-income students.

    -- $679 million for Work-Study, up $62 million or 10 percent, to begin expanding the number of students who earn some of their college costs from 700,000 to 1 million over the next five years.

    -- $500 million for TRIO, up $37 million or 8 percent, to provide outreach and other special support services to encourage 682,000 disadvantaged students to enter and complete postsecondary education.

    -- $130 million for the new Presidential Honors Scholarships program, which would provide a $1,000 scholarship to every high school student graduating in the top 5 percent of his or her class.

    -- Ensuring that postsecondary institutions are free to choose whether Direct Student Loans or Federal Family Education Loans best meet their needs and the needs of their students.

    -- A new Tuition Tax Deduction permitting families to deduct from their taxable income up to $5,000 (growing to $10,000 by 1999) in postsecondary education expenses each year.

    The 1997 budget also continues the Administration's longstanding efforts to eliminate unnecessary or duplicative programs, streamline Department management, and improve service to students and their families, schools, and postsecondary institutions.

    Totals in the Budget [Up to TOC]

    The President's budget provides a total of $30.2 billion for the Department of Education in 1997, including $25.6 billion in discretionary budget authority and $4.6 billion for mandatory programs. Comparison with 1996 discretionary budget authority was not possible as this document went to print because Congress had not yet completed a 1996 appropriations bill funding the Department. All discretionary budget authority comparisons in this document are to the 1995 enacted levels. The budget provides $1.1 billion, or 4.4 percent, more discretionary budget authority than was available for 1995.

    Mandatory budget authority, which does not require annual Congressional appropriations action and for which 1996 data are available, is estimated to fall from $6.2 billion in 1996 to $4.6 billion in 1997. This decrease of $1.6 billion, or almost 26 percent, results primarily from declining interest rates that are expected to reduce costs in the student loan programs. Declining mandatory costs have helped to lower total Department budget authority by $2.2 billion, or 6.7 percent, from the 1995 level of $32.4 billion.

    The following table shows totals for the Department, including the totals provided in the latest House and Senate fiscal year 1996 appropriations bills:

                                 (Budget Authority in Millions)                            1995      1996       1996       1997                          Actual     House     Senate     Request                          ------    -------    -------    ------- Discretionary.......    $24,517    $22,564/1  $22,813    $25,603  Discretionary without  Pell Grants (non-add)   18,370     17,141     17,999     19,684  Mandatory...........      7,921      7,130      6,585      4,639                          ------    -------    -------    -------      Total..........     32,438     29,695     29,397     30,242  
    Footnote to table

    /1 Includes $1.4 billion contingent upon the enactment of legislation that addresses the specific amounts in the contingency and that makes additional room in the funding ceilings of the Appropriations Committees for their availability.


    The 1997 budget for elementary and secondary education provides significant increases aimed at helping States and communities implement their own comprehensive education reforms. The budget also maintains Federal support in key areas such as improving basic skills for disadvantaged and limited English proficient children, keeping schools safe and drug-free, and improving the quality of the Nation's classroom teachers.

    The budget includes the following:


    The budget for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services continues the Administration's commitment to promoting the empowerment and independence of Americans with disabilities.

    The 1997 request for Special Education provides increases needed to maintain the Federal share of the costs of educating 5.8 million children with disabilities while supporting a reauthorization proposal aimed at improving educational results for these children.

    For Rehabilitation Services and Disability Research, the budget provides increases that will enhance employment and independent living opportunities for over 1 million adults with disabilities.

    For the American Printing House for the Blind, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and Gallaudet University, the budget maintains funding at approximately the 1995 levels.

    The 1997 request includes:


    The Administration remains committed to providing the leadership and financial support needed to help students and workers obtain the skills they need to prosper in this era of rapid technological change and international economic competitiveness. The 1997 budget for Vocational Education supports the GI Bill for America's Workers, which would consolidate overlapping, outdated Federal job training programs into a system that better meets the lifelong learning needs of the Nation's workforce. The request also provides a significant increase for Adult Education to help adult Americans acquire the literacy skills needed to succeed as workers, citizens, and parents.

    The 1997 budget includes the following specific proposals:


    For postsecondary education, the President's 1997 budget supports a comprehensive and complementary package of grant, loan, and work-study opportunities aimed at ensuring that all deserving students can afford a college education. The request would raise the total aid available for postsecondary education and training from $35.2 billion in 1995 to $41.5 billion in 1997, an increase of $6.3 billion or 18 percent. The number of students receiving assistance would rise to 7.3 million, an increase of almost 300,000 students. The Administration's proposals also promote hard work in high school and college by rewarding excellence in achievement.

    The request includes the following:


    The Department's research and improvement programs help build knowledge about what works in education and stimulate improvements in educational policy and practice, thus providing essential support for the reform of American schools.

    The 1997 budget for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement would support five new national research institutes, the national education dissemination system, and the National Center for Education Statistics. The budget also would support a number of direct grant programs designed to advance or demonstrate nationally significant strategies for improving teaching and learning and aiding school reform.

    The request includes a major new initiative that would leverage substantial new investments in computer equipment, the development of educational software, and the training of teachers in the use of educational technology.

    The budget contains the following specific proposals:


    The request for Departmental Management supports the effective administration of the Department's programs, efforts to ensure compliance with the Nation's civil rights laws regarding educational access and opportunity, and activities aimed at preventing fraud and abuse in Federal education programs.

    The 1997 budget request supports the continued effort of the Department of Education to transform itself into a high-performance, customer-focused organization. The Department is accomplishing this by reducing regulatory requirements and administrative paperwork, reengineering work processes so that the focus is on customer service, developing performance indicators to measure success, and using cross-cutting management teams to address problems within the Department.

    The Department is ahead of schedule in reaching its goal of reducing staff by 12 percent by the year 2000 due to attrition and to retirements encouraged by buyout incentives. The Department's leadership is redeploying staff to its most pressing priorities, such as School-to-Work, the Technology Initiative, and the "Gateway to ED" program, which is designed to provide the Department's customers a single point of contact for program and grant information. Net default costs in the student loan programs have declined from $1.7 billion in 1992 to $0.5 billion in 1995, as a result of reducing the default rate from 22 percent to 12 percent and increasing collections from $1.0 billion to $1.9 billion.

    The 1997 budget request for Federal administration includes a total of $506 million in discretionary budget authority, which represents about 2 percent of the total Department discretionary budget. In addition, the Department will use $355 million in permanent budget authority to pay the Federal costs of administering the Direct Student Loan program and to improve overall management of the student financial aid programs, which make available over $40 billion annually in grants and loans to more than 7 million postsecondary students. No policy for payment of guaranty agency administrative cost allowances, which could total up to $136 million in 1997, had been established prior to the release of the 1997 budget. The request includes a ceiling of 4,613 FTE for the Department in 1997, compared to 4,750 FTE in 1996 and 4,816 FTE in 1995.

    Highlights of the request include:

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    Last update: October 26, 2001 (mjj )

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