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FY 2008 Budget Summary
Summary of the 2008 Budget
Elementary and Secondary Education
Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
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Student Financial Assistance
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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)

  2006   2007   2008
Program Administration $411.2   $410.6   $446.9 1
Office for Civil Rights 90.6   90.3   93.8  
Office of the Inspector General 48.5   48.4   53.2  
Student Aid Administration 718.8 2 718.5   708.2  
Other 13.3 3 13.4 3 14.3 3

Full-time equivalent employment (FTE)

  2006   2007   2008
Program Administration 2,120   2,102   2,112  
Office for Civil Rights 630   629   629  
Office of the Inspector General 288   279   293  
Student Aid Administration 1,083 4 1,132 4 1,132 4
Other 32 3 35 3 35 3

   1Includes $17.3 million for the Building Modernization activity.
   2Adjusted for comparability. Includes $600 million in mandatory funds in 2006 for the Federal Direct Student Loans Program account under section 458 of the Higher Education Act.
   3Includes small Federal Credit Administration accounts and S&E activities in program accounts.
   4Adjusted for comparability. Includes 579 FTE in 2006 funded by the Federal Direct Student Loans Program account.
   5Actual FTE usage in 2006; target for 2007 and 2008.

This pie chart shows that 46% of The Department of Education's FY 2008 S&E costs will be for contracts, 40% for personnel costs, 9% for other non-personnel costs, and 5% for overhead (rent and mail).

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:

  • Improving financial performance.

  • Expanding strategies for using human capital.

  • Identifying opportunities for competitive sourcing.

  • Eliminating fraud and error in the student financial assistance programs, and reducing deficiencies in their financial management.

  • Expanding the use of E-Government systems to improve business and communications processes.

  • Focusing on accountability and results, including the integration of program performance and budgeting.

Department Employment

This bar chart shows that since the Department was created in 1980, staffing levels have dropped from 7,528 FTE to 4,201 FTE requested for 2008.

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 Education—An 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 Sciences—An 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 Development—An 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 General—An 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.

This map of the U.S. shows the cities in which the regional and field offices of the Department are located.

Program Administration

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.

Student Aid Administration

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 programs—and safeguarding the interests of both students and Federal taxpayers—is 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.

Management Improvement and Government Reform

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:

Priority: Financial Performance
Goal Accomplishments

Improved financial performance means that the Department will be assured of accurate and relevant financial reporting systems and processes in order to provide policymakers and managers with timely and accurate financial information; that revenues and expenditures are properly accounted for and reported on; and that reports and data produced by financial management systems will aid managers when making program and asset-related decisions.

Management and internal controls will be adopted and enhanced to reduce the risk of errors and permit effective monitoring of programs and processes. Management controls will ensure that the Department's organizational structure, policies, and procedures support its programs so that the programs achieve their intended results; that resources are used in a manner consistent with the Department's mission; and that programs are protected from waste, fraud, and mismanagement. Internal controls will provide reasonable assurance that the Department's operations will be effective and efficient, and that financial reporting will be reliable.

  • Achieved clean opinions on the audit of the Department's 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 financial statements.

  • Implemented Oracle 11i software for the Financial Management Support System to reduce risk and improve management of costs.

  • Developed eGrant initiatives to streamline and automate grants business processes to ease electronic submission of grant applications.

  • Since September 2004, submitted to OMB all FACTS II reports within the first 2 days of the open period.

Priority: Credit Management
Goal Accomplishments

The Department will improve its financial and management information to manage student aid programs effectively. The Department will continue to strengthen financial management and internal controls so that relevant and timely information is available to manage day-to-day operations and provide accountability.

  • Received a clean audit opinion on the FY 2006 financial statements, with no material internal control weaknesses.

  • Awarded a contract for the Integrated Partner Management strategic initiative that will consolidate business process and systems supporting partner eligibility management. (Perot Systems Government Solutions; Fairfax, Virginia)

  • Integrated three new systems into the security architecture infrastructure, that will be used to control access to student aid systems and data, and to provide "single sign-on" to its partners. It will also be the foundation for the E-Gov E-Authentication initiative, eventually reaching 75 million past and present aid recipients.

  • Awarded a contract for the Virtual Data Center, that provides a single computing environment for hosting Title IV systems. Implementation will result in continued high quality technical and operational support of the infrastructure and systems where the Title IV delivery applications reside. (Perot Systems Government Solutions; Fairfax, Virginia)

  • Utilized activity-based costing to measure the success of cost reduction strategies. For example, the unit cost related to the Common Services for Borrowers business functions have shown a decrease since the implementation of the contract. (ACS Education Solutions; Washington, D.C.)

  • Developed a multi-year strategic communications plan to improve customer service by reducing the complexity of services, increasing customer awareness, and promoting customer self-service.

Priority: Using Human Capital
Goal Accomplishments

The Department's human capital strategy is designed to ensure that all human capital management activities are strategically aligned to support our critical mission and human capital challenges.

  • Completed training to address leadership competency gaps.

  • Identified and set competency targets for Department employees.

  • Provided access to over 2,000 e-learning courses through the on-line training system GoLearn.

  • Implemented a new employee awards policy that links cash awards to performance appraisals.

  • Provided training to Department supervisors on the employee rating policy in order to improve standards and accountability.

Priority: Competitive Sourcing
Goal Accomplishments

The Department will identify new opportunities for competitive sourcing in order to augment its capabilities and promote innovation and greater efficiency.

  • Convened competition team and completed preliminary planning for the K-12 Data Collection activity.

  • Convened competition team for Information Resource Management Investment Activities competition.

  • Completed staff training in conducting A-76 competitions.

Priority: E-Government
Goal Accomplishments

To expand electronic Government, the Department will improve the management of its IT investments, protect the integrity and confidentiality of data, improve data management, and increase the use of technology in serving customers.

  • Continued to process grant applications through increased usage of both the e-reader and the system ( used for 78 percent of all grant competitions in 2006).

  • Received OMB approval for the Department's Earned Value Management policy.

  • Developed and implemented online IT security awareness training and other specialized IT training for Department employees.

  • Continued to implement E-Travel, including the implementation of the Online Booking Engine.

  • Ranked eighth of 61 Federal agencies in an August 2006 study by Brown University of the overall quality of E-Government services.

Priority: Integration of Program Performance and Budgeting
Goal Accomplishments

The Department does an excellent job in integrating performance results and budget materials. The primary purposes are to invest limited funds in programs that work and to improve program management.

  • Won the 2006 President's Award for Management Excellence for innovative and exemplary practices under the Integration of Program Performance and Budgeting initiative.

  • Received citations as an exemplar for congressional budget justifications in at least 4 appropriation bills and reports. In addition, Congress directed other agencies in appropriations acts and committee reports to use ED's justifications as a model.

  • Completed 15 new assessments using the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) and 4 reassessments in 2006.

  • Completed PART updates on 89 programs through December 2006.

  • Submitted to OMB information on which paperwork collections are currently covered by EDFacts, the tool through which data collected by the Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN) is accessed.

  • Awarded a $2 million contract for technical assistance on evaluations of small programs.

Priority: Faith-Based and Community Initiative
Goal Accomplishments

The Department will leverage the contributions of community- and faith-based organizations to increase the effectiveness of its programs.

  • Held multiple technical assistance workshops with leaders of community- and faith-based organizations to encourage collaboration with the Department.

  • Identified programs that can be made more competitive for faith-based organizations.

  • Trained State administrators on "equal treatment" regulations which enable faith-based organizations to compete on an equal footing with other organizations for funding by the Department.

Priority: Improper Payments
Goal Accomplishments

The Department will identify and reduce potential improper payments and recover confirmed improper payments where appropriate.

  • Implemented an improper payment corrective action plan with OMB-approved reduction targets in place.

  • Instituted risk assessment plans that identify all susceptible programs.

  • Instituted a measurement plan for risk susceptible programs.

  • Developed a schedule for 2007 activities to reduce the risk of improper payments throughout the Federal Family Education Loan program.

Office for Civil Rights

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.

Office of the Inspector General

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.

Programs Proposed for Elimination  Table of contents  Appendices

For further information contact the ED Budget Service.

This page last modified—February 5, 2007 (mjj).