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 Nations 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.