In the Department of Education, discretionaryspending constitutes approximately 85 percentof the budget and includes nearly all programs,the major exceptions being student loans andrehabilitative services. Although spending forentitlement programs is usually a function of theauthorizing statutes creating the programs and isnot generally affected by appropriations laws,spending for discretionary programs is decidedin the annual appropriations process. MostDepartment programs are discretionary.Education in the United States is primarily astate and local responsibility. States,communities, and public and privateorganizations establish schools and colleges,develop curricula, and determine requirementsfor enrollment and graduation. The structure of education finance in America reflects thispredominantly state and local role. It isestimated that roughly $1 trillion will be spentnationwide on education at all levels for theschool year 2007–2008, with Department of Education expenditures, as well as loans andother aid made available as a result of theDepartment’s student financial aid programs.The Department’s FY 2007 appropriations of more than $67 billion represents about 2.4percent of the federal government’s $2.8 trillionFY 2007 budget. The federal contributionincludes education expenditures not only fromthe Department of Education, but also fromother federal agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services’ Head StartProgram and the Department of Agriculture’sSchool Lunch Program.
Investment in Human Capital
Office of Federal Student Aid.
The Office of Federal Student Aid administers need-basedfinancial assistance programs for studentspursuing postsecondary education and makesavailable federal grants, direct loans, guaranteedloans, and work-study funding to eligibleundergraduate and graduate students.
Office of Elementary and SecondaryEducation.
The Office of Elementary andSecondary Education provides leadership,technical assistance, and financial support tostate and local educational agencies for themaintenance and improvement of preschool,elementary, and secondary education. Financialassistance programs support services forchildren in high-poverty schools, institutions forneglected and delinquent children, homelesschildren, certain Native American children,children of migrant families, and children wholive on or whose parents work on federalproperty. Funding is also provided to increasethe academic achievement of students byensuring that all teachers are highly qualified toteach.
Office of Special Education andRehabilitative Services.
The Office of SpecialEducation and Rehabilitative Services supportsstate and local programs that assist in educatingchildren, youth, and adults with special needs toincrease their level of employment, productivity,independence, and integration into thecommunity. Funding is also provided forresearch to improve the quality of their lives.
Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools.
TheOffice of Safe and Drug-Free Schools supportsefforts to create safe and violence-free schools,respond to crises, prevent drug and alcoholabuse, ensure the health and well-being of students, and teach students good citizenship andcharacter. Special character and civic educationinitiatives are funded to reach those in state andlocal correctional institutions. Grants emphasizecoordinated, collaborative responses to developand maintain safe, disciplined, and drug-freelearning environments.
Office of Innovation and Improvement.
TheOffice of Innovation and Improvement makesstrategic investments in educational practicesthrough grants to states, schools, and communityand nonprofit organizations. The office leads
FY 2007 Performance and Accountability Report—U.S. Department of Education