EPI's weekly illustration of education data trends — April 5, 2017

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How the US Department of Education Spent its Funds in FY 2017


In the current fiscal year of FY 2017 (which ends September 30, 2017), the US Department of Education expended $87 billion dollars in taxpayer funds on a variety of programs. In addition, they department also received revenues from student loans and other funds that results in a net budget of approximately $67 billion.

As illustrated below, 86 percent of all federal funds can be lumped into two categories: Special Education and Related Programs ($32 billion or 37 percent) and Student Financial Aid ($43 billion or 49 percent). As the Trump Administration begins to talk about significant cuts government wide, including to the US Department of Education, the chart below shows that it will ultimately be difficult to cut Department funding in any meaningful way. Unless they wish to leave both students with disabilities and students with financial aid hanging, the only other cuts are really in small, almost boutique programs, which will make an insignificant budget difference.


SOURCE: EPI analysis of US Department of Education Budget Data.