Background & Analysis

The Federal Education Budget Project’s background and analysis pages provide detailed information on federal PreK-12 and higher education programs and spending.

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Learn about the federal budget process and federal education programs below.

Education in the Federal Budget

Federal education programs account for a relatively small but significant share of the total federal budget. The fiscal year 2014 federal budget request from President Obama totaled $3.8 trillion. Of this amount, 33 percent was discretionary funding, which is subject to the annual appropriations process whereby Congress determines funding levels each year through legislation. The remaining 66 percent of funding was mandatory spending, which is not subject to the annual appropriations process and includes entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Read more about Education in the Federal Budget...

School Finance

America spends over $550 billion a year on public elementary and secondary education in the United States. On average, school districts spend over $12,000 for each individual student, although per pupil expenditures vary greatly among states, school districts and individual schools. Spending also differs among school districts in the same state and among schools within the same district.Read more about School Finance...

Federal Education Programs

We provide background and analytic information on many federal education programs, with a particular focus on finance. This information is organized into seven sections:

Federal Education Tax Benefits

In addition to loans and grants, the federal government offers a series of tax benefits for education. Most of these benefits are for students and their families to reduce the cost of higher education, but the federal government also offers a few benefits related to K-12 education. Read more about Federal Education Tax Benefits...

Published Apr 21 2014 15:29