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Federal Aids to Education

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Download Special Report No. 14

Special Report No. 14


The Federal budget for the fiscal year 1966 calls for “increased Federal support for education.” Administrative budget expenditures for education programs in the coming fiscal year are projected at almost $2 .7 billion. This represents an increase of $1.2 billion—or more than 75 percent—over the current year.

As recently as fiscal 1960, Federal expenditures for education totaled less than a billion dollars—$886 million to be exact. Between the fiscal years 1956 and 1966 Federal spending in support of education at all levels will have increased more than seven and a half times, from $343 million to $2 .7 billion.

About $360 million of the projected increase in spending for education in fiscal 1966 will be for new aid-to-education programs enacted by the last (88th) Congress. These programs included aids for college facilities, additional Federal loans and fellowships for students enrolled in higher education, increased assistance for the training of physicians, dentists, and nurses, and additional Federal support for vocational training.

Another $600 million of the projected increase in administrative budget expenditures for the support of education in fiscal 1966 is for new programs—providing assistance to elementary and secondary schools as well as higher education—proposed for enactment this year. Legislation to implement the $1.3 billion elementary and secondary school aid proposals has already been enacted (Public Law 89-10). Many Washington observers also predict enactment this year of the $260 million higher education aid bill now under consideration.

In view of these major new aid-to-education programs and proposals, it is of interest to examine the scope and direction of Federal support for education over recent years, and to consider these new programs in relationship to the purposes for which Federal funds have been provided heretofore. While it is impossible in this report to provide all of the details, or to go into many of the important issues which may be involved, the text and tabulations which follow seek to provide some of the basic facts about existing Federal education programs, and the place of the proposed new Federal aids in the over-all picture.