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Tracking the Funds: Specific Fiscal Year 2022 Provisions for Department of Education

GAO-22-105909 Published: Sep 20, 2022. Publicly Released: Sep 20, 2022.
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Fast Facts

As part of FY22 appropriations, Members of Congress could request to designate a certain amount of federal funding for specific projects in their communities.

While agencies often have discretion over how they award funds, Congress has directed them to distribute these funds to designated recipients. We're tracking the funds to help ensure transparency.

The Department of Education's FY22 appropriations included $392.2 million for 473 of these projects.

This report looks at when Education plans to distribute the funds and how it plans to ensure they're spent properly.

We're also tracking these funds across government and at 17 other agencies.

Department of Education: Where did the FY 2022 funding go?

A U.S. map with states colored different shades of green that represent project funding amounts.

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What GAO Found

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 appropriated $392.2 million to the Department of Education for 473 projects at the request of Members of Congress. The act includes specific provisions that designate an amount of funds for a particular recipient to use for a specific project. These provisions are called "Congressionally Directed Spending" in the U.S. Senate and "Community Project Funding" in the House of Representatives.

GAO described, among other things, information about the intended uses for these funds, the recipients to whom they were designated, and when Education expects recipients will have access to the funds:

The intended uses of these funds are to support a variety of education efforts from early childhood to higher education. Examples of projects include programs to promote literacy, science, and mathematics in and out of school.

The designated recipients of these funds are mostly higher education and other nonprofit organizations in 47 states and territories, including the District of Columbia. Funding ranged from $14,000 to $50 million, with over 93 percent of projects receiving less than $5 million per project.

Education plans to obligate funds by September 30, 2022, and has developed timelines for when designated recipients must complete their projects.

Why GAO Did This Study

The joint explanatory statement accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 includes a provision for GAO to review agencies' implementation of Community Project Funding/Congressionally Directed Spending.

For more information, contact Kathryn A. Larin (202) 512-7215 or

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Audit objectivesDiscretionary grantsEducational standardsGrant programsHigher educationInternal controlsSecondary educationFederal spendingAppropriated fundsUse of funds