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Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Education

GAO-23-106463 Published: May 03, 2023. Publicly Released: May 10, 2023.
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Fast Facts

Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help the federal government save money, address issues on our High Risk List, and significantly improve government operations.

This letter to the Department of Education outlines 6 open recommendations that it should prioritize. For example, one of these recommendations would help the Department of Education ensure that it's fully protecting the privacy of financial aid recipients and other users of its information systems.

The Department of Education implemented 2 recommendations we identified as a priority last year.

We regularly update priority recommendations here.

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What GAO Found

In June 2022, GAO identified five priority recommendations for the Department of Education. Since then, Education implemented two recommendations by: (1) taking steps to ensure states provide accurate information on changes in special education rights when parents are considering moving their child from public to private school; and (2) clarifying guidance to servicers of federal student loans in the Direct Loan Program to provide more consistent services to borrowers.

In May 2023, GAO identified three additional priority recommendations for Education, bringing the total number to six. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • protecting the investment in higher education, and
  • ensuring the well-being and education of the nation's school-age children.

Education's attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.

Why GAO Did This Study

Priority open recommendations are the GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional and/or executive branch decision-making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015 GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations.

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Charter schoolsHigher educationPrivacyStudent financial aidStudent loansStudents with disabilitiesPhysical disabilitiesHigh-risk issuesCost estimatesAcquisition programs