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Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Education

GAO-24-107296 Published: May 21, 2024. Publicly Released: May 28, 2024.
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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 5 open recommendations that it should prioritize. For example, we recommended that Education help states address financial risks associated with charter school management organizations and improve reporting on restraint and seclusion incidents at the nation's K-12 schools.

Education implemented 1 recommendation we identified as a priority last year. We regularly update priority recommendations here.

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What GAO Found

In May 2023, GAO identified six priority recommendations for the Department of Education. Since then, Education implemented one recommendation by issuing a study on the effectiveness of federal student aid programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to improve student outcomes.

As of May 2024, GAO is not adding any new priority recommendations this year. The five remaining priority 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.

For more information, contact Cindy Brown Barnes at (202) 512-7215 or

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