Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Education's Women's Educational Equity Act (WEEA) Program, focusing on: (1) what interventions were implemented under WEEA between 1986 and 1991, by whom, for what audiences, and at what costs; (2) whether these activities promoted educational equity for women and reflected legislative requirements; and (3) how changes in program administration affected the ability of the WEEA Program to achieve its legislative purpose.
Matter for Congressional Consideration
|Congress should weigh whatever benefits it perceives from the various funding requirements--such as the special consideration for applicants who have not received assistance under WEEA or under part C of title IX of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the requirements for a geographical distribution of awards--against any drawbacks of those provisions. In this small program, the multiplicity of funding requirements may make the grant award process too mechanistic and may reduce the likelihood that higher scoring applications would be funded.||Changes in the WEEA legislation require that the Department of Education establish new regulations regarding funding to reflect revised priorities.|
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Education||1. The Secretary of Education should revisit the fundamental goals and strategies of the WEEA Program. The doubling of the WEEA appropriation makes it particularly important to steer resources away from local delivery of direct services and toward the broader elimination of inequitable policies and practices that may otherwise affect future generations of girls and women.|
|Department of Education||2. The Secretary of Education should take steps to ensure that the WEEA Program is supported by adequate evaluation of funded projects and sufficient administrative support.|