What the GAO found

In April 2019, GAO identified eight priority open recommendations for the Department of Education (Education). Since then, Education has implemented three of those recommendations by: (1) analyzing civil rights data by school types and groups to better understand the issues and patterns of disparities in K-12 schools; (2) take steps to eliminate recertification loopholes for borrowers in federal income-contingent student loan repayment plans; and (3) improve information security for students receiving financial aid.

In April 2020, GAO identified an additional priority open recommendation for education, bringing the total number to six. These recommendations relate to three areas:

  • protect investment in higher education;
  • ensure the welfare and education of the nation’s school-aged children; and
  • improve cybersecurity. Continued attention by the education sector to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.

Continued attention by the education sector to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.

Why GAO Did This Study

Priority Open Recommendations are GAO recommendations that deserve priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large sums of money; improve congressional and/or executive decision-making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud and abuse; or ensuring programs comply with laws and funds are spent lawfully, among other benefits. Since 2015, GAO has sent letters to selected agencies emphasizing the importance of implementing these recommendations.

For more information, contact Melissa Emrey-Arras at (617) 788-0534 or [email protected]