#78 to #80

500 Education, Training, Employment & Social Services:Eliminate Titles II, VI, and VIII of the Higher Education Act

Savings in Millions of Dollars
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023
  • 2024
  • 2025
  • 2016-2020
  • 2016-2025


Savings from eliminating Title II are based on the FY 2014 spending level found in U.S. Department of Education, “Programs: Funding Status, 2014”. Title VIII savings are calculated by adding the costs of the three programs for which data are available at U.S. Department of Education, “Higher Education: Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request”. No savings are assumed from redirecting Title VI funding. The FY 2014 spending levels were increased at the same rate as discretionary spending over the 2016-2025 period, according to the CBO’s most recent August 2014 baseline.


Technical Notes on Scoring

CBO Baseline

Unless otherwise noted, calculations for savings for each recommendation relies on the most recent Congressional Budget Office baseline, as found in “An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024,” published August 27, 2014, has been used.

Savings “Totals”

While totals for the five and 10 year savings are provided by section and for the complete set of recommendations, there are two reasons they should not be viewed as representing total savings for The Budget Book.

First, as noted in the introduction, The Heritage Foundation would recommend that the savings realized in the Function 050 Defense section would stay within the Department of Defense to strengthen the nation’s defense capabilities.

Second, the numbers cannot be deemed to represent the realized savings if every single recommendation were adopted because policy changes made in one program can impact spending levels in other programs.  Thus, the numbers in the table do not reflect any potential interactions between the various policy changes affecting spending or savings.


Heritage Recommendation:

Streamline the Higher Education Act (HEA) to reflect the law’s primary purpose of authorizing federal student aid. Specifically:

  • Eliminate Title II (Teacher Quality Partnership Grants)
  • Redirect funding for Title VI (area studies centers)
  • Eliminate Title VIII (additional programs)

This proposal saves $2.4 billion in 2016 and $25.2 billion over 10 years. Data on the costs of Title VIII programs is only available for the three largest programs (totaling $24 million), which are included in this savings estimate. Actual savings from eliminating all Title VIII programs would be greater.


Streamlining the HEA would save taxpayers 25.2 billion over 10 years.

Title II of the HEA includes Teacher Quality Partnership Grants, which are designed to enable university faculty to work with highly qualified teachers in high needs schools to provide professional development and to strengthen the content knowledge of elementary and high school teachers. Title II also includes a handful of other teacher-preparation-related grants. Such worthwhile local partnerships can take place more effectively and efficiently without federal involvement. Teacher development programs should be funded at the district level, not by federal taxpayers. Eliminating the programs that fall under Title II of the HEA provides an opportunity to reduce spending and limit federal intervention in higher education policy.

Title VI of the HEA authorizes 10 international-education programs, including area studies centers, which are designed to develop an understanding of “specific geographic regions of critical scholarly and policy importance.” ((Anna Grzymala-Busse, “Area-Studies Centers Are Vital but Vulnerable,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 30, 2013 (accessed December 12, 2014).)) Although it is critical for American national security to have a network of individuals who have expertise in specific regions and languages, Congress should pursue this goal by eliminating Title VI, repealing its authorization, and redirecting Title VI funding to the National Security Education Program (NSEP). The NSEP funds studies in languages and regions critical to national security and is administered by the Department of Defense. Title VIII authorizes more than two dozen additional programs. In order to control higher education spending, Title VIII should be eliminated.

Streamlining the HEA would save taxpayers 25.2 billion over 10 years.

Contributing Expert

Lindsey Burke researches and writes on federal and state education issues as the Will Skillman fellow in education policy at The Heritage Foundation. Burke focuses on two critical areas of education policy: reducing the federal role in education and empowering families with school choice.

See publications by Lindsey Burke

Lindsey BurkeWill Skillman Fellow in Education

Heritage Expert

Brittany Corona is a Research Assistant for Domestic Policy Studies with The Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity

See publications by Brittany Corona

Brittany Corona Research Assistant

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