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employment. So you do not have an ongoing lobby, which may be wasteful but, nevertheless, the President has a lobby which costs you nothing but is on the payroll to continue to lobby to maintain the program. There is no one articulating the position of those who need, in fact must have, impact aid.
I think one of the things that perhaps would be most helpful, as I now have seen the second day of testimony, would be to just simply come up with a formula, Štate-by-State, district-by-district, and indicate what you are going to need for nonresident student tuition, and let the Federal Government make a decision, let the Congress sit down and make a decision.
What does it want to do with those two alternatives: a, to continue impact aid, or b, come up with a tuition formula, which either the person who works for the Federal Government pays the tuition and then has the problem with the Federal Government in terms of continued employment, or the Federal Government is going to have to make those payments directly in terms of maintaining a Federal employment role throughout the country.
I think that is the kind of thing that you are going to have to do because it is apparent that there is a great deal of testimony, a great deal of factual material which substantiates the reason for and the efficiency of impact aid, and yet the impression is one of waste and one of the programs to be immediately eliminated.
In fact, I would like to read, if I may for a moment, a letter from Secretary of HEW, Mr. Califano, to our chairman on June 15, in which he states:
"As you know, the President's budget recommended elimination of the part B impact aid program and reorientation of student assistance programs."
So you already have the conclusion reached before the studies have been implemented. I think this is a tremendous weakness in all of what I am hearing and all the questioning has brought this out.
I think the difficulty of coming to Washington to testify in a twoor three-day period and then go back to what you do 365 days a year is very difficult, as opposed to those who sit here with nothing to do but perpetuate, a, their own programs, and b, the elimination of programs that do not involve them, because they have to keep cutting somewhere, and it is so much easier to cut that which belongs to someone else, that is not part of your department, your program, and your whole frame of reference in this HEW bureaucracy we have.
So it may well be, since you are--and this is again interestingsince you are the president of the impacted area schools, as such I think it would be interesting to know exactly how you split your time.
You are also Director, Special Projects, San Diego Unified School District. I would guess that you are doing a lot more than just acting as president for impacted area schools.
Dr. FISH. Yes, sir, I am.
Mr. HEFTEL. It may be that the districts of this country which have impacted aid will, unfortunately, have to spend all those
additional dollars to have a very strong, well-documented program, competent people, staffed in Washington, to start explaining and educating so that we quit hearing about the elimination of impact aid.
Perhaps you ought to do the reverse, come in with a program to substitute it, with a tuition program. Take the aggressive position of saying, this is not enough, it is inadequate, we are tired of listening to you telling us we are getting a gift. We have decided, instead, that we are going to pass laws in each of our States calling for tuition payment for the education of nonresident students. You can forget impact aid because we have a difference here of 60 and 70 percent in some instances, as I go through the testimony of the different gentlemen and read it here as I have been sitting here. Dr. FISH. I would like to comment on that tuition idea. We would need it to illustrate the point. We hope school districts never reach that point in terms of identifyig this student as a tuition student or something because of the unfortunate-what happens with children. That is our responsibility.
We do have a third-year law student who spent some of his time away from the books tracking things down for us. We see part of this as our virtue, that we relate to Congres. We relate to the interests of the local property taxpayer. We are serving in jobs and we do have the benefit of these men at this table who can tell you specifically what they would have to do if they lost impact aid, what it would mean in human terms, in terms of the quality of the program, the people who would be affected, and in terms of the local property taxes. We think that is one of the reasons why we have survived as long as we have.
Mr. HEFTEL. I think perhaps it would be desirable to in fact, though, do it in the reverse position. You are constantly saying, "This is what will happen to us," and you act as though the burden is yours. As a result, you are constantly defending something as though it is not totally defensible and it is not totally proper. It may be, whether you like to distinguish between the tuition and nontuition student, that that is the only way that you can make your point, which is to imply, and once and for all make it clear, that impact aid does not adquately compensate those districts who are educating students who are there because of nonpropertypaying Federal installations, where the school system is only supported through that property tax system, and you have to use the tuition formula. It may only be by taking that position and making somebody sit there and say, "Wait a moment, what have we walked into?" because the first thing that this Administration did was say, "We will get rid of impact aid."
The first thing that you find not in the budget is impact aid, because I can remember the day in this very room, for other reasons, being informed that impact aid was not going to be in the budget.
Now you live with a very real threat of waking up without it. There has been another very serious compromise made, on behalf of whom I do not know, but between the Administration and members of Congress, statements have come out, there is no question they have been accepted, that there will be, over a period of five years, an elimination of impact aid.
Now, whether that is real or imagined or is just a fond hope, I do not know, but the suggestion was that, "We will compromise-". I do not know who is doing the compromising, but supposedly we will put in new programs in education in certain areas and as an agreement for that we will also phase out impact aid.
So impact aid is not only very threatened, it is not very stable or substantial. It has no constituency of any consequence that wants to keep it. So if in fact impact aid is something that you recognize, as I think I recognize it and it is pretty obvious, is critical, I think you have to come up with a different approach, which is the one which says, "We are not here to defend impact aid. Here is the presentation we are making and here is what we are telling you. If you want us to educate nonresident students, it is the tuition base that we are going to implement and we are going to start going to work at the local level, the State legislatures of each of our several States, and we are going to push for legislation because of what it will do to increase the total income with which to support the student that you are imposing upon us."
I think somewhere you have to develop a positive program, and an alternative system which is far more difficult to defend and to support on the part of the bureaucracy in Washington, otherwise, I do not think you can perpetuate impact aid because you can tell from the history of it, the first thing to cut out is impact aid. You cannot be in that precarious position.
Dr. FISH. No, we definitely cannot. It imposes too many burdens on the local people. It is very detrimental to the educational system to have this come up year after year, and we cannot go through that. I agree with you, Congressman.
Mr. HEFTEL. Thank you.
Mr. WEISS. Are there any other questions?
Thank you very much, gentlemen. Obviously it is a matter we are going to be paying increasing attention to.
Dr. FISH. May I add another comment?
Mr. WEISS. Of course.
Dr. FISH. We have neglected to mention in our comments, we have talked about these people who have worked on this program here in Washington, the SAFA office. They were systematically stripped of personnel over a number of years. The people there worked weekends without pay and we are aware of that. We would like to express our gratitude and recognition of their efforts. We would like to say they are probably one of the more effective and popular groups of people that school districts work with because they relate well with us and they are aimed at providing benefits to
We thank you very much.
Mr. WEISS. We thank you for your comments.
The committee will reconvene tomorrow morning at 9:30, and for now the committee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 11:33 a.m., the committee adjourned, to reconvene at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, June 23, 1977.]
PART 5: IMPACT AID
THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 1977
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON ELEMENTARY, SECONDARY
AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND LABOR, Washington, D.C.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:00 a.m., in Room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building, the Hon. Carl D. Perkins (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Members present: Representatives Perkins, Mottl, LeFante, Weiss, Corrada, Kildee, Quie, Pressler and Goodling.
Staff present: John F. Jennings, majority counsel; Nancy L. Kober, staff assistant; Christopher T. Cross, minority senior education consultant.
Chairman PERKINS. The committee will come to order.
This is the third day of hearings which the Subcommittee is conducting this week on the impact aid programs. We will have three topics for discussion today. The first topic will be the disaster assistance provisions, in Public Laws 874 and 815 and the second topic will be the special problems faced by heavily impacted school districts. These two topics will be discussed by our first panel of witnesses.
The third topic which we will discuss today involves the so-called Section 6 schools. These are schools which are totally paid by the U.S. Office of Education under the impact aid laws but which are administered by other Federal agencies, particularly the Department of Defense, and our second panel of witnesses will discuss these schools today with a special emphasis upon problems existing at Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico:
I will call on Congressman Cavanaugh to introduce Richard L. Triplett, Superintendent of Bellevue Public Schools, Bellevue, Nebraska, I will call on Congressman Pressler later to introduce Dr. Mueller, the witness from South Dakota.
We are delighted to welcome you here this morning, Congressman Cavanaugh, and you can go ahead with your statement. Following your statement I will let Mr. Triplett testify and then we will proceed to Mr. Mueller.
Without objection, all prepared statements will be inserted in the record.
STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN J. CAVANAUGH, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEBRASKA
Mr. CAVANAUGH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is a great pleasure for me to introduce to you this morning Dr. Rich Triplett, Superintendent of Bellevue Public schools, and to commend the chairman and this committee for conducting these hearings here today.
I think that without question the testimony that you will receive from Dr. Triplett will be among the most penetrating and incisive that you will receive on this subject because he is one of the most well-informed Americans I know on the question of impacted aid and, of course, the school districts of Bellevue is one of the most dependent upon that aid and so I commend to you Dr. Triplett, who is a good friend of mine, and I am sure will provide a very adequate presentation to this committee this morning.
Chairman PERKINS. Let me say to you, Mr. Cavanaugh, that you are already, as a new member, making your mark in the Congress and everybody appreciates your presence here this morning
STATEMENTS OF WILLIAM L. STORMER, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF SCHOOL ASSISTANCE IN FEDERALLY-AFFECTED AREAS, U. S. OFFICE OF EDUCATION; RICHARD L. TRIPLETT, SUPERINTENDENT, BELLEVUE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, BELLEVUE, NEBRASKA; DR. DONALD F. MUELLER, SUPERINTENDENT, DOUGLAS SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 51-1, ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, SOUTH DAKOTA; and DR. WILLIAM F. DUNCAN, SUPERVISING PRINCIPAL, HIGHLAND FALLS FORT MONTGOMERY CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, HIGHLAND FALLS, NEW YORK
Mr. TRIPLETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman PERKINS. You may proceed, Mr. Triplett. Without objection, your prepared statement will be inserted in the record.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Triplett follows:]
TESTIMONY ON AUTHORIZATION FOR
RENEWAL OF PL 874 AND PL 815
Richard L. Triplett
Superintendent of the Bellevue Public Schools