Page images
PDF
EPUB

The American Parents Committee has suported, over the past two decades, the concept of categorical grants for elementary and secondary education, as well as other specific Federal programs affecting children. We therefore hope for fullest possible funding, under title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Amendments, for education aid specifically for Indian and migrant children, and other children of low-income families. In the April budget revisions, we gratefully note there has been no change from the original budget request for ESEA's title I, which reflects the greater student load with an increase of $103 million over the previous year.

In the face of a nation-wide shortage of teachers, it is gratifying to learn that, as of this month, the U.S. Office of Education has announced that over 4,200 applications have been received directly by the Teacher Corps for 1,200 available 1969 intern positions, with another 2,000-3,000 applications received on the local level. This enthusiastic response to the concept of the Teacher Corps should, we hope, receive full acknowledgment in the form of authorized appropriations under Public Law 90–35, the Education Professions Act. which authorizes more than double the amount requested in the fiscal 1970 Budget. Maximum encouragement should be given to those applicants who volunteer for teaching in innercity schools, and in Spanish-speaking areas where English is taught as a second language.

The Vocational Education Amendments have earmarked 40 percent of its grants to the States for (a) children from impoverished areas; (b) the physically and mentally handicapped; and (c) postsecondary locational students. Although the coming year's total budget request falls below fiscal 1970 authorizations by over $500 million, it is increasingly evident that vocational education needs to be upgraded in the public's mind, to prevent increasing numbers of high-school “dropouts" for whom the traditional high school courses have little or no immediate relevance. For those adolescents whose formal education will end at the high-school level, it is imperative, we feel, to give increased emphasis and stature to vocational education, if we are to decrease the present level of our 700,000 high-school “drop-outs”, many of whom subsequently swell the ranks of hard-core unemployed or chronic delinquents.

The American Parents committee has gone on record in opposition to the proposed "freeze” in State percentages of children qualifying for Federal aid under the aid to Families with dependent children (AFDC), program. Fortunately, in his April revisions on the HEW budget, the President has called for a postponement of another year for the AFDC "freeze," and has added $322 million for fiscal 1970, to implement this program. We strongly support continuance of the AFDC program without the punitive aspects of limiting the number of each State's children eligible, regardless of obvious need.

However, we oppose the cut of $200,000 in the child welfare training program of the Children's Bureau, and the cut of $2.2 million from the original 1970 Budget request, under Section 511 of the Social Security Amendments, for the Bureau's training of professional personnel for crippled children. For the Bureau's entire child welfare programs, the revised Budget request is less than half the authorized amount.

In a special guest editorial appearing in the March 1969 issue of Parents

' magazine, the president of the Child Welfare League of America has called for equal rights for all American children, and emphasized the following present inequities:

An estimated 10 million youngsters are dependent, neglected, or homeless; yet only a small fraction of their number are getting child welfare services:

Child welfare service encompasses preventive work with children living with their own families; daycare; adoption; foster care; protective and other services. Yet it is the only area of human need for which the Federal Government does not provide funds on a matching basis with the States :

Over 11 million children under the age of 12 have mothers who are employed; yet throughout the country there are daycare centers for only 500,000 children--and this despite recent mandatory provisions in the Social Security amendments that require AFDO mothers to seek employment through job training: (Yet, for this job-training program (WIN), the April budget has cut $35 million from the January budget request, $10 million of which applies to child care services and $25 million for work-training.)

Because of the extreme shortage of child welfare services, many children spend their early years waiting to be adopted; many suffer physical abuse, despite enactment of Child Abuse Laws by all the States; other children are shifted from one foster home

to another without any chance to develop family ties. Inder the Social Security laws, by July 1975, child welfare serv. ires must be available to all parts of each state. Yet it is difficult to see how this can be accomplished if, year after year, appropriations for child welfare fall so far below authorizations. The social cost to our Nation in the neglect of children is, of course, inestimable. This is the “social dynamite" that brings staggering costs in later years for rehabilitation of alienated youths and adult criminals. In the recent report of the President's Commission on Violence, it was established that over half the crimes in our cities are committed by juve

niles, and that 70 percent of adult criminals have juvenile delinquency htë records. Preventive measures are always less costly than social repair

work. The Joint Commission on the Mental Health of Children, in its
report this month after a 3-year study, has emphasized treating the
total needs of the child before the age of 5, adding "If we fail to pro-
ride the resources in the community, we will pile up another genera-
tion of children destined to the juvenile courts, reformatories, jails,
Welfare institutions and our wards of State hospitals." The effective
interrelation of child health, adequate nutrition, education and wel-
fare services, must be high on our national priority list if we value
our Nation's future.
Attachment to statement follows:)

[ocr errors]

thers

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

February 27, 1969, Washington, D.C.
To the President of the United States and Members of the 918t Congress:

We, the undersigned, have joined in this symposium with the shared conviction
that in the unimpaired minds and bodies of our Nation's children and youth
Ments the future of our country, in its finest aspirations.

To this end, we rededicate our individual and collective forces to protect the future so embodied. We also call upon the executive and legislative branches of our Government to share with us this sense of priority, either by enacting and approving new legislation or by strengthening existing legislation to the extent already authorized, to meet the needs of those American children whose future is imperiled either physically or mentally, by the neglect or indifference of their families, their State, or their country.

For The American Parents Committee, Barbara D. McGarry, execu.

tive director; Big Brothers of America, William H. Bruce, re-
search director; International Juvenile Officer's Association,
Hugh Carpenter, executive director, and Lt. William H. Conner,
board of directors; Joint Commission on Mental Health of Chil-
dren, Reginald S. Lourie, president; National Association for
Retarded Children, Dr. Philip Roos, executive director; National
Association of Social Workers, Rudolph T. Danstedt, Washington
representative; National Council of Juvenile Court Judges, John
F. X. Irving, executive director; National Council of Jewish
Women, Mrs. Leonard H. Weiner, president; National Conference
of Superintendents of Training Schools and Reformatories, Roy
L. McLaughlin, president; National Education Association, John
M. Lumley, assistant executive secretary for Federal relations:
Washington Pastoral Counseling Service, Rev. S. Lewis Morgan,

Jr.
Mr. HECHT. Thank you very much.

Mr. NATCHER. Mr. Hecht, we want to thank you and Mrs. McGarry for your appearance before our committee at this time.

FRIDAY, MAY 16, 1969.

PROGRAMS OF THE REHABILITATION SERVICES ADMINISTRATION AND

PRESIDENT'S COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT OF THE HANDICAPPED

WITNESS

MR. E. B. WHITTEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL REHABILI

TATION ASSOCIATION

Mr. Natcher. Our next witness is Mr. E. B. Whitten, the executive director of the National Rehabilitation Association.

Mr. Whitten, it is a pleasure to have you appear at this time and we will be glad to hear from you.

Mr. WHITTEN. Mr. Chairman, my name is E. B. Whitten. I am director of the National Rehabilitation Association, an organization whose membership consists of 35,000 individuals and organizations, all of whom are concerned for the rehabilitation of handicapped and otherwise disadvantaged individuals. Approximately one-half of its members are individuals who work in some kind of rehabilitation program, the remainder being individuals with no professional stake in rehabilitation, but who are interested as laymen in the rehabilitation of handicapped people and joined the National Rehabilitation Association to indicate this interest and concern. The organization was formed in 1925 and has been in continuous existence since that time. It has been active in legislative hearings relative to rehabilitation for handicapped individuals, and has appeared numerous times before appropriations committees and committees of substance dealing with problems of handicapped individuals.

Today, I appear in support of appropriations for programs administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration. In the following paragraphs, I shall enumerate the requests that the National Rehabilitation Association is making of this committee, giving brief explanations of the reasons for our request. Then, we shall speak in greater detail of at least two of the programs.

(1) Section 2.-We request that the appropriation authority for section 2 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act remain at $600 million for 1970, as provided in the law and recommended by the preceding administration. To support this authority, we request that a total of $528 million be appropriated, this being the amount that estimates made in March 1969 indicate will be needed to match the State monies available to support the program.

(2) Section 12.-We request that $10 million be appropriated for rehabilitation facilities and the staffing of facilities under section 12 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act. It will be noted that the appropriation authority for this section for 1970 is $20 million. The preceding administration recommended $1,850,000 for this program, which is the identical amount appropriated for the preceding year. The present administration recommended reducing the $1,850,000 to $550,000 and confining the use of this sum to the staffing of facilities. The justification of these low sums is stated as being that 10 percent of the appropriations under section 2 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act can be used for construction, the inference being that this makes unnecessary a substantial program of vocational rehabilitation facilities under section 12. The National Rehabilitation Association supported the idea of permitting construction under section 2, but it has never taken the position that a construction program under section 2 can take the place of the kind of construction program visualized under section 12. The fact is that some States will not be able to use any of their section 2 appropriations for facilities without reducing the level of case services, which no State would want to do. It is also true that certain types of rehabilitation facilities, particularly those involving participation of two or more States in one project, cannot very conveniently be built under section 2. We believe, accordingly, that there should remain a substantial program for the construction and staffing of vocational rehabilitation facilities under section 12. The recent studies of the facility programs in the States have indicated a need for approximately $200 million for such construction. It is felt that $20 million for 1970 will make it possible to get under way a substantial program. We would like to testify, in addition, that a network of appropriate rehabilitation facilities is absolutely necessary for the development and conducting of a good State-Federal vocational rehabilitation program.

(3) Section 15.-We request that $50 million be appropriated to initiate the vocational evaluation and work adjustment program authorized in the 1968 legislation-section 15. The preceding administration recommended $10 million to initiate this program, while the present administration recommended no funding of this program for 1970. We shall speak further of this program a little later.

(4) Training. We request that $4 million be added to the proposal of the current administration for training of rehabilitation personnel. Although the budget estimates combine training of rehabilitation per

sonnel with certain other training, it is our understanding that the justification calls for a $4 million reduction in that part of training which is for rehabilitation personnel. We have seen no justification for this reduction other than that it saves money. Rehabilitation programs, as well as other programs, are no better than the people who work in these programs, and the efficiency of their efforts depends upon the kind of training they can get. We think it is bad practice to try to reduce such appropriations. Additional funds for inservice training of vocational rehabilitation staffs are particularly needed.

(5) Mental retardation State facilities.-We request an appropriation of $20 million for mental retardation hospital—facility-improvement grants. As members of this committee know, this is a fund that can be used an a very flexible basis to upgrade programs of State-operated mental retardation facilities throughout the country. Both the preceding and present administration are recommending $8,972,000 for this program, which we are informed actually represents a decrease in the program level for 1970.

(6) Mental retardation community facilities.-We recommend an appropriation of $30 million for mental retardation community facilities and the staffing of such facilities. Both the preceding and present administration recommended $20 million, which, again, we are informed includes certain funds which are being reappropriated. The $10 million extra we are recommending would be divided approximately equally between construction and staffing. This is a very important program which has made a substantial contribution to the welfare and rehabilitation of mentally retarded children, but it has a long way to go before consideration should be given to holding the line on this program.

(7) President's committee.-We request the committee to increase the amount appropriated for the President's Committee on the Employment of the Handicapped from the $531,000 which is the current level, to $600,000.

The 1968 Vocational Rehabilitation Amendments increased the appropriation authority for this program to $1 million per annum. The amount recommended in the budget presents no increase. It will actually be necessary to curtail the program if an increase in this appropriation is not forthcoming. It should be emphasized that this program is one, all of whose resources go to mobilize volunteer effort in support of rehabilitation and placement of handicapped individuals. It is no overstatement to say that the expenditure of this small sum on the President's Committee results in scores of millions of dollars of voluntary effort directed to rehabilitation and placement activities. 1969 section 2 appropriation

Let me return to the section 2 appropriation. First, a few statements about the 1969 appropriation. The appropriation authority for 1969 is $500 million, and allotments were made to the States on that basis. The Bureau of the Budget recommended an appropriation of $345 million, this being the Bureau's estimate of the amount needed to match State funds within the allotments. The subcommittee recommended and Congress appropriated the amount which had been requested. It turned out the States had more money available than had been anticipated, and the amount appropriated lacked $40 or $50 million being enough to do what Congress had anticipated would be done; that is, match the State money available.

« PreviousContinue »