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Senator HARKIN. Cynthia, thank you for your testimony. I do not understand how with the projected unemployment picture that the administration could request $750 million. If we were to appropriate that amount of money, what would that do nationwide in terms of your services?
Ms. EISENHAUER. It is a dramatic cut in the current level of funding for employment service operations. It would severely damage our ability to match jobseekers with the jobs. It would continue our low rate of filling job orders in our local offices.
Senator HARKIN. Well, I appreciate the testimony. So 838 was the figure you had?
Ms. EISENHAUER. 838 for employment service functions, yes.
Senator GORTON. All I can comment on, Mr. Chairman, is that I hear exactly the same message from my Washington Unemployment Department.
Senator HARKIN. Thank you very much.
Ms. EISENHAUER. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF FATHER WILLIAM BYRON, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY, ON BEHALF OF AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION, ET AL.
Senator HARKIN. I see Father William Byron, president of Catholic University, on behalf of the American Council of Education. Father Byron.
Father BYRON. I speak for all 15 associations listed on the cover page of our testimony, Mr. Chairman, and say that our top priority is student aid, and so we focus on title IV. We seek especially increases in the campus-based programs, but first we want to emphasize the priority for the needy, the Pell grants. We are recommending that they be put at a $2,700 maximum award level. That would mean an $876 million increase.
On the campus-based programs for supplemental educational opportunity grants, we recommend a $250 million increase.
On the College Work Study Program, we are recommending an increase of $55 million.
I would just say anecdotally, Mr. Chairman, just yesterday the chairman of our biology department sent me a letter he received from a prospective student. Trying to recruit that student, she was asking could she get college work study in the biology program to not only enhance her education but to make that education financially available. It is a great program.
For Perkins loans, we recommend new Federal capital contributions of $200 million.
Now we specify in our testimony the number of students who will benefit by these recommendations, and we also acknowledge the differences between our recommendations and those of the administration. We are interested, of course, in title IX funding because that would produce the next generation of faculty and, we would hope that beneficiaries of increases in title IX funding would be women and minorities because we expect greater representation in the faculties of the future. We are asking only for $15 million.
Just let me take the occasion to say we like the homefront initiative in the budget resolution being considered this week, and the
recommendations that we are making would be consistent with that home front initiative.
I think I am within my 3 minutes, Mr. Chairman. I will yield back the rest of my time.
Senator HARKIN. The yellow light has not yet even gone off. [Laughter.]
Father BYRON. I would add a word of real thanks for all you do for us, particularly for student aid.
[The statement follows:]
STATEMENT OF Rev. William J. BYRON, S.J., PRESIDENT, Catholic UniverSITY OF
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, on behalf of 15 associations representing all sectors of American higher education, I am pleased to present our fiscal year 1992 funding recommendations for the Education Department:
1. We seek an $876 million increase over fiscal year 1991 for Pell Grants. to provide a $2.700 maximum award. It is vital to make a substantial increase in the maximum. which has declined 16 percent in constant dollars since 1980. and now covers only 25 percent of average college costs.
A $2,700 maximum under current law would raise the effective income cut-off for a family of four with one child in college from $34,474 to $36,487, and would increase the number of recipients from 3.4 to 3.6 million.
We estimate that a $2,700 Pell Grant maximum would cost $6.25 billion-$475 million more than the Administration's request of $5.775 billion for a $3,700 maximum. This is because the Administration assumes passage of its proposed legislation which would reduce awards and eliminate eligibility for many middle-income students at low-tuition institutions, remove eligibility for students in the bottom 10 percent of their class academically, and raise the minimum age for financial independence from 24 to 26. By the Administration's own estimate, these proposals would drop some 400,000 current eligibles from the Pell Grant program. Since Secretary Alexander has stated that the Administration is reconsidering its proposal to eliminate students in the bottom 10 percent of their class, we would appreciate an assessment of the impact of this change in the Administrations cost estimate.
2. Even with a substantial increase in the Pell Grant maximum, many postsecondary students will still remain unduly dependent on borrowing to finance their education. Therefore, we recommend a $250 million increase in funding for Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG). This program, which will require a 15 percent institutional match in fiscal year 1992, assigns priority to Pell recipients and students with exceptional need. A $250 million increase would provide awards for an additional 350,000 students, thereby reducing their need for loans. In contrast, the Administration's proposed reduction from $520 million to $347 million would eliminate almost 300,000 awards. Because of the importance of these grants to needy students, we object to the Administration's proposal to fold SEOG into a block grant at the state level. We also oppose the Administration's proposal to raise the institutional matching requirement to 50 percent for both SEOG and CWS.
3. We recommend that the College Work-Study program (CWS) be increased from $595 million to $650 million to enable more needy undergraduate and graduate students to cover a substantial portion of their educational costs by working. instead of borrowing. This program leverages 30 percent institutional matching funds; the proposed increase would provide awards for an additional 80,000 students. The Administration proposes to cut CWS from $595 million to $397 million, with a resulting loss of 300,000 jobs.
4. We request that new federal capital contributions for the Perkins loan program be increased from $156 million to $200 million to help maintain the value of the institution's revolving funds in this important program and make it available to an additional 40,000 exceptionally needy students. Institutions provide these loans directly to high-risk students, including small loans which commercial lenders do not make, with better counseling when the loan is originated and when the borrower enters repayment. The Administration proposes no new federal capital contributions to this program, which would eliminate loans to 140,000 students.
5. We recommend an additional $36 million for State Student Incentive Grants (SSIG). which the Administration proposes to eliminate. This important program
serves approximately 200,000 students and requires 50 percent matching from the states. It provides an incentive for need-based state grants and work-study programs; in nine states the federal contribution represents half of the total state program. Funding of $100 million for SSIG would make grants available for an additional 120,000 students.
6. We recommend $83 million for the Title IX graduate programs. an increase of $15 million. These funds will strengthen the Department's capacity to address two critical needs confronting the nation at the graduate level: a projected shortage of Ph.D.s in all disciplines by the end of the decade, and the continuing underrepresentation of women and minorities in graduate and professional programs and the careers to which they provide access.
7. The six Special Programs for Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds (TRIO) are vital aspects of the strategy for expanding postsecondary opportunities. They identify qualified students from low-income families and help them to become first-generation college students by providing information, counseling, tutoring, and support to prepare them for college, and to help them stay in college after they get there. The program only serves about 10 percent of the eligible population., We support a major expansion of TRIO services from $332 million to $500 million. which would increase the number of students served from 700,000 to over one million.
In addition to increases in student assistance programs, we recommend increases for three other high-priority programs:
We recommend a $31 million increase for Title III of the Higher Education Act, which addresses the specific developmental and endowment needs of historically black colleges and universities and other institutions with large concentrations of low-income and minority students. Additional funding is particularly important to prepare adequate numbers of minority youth at the graduate and undergraduate level for careers in the sciences, teaching, health, law, and other professions.
We recommend a $15 million increase in Title VI language and area studies programs to strengthen the nation's investment in international expertise by improving the capacity of the 105 National Resource Centers to produce and, disseminate language and foreign area knowledge, attracting high quality graduate students through enhanced fellowship awards, increasing opportunities for intensive summer language training, maintaining national resource collections of periodicals from around the world, and increasing the ability of the business sector to compete in the global marketplace. An increase of $1 million is also requested for Fulbright/ Hays exchange programs to expand faculty and doctoral dissertation research, group projects, and research seminars overseas.
Finally, we call attention to the increasing urgency of the needs for renovation of academic and laboratory facilities throughout the higher education community. We urge: (1) renewed funding for VII-A and B grants for undergraduate and graduate facilities, at an initial level of $50 million (about one tenth of the amount currently being earmarked for facilities projects at individual institutions in appropriations bills for other federal agencies), and (2) an increase in the borrowing authority for College Housing and Academic Facilities Loans (VII-F)-which the Administration is seeking to terminate-from the current $30 million level to $100 million. We believe both these steps are necessary to begin addressing facilities problems which have grown to a magnitude estimated in excess of $60 billion.
We ask continued funding for college library technology, research libraries, and other categorical programs the Administration proposes for elimination.
Senator HARKIN. I appreciate that, Father Byron.
As Dr. Jennings before you, I think these are all things, you know, when we are talking about education, the need for education in this country. When you look at the support that we have given, especially for needy students, it has not kept up, and we are simply going to have to address that.
I would love to get the Pell grants up, but, as you point out, that is about an $800 million ticket, and there is simply not that much room in the budget right now. So we are just going to have to do our best.
Father BYRON. We appreciate it.
Senator HARKIN. Thank you very much.
Senator GORTON. No questions.
Senator HARKIN. Father Byron, thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF EDWARD R. KEALEY, DIRECTOR, FEDERAL PROGRAMS, NATIONAL SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION, AND PRESIDENT, COMMITTEE FOR EDUCATION FUNDING
Senator HARKIN. We will go back now to Edward Kealey, director of the Federal programs, on behalf of the National School Boards Association.
Mr. KEALEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am Edward R. Kealey, director of Federal programs of the National School Boards Association. It is my privilege to testify today before the committee on behalf of the 97,000 local schoolboard members across the country who set policy for the education of our schoolchildren.
NSBA greatly appreciates the significant increases in Federal education funding, over 13 percent, approved by this committee last year. The increases for Chapter 1 in the handicapped education, for example, were historic highs. Today, though, we are seriously concerned that the momentum toward fully funding these and other critical programs like vocational education and impact aid and others is being lost.
Spending caps set by the Budget Enforcement Act and the President's minimal budget request have lowered expectations. In fact, the President's budget provides a net increase of only 1 percent for existing programs and, as just announced, Strategy America 2000 once again discounts the need for funding increases.
Local school board members vigorously object to this approach. They know that in their schools there are no caps on the growing needs of the children coming to the schoolhouse door with severe barriers to learning.
At a special hearing last week at our convention, Gov. Roy Roemer of the National Education Goals Panel heard dozens of school board members state that Federal funds must increase, particularly this year with the recession draining State revenues.
Local school boards made clear also that new investments are needed in technology to improve productivity of our schools and for special attention to the needs of urban and rural districts.
In his new education plan, the President proposes only $690 million for his initiatives, barely 3.5 percent over his last year's budget. While these proposals may be useful, they cannot substitute for the real investments needed now to strengthen our Nation's educational system. Testing will not by itself guarantee that disadvantaged children succeed in school, nor will a handful of experimental schools insure educational equity and excellence for all American children.
The fact is our major Federal education programs are operating at half strength. Millions of eligible students go unserved or have their needs only half met. The United States ranks 12th in public spending on education out of 15 industrialized nations. If the President is committed to meeting new world class standards for competitiveness, his agenda must include a substantial new Federal investment in education.
This year, NSBA proudly chairs the Committee for Education Funding, a coalition of 100 education organizations that is strongly supporting congressional initiatives which recognize the true dimensions of the tasks confronting our Nation. In particular, the Senate Budget Committee has reported out its spending plan,
which includes Senator Tim Wirth's home front budget initiative. This $4.4 billion initiative passed by a 15 to 6 bipartisan vote includes a $3.1 billion increase for education programs and a $1.3 billion increase for related programs for children.
We urge the Appropriations Committee to make allocations that directly reflect the spending priorities of the Wirth initiative. Only by appropriating these increases for proven Federal education programs can we make real progress toward improving equity and excellence in education and helping America's children and youth meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Thank you for this opportunity to testify. [The statement follows:]
STATEMENT OF EDWARD R. KEALY DIRECTOR, FEDERAL PROGRAMS, NATIONAL
SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION
I am Edward R. Kealy, Director, Federal programs of the National School Boards Association. It is my great privilege to testify before this committee on behalf of the 97,000 local school board members across the country who set policy for the education of our school children.
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) greatly appreciates the significant increase in federal education funding-over 13 percent-approved by this committee last year. The increases for Chapter 1 and handicapped education were historic.
Today, we are seriously concerned that the momentum toward fully funding these and other critical programs like Impact Aid and vocational education is being lost. Spending caps set by the Budget Enforcement Act and the President's minimal budget requests have lowered expectations. In fact, the President's budget provides a net increase of only one percent for existing programs. And the President's just announced education strategy, “America 2000," once again discounts the need for funding increases for the improvement of American education.
Local school board members vigorously object to this approach. They know that in their schools there are no caps on the growing needs of the children coming to the schoolhouse door with severe barriers to learning-poor health, poor nutrition, unsupportive home environment, lacking language skills, living in poverty and pain. They are also deeply skeptical of rhetoric exhorting them to strive to achieve ambitious national education goals without new revenues.
At a special hearing at NSBA's convention last week, Gov. Romer, head of the National Education Goals Panel, heard downs of school board members state that the national goals cannot he achieved with local resources alone. Their message was clear that federal and state funds must increase. With the recession draining state revenues, the federal role becomes even more crucial this year. Local school boards also believe that new investments are needed in technology to improve the productivity of our schools, and for special attention to the needs of urban and rural districts.
In his new education plan, the President proposes only $690 million for his new initiatives: testing, experimental schools, choice, and rewards for achievement. This investment is barely 3.5 percent over last year's budget. While these proposals may he useful, particularly the call for community involvement in remolding education, they cannot substitute for the real muscle and sinew needed now to strengthen our nation's educational system. Testing will not by itself guarantee that disadvantaged children succeed in school. A handful of experimental schools will not ensure educational equity and excellence for all American children. And rhetoric alone will not solve the urgent physical, social, and economic problems faced by our poorest students.
The fact is our major federal education programs are operating at half strengththousands of eligible students go unserved or have their needs only half met. A recent study found that the United States ranks 12th in public spending on education out of 15 industrial nations. If the President is committed to meeting new worldclass standards for competitiveness, his agenda must include a substantial new federal investment in education. Fortunately, Congress is recognizing the true dimensions of the task confronting our nation. This year, NSBA chairs the Committee for