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EDUCATION REVENUE SHARING
(Dollars in Thousands)
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Coope chirst Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maina Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming Guam Puerto Rico Virgin Islands
$72, 232 23, 181 31, 615 41, 433 261, 451 33, 679 29, 100
6,689 16, 456 84, 290 83,210 18, 642 11, 468 113, 941 46, 162 33, 033 31, 625 61,561 65, 794 15, 632 62, 174 63,486 90, 983 45,954 63,291 58, 741 13, 722 21,410 7,300 8, 305 83, 802 30, 762 289, 302 99,014 13, 728 100, 794 45, 395 24, 193 124,839 13, 424 61, 908 15, 715 67,992 171, 026 18,438
5,536 94,897 43, 914 32, 928 40, 761 6, 662 2,217 63,921 1,254
11, 468 113, 941 46, 162 33, 033 31, 625 61, 561 65, 794 15, 632 62, 174 63, 486 90, 983 45,954 63,291 58, 741 13, 722 21,410
7, 300 8, 305 83, 802 30, 762 289, 302 99,014 13, 728 101,819 45, 395 24, 193 124,839 13,424 61, 908 15, 715 67,992 171, 026 18,438
5,536 94,897 43,914 32, 928 40, 761 6,662 2,217 63,921
$2,968,982 Unallocated Discretionary
28, 189 $3,000,000
Totals may not be exact due to rounding.
Senator PELL. Our next witness is Mr. Donald E. Morrison, president of the National Education Association, who will also be testifying on the special revenue-sharing plan for education submitted by the administration.
I am glad to see Stanley McFarland, with whom the committee has worked closely in the past. We consider you unofficial but important partners in this work. We usually agree. Sometimes we don't, but we are always very interested in your views.
STATEMENT OF DONALD E. MORRISON, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL
EDUCATION ASSOCIATION; ACCOMPANIED BY STANLEY J. McFAR.
I am Donald Morrison, president of the National Education Association. I have with me Stanley McFarland, and I know he doesn't need an introduction. He is head of our office at Government Relations and Citizenship. Also with me is Mrs. Jean Flannigan from our research division, who is an economist specializing in school finance.
Preliminary to my written presentation, Mr. Chairman, I should like to say that I think that a great service could be done if all references in this bill to revenue sharing, educational revenue sharing, and special educational revenue sharing could be taken from the bill.
think it became apparent in the questioning of the Secretary and the Commissioner that revenue sharing is not really the issue before us in this bill. The bill basically is a consideration of consolidation of categorical grants.
In addition, I think it is a disservice to education in this country to sell this proposal on the advantages of local determination of educational needs. In my opinion, one of the major problems in education stems from the fact that we have been leaving the determination of educational objectives almost entirely to the local and State entities in this country, assuming that that aggregate equals the Nation's needs, and they do not. I can cite an example to further illustrate what I mean. I am assuming that Mr. Romney and his Department are going to come up with some dramatic new ways of supplying much needed low-cost housing in this country. I also assume that if that happens, the entire vocational and technical education programs in relationship to carpentry, plumbing, electricity, and so on, must also accommodate that program. Unless the programs and the goals of the Nation are done in such a way in education that they are consistent with the objectives, then I think we are going to have trouble, as we have at the present time.
be cases where revenue sharing is needed in this country, but it is not in the area of education at the present time.
The NEA is an independent, voluntary organization of educators, open to all professional teachers, supervisors, and administrators. It presently has 1,100,000 members and is the largest professional organization in the Nation, with members from school systems in every State. In all, counting its affiliated State and local organizations, the
NEA speaks for a combined membership of approximately 2 million educators.
We appreciate this opportunity to present our views on S. 1669, the proopsed Education Revenue Sharing Act of 1971. The stated purpose of this bill is based on the premises that the Federal Government has a responsibility to assist State and local governments in meeting the costs of education in areas of special national concern, and that prior to programs of Federal financial assistance are too narrow in scope to meet the needs of State and local school systems.
It is somewhat ironic that the administration reached this substantial conclusion and is recommending a major overhaul of the Federal grant system when many of the grants involved are not and never have been fully funded. Indeed, the major problems of the Federal grants are related to the fact that they have never been fully funded rather than to the narrow scope of the grant programs.
This proposal would eliminate all dollar program authorizations other than those for impact aid, and all requirements for State-local matching funds. We do not feel that this is a realistic approach.
This proposal, S. 1669, is apparently not based on a substantive review of the grants in existence. We find no evidence that the existing grants have been studied carefully to determine if the area of national concern to which each of the grants was addressed has been sufficiently relieved to permit the conditions of the grant to be relaxed. Indeed, this proposal for a major overhaul in the Federal grant system came a year before the report of the President's Commission on School Finance-a major and comprehensive investigation of school finance.
At this time we oppose the bill as presented for a number of reasons. I shall discuss.
I would like to emphasize that the NEA is not opposed to the concept of block grants, grant consolidation, or simplification of the administration of Federal grants per se. Our objection to the proposals in the bill is based largely on several factors: (a) the inadequate amounts of money requested; (b) extension of the coverage of all programs to include private school pupils; (c) the creation of new State agencies for overseeing Federal funds; (d) the dilution of aid to federally connected pupils; (e) the lessening of the surveillance of Federal programs to insure that funds are indeed directed to top educational priorities-school integration, education of the handicapped, education of the disadvantaged.
LEVEL OF FUNDING
As you are no doubt aware, the schools are in financial crisis. This year many school systems across the Nation are cutting back staff and programs with the net effect of a decrease in the educational services pupils are receiving. The administration's proposal does not provide any increase in funds for existing programs. It simply tosses in an additional $200 million to cover the difference between the total of the State allotments under the existing grants and the formulas in this proposal.
We cannot help but conclude that the major purposes of S. 1669 are unrelated to its stated purpose. It seems that the thrust of this bill is to provide administrative convenience and perhaps to bring political relief from the pressures for full funding of existing grant programs.
This is not to deny that the administrative process could benefit from simplification—but much of this simplification could be achieved by hacking away at the administrative rules and regulations which accompany each title and by more coordination among the Federal administrators of the several Federal grant programs.
True, some consolidation of Federal grant programs is no doubt feasible, but not without a careful analysis of whether the national interest these programs are designed to serve has been met. Indeed, we feel it would be a disaster to eliminate some specific programs—for example, those which provide milk and lunch subsidies for the Nation's school pupils. This proposal provides that the States may transfer up to 30 percent of the funds from one block grant to another, except that transfers cannot be made from formula funds for an A category of federally connected pupils or from the title I pupils. Because this proposal does not provide for a substantial increase in Federal funds or even an increase to meet inflation, the national interest would not be served if the States elected to transfer, for example, 30 percent of the vocational funds to the education of the handicapped or vice versa. We do not believe that this proposal is feasible at the existing levels of funding and without a substantial increase in general aid-type funding.
PRIVATE SCHOOL PUPILS
We object to the inclusion of private school pupils in those programs which are now limited to operation within the public schools. While the bill provides no more funds, approximately 5 million additional pupils would be sharing the programs. The loss to public school pupils will be acute in those States where the percentage of private school pupils is highest. Vocational programs in public schools will be especially hard hit.
NEW STATE AGENCY
Forty-nine of the 50 States already have State school boards elected or appointed to oversee the States' schools. It is our belief that the appointment of the State advisory council provided in section 9 would do nothing but create confusion.
We also object to the fact that this proposal permits the State's chief executive to bypass the chief State school officers in appointing the advisory council and even in administering the special educational revenue sharing. It makes no sense whatsoever to set the stage for two agencies—for the State education agency to administer State funds and programs and the Governor's appointed council and agency to administer Federal funds and programs.
FEDERALLY CONNECTED PUPILS
We note that the Federal impact aid is not weakened for category A pupils—those whose parents live and work on Federal property. But the aid does not follow the category B pupil with a parent merely working on Federal property or in the uniformed services. The proposal that not more than 30 percent of the entitlement for category B children can go to districts without any such pupils is slight protection indeed. We believe that the funds appropriated by Congress to relieve the local burden of excessive numbers of pupils whose parents are not
employed by a taxable employer should be directed toward the school system so impacted.
We also note that this proposal does not provide impact aid for children living in public housing. This was authorized in the last Congress but has never been funded. We stress the need to fully fund this authorization. These pupils do not have a local taxpayer or, in many instances, a taxable employer behind them. These are concentrations of children who need special educational services if the chain of poverty is to be broken.
WEAKENING OF SURVEILLANCE
Finally, at this point we are reluctant to weaken the rate of progress in getting a fair share of educational opportunity for those pupils who need it most—the minorities, the poor, and the handicapped. We view this proposal—the no strings, no redtape approachas an abdication of Federal responsibility for these pupils. The Commission of Education, Sidney Marland, has announced his intention of skewing all possible Federal programs to the low income, minority, and handicapped students. We applaud him for this effort this year. We find S. 1669 which, in general, would weaken his ability to direct Federal funds inconsistent with his stated goals.
In summary, we urge the Congress to fully fund the grant programs which are now law and to enact a substantial general aid program before considering consolidation of existing grants.
Senator Pell. I agree with your objectives. As I said earlier in the hearing, the most fruitful investment we can make is in education, but also we face the Appropriations Committee, of which I am not a member. It has the responsibility of dividing up the pie.
I would like to see all our programs fully funded, because we wouldn't have passed them, wouldn't have supported them, voted for them, and worked on them unless we believed they were right and correct.
But on this particular bill and proposal, do you have any suggestion as to how the paperwork can be reduced, because I must say I don't sympathize with the idea of abdicating this Federal responsibility. I do think there must be more ways than we are presently using of reducing the load of paperwork that teachers and administrators and school superintendents presently have to take upon themselves.
As the president of the NEA, receiving letters from teachers all over the country, and presumably a former teacher yourself, do you have any thoughts in this direction?
Mr. MORRISON. Mr. Chairman, I think part of the problem is related to our lack of sophistication in program management. I think that Mr. Nixon is having this kind of problem with his management of programs.
Services are delivered to the local and State entities in this Nation at a much slower rate, and services are delivered from separate units of the Government. I think that we now find ourselves in the position when time won't give us that luxury of slowness. We have an oldfashioned delivery system. I know the NEA has the problem, and the Federal Government does, too. I think that we are going to go through a few years before we gain the sophistication in program budgeting