Page images
PDF
EPUB

and planning and management of program. This is where the problem lies.

Senator PELL. I think one of the most medieval institutions from this viewpoint is probably the Congress. We are trying to get on the ball now. The House is a little ahead of us at this time with computers, and we are trying to get computers ourselves so that we can get information when we need it.

There is obviously tremendous room for improvement here, and perhaps the final compromise may be some way of figuring out how to reduce the paperwork, how to consolidate some programs. There is nothing wrong with consolidation, although every time you try to consolidate a little bit, the people with a vested interest in that particular program get very upset.

But I think there is a middle ground here, which I would hope, could be eventually developed. I was wondering if you thought there could be a middle ground, and if not, would you enlarge your own views on this?

Mr. MORRISON. A few years ago, former Senator Eugene McCarthy made a comment to a group of leaders from the urban associations in response to criticism by the superintendents of the Government on this paperwork. The Senator commented that it is rather strange for these superintendents to be criticizing the Government for this paperwork in view of the paperwork that is imposed on classroom teachers just in their normal responsibility and functioning as teachers.

So, again, I think that we need to concentrate on new management schemes and the training of people for better delivery with fewer complications. But I feel that most of this could be done administratively.

Senator PELL. I think so, too. I think this was brought out in previous testimony, that the responsibility for approval is a very real one and should never be automatic.

Mr. McFarland ?

Mr. McFARLAND. In participating in a number of sessions across the country in which superintendents have been present, I have found a general attitude that superintendents feel that the amount of Federal money they are receiving is not worth the time and hassle of the paperwork. In other words, the expectation that has been in existence because of authorization is nowhere near being met by the appropriations, and what there is costs too much in time and man-hours to be worth it.

As an example, title I in the very beginning required that a school district have approximately 25-percent disadvantaged population to participate in the program. That percentage has climbed to 60, 70, and 80 percent because of the reduction in money, so far fewer districts are eligible for a lesser amount of Federal money in the program. The paperwork involved is such that it isn't worth filling out the forms for the amount of money that's available.

This massive stack of paper that the Commissioner brought is all very interesting, but in studying the bill I fail to see that it is going to relieve the paperwork at the State level. In fact, it is going to increase it. It may relieve some of the paperwork in the U.S. Office of Education. Over the years we have somewhat monitored the whole problem, and we found out that in many cases the gripe that local school people have is not what comes from the Federal Government, but the amour of work required from the States in filling out applications.

DIANTVNV LIONHD

[ocr errors]

Senator Pell. Thank you.

Do you have any knowledge of reports that indicate that block grants to States have not been used effectively? Have you in your own travels and conversations come back with the opinion that many of these block grants are ineffective?

Mrs. FLANIGAN. One major study has just been completed at the University of Syracuse which did analyze the Federal programs, not so much in terms of their effectiveness as to their stated purpose, but whether they were equalizing, had funds gone to the low-income child. I think overall they found title I to be most effective in reaching its objective to aid the low-income child in that the money went where the poor children were.

Some of the other formuals were indicted because they were matching grants. Hence, it took a fairly wealthy community to participate in all the matching grant programs.

We do have that kind of major study behind us.

Senator Pell. I know, too, the point that Mr. Morrison made, that the President's Commission on School Finance has not yet submitted its report. I agree with you that it does seem odd that the revenuesharing proposal of the administration should come forward before that report is submitted. I would have thought that the President's proposal would have been based on what this Commission reports, or at least it would be fed into it.

On behalf of the Republican minority, I have two questions.

In Mr. Morrison's prepared testimony, he indicates that some consolidation of Federal programs would be feasible. Could you furnish to the committee a listing of those programs which you believe could be or should be consolidated and your rationale for doing so?

I realize this is very difficult for you, because you have a constituency that will scream at you for doing this, but I would be interested in your response.

Mr. MORRISON. We shall submit that in writing to you. (The information subsequently supplied follows:)

CONSOLIDATION OF CERTAIN EDUCATION PROGRAMS AND RATIONALE FOR DOING SO

At the time when a substantial grant-in-aid for general federal support for elementary and secondary schools is enacted, it would be feasible to eliminate almost all existing grants for specialized purposes. If the general federal support is distributed on an equalizing formula and the support amounted to about 33 per cent of existing total revenue receipts for schools, the additional funds for every state would provide ample new funds in excess of current federal grants to permit the elimination of the special grants. We feel it is extremely important that categorical aids be retained until their purposes are accomplished and the national interest is fulfilled.

The grants which could be combined, when a federal contribution of 33 per
cent becomes available, are :
Elementary and Secondary Education Act :

Title I-Aid for low-income pupils.
Title II— Textbook and library resources,
Title III-Supplementary services; innovation.
Title V-Strengthening of state education departments.
Title VI-Education of the handicapped.

Title VII-Bilingual education.
National Defense Education Act :

Title III-Assistance for equipment purchase.

Title V-Guidance and counseling aid.
Impact Aid (P.L. 81–874): All parts of this law except Part A which con-
cerns children of parents who live on and work on federal property.

Vocational Education: Could be included, or perhaps should be a separate “block grant." Program guarantees could be written into the legislation providing that no program previously funded with federal grant funds shall be reduced or discontinued except with the permission of the Commissioner of Education.

Existing special aid programs which probably could not be included in the block grant are impact area aid for pupils whose parents live and work on federal property, Title IV of ESEA (Educational Research and Training), school food service and school milk programs, and civil rights programs. In addition, the shared revenue from public lands could not be included because of the concentration of federal lands in a few western states.

Please note that the NEA does not support a “block grant for education” unless there is a far greater commitment of federal funds than the present 69 per cent contribution provides. We believe the federal share should be 33 per cent.

Senator PELL. Thank you very much.

Mr. McFARLAND. Senator Pell, I would like to commend this committee for what they have done in the area of handicapped and what you are attempting to do in the higher education bill, because we feel this is a real step forward.

Senator Pell. Thank you.

Secretary Richardson, in his prepared statement referred to revenue sharing in education. Do you have any counter-rebuttal you would like to offer at this time, or would you like to submit that?

Mr. MORRISON. I believe, sir, that we've done this in our prepared statement. As a matter of fact, it sounded to me as though the Secretary's statement was written as a rebuttal to ours.

Senator PELL. Right.
Mr. McFarland ?

Mr. McFARLAND. We hear a lot of rumors from the U.S. Office of Education concerning a brand new program, the educational renewal centers. This sounds very exciting in many respects, and possibly one of the most interesting aspects is that it would provide a delivery system for NIE, as well as providing some consolidation of programs.

Our concern at this point is that there seems to be some inconsistencies between the rumors about the renewal centers program and the special revenue sharing proposal. Most programs are State grant programs, and the reliance of the renewal centers on discretionary money raises questions about the authority of the U.S. Office to shift these moneys.

Now, at this point I don't know enough about the renewal centers to make any serious criticisms about them. But I think there are questions that should be asked.

Senator Pell. You are quite correct. Conversations are going on at the staff level with regard to these proposals and also with regard to the legal base that would be necessary to move ahead in this field.

Mr. McFARLAND. Yes, sir.
(Information subsequently supplied for the record follows :)

[ocr errors]

nea

NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION • 1201 16th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20036 • (202) 833-4000
DONALD E. MORRISON, President

SAM M. LAMBERT, Executive Secretary

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

I am Donald Morrison, President of the National Education Association.

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 2,000,000 educators.

with me

is Stanley J. McFarland, Assistant Executive Secretary for Government Relations and

Citizenship.

We appreciate this opportunity to present our views on H.R. 7796, the proposed

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 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

[ocr errors]

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, H.R. 7796, 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.

« PreviousContinue »