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FOR RELEASE UPON DELIVERY
UNITED STATES SÉNATE
10:00 AM. EDT
Secretary Richardson will be accompanied by:
Dr. Sidney P. Marland, Jr., U.S. Commissioner of Education
Mr. Stephen Kurzman, Assistant Secretary for Legislation
Mr. Christopher Cross, Deputy Assistant Secretary for
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Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:
I am pleased to be here today to testify on s. 1669, the Education
Revenue Sharing Act.
This is the first Congressional hearing on this bill,
a measure which is of major importance to elementary and secondary education,
and of central concern to President Nixon in his efforts to reform and revitalize
the structure of government in the United States.
The Philosophy of Revenue Sharing
In his State of the Union Message last January 22, the President declared:
"The time has now come in America to reverse the flow of power and resources from the States and communities to Washington, and start power and resources flowing back from Washington to the States and communities and, more important, to the people all across America."
"The time has come for a new partnership between the Federal Govern-
The concept of the revenue sharing is not new: it was advocated by both
Presidential candidates in 1964 and in both major party platforms in 1968.
What is new and revolutionary is that this Administration has enunciated an
overall strategy--embracing general return of tax revenues to the States and
special revenue sharing in six areas of special national concern.
In each of
these proposals, we evoke the spirit and the substance of self-determination-
to preserve it where it exists, to strengthen it where it is weak, and to
create the conditions for its reemergence where it has disappeared.
Self-determination is the hallmark of revenue sharing. The President
has proposed general revenue sharing to correct the increasingly severe fiscal
mismatch between States and localities, faced with demands for services which
are rapidly outpacing revenues, and the Federal Government, equipped with a
faster-growing tax base. Recipient State and local governments would be free
to apportion shared revenues among the uses they deemed to be of the highest
priority for their citizens. They would no longer be caught in the Federal
straightjacket which assumes that what's good for one State is equally bene
ficial to another.
Since approximately 40 percent of local and State revenues are now devoted
to education, it is reasonable to expect that education will receive a sub
stantial portion of general revenue income.
Special Revenue Sharing
In addition to the general revenue sharing bill, the President has proposed
six special revenue sharing bills, designed to correct the complex and often
Inefficient way Federal assistance is provided. These bills taken together
would consolidate more than one hundred existing categorical programs in all
areas of government into six broad systems for sharing Federal revenues with
States and localities:
in education, urban and rural development, manpower,
transportation, and law enforcement.
But the goal is not the mere simplification of Federal organization charts.
The goal is twofold. First, consolidation is critically needed to free the
States and localities from strangulation by the bureaucratic red tape required
by the scores of individual programs.
In spite of similarities among related
programs in goals, grantees and ultimate beneficiaries, each program has its
own regulations, application forms, reporting requirements, and in many cases
its own State plan. Second, special revenue sharing will give the States and localities greater freedom than they now have, to determine their own priorities
within broad program areas and to decide how best to meet those priorities.
In this respect, special revenue sharing will accomplish a dramatic reversal
of the long-term trend toward an ever greater concentration of decision-making
power in Washington.
Although most of the national debate so far has focused primarily on
general revenue sharing, I believe that special revenue sharing will have an
equally significant long-range impact on the Nation. While general revenue
sharing offers the prospect of substantially reducing pressures on State and
local tax bases, special revenue sharing offers a new mechanism for Federal
State collaboration in matters of mutual concern.
Reform and revitalization
of the federal system will not be accomplished by money alone; the funds must
also be accompanied by reform of the decision-making process to restore the
authority of State and local governments--and this is precisely what special
revenue sharing is designed to accomplish.
Education Revenue Sharing
S. 1669, the Education Revenue Sharing bill before the Subcommittee today,
exemplifies this strategy of governmental reform.
It would redefine the
Federal role in elementary and secondary education, a redefinition which has
become more necessary with the passage of each new categorical program. By
delineating broad areas of Federal concern, education revenue sharing would
assure that national priorities continue to be met.
Extraordinary Growth of Categorical Programs
Over the past half century there has been a growing trend toward ever
narrower categories of Federal assistance to elementary and secondary education. concern for strengthened curricula in science, mathematics, and foreign languages,
The categorical approach dates back to 1917 and the Smith-Hughes Act, the first
vocational education legislation.
In 1958 the National Defense Education Act
continued and expanded this pattern for Federal aid.
In response to national
the NDEA established a series of programs designed to encourage more young
people to pursue studies and acquire skills in fields considered vital to the
In subsequent years, a broader range of national educational
needs was identified, and Congress passed in rapid succession a series of laws
providing special help for the disadvantaged, for the handicapped, to train
more teachers, to modernize vocational and technical education, and to provide
more books, equipment, and technology.
Clearly, these programs have had a profound impact on America's educa
But there is a serious question as to how many more categories
can be added to the existing structure without swamping it completely. The
Office of Education now administers more than 100 categorical programs.
complicate the picture even further, at least 26 Federal agencies also administer
significant categorical programs affecting schools and colleges.
State and Local Governments' Problems Under the Categorical Maze
Seen from ground level, the jungle of Federal guidelines, regulations,
application forms, and evaluation requirements is almost impenetrable. In
order to mount a comprehensive program for disadvantaged children, for
example, a local school superintendent finds himself facing the necessity
of simultaneously seeking program funds under title I of the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act, books under title II, and counseling under title III.
In addition, he may seek assistance through special programs under the Educa
tion for the Handicapped Act, or purchase equipment under title III of NDEA,