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it in carrying out activities under the act which are designed to further achievement of national policy objectives in education.
5. PARTICIPATION OF NONPUBLIC SCHOOL CHILDREN
The bill also provides that, except where prohibited by State law, the equitable participation of children enrolled in nonpublic elementary and secondary schools would be provided in the disadvantaged, handicapped, vocational, and support services areas. Where existing State law prevents the participation of nonpublic school children the Secretary will arrange for those children to receive similar services and will pay for the services from the State's allotment.
Of course, title to and control of funds received and of equipment purchased under this act will remain with the State or local educa
6. CIVIL RIGHTS
In the civil rights area, the bill provides that revenues shared with States and local districts under this act shall be considered as Federal financial assistance within the meaning of title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
7. TRANSITION FROM EXISTING PROGRAMS. Finally, the act authorizes the appropriation of such sums as may be necessary to enable the Secretary to make payments to States to assist them in planning for the transition from the existing system of categorical grants repealed by this act to the new system of revenue sharing for education.
REACTIONS TO THE BILL
Quite gratifyingly to me, our revenue sharing bill has received considerable favorable attention within the education community. Although some individuals and organizations have criticized various specifics in our proposal, the majority of those concerned-including our critics—have long endorsed the concepts of grant consolidation and program simplification embodied in this legislation. We are also encouraged by the response to our emphasis on the shift of greater decisionmaking responsibility to the State and local levels.
Criticisms of the bill have so far clustered around three points : the adequacy of the level of funding, particularly as compared with so-called "full-funding” of existing categorical programs; the capacity of the States to administer the revenues shared; and the adequacy of the civil rights safeguards in the bill.
1. LEVEL OF FUNDING
Some critics have argued that "there isn't enough money in education revenue sharing.” To me this indicates a misunderstanding of our proposal. It is not intended to be a general aid to education bill. The bill specifies no authorization ceiling, only “such sums as may be neces
As is normally the case with authorizing legislation, the level of funding available under this act will be a function of the annual appropriations process.
The President's budget for 1972 contained only an illustrative breakdown of the amounts that would otherwise be allocated to the 33 existing formula grant programs consolidated by the education revenue sharing proposal. What we attempted to do was to show how the amounts of money presently budgeted under existing authorities would be reallocated to the five broad national purpose areas. An additional $200 million was added so that we could insure that no State would receive less than it did in fiscal year 1971.
Misunderstanding of this funding level question, since the bill authorizes no specific amount, obscures the real merits of the proposal.
Related to this is the reaction that “present programs would be more effective if they were fully funded; then there would be no need for education revenue sharing." At first glance this argument appears to have some appeal, but its appeal rests on a continuation of the current grant structure. It ignores the obvious complexities and difficulties which Federal categorical programs already pose for school administrators. In fact, full funding of the present programs would not eliminate the need for education revenue sharing: it would become even more urgent than it already is if we are to save the elementary and secondary education system from strangulation by Federal
2. STATE CAPACITY TO ADMINISTER
Another reaction to our proposal is the question: "Are the States capable of spending the shared funds responsibly?” This is an odd question on the face of it since States and local school districts are currently spending 93 percent of all funds expended for public elementary and secondary education. It seems anomalous to argue that they are somehow unfit to manage the 7 percent contributed by the Federal Government.
If we acknowledge that some States will spend the money more wisely than others, we must also ask how any State can be expected to be fully responsible, as long as Federal programs deny them full responsibility. I would make this point even more strongly: unless we establish the conditions under which States and localities accept responsibility, we will never consider them capable of the tasks at hand. If we do not make it absolutely explicit that State and local failures cannot be blamed on the National Government and that incompetence cannot be tied by a long string of excuses to Washington, then local and State agencies will never be held accountable for their actions. This Nation has operated too long under the self-fulfilling prophecy that State and local governments are too weak to carry public burdens; to make sure the prophecy came true, State and local governments have been continually weakened. It is time for a different prophecy.
3. CIVIL RIGHTS SAFEGUARDS
As I have noted above, we have provided in section 13 that the nondiscrimination provisions of title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 will apply to programs and activities receiving funds under the bill. We believe that this is adequate and would provide full protection.
Some criticism has been made that shared revenues would be intermingled with State and local funds so that the civil rights guarantees will not be enforceable. This is untrue: funds under this bill would be no less traceable for civil rights purposes than they are under existing categorical programs, which of course now fund virtually the same grantee agencies as would be funded under the bill. Moreover, in order to make this absolutely clear, section 18 requires strict accounting to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare by the States for the use of the shared funds, including full reporting and disclosure to the Secretary. Just as at present, the Federal Government will have full power to enforce the civil rights guarantees that must go along with the funds collected from all Federal taxpayers. As the President stated in his state of the Union message in describing this aspect of all his revenue sharing proposals:
Neither the President nor the Congress nor the conscience of the Nation can permit money which comes from all the people to be used in a way which discriminates against some of the people.
In concluding, I would like to point out that as a practicing school administrator, I have long been aware of the condition underlying the need for revenue sharing in education. When I joined the Office of Education it became even more clear that with the increasing Federal role in elementary and secondary education we had reached the point where major reform in grant management was necessary. As Mr. Kurzman has so forcefully emphasized, the categorical elementary and secondary education laws and programs have proliferated to the point where, especially at the local and State level, thousands of man days are required simply to manage the paperwork,
In the main, these laws in their time were right and good. Many remain so today, supporting essential Federal priorities of the Nation's elementary and secondary schools. In education revenue sharing, it is intended that we sustain the purposes and priorities implicit in the original legislation of the 33 programs, but at the same time greatly simplify the delivery system. It is our belief that Congress meant to make these funds available quickly and in uncluttered fashion to the eligible local education agencies. I know that I speak for virtually all school superintendents in the United States when I say that we must sometimes wonder whether the game is worth the candle and whether the multiplicity of Federal regulations, guidelines, reports, forms, correspondence, State plans, local plans, overlapping evaluations, etc., are justified in terms of the funds received. Of course, there is no doubt that the funds are desperately needed. However, many hundreds, if not thousands, of creative and talented people, both in the Office of Education and in the State and local systems are tied down with unnecessary paperwork. Under this proposed law they would be able to turn their talents to the real teaching and learning opportunities within their profession.
I might further add that we believe that special revenue sharing concepts, at least in part, originated in the Office of Education and became a part of the administration's legislative program in a wider context affecting many other agencies. It is not something that was imposed upon us. I can speak with enthusiasm for the appropriateness of education revenue sharing at this time and assure you that this bill preserves the priorities implicit in the laws which it brings together.
And I can assure you that administratively those priorities can be
sustained at the local level in a simple and staightforward delivery system which my office will manage. Further, I can assure you that it will be a great boon to the thousands of professional people throughout the land who are charged with the stewardship of public funds and who want very much to see this bill enacted. They have so resolved. Finally and most importantly, I can assure you that they possess the competence and integrity to administer this law as Congress intends it and in so doing to increase greatly their efficiency.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman PERKINS. Let me compliment both of you on your statements.
I certainly do not share the viewpoint expressed in many instances. I would like to suggest we abide by the 5-minute rule so all of us will have an opportunity to question the Commisioner and Doctor Kurzman.
I will address three or four questions to both of you gentlemen.
Do you presently have in mind an educational expansion program beyond what you have testified to, in connection with H.R. 7796?
Commissioner MARLAND. If you are speaking for Federal support of elementary and secondary education, I will try to answer that very briefly.
On September 30, the President assembled in his office the principal leaders in elementary and secondary education from throughout the Country, representing such organizations as NEA, AFT, school administrators, state boards of education, local boards of education, and so forth.
At that time the Serrano decision in California, only recently announced by the court, indicated an inequity in distribution of public funds in that State.
The President turned to the Secretary and me at the conclusion of that meeting and said, Mr. Richardson and Mr. Marland, we expect you to consider alternatives to this problem; I can answer your question by saying we are indeed heavily engaged in considering such alternatives.
Chairman PERKINS. How long do you think it will be before you can come before the committee and give the committee your views on those alternatives?
Do you feel you can do it in 20 days, or 30 days or 60 days?
Commissioner MARLAND. On a wholly different subject, you are quite right; However, I feel the subject, as Assistant Secretary Kurzman said, is quite unrelated.
We are dealing with a process bill, and the other subject which you have raised is a money bill. As for predicting the date, or number of days required, it would be presumptuous for me to assume for the administration at this stage that they will be ready to deliver this within any number of given days.
I would hope in the light of the very serious problems, which you and other members of the committee have described as desperate, especially in the cities of this land, that there will be early action in the administration in considering various alternatives.
Chairman PERKINS. Do you feel you will have your statements put together by the middle of January, to give the committee the benefit of your views, or will it take longer?
Doctor Kurzman, do you care to comment ?
Mr. KURZMAN. I think it is difficult at this point in the process to pinpoint a specific time, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman PERKINS. These hearings are going to be a continuous thing, and we want to invite you back the moment that you can give us a date, that you are ready to come before the committee with additional suggestions to support the elementary and secondary schools.
I hope you will get in contact with the committee forthwith.
One other factor which somewhat constrains our prediction of a date firm is, as you know, that both the Congress and the President have named a School Finance Commission. The two Commissions are now serving as one with a requirement to report their findings to Congress no later than April.
Chairman PERKINS. One other question.
Categorical programs in my view have served a great purpose in the past.
I think that is indisputable, but undoubtedly we may have too many of them, and there may be some of them that can be eliminated, but others cannot be eliminated. My question, under your proposed revenue sharing plan for the elementary and secondary schools, with the programs that you plan to discontinue, how much less money will the school districts in the States receive than they are presently receiving through the categorical programs?
That is the question I would like to have answered. Mr. KURZMAN. The purpose of the legislation is not to deprive them of any funds. The purpose is to utilize the same funds in a much more rational way.
Chairman PERKINS. I know that is your purpose, but as it works out, after you eliminate some programs, school districts come up on the short end.
How do you explain that?
Mr. KURZMAN. We are in the process of reviewing the extent to which there would be any short fall, and, of course, the intention was clearly stated at the time the bill was introduced in April that any short fall would be corrected.
Chairman PERKINS. You have not completed that review yet?
Commissioner MARLAND. I would like to add to that, Mr. Chairman, I think it would be useful for the committee to know that we recognize that the formula, which is a part of this bill, has some flaws.
We know that and we are continuing work on the formula. One of the complications is that the data keeps changing so that we are working with a moving target. Therefore, as you have noted, some States may not under this present formula receive precisely as much as they did before. That is one of the reasons for the hold harmless feature of this bill.
I think it would be useful for us, at the time we come close to moving toward the adoption of a formula, to share with the committee and the committee staff the refinements of that formula, so there will be a joint participation.
Chairman PERKINS. That formula has not been finally refined? Commissioner MARLAND. That is correct.