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professional associations, including as wide an audience as we can reach, this proposition, which attempts to assemble the many small parts of the discretionary resources, now planted in the Office of Education, in their various components, and puts them under one general jurisdiction, so that the impact of those many programs can give far more promise of bringing about change in the educational system of America. We are trying to please the most people with bits and pieces of programs, and we are trying to target the programs to where they will do the most good.
Again, one of the overriding objectives is to try to improve the circumstances of the child that is not learning, especially the poor child, the minority child, the child in the ghetto, the child in the rural area, the child in the barrio, and to reach out to perhaps as many as 200 central cities in the United States, in the first year, where these programs will be pooled and targeted, with the understanding, in the first place, the local community wants them, and the State has identified tha fact, and finally we can put into that site an agent chosen by the local people, behaving much as the Agricultural agent, and being a resource of quick delivery, of ideas, resources, products.
This is a quick sketch of renewal. It is being widely discussed; it is in a fluid state,
We believe in it. The Office of Education for a long time has been accused of being sluggish, bureaucratic, immovable, all of the bad things implicit in big Government. We wish to get over that, and to become a lively and responsive system helping out.
Chairman PERKINS. Mr. Peyser. Mr. PEYSER. I will yield to Mr. Ruth. Mr. RUTH. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask Mr. Brademas and Mr. Pucinski one question.
I admire your position on the committee, you have always been for education, you have always insisted that we need to put more and more money into it, but don't you have some misgivings about your statement, regarding how the President plans to raise this money, and
Mr. PUCINSKI. Are you asking me?
Mr. RUTH. I think I may as well. Mr. Brademas never pays attention when I am talking.
Mr. BRADEMAS. I am always happy to listen to the gentleman.
We want to get some money. We obviously have to find money, and that will have to come out of general revenue.
I am interested in giving these local school districts help as quickly as possible.
The only reason I raise this question is because there are people in the Bureau of the Budget who have been discussing some aspects of this, and what I am trying to do, is to see what we are going to do as a committee, and what we can do as a committee to help resolve this problem. It was not my purpose to try to either debate, criticize or question whatever the President will do.
We will have ample opportunity when that program is presented to us. But it is obvious that if the reports coming out of the Bureau of the Budget are correct, that there is some concept along this line, at least, in the discussion stage, and it may never get any further than a discussion stage, then that sort of a proposal would go to another com
mittee. My concern is to hold hearings across the country, and to get a bill, this bill to the full committee as quickly as possible.
Chairman PERKINS. Let me say to my distinguished colleague, I have known the President for a long period of time, and I do not entertain many views that the President of the United States entertains, but I know having served on the committee with him back in 1949, 1950, that he is too true to say that he is for education, and at the same time advocate a national sales tax.
No child in America with any responsibility would come forth with such a program, or platform.
a It is just completely nonsense.
Mr. PUCINSKI. Perhaps, Mr. Chairman, in our discussion here today we shot that one down pretty good.
Mrs. GREEN. I am just one of those people Chairman PERKINS. Nobody would believe it is sincere. Mrs. GREEN. I happen to belong to that group which thinks society will never support education as it should until we have a specific, earmarked Federal tax. We have just such an earmarked tax for the maintenance and development of our highways. We have a specific tax dedicated to that particular purpose alone. I am not endorsing a sales tax-but we might well give consideration to a particular tax for the support of education.
Perhaps a “booze for books" tax might provide the earmarked funds for schools.
Mr. PEYSER. I do have a statement with my next question. One, I met this morning with Governor Rockefeller and discussed with him the situation facing New York State.
He is in the process of announcing a major cut in the educational support that the State can give to local school districts, and this is going to be a very substantial cut, and in reviewing the formula, as I saw it on the proposed revenue sharing bill, it showed that New York State would receive approximately $23 million less than it would have received under the present formula.
I am sure this is not the intent, but I would like to hear from the Commissioner.
Commissioner MARLAND. We attempted to touch on that earlier, Congressman Peyser.
The short answer is this, the formula as it was constructed a year ago is moving forward with a moving target.
It may no longer be a valid formula.
It could be subject to substantial revision, and the kinds of flaws that you have just reported could be rectified.
Mr. PEYSER. I thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Is anybody considering, or talking about a “booze for books” tax down there?
Mrs. GREEN. I might say to the gentleman from Minnesota, that, if he would like to discuss that issue with me further, I am receptive to doing so.
Mr. Quit. If the young lady would yield, I do find that concept of a tax for education very intriguing.
We do that in Minnesota.
The State income tax is earmarked for education. Now, it is tapped for some other uses once in a while, but I think it has done well for education in Minnesota, by having it earmarked as income for education.
I would not reject tying the two together, if such a thing is being talked about, which I would not know anything about.
Mrs. GREEN. Thank you. I would like to return to the issue of categorical programs.
Many continue to argue that the categorical approach has worked so well. But the point is, it has worked well compared to nothing. The Federal Government has generally taken no other approach.
So when one asks whether they work, the answer is that compared to having no funds at the local level, of course they work.
When you get a few dollars for something, it is always better to have something than nothing but I have yet to hear an educator, if you ask him, "would you prefer to have a dollar in categorical aid, or would you like to have that dollar in general aid," I have yet to find a single educator who responds that he would rather have support in categorical aid. I have seen some that say, "I don't care about that categorical business. I am concerned about the real threat of having to close the schools. We do not have enough to pay for the heat and the salaries and so on. So I think we had better start thinking about the more basic necessities instead of being so absorbed in the relatively small basic impact of our categorical programs.
Now, in some of the States you said the amount of the money does not exceed the administrative costs.
I know of several cases in Oregon illustrating this situation. In one instance a check was received for $2.15. This is ridiculous. In another instance two different districts got checks from the Federal Government under the terms of categorical programs for $2 and $10. In yet another case, $19 was received. Then we pretend these catgorical programs are working well.
I think it is a lot of nonsense, and if we continue in this way, we will never solve the problems of education. Let me reiterate: “We must review the categorical approach, but not in relation to nothing. We must compare it to other programs that might be meaningful from the standpoint of quality education.
Mr. KURZMAN. May we reply?
Mr. KURZMAN. A number of points have been made on a lot of different subjects by several members, and I would just like to reply. The point has been raised, for example, there is some inconsistency between our desire to achieve comparability under existing laws, and our proposal to give the local school districts and the States much greater autonomy than they now have in the use of the approximately $3 billion of Federal tax moneys which are now going to the Office of Education, into aid in elementary and secondary education.
It is that kind of autonomy that we are precisely trying to achieve with this bill.
We are trying to limit the number of Federal concerns to a specific list of identifiable concerns which can effectively be monitored by the Federal Government.
That is the whole point of it. The bill limits the Federal involvement to, as I see it, five basic interests, which are overriding Federal interests.
It would give us for the first time a chance to make sure that those main interests are being met.
They are civil rights, comparability, serving the disadvantaged, serving those who reside on Federal property, and serving on an equitable basis, children who are involved in private schools.
Those five interests are spelled out at various points in the bill, and we are trying to eliminate all of the other quite valid at the time of enactment interests which the Congress expressed in the other characteristics of these 33 programs that would be combined.
Mrs. GREEN. You cite as one of the five areas of top priority the disadvantaged.
Why is that of greater priority than the advantaged?
Why do we neglect the kids that are really gifted, and say that our top priority is to turn to the disadvantaged.
Our future leaders will come from the ones that are gifted.
Mr. KURZMAN. That question, I think, Mrs. Green, is addressed to what the Congress and the executive branch have expressed through both parties over a long period of time—the need to overcome a very long period of action against the disadvantaged.
Chairman PERKINS. Mr. Quie.
On that, I guess, I would have to say the Congress is setting the ratio on these programs. In your proposal here, consolidating the programs that the Congress has passed, the disadvantaged get the largest share, but I would imagine if we start moving on into general aid
that ratio will change.
Mr. PUCINSKI. We have been talking about booze for books, but we spent $56 billion on education at all levels, 40 percent of local and State level funds are now devoted to education.
It would take an awful lot of booze to raise that kind of tax.
Mr. QUIE. I think it is closer to $48 billion in elementary and secondary schools.
I would like to address myself to some of the comment on the future direction for school financing. On page 18, they put it in blue letters, and in italics, the different State educational expenditure levels, and they are explained largely by variations in their fiscal ability. As we write formulas, you, Dr. Marland, indicated you were going to take another look at the formulas in the proposal you have here, is that correct?
Commissioner MARLAND. I think it is noteworthy that the National Education Finance Study, which was sponsored by the Office of Education, is coming to fruition at this very timely point in history. Indeed, it will have very valuable applicability to the further refinement of that formula.
Mr. Quie. And so when we do write a formula, either for the proposed special revenue sharing, or if we go to general aid to education, I think the Federal Government must be an equalizer within the States.
It is the only way it would be equitable.
I wish the gentlemen from the New York were still here. I would hate to see the formula used as it was in title I for the Elementary Education Act, whereas the State which has probably the most, gets the most amount of money. I think that is the inequity of title I. As it happens, there is still more poverty in the southern part of the United States than exists elsewhere, and I think it behooves all of us to help the young people in their education, no matter where they are. That is why I want to make a strong plea for the equalization factor between the States on the part of the Federal Government. The second one really intrigued me, because I have been doubting all the time that this great poverty of funds in the large cities is not what they claimed it to be. When I was in the State legislature, I remember that the cities had most of the wealth, because that is where most of the taxable property existed. It is interesting, on page 19 of that report, it states the major urban core city district had the highest per capita value of any school district. They had an average of 8.9 mills being levied, as against the suburbs, 11.9 mills, so they have a lower mill rate, and a higher true market value of their property. To the extent that we depend on property, as we still are going to be doing for a while, I do not know if that California decision will completely reverse the use of the property tax, or not, but I doubt that will be the case.
You cannot have that drastic a change.
Commissioner MARLAND. Unless that observation remains somewhat incomplete, Mr. Quie, two-thirds of the local tax base on the real estate tax in a city is used for noneducational purposes.
We call that municipal overburden, which subsequently part of that report we will deal with.
A suburban community can support its municipal needs with onethird of its resources. Therefore, two-thirds are available for the schools. For a city, a third or less is available for the schools, because the needs of a city are so much greater than in the suburb.
Municipal overburden is the biggest distinction that is causing that, not the tax rates.
Mr. QUIE. I do not think that will hold true, because the crime that is in the city is moving out into the suburbs at a rapid rate.
Crime exists in the suburbs, it is moving to the rural areas.
The crime in my rural counties is astounding. People used to think they were immune out in those areas, and it is true, but the sheriff's department and police department in the smaller cities and rural counties are not able to convince the people as yet as to the urgency
of the need for policemen.
I think that will expand out to rural areas too. I hope it will not be as bad, but the cancer of the city seems to be spreading around the country, and I just do not want us to ignore the problems of the rural areas in education that are quite severe in my judgment.
The last point I want to make, and it is a comment rather than a question, but it goes on further, as to whether it is the problem of the state to providing equality of opportunity, and it is the State's.
I do not think there is any way for us to have the intelligence, being on the Federal level, to bring about every equalizer within the State.
I think we have to depend on the State, and I know this is the pitch you are making in your testimony, and what Mr. Kurzman gave in his testimony, that we have to depend on the States, and give them that responsibility, and the awareness, that which we are gaining