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services to all exceptional children, aged 4-21.
The re-allocation of
federal funds to local school districts should be based on excess-cost in
accordance with a state plan, and the states should be encouraged in this
direction. Parents should have full hearing and appeal rights. A state plan
acceptable to the governor and subject to public hearing should be required.
While funds for impacted school districts have provided
valuable revenues for education, they have also created a problem for the
increasing number of states attempting to equalize educational spending. The
present program allows large sums of money to flow into school districts, but
forbids the state to consider such funds as local revenues when distributing
Since the new equalization formulas are designed to remedy
inequalities in local revenues, impact aid money has the effect of undoing
what the state legislature has done--of disequalizing where the intention was
Section 1 of PL 874 should be reworded in such a way as to
permit these funds to be counted as local revenue in any state which has
passed equalization legislation.
5. Support materials and services.
Consolidate Titles II, III and V of
ESEA, Title III of the National Defense Education Act and the Adult Education
Act into a comprehensive state materials and services program to include adult
education and school library and instructional resources.
Up to 15 percent of
any state allocation may be used for administering federal programs and
strengthening state education agencies.
States should be required to submit
state plans acceptable to the governor and subject to public hearing.
Data collection and technical assistance.
A proportion of each year's
allocation--perhaps 10 percent--should be reserved for the discretionary use of
the U.S. Commissioner of Education to further the purposes of the act generally,
but with specific emphasis on:
Providing special assistance to states desiring to develop statewide
testing programs as the basis for allocating compensatory education funds.
Improving the USOE data-gathering capacity to provide states with
much-needed management and decision-making information, particularly as such
information is necessary to implement aspects of federal program consolidation-
equalizing school finance systems, providing aid to exceptional children on an
excess-cost basis, etc.
Improving USOE's capacity to provide the states with developmental
assistance and to monitor and evaluate consolidated federal programs.
Traditional reliance on a separate USOE salary and expense (S&E) budget to
provide the staffing necessary for program development assistance, monitoring
and evaluation has proven inadequate.
Any program consolidation proposal must include consideration of additional
factors: accountability, strategy
and funding. Under the ECS proposal, program
consolidation block grants would go to the state agency legally designated as
responsible for elementary and secondary education--usually a state department
Public and public official accountability would be assured by
requiring a separate state plan for each program consolidation area to be subject
to the governor's approval after public hearings.
These plans would have to be
submitted to the U.S. Commissioner of Education--for information, not approval-
before a state could be declared eligible to receive its block grant allocation.
The Commissioner should be required to report annually to the Congress on the
effectiveness of program consolidation activities in the various states.
The consolidation of categorical programs should not be billed either as
revenue sharing or grant consolidation.
It is less than the former, more than
the latter. Although the ECS proposal does not involve general support funds,
it is our opinion that such funds are needed -- and that this is a need that
must be dealt with in the very near future.
Finally, while there is a beguiling simplicity to the argument that
authorizations and funding levels are two different things and should be
considered separately, political reality dictates serious consideration of
anticipated first-year appropriations.
ECS believes the minimum level of
first-year funding should at least be equal to total fiscal 1972 appropria
tions for all programs involved in any consolidation package, plus a 10
percent inflation factor.
To provide less would transform program consolidation
into program emasculation.
Senator Pell. Our next witness is Dr. Paul W. Briggs, superintendent of the Cleveland Public Schools, representing the Council of the Great City Schools.
I would add that Senator Taft was very sorry that he could not be here to introduce you himself. He is engaged on the floor, but he asked that we proceed with this hearing as scheduled. He also sends his regards to be passed on to you. STATEMENT OF PAUL W. BRIGGS, SUPERINTENDENT, CLEVELAND
PUBLIC SCHOOLS, REPRESENTING THE COUNCIL OF THE GREAT CITY SCHOOLS; ACCOMPANIED BY CONELLA C. BROWN, ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT, COMMUNITY RELATIONS; PETER P. CARLIN, ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT, CONTINUING EDUCATION AND SPECIAL PROJECTS; JACK NAIRUS, DIRECTOR, COMPENSATORY EDUCATION
Mr. BRIGGs. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and Senator Stafford. I have brought with me several assistants.
Senator PELL. Would you introduce them please.
Mr. BRIGGS. They are Ms. Conella C. Brown, assistant superintendent, community relations; Mr. Peter P. Carlin, assistant superintendent, continuing education and special projects; and Dr. Jack Nairus, director, compensatory education.
Senator PELL. We are pleased to have all of you here.
Mr. BRIGGs. First of all let me identify myself. I am Paul W. Briggs, superintendent of the Cleveland Public Schools. I will be speaking primarily as superintendent of the Cleveland Public School System, however, I also represent the 20 largest school districts in the United States, the urban districts having urban problems. These districts perhaps have more at stake in this legislation than any of the other school districts in this country.
I would like to further point out that I am one of the two or three superintendents in the United States who was in his present job at the time the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was established, who still holds that job, and who has had an opportunity to see ESEA develop, to see it change, and to see its impact.
So today I would like to address myself to several things. One is what we have seen happen as a result of the categorical aid of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, second, to raise a couple of questions, and, finally, react to the so-called Better Schools Act.
The Federal Government traditionally has concentrated its educational spending on programs of national concern, such as agriculture, vocational education, manpower training, science, and more recently programs for the children of the poor, categorical aid, attempting to attack problems of the children of the poor.
I feel very strongly that this kind of relationship with the Federal Government; that is, identification of great national problems, provision of initiative, leadership, and funds; coordination with the State departments of education, the State governments, as well as the local school district, has enabled genuine progress.
I would like to present several charts that describe our programs and a few problems.
[First chart shown may be found on p. 1698.]
First of all, poverty has not been wiped out in our urban centers. The children of the poor are still confined to the great urban centers. We have a school system with nearly 140,000 students, and in 1969, 30,900 came from poor homes.
In 1970 that was increased to 36,000; then 46,000; then 56,000. This year more than 58,000 of our children come from homes that are below the poverty level.
LEVEL OF STUDENT POPULATION
Senator STAFFORD. Excuse me. Mr. Chairman, may I ask two questions directly here.
Senator PELL. Please.
Senator STAFFORD. Has the student population remained fairly constant during the years 1969 through 1973?
Mr. BRIGGS. That is a very good question; because it has not. The number of students has dropped over 10,000—if we put this in percentages it would be even more dramatic.
The city of Cleveland enrolls 7 percent of the students in the State of Ohio and better than 25 percent of all the children of the poor. We have six schools where more than 97 percent of the students come from welfare families.
DEFINITION OF POOR FAMILY
Senator STAFFORD. Let me ask you one more question in order to understand the chart. Has the definition of a poor family changed during the years 1969 through 1973?
Mr. BRIGGS. Yes. The definition has changed somewhat. In other words, those figures have been adjusted However the purchasing power also has changed even more dramatically.
Senator STAFFORD. Let me ask you then has the definition of a poor family in Cleveland remained fairly constant in terms of real dollars in 1969?
Mr. BRIGGs. This is right. If there is any conclusion to be drawn, it probably would be in the direction that the poor are poorer now than they were.
Senator STAFFORD. Thank you.
Mr. BRIGGS. You can see the extent of this problem. Critical to the education of the poor is the Federal money that we have been able to receive. And, as a practicing superintendent over these years, I must say that I have seen a steady decline in the ability of the school district to supply revenue necessary for the children of the poor.
Our tax duplicate has dropped dramatically. Over the last 3 years in the city of Cleveland by about $30 to $40 million. Cleveland is one of the few cities of the United States where the people have consistently gone to the polls and voted more money for schools. During my 9 years of tenure - I am starting my 10th year now in Clevelandthe people of the city of Cleveland have voted to increase their taxes by 137 percent. This has not happened in any other major city in this country.
Therefore there is a great local effort. Furthermore, the State of Ohio has improved its formula for us. But without the categorical aid