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We feel a similar uneasiness with that portion of Section 435

which provides for the enjoining of an expenditure or other program

activity when the appropriate committee of either chamber asks the

Comptroller General to provide an advisory ruling on the legality of

some Education Division activity or expenditure.

We have no concern

regarding the need for such oversight by the Congress; we are only

concerned that the meaning of the language is not construed so as to

tie up an entire program for--possibly--extended periods of time.

While it is our understanding that the focus of this particular

set of hearings deals with the ramifications of categorical and general

aid, we would be remiss if we did not mention our considerable interest

in Title VIII of s. 1539.

We trust that we shall have the opportunity

at a later date to discuss this in detail.

Finally, AASA, while having no official position in regards to

that section (431) dealing with a national commission on .education policy

planning and evaluation, believes that such a proposal has considerable

merit and is worthy of further serious exploration.

The United States has a foreign policy.

We have an energy

We have other such policies.

Why not a national policy in regards

policy.

to education?

Thank you.

Senator PELL. Our final witness today is Howard B. Hitchens, executive director for Educational Communications and Technology.

STATEMENT OF HOWARD B. HITCHENS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,

ASSOCIATION FOR EDUCATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY

Mr. HITCHENS. I am representing about 10,000 people in the education business in the schools and colleges of the country who believe in the efficacy of educational technology and its products for improving American education.

You can, I think, understand from that statement that I am going to be opposed to some consolidations and that my constituents do feel that they need continued help of a categorical nature. We do, however, feel that the ESEA of 1965 is a good piece of legislation and that its existing titles should be continued.

Title I, programs in the various States, even though they have not been necessarily consistent with the intent of Congress, should be continued. Our parochial interest in title I, the question of whether equipment and materials, the various logistical support items, can be acquired with title I funds has never been clearly answered.

The Office of Education statistics on the title I program for 1971 reveals that only eight-tenths of a percent of the title I appropriation was spent on audiovisual equipment and only seven-tenths of 1 percent of the funds were spent on instructional materials.

This low rate of expenditure in comparison to other budget items reflects an atmosphere of restrictiveness surrounding the acquisition of equipment and materials. We feel that the intent of Congress to provide the best services and facilities for children from low income families could be made more clear and we suggest that an amendment to the current title be considered.

Title II of ESEA, providing for school library resources, textbooks, and other instructional materials, has been a very effective and popular program in the Nation's schools. It is one of the few programs in which children attending both public and nonpublic schools benefit from Federal funds on an equal basis. In the most affluent schools, title II funds may provide supplementary funds for materials designed to further enrich and support a comprehensive school program, whereas in less affluent districts the moneys may be the only source of library and equipment acquisitions. In each case, however, the funds are being applied where they are needed most.

However, currently less than one-fifth of the schools in the United States and virtually no schools in the less affluent areas have the equipment, materials or budgets to meet the recommended standards for school media programs, which were professionally developed by the American Library Association and the National Education Association jointly.

Withdrawal of Federal support at this time will only serve to widen the gap between what is and what is supposed to be.

I think you have heard a fairly eloquent defense of title III this morning, and I know from previous testimony the case has been made that this title certainly is needed for continuance.

Let me turn to title V. It has been criticized for its failure to stimulate a genuine rethinking of priorities by State departments of education. I believe the primary reason for that is that the program efforts under title V have been stifled by severely low funding.

In the area of educational technology in particular, there is a real role for the State to play in developing programs for inservice training of media specialists and classroom teachers who want to improve their technical expertise.

Title VII. Bilingual education programs were well conceived, but they too have suffered from low funding.

I would like to turn now to the one major issue these hearings are addressing, and that is the question of consolidation of some of the existing titles into a so-called support services program.

These proposals have been supported by the National Education Association, National School Boards Association, the Council of Chief State Officers and you have just heard the school administrators go on record in support of them. I would like to go through quickly the advantages and disadvantages as my constituents see them.

First, the advantages. Certainly the chief State school officer would gain maximum flexibility for the expenditure of the funds—or at least a great deal more flexibility than he presently has. He would be able to devote all of the grant funds for equipment or all for materials or all for books or all for career education or all for fourth-grade reading. In fact, there will be 50 different statewide programs with each State commissioner free to set his or her own statewide priorities. This is the kind of flexibility State departments of education are seeking these days.

Second, under this consolidation proposal, nonbublic schools would be able to obtain Federal money for equipment grants just as they presently can obtain materials under ESEA II. At present under ESEA II, approximately 10 percent goes to nonpublic schools.

Third, it will give equipment and materials presently provided for in ESEA II and NDEA III, a new 5-vear lease on life. However, NDEA III was renewed last year in the Education Amendments Act of 1972 for a 3-year period.

Fourth, this proposal to consolidate some support services would furnish the President with some modicum of education revenue sharing which is intended in his proposed Better Schools Act of 1973. Therefore, there is a possibility that it may help secure his signature on the authorization measure.

Let us turn now to some of the disadvantages of this proposition. First, the mix of titles with matching provisions and titles without matching provisions is an incompatible and irrational merger for the sake of merger. It is not logical.

Second, lumping these programs together would cause them to each lose their identity and their special features in order to provide support services. The programs as they presently exist are popular and effective.

Under NDEA III and ESEA II presently, each administrator and local school board decides for itself how it wants to use NDEA III and ESEA II. If discretionary authority is granted to the chief State school officer, he will have more control over how the local administrator may use the funds. If the chief State school officer decides that all funds will be devoted to early childhood development, then a local administrator wanting funds for equipment for materials for a reading program could well be left out in the cold.

There will be growth in the amount of political activity at the State and local level in order to secure funds for the discreet purposes that are presently served by these categorical titles. From the viewpoint of my constituents, this invites divisive local and State battles among audiovisual and library interests, guidance counselors and other specialized educational personnel.

The most serious detrimental effect, in my view, of this proposal to consolidate several titles is the danger of losing the matching provision of NDEA III. A matching program forces local school districts and State legislatures to put up some of their own money to qualify for grants. This insures for the Congress the greatest amount of local responsibility. Local school boards, accountable to the local taxpayers, vote up to 50 percent local funds and thus look very carefully at the spending of each project dollar under the existing NDEA title III. Furthermore, the matching provision makes more prosperous school districts pay their own money to get Federal funds. This is equitable and should be continued. Under NDEA III, each State is required to match all administrative funds also so that the State department must pay half the cost of each NDEA III coordinator. This is one of the most successful provisions of NDEA III and if it is lost, the Congress would be removing a very strong guarantee of local responsibility.

One other provision of NDEA was that the chief State school officer is allowed to allot the funds in any way he pleases according to a State plan written by each State department as long as each State's net balance is 50 to 50.

Often there is educational disadvantage to be found in more prosperous districts that have not updated their instructional system, and the States argue they need NDEA III to stimulate this updating. On the other hand, many States have adopted variabe matching under NDEA III so that the poor school districts need only provide a small portion of the cost of their equipment while the richer district must pay most of the cost. This variable matching provision has helped the low-income districts very much.

At present, 15 States allow variable matching-Alaska, California, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. I urge that you continue this variable matching ability in the language of the law in order to help the elimination of inequities that may occur in the States not presently using that provision.

One other disadvantage of this possible consolidation is that the pending law suits against impoundment of Federal funds by the administration will be placed in jeopardy. If new legislation eliminates the existing NDEA title IIÍ, the 15 States with law suits will find themselves with a moot question and this effort to insure the availability of Federal funds under existing law will probably come to naught.

Finally, we feel that a full grown educational technology does not exist in the schools and colleges of this country. Despite the strenuous efforts of the Congress, very little has been spent on instructional media due to the absence of funds clearly designated for this purpose. We fear that if, according to revenue sharing

proposals, media funds are forced to compete with school meals, adult education, and the strengthening of State and local educational agencies, even less moneys will be spent. Consequently, the upgrading of American education, dependent to a considerable degree upon increased application of educational technology in the learning environment, will be substantially slowed.

ESEA is presently a categorical aid program that can help more schools meet their media needs and it should not be abandoned at this time. When we can report a complete national acceptance of the new technology, we will certainly recommend that Federal support for instructional materials be directed to some other need.

That this is not currently the case can be illustrated by data from the National Center for Educational Technology relating to the children's television program “Electric Company.” Considering all elementary schools, almost half, 48.7 percent, cannot receive a television signal. Of those elementary schools located in urban areas, 29.2 percent cannot receive the signal. Only 22.8 percent of all elementary schools are tuned in to the program.

Because adequate use of instructional media has not yet been established, we can only reemphasize that ESEA programs have made an invaluable contribution to the improvement of education, and that we support the continuation of titles I, II, III, V, and VII, particularly. And we vigorously oppose the consolidation of NDEA title III with these ESEX titles into one block of money for State departments of education.

Those are the oral remarks I would like to make, Mr. Chairman.

Senator PELL. Thank you very much indeed. I recognize that in the growing field such as yours where we do not yet know the full use to which mechanical devices or instruments can be used in the educational process, that we should make sure that every opportunity is given to them to prove themselves. Some already have proven successful and some have not been successful. But I think they should have every opportunity.

Would the proposed consolidation of education programs cause the relitigation of the impoundment suits on NDEA III and SESA II, ESEÀ III and other programs?

Mr. HITCHENS. In my view it would, yes. We would have a new piece of legislation that would then create a whole new ballgame. The question I think that is pending in the courts now would become moot if a new authorization was passed consolidating into these support services and losing the titles, as they presently exist.

Senator PELL. The administration in its proposal wishes to leave the decisions as much as possible, up to the local levels of the States. In the area of audio-visual and educational technology programs, what do you feel the States are doing in this area today?

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