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Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. No one is suggesting, so far as I know, replacing the local responsibility and the local prudence even if the Federal program is developed. So I do not think that is at all relevant to the discussion here today. I honestly do not.
What we are trying to do is to develop, I would hope, an intelligent Federal program. Just as another example, you quote on the bottom of page 2 a statement by the American Association of School Administrators:
Realizing that, under present tax structures, resources for local school purposes are woefully inadequate for quality school programs in many areas
Well, if we did recognize that there were inadequate resources in many areas would
you think that it would be inadvisable for the Federal Government to attempt to make whatever money it decided to put up to reduce those inadequacies to aim it, to pinpoint it at the areas where the resources are inadequate or do you
think we have no responsibility to see to it that any Federal money that is made available goes
to the areas that need it most? Mr. FULLER. I do not believe that it is the function of the Federal Government to pinpoint the areas. I think that is a State function and I think the States are as much interested in it and I know all 49 of them fairly well, especially 48; they are as much interested in it as the Federal Government is. What they need is money.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. You disappoint me extremely by saying that you think that “a relatively modest Federal program," and I am
using that in quotes, now, because I think it too high, of $5 billion a year does not still need to be pinpointed if it is going to supplement and not supplant what is presently being done to support education by local and State sources.
Mr. FULLER. The maintenance of effort is another question. I do not believe that the Federal Government can pinpoint the funds through Federal regulations as efficiently as the States themselves can carry out the purposes of the Federal law on a professional basis with the Commissioner of Education and his staff.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I did not say that the Federal Government would take over the functions of the local and State governments but they could be utilized and required to meet certain Federal standards and that is what I failed to understand about your testimony. Now, just as an example, are you in favor or are you not of a requirement that local and State communities must meet a certain effort index in order to qualify for Federal allotments? Is that an unreasonable requirement?
Mr. FULLER. I am testifying in favor of H.R. 22 as amended and it has a maintenance-of-effort clause in it.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I would like to get your views on that, then, why you are in favor of maintenance of effort. In other words, you think there is a legitimate requirement on the part of Federal Government, that State and local effort be maintained in order to continue to qualify for Federal funds.
Mr. FULLER. Yes; we believe that the effort should be maintained. We think it will be maintained without any Federal enforcement of any kind.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. How can we assure that unless we have a formula and if they fail to meet the formula you prohibit the Federal funds from going to that State? Is not that an enforcement provision of the kind that you apparently deplore in the National Defense Education Act?
Mr. FULLER. The States can do it better and more effectively than the Federal Government without as much interference and I know that I am speaking for Commissioner Raubinger, of New Jersey, who would say this more eloquently than I do but has the same position. He is a member of our board of directors.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I would be glad to get him to testify, too, if it will clarify the situation.
You are not opposed to a Federal program which would force a State or local community to make a certain effort in order to qualify for Federal funds?
Mr. FULLER. I would certainly oppose any Federal program that forced from the Federal Government any local community to do that. It is the responsibility of the State to answer for its local school districts. And the maintenance-of-effort clause is an overall State maintenance-of-effort clause, not a single local district clause.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. That is right. But if there is a failure on the part of the State you are not opposed to withholding of Federal funds?
Mr. FULLER. From the State level we welcome all of the accountants and auditors and administrators and all the other people that anybody from any Federal agency wants to send to us. We want to meet the very highest possible standards of prudence at the State level in every regard. Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. That is not answering my question.
Mr. FULLER. Yes, it is, because the State is going to take these responsibilities and it is going to report whatever is necessary in order to convince any auditor, any lawyer, anyone else that comes there.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. If it fails to meet its responsibilities by failing to meet that effort index which is written into the Federal law.
Mr. FULLER. Then it would get less money.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. That is right and that kind of coercion on the part of the Federal Government or encouragement to match the effort that is being made in other States is not the kind of Federal control that worries you; is that corect?
Mr. FULLER. No; because it is a Federal-State relationship only
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. You are pinpointing to agree even though you are reluctant to see any pinpointing of Federal aid to the areas that need it and are making an effort if you go along.
Mr. FULLER. No; the maintenance of effort is an overall State thing.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Of course it is. I am not saying it is an individual effort on the part of local communities. If individual communities refuse to make the effort the State will obviously not get its formula up to scratch.
Mr. FULLER. The State will take care that the maintenance of effort is met according to the law. And it will assure any Federal official, whether a fiscal agent or administrative agent of that fact.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. You want a pretty blank check and you do not care what the money is used for and you certainly do not want any substantial Federal standards applied.
And now I would like to turn to the Defense Education Act because you said you learned much about Federal control of education
Mr. BAILEY. Allow me to interrupt before you go to that.
Mr. BAILEY. You want to ask it on this legislation?
Mr. LAFORE. I have a point of personal interest, Doctor. As far as your answer to a question of Mr. Udall concerning any possible roadblocks statewise in the execution of H.R. 22 by the State's participation, you said that you anticipated very few if these amendments are added. Do you mind telling me what you would anticipate if these amendments were not added, in other words, in its present form would there be requirements for statutory or constitutional changes by the State?
Mr. FULLER. No, I think there would be no difference in the statutory or constitutional changes required for the State to participate.
Mr. LAFORE. It would just be
Mr. FULLER. There would be very great differences in the potentialities for the separation of the funds all the way to the point of expenditure with Federal regulations following them down into the smallest local school district, adding to the paperwork and creating a dual system of reporting when the other system is better than anything the Federal Government is going to fix up anyway,
Mr. LAFORE. I think that I understand your thinking on that. There would be in your mind no difference as far as participation?
Mr. FULLER. No difference.
It seems to me that I have gathered very clearly your ideas concerning the State participation. It occurs to me that as far as simplicity goes, leaving it completely with the States, these bills that have been introduced in varying percentages and so forth, to take a certain amount of the Federal tax take and give it back to the State with no strings attached at all would be the thing that you might advocate in its final form, do you?
Mr. FULLER. We do not advocate it because the Federal taxes are collected in very widely varying amounts.
Mr. LAFORE. It is a distribution problem?
Mr. FULLER. It would be the opposite of equalization. It would be the exact opposite of the principle that the funds ought to be collected where the ability to pay taxes is and distributed where the children are to be educated.
Mr. LAFORE. But as far as the strings or lack of strings attached to that system you would have no objection to it. It is just a question of distribution?
Mr. FULLER. I would go further than the old Scrivner bill. I do not think the Scrivner bill went far enough.
Mr. LAFORE. In substance they are the same.
Mr. BAILEY. You are speaking of the Scrivner bill?
Mr. FULLER. I do not believe they go far enough to establish the responsibility in the State agency. I think I would concur with what you imply by your question.
Mr. LAFORE. We had one last year by Senator Proxmire and he testified before this committee. Were you familiar with that?
Mr. FULLER. Yes, to some extent.
Mr. LAFORE. It is certainly giving Federal aid in its simplest form as far as any strings are attached to it or any control and the point that always has interested me with Federal grants is the redtape and waste and inefficiency in bringing them down here and redistributing distribution and the bureaus and so forth that get involved, so that the dollar does not get back to the States as a dollar but as some considerably reduced figure and of course this system, and I do not advocate any one bill, but as a general plan that gets the most efficient return for the tax dollar as taken from the State.
Mr. FULLER. I made a study of the administrative cost of the various federally connected programs in education and my guess would be that H.R. 22 with the Udall amendments would cost almost an infinitesimal percent, fraction of 1 percent for administration.
Now, there are some guidelines in H.R. 22 amended as we suggest.
These guidelines Mr. Frelinghuysen has already mentioned. For instance, funds are distributed by the State for two defined purposes and in one of those purposes they are on a classroom unit basis for the 5 percent of the amount.
There are other things that inhere in the very process of FederalState-local fiscal dealings which we are not concerned about as a matter of Federal control over education because those which affect education, those which go into the local school district, are handled by the State under the legislation as amended. And we think it is a good compromise.
No, I would not go for the Scrivner bill for the two reasons. One is that it does not satisfactorily place the Federal funds at the disposal of the State in a way that I would think was adequate the way it was written. The second reason would be that it would be the opposite of equalization, the opposite of taxing where the taxes can be collected and educating children where they happen to live.
So I do not believe there is any conflict there and it does seem to us that with our support of the portions of H.R. 22 that are not affected by the amendments that we go far enough in Federal guidelines that we think the guidelines there are quite adequate.
Mr. BAILEY. The Chair observes the presence of a Member of Congress from Utah. Dr. Dixon, have you any comment or any questions?
Mr. Dixon. If I might be privileged to question the gentleman if Mr. Frelinghuysen will yield to me.
Mr. Frelinghuysen. I am glad to yield, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Dixon. It is on this point, Edgar, of giving a blank check to the State. I know you say: "Funds collected at one level of government for expenditure at a different level should be apportioned
in accord with an equitable and objective formula free from discretionary control by the apportioning agency."
I guess you mean control of the Federal Ğovernment?
Mr. Dixon. And by an objective formula and method of distribution you mean the States' program of distributing its money. Now, I guess the States have different formulas, do they not, for distributing their money but do not nearly all of them do it on an equalization basis and require the local districts to reach certain standards and to make certain efforts? I was suggesting that maybe Mr. Fuller could provide for this committee what these States formulas are and then we might see that they are practically what we want.
Is there anything in that suggestion?
Mr. FULLER. It is true that each State has made up its own system of distribution. No two of the States are alike. Some of them have much higher levels of State support than others. Where they have low levels of State support they tend to have them on a steep equalization basis so that the limited funds can be pinpointed by the States to the districts most in need to insure every child a minimum program.
Mr. Dixon. That is one of the things we are after in this bill.
Mr. FULLER. On the other hand, though, where the States have large State aid programs such as the State of California, there are very often flat grants because the larger the fund the less necessary it is to have a steep equalization formula because the State is there sharing in the support.
In New Mexico, where it is nearly 80 percent State funds, a flat grant, or almost a flat grant works out all right because such a large proportion is distributed equally that you could not possibly have one local school system more than 20 percent different from another in that system.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. In that case would the formula developed by California constitute an equitable and objective one for Federal purposes or is it not up to the Federal Government to care how its money is being distributed! I still am puzzled. As Dr. Dixon just pointed out the State formula is equitable and objective because it is paying out some money and it wants to see the money is well spent. You just told me, as I understand it, that the Federal program should not make any such requirement, it should not be in a position to say "Is this an equitable and objective formula ?” It should rely on the fact that the State knows its own business and of course has one. It may be objective and equitable and reliable from a State point of view but from a Federal point of view it may not, is not that true?
Mr. FULLER. Is there a difference in the State point of view and Federal point of view in education
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I think very decidedly. I think the role of the Federal Government in the field
of education is completely different from the responsibilities of the State and community level. I am at the moment very unenthusiastic about subsidizing teachers' salaries by the Federal Government. I think it will surely lead to a domination and an unwise domination of our teachers, if we get into the business of financing them because we will have a responsibility to see that the money is not going to subsidize poor teachers. We will want to improve the quality of them.