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Despite the economic slowdown there is still brisk demand by industry for
the over 1100 New Jersey Institute of Technology graduates this year. Qualified students are thus discouraged from pursuing graduate studies which
eventually would lead to a faculty position. When faculty retires we face
difficulties in replacing them.
Each year some are attracted by the higher
salaries offered by industry. Thus, we were able to fill only about one-half
of the available faculty openings.
S. 1194 and S. 1195 address the faculty shortage problem positively. We
are hopeful that extending the R and D tax credit to encourage private industry
to augment faculty salaries will provide signigicant immediate assistance in dealing with faculty vacancies.
Further, we support the provisions of S. 1194 and S. 1195 that enhance the
impact of grants, scholarships and loans made to graduate students in math,
engineering, physical and biological sciences. The effect of this should be to
increase the number of students that go on for their doctorates and ultimately
I would like to take this opportunity to commend Senators Danforth and
Bentsen and the other co-sponsors for introducing S. 1194 and S. 1195 and for
holding hearings on these bills. S. 1194 and S. 1195 will encourage a
partnership between the Federal government and private industry to solve some
of the critical problems of scientific education in our colleges and
universities. These legislative initiatives are important examples of the use
of tax mechanisms to further important national policy goals: the improvement
of our scientific education base.
HOUSTON, TEXAS 77001
May 31, 1983
The Honorable Robert Dole
Dear Senator Dole:
I appreciate this opportunity to testify in behalf of Senate Bill 1195. As Senator Bentsen suggested in his remarks in introducing this Bill (May 3, 1983) the purpose of Federal support of science is in anticipation of its ultimate use by this country. Thus, the support of science without assuring the availability of scientists and engineers to translate science to technology to use becomes almost pointless.
In order to provide a steady stream of educated scientists and engineers the country requires a strong system of education facing forward and outward rather backward and inward. This means working with faculty and facilities at the cutting edge.
The system for higher education in our country involves providing broad accessibility to all fields for all students at the atart with subsequent focusing, and at the graduate level more intense narrowing. Thus, we teach our future scientists and engineers along with all others in the early stages and more nearly by themselves later on.
It is important that these people be exposed to good minds and proper facilities throughout. It is equally important that all students be exposed to good minds throughout.
A large part of Federal support provides for the later stages of student development via research grants. Facilities at the earlier stages suffer seriously, particularly in engineering. Also there may well be an especially acute problem with computer equipment since the field is moving so rapidly.
This Bill would provide one suitable way to alleviate the problem. I applaud especially the recognition of the importance of maintenance and repair (see Sections IA(2), B(3), and c(4) of the summary in Senator Bentsen's introductory statement. This aspect of useful and useable laboratory equipment is generally neglected in most approaches to this problem.
There is currently faculty shortage in some areas of science and engineering education. The shortfall is most notable in computer-related areas. Thus, any reasonable approach to helping reduce this constraint is worthwhile here, however, a caveat is required.
In IIA of the summary reference is made to "...to fund faculty salaries...". This must be examined carefully because a one time increase in a faculty members salary becomes a long term commitment of the university. Thus, when the external source of the increment is no longer available the fiscal responsibility remains with the university. Some of our current financial problems stem from this cause in the past. Perhaps a system of fixed comments or non-salary supplements should be used.
In summary, the purpose of SB1195 to provide for more direct support of the education of scientists and engineers by industry is good. The procedures set up by the Bill, with the exception noted, are likely to be effective.
The Honorable Lloyd Bentsen
Tandy Corporation/Radio Shack
1983 iky 28 P!l 5: v.
John V. Roach
May 26, 1983
The Honorable Bob Packwood
Re: Hearings on s. 1194 and s. 1195
Dear Senator Packwood:
Since I am unable to be present for the hearings on s. 1194 and s. 1195 scheduled for Friday, May 27th, I would appreciate your making these views a part of the hearing record. My comments are addressed specifically to the provisions of the two bills which deal with increased tax deductions for contributions of computer equipment and related software to elementary and secondary schools, and to the provisions dealing with teacher training.
First, I would like to compliment the Committee and the sponsors of s. 1194 (Senator Danforth) and s. 1195 (Senators Bentsen and Chafee) for addressing the very serious national need to provide our young people with the skills and knowledge they must have to function in a world increasingly dependent on the use of computers. This need has long been a major concern of Tandy Corporation which we have addressed by making gifts, loans and providing discount purchases of more than 100,000 computers to schools, and by providing free training in the use of computers to more than 125,000 educators and administrators during the past twelve months alone. on March 23, 1983, we announced a new program America's Educational Challenge TM -- to provide every elementary and secondary school teacher in America with an opportunity to achieve a basic understanding of computers and their applications in education at no cost to themselves, their schools, or taxpayers. Since we estimate that there will be over 500,000 microcomputers in the nation's schools by the end of the 1983 school year, the magnitude of this undertaking is obvious.
In our view, any computer contribution bill providing for an increased tax deduction should require that the following three conditions be satisfied: First, a complete working computer must be donated. It does little good to encourage the
contribution of unusable equipment. Second, software suitable for use in the educational environment must be a part of the contribution. Contributions of a computer alone unaccompanied by at least some suitable software do little to achieve the objective of educating students. Third -- and most important - there must be adequate teacher training. TO permit increased deductions without requiring adequate teacher training amounts to little more than a subsidy to computer nanufacturers; it certainly does little to promote the education of children in the use of computers. The fact is that there are many computers now in our classrooms that are gathering dust because of the lack of trained teachers (see the attached articles). Tandy knows from experience that the education of teachers in the use of computers is the critical link in achieving the goal of computer literacy for our young people.
Last year the House enacted the Apple Bill (H.R. 5573) which only addressed the equipment contribution part of the problem. The bill encouraged computer manufacturers to donate computers to elementary and secondary schools by providing for a tax deduction of 200% of the cost of the computer. As written, the Apple Bill had four serious flaws.
First, the Apple Bill did not require the contribution of a complete, working computer.
Second, the Apple Bill did not require training of the teachers who would be using the computers as teaching tools. A number of education groups criticized this deficiency.
Third, the Apple Bill did not require the contribution of software suitable for use in the educational environment; the deduction could have been obtained by a contribution of hardware alone, and incomplete hardware at that.
Fourth, the tax deduction of 200% was very expensive and in our view was far in excess of what might be needed to stimulate additional contributions of equipment. The Washington Post estimated that last year's Senate version of the Bill would have cost over $300 million. But whatever the precise cost, there is no doubt that a 200% tax deduction would have amounted to little more than a massive subsidy of one of America's most profitable industries at a time when the nation faces huge budget deficits.
House Majority Leader Jim Wright has recently introduced a bill (H.R. 2417) that corrects the Apple Bill's