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said here back on February 27,“pull the rug out from under the school districts,” especially when we are all in a great state of fiscal crisis.
Committee members are aware of the problems we face in education. We are trying to improve education in our country. We support without qualification the Perkins amendment. Our purpose in that is to try to get a little more time to do it.
I also might say that we are not sitting back idly waiting for the time to ask for another extension. Two days ago our superintendent of schools wrote a letter to the county executive in Montgomery County, asking that a study be mounted to try to explore and find with definitive data what is the real impact in the county from an economic point of view when choice acreage is taken off the tax rolls and when 14,000 of our youngsters come from homes of federally connected people who work outside of the State, the so-called Montgomery County amendment that has been referred to earlier.
We would like to look at that and look at it in concert with the county government because we believe it will be helpful to you. For example when the Bureau of Standards located out along Interstate 70 it took 350 choice acres of land off our tax rolls. We are not opposed to that. But the allegation has been that because the Bureau of Standards is there and Atomic Energy is right up the way, it was constructed and occupied during the Eisenhower administration, then the allegation is that we benefit far more economically by having those facilities there than we do through any loss of impact aid.
So I want to express satisfaction and appreciation for the way the Congress has exercised its leadership in containing Federal administrations that have tried to kill this bill. So we want to study this impact in our county and to try to do it in a meaningful way over the next several months, given the benefit of some additional-call it a “stay of execution” in the present provisions of 93–380. That would give us some time to study the fiscal impact. In the meantime we can let our citizens know what this particular program would do to us. As we understand the intentions as talked about here by the Commissioner of Education in this hearing room back on February 27 the program would take us from the current level down to if tier 1 were enacted and appropriated about $1 million from $6.8 million. So we would lose about $5.8 million under that or if tier 2 can into be it would be roughly $1.3 million more.
You might say that isn't too great in terms of total dollars when you have a couple of hundred million dollar operating budget. I would like to also share with the committee what the facts of life are over the last decade to us and to say that back 10 years ago Federal impact aid amounted to about 6.7 percent of our budget. Currently it is 3. If this portion of the amendment comes into being we would be eliminated from the program.
Not only at the Federal level have we faced a decline in the percentage of funds to help our program but at the State level it has gone from 19 percent down to 17.4 percent. All of this adds up and the local burden on our residents in the county has gone from 75 percent to 80 percent over that same span of time which means that the citizens of the county that we are here to represent as part of the school system administration must then pick up what we call a disproportionate additional percentage.
The cutback in the program as we see it would be about 12 cents on the tax rate. That may not seem large to some people. When we talk to taxpayers we get the message that that is a substantial increase.
So, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to share these few remarks with you. Thank you.
Mr. Ford. Thank you very much. I see you are well aware that we have carried the specter of your very rich county when we are discussing this legislation. For many, many years I have been talking all over this country about impact aid in one form or another, all day hearings. Your county is mentioned more than any other county in the country as an example of a super ripoff.
I had an interesting experience I would like to share with you. When we passed title I the Secretary of HEW and his wife belonged to a PTĀ out in Chevy Chase, which I don't think has any $70,000 homes. After I explained the Elementary-Secondary Education Act to the PTA one gentleman stood up, quite upset, and said, “Well, this is a ridiculous program because all it does is take care of poor kids and we don't have any poor kids in Montgomery County."
Do you know offhand how many children in Montgomery County qualify for title I funds ?
Dr. HENRY. Yes. I will call on Mrs. Kohut. She is with our Federal office. Do you happen to have the figure, Mrs. Kohut?
Mrs. KOHUT. I think it is about 2,800.
Dr. HENRY. 2,800. I think Head Start is part of that program too. These operate in about 19 of our 205 schools. So there are pockets of poverty, Mr. Chairman, in Montgomery County.
Mr. FORD. I wonder if you could submit and I would ask unanimous consent to have inserted into the record contemporaneously with your remarks a couple of statistical studies for us.
First, I have to ask you, does the survey which I assume you took last fall on potential impact children disclose enough information so that your computer could tell us how many of them live out of the county and/or out of the State ?
Dr. HENRY. Mr. Chairman, we don't have that. That is part of the complex nature of how we approach this total problem. We make our surveys strictly on place where they work. There are 26,000 youngsters from federally
connected homes. We can go through in time and get that kind of information. But our problem is that we can't do it through some kind of computer application at this time.
Mr. Ford. You are affected in two ways by the formula. First, the B out of State, which is cut off all together, and then the B out of county. So that someone living in Montgomery County or Arlington County and working out there is counted in a different rate. It drops from 50-percent payment to 40-percent payment.
I wonder if it is possible for you to give us some estimates of the impact, not today but for the record, what the impact of those who changes would be.
Dr. HENRY. All right, sir.
[Information referred to follows:]
MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS,
Rockville, Md., April 9, 1975. Hon. WILLIAM D. FORD, House of Representatives, Rayburn Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR CONGRESSMAN FORD: In response to your request following my testimony this morning before the House Committee on Education and Labor, I am pleased to provide information about the number of “B” students in the two categories below and to indicate the fiscal implications for this county under P.L. 93-380:
With regard to the data about how many federally-connected persons work in Montgomery County installations but reside in other jurisdictions in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, we have no means available to determine this information. We are hopeful that the U.S. Office of Education will be in position to provide this informaton in the near future because of its benefit to the Congress in examining the overall situation.
Again, let me thank you for the courtesy you extended in letting me speak about fiscal impact and other relevant matters in Montgomery County. It is good to know that we have your enlightened support in this particular program especially when one realizes that no school systems in your congressional district receive impact aid funds. Sincerely yours,
PAUL A. HENRY,
Business and Financial Services. Mr. FORD. And then if it is possible always when this is discussed I hear the pattern that everybody has in their minds that these bridges only go one way out here. We still haven't been able to figure out how much money the District of Columbia is going to lose by the people who live in the District and work over in the Pentagon, for example. There must be some.
But there are people who live in Montgomery County who work in the Pentagon and go out to Prince Georges and back and forth. The beltway goes around the city and there is a pattern that crosses county lines and State lines that doesn't just relate to the District of Columbia vis-a-vis contiguous jurisdictions.
So if you can show us and give us a better understanding of what the pattern for Montgomery County is it would be helpful.
Dr. HENRY. Thank you. We would be glad to do that, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. FORD. Your problem I might say from my own observation, a personal impression, is that there are too many Congressmen living in Montgomery County in $70,000 houses.
Dr. HENRY. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF ANTHONY J. PETRICCIONE, SENIOR BUDGET
ANALYST, PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
Mr. PETRICCIONE. Mr. Chairman, I am Anthony Petriccione. I am senior budget analyst, Prince Georges County Board of Education.
I came down to testify about what is going on in Prince Georges County and the implications of the impacted aid. At the present time we have 43,000 students who are affected by impact aid. Under the old law—and there was a questionnaire they sent out to us—we had anticipated $14 million.
Impacted aid represents about 51/2 percent of our total budget revenue. It is essential to us to try to get as much impacted aid as we can. If the impacted aid were to drop to an area of $11 million in 1976 and then thereafter the tax implications in Prince Georges County would indicate the average taxpayer would have to pay an additional $75 to $125 more in real estate taxes. This is based on a tax assessment of one penny for every $400,000 being reaped in revenue from the tax.
We have compiled all kinds of figures and measured this thing every which way. We find that the implications in the long range would cost the taxpayer almost $350 a year in real estate tax increase. At the present time in the State of Maryland this is an essential part of our budget plan that we receive this revenue.
I am down here to appeal to you to try to get this impacted aid together so that we can get our fair share.
Mr. Ford. Do you have any estimate yet on what the effect of the B-out-of-State provision would be?
Mr. PETRICCIONE. The B out of State? I would like to submit to you through the mails some revised figures. I didn't come with that. I merely came with the questionnaire that we prepared.
Mr. Ford. And perhaps the B out of county also, if that is available
[The information follows:] Response to Mr. Ford's question: Total B----
40,063 Out of State--
21,749 (54.3 percent) Out of county (including out of state) -
24,220 (60.5 percent) Mr. Ford. Let me ask you this. How many title I children do you bave in Prince Georges County?
Mr. PETRICCIONE. In Headstart we have 250.
Mr. PETRICCIONE. Title I is operating at 33 schools at the present time. I do not recall an exact figure. I would say it is 34,000, off the top, totally affected. I am talking about Operation Moving Ahead which is our largest title I program.
Mr. FORD. 34,000.
Mr. PETRICCIONE. No; we have 43,000-plus affected. You see, the median income in Prince Georges County is substantially lower than its neighboring county. It is considered to be a working class county because of the way it has developed. We have Andrews Air Force Base and several other large military establishments within the county which have effectively divided the county up into two sectors: a southern sector and a northern sector.
Population has developed in certain specific areas which border on the District of Columbia as you go out into the county because of the location of Andrews Air Base. South of that point in the county is rural. North tends to be—the center, actually, is apartments—and north is the population base in Bowie in that area there. Then we go on to the peripheral area of the county bordering right on the District of Columbia. So it has quite a mixed population which tends to reduce the median income.
A tax rise is really going to be a very detrimental—in my own opinion, I am sure—then to the taxpayer in the county. That is why I felt obliged to testify.
Mr. Ford. Does the air base along the river still operate elementary schools for their children?
Mr. PETRICCIONE. What is that? Patuxent?
Mr. PETRICCIONE. Bolling? I don't believe that school is operational. It was ended, I believe, during the Eisenhower administration.
Mr. Ford. But for a short time some years ago temporary buildings were put up on the field and they operated a school. Do you know if it is still operating?
Mr. PETRICCIONE. I don't know. But I can check it out, sir.
Mr. Ford. I wonder if you would do that and also see if you can find out what kind of school population is being generated from Prince Georges out of the tremendous buildup of military housing on Bolling? We have been pumping a great deal of money into building housing on Bolling. It has become almost exclusively that kind of function.
Mr. PETRICCIONE. Those figures are available.
(Whereupon, at 11:52 a.m., the subcommittee adjourned, to reconvene at the call of the Chair.) [Material submitted for inclusion in the record follows:]
EIGHT MILE PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 6,
Trenton, N. Dak., April 14, 1975. Hon. QUENTIN N. BURDICK, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR BURDICK: The Trenton School Board and superintendent of schools are requesting your support for H. R. 5181 for the Trenton School district. Without Impact funds for the Trenton School, our financial position would be quite serious. What seems to be happening to our school district is that we have an increase in state funding and are experiencing a decrease in federal funding, so we are going to be left short on funds again if this happens.
Without the federal funds, our school will not be able to financially run the programs we are now running and we will have to make several cutbacks if this happens. We strongly urge you to support federal funding for education in our state. Thank you. Sincerely,
LEARY G. GETZ, Superintendent.