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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.
school boards, accountable to the local taxpayers, vote up to 50% 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 each state's net balance is 50-50.
and the states
Often there is educational disadvantage to be found in more prosperous districts that have not updated their instructional system argue they need NDEA III to stimulate this updating. On the other hand, many states have adopted variable 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, 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 III, the 19 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 monies 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%) cannot receive a television signal. Of those elementary schools located in urban areas, twenty-nine and two-tenths per cent (29.2%) cannot receive the signal. Only twenty-two and eight-tenths percent (22.8%) of all elementary schools are tuned in to the program. Because adequate use of instructional media has not yet been established, we can only re-emphasize 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 ESEA Titles into one block of money for state departments of education.
Senator PELL. The subcommittee will adjourn until Friday at 10 o'clock.
[Whereupon at 11 a.m. the subcommittee was adjourned to reconvene on Friday, September 14, 1973, at 10 a.m.]