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Mr. Porter: The Special Education Personnel Development program is down by $11 million. What is the justification for this proposal?
Secretary Bennett: The reduced level of overall funding reflects the Department's lack of data necessary to identify and target training funds on specific areas of shortage, as well as the unproven effectiveness of this program to remedy those shortages.
The problem of focusing resources on areas of shortage is compounded by a lack of knowledge with regard to the cause of shortages. For example, it is often stated that there are shortages of specialized teachers for low incidence groups such as the deaf-blind in rural areas. Is this due to reluctance of rural administrators to hire specialized teachers for a very small number of children, low salaries, a lack of interest on the part of teachers to locate in rural areas, or a lack of trained teachers? A survey by the National Center for Education Statistics reported that of 22,900 teachers newly eligible or certified to teach in special education, 5,800 were not teaching and 3,000 were teaching in programs other than special education.
The Department is working to better identify what constitutes a shortage of personnel, how to identify the shortage, and how to focus resources on relieving the shortage.
Mr. Porter: The Special Studies program will decrease by $1.17 million under your proposal. What is the justification?
Secretary Bennett: The proposed funding level will finance a strong program of evaluations, studies and data analysis. All studies necessary to carry out the Department's requirements for evaluation will be continued, including a longitudinal study of children leaving special education and a study of Federal, State and local special education expenditures. In addition, support will be continued for a study of day and residential facilities, the preparation of the annual report, and special small scale fast response inquiries. The reduced level reflects the elimination of other discretionary activities.
REHABILITATION SERVICES AND HANDICAPPED RESEARCH EVALUATION
Mr. Porter: I was pleased to see you are level funding the National Institute of Handicapped Research. I was concerned, however, with the proposal to decrease the funding for evaluation studies by $1.4 million (from $2 million). What is the justification for this proposal?
Secretary Bennett: The Department is conducting a very large evaluation program using 1984 and 1985 funds. In all, 14 evaluation contracts will have been funded, with 12 of these studies being active in 1986. Nearly every currently funded program authorized under the Rehabilitation Act will be examined. We need time to complete these studies and analyze the findings before we can use additional funds effectively and efficiently. The funds we have requested for 1986 will allow for any needed follow-up to completed studies and for a few new studies that may be appropriate.
IMPACT AID "b" PAYMENTS
Mr. Porter: I was pleased to see the budget include level funding for impact aid "a" students at $513,000,000. I am concerned with your proposal to cut off funding for "b" students. How many "b" students are affected by your proposal?
Secretary Bennett: For 1985, we estimate that "b" payments will be made on behalf of approximately 1.6 million "b" children. The total number of children in school districts receiving payments for "b" children is approximately 16 million. Impact Aid funds are added to the general budget of the recipient school district and used for educational expenditures for all children enrolled in the district. Therefore, "b" payments in 1985 will average approximately $8 per child enrolled in "b" districts.
Mr. Porter: What alternative sources of funding are available for school districts with large numbers of "b" students should your proposal be accepted?
Secretary Bennett: It would depend on the school district. Some districts could increase their local taxes by a very small amount to replace the "b" funds. Others would receive more State education funds because of the loss of "b" funds. Still others would not need to increase funds from other sources but simply modify their expenditures slightly.
Mr. Porter: The Magnet Schools program was reauthorized and funded last year by the Congress. Your budget does not include any funding for the Magnet Schools program. Can you tell us why that is?
Secretary Bennett: While the Administration continues to support the concept of magnet schools as an effective means to promote voluntary school desegregation, it does not believe the Federal Government has a responsibility to provide direct financing to local school districts to implement desegregation plans. Magnet school activities are specifically authorized by the Chapter 2 State Block Grant program and can also be funded under the Science and Mathematics State Grant program.
FOLLOW THROUGH PROGRAM
Mr. Porter: Your budget also includes no funding for the Follow Through program. Can you discuss your justification for this lack of budget request?
Secretary Bennett: Follow Through was previously scheduled to be completely consolidated into the Chapter 2 Block Grant program by 1985. Although the Congress has reauthorized the program for two more years (through 1986) at gradually decreasing funding levels, the Administration does not believe the Federal Government has a responsibility to finance educational activities in this way. School districts have had ample time to assume financial responsibility for maintaining these projects. Follow Through activities
to improve educational programs for children in the early elementary grades are explicitly authorized by the State Block Grant program.
Mr. Porter: The budget proposes major changes in the TRIO program, elimination of International Education, Continuing Education and other higher education programs. How can these reductions and
eliminations in higher education be justified?
The emphasis of the 1986 budget request for the Higher Education account is on support of the Federal commitment to assist disadvantaged populations. To meet that commitment, we propose to target funds to those activities in the account which assist developing postsecondary institutions serving large numbers of disadvantaged and minority students, and to provide support services for financially and educationally disadvantaged students. Other activities that are narrow in scope and that either have demonstrated the effectiveness of a particular educational approach or are low-priority and non-essential are proposed for termination.
The request level for the Special Programs for the Disadvantaged (TRIO) would target funds to the highest priority, most effective direct services programs--Special Services and Upward Bound. These two programs provide support services to help disadvantaged students enroll in and complete postsecondary education. The activities currently supported by the Talent Search and Educational Opportunity Center programs duplicate State, local, and institutional efforts and responsibilities. Moreover, financial aid information is available from a variety of sources. Staff Training activities will be an allowable cost under the Special Services and Upward Bound programs and need not be funded separately. The Department is proposing legislative reforms to target funds on postsecondary institutions serving the most disadvantaged students, reduce administrative burdens, require institutions to share the costs of projects, and eliminate low-priority programs.
Most of the institutions of higher education receiving Federal assistance for International Education and Foreign Language Studies (IEFLS) have been doing so for many years. IEFLS programs provide only a small portion of the support for institutions in these areas. Because foreign language studies and area and international education programs are now well-established parts of postsecondary curriculums, curricular centers and studies will certainly continue in the absence of Federal funding.
No funds have been appropriated for Continuing Education since fiscal year 1981. Therefore, our request to zero fund this program in fiscal year 1986 is consistent with demonstrated congressional priorities, and with other administration proposals to reduce Federal spending.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 1985.
COMPENSATORY EDUCATION FOR THE DISADVANTAGED
LAWRENCE F. DAVENPORT, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
MARY JEAN LeTENDRE, DIRECTOR, COMPENSATORY EDUCATION PROGRAMS
JOHN STAEHLE, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, COMPENSATORY EDUCATION PROGRAMS
ED SONTAG, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF ASSISTANCE TO STATES, OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS, OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
SALLY H. CHRISTENSEN, DIRECTOR, BUDGET SERVICE
LAWRENCE L. BROWN, DIRECTOR, ELEMENTARY, SECONDARY, AND VOCATIONAL ANALYSIS DIVISION, OFFICE OF PLANNING, BUDGET AND EVALUATION
INTRODUCTION OF WITNESSES
Mr. NATCHER. At this time, we take up the budget request for Compensatory Education for the Disadvantaged, in the Department of Education. Who will present this for the Department?
Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Mr. Chairman, I will be glad to do that. I am sorry to report that Dr. Davenport has been delayed in traffic. He is on his way and should be here momentarily, but I will be glad to proceed in his absence.
Mr. NATCHER. You go right ahead, but before you do, tell us who you have there at the table with you.
Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. I will be glad to, Mr. Chairman.
On my immediate left is Mary Jean LeTendre, Director of the Compensatory Education Programs in the Department; on her left is John Staehle, Deputy Director of Compensatory Education; and on his left, Ed Sontag, Director of the Division of Assistance to States, Office of Special Education programs, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. It is his office that administers the State Program for the Handicapped under Chapter 1.
On my immediate right is Lawrence Brown, Director, Elementary, Secondary and Vocational Analysis Division, Office of Planning, Budget and Evaluation.
Mr. NATCHER. We are delighted to have all of you before the committee. Go right ahead.
Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I will summarize Dr. Davenport's statement and ask that it be inserted in the record in its entirety.
Mr. NATCHER. Dr. Davenport's statement will be placed in the record in its entirety.
[The statement of Mr. Davenport follows:]