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Mr. DWYER. Might you mention a few that were recommended that you did not take advantage of?
Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Sure.
Mr. DWYER. What would they be?
Mr. SKELLY. One of the strong recommendations they made was to have more block grants of our programs. The Grace Commission thought it would be more efficient to administer block grant programs rather than individual categorical programs.
Of course, the Administration, over the past four years, did propose a number of block grants on a number of occasions, but has no new block grants proposed this year, so we are not counting more block grant consolidations as one of the recommendations we are implementing.
Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. We tried that on vocational and adult education last year. We looked at higher education institutional assistance and found that those are funds primarily targeted at such discrete activities that that really was not feasible.
Mr. DWYER. Please provide the list for the record.
Mr. NATCHER. Mr. Hoyer?
Mr. HOYER. No questions.
Mr. O'BRIEN. Is there any merit to the suggestion, if you take the two families of four that I talked about earlier; one couple doesn't undertake anything in the nature of a PLUS program and the other one does. Would there be any merit to enlarging the opportunity for the children of that couple that use PLUS, for GSLs? Something of that sort? That is, reward those parents for assuming the financial burden is what I am thinking about?
Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Actually, we are expanding the PLUS program this year.
Mr. O'BRIEN. I realize that. The notion I am getting at is why have not parents taken advantage of that program?
Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. The reason is because we have had the GSL program in place, which is a highly subsidized program, as compared to the PLUS program, which is not. It is a guarantee, but it is not subsidized, so if the parent can, regardless of the income bracket, go out and get a subsidized loan, they are naturally going to get that as opposed to the PLUS loan.
Mr. O'BRIEN. The PLUS program is on the parent, but on the GSL the parent is not?
Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Right.
Mr. O'BRIEN. One other question. I think you said that we are $839 million behind at the $2,100 figure, where would we be with respect to $2,000?
Mr. HAINES. We think we could finance with the $3,325 billion figure, $2,000 maximum grant and 50 percent, which is what we are proposing for 1985. That would put us still $468 million short. Mr. O'BRIEN. It brings the $839 down to $468?
Mr. HAINES. Yes, $819 million down to $468 million.
Mr. NATCHER. We want to thank you, Mr. Skelly and Mr. Haines for appearing before our committee at this time to present an overview of the education budget for fiscal year 1986.
Down through the years, you and your associates have appeared before our committee, and have done a good job.
Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Thank you very much, Mr. Natcher. We are very happy to be here. I hope the materials will help in your technical understanding of our budget. I know the Secretary looks forward to appearing before you.
TUESDAY, APRIL 23, 1985.
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
WILLIAM J. BENNETT, SECRETARY
GARY L. BAUER, DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY, OFFICE OF PLANNING, BUDGET AND EVALUATION
SALLY H. CHRISTENSEN, DIRECTOR, BUDGET SERVICE
WILLIAM DINGELDEIN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, BUDGET SERVICE
Mr. NATCHER. At this time, we take up the budget request for the fiscal year 1986 for the Department of Education. We have before the committee the new Secretary, Dr. William J. Bennett. Mr. Secretary, it is a pleasure to have you appear before our committee, and before you proceed with your statement, tell us who you have there at the table with you, please.
INTRODUCTION OF STAFF
Secretary BENNETT. Yes, on my immediate left, Mr. Chairman, Sally Christensen; to my immediate right, Mr. Gary Bauer; and to my far right, Mr. William Dingeldein.
Mr. NATCHER. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
You may proceed.
INTRODUCTORY BUDGET REMARKS
Secretary BENNETT. I would like to take this opportunity to make a few additional remarks and submit my statement for the record. I am especially pleased to appear before you for the first time to present the President's 1986 budget for the Department of Education. These are indeed exciting times for education in our Nation. Widespread reforms are now taking place in secondary schools, and now we see the same kinds of questions being asked about elementary and postsecondary education.
We feel that our 1986 budget reaffirms the President's commitment to a crucial but limited Federal role in this venture, which is the primary responsibility of States and localities.
At the same time, our budget reflects the Administration's objective to reduce the Federal deficit by bringing Federal spending under control.
COMPROMISE BUDGET PROPOSALS
As you know, representatives of the Administration have been meeting with the Senate Republican leadership and have agreed on a number of important budget and policy compromise proposals which would affect key Education Department programs.
As you also know, my prepared testimony for today's hearing was submitted prior to these negotiations. Consequently, it does not contain any discussion of the newly-developed compromise policies though as you will see, the major policy principles are consistent with the Administration's goals.
I would like briefly to summarize the key elements of the Admin istration-Senate Republican compromise as it affects our Depart ment. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I would also like to submit for the record a more detailed "fact sheet" description of the compromise policies which would affect Education Departmen programs.
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