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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 1985.
CAROL PENDAS WHITTEN, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION AND MINORITY LANGUAGES AFFAIRS
GEORGE J. RIOS, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION AND MINORITY LANGUAGES AFFAIRS
SALLY H. CHRISTENSEN, DIRECTOR, BUDGET SERVICE, OFFICE OF PLANNING, BUDGET AND EVALUATION
LAWRENCE L. BROWN, DIRECTOR, ELEMENTARY, SECONDARY, AND VOCATIONAL ANALYSIS DIVISION, OFFICE OF PLANNING, BUDGET AND EVALUATION
HOWARD F. HJELM, DIRECTOR OF INNOVATION AND DEVELOPMENT, OFFICE OF VOCATIONAL AND ADULT EDUCATION
Mr. NATCHER. We take up next bilingual education. We have before the committee Mrs. Carol Pendas Whitten, Director, Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs. It is a pleasure to have you appear again before our committee.
Before you proceed, tell us who have you with you there at the table?
MS. WHITTEN. With me today are Mr. George Rios, Deputy Director, Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs; and on my left, Mr. Howard Hjelm, Director of Innovation and Development, Office of Vocational and Adult Education; and Mr. Lawrence Brown and Mrs. Sally Christensen on my right.
Mr. NATCHER. We will be pleased to hear from you.
MS. WHITTEN. I have a full statement that I will be glad to submit for the record, and I have a brief one to present.
I would like to say I am very honored to have been appointed by Secretary Bennett to the position of Director of the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs.
It is a great pleasure to be with you today on my fifth day in office, and testify on the 1986 budget request for bilingual education.
The request reflects our continuing commitment to providing aid to school districts to establish programs to serve limited Englishproficient children, balanced against the need to help curtail the Federal deficit.
For programs under the Bilingual Education Act and the Bilingual Vocational Training program, we are requesting $143 million, the same level as 1985. No funds are requested for the Emergency Immigration Education program, and we have proposed to rescind the funds available for this program in 1985.
Most of the children served by this program who need educational services are also eligible for services under other Federal programs.
Within the Title VII program, we are requesting an increase of $9.1 million for Bilingual Education programs, Part A, with a corresponding decrease in funding for Training and Technical Assistance, Part C.
This distribution of funds reflects our belief that services to children should be the primary emphasis within the program. I would like to point out that a substantial percentage of Part A grants to school districts is used for in-service training.
In order to accomplish this redistribution, we are proposing appropriation language to override statutory set-asides in the new bilingual statute.
Our appropriation language would also override other set-asides within Part A, to make funds available for bilingual programs based on the needs of school districts, rather than be subject to funding limitations contained in the law.
We believe that schools should not arbitrarily be denied access to Federal aid under Title VII simply because they use a particular teaching method.
Again, it is a pleasure to be here this morning, and I hope to work closely with the committee during my tenure as Director of the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs, to ensure the greatest benefit to students who need the educational services provided by this program.
[The statement of Ms. Whitten follows:]
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Statement by the Director
Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:
I am pleased to appear before the Committee today to testify on the fiscal year 1986 budget request for Bilingual Education.
For fiscal year 1986, we are requesting $143 million for the Bilingual Education account. We propose to fund the Title VII program at the same level as in 1985, and request no funds for the Emergency Immigrant Education program. Maintaining the Bilingual Education program at the current level and requesting no funds for the Emergency Immigrant Education program are proposed to help control the Federal deficit.
As you know, most programs administered by the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs are designed to support school districts in the establishment, operation, and improvement of bilingual education projects to serve limited English proficient children. These programs, under Part A of the Bilingual Education Act, are intended to help districts build the capacity to continue to serve target children when Federal funds are reduced or are no longer available. The 1986 budget request continues to emphasize development of the capacity of school districts and States to serve limited English proficient children.
Grants and contracts are also provided for support services under Part B and training under Part C. Awards are made to a variety of eligible applicants including local school districts, State educational agencies, universities, and non-profit as well as for-profit organizations. Funds for the Bilingual Vocational Training program are included in the request although administration of this program has been transferred to the Office of Vocational and Adult Education.
For 1986 the budget includes appropriation language to make certain changes in the distribution of funds. The language would reallocate funds to activities where the greatest need exists, clarify certain ambiguities in the law, and provide some additional flexibility to the Department in administering the program.
One change would override the 75 percent reservation for programs of transitional bilingual education and the 4 percent reservation for special alternative instructional programs. Funds should be available for bilingual programs based on the needs of individual school districts rather than be subject to funding limitations contained in the new law. Schools should not
arbitrarily be denied access to Federal aid under Title VII simply because they use a particular teaching method. Other language would remove the 25 percent set-aside for training since the resulting amount is far in excess of the need for resources in this activity. A legislative proposal is also under consideration.
Within the proposed level for Title VII, funding for training and technical assistance activities in Part C will be reduced and the majority of these resources redirected to classroom instructional programs in Part A.
For Part A Bilingual Programs, we are requesting $104 million, an increase of $9.1 million over the 1985 revised level. At this level we would be able to fund about 62 more projects and serve almost 20,000 additional students compared to fiscal year 1985. Federal aid would continue to be provided to build local capacity to educate limited English proficient children. Part A projects are designed to teach children English and to help them enter all-English educational programs as soon as possible.
Under Part B Support Services, we are requesting $11.1 million for fiscal year 1986, an increase of $500,000 over the 1985 revised level. The activities within this part are: State educational agency assistance, research and evaluation, a national clearinghouse for bilingual education, and evaluation assistance centers. The increase of $500,000 is proposed for the operation of the evaluation assistance centers and to cover a small expansion of the State educational agency grant program.
The budget request of $24 million for Part C Training Grants is $4.5 million less than the amount specified for fiscal year 1985 in conference report language. However, because of the set-aside in effect for 1985 under the new authorizing statute, it is $9.6 million less than the amount available in 1985. We believe that previous estimates of the need for new bilingual teachers have been exaggerated and that our request provides sufficient funds for both preservice and inservice training.
The proposed reduction in funds for training is supported by the findings of several research studies. The Classroom Instructional Component Study found that almost all local school projects currently provide inservice training to some or all of their teachers using their Part A grants. Two other studies suggest that some new bilingual teachers have difficulty finding employment in bilingual projects which probably indicates a decrease in the need for preservice training. Under these circumstances, we believe that limited Federal dollars should be directed primarily to inservice training both in Part C activities and through Part A grants.
At the request level, Part C funds will provide degreeoriented training for some 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students at about 110 institutions of higher education. Funds will support multifunctional resource centers which provide inservice training and technical assistance to school district personnel in evaluation methods, project management, and classroom teaching skills. In addition, approximately 18 grants will be awarded for short-term training institutes for parents, teachers, and administrators.
Bilingual Vocational Training
For Bilingual Vocational Training, we are requesting $3.7 million, the same as the 1985 level. At this level, the Department expects that approximately 1,300 students and 150 instructors will receive training. As previously mentioned, this program is now administered by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education.
Emergency Immigrant Education
No funds are requested for the Emergency Immigrant Education program in 1986. Emergency Immigrant Education provides general aid to school districts with concentrations of immigrant children. However, most of these children who need educational services are also eligible for services under other Federal programs principally Chapter 1, Migrant Education, Chapter 2, and the Title VII Bilingual Education program.
My colleagues and I would be happy to respond to any questions the Committee may have.