Segment 1 Of 2 Next Hearing Segment(2)
SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS Tables
Page 1 TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS FOR 1999
Wednesday, March 25, 1998.
SECRETARY OF EDUCATION
RICHARD W. RILEY, SECRETARY
THOMAS P. SKELLY, DIRECTOR, BUDGET SERVICE
Introduction of Witnesses
Mr. PORTER. The subcommittee will come to order.
We begin our hearings today on the budget of the Department of Education. We are most pleased to welcome Secretary Richard Riley, the Secretary of the Department of Education.
Secretary Riley, it is very good to see you, and we would ask that you proceed with your opening statement. Then we will dialogue a bit.
Secretary Riley's Opening Remarks
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Secretary RILEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee.
I have with me Tom Skelly, my budget director, who, of course, has been with our Department or its predecessor for well over 20 years, and I am so proud of the work he has done.
I am submitting my testimony for the record, if I might, and will make a brief statement.
SCHOOL VIOLENCEJONESBORO, ARKANSAS SHOOTING
Mr. Chairman, I want to begin by expressing the shock that all of us feel. I know I speak for all of us, all of you on the committee and all of us here, about the tragic death of the four young people and their heroic teacher at Westside Middle School In Jonesboro, Arkansas, yesterday. My heart certainly goes out to the families, as I know all of you share that concern, and to the friends of the victims. Our prayers are with them.
I know Congressman Dickey, you and I have discussed it, and it is especially close to you, being from Arkansas, though not from your district.
This is unfortunately the fifth act of violence to occur in our Nation's schools in the last year and a half that has resulted in multiple victims. The violence in Pearl, Mississippi, and Paducah, Kentucky, is all too fresh in our memory.
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SCHOOL VIOLENCENATIONAL STATISTICS
This type of violence is something new and very disturbing. Between 1992 and 1994, there were 105 murders and suicides in our Nation's schools. 81 were murders, 19 were suicides, and 5 were unintentional firearms deaths, with a total of 105. Only 2 of these 81 acts of murder involved multiple victims. We now have had 5 incidents with multiple victims in a year and a half.
I think we should be very cautious in jumping to any conclusions about our Nation's schools based on these isolated incidents. I do not think that we should speculate from these random acts of violence. We should do all we can to learn from them. That is why I have asked my experts on school violence to follow up with the President's request to work with the Attorney General, to look at all five of these recent incidents of violence involving multiple victims to discern whether there are any positive steps that we could take to prevent this kind of tragedy.
For example, did any of the young people who committed these multiple acts of violence give any early warning signs that were ignored or dismissed? Are there any patterns in terms of these young people feeling isolated from their peers or families that led them to kill fellow students, and a teacher in this case? Are we taking away the lessons of this incredible tragedy? As we look at it, it is important to remember that 90 percent of our public schools recently reported no incidents of violent crime.
SURVEY OF SCHOOL PRINCIPALS
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Last week, President Clinton and the Attorney General released a survey of school principals that told us that 10 percent of our Nation's public schools reported some form of violent crime to the police last year. Of course, any act of violent crime is cause of concern and is too much, and this is why we have been working hard during the last 5 years to support schools in their efforts to curtail violence.
GUN-FREE SCHOOLS ACT
The Gun-Free Schools Act that Congress passed at the request of the President in 1994 is one example of this ongoing effort. Several thousand young people have been expelled for bringing guns to school as a result of this legislation, and we will have new data in late May on the progress that has been achieved.
PREVENTING SCHOOL VIOLENCE
I also think we need to step back and take a fresh look at what we are doing in terms of preventing school violence. We need to reflect on both the practical steps that we take immediately and look at the larger picture. Almost all schools have zero-tolerance policies for drugs and guns, but it may well be that some schools allow themselves to be lulled into a false sense of security. Violence, they assume, only happens in other schools or in big cities where gangs exist. Well, that is a very false assumption since guns are everywhere. The one thing we have to understand about that is that guns and young children simply do not mix.
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I am also troubled by the disconnection that seems to haunt some of our young people. That is something that I have said before, but it needs saying again. We seem to be drifting toward a new concept of childhood which says that a child can be brought into the world and allowed to fend for himself or herself. There is a disconnection that I think demands our attention.
As a Nation, we really do need to slow down and tune into our children. Too many of them, even from good families that have all the trappings of middle-class America, are growing up disconnected, and they are not anchored to an adult or a family or a parent who can get them through the rocky times of life.
When we see children killing children, can we say that we have listened to them with all due care? Violence is a language of sound that always captures our attention, but it is always too late. Whether we like it or not, America needs to look into the mirror and recognize that our culture seems to glorify violence. From television to movies to comic books to video games, violence is too often part of the daily life of the American child.
As we think through this terrible tragedy, as we do, I urge all Americans to support our Nation's schools. This is not a time to walk away from our schools and throw up our hands and say that nothing can be done. When communities come together, parents, the faith community, business, just plain people, when they all come together, we rally around our schools and good things begin to happen.
Children need connections. They need teachers and principals, but the teachers and principals cannot do it alone. The families, the entire community, has to be part of all of this connection, this connecting up for children.
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I heard on a radio program this morning a young student who was there in Paducah, Kentucky. They asked him, as we are all perplexed, what to do and where are we on these random acts, and his simple response, I thought, was rather profound. This young student, who was there at that incident, with all the sadness there, he said simply that the community needs to come together, and I think that is a pretty good description of what we are all trying to say, this connection, this community spirit.
FISCAL YEAR 1999 BUDGET REQUEST
Let me now make three observations or a couple, really, primarily about the budget, very quickly, and then we will get on into questions, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate you letting me make that statement. I thought it needed to be said.
My first observation is that the budget request before you continues our commitment to safety in our Nation's schools. We included funding to expand our After-School programs, to reach 4,000 schools. We are requesting $50,000,000 to get many more well-trained drug counselors into middle schools. We are also seeking your support for the High Hopes Program that will connect 2,500 middle schools to colleges and universities. Young people who make good choices early on discover a purpose in life and then move forward. Young people in the middle-school years are making first choices about their future, everything from going to college, to experimenting with sex, with drugs, with tobacco. This is a very important time for our children to tune in and for us to tune into them, to listen to them, to give them the connections that I spoke of at their early time in their middle years.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 FY 1999 BUDGET THEMES
A second observation is that the President's overall budget request both on the discretionary and mandatory side is timely, I think, and needed. It would reduce class size, help build or modernize 5,000 school buildings, improve teacher quality, bring technology to many more classrooms, and give all Americans the financial support and information that they need to go to college.
I cannot emphasize enough the fact that many of our schools are either overcrowded or are wearing out. They are crowded. They are outdated, in need of repair, and we need to build a lot more of them.
COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL REFORM PROGRAM
Finally, I want to thank the chairman and Congressman Obey for your continued leadership in helping us to create new models to turn around failing schools. This budget, as you will note, includes a $30,000,000 increase in the Title I Comprehensive School Reform program that was launched last year, thanks to your initiative. Your leadership, and this increase will allow us to support 3,500 schools in their effort to accelerate change. I believe this program has great potential. I assure you that it has the strong support of the President.
EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY ZONES
We also urge the Congress to approve $200,000,000 for our Education Opportunity Zones proposal, which would complement the Comprehensive School Reform program by joining forces with 50 of the most at-risk school districts around the Nation. We want to help them put in place tough and district-wide reforms that adopt a no-nonsense approach to getting these school systems back on track.
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I think I will conclude there, Mr. Chairman, and go ahead and get into questions. I appreciate you letting me make that statement.
[The prepared statement and biological sketch of Secretary Richard Riley follow:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
Let me say that the school violence that occurred in Arkansas yesterday and the previous terrible and tragic incidents that we have seen are of obviously great concern to Congress and to the members of this subcommittee.
You said that you think we are becoming disconnected. I submit that I think we have been disconnected in our country since the 1960's, and, finally, we are beginning to recognize the value of family and trying to bring our families back together again and keeping them connected. I agree with you that the disconnection that you were talking about is certainly a cause for these kinds of tragedies occurring.
Let me also say that you are exactly right that violence pervades much of our culture, whether it is on our TV sets or in our movies or on our news. It seems that the people that do marketing in our country have determined that we have an inordinate fixation on violence and feed us all that we seem to want, and more, in our society. Somehow we have to get in a free society some balance between the freedom of speech and the responsibility for some of the incidents that I think are based in much of our culture.
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Finally, let me say that these, I think, in each instance were gun crimes, and the ready availability of guns in America is clearly a part of this problem, even the ready availability in some of our States of guns to minors.
SCHOOL VIOLENCETARGETING FUNDS TO PROBLEM SCHOOLS
You said in your opening statements that many of our schools have no violence at all. I think you said 90 percent, did you not?
Secretary RILEY. Serious violence.
Mr. PORTER. That 90 percent of our schools have no serious violence; that 43 percent of our schools have no crime whatsoever. Yet, our programs, to address violence in our schools, go to all of our schools. It seems to me that one of the things we might consider doing, because we spend a great deal of money in this area, is to target the money where it is most needed.
I think we are past the era where we need to pass out funds to every single school district in America for this program or that or every constituency in America in order to get the votes to pass them. What we have got to do is put resources where the problems are and aim to solve those problems, or at least to alleviate the worst aspect of them.
I would like to ask that your Department work with the subcommittee to try to do some targeting that will make the expenditure of funds much more meaningful and get to the problems and attempt to solve them. I think that has been a problem within the policy we have of addressing issues like this. It remains unresolved and ought to be addressed very, very forcefully, and I would like to work with you in order to do that.
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Secretary RILEY. Well, Mr. Chairman, we certainly would welcome that opportunity, and I think that is called for, but I would point out that these last three incidents, these multiple killings which have been so tragic, have been in schools where probably none of us would have anticipated any difficulties whatsoever.
In the heavy urban areas, on a percentage basis, you have more violence occuring than you do in the rural areas generally, but these random acts that are so hard to deal with in terms of public policy, really happen in different kinds of places. These three that have been so tragic over the past period of time really have been in schools that have been relatively violence-free and safe and would not be anticipated to be troublesome.
SCHOOL VIOLENCENATIONAL STATISTICS
Mr. PORTER. Perhaps you could provide for the record some of the statistics that deal with that issue where violence has occurred in our schools, whether it is in inner cities, suburban areas, or rural areas. That would provide us, I think, some guidance.
I am certain you cannot anticipate every act of violence, but, certainly, the acts of violence occur more frequently in some areas than in others. It seems to me, once again, that some degree of looking at where the problems are and trying to address them in a targeted way makes a lot more sense.
Secretary RILEY. We will do that, and we have some very new, very good information that I will supply to you, and then we can all work on it together. I think that makes good sense.
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[The information follows:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
REGULATORY BURDENIMPACT ON COLLEGE COSTS
Mr. PORTER. Mr. Secretary, let me talk about higher education for a moment. Terry Hartle, the vice president of the American Council on Education, hardly part of the vast right-wing conspiracy, recently wrote a strong criticism of the regulatory burden imposed by State and Federal governments on higher education.
In the Chronicle of Higher Education, he cites the president of Stanford University who indicates that 12.5 cents of every tuition dollar goes to support compliance with Federal and State regulations, and the amount increases each year.
To quote from Dr. Hartle, ''The panoply of Federal regulations applicable to colleges includes those dealings with Medicare, Medicaid, occupational safety, control of hazardous substances, clean air and water, intercollegiate athletics, wages and salaries, equal opportunity, affirmative action and gender equity, graduate rates, campus crimes, student financial aid, access for the disabled, confidentiality of student and patient records, care of humans and animals in research, indirect research costs, historic preservation, and conflicts of interest,'' and that is just a sample. The preliminary list of regulations affecting higher education filled three single-spaced pages.
Two questions, Mr. Secretary. Isn't it true that most of the increases we have provided for Pell grants, work-study, and other student aid has gone to tuition increases caused in part by regulations cited by Dr. Hardle?
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Dr. Hardle also indicates that the Department does not take seriously its mandate to negotiate rules in order to understand their impact. Sadly, he states, the agency regards the requirements to negotiate as a legal hoop to jump through, rather than as an opportunity to minimize the regulatory burden while still reaching its public policy goals.
What is your comment on this indictment from an organization that historically has been one of your strongest supporters?
Secretary RILEY. Well, I think that is an observation that calls for an analysis, and I would say that most of the regulations in the higher education field are related to statutory laws.
We have worked hard to try to simplify and reduce regulations since we have been here. Over 2,000 pages of regulations have been reinvented, simplified or eliminated. Our paperwork burden has been trimmed by 10 percent, translating into 5,400,000 fewer hours for students, schools and others. So we are sensitive to the issue that you mention.
We are trying to make some changes. Of course, one thing is we did not put SPREs in, as you recall. That was a very important debate that we had. SPREs would have meant a lot more regulations. However, there was some good justification for that.
Some of the regulations, for example, regulations concerning defaults in student loans are necessary. If we had no regulations for default reduction, if the Congress was not serious, if we were not serious about that, the default rate would not be anywhere as positive as it is. As you know, the default rate has come from 22 percent down to below 11 percent. That is regulations. That reduction in loan defaults is a result of tightening up on those matters.
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We are looking at other ways to relax the stringent regulations. Of course, when you have money involved, you do have to have certain regulations. We are looking at a performance-based approach in terms of oversight in our student financial aid. So I think some of our approaches will help.
Another thing, Mr. Chairman, that we have done is we put the big higher education application for student loans, the FAFSA, on line, to create the electronic FAFSAs. The FAFSA is the big form we send out, and we have made it available via the Internet. A large portion of those are coming in electronically, saving an enormous amount of paperwork. So we would like to move further in those directions, and we are trying to do that.
STUDENT AID INCREASESIMPACT ON ACCESS AND TUITION
Mr. PORTER. There is a tangential question about tuition absorbing all of the increases in aid that we make in higher education. In other words, could you tell the subcommittee, based on recent increases, for example, in Pell grants, whether we are getting greater access to higher education through that process or whether it is simply being absorbed in tuition increases and really not increasing the number of students who can access higher education?
Secretary RILEY. Well, I think I can certainly safely say that the significant increases in Pell that have occurred over the last several yearsand this subcommittee has been very actively involved in thathave made an enormous difference. I do think that most colleges and universities now are really being very cautious and careful about tuition increases. However, there was a period of years where they were enormous, and I am very hopeful that our increases in student aid are really increases for the student and nothing else.
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I think everybody is watching that now, too. I think when we do things like create the HOPE scholarship, and provide increases in Pell, all of us are concernedand we had those same questions last year; namely, is that going to mean inflation of tuition? I think as far as our observation at this point, it has not. I do not think that it will. There are always some legitimate increases for the effect of inflation and other reasons, but I do believe that the students are getting a significant benefit from those things that we have all done together, and I am very, very pleased for that.
Mr. PORTER. Well, historically, the rate of increase in tuition has been far greater than inflation, and a lot of the increases in programs have been absorbed with tuition increases. Obviously, I am happy to hear that you think that that has leveled off and that it really is getting more access for students, which is what we obviously intended for the money to do.
Mr. Obey for an opening statement, and then your questions.
Mr. OBEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, I apologize for being late. I have been busy screwing up a few other things before I got here.
Secretary RILEY. I know the feeling. Go ahead.
OPENING REMARKS OF RANKING MINORITY MEMBER
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Mr. OBEY. I am happy to welcome you here, even though it is belatedly. As you know, I regard you as one of the very best members of the President's Cabinet. I must say I have been increasingly distressed by what I see as the increased politization of education in this country and the increased tendency to approach education from a political theology standpoint rather than from the standpoint of simply what works. I admire the fact that you have been able to resist that in the way you have conducted your business.
I also appreciate that the President's budget makes quite clear that his priority is to put education first above all other issues.
I wish I could say the same thing was happening in the Congress. If we take a look at what is happening with the highway bill, that pork-laden monstrosity which is working its way through this place, it is an incredible budget-buster to the tune of over $25,000,000,000 in the Senate and $30,000,000,000 here. When you couple that with the Senate action and the budget resolution, it is quite clear that the intention of the Congress apparently is to put concrete ahead of kids, and I hope that the President will continue to resist that.
We see some other priorities as well that seem to be placed ahead of kids these days, but I hope you will pursue your initiatives because I think they can make a big difference for the kids we are supposed to care about.
Let me also say that last year, in spite of everything, we had a good bipartisan year in dealing with the appropriations process, and I hope that we can continue that this year. That is the only way that we get good things done, and that is the only way that anybody looks good. I know that is your desire as well.
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IMPACT OF BUDGET RESOLUTION ON EDUCATION PROGRAMS
I would like to ask you a few questions about the budget that appears to be developing. The budget resolution reported out by the Senate majority last week provided for programs funded by this committee at less than a freeze level, about $1,000,000,000 in budget authority less than current services, and $1,600,000,000 less than the President's budget.
I would simply like to get your comments on the impact of those budget reductions. If the Budget Committee in the House were to follow suit and follow the similar strategy, what education priorities do you think would be put in jeopardy?
Secretary RILEY. Of course, the basic items that we propose to be funded, the pressing national needs that the President has attempted to propose in a sound sensible way, would be affected. The Class-Size Reduction Initiative, which, of course, would go with the tobacco settlement, and I know there is some controversy on that, but that was his proposal as a way to fund it, the School Construction Initiative, of course, the Education Opportunity Zones. The other measures, After-School Learning Centers and so forth, we think are very critical national priorities that might be affected. As you know, we have tried to reduce programs where we could. We have recommended termination of some 64 programs since we have been here to try to make those budget decisions make some sense, to really key in on those national priorities.
That is my initial reaction. Do you have any specific
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. OBEY. Well, I am simply concerned about what the Senate budget resolution, if adopted by this side, could mean not only for the President's Class-Size Reduction and his School Construction Initiatives, but also the squeeze that it might place on Title I, Eisenhower teacher training, Pell grants, and the like.
Secretary RILEY. I have not reviewed that, but let me ask Tom Skelly to respond. If you would, Tom?
Mr. SKELLY. Mr. Obey, if we assume that there was a freeze on education funding coming before this subcommittee, you would not have the $392,000,000 increase in Title I that the President proposed. You would not have the increase of $100 in the Pell grant maximum grant, which is going to cost us approximately $300,000,000. You would not have an increase of $160,000,000 in the After-School Learning Center program.
As the Secretary said, you also would not have any of the new initiatives proposed, like the Education Opportunity Zones, which will serve urban and rural areas. So there will be a number of critical national needs that you would not be funding if you were not allowed to increase spending on education discretionary programs.
ESTIMATED EFFECT OF FY 1999 SENATE BUDGET RESOLUTION
Mr. OBEY. I would appreciate it if you would take a closer look at the Senate budget resolution and either submit for the record or give me a memo on what you see being squeezed out potentially in the educational area, if that proposal is pursued.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Secretary RILEY. We will do that.
[The information follows:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
CLASS SIZE REDUCTION INITIATIVE
Mr. OBEY. With respect to your initiative on Small Class Size, I know that it is not technically before this committee, but I just have one comment and one question. In my own State, our State legislature has pursued on a bipartisan basis, with the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, a program called Project SAGE, which is Student Achievement Guarantee in Education. It is, as is the President's initiative, an effort to get additional teachers into the classroom in the first 3 grades.
While the evaluation of that program has only been preliminary, it appears that students who are the beneficiaries of a smaller class size, indeed, are performing better than their counterparts who are not.
I would hope that you would press that vigorously. I think it is really important. I would simply ask you because this concern has been raised, how would your Class Size Initiative avoid some of the problems that are being encountered in California's Smaller Class Initiative? Because their experience apparently in some instances has been negative. Whereas, in Wisconsin, it appears to have been quite positive.
Secretary RILEY. I think it is very important if you attempt to reduce class size. Now, understand our proposal is just grades one, two, and three, and it is for teachers to have special expertise in reading, but it is not a 1-year deal. That is where you really get into a problem. It takes time to recruit teachers, to develop teachers, to prepare them. Our proposal is a 7-year proposal, and it does involve at least 10 percent of the funds which would be spent for those purposes.
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Then it impacts construction, and, of course, we have a proposal on construction because we think that is important. If you have smaller classrooms, you need more space. You have this enlarged enrollment, all of these impact on the construction side of things.
So we have, we think, a balanced approach of smaller classrooms over a 7-year period and the enhanced incentive for new construction and for modernizing construction, all of which we think complement the general idea.
Now, some States are working to decrease class size, like California and like your proposal there. I would point out that our proposal, Congressman, is very flexible, and while we talk about grades one, two, and three, of course, if your State or California has a classroom size down to 18 for grades one, two, and three, they can either reduce class size further in those grades, and, usually, 15 to 18 is very valuable, very helpful, where you can have independent help for students, or they could go up to grade four or down to kindergarten. They have lots of flexibility to work the program within those parameters.
So, by being flexible and by having a time frame of 7 years and encouraging recruitment and so forth and by construction, we think that we have in a complementary way headed off some of the problems.
COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL REFORM DEMONSTRATIONS
Mr. OBEY. The last question is on comprehensive school reform, which this committee initiated last year, on a bipartisan basis. I am curious to know what response you have gotten to date from States and what kind of response you think the States, in turn, are getting from local school districts.
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We just had a very successful 2-day outreach effort run by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in Wisconsin and had a massive response. At one site, we had well over 200 people show up from different school districts, at another site almost 300, to try to determine for themselves which models they were interested in pursing or modifying. I am curious as to how that initiative has been responded to so far.
Secretary RILEY. Well, I think the response is very significant. In the first year, of course, people have to become aware of these opportunities. We have tried to do all we could to make them aware, and the response, then, is very exciting to me.
It is amazing, when you have a failing school or a school that is not performing like you would like for it to perform, what a great option this is for the school. As you know, the approach is a school-based approach, with the opportunity to have design teams come in and help the local people to decide how they want to reform and improve and get more involved in their own school. It is just the right thing to do. When people get into that, it makes the school the center of the community's activity, and it brings the best people in America to advise local people on how they themselves can best reform and improve their schools, working with the principal, the teachers, and all involved.
So my reaction to that is that our response has been very, very strong, and it is getting stronger by the day. It is exciting to me to see schools that are involved in self-improvement. What a difference that makes.
I said in my statement earlier that I appreciated that very much.
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Mr. OBEY. All right. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mr. Obey.
Mr. DICKEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SCHOOL VIOLENCEJONESBORO, ARKANSAS
Before my time starts, may I say something about the Arkansas situation?
Mr. PORTER. You may.
Mr. DICKEY. Secretary Riley, I appreciate very much your comments about Arkansas. I happen to know one of the teachers there. She is an advisor to my Education Council, and I know we are all in a state of shock. I appreciate what you said about the community. I do not think we can take the responsibility nor the guilt of what is happening or what happened in Arkansas or the other States and other schools, but we need to direct it toward the families. I am convinced that what is in the hearts of our kids is what the problem is. We must do something about it. So I appreciate your comments.
EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENTMISSISSIPPI DELTA REGION
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 What progress, Secretary Riley, has the Department made toward implementing the Early Childhood Development Project for children with disabilities in the Mississippi Delta region?
Secretary RILEY. Well, Senator Bumpers, of course, brought that question up when I testified in the Senate and has written me, too. I know it is something that you are concerned with.
It is my understanding that the subcommittee put in some $600,000 yesterday as a direct appropriation. As you know, the program is set up as a competitive program, and we had to handle it as a competitive program. Certainly, if you all carry through with that, it would take care of that part of it.
They are really requestingin Senator Bumper's letter and I am sure it's your opinion, too, more funds than that, and I have a very good feeling about the project. I think it is a fine proposal, but it is under our Special Education and Rehabilitation Services Office. It is a competition, and I do not know whether the $600,000 is sufficient for them to function, but we would certainly welcome a further competition and would offer any kind of technical assistance we could to the applicant, but the request was larger than the normal applications of that kind. That is why we were having trouble with it.
So, frankly, if you all wanted it funded and made it very clear, then that makes it clear to us. So I do not disagree with that action.
Mr. DICKEY. Secretary Riley, I want to ask you further about that. What you have done is you have required us to earmark it or specify it. If that is what makes it through this bill, then you will do it.
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The Mississippi Delta region, of course, includes Arkansas, and it is one of the most impoverished areas in the Nation. I am worried, as I think Senator Bumpersalthough I have not talked to him directlyis worried, that you might not have a priority, that this might not be a priority in your system, and that is why we haveyou have asked us to earmark it.
What I am saying is that I do not think we should be directing the education policies, anyway, but this committee should not be telling you what to do. Now you have almost prompted us into doing it. Why is that? Do you have some doubts about the effectiveness of this project?
Secretary RILEY. Well, it is my understanding that in the competition that we have announced, average grants will be about $150,000 a year. That is just the nature of this particular competition. Of course, $150,000 a year from what you and Senator Bumpers and others have told me is not near enough to fund this project. But we also expect to have another competition in personnel preparation to which they could apply, I guess in addition to this $600,000.
So I think if you provide the $600,000 this year, then we would certainly have another competition that they could apply to that would provide more money, and we could help you with technical assistance. I think we could work together to try to get up to the $1,800,000 if we enable them to get the other funds under the other program. I would welcome trying to work with you all to do that. We think it is a good program, and I do not want to say anything but that.
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Mr. DICKEY. Maybe I am not understanding something here.
In fiscal year 1998, the House and the Senate reports, and the statement of managers of the conference committee, all said that $1,800,000 was to be spent. Now, was it spent or not?
[The information follows:]
FUNDING FOR EASTER SEAL PROJECT IN THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA
At the time of the hearing, the Department had plans for using all Special Education National Activities funds available for fiscal year 1998, including $1,800,000 mentioned in the Appropriation Report Language. However, a subsequently enacted supplemental specified that $600,000 of these funds must be used for support of the Early Childhood Development Project of the National Easter Seal Society for the Mississippi Delta Region. The Department's plans were revised to reflect funding for this specific project and funding for planned awards will be reduced accordingly.
Mr. SKELLY. The competition we have, Mr. Dickey, under that section will be, as the Secretary said, for average grants, of about $150,000 each.
We will have another competition in the personnel preparation area which will provide for larger grants, as large as $600,000, and we are doing that.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. DICKEY. When will this be done?
Mr. SKELLY. After meeting with staff and members on both sides, we are thinking about
Mr. DICKEY. Mr. Skelly, did you spend the $1,800,000? Are you in the process of doing it?
Mr. SKELLY. We are still in the process of
Mr. DICKEY. You are not holding any back?
Mr. SKELLY. No, sir.
Mr. DICKEY. Well, I just want you to know that we think in Arkansas this is important.
Secretary RILEY. Yes. We do, too.
Mr. DICKEY. And we would like to have more than $600,000, and I will be trying to get as much as I can earmarked if that is what we have to do.
NATIONAL VOLUNTARY TESTING
I am interested in finding out the status of the national testing debate that took up so much of our subcommittee's time at the end of the last session. What sort of steps has the Department taken to develop these proposed national tests?
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Secretary RILEY. Well, the national test, has been moved under NAGB [National Assessment Governing Board], and NAGB then, as I understand it, is proceeding to develop the test in accordance with everybody's understanding. The 1999 request from FIE, which is under our research wing, is about $15,000,000 for the continued development of the voluntary national test, fourth grade reading and eighth grade math, and the evaluation that is following with that.
So that is still in process. The NAGB reauthorization is coming up right now, this year, and, of course, that is when you would be involved in deciding the future of what NAGB should do and not do. So that will be before you this year.
Mr. DICKEY. There has been no national testing that has taken place in the last year?
Secretary RILEY. There has been national testing, but it is sample testing that we have always done, the NAEP [National Assessment of Educational Progress] test, but individual tests, no.
Mr. DICKEY. How much sampling?
Secretary RILEY. Sampling, we have always done lots of that, as you know. We do that in different grades, in different courses, and I can give you a complete breakdown of all that, but that has been done for years. Of course, that was one of our arguments about having the individual tests. It is that we were taking the NAEP sample test and making it where an individual could take it, so the parents and the teacher could know if a child could handle the very basics of reading and math in those critical ages.
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Mr. DICKEY. I am going to submit the rest of my questions for the record, but I had one last one.
FEDERAL TRIO PROGRAMS
Secretary RILEY. Okay.
Mr. DICKEY. I have historically been very supportive of the Federal TRIO programs. I have been informed that recent evaluations commissioned by your Department have indicated that the intensity of TRIO programs has eroded, and this erosion affects the quality and impact of services. Can you tell me what you plan to do to reverse this erosion?
Secretary RILEY. Well, we are constantly evaluating all of the programs, and in those evaluations, we have good things and other observations to make.
The TRIO programs generally work very, very well, and you do have to constantly be attentive to ensure they continue to work well, and we are constantly watching that as we work with TRIO. We have recommended an increase in TRIO for the 1999 budget. We strongly support what they are doing, and we think they are doing a very, very good job, but we do constantly have to be careful to make sure the TRIO programs do what we want them to do in terms of making progress.
Mr. DICKEY. Thank you, Secretary Riley. It is good to see you.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Secretary RILEY. Good to see you.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mr. Dickey.
The Chair would advise the members of the subcommittee that we are currently operating under the 8-minute rule, and I have asked the Secretary if considering the delay in our starting if he could stay later. He has assured me that he can. So we will plan for a second round.
Ms. PELOSI. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to join you and my colleagues in welcoming Secretary Riley here this afternoon and thank him for his great leadership on behalf of the children of America.
It is clear, you are one leader who is sending a very consistent message to the children. We tell them that education is important, and, yet, we neglect their needs in terms of education. We send them to school in buildings that are environmental hazards and have them in overcrowded classrooms in many instances, but your message is clear. Education is important, and we are going to reduce the size of your class with school construction and supplying more qualified teachers, so that we can have schools where teachers can teach, children can learn, and parents can participate. Parents participating, I think, has been the theme of our chairman's questions earlier about what happened in Arkansas yesterday.
SCHOOL VIOLENCEJONESBORO, ARKANSAS
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I earlier today extended my condolences to my colleague, Mr. Dickey, and my colleague, Mr. Barry, who represents Jonesboro. Let us hope that of the shots that rang out in Arkansas, one of them will be a shot heard around the country that we absolutely have to change the atmosphere in which young children could be killing other children with guns.
So many times here, people tell us guns do not kill people, people do. Well, who is responsible when the person who kills a person is 11 years old or 13 years old? Certainly, right now our hearts and our prayers are with the parents of the children and the teacher who very courageously, as you mentioned, tried to save the lives of even more children; but after the first few days of this, we have to look to some parental responsibility. How did these children have access to this arsenal of weapons that they used on other children?
I am so pleased that President Clinton last week focused on this issue, following up on some other unfortunate incidents in our country, but as I said before, hopefully this shot will be the one heard around the country that puts an end to it forever more.
It is a tragedy beyond comprehension when our children are killing each other. Children should not have to be afraid to go to school, and I commend you and the Clinton administration for the initiatives that you have already taken and now are even more important.
BILINGUAL EDUCATION RESCISSION
Mr. Secretary, as far as the budget is concerned, I was very disappointed yesterday that the full Appropriations Committee voted to rescind $75,000,000 from FY 1998 appropriations for bilingual education to fund the supplemental appropriations. Although the issue of bilingual education is currently being hotly debated, especially in my State of California, cutting funding for bilingual education does a great disservice to students who need it to learn English quickly and well in order to achieve high standards.
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What will be the impact of this $75,000,000 rescission?
Secretary RILEY. Well, it would be very serious, and I was really somewhat perplexed by the decision yesterday to rescind the $75,000,000 from bilingual education funding.
Bilingual education was one of those issues in last year's bipartisan budget agreement that was supposed to be agreed to, and it was in that protected zone in that agreement. That, we felt was part of the agreement, and I think it was.
The decision comes here, though, in the middle of the year when we are just finishing a review of hundreds of grant applications, and if this cut stands, then we would be forced to cancel 73 of the 671 projects that are scheduled to receive awards next month. Those people are planning on that funding, and that is part of an ongoing program. It would affect some 142,000 students. I urge the Congress to step back from that decision. I do not think that bilingual education should become a political football right in the middle of the year like that. I think that if there are issues to be decided, they should be decided in the right course of time.
This rescission would cut teacher training, for example. Bilingual teacher training is vastly needed out there. That is a very important part of serving LEP children, limited English proficient children, to ensure they have the kind of education under the law they are entitled to have, are supposed to have, and should have.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 It would lower $25,000,000 in teacher development, teacher training, down to $5,000,000, $25,000,000 to $5,000,000, and that would be a real mistake.
These are competitive grants programs, and we never have near enough money to cover the demands that are out there, just a small piece of the demands.
LOCAL FLEXIBILITY OF CHOICE
This year, it is the same. I think school districts really ought to have the option to choose a bilingual program that suits their specific needs. Kids are different. In some areas, one thing works well. In some other areas, other things work well, but we think that the local school district ought to have the option to choose those things in bilingual education, and when they do, to have funds cut off in this fashion would be very troublesome for them and for education in those areas.
Ms. PELOSI. I appreciate your putting that impact on the record.
Unfortunately, in California, we have an initiative on the ballot called the UNZ Initiative, which will eliminate the right to native language instruction and mandate a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching English and to limited English proficient students.
If that initiative passes or if the school board decides to exercise its State-authorized flexibility to deny the provision of native language instruction, will the Department of Education still authorize local education agencies to use Title I or Title VII funds to provide native language instruction or support services?
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Secretary RILEY. We are now looking at the UNZ Initiative. The administration is not ready yet to make its judgment on it, but will be relatively soon. You are asking about the impact.
I will say this. Probably, a fourth of the applications in the competition we get from California would qualify under the UNZ provision at this time, and a lot of people do not realize that, but the programs vary. We are very careful about evaluating the applications and making sure they are doing what they say they are going to do in this competition.
So we certainly would comply with the law whatever that is, but certain numbers would qualify under the present competition that comes in.
Ms. PELOSI. Do we know what percentage that is?
Secretary RILEY. It is about 25 percent.
Ms. PELOSI. Oh, about 25 applied to that. Okay, thank you.
The President'swas that a beachhead, or is that too late?
Mr. PORTER. Well, you are getting awfully good at starting on the sentence, with one second left. No, go ahead.
Ms. PELOSI. Well, I will make this a quick one. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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INTERAGENCY RESEARCH INITIATIVE
The President's budget includes new funding for an Interagency Research Initiative. Can you describe the types of research activities that will be included? Can you tell us why such funding was not proposed within the existing programs, such as that of the research centers and regional education laboratories?
Mr. SKELLY. Ms. Pelosi, the $50,000,000 initiative would be an interagency effort between the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Child Development, and would focus on things like development of the brain and the way young people get ready to go to school.
The program would be authorized under existing legislation, but we felt it was important to give focus to it, and that is why it is requested as a separate initiative.
Ms. PELOSI. I appreciate that. Thank you very much, and thank you again for your leadership, Mr. Secretary.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Ms. Pelosi.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mrs. NORTHUP. Thank you.
DIVERGENT APPROACHES TO EDUCATIONAL CHANGE
Welcome, Secretary Riley. First of all, I want to thank you for the strong interest that you all have in education. I do believe that the Department of Education is very dedicated to our children and to education. I also believe there are a lot of ideas out there, and I am always so sorryand I do not direct this at youthat we seem to get into warsmaybe it is because of the passion we have for our childrenabout anybody that thinks differently about what works and what does not work is anti-education.
I really feel that over the course of raising six children, some that have learning disabilities, and being on the House Education Committee in Frankfurt, Kentucky, for 9 years, that my ideas evolved. They changed. Some of the things we did, did not work. Some of the things, I think, people thought were crazy when they suggested it. It turned out to be more right than I originally thought they were. It just seems a shame to me that we are so quick to decide that there is only one way to be right.
Certainly, within this Congress, there are some differences about what is the best way to improve education. It is important that we do not say about those people that disagree with us that they are anti-education and are wrong. We do not know what is right, as a matter of fact. We have not figured it out yet.
I am convinced in this country, we would spend any amount of dollars possible and come up with any program possible if we really knew that it would solve the challenges that we have in education.
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With that said, I have to put in my point that I really believe, and several times here today you have said, school districts should be free to choose, and how important it is that parents and communities be involved. It worries me that we are moving pretty dramatically in this budget to a federalized sort of view of what education would look like; that we will further constrain local communities, parents, teachers, those people in that community, in that school, from exercising their best judgment, and being able to support what is their view of how to improve their child's school.
CLASS SIZE REDUCTION AND TEACHER TRAINING INITIATIVE
In particular, let me raise the question of teachers and the fact of the 100,000 new teachers in the schools. You pointed out that some States have already moved to pretty substantially appropriate more money for more teachers in those classrooms. So are we saying that they can take their block grant and maybe invest where they have not invested, like in technology? No. We are saying that they can go to fourth grade, they can move it down even lower, but they still only can spend it the way the Federal Government says they can spend it, and that is on teachers.
This does not pay the full price of the teachers. It pays, as I figure it, maybe half, maybe less for each new teacher you put in the classroom. So you are not only failing to recognize that, say, Indiana that has already invested in new teachers that they would have to only take their money to further hire more new teachers, but that they would have to match it with more of their individual money in order to get that money. So they are either going to be Indiana taxpayers that pay their taxes and derive no benefit from this enormous increase, or they are going to spend it in a way that less meets their needs. That is not the only area, but that is sort of the most glaring new example.
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Secretary RILEY. Well, generally, your remarks, as you have observed, I agree with, and I do strongly feel, and as you have heard me say before, that local school districts and States ought to control how we teach and what we teach and all of that.
I do think there is a very important Federal role to support the education in this country and to try to then, yes, have some purpose for the funds we send down, but then to leave the general ideas about how they teach and the control of teaching on the State and local level.
So what my general idea is about the Federal role is that it is a role in support, as a partner, but not in control. As you indicate, when you have a general purpose, some might call that control. Construction, for example, we would propose then to have the bonds for construction, modernization, for repair, for new buildings. Those decisions are local, but it would have to be in the general area of construction.
On classroom size, the average size in America today is about 22 pupils per teacher for K through grades one, two, and three and what our proposal would do, then, is to bring that average down to about 18.
Now, you are right in that all States are different, and you can make that argument, certainly. In California, where they pushed it down to like 20, that is their big California initiative, and, I mean, it is a major undertaking and it has been difficult, but I think it has worked a whole lot better than it has the problems. That is a State decision.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 This would help them get it on down to 18 or 17 or to move into another grade or whatever. The design would have to generally address the purpose of getting fewer pupils per teacher, but be very flexible in how they do it.
CLASS SIZE INITIATIVE MATCHING REQUIREMENT
Mrs. NORTHUP. What percentage of the cost of each teacher would you expect that this would cover?
Secretary RILEY. It is a match.
Mrs. NORTHUP. It is a match.
Secretary RILEY. He said 50 to 100 percent.
Mrs. NORTHUP. I thought it was 90 to 5050 to 90. I do not think it is 100.
And is that salary, or does that include their benefits?
Mr. SKELLY. That is a rough estimate, with benefits, also. It varies by district.
Mrs. NORTHUP. I mean, are we going to set those salary rates? In other words, are we going to pay more for a teacher in California because their pay scale is different than maybe a teacher in Indiana because of their pay scale?
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Secretary RILEY. The Title I formula is how it goes down to the State, and then the State handles the division within the State. There are certain protections for those large poor areas.
Mrs. NORTHUP. Am I right? Does it start at 90 percent and then go down to 50 percent? So the teacher that Kentucky hires today is going to start at 90 percent. It will not be too much, but in 5 years, they are going to pay 50 percent. No? I thought it was on a decreasing basis over the 5 years.
Mr. SKELLY. The money actually builds up over 7 years. We do not get to the 100,000 teachers until
Mrs. NORTHUP. Right.
Mr. SKELLY [continuing]. 2005, and it would step up. I think it would still vary by State how they use the money they are getting, their share of the money on the Title I formula. So a poor State, maybe it can afford to get more teachers for the amount of money.
Mrs. NORTHUP. Again, I just want to point out that there seems to be the effect, and I get the complaint all the time from the superintendents, that what they get is a little bit of money, but then it forces them to spend more money. It takes less choice away from them, gives them less ability to focus on what are the unique needs this particular school has.
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Maybe some of them need tutoring services. Maybe other ones need extended day programs. Maybe other ones need to extend the school year by 3 weeks. In many schools, that would be a big help, and what we are doing is taking those choices away from us.
COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL REFORM DEMONSTRATIONS
I want to point out another particular example before I run out of time. Is the comprehensive school reform that we passed last yearI heard, Mr. Chairman, you and our ranking committee members, stand on the floor and say over and over that this is going to come from each school; that they are going to look at the model that means the most for them, but it has beenthe guidelines have been written so that the States would have the ability to decide how to weigh the applications that come in. Clearly, from what Mr. Obey said, there is not nearly enough money for everybody that applies. They can provide weight based on certain models. So you almost ensure that whoever is applying for this has to apply for the model the State chooses, rather than what that group of parents, that group of teachers, and that community believes is essentially needed for that community. So you take away the very thing we talked about as being the major example.
Secretary RILEY. Well, our guidance that goes out to them makes it clear that they can have locally developed models; that they are eligible for support.
Mrs. NORTHUP. But it also says
Secretary RILEY. It does, and let me finish because you are right about that. They do say they must integrate the nine components of the comprehensive reform program in a coherent way with well-researched and well-documented designs, but it does permit them to have locally developed models.
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Mrs. NORTHUP. Mr. Secretary, I am actually talking about page 11 on those guidelines, where it says that the State is allowed to weigh the applications on a certain model that the State identifies as a choice. If I have to compete, I am going to be 1 to 10 schools that is going to get it. You know what that almost says is I will not have enough points if I do not go
Mr. PORTER. Will the gentlelady yield on that?
Mrs. NORTHUP. Sure.
Mr. PORTER. It was our intention, Mr. Secretary, that although the money goes to the States, that the community, the school districtnot the school districtthe schools
Mrs. NORTHUP. Right.
Mr. PORTER [continuing]. Get to choose what model they felt was best for their institution, and if the regulations are written otherwise, we would say those are not in accordance with my understanding, at least, of what the comprehensive school reform was intended to do for the individual school.
Secretary RILEY. I will take a look at that, Mr. Chairman. I am informed that it is in the report language, generally referenced as the nine components, but I will look at that and see. It is our thinking that our guidance is consistent with the statutory provision and the report language.
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Mr. PORTER. Could I suggest, perhaps, that you and I and Mrs. Northup and Mr. Obey get together on this and see
Secretary RILEY. Absolutely.
Mr. PORTER [continuing]. That we are tracking in the same direction?
Secretary RILEY. Sure. We will do that.
Mrs. NORTHUP. Thank you.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you.
Secretary RILEY. We will do that.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mrs. Northup.
Mrs. LOWEY. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and I join my colleagues, Mr. Secretary, in welcoming you and thanking you for your extraordinary leadership for our Nation's children.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 SCHOOL VIOLENCEFINDING LESSONS AND REMEDIES
I do want to say that I share the views of my colleagues in expressing our shock and the fact that we are all deeply saddened with the tragedy in Arkansas, but I am very concerned that if we look at this as a freak incident that just happened there, we will not look for appropriate remedies.
In fact, if I recall, when a similar tragedy occurred in Scotland, after a period of soul-searching, there was a ban on handguns. Given the proliferation of violence in our society, I feel very strongly that we similarly have to take decisive action. Unless we take this action, children will continue to die, whether it is in Arkansas, in New York, or another city.
When we look at what is happening in our schools, unless we recognize this and take this action, I am concerned that we are just fooling ourselves, frankly.
I saw a recent study, a survey actually, comparing life and school for a youngster to what it was like in the 1950's. I remember going to school, and this study listed the 10 most serious infractions, pushing another child, getting out of line, chewing bubble gum, spitting at another child. It is a little different today, and I think we have to recognize it and take that action that is necessary.
With regard to stopping the violence and working with law enforcement officials, it is not the job of the Education Department to enforce safety in our Nation's streets, but out of necessity, the Department has found itself in the position of enforcing safety in our Nation's schools. Could you explain to us how you are working with the Department of Justice cooperatively, jointly, and with local law enforcement officials to address the increased gun violence in our schools, and are the schools really equipped to deal with gun violence?
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VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAMS
Secretary RILEY. Well, of course, we are working hard to enforce the zero-tolerance policy for drugs and weapons, and I do think that has had an effect in a large way.
The Gun-Free Schools Act has had a positive impact, I think, in expelling young people who have brought guns to school, and we will have new data available very soon on that.
The President announced last week a $17,000,000 program from the COPS program that is now available to help schools improve their safety policies. We want a four-fold expansion of our After-School program to keep young people connected and safe and out of harm's way. I do think that the After-School program is so effective. As we all know, that is when so many of the youth crimes occur and youth victimization. So that is another thing that we are pushing for, the expansion of the After-School programs.
Two of our programs, Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities, and Character Education, both support peer mediation and conflict resolution. Those kinds of efforts probably, perhaps, do more good than all of the other things put together, if you can really have young people think about conflict and methods of resolution.
ANTI-VIOLENCE TELEVISION MESSAGES
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 I am glad to see that during this basketball season that they have had these ''squash it'' ads on TV; that if you are in a violent situation and someone is challenging you and having some well-known sports figure say squash it and walk away and that is what takes strengthif we could have young people really seeing their role models that are great sports figures saying that is what you should do, I think those kind of things can make a big difference.
I think our society, though, has somehow got to stop glorifying violence. You see it every time you turn on the television, or in what you read and in everything you see about youyou see violence in the theater or wherever. I do not know exactly how to cope with that, but, certainly, parents and grandparents and neighbors need to make sure they do their part, and not think that teachers and principals out here in the school can really be the only parties to make violence not occur. That is, generally, some of the main things that we are doing, and I feel hopeful that some of it is making a real difference.
Ms. LOWEY. I appreciate your response because I feel so strongly that all the problems of our society converge on our schools, and then the school is supposed to solve them all. I agree with my colleague, we have to think long and hard about what we can do to enforce policies, to provide programs that help families, that strengthen families, that support families, and you have provided an excellent segue.
As you know, I have been a strong advocate of community schools and, After-School programs. This committee last year provided $40,000,000, and I am optimistic that we will provide the $200,000,000 that the President requested in this year's budget. It certainly is a positive response to the crime and violence that you see on the TVs, in the movie theaters, glorifying teenage sex, and if we can provide constructive programs after school, this certainly makes a lot of sense to me.
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I also believe that the extended learning time will improve the children's academic skills. So this is also very important.
I understand that the deadline has now passed to apply for these grants. Could you share with the committee the level of interest expressed in the $40,000,000?
Secretary RILEY. Well, we had enough money to fund around 400 programs, and we had around 16,000 people inquiring about it. Of course, people realized, right quick-like, that it was just a small number that were going to be able to receive funds. We had around 2,000-plus applications. I mean, there is an enormous interest in real constructive, meaningful After-School programs.
What parents want, as you know, and I appreciate that, they want their children to have the opportunity to have academic work and supervised athletics and computer activity and arts and music in the afternoons, things that they would enjoy doing, but certainly strong activities with academics. Where those things are out there and where they are working actively, it certainly makes a big difference. I strongly agree with you that After-School programs, we should really move in that direction.
Ms. LOWEY. I just want to emphasizebecause my colleague, Steny Hoyer, could not be here today, but he has been a strong advocate, as I have, of comprehensive or full-service schools. These are buildings that can serve the entire community, and we should be using them. After-School programs are a very important part, as far as I am concerned, of the youngsters learning.
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In fact, that is a good segue to another area. I was delighted to see, Mr. Secretary, that Senator Lauch Faircloth introduced a school construction amendmentI see my time is upand I am hoping that we can get strong bipartisan support for this. I think, as we work to rebuild our schools, making sure they are safe, making sure they are adequate, we can then expand the many uses that really will help strengthen a youngster's education.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I thank you, Mr. Secretary.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mrs. Lowey.
Ms. DELAURO. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
It is wonderful to see you again today, Secretary Riley, and thank you so much for the work that you do. Bless you for the work that you do.
SCHOOL VIOLENCEURBAN AND RURAL PROBLEM
We have all in our own way expressed our feelings and are troubled by the violence in Arkansas. Our prayers are certainly with the families. This is hard to understand. How do you account for an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old deliberately bringing children out and then shooting them? It is hard to understand.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 I got a article today from my district, from New Haven. A gun-toting city boy, 13, nabbed on a bus, found with a semiautomatic rifle. He did not get to the school, but there was a tip that this youngster had a gun and they got him in time before something happened.
Not too long ago, in a rural part of my district, a high school in a suburban area, a youngster with a knife stabbed two or three kids. So it is a city, it is a New Haven issue, it is a rural issue. So the violence is there. It may be a small part, but it is there.
What troubles me is that violence begets violence. If you have an atmosphere in which kids are in school and they feel threatened, then they are going to respond to those threats.
SCHOOL VIOLENCEFINDING SOLUTIONS
I spoke with my colleague, Marian Barry, who represents the Jonesboro area. The Yale child study, as you know, has a portion of what they do that works with children who are victims of violence and who witness violence. Dr. Steve Marins is right now on his way to Arkansas. He has been called in by the Justice Department to go down and join the team down there to try to work with the kids and with their families.
You talked about peer mediation, conflict resolution. I think we have to have a portion of what we are doing in education today, and we need to take a look at resources for conflict resolution, before we deal with the environments and the circumstances.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 We tried to address these issues through an anti-crime youth council in my district. We had about 125 kids brought together, specifically talking about school violence, how they deal with each other. It was interesting to listen to the kids, especially when they spoke about what to do if you know that somebody has a gun or a knife. What is your obligation? What is your responsibility as another student to say something? And each of them came from diverse areas.
One young woman said, a young white womanshe says, ''Everybody in my school looks like me. There is not anything diverse about my school. We knew this kid had a knife, and nobody said anything. The result was that he wound up stabbing someone. We were at fault,'' but they are scared. They are scared in terms of ratting out someone and being stigmatized with that. This is a problem which we have to grapple with in our schools or the environment because that is where it plays out.
Mrs. Lowey is right. There is violence in every part of the society that gets played out for our youngsters in schools, and we need to take the time. We need to deal with the resources to figure out how to get kids to interact with one another, learn to respect one another, learn to respect the diversity and find out what is going on in their lives that is causing some of these problems. I think that has got to be a part of what we deal with here.
I did not mean to make a speech, but it really isit is so troubling to watch some of this, and to see the pressure that our youngsters, our kids are under in some of these circumstances, and we need to help them work it through.
WHOLE SCHOOL REFORM DEMONSTRATIONS
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 I want to just askbecause there have been questions asked about the whole school reform, and Jim Comer, as you know, has been dealing with this issue for a long time. When looking at this whole school reform and who is allowed to do what, when you are putting that material together, as quickly as you can, who is taking advantage of this opportunity and what the particulars are, I, too, would like to get information of how whole school reform is working.
In terms of After-School programs, do we have any idea of how this is going to work yet or how it is going to proceed, who is eligible, who makes the determination for the programming or anything like that?
Secretary RILEY. Well, it is primarily, of course, a school-based program, and they have options, of course, of contracting with others. A percentage of it, 10 percent, is proposed to be set aside for community-based organizations. It is basically a school program, and we think that is really important. The school facilities are there, as you pointed out. That is a place that we are really trying to move, towards a center of the community where families go and people are involved in their school.
The idea is emphasizing those things that I mentionedand we have talked to parents. We visit schools all around the country, and those are the things they want. They want the computers. They want music and the arts. They want supervised athletics or sports or dancing or whatever, along with academics. As long as you keep those kinds of things as the focal point, they seem to work very, very well.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 The important thing is really getting these young people engaged and thinking well of themselves rather than, as I said in my statement, being disconnected. After-School programs can go a long way to do that. After you get out of the regular school routine, you have those kind of school-driven After-School experiences we are trying to emphasize with this program; you all approved the $40,000,000 last year and we have requested $200,000,000 this year. We have emphasized, as you know, middle school, which we think is so important. You have After-School programs going on in a lot of elementary schools now. In some cases, it is done very well. In some cases, it is not.
MOTT FOUNDATION SUPPORT FOR AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS
One thing that is interesting, in response to your question: the Mott Foundation came in from Flint, Michigan, and they have committed $55,000,000 to make sure that applications were well thought out, and then that the implementation is done properly. They have had meetings around the country, and there are overflow crowds. People want to learn how to do it right. They are going to have an After-School program. It is not just spending time there. It is not that. I am so pleased. Here is a private foundation giving $10,000,000 a year for 5 years-plus, and the purpose of the money is to make sure the programs do, as you point out, what they are supposed to do, and that is to engage young people, to help them academically and to help them grow.
So we feel very good about that. When Mott had these announcements, I mean, the interest was just overwhelming. There are so many people who want to come in and find out about these programs. So I think it is on a very good track.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Ms. DeLauro.
Ms. DELAURO. Well, in the urban setting, if you will, for dealing with conflict resolution and peer mediation, as I said, you can include that as a way in which to deal with some of this, rather than the emphasis being on the metal detectors. And I am not saying that we do not have to have those. We do, obviously, but the hardware of it, rather than those kinds of things which get at the whole issue, the self-esteem and self-confidence and how you make people understand diversity among the students and respect for each other, that is
Secretary RILEY. I think that is a big part of it, and, of course, our Safe and Drug-Free Schools program that you all funded and that we have requested for funds for again this year as an increase. These programs really deal directly with that issue during school, and certainly after school, too.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Ms. DeLauro.
Mr. BONILLA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary Riley, it is good to see you.
Secretary RILEY. Thank you, sir.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. BONILLA. Mr. Skelly, as well, is always front and center with a smile on his face, I see. It is always good to see you, too, Mr. Skelly.
Mr. SKELLY. Thank you.
PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY AND INVOLVEMENT
Mr. BONILLA. I want to start out, Mr. Secretary. I know there has been a lot of comment today about the Arkansas tragedy, and oftentimes people in public office stand up and say, well, we need to do more at our level. Quite frankly, I think there is a void that exists at the local level. There is a school district, for example, not in my district, but near my district, near the Mexican border in South Texas, where they had a drug counselor come in recently. I met this counselor because he came to my daughter's school and we talked to him at that point. He said he went to do a seminar for parents one night, for example, and this is just a microcosmic example of what I think the problem is. Some peoplecynics had said do not bother to come here, we are not going to have any parents show up, they are not concerned about the drug situation, and there is a drug problem in this school district.
At 7 o'clock that night, the counselor shows up with the principal, the assistant principal. By 8:30 that night, there is still just the counselor, the principal, and the assistant principal. No one showed up.
I do not know what it is in this day and age where parents somehow think that someone else has taken responsibility for their kids and whether it is in terms of their health care, their education, their car seats, their after-school care, and somehow they do not have to worry about it. I do not know what has caused this culture to exist in so many homes.
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Quite frankly, Mr. Secretary, I am not here to tell you I know the answer, but I do not know if you have a suggestion on how we can get a better connect with teachers and parents and kids to all work together to keep an eye on their kids. I think that is the void that exists out there that is leading us down this road to tragedy.
Secretary RILEY. Well, you put your finger on a very serious part of these kinds of tragedies.
One thing about the drug counselors, we have recommended that for middle schools, that they really get some active programs going, in terms of getting middle school parents and students active and interested in the drug situation. General McCaffrey thinks that is a very important thing for the middle schools. So I hope that comes to pass, and I do believe that is going to be an active program there.
As you know, I spend as much time on parent involvement issues as anything, and our special partnership for parents which has grown to be several thousand membersit started out with 45. We now have practically all of the denominations, for example, and corporations and community-based organizations, and so forth, involved in this partnership. They have come out with some very, very interesting things. We have a network, then, that feeds back out into these groups.
EMPLOYER SUPPORT FOR PARENT INVOLVEMENT
For example, one of the areas is dealing with employers and how employers can have policies to enable parents to spend more time with their children in school or to go to teachers meetings and those kinds of things.
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Mr. BONILLA. Could I stop you for one second, Mr. Secretary? Because that time factor, in my view, is something that the parent has to decide whether their employerwell, the employer can be a hindrance, but in 99 percent of the cases in this country, I am seeing mothers flooding the malls, spending hours on end looking for Beanie Babies, and I see the people concerned that are at the box office worrying about ''Titanic'' tickets. Then they go home and watch Jerry Springer. Then they are saying they do not have time to go to the drug counselor. So I am not convincedthat is why I stopped you on that pointthat there is some need somewhere else to bring more time in the day for a parent to do it. As you know, a parent who cares is going to get it done.
Secretary RILEY. Well, I think that is a good point that you make, and everybody is different. Times are different. An awful lot of parents, both of them, work, some early in the morning until 7:00 or 8:00 in the evenings, and I think that is right common throughout the country although, that is not everybody.
The problem is, though, having lunch with your child, for example, which a lot of people think is very important, to start getting these connections, for the parent to meet the teacher, know the principal, know the other parents of the children, and some of those things that happen in the middle of the day. You do need some cooperation and some sensitivity on the part of the employer to help with it.
Most employers are very willing to do that. I think they realize that an employee that wants to spend time with their children in school is generally a good employee.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. BONILLA. I think that, generally, you do see the employers that are cooperative. It is a rare thing and a bad thing when an employer says, ''No, we cannot let you do that.'' Most of them are interested in doing that.
I need to move on because the clock is ticking. I want to make a comment here, just a concern, because I want to move onto bilingual education.
FUNDING NEW INITIATIVES VERSUS PROVEN PROGRAMS
I am just concerned about one of the priorities in administration spending on new initiatives in education. They may be good ideas in some cases, but my concern is to not forgetand I know you alluded to TRIO, for examplesome of the programs you are proposing increases in are good, but my concern is some of these programs need additional help. I just want to emphasize, let us not forget the ones that are working, like TRIO, that are having a great impact on communities out there, just so we can fund some new programs that are unproven yet.
So I just want to make that comment, and because we are running out of time, unless you feel compelled to say anything about that
Secretary RILEY. No, I understand that, and I generally agree with you that those things that are workingand, of course, we do recommend an increase in TRIO, as you know.
Mr. BONILLA. I know you do. I just would like to see a little more emphasis in some of these programs like TRIO, and I appreciate your comment.
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BILINGUAL EDUCATION FUNDING INCREASE
I want to talk about bilingual education because that has come up lately, not only with the appropriations package we dealt with yesterday, but in some communities, Spanish-speaking communities in particular. A lot of parents are rejecting the program in this day and age. It has attracted quite a bit of controversy.
The administration is proposing to increase a bilingual education program, once again, and I have supported transitional programs historically on this committee. I do not have a problem with that, but as you noted on page 4 of your testimony, the biggest increase lies in the doubling of the bilingual educational professional development account.
EFFECTIVENESS OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION
My question is: Do you believe that the current bilingual program is working, and what real results do you have to show the subcommittee on how the current bilingual education program is working?
Secretary RILEY. Well, I dealt with that a few minutes ago, and I think it was before you were here, Congressman, but in answer to your question, I think when you have good bilingual teachersand that is why we are so interested in helping with professional development and to really prepare teachersand Spanish, of course, is a predominant one, but there are others, as you well know, in Asian languages and so forth.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 When you have good bilingual teachers that really are educated in how to handle bilingualism and diverse student bodies and so forth, in my judgment bilingual education clearly works and works well.
LOCAL CHOICE IN BILINGUAL PROGRAMS
Now, you can have bilingual teachers and programs that do not work well, just like you can have everything else that does not work well. Children are different. Teachers are different. Communities are different. The big thing, we think, is to have local people in the local community have the choice of whether or not they want to make bilingual education available or not, and available for some students and not for others.
I have all kinds of interesting ideas that come to me. One young bilingual teacher told me in California recently that he thought that for students who were born in America that not much bilingual time is necessary and should not be, and for those who emigrated into this country, they should have lots of time to move into it. So you have all kinds of different ideas, people who really want to help LEP children learn English. The whole purpose is to learn English, as you well know.
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES STUDY
Now, the recent study on reading that just came out, the National Academy of Sciences, really made it very clear that a young person who thinks in Spanish really can learn in Spanish and read in Spanish, and that helps them, then, be able to transfer over into English, that there is some real advantage from a research standpoint to mastering their first language, in a sense, as they move into the other language.
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You have different research. You have different ideas. I think local teachers, local people should have those kinds of options, and that we should help them make their choices as successful as possible.
Mr. BONILLA. I know my time is up, and in the spirit of what you just said, I just want to ask you that in the closing time to please look seriously at an effort that Congressman Tom DeLay is undertaking right now to turn bilingual education decisions entirely over to local districts, perhaps in the form of block grants that we could help them fund, but in light of the fact that we have Eastern Europeans, we have Asians, and Hispanics, and people from all over the world that have different dialects and languages all over the country, I think your comments about giving that control back locally to the districts is one that is the spirit of the Tom DeLay initiative, and it is something that is not finalized yet, the bill, but I think it is something to please take a good look at.
Thank you, Secretary.
Secretary RILEY. Good. Thank you.
Mr. BONILLA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mr. Bonilla.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. STOKES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, let me take just a moment to concur with all of the accolades that have been accorded you by my colleagues relevant to your outstanding leadership in the field of education. I think all of us are proud of the job you do, and it is always a pleasure to welcome you to our subcommittee.
Secretary RILEY. Well, Congressman, I thank you. I would say in all sincerity we are going to miss you around here, too, and you have done a wonderful job. We are all grateful for that.
Mr. STOKES. Thank you very much.
THIRD INTERNATIONAL MATH AND SCIENCE STUDY
Mr. Secretary, let me start out by asking a little bit of what you see as we peer into the year 2000 and beyond, the new century, the new millennium.
In your formal statement before us, you talk a little bit about the Third International Math and Science Study, of which U.S. twelfth-graders out-perform their counterparts in only 2 of the 21 participating countries in math and science. We know already that the next century will be the most highly technicological society known to mankind. However, when you look at the results, of this international test in the context of the situation that exists within our inner-city schools, particularly those schools with high concentrations of minority youth, there is further cause for concern. If the more affluent students in this country, those who are taking the Third International Math and Science tests are doing poorly, then you know that the high concentration of minority youth in our inner-city schools are experiencing even greater difficulties when it comes to passing State proficiency tests and other similar exams.
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Many schools are still under court-ordered desegregation. These same schools are plagued with the full range of problems related to the lack of money provided for elementary and secondary education over the years.
Talk to us a little bit about how this country is going to compete in this highly technical society in the year 2000 and beyond.
Secretary RILEY. Well, Congressman, let me speak to the TIMSS study, the Third International Math and Science Study.
Mr. STOKES. Sure.
AMERICAN STUDENT PERFORMANCE ON TIMSS
Secretary RILEY. As you well know, in the fourth grade, we did very, very well. We were second only to Korea in science in all of the countries tested, and this does not just include top students. This is all students. This is students in the inner city and in the rural areas and rich and poor students alike.
So it is a real scientific coverage. It is a sample test, but it is a scientific coverage of American children and all of the other countries. In the fourth grade in math, we were way above average. So, in fourth grade, we are way up there, and I think that is very interesting.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 The standards that we have talked about and worked for, I think, are really having a strong effect in those early years, and that is when you can really get in there early and work with young people, but all of our fourth-graders are very high in the world in math and science. That is important.
In the eighth grade, then, we begin to fall off, and as you well know, we are then average in eighth grade, just barely above average in science and barely below average in math.
In the twelfth grade, we drop on down. While we were better than only two countries in the study, we were part of a group of countries that are close in that range, but there is no question that twelfth grade was down.
ROLE OF EXPECTATIONS IN STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
Why is that? Well, the TIMSS study indicates that along about the middle school years, we do not really have the expectation of our children that other countries do. What our children are taking in math and science in about the eighth grade, children in a lot of these countries are taking in the seventh grade, even though over the last 10 or 12 years, we have pulled up almost a grade level in math and science. We do a whole lot better now than we would have done 11, 12, 13 years ago. However, everybody else is pulling up. Everybody sees the point that you make in the question, that for jobs of the futureof the new millennium, all of that math and science is going to be very critical.
So the TIMSS study says along about the eighth grade and seventh grade, where 100 percent of the kids in Japan take algebra in the eighth grade, only 20 percent of our kids take algebra, that is beginning to increase, and should increase to 100 percent. Then, going into high school, a lot of our teachers are teaching out of field in math and science, and 55 percent of our physics teachers are teaching out of field.
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TEACHERS TEACHING OUT OF FIELD
You ask somebodyI did the other daysomebody from Europe about how many teachers they had teaching out of field in science. They said, ''I do not know what you are talking about. We do not have any teachers teaching out of field.'' So we have got to prepare teachers better. We have got to track more young people to teaching in math and science and get those teachers in there teaching in their field, for example, people who finished in math should be teaching math and so forth.
NEED TOUGHER COURSES EARLIER IN SCHOOL
Then, our students just are not taking those tough courses like they are in other countries, and that really shows up in the twelfth grade. If they have not had calculus, if they have not had trigonometry, and, of course, algebra and geometry they are not prepared. They should have these courses in school early. By the twelfth grade they should have taken physics and chemistry and trig and calculus. Our kids are just as smart. We show that in the fourth grade, and we need to then make sure the systems that are out there will expect more from children, have teachers who are better prepared. It is not the teacher's fault because they just put a body in there to have a class.
So I think we know kind of what we need to do, and we need to proceed to get about doing it, and we will have a wonderful entry into the new millennium.
CHARTER SCHOOLS AND VOUCHER SYSTEMS
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Mr. STOKES. As a follow-up, let me ask you this. As you know, I represent Cleveland, Ohio, one of our major American cities and one of the cities which has a high concentration of public school students. There is a new movement, across the country, in support of education vouchers. Along with it, of course, is also the entity known as charter schools.
Has the Department of Education conducted any studies of charter schools and the voucher systems to ascertain what impact, if any, they are having on the inner-city schools and the public school systems?
Secretary RILEY. Well, a number of studies have taken place and are taking place. Really, both of those two concepts are probably too new to get any real significant longitudinal information out of them, and it is usually mixed.
The fact is, as I was talking about taking tough courses a minute ago, I do not care if you are in a voucher system or the private school or in a parochial school or in a public school, if you have taken calculus, you do right well in calculus, and if you have not taken it, then you do not do as well as somebody who has taken it. So it is a lot more important what kind of counseling and advice is given to the student and what opportunities there are within the school than probably these other matters.
As you know, I have never felt that vouchers were a good idea. I really think when you have a failing school, you should get in there and use the Porter and Obey concept to try to reform the school, to do what you can to make it better. If you cannot, and you try and do all of those constructive things, then close it down and start over again.
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Charter schools are within the public school system. We think that is a very good option for public schools to have; but they are no panacea. They might be wonderful or they might be poor. So it is very important for the school board to be very careful about the charter and who has the charter and so forth. They are performance-based, based on results rather than regulations, and it frees them up a lot to try different and new things, and it encourages a lot of innovative and creative thought and competition within the public school system.
So we think those are local decisions. They are not our decisions, but we think the charter school is a good option for school boards to have. We think vouchers, by carving off a few students to go off to some school that is a private school, does nothing to improve the failing schools, and it is a non-solution to that problem. I do not think it is a good idea, and that is my position.
Mr. STOKES. I appreciate your candid assessment of that.
My time has expired, and I appreciate your responses.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mr. Stokes.
FEDERAL INVESTMENT IN EDUCATION
Mr. Secretary, when I became a member of this subcommittee, Terrel Bell was the Secretary of Education, and shortly after that, Secretary Bell issued a Nation-at-Risk and warned about a rising tide of mediocrity in our education system.
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It has been almost 10 years since George Bush declared himself to be the education President and convened a summit at Charlottesville that produced goals for improving education by the year 2000, including that 90 percent of students would graduate from high school. Students would leaves grades 4, 8, and 12, with a demonstrated competence in basic subjects, and the United States would be first in the world in math and science.
You described a minute ago, in response to Mr. Stokes' question, that we certainly have not achieved that last goal, although there is some hope that improvement might be coming, and I wondered if you can tell us where we are after overall spending for education has gone up significantly in this country. It has gone up in per-pupil expenditures. It has gone up in real terms. It has gone up in every measurable way, and, yet, we seem to be a long way from where we had hoped to be at this point in time, and a lot of people wonder whether we are getting any value for the money that we spend in terms of results for our students.
Secretary RILEY. I think, Mr. Chairman, that those with public responsibilities need to be able to respond to those questions. They are very legitimate questions and should be asked.
HIGHER EXPECTATIONS AND STANDARDS NEEDED
By the same token, we have to look at education as something that is very large and very difficult to measure in terms of a particular child compared to the whole mass of students out there.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Some children just do wonderfully well, as you well know, and soar through the system. I think we need to have higher expectations of all children. I think that is one of the critical needs out there, and I am talking about early expectations. We can't wait until the child is in the eighth and ninth grade and then all of a sudden tell them, ''Well, you are going to fail. You cannot move forward,'' whatever. I am talking about young children who need to realize that they have got to get serious about their education.
I do not favor social promotion. I think they ought to be informed. If they have not learned the material, they need to learn it before they move forward. We need to have higher standards. We need to be more serious about higher standards.
I think when you look at our money that we spend and we analyze those things an awful lot, that the preparation of teachers is so important. I think we really do need in the reauthorization of higher education that we are involved in right now, Title V dealing with teachersI think that is one area that we need to provide as much help for as we can.
When you look at where our money goes, the great portion of our money, of course, goes to special needs like disadvantaged children, disabled children, and so forth, and young children. If you look at Title I, for example, I think around 70 percent of Title I money goes to elementary school children. If you look at other programs, the Federal investment, when you think about it, is primarily for young children, and some, of course, for students in high school, but mostly young children.
Then you look at what is happening in the TIMSS test, for example, that I just discussed with the Congressman. We are doing very well, fourth grade. So I think we can make an argument. You can take those arguments and work them any way you want to, but I think you can make a very legitimate argument that while the Federal dollars are going down to the States and the local school districts and they have the control of education, that these are support systems that our dollars certainly are going into an area where we are doing better.
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We need to improve a lot, and we need to continually evaluate that. As you know, I am very strong on assessment and to really know how we are doing and to let people know if they are doing poorly and to do something about it. That is the reform effort, why I like it so much, that you all have come forward with.
So I think you can make a pretty good argument, though, that where we are putting our dollars, we can show some real improvement is taking place, but not enough. We need enormous improvement in middle school and high school and certainly across the board. We are not improving fast enough anywhere.
TOP-DOWN VERSUS BOTTOM-UP EDUCATION FUNDING APPROACH
Mr. PORTER. Mr. Secretary, there are a lot of people, and I am not one of them, that believe that through one measure or another, whether it is special savings accounts for education or education vouchers or the like, that we should really kind of pull out of public education and put our resources in another place.
In my area, public education is wonderful, as you know.
Secretary RILEY. Yes.
Mr. PORTER. Our students, for the most part, do outstanding work, but there are many people that think just the opposite and that we should move in the opposite direction. I do not think we are going to do that.
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You mentioned a minute ago that we have been spending our moneythe traditional Federal programs had been for the disadvantaged, that is, economically disadvantaged, for the disabled, for minorities, for federally impacted schools, and in some cases for national priorities like math and science, but this administration has changed direction a bit on those kinds of things, staying with those, but adding some that have broad application such as school construction, national testing, smaller class sizes, after-school hours, education technology, and others that are much broader in application.
There is this raging national debate that goes on as to whether it should be top-down or bottom-up. Can you tell us in your opinion what is wrong with bottom-up? What is wrong with simply giving more flexibility to local schools to use the money in the best ways that they see fit, or should we emphasize these top-down approaches that we think galvanize support nationally for education, but may not really be very effective?
Secretary RILEY. Well, Mr. Chairman, I think that, generally speaking, you have to have both.
I think to look at the block grant issue, which is purely giving money down with no instructions basically and letting all that feed up from the bottom, there are a lot of reasons I think that is not a good idea, and I will be glad to discuss those, among them being the fact that over half of the States now have challenges to their tax structurein terms of equity financingin the State courts. So you are having numerous issues worked out in the States about the unfairness, the inequitable financing of education, which is a very real issue in many, many States, if not most States.
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I think it is a very complicated problem, then, to dump more Federal money onto those questionable, inequitable systems, with undefined funds. It would make it more of a complication than it is now. It makes it more inequitable instead of less.
FEDERAL TARGETING OF EDUCATION FUNDS
The Federal dollarsand you know the GAO study that just came out and indicated that the Federal dollars are targeted dollars for basically poor, disadvantaged young people. That has an enormous impact on helping with all of this inequity that the courts are looking at, and I think it has a very good impact on that. GAO said it was something like 5 to 1 in terms of the differences between Federal targeting for poor kids and State targeting. That was GAO's observation.
Then, if you put block grant dollars down on that system, I think you, again, are shifting away from that targeting, which is not advisable.
I think you should target in a national way, for the good of the country, but leave the decision-making of how kids learn and all of that to the local level. I think, also, you should target the purpose of that money, the Federal resources that are sent down, in a broad sense.
So, if you have funds going down for professional development, as in the Eisenhower program, which is very important, something that you and I both supportin terms of the corporate world, they say the most important money they spend is professional development. That is the first thing often cut out of school budgets. The Federal Government's help in targeting education funds in this country, I think, is very helpful, and it really is what TIMSS says we need more than anything else.
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To lump all that together and to send it down, some States would put it to professional development. Some would put it to standards or whatever. The problem with that is accountability, how do you measure whether the funds are effectively being used. Is anything good coming from it? Are teachers being helped by professional development? If you have block grant funds, people taxed on one level, and then very little to no accountability which is the nature of block grants, then you have unidentified gains in terms of specific purposes that the Congress and the President want to see the country develop.
So there are a number of reasons that I do not like that just pure, old general revenue-sharing kind of thing. I do not think that worked, and I do not think it is good for education to have the Federal role be simply to send dollars down.
FLEXIBILITY IN FEDERAL FUNDING
By the same token, I think it is a real mistake for the Federal Government to send prescripted dollars down in such a way that the local people have no decision-making, no flexibility. As you know, we cut out, for example, in K-through-12 two-thirds of our regulations. We have gone there and enormously lifted regulations out and modified others, and we have a waiver procedure that we try very hard to promoteany local district that wants a waiver from Title I or some Federal program, we try to make it fit their region. We try very hard to make that work, and we very rarely turn down a legitimate waiver. We do not turn down any.
In EdFlex, we have 12 States now that can provide the waivers themselves. We want to expand that to all 50 States. So the States can have waivers, but we think that they should be for a specific purpose, they should be targeted. We provide all of the flexibility that we can within those broad parameters.
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Mr. PORTER. One of the problems is that we tell the States they have to spend money in certain areas and that we are going to provide it and then we do not, like special education, where you have got a lot of money that the States could put toward school construction, reduced class sizes, more teachers, and the like, it is by Federal mandate having to be spent for special education, and the Federal Government is not providing anywhere near the share that it had promised.
So we have kind of caught the schools in the middle. They have lost their flexibility by reason of Federal mandates that are unfunded, and they have to spend the funds that they would otherwise spend on the things the Federal Government is now suggesting they spend on for special ed.
Secretary RILEY. Well, I think that is a very legitimate issue, and you had been involved, and others, in increasing funding for IDEA, and increased it some 64 percent over the last 2 years, which is a very dramatic increase. I think that is fine.
We, this year, had some increases that are very targeted in IDEA dealing with young children and also reform programs, but then we have tried to identify other programs in the regular classroom that benefit special ed children80 percent of them spend over 40 percent of their time in a regular classroom.
Those small classrooms, in the first, second, and third grades, with less pupils per teacher, with teachers with expertise in reading, can do more to help special ed kids than anything else. If we can get those classroom sizes down in the general classroom, I think it impacts disabled children in a significant way.
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So the education of disabled children is not, in my observation, a Federal mandate. The State constitutions require all States to educate all children in those States, and the courts have clearly said that a disabled child must be educated according to their disability and so forth. So those are State responsibilities.
The Federal Government then comes in with IDEA and says you take these funds; of course, there are regulations on how to use the funds, but the obligation to educate those children is really a State obligation and not a Federal obligation.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
Mr. OBEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, I am going to give a bad imitation. Do you know what this is?
Secretary RILEY. Yes.
BLOCK GRANTS AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Mr. OBEY. This is an imitation of a governor cutting a ribbon.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Do you know what this is? This is the second most famous posture of governors. They've got their hand out. They want money. They would like us to raise taxes at the Federal level, ship it back to them in a pretty pink envelope, with no description of how they are supposed to use the money so they can run the programs as they see, and clip ribbons all over the place. Meanwhile, we have to take the heat for non-performance wherever non-performance exists. That is my definition of a block grant.
Now, I certainly do not like overly prescriptive approaches by the Federal Government, but I did not come here to be my governor's tax collector or any other governor's tax collector. I came here to help use the ability of the Federal Government to target resources where they are needed the most, hopefully in a way that will raise performance for students and raise the quality of the work force we have in this society.
I have got some school boards in my district who are terrific, and I have some who are brain-dead, just like there are members of Congress who are terrific and members of Congress who are brain-dead. So I do not want to leave all of the choices about education to local school boards as we sing Hosanna after Hosanna to the God of Local Control. I have other Gods besides Local Control.
Secretary RILEY. I am glad that is not a question you are asking.
Mr. OBEY. I just want you to understand there is a different opinion about the glories of block grants. That is the only point I am trying to make.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL REFORM DEMONSTRATIONS
Now let me just get to a point I wanted to get to. I understand Mrs. Northup raised some questions with you about the Department's guidelines that were issued for the new comprehensive school reform program. I have reviewed these guidelines. In fact, I was crazy enough to be looking at them again last night. I think that you have done a pretty good job of putting them together.
I would like to address the concern raised by Mrs. Northup and also raise one of my own. When you look at the language on page 10 of your guidelines, it says this: ''An SEA should consider giving competitive preference to comprehensive school reform programs that include effective research-based externally developed models. Given that model developers may have limited capacity to provide technical assistance, SEAs are encouraged to work with model developers to ensure that priority is given to schools with the greatest need for reform.'' Then it goes on to say, because the legislation expressly permits locally-developed programs, that it would be impermissible for an SEA to establish an absolute priority under which schools seeking to implement locally-developed programs would be automatically precluded from receiving CSRD support.
I think that is about right in the balance that it strikes. I have one concern about it, which I will raise with you in just a second. My concern is thatI might as well get that first. My concern is that when you say priority is given to schools with the greatest need for reform, I hope that is not going to be interpreted by the Department as meaning that even if the likelihood of success in those schools is low, because of our interest in reforming the worst of Title I schools, that funding will be shoved into those schools, even though other schools might have a better opportunity to actually produce results because they have a better team or a better plan. So it is not big argument with the language that you have here, but I think that just because a school is in greatest need of reform, it does not necessarily mean that that school has a good capacity to actually perform.
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I think the State ought to determine which school receives funding on the basis of the quality of application and the quality of the plan, not just education needs.
Secretary RILEY. That is a very good point.
Mr. OBEY. But having said that, I want to say, I am sensitive to Mrs. Northup's concern that the States not provide sole funding for the models that we listed in the report last year. I would be very uncomfortable if we discovered that States were not approving other models that might be just as good. So I understand her concern on that point.
Having said that, I would say that I think your language appears to strike the right balance because of the second paragraph, which states that SEAs should not establish an absolute priority for those models.
I think, frankly, that because of the limited number of people associated with those models, this will be self-limiting because I do not think they have enough people to get to as many schools as they would like. I would guess that simply because of that fact, States will be approving many grants that are locally generated and are not fully reflective of the approaches that those models would take.
I am willing to work with you, Chairman Porter, Mrs. Northup, or anybody else, so that after these applications are in and they are underway, we can take a look at what the results have been and see whether there are any adjustments that are needed, either in the guidelines or in the program itself, because I think we are all trying to aim at the same thing. We just have to be prepared to talk it out with one another.
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Secretary RILEY. I thank you very much, and we would welcome that. So I will have my staff people who are here to deal with that, and they will follow through with it.
Mr. OBEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mr. Obey.
Mr. Secretary, we thank you for your excellent statement and your very candid answers to our questions. I think you have about the toughest job of all because you are held accountable for all of our education in our country, and in many areas, you just do not have the kind of control that allows you to do that kind of job that is needed. So it is a very tough job, and we appreciate the fine work that you do on behalf of America's kids.
Secretary RILEY. I thank you so much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you.
The subcommittee stands in recess until 10:00 a.m., tomorrow.
[The following questions were submitted to be answered for the record:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
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Thursday, March 26, 1998.
ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION AND BILINGUAL EDUCATION
GERALD N. TIROZZI, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
DELIA POMPA, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION AND MINORITY LANGUAGES AFFAIRS
THOMAS P. SKELLY, DIRECTOR, BUDGET SERVICE
THOMAS CORWIN, DIRECTOR, ELEMENTARY, SECONDARY, AND VOCATIONAL ANALYSIS DIVISION, BUDGET SERVICE
Introduction of Witnesses
Mr. PORTER. The subcommittee will come to order.
We continue our hearings this morning with the Department of Education's budget for fiscal year 1999. We're pleased to welcome Dr. Gerald Tirozzi, the Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, together with Delia Pompa, the Director of the Office of Bilingual and Minority Education Affairs. We thank you both for appearing this morning. I apologize to both of you for starting later than the appointed hour. I was delayed, unfortunately.
Page 78 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Dr. Tirozzi, you've got Tom Corwin here and we know Tom, and we know Tom Skelly, so you don't have to introduce them. So if you would please proceed with your statement, and then, Ms. Pompa, will you proceed with your statement, and then we'll have questions.
Opening Statement of Dr. GERALD TIROZZI
Mr. TIROZZI. Thank you very much, Chairman Porter. It's a pleasure for us to be here and to have this opportunity to testify before the entire committee. You have a copy of my statement for the record, and I'm going to divert somewhat from that and just offer some general comments about the budget for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
I think it's fair to represent that when you look at elementary and secondary education within the context of the Department of Education, all of our programs are important, but of course elementary and secondary education is really the core because it is preschool and K12 education and it is so important to the total umbrella of education across this country.
As we've developed our programs, and as we've looked at different initiatives, and as we've tried to put the pieces together, we've tried very hard to build on appropriate research that is out there, including the NAEP research, and the recent TIMSS report. Last week, for example, the report that came out on reading supports a number of things I feel that we have been doing and will continue to do.
I also want to represent as I offer my testimony that I come before you as a person who has been in public education for approximately 38 years. I don't offer this for any personal aggrandizement but to make a particular point that, hopefully, adds a level of additional credibility to my testimony. Having been a teacher, a guidance counselor, a school principal, a superintendent of a school district, a commissioner of education, and having experience in higher education as a professor and as a college president, I would sincerely hope, as I said, this gives credibility to my testimony.
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Also, I consider it a great honor to work for Richard Riley, our Secretary of Education, for whom I have the greatest respect as a man of great conviction and integrity and who is one of the reasons I'm here. He believes so strongly that all children can learn at high levels.
Our overall budget request before you is for approximately $12 billion in discretionary funding, which is about a 7.2 percent increase in that area. In addition, the President is asking for an additional $1.1 billion in mandatory spending to reduce class size, and approximately $22 billion in bond authority to build and renovate schools.
I want very much to have you consider this total budget in a holistic way, respecting the fact that schools alone, as important as schools are and the mission we have is so very important, cannot meet all of the needs of children. We really need to understand that schools are a microcosm of society. What happens in society comes into schools. What happens in the homes and the communities impacts on what happens in schools. That tragic, tragic incident in the Arkansas middle school just the other day is really a reflection of a total society; it's a reflection on a community, upon parents; it's a reflection on societal values, it's a reflection of the students' view on television, and I could go on.
The point is, as schools move to educate children, and as Congress provides dollars and support, we need to look at the total child if we're going to be successful. So in presenting this budget to you, I ask that we consider the total child, we look at all issues impacting on children.
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PRINCIPLES OF THE IASA
I'm pleased to say that as I have revisited the guiding principles of the Improving America's Schools Act [IASA], which was a major part of the reauthorization of Elementary and Secondary Education Act [ESEA] in 1994, those guiding principles are very, very important today. Based on my own experience, I would just like to say that if you want to talk very specifically about the keys to successful schooling in our country, you really have to look at some of those guiding principles and understand the importance of them and the importance of staying the course. I think we want to continue to make adjustments. I think we need some mid-course corrections, but staying the course to me is so important.
I would also ask that as you consider our proposal, I would say the same for Delia's or any other office we're representing, that you need to understand that the pieces and strategies of reform are interconnected. We need to measure the total effectiveness in terms of the impact on student achievement. The key for me is the interconnectiveness; not just the Federal programs, but what the State is doing with its money, what the local school districts are doing with theirs. I think our share is 7 percent; 93 percent is at the State and local level. Ours is a very important share but we also have to be concerned and understand the importance of the other 93 percent.
STANDARDS AND ALIGNMENT
If you want to look at successful models across this country, if you want to improve America's public schools, you have to start with that first principle in ESEA which is standards and alignment. States must have in place and districts must have in place high standards for students and these must be aligned with curriculum, with programs, with instruction, with professional development.
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Goals 2000, of course, has been a major vehicle by which we have provided significant dollars to States to help them develop their own standards and raise their expectations. Title I, through the legislation, makes it very clear that all States are to have in place challenging content, challenging performance standards. And I reiterate, it's their standards, not ours, developed at their local communities.
I'm also pleased to represent to you about one-half of the States in this country, as of June of this year, will have in place their own challenging content and performance standards, and a significant percentage are well on their way to aligned assessment. So I think we've really struck a major blow there for equity across the country.
The second major principle is teaching-learning. As you examine this budget, I would ask that you please understand this really is the mission of what we're about, what States should be about, what local school boards should be held accountable forteaching-learning. I always use that as a hyphenated expression because I feel the hyphen is a powerful connection. Of course, Title I is the major vehicle we're trying to use to help school districts with teaching-learning. It is in two-thirds of the elementary schools in this country. This year it's approximately an $8 billion program.
In addition, this year you're looking at our Comprehensive School Reform Demonstrations program which, at the local school level, is asking districts to really look at comprehensive research-based models. In the Eisenhower Professional Development program, we're providing dollars to provide professional development for teachers in the important areas of math and science, trying to build, of course, on the TIMSS results. I think the President's commitment to trying to reduce class size is a major part of improving basic skills acquisition for all of our students, and we can talk about that later. I'm sure we will.
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America Reads extends the day, extends the week, extends the school year, and, again, uses tutors, uses reading teachers, calls on professional development. The importance of technology, which is embedded in our budget, really speaks to the issue of teaching-learning. We can't very well look at the next century, the next millennium without understanding the importance of technology.
School constructionit's very difficult to teach in a school where the conditions are not conducive to learning. If paint is falling off the walls, if the bathrooms are leaking, if rooftops are coming down, it's very difficult, if not impossible. In addition, we need so many more classrooms across this country.
Safe and Drug-Free Schools, that program in and of itself, while small, is sending a clear message that we need to do something.
As you carefully analyze our budget, please note that we've set aside about $125 million of that request for a major discretionary grant competition that districts would have to apply for based on the principles of effectiveness. It's not the program of the day anymore, but programs that work. The extended day that the President is recommending where schools should be open in the afternoon and the evenings in a variety of ways not only impacts on student learning but can also help us with the issue of violence in our schools by giving children more of a safe environment.
FLEXIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Page 83 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Flexibility and accountability permeate this request and everything we've done. Two-thirds of all of our regulations have been removed from elementary and secondary education. Charter schools is one of our fastest growing programs, where we allow greater flexibility in turn for accountability. We have a waiver board. We've had more than 500 requests for waivers from school districts. We have 12 ed-flex States. The President is recommending consideration be given to all 50 States having that opportunity.
And our school-wide programs in Title I, again, build on the principle of we will trade off flexibility for greater accountability. We've gone from 3,200 Title I school-wide programs to 17,000 this year. So I think we're making headway there.
The concept of partnerships, going back to my earlier opening remarks, we're not going to be successful unless we have good partnerships with families, with parents, with States, with districts, with business, with industry, with corporations, with the colleges, with the universities.
TARGETING AND EQUITY
And last, but not least, and I'm trying to build on the principles of ESEAtargeting and equity. There is something dramatically wrong with our role if we aren't continuing to make a significant effort to ensure that our dollars go where we have the greatest need in this country. Of course, all of our major formula grant programs are driven by equity. Title I would be a classic example. We're dealing with special populations under Migrant and Indian Education. And a new proposal you're considering, the Educational Opportunities Zones, would drive dollars to somewhere in the neighborhood of 40, 50, or 60 districts in urban and rural America, really allowing them to be involved in what we call systemic reform.
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The goal we have in all of this, and I'm concluding on this point, our goal is to ensure that our dollars, to the extent possible, with cooperation from States and districts, get down into the classroom and drive instruction. I was very pleased to see the report that we are delivering to Congress, the Faircloth Report, which clearly points out that approximately 84 percent of the dollars do, in fact, get to instruction and only 4 percent of Title I dollars, for example, go to administration. So the money is getting into the classrooms.
So I think we have before us, as you examine these principles and as you review this budget request, an agenda and a commitment to implement a coherent, substantive vision for America's schools. I think what the President keeps saying, what Secretary Riley keeps stressing, and one of the reasons I continue to believe so strongly in this agenda, is that it's focused on all children learning at high levels.
I'll stop there. Thank you.
[The statement follows:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
Mr. PORTER. Ms. Pompa.
Opening Statement of Delia Pompa
Ms. POMPA. Thank you. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today on the fiscal year 1999 budget request for Bilingual, Immigrant, and Foreign Language Education.
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For fiscal year 1999, the Department requests a total of $387 million for these programs. My written statement, which I would like submitted for the record, includes a detailed explanation of our request.
The continuing growth in the Nation's limited English proficient student population warrants a significant increase in program funding. There are now over 3.2 million students in our Nation reported as limited English proficient. Additional funding for the program is also warranted because the program is working. Why? Because it is built on a foundation of local flexibility, research-driven design, and qualified teachers.
Every school district receiving Federal bilingual education funding is differentdifferent students, different needs, different resources available to them, and, most importantly, different ideas from educators about how best to educate the students in their charge. This is particularly true for school districts that enroll large numbers of limited English proficient students. However, all our grantees are required to focus on a quality curriculum linked to State and National standards.
DIVERSITY OF PROJECTS
The Federal Bilingual Education Program is designed to give schools the freedom that they need to tailor local programs to their needs while also giving them the tools they require so that each school district does not have to reinvent the wheel. It is a local school district's decision, and ultimately it is they who choose how they wish to educate their limited English proficient students.
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The diversity of approaches employed by our grantees is quite impressive. For example, the University of St. Thomas in Houston works with the Houston Independent School District and the Shell Oil Foundation to develop and implement a dual language instructional program for grades kindergarten through five, which provides in-service training for classroom teachers and instructional staff as well as implementing family education and outreach programs.
Project Mindframes is a project that serves approximately 250 limited English proficient students in grades six through nine in New York City. This program targets math and science using the ''inquiry approach''. The integration of the World Wide Web into projects is an important feature of this project for manipulating materials and teaching key concepts for problem-solving and research.
Still another project, the Educational, Economic, Social, and Political Mainstream Project serves approximately 236 limited English proficient students in grades four through seven in nine schools in Biloxi, Mississippi. The project implements career awareness activities in all project schools. The project will also extend the school year through an intensive English summer school. The academic program will educate limited English proficient children to the same rigorous standards for academic performance expected of all students in the Biloxi public schools.
TWO-WAY BILINGUAL PROGRAMS
One of the most promising approaches being used in a growing number of schools with limited English proficient students uses a strategy called Two-Way Bilingual. This strategy groups native English speaking students and non-English speaking students in a single classroom. Instruction is provided through two languages; for example, English-Russian, English-Chinese, or English-Spanish. Two-way programs are particularly promising because they help all participating students become bilingual. The strategy underscores the value of bilingual education to a growing number of native English speaking American parents who want their children to learn more than one language.
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According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, which maintains a national registry of two-way programs, the number of identified two-way bilingual programs increased by 680 percent between 1987 and 1997. Programs now exist in at least 21 States, according to the Center.
NEEDS OF SCHOOLS
It is immediately clear after one talks with principals, teachers, and administrators, and in my 22 years as an educator I have talked to hundreds, if not thousands, of school personnel, that school districts with limited English proficient students ask the same questions over and over again: How do I find qualified teachers? Where do I secure appropriate curriculum materials? Why do limited English proficient students succeed in particular educational environments?
NATONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES REPORT
In 1997, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report, ''Improving Schooling for Language Minority Children.'' The report described the sound research basis that should be expected of all bilingual education programs. A research-based program begins with a supportive school-wide commitment and adds customized learning environments addressing the needs of limited English proficient students. The research points to a balance between focusing on basic English language skills and the ability to use the English language within and across the content areas. Acquiring proficiency in a second language necessary to succeed in today's school with an emphasis on high standards is a complex process, more complex than simply learning to speak a second language.
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Finally, bilingual education programs work when they have qualified teachers. However, there is such a shortage of teachers qualified to serve limited English proficient students. In one State alone, California, there is a shortage of over 20,000 bilingual or ESL teachers. If we want our schools to fully serve limited English proficient students taught by qualified teachers who understand their unique needs, we must expand training opportunities and increase the supply of bilingual education and ESL teachers.
The shortage of bilingual teachers is a problem, national in scope, deserving a coordinated systemic response. For this reason, the Department is asking for a large funding increase for teacher training of bilingual education and ESL teachers. If you talk to administrators with limited English proficient students in their schools, the shortage of qualified teachers is always their number one issue. The funds we are requesting, which would train 4,000 teachers per year, will give them the help they need.
Finally, how do we know our programs are working? Using the funds provided by this subcommittee last year, our office has initiated several research and evaluation projects to assess the performance of our grantees and the students they serve. Let me pause here to thank the subcommittee for providing these funds because they are critical in giving us the data we need to improve. I am pleased to report that students in the Federal Bilingual Education program are learning English. Based on the preliminary data received from fiscal year 1997 evaluations, most of the projects reviewed so far showed increases by at least 75 percent of the student groups or grade levels in oral and written proficiency. Most of these projects use commercially available tests to measure language proficiency.
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I must emphasize that limited English proficient students are just like native English speaking students. They need math, they need science, they need computers, they need social studies; all the traditional academic subjects by which we usually judge schools and students. Thus, I am also pleased to report that students in the Federal Bilingual Education Program are learning their academic subjects. About one-half of the projects reviewed so far showed increases by at least 75 percent of the student groups or grade levels for reading, math, and/or language arts. Most of these projects use commercially available norm-referenced tests or State-produced criterion-referenced tests to measure achievement. Most of these tests were also in English.
Of course, there is no better testament to the success of our program than profiles of individual schools. Ysleta Independent School District in Texas has implemented a two-way dual language immersion program combining the best of bilingual education for language minority students and for language majority students. Each student is tracked over time. Ysleta has been demonstrating impressive gains in student performance. The intent is to create a cadre of well-educated, college-bound, fluently bilingual students. Project data show that the gap between limited English proficient and non-limited English proficient students is clearly narrowing in grades three to five.
Limited English proficient students do catch up with their non-limited English proficient peers. The results through grade five are a result of applying a more research-based bilingual program in the last five years with Title VII dollars. This study, with its ability to track individual students over time, by program, will become the model longitudinal study in bilingual education.
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Another project, Eagle Rock Junior-Senior High in the Los Angeles United School District focuses on school-wide projects to incorporate a study of finance and economics as a means to assist limited English proficient students in developing high levels of achievement in English, mathematics, and foreign language. Eagle Rock students scored higher than the average Los Angeles school in reading, mathematics, and language using the Stanford 9 test. The number enrolled in algebra has doubled, and an increase of 63 percent of 11th graders in the program took the PSAT. In addition, there has been a 94 percent increase in the number of teachers receiving their certification, and 162 percent increase in attendance from the community at monthly school meetings.
It is gratifying to tell you about programs that are working. These examples build on what we know about good bilingual education programs. They have well-trained, qualified teachers, their curricula are built around high standards with appropriate assessment, and the programs are evaluated and held accountable for student learning. That seems to be the key. They don't quibble about what program or how long, they concern themselves with whether students are learning and do what needs to be done.
Thank you for your time. I'd be pleased to answer any questions you have.
[The statement follows:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Dr. Tirozzi and Ms. Pompa.
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Ms. Pompa, am I correct that you can have an ESL program in Chicago and an ESL program in Los Angeles and they will not necessarily be at all the same thing, that the local communities have a great deal of latitude in structuring the programs?
Ms. POMPA. Yes, sir, you are quite correct.
Mr. PORTER. We've heard some testimony in the past that ESL is terrible and isn't working, and we have the Chairman of our full Committee telling us that in Louisiana ESL is absolutely wonderful and is getting kids into English very quickly.
It is hard to know then exactly what we need to do. It is clear what Congress wants you to do. Congress wants you to get kids who are not English proficient as English proficient as possible as quickly as possible. Yet, we have a lot of programs that aren't doing that.
SITUATION IN CALIFORNIA
What I would like you to address is the situation in California where you've got overwhelmingly from the Hispanic American community very strong criticism of the program there by parents claiming that it doesn't get their kids into English proficiency very quickly. Is that the fault of the Federal Government, or is it the fault of the local school districts? Who is falling down on the job here?
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Ms. POMPA. That's a big set of questions. Let me begin by telling you that we totally agree with you that we want children to become English proficient as soon as possible.
I have some familiarity with the programs in California and I will address your question from the facts I have. We have not taken a position on the initiative overall. So I will address what we know about what is happening in California with our Federal programs.
We have some wonderful evaluations from projects such as the project in San Francisco that shows us that children who are in bilingual education are out-performing their peers once they exit the program. We also have data that indicate that on average students in well-implemented bilingual programs are exiting these programs within an average of four to five years. So children are learning English. Some of the programs I described to you I think are good examples of children learning English and, beyond that, children mastering academic subjects, which is quite important.
CHILDREN ARE LEARNING ENGLISH
The perception by some that children aren't learning English is a perception that we're working very hard to conquer. Parents of these children want them to learn English, their teachers want them to learn English, and we in the Federal Government want them to learn English. The process of learning a second language is a slow process. For anybody here who has taken a foreign language course, even after you've taken two or three years and have traveled to the country where that language is spoken, you know that mastering that language, beyond ordering in a restaurant, and being able to function in it proficiently, is very difficult. These students are going through the very same process while they are attempting to learn to read and learning the content areas.
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So, in conclusion, your question is, are we doing the wrong thing in California? I would say that there are bilingual programs there that are not being well-implemented, just as there are reading programs, and math programs that aren't being well-implemented. We are working hard to ensure that all programs reach high standards, that all programs teach their children English, and that all programs have the tools that they needqualified teachers and appropriate curriculum.
Mr. PORTER. It seems to me that a great deal more oversight as to what actually is being done in the schools with the bilingual money would make a great deal of sense. I'm not sure whether I brought this up the last time we talked, but in Chicago there was bilingual money used to bring in people from Puerto Rico who would lecture the students on why Puerto Rico should be an independent Nation.
Ms. POMPA. I believe you did bring that up last time, yes.
Mr. PORTER. That's unbelievable that something like that could happen. It seems to me that what you need to do is to have a great deal more oversight on what actually is going on and how this money is actually being used and pull up short anybody that is misusing it except for the purposes that we agree are the purposes for which the money is being spent.
Now, let me add one other thing. The subcommittee included language in our bill that said the Department of Education should only support instructional programs which ensure that students completely master English in a timely fashion, a period of three to five years, while meeting rigorous achievement standards in the academic content areas.
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If that is a good standard, and I think you agree with it, why wouldn't that standard find its way into your results act objectives? For example, why wouldn't you set a standard that says within three years 70 percent of students entering bilingual education programs will graduate to regular classes, within four years, 80 percent, and within five years, 95 percent or 100 percent of students will have graduated from bilingual programs as a results standard that you set for your work within the Federal Government. It seems to me that if that's what we are aiming at, that ought to very much be a part of your mission and it ought to be the first goal that you see is carried out in each of these school districts.
Ms. POMPA. We agree that that is a goal for us. And if you will inspect our performance indicators, our most important one is the acquisition of English by students. The specificity of setting targets by years is something we're examining. There is research on both sides that indicates that this is or is not a good goal. Most educators and researchers would argue that setting a specific time limit for all limited English proficient students is not warranted by the research, especially within those timeframes. There are many, many circumstances that control how long it takes the child to learn
Mr. PORTER. I agree on an individual child basis; that's true. But why can't you set percentages at least as reasonable goals for the program?
Ms. POMPA. We have attempted not to set those kinds of percentages for programs and not to get too close to mandating curriculum. We are examining the possibility of looking more closely at setting goals that would be tied to numbers, but we have not come to that conclusion yet.
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Mr. PORTER. Well, I would strongly recommend that you look at the goals that you set under the results act with these kinds of standards in mind. I don't see the subcommittee having a great willingness to provide extra funds without getting better results. It seems to me that this is an area where we ought to be able to measure results quite easily.
Let me talk to Dr. Tirozzi for a moment about capital expenditures. When a recent study called ''When Money Matters,'' by Harold Wiglensky, was published by the Educational Testing Service it employed national data to attempt to determine the impact of different kinds of educational spending on student achievement. A study of fourth and eighth grades found that capital spending had no relationship to achievement. To quote the author, it said, ''Increases in capital outlays do not appear to raise achievement.''
According to the CBO, the Federal tax subsidy for public school construction is about $1.4 billion a year under current law. Why should we provide additional funds when there is no empirical evidence that increasing capital funding improves achievement? And can you cite any empirical data that indicate that capital spending does increase achievement? And what specific numerical improvements in student achievement do you foresee if the funding is approved and how will you measure it?
Mr. TIROZZI. First, there is some empirical data. We can provide your office with the appropriate citations and the information if you would like to see it. I, personally, would prefer to answer the question in a very objective, logical way, having been in schools for 38 years.
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I am hard pressed to understand how we can expect children to learn in conditions which in many cases are absolutely deplorable. Ron Edmonds, who was a great proponent of instructionally effective schools and who in the early 1970s talked about effective schools, included as one of his five or six guiding principles that children had to be in a safe and orderly environment. And within that, he defined the context of the school, the physical environment of the school.
Mr. PORTER. Dr. Tirozzi, let's agree that this is a problem that should be addressed.
Mr. TIROZZI. Absolutely.
FLEXIBILITY TO SPEND FEDERAL FUNDS ON CONSTRUCTION
Mr. PORTER. Let's also agree that the spending on education over the last 10 or 15 years has gone up substantially both in nominal terms and in real terms. In public expenditures, all standards, we've spent more and more money. Somebody along the line let our schools deteriorate in a lot of areas. That money was spent on something else, not on maintaining the physical facilities where kids learn.
Now we have a national problem; that is, it exists in a lot of different places. The question is, how do we address that? If we gave a great deal more flexibility to the Federal funding that we provide that the Administration proposes that we raise more substantially, won't that give schools enough room in order to provide for construction if that is what they need at their local level, if they haven't kept up? In other words, if we give them more money, can't they spend that on construction?
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Mr. TIROZZI. The way our programs are presently structured, they are specific to individual
Mr. PORTER. I realize that. Let's give them more flexibility.
Mr. TIROZZI. I'm all for flexibility and I tried to outline that in my opening comments. Something, for example, with all due respect, you just said to Delia having to do with the potential misuse of money, if we're going to just give money to districts and say do whatever you want, I don't know how anyone is ever going to have a conversation with this Congress or any Congress about accountability for the dollars if you have no idea how that money is being spent.
I would agree with you, there's no question in my mind that States and local school districts have a responsibility to renovate their schools. I think in many communities they have made the effort. I think, however, if you look at where we have the most significant problems, in the urban schools and poor rural districts, if you look at the myriad responsibilities that schools have taken on in the last couple of decades, it's awesome in terms of what we expect schools to do. And, yes, while dollars have increased, so have the programs and the levels of responsibilities.
We're doing all kinds of things in schools. School districts in many cases have been hard-pressed to find the dollars to get into maintenance types of issues. I can only tell you, Mr. Porter, having in the last several weeks gone around and seen situationsI was in Philadelphia where I've actually seen a wall moved away. The wind was literally coming in the room. In the same building in the boiler room the water is almost up to the top of the boiler. Within six months or a year, if that's not repaired, you're going to replace a whole boiler system. These are conditions that have to be addressed.
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Again, I think schools are trying very hard to use their dollars in a very appropriate way. I also need to point out quite candidly that 80 percent of the public do not have children in schools and 25 percent of the public belong to the American Association of Retired Persons. I give you those statistics to give you a sense, but it is getting harder and harder to generate support for schools to spend the dollars we need in a number of areas.
DATA ON CONSTRUCTION
Mr. PORTER. Do you have any statistics comparing the number of construction bond issues over the last 10 or 15 years with prior periods to show that there wasn't local support for construction?
Mr. TIROZZI. Yes, I think that we've done some work.
Mr. CORWIN. Unfortunately, the data that the Bureau of the Census and the private sector collect aren't great on that. But we can send up what we have. Census collects it, not very frequently, and the private sector surveys we've found are marred by insufficient response. But we can provide something.
[The information follows:]
SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION EXPENDITURES AND DEBT
According to the Bureau of the Census, the total level of indebtedness of public elementary and secondary school systems increased from $37 billion in 197980 to $87 billion in 199394. Capital outlays for construction increased from $5 billion in 197980 to $14 billion in 199395. These figures have not been adjusted for inflation.
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BOND ISSUES FOR CONTRUCTION
Mr. PORTER. Is it your position, Dr. Tirozzi, that the failure of maintenance and construction is a failure of local taxpayers to approve bond issues, or were the school boards simply using the money for other purposes and letting their responsibilities go?
Mr. TIROZZI. I think the former statement is correct. I think it has been difficult in many communities to raise dollars for bonds. But, at the same time, I don't think it is because any school board does it intentionally. As I tried to say, there are so many other pressures on the school budget for staffing, for equipment, for technology, for supplies, for instruction, for contractual obligations. I don't think they do it intentionally, I just think they set priorities and we could argue about what those priorities are.
DEFERRED MAINTENANCE OF SCHOOLS
Mr. PORTER. Well, they've done a very poor job, obviously, for one reason or another in maintaining the physical plant. The deficit is huge. It is estimated at $112 billion, which is a huge amount of money for even the Federal Government to imagine.
Of course, the Administration has for some time been urging the Federal Government to undertake this as our responsibility instead of the responsibility of local school districts and States. We have argued that this is something that should have been done by the States and by the school districts and the Federal Government should not go into a new area of broad responsibility for education that has traditionally been reserved to State and local school districts. I guess we're going to continue to try to work through this. Obviously, no one denies the need.
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Ms. PELOSI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to join you in welcoming Mr. Tirozzi and Ms. Pompa, and thank them very much for their excellent presentations and for the work that they do.
It is always impressive to hear you. I know that Congresswoman DeLauro sings your praises all year round, Mr. Tirozzi. So thank you for being here and for making us so proud.
I wanted to talk about the maintenance issue and I may come back to that because I want to do so when the Chairman is in the room.
PROPOSED BILINGUAL EDUCATION RESCISSION
So I'll move on to bilingual education for the moment. As you know, unfortunately, the supplemental appropriations bill has an $75 million cut in bilingual education. Can you talk to us about what the impact of that will be? I did ask that question of Secretary Riley yesterday and I wanted to ask you directly.
Ms. POMPA. The immediate impact of that rescission would be that we would be able to fund no new programs this year. We are currently reviewing proposals for new grants. We have 397 proposals in one category and 249 in another and none of those would be funded. As it is, we would not be able to fund more than a fourth of them.
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In terms of real dollars, we would have an 11 percent reduction in services directly to schools, an 80 percent reduction in professional development and teacher training, and a 50 percent reduction in our support services. On top of that, we would have about a 20 percent reduction in the funds that go to immigrant students.
Ms. PELOSI. Listening to your back and forth with the Chairman, I wanted to talk about the Thomas and Collier 1996 study that found that students who received the early exit bilingual programs where academic instruction takes place half a day in each language and transition to English only within two or three years and ESL instruction were much less likely to ever reach the 50th percentile in English reading than students who were in the late exit bilingual programs or the two-way bilingual programs that you described. Could you comment further on that?
Ms. POMPA. I would say, first of all, that this is one of many research studies we are beginning to see that address the issue of how long students need to be instructed in a supportive environment that leads them to learn English. Beyond that, I would also like to say that what we're finding in looking at our programs that work is that people don't need to think about how long does it take or exactly what programs should be working.
We know that there are many different kinds of programs that work with these students. What works is if you focus first on whether students are learning, and when you focus on that you make decisions about what language and how long it takes based on what individual student needs are. And teachers make those professional judgements because they are qualified and trained teachers.
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A National Academy of Sciences panel on research in bilingual education advised us to get away from those big studies that ask the questions how long and what kinds of programs, and to start asking questions about are children learning and what is working in a particular community rather than trying to set a standard nationwide for all students.
EVALUATION OF BILINGUAL PROGRAMS
Ms. PELOSI. To that end, your goal I'm sure, is that these children learn English well in order to be fully integrated into all aspects of the community and school. What is the Department doing to evaluate bilingual programs to ensure that children meet this goal?
Ms. POMPA. Actually, based on the last reauthorization, we have a requirement in our program that grantees turn in evaluations to us biennially. Included in these evaluations are data on how well children are learning English, data on how well they're learning to read, how well they're learning math and language arts, and also data on retention in those school districts and how well they're integrating their programs into State and national standards.
Ms. PELOSI. The Secretary yesterday talked about the importance of quality bilingual teachers. I think we can probably, in the interest of time, stipulate that this is a place where we have to place appropriate emphasis.
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Ms. POMPA. Yes.
Ms. PELOSI. I appreciate your giving us some examples of some of the bilingual programs that have been so successful, even to the point of having those students be ahead of other students. That's very impressive.
VOTER APPROVAL OF SCHOOL BOND INITIATIVES
Mr. Chairman, I was just moving to the school construction issue. I was pleased to hear you say that you agree that this is a problem that needed to be addressed in terms of school construction. I think, as I've said over and over again in this committee, that the children understand more than we think. If we tell them education is important, then we have to make it important and that means to have them enter a facility that is suitable for learning and not a place that they are afraid to go for a variety of reasons.
The Chairman had asked the question about what evidence there is about school bonds versus the lack of maintenance in the schools. I wanted to take a moment to talk about our California experience, Mr. Chairman. In 1978, Proposition 13 was passed in our State. It proved conclusively that no maintenance is the most expensive maintenance, because it was a debilitating blow to the ability of the State of California to meet the needs of our children.
Secondly, and this is more apropos of your question in relationship to school bond issues, I was chair of the California Democratic Party for a long time and in the early 1980s where we saw a phenomenon in our State. It was the expiration of the GI Housing Loans. So people had homes all over the country and had bought their homes with the GI Bill in the early 1950s maybe, now they had paid off their loan and they moved to California. They had passed through there going to the war in the Pacific, they loved it, and they retired there. They had very little interest in school bond issues. We saw a direct impact on our ability to pass school bonds to the extent that our senior population, our retirement population was growing in our State. I say that in kindness and in friendship, and we welcome that population, but it had a political consequence.
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Mr. PORTER. If the gentlelady would yield.
Ms. PELOSI. Please, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PORTER. We know that our entire population is aging, but we thought the Californians weren't doing that. [Laughter.]
Mr. HOYER. With all due respect, the Californians thought they weren't doing that. [Laughter.]
Ms. PELOSI. Now we get into a cultural war here. [Laughter.]
In any event, it was a fact of life for us. As I say, we studied the demographics very carefully for a range of issues, including a high priority given to our ability to pass school bond issues. And the areas where there was a higher concentration of seniors, for example, even people would migrate from L.A. and San Francisco to some of the lower cost regions in California, and then in those counties it became difficult to pass school bond issues. So, again, as I said, we were faced with the no maintenance is the most expensive maintenance and now we're faced with what we are today. That is a little bit about our experience there.
But I would say, Mr. Chairman, further, that it is self-evident that we will improve education if we have school construction because smaller classroom size demands that we have more classrooms, therefore more construction; and also having more of our classrooms brought up to date, whether it is technologically or environmentally, in every respect. So, I commend the Administration for the school modernization initiative. We certainly use the tax code in many ways and these tax free bonds to benefit our children are a most appropriate use of it.
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I guess I used my time talking about California. In any event, I hope we have another round.
Mr. PORTER. We didn't charge you for my interruption though.
Ms. PELOSI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You're always so generous. Thank you.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Ms. Pelosi.
STATES WITH PREVAILING WAGE LAWS
Mrs. NORTHUP. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to follow-up on the school construction program and ask you a couple of questions about that. First of all, do you know how many States apply prevailing wage legislation to construction of schools in their State?
Mr. CORWIN. Mrs. Northup, I believe it is approximately 30 States that have a prevailing wage law; sometimes localities have them as well.
Mrs. NORTHUP. Some of them have prevailing wage but they exempt out schools or local buildings. Do you know how many of those actually apply to schools?
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Mr. CORWIN. I don't know that off hand.
Mrs. NORTHUP. For example, for years in Kentucky prevailing wage applied to building projects exempting schools. So that would be important to know.
My question is, if a school could prove by bidding procedures that the actual money that they would gain through the tax benefits that you offered would actually not off-set the increase in cost and the prevailing wage cost, what would you advise that State to do?
APPLICABILITY OF DAVIS-BACON
Mr. CORWIN. I think what is important to realize here is, because the current proposal would be on the tax side, Davis-Bacon would not apply. Using the bonding authority that we would provide would not increase costs at all compared to if they just built the schools using their own funds.
Mrs. NORTHUP. So you would not object if we actually wrote that provision in? Because the Budget Committee has looked at this and says that the Davis-Bacon laws would apply.
Mr. CORWIN. I'm surprised to hear that. The Treasury Department and our own lawyers don't believe it would apply.
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Mrs. NORTHUP. Okay. Let me ask you a couple of things about what regulations you would anticipate, if any, would go with those. For example, would you have square footage requirements, would you have technology requirements, or would there be no requirements other than you would just off-set the tax?
Mr. TIROZZI. The way the legislation is being developed, we would ask every State to submit an application to ensure that they had a plan to renovate schools, build schools. We are not, to the best of my mind anyway, going to get involved in square footage or design or anything like that.
The key for us is that we want to make certain they are supplementing, not supplanting. This has to be seen as new money, not if a bond has already been floated and they're prepared and this money would come in and fund that. That would, I think, be terrible.
STATE EQUALIZATION AND SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION
Mrs. NORTHUP. So many States have understood that school districts have differing resources. In fact, in Kentucky as in many other States, we were found unconstitutional. I think there are a lot of States that have been found that. And since that time, there is an equalization so that schools in poorer areas are supplemented by the overall State general revenues. So why would you provide unequal benefits understanding that States already have equalizing funds?
Would you allow those States to sort of undo those equalizing mechanisms? For example, if Kentucky has to subsidize, as we do, the building of schools (something that I very much support by the way) we actually make sure that every student in, say, Appalachia has the exact amount of dollars that we spend in our highest income districts. So now would we now bring construction dollars into those poorer districts and then not have to subsidize them at a State level, or would those districts actually be extraordinarily benefitted?
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Mr. TIROZZI. I think the way that I would answer it, and I'll give you an example I'm familiar with, Connecticut, where the way their school construction formula has been in place, I believe the poorest communities can get up to 80 percent for the cost of construction, I believe the richer communities can get up to 30 or 40 percent. So it is equalized.
But having said that, the very fact that the Stateand, by the way, even in Connecticut there is a court case that tells the State it has to equalize. I should add parenthetically there are still about 20 States in this country that have court cases on equalization pending. The courts have recognized and the States hopefully have recognized that you have to be unequal in order to be equal, you have to provide more dollars to the districts where they have the greatest needs.
I think in the case of the Federal funds the principle of equity and targeting, as I mentioned earlier, would apply. Also, based on every survey I've seen and conditions I've personally seen, we still have the largest percentage of our problems in the urban and in the poor rural districts of America where I think it would be very fair to say they need more dollars. Our money would not in any way take away from whatever the State formula is. It would be a supplement to that.
SPENDING PRIORITIES AND SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION
Mrs. NORTHUP. I guess my concern, and as I spoke to Secretary Riley, is that States make investments in different ways. It would be fair to argue that there are some States that have crumbling school buildings because they have invested their money elsewhere in education. There are some schools that have floundering technological programs because they have invested in classroom size and school buildings.
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So it strikes me that if you happen to be the State that is the most backward or the least aggressive in funding what the Federal Government thinks is important, then you score a home run on this budget. But if you happen to be a State where you have already invested in lower class sizes and have already invested in school buildings in an equalized manner, you tend to be a loser here because you're going to get the dollars where you least need them and you're going to have to spend more dollars, by the way, in order to realize these Federal benefits.
Everybody can use more teachers, but you're going to have to invest money in teachers to get the 100,000 teachers. You're going to have to invest money in schools in order to get the tax cut. Maybe that's not where your most essential need is.
LEVERAGING OF SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION FUNDS
Mr. TIROZZI. I think the last point you made, the goal of this is to put money out there so it can leverage a lot more money to renovate buildings and put up buildings where you need more facilities.
Mrs. NORTHUP. Sort of. When you talk about leveraging, it sort of reminds me of when I come home from the store and say to my husband ''I saved you $40,'' and he says ''Where's the $40?'' and I say, ''Well, I had to spend $200 to save it.'' The point is that you are saying to these schools you're going to have to spend more money on teachers, even though that's where your investment already has been and maybe what you need is technology. There are a lot of needs, and I sort of feel that the school construction, the teachers, all of those sort of fall into that classification.
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NEED FOR FUNDS FOR CLASS SIZE AND SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION INITIATIVES
Mr. TIROZZI. I would just like to posit or suggest that I firmly believe one of the roles and responsibilities of the Federal Government is, especially where you know there are identified needs, to at least provide some incentive or some support to help districts and States address those needs.
I'm sure, if you want to have a further conversation on reduced class size in grades 1, 2, and 3, I'm just totally convinced that's a major vehicle by which we can improve student learning and help kids read at grade level by the end of grade 3. If we're looking at construction, as Mr. Porter asked me earlier, I think a safe and conducive learning environment is absolutely essential to student achievement.
Those are two critical areas. They are major policy decisions the President has made which I personally support very much, the Secretary supports very much. The bottom line for districts and States is they don't have to accept the money if they don't want to move in those areas. They can just make other decisions with their own dollars.
Mrs. NORTHUP. Thank you. I know that my time is up. I do want to thank you for coming by my office to discuss comprehensive school reform. I am sorry we had a series of votes that required you to meet with my staff, as wonderful as I think they are. But I am so sorry that I missed that and hope we'll have a chance to talk further.
Mr. TIROZZI. I understand. We'd be glad to follow up on that if you'd like.
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Mrs. NORTHUP. Thank you.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mrs. Northup.
HMONG AND LAOTIAN REFUGEES
Mr. OBEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I don't really have any questions. I just want to make a few observations about bilingual education.
My hometown 30 years ago was the most lily-white community under 50,000 in the United States. We had two blacks, we had two Chinese families, and we had some Native Americans and that was it. Today, over 25 percent of the students in our elementary grades are Hmong. We've had a huge influx of Hmong, not because of any decision made by the city government or the local school board, or by the county government or even the State of Wisconsin. We have those kids because the Federal Government made a decision that, because the Hmong had done our dirty work in Laos and suffered the loss of their country because of it, we in good conscience needed to provide a safe haven for those folks. So they were allowed to come into the United States.
Since they've come, they've largely been, in my view, abandoned by the Federal Government. We have token efforts to deal with the problems of refugees in job training and in education and all the rest. But I think the Federal Government has essentially bugged out on its responsibilities. And as a result, the local communities, who never had one whit to say about whether we were going into Vietnam, or whether we were getting out, or what other secret wars we were going to be involved in, they got stuck with the financial consequences. I think that's wrong.
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NEED FOR FEDERAL ASSISTANCE
That's why I think that the action taken by this committee two days ago in further cutting back bilingual education is especially wrong when you consider the reduction in the capability of the Federal Government to deal with the problems like that were that bill to actually be enacted.
All I want to do here this morning is to simply say that we have a lot of arguments in this Congress about what ought to happen with immigrants, and I'm not going to rehash them this morning, but with the case of refugees we have a very different situation. There, it is the Federal Government itself that has made the decision that there are good public policy reasons for having large numbers of these folks come into the country. We made that decision with respect to Russian Jewish immigrants. We made the decision with respect to Hmong. We made the decision with respect to a good many other groups.
It seems to me that, unless we want to engender a very nasty backlash in communities around the country, what the Feds need to do is to recognize that if they made a foreign policy decision, then they need to follow-up on the consequences of that locally and provide the funding. I think the Federal Government, rather than cutting back on bilingual education, ought to be strengthening it. I think certainly with respect to refugee populations the Federal Government needs to do far more than it does today.
Page 113 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Some people will say bilingual education doesn't work, we ought to have different immersion techniques. I've got to tell you I tried that, too. When we had the Immigration Reform bill up last year or two years ago, I offered an amendment in the Rules Committee that would have allowed the Federal Government to use a very different technique for dealing with some of these refugee populations. One of them was pioneered by Catholic Charities in Chicago, another in the State of Washington. We tried to get support for that in the Rules Committee and that effort was shut off at the direct instruction of the Republican House Leadership. I had the votes in that committee until they went in and told the committee to turn around and vote the other way.
So I'm not too sympathetic to folks who say we shouldn't be funding bilingual education in the traditional ways, but that we should be instead moving to these immersion programs, because when I tried to do that I was cut off at the pass by the very people who are putting out that rhetoric.
OPPOSITION TO CUTBACKS
So I just wanted to express my hope that the Administration will continue to be very firm in resisting cutbacks like that. Regardless of what this Congress chooses to believe is the correct immigration policy, the fact is that local governments should not be forced to bear the financial burden for decisions made by the Federal Government.
And if the Federal Government is going to take credit with all of the ethnic groups in this country who want to see their families brought into this country, and if politicians are going to put out press releases saying how wonderful it is we let more of them into the country, then, by God, we also ought to be putting out press releases explaining that we're willing to pay for it. It burns me from time to time when you see people squawking about bureaucrats screwing up programs. In this case, it ain't the bureaucrats who screwed up our ability to deal with this, it's the Congresslock, stock, and barrel. And that isn't just true since the Republicans have been in control, that's been true with this Congress for a long time when it comes to this issue.
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So, end of speech. Thank you for the time, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mr. Obey. I would advise the members of the subcommittee that we are proceeding currently under the eight minute rule and that we will now recognize in order of arrival the remaining members of the subcommittee for questions.
Mrs. LOWEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Welcome, Mr. Secretary. I just want to make a statement on school construction as well because I personally am very pleased that the President is making school modernization a priority. I, frankly, am hopeful that this year we can finally pass a bill and, in fact, I was delighted that Senator Faircloth is offering an amendment in the Senate to provide $5 billion for school modernization.
However, since the President's proposal, which I've introduced with Congressman Rangel, will not come before this committee because it will come out of mandatory spending, it is really not an issue before this committee. I am hoping Senator Faircloth's proposal will pass as well. However, I feel very strongly, or shall we say we can be cautiously optimistic, that the current proposal before Ways and Means Committee can pass in this session.
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I just want to clarify a few points to my colleagues who were discussing the school modernization proposal. First of all, the Administration's proposal will not make school modernization a Federal responsibility. I want to make that very clear. The bulk of the financing will still come from State and local governments. What the President's proposal will do is make it easier for local school districts to win approval as they float their bonds since the cost will be reduced dramatically. I want to make that very clear to my colleague, Mrs. Northup, and the others who spoke about school construction, that it is still a State and local responsibility.
Our being a partner on this issue will just encourage and make it easier for State and local governments to move their bonds. Certainly, the Federal Government has been a partner in so many other areas, whether it's building highways or whether it's building prisons. And, in fact, if a school district has not been able to pass these bonds because of the cost, because of their senior population, for whatever reason, I think we have a major responsibility to educate our kids and we can't accept the fact that some of our school buildings are crumbling.
I'm not interested in going back. I think we have to move forward. I have visited schools where there is plastic holding up the roof of those buildings. Now, there may have been some improprieties in the past. We have to move forward and exert whatever influence we can to make sure that these programs are handled well and there is appropriate oversight. But, again, the Federal government is being a partner because it is our responsibility in 1998 to be sure that our kids are not going to these school buildings.
Page 116 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Do you know I visited a school with Secretary Riley just a couple of weeks ago and the infrastructure in this school was so bad they couldn't install computers; they had to have wires coming out of the windows. And there was vandalism in the community so the wires were clipped. Well, the kids don't have computers, they can't have access to the Internet. Who are we kidding? These kids have got to learn how to use those computers. It is part of any child's education today. So, again, the Federal Government has been a partner.
Second, in my judgment this proposal will help schools meet Federal mandates such as ADA, such as asbestos removal because it will make it less costly to float these bonds. We can be a partner.
Third, in terms of distribution of these funds, the formula that is in place is based upon need. It is the Title I formula that will determine which States will get these funds, not according to what they have spent or what they haven't spent.
So, I just want to thank you again because I think this proposal is very important.
Another area where I applaud the Administration is the after-school programs. Steny Hoyer has really been a leader in making our school buildings comprehensive and providing services that would ensure that the schools become the center of the community. And keeping them open after school till 7:00 or somewhere around that time where the schools would be providing mentoring, teaching academic instruction, computer instruction I think is essential. We talked yesterday with Secretary Riley about the shocking tragedy in Arkansas. Frankly, if the kids were doing constructive things in their classroom, the incidents around the country that occur after school we believe could be minimized.
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I understand that you received 2,000 applications for the new After-School Learning Initiative but were only able to fund 40 communities. Could you share with us, one, how you explain the level of interest? And could you give us some examples of the promising programs you are able to fund?
Mr. TIROZZI. I had the pleasure the last several weeks to participate in a couple of sessions where people who are interested in the after-school program came togetherin a bidders conference, if you will. I went to one where they were scheduled to have 300 or 400 people. I believe there were 700 people in the audience. Around the country thousands of people have shown up at these meetings to gain more information about the after-school programs. There's a huge interest in extending the school day, in extending the week, and the year.
In fairness, as we discussed earlier, schools have so many other pressures and ''priorities'' that they need support and assistance in this area. We see a number of models developing across the country. One that I'm very close to is the School of the 21st Century which Ed Zigler at Yale is promoting, where the school becomes a major vehicle to provide child care, day care, ''wrap-around'' services, for example. There are models we could point out where in the extended day the youngsters have advanced use of technology, and availability of tutors and resources.
I also want to build on a point you made about the link with the issue of violence. I think you all know the FBI statistics which clearly point out the highest incidents of violence are generally between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., the phone wires are the busiest at 3:00 to 3:30 because parents are calling home to see if children get home safely. We have about 5 million ''latch key'' children in this country right now.
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New York City has done some good things with keeping schools open; in New Haven, Connecticut, they talk about the family campus concept. I think there are a number of models we could talk about, but I think the real key is what the potential is. First and foremost, I think what the President is talking about is extending learning so that the school day is extended in a variety of ways. Also, the school becomes a base for the community. You can coordinate social services, health services, and so on.
There is a tremendous potential here to link the schools with literacy programs, with welfare reform, for example. We have a number of parents who themselves have to become literate before they're going to get into the workforce. There is almost no end to which we can have a discussion and debate and, hopefully, make a national commitment to extend the day.
I would also think, because we're all responsible taxpayers, it's just sad commentary to say that our major capital investment in this country closes down at 2:30 everyday, weekends and all summer. It makes no sense. You would never run a corporation that way in this country. We have to think more about schools being responsible.
Mrs. LOWEY. Thank you. I believe my time has expired.
Mr. TIROZZI. Sorry.
Mrs. LOWEY. No, I thank you.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mrs. Lowey.
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Ms. DELAURO. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Let me just say thank you to you, Mr. Secretary, and you, Ms. Pompa, for your testimony and really for your dedication to educating our children. I just might add that I do know the Secretary. We've been friends for a long time. He's a colleague, a mentor, particularly in the area of education. I had the opportunity to work with him for a number of years. He had an extraordinary career starting as a guidance counselor and high school teacher, middle school teacher, as I said, guidance counselor, school principal, district director, superintendent of schools, State Commissioner of Education, president of Wheelock College, and now we have your integrity and your commitment and your vision available to this country and us here. For that, I am grateful and very, very proud.
I might also add in terms of the issue of community schools, after-school education, the Secretary I believe wrote his doctoral thesis on the Community School in New Haven. Connecticut had one of the very first community schools in this country in the Community School in which the Secretary was the principal and I was a substitute school teacher.
Mr. TIROZZI. We're not going to talk about that.
Ms. DELAURO. No, we're not going to talk about that.
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COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL REFORM
Ms. DELAURO. Nevertheless, there's been reference made to the Comprehensive School Reform Program. There again with regard to the City of New Haven, it is where Dr. James Comer developed this whole school reform approach. It has been instrumental in improving education for kids in hundreds of schools across the country.
What I would like to get some information from the Secretary on is can you update us on what progress is being made in terms of the whole school reform approach. We appropriated $145 million for that effort in the last session. How much flexibility do schools have in determining what kind of a model to implement? How many schools are going to benefit from this program with the $30 million increase that you're requesting?
Mr. TIROZZI. First, I would like to commend the Chairman, Mr. Porter, and Mr. Obey for fashioning this program. I think, without question, it is long overdue. What it really calls for is for districts, for schools, if you will, to compete at the State level to implementand here are the key words, the operative wordscomprehensive, research-based programs. As a matter of fact, the House report goes so far as to name 17 different models, and the Comer model is one, to give districts examples.
Without question, local control, local support, and school-based management are very important. Regrettably and unfortunately, we have a lot of schools out there that I would say practice the program du jour; whatever is popular that day or week. There are a number of models out there that are making a difference in schools. We can talk about the Modern Red School House, Bob Slavin's work, Jim Comer, Hank Levin, a lot of people. What we're looking for is for schools to really implement research-based comprehensive models.
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We're working very cooperatively right now with one of our regional laboratories and the Eduction Commission of the States (ECS). They are developing a broad catalog, if you will, of a number of models that have the potential to make a difference in schools. It will not be an all inclusive document. It will be continually updated.
At the State level, there are nine criteria identified in the bill that districts and schools will have to adhere to. They can piece together different models. As a matter of fact, they can even develop their own model. The secret to developing their own model, to your example of the school in New Haven, they would have to prove that the model is based on research and has somehow been evaluated so it can make a difference.
I would say, Ms. DeLauro, that it is very fair for me to represent to this august panel that we've had tremendous response from around the country for this. We already have our guidance out and we have the applications out. We're optimistic that a significant number of States are going to be able to take advantage of this and be up and running this year, I mean in September, and the rest will probably be on board within the year.
So a lot is happening. It's early for me to say this, but I would add that as we go down the road in another year or so and talk to you about reauthorization of ESEA, and believe it or not, it's coming again, I think this type of a model may very well be a harbinger of something we have to look at in Title I, in school-wide reform, in terms of how this can inform what we're doing in school-wide programs. I think it has huge implications for the country. And I really respect the fact that it's based on research and based on the comprehensive nature.
Page 122 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Ms. DELAURO. Isn't it a fact that within some of the models that are out there and their success that what some of the pieces, and sometimes you don't get all those pieces in, just the short titles of open schools reform, comprehensive school reform, that you're dealing with parents, community, environment, standards, and looking at how all of that is raised, a decrease in violence.
Mr. TIROZZI. Yes. Yes.
Ms. DELAURO. That is the purpose of it. So that it is an opportunity to take a look at the number of problems that we are experiencing in our schools today and the way in which to try to attack that in a comprehensive way. And there is success on all of those measures in some of the models that you have outlined.
Mr. TIROZZI. Yes. That's a very good observation. I probably should have said it myself. What I think makes this legislation even more powerful is it doesn't just say show us an achievement model, a reading program that works, but show us a comprehensive model that meets these nine criteria. It impacts on the family, on parents, on professional development of teachers, on curriculum. Jim Comer has a great program, it needs a curriculum piece. So we say, fine, use the Comer model, build in a curriculum piece. There are other models that have excellent pieces, they need greater parental involvement or professional development, other vehicles.
You weren't here for my opening statement, but it builds on my opening statement which said that for successful school reform to take place you really need a connectivity between and among a number of pieces. You have to deal with the whole community. You can't just deal with the classroom and the student. I think this legislation has that potential.
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Ms. DELAURO. I think it might be a good idea for this committee, Mr. Chairman, with some of the models that are out there and the people who may represent some of these districts, to visit or look at some of these schools, or at least bringing some of these folks here to get some sense and idea of what these efforts are about and how they in fact are working.
The Comer model is not only working in the State of Connecticut, it's in North Carolina, it's in a number of places. We're watching the measures that are outlined there really improve. Particularly, increasing parental involvement in schools, which we're all concerned about. But it might be a good idea, because it is not widespread and Members may or may not know that these kinds of schools exist in their districts.
Mr. PORTER. If the gentlelady would yield.
Ms. DELAURO. I would be happy to yield.
Mr. PORTER. Both Mr. Obey and myself have met several times with Drs. Comer and Slavin. However, if there is interest in the subcommittee, and I'll poll the subcommittee on this, we would be happy to invite them here and have a special hearing.
Ms. DELAURO. Yes.
Page 124 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 I wanted to ask a question about the Even Start Program, providing educational services for low income children from birth to age seven. We've learned a lot. We have a lot of data, a lot of information about how children develop, how their brains are developing, what's happening in the first three years. How is that information being integrated into the Even Start Program? Do you find that you have been able to meet the need that exists for the program? Is Even Start successful in the sense that it is improving children's literacy and school readiness?
Mr. TIROZZI. The early looks at Even Start do point out that there are times when students who participate in Even Start, do, in fact, do better. We're finding more parents getting involved in literacy programs, a slightly higher percentage are passing the GEDs. So we're beginning to see that. I think one of the very important aspects of Even Start is it doesn't only deal with the child, it's a total family literacy concept.
Our sense is it is a program that truly does make sense. It links very nicely, of course, to Title I and what happens in the primary grades. Head Start is something else that has to be inextricably linked with this whole transition.
Something else that is in our budget right now is a program that will look for a greater connection. it's the new Transition to School demonstration program in our budget, to look for a greater relationship between the preschool and what's happening in elementary school. All too often in early childhood programs across this country, including Head Start and Even Start, there is a real disconnect between schools and those programs. It's as though the children didn't exist until they came into the school. We need to improve those connections because you're right on the brain research, and also in that major reading report that came out last week, one of the first recommendations is that we have to get involved with students birth to five. That's going to become a bigger issue over time for this country. If we don't do that, especially with poorer kids, we're going to keep falling further and further behind.
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So Even Start is really a beacon of hope. It's still a relatively small program. I think over time this country has to show even greater commitment to the preschool years and to really building on what the brain research and everything else is telling us, and, as you said earlier, the whole commitment of family and parenting. Parents are the child's first teacher and we really need to get them more involved in the education of their children.
Ms. DELAURO. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.
Mr. TIROZZI. Thank you. Good to see you.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you very much, Ms. DeLauro.
Mr. HOYER. Dr. Tirozzi, thank you very much for your comments. I was going to ask you how you got this job, until I heard about your substitute teacher. [Laughter.]
Doctor, Mrs. Lowey talked about my involvement in what I used to call coordinated services but now call full-service schools after Joy Dryfoos' book. What I have tried to do is encourage the Federal Government to make its own services more comprehensive.
Page 126 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 You just talked about the treatment we give to Head Start and to kindergarten and first grade where the integration and communication between Head Start and the public school may not be great. There was a big war on this. That war still continues between the educators and the social service community as to how these programs ought to be integrated.
As you may know, I was a strong proponent of co-location. I continue to be a strong proponent of co-location. You made the observation that we spend an awful lot of capital money on a school building and we use it a relatively short period of time. In most elementary schools throughout the country it is not comprehensive, either from a social services standpoint, a health service standpoint, or an adult family services standpoint.
What are we doing at the Federal level to turn that around? And what I am getting at is that I don't think we are doing enough, and I've talked about that, as you know, to Secretary Riley, Secretary Shalala, and Secretary Reich. I need to talk to Secretary Herman, Secretary Cuomo, Secretary Slater, and Secretary Glickman.
Our schools continue to be discrete institutions for the most part. There are examples you can cite and some are very, very successful. But what are we doing at the Federal level to make sure that those five or six Departments, all of which impact the welfare of children, to bring them together so that a local provider will have an incentive to create a comprehensive school delivery system from zero age to the 12th grade?
Mr. TIROZZI. Let me say Joy Dryfoos is a really great person. The concept of really looking at schools, in and of themselves, as full-service centers, really trying to coordinate resourcesit's very interesting. In the 1960s at the Conte Community School where I was, we had health service in that building, we had medical services, we had dental services, we even had boccie courts for senior citizens, we had a clothing store. It was a total community and it really functioned as a community.
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I think the idea of schools developing as community centers makes consummate sense. I would like to think the $200 million proposal helps us move in that direction. I would like to think the Mott Foundation, in cooperation with the Federal Governmentthey're going to provide $55 million for technical assistancewill help.
One of the real issues in terms of full service is the dilemma you have in terms of different people coming to the table and agreeing to give up some of their turf, if I may be very blunt. You need a strong mayor who will really sit down with providers, you need strong governors who are going to demand that the integration takes place. At the Federal level, in fairness and I say this in hopefully a complementary way, it is hard enough within the Department of Education to coordinate everything we're doing, let alone reach out to all the other agencies.
But I do want you to know that we have a couple of very interesting crosscutting efforts going on right now. As a matter of fact, coincidentally, this afternoon I'm chairing a meeting in my office with a group from Justice, from Agriculture, from Health, and several other agencies
Mr. HOYER. I should have added Justice to my list.
Mr. TIROZZI. Yes. Janet Reno started this, she called Secretary Riley and had this idea; I met with her, and so we're now meeting on a regular basis. What we're trying to figure out is a way to maybe identify five, six, or seven major cities and see how we can go inI'm not saying any new moneybut just go in in terms of having meetings at the local level to talk about how we could do a better job of coordinating major Federal resources that are available to help that particular location move ahead. So I think some interesting conversations are beginning.
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Mr. HOYER. Doctor, I have been frustrated. I have been talking about this for at least six or seven years. My concept has been that you have a funnel at the top with these eight agencies that we talked about, you have got an LEA at the bottom here who wants Sally Smith, age three, to be educated and wants her family to be functional. We would like her mom or dad to be employed, et cetera, et cetera. For the local LEA to access those seven or eight departments is a very difficult job. I put a half a million dollars in this bill four years ago to try to work on how we could get that done.
Frankly, what we did was we looked more at what the locals could do rather than at what the Federal Government could do. And what we said the locals could do is create consortia so that you could bring Head Start, Even Start, health programs, and job service programs together. But we really didn't look at what you and the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Justice could do to say to the LEA, ''Mrs. Jones, you've got a program down there to do for Sally Smith exactly what we want to do on a broad spectrum. But you accomplish all these objectives by getting the resources necessary to provide all those services.'' We have not done that yet and the local person still is very frustrated on how to access these programs.
My premise is we do not necessarily need to talk about more money. For instance, Head Start wants to build facilities now. We authorized this in the reauthorization of Head Start. I was an opponent of it because it seems to me kind of silly to spend capital money to build a Head Start facility and to spend capital money to build a kindergarten-1st grade room when you are going to articulate those together. We all are preaching on this committee more than asking you questions. But we are not doing enough, Doctor. I continue to talk about this, I have talked to the President about it. It makes sense.
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Mr. TIROZZI. I agree.
Mr. HOYER. Everybody agrees it makes sense. But we all understand the turf battles at the local level, the turf battles at the national level between different groups, and the turf battles between the States and the Federal Government, who think they know better than the States and are concerned that some States won't do the job.
I think we need to demand accountability at the end of this funnel. We'll let you do for Sally Smith, but two years from now what we invested, we expect returned. We're not doing enough to make it happen. It's very consistent with the Vice President's concept of doing more with less and reinventing the way we deliver these services.
Mr. TIROZZI. I was going to add I think one of the answers, something you just said, is what Mr. Gore has been talking about, reinventing Government. And in fairness, I think reinventing Government at the very least is an incremental process, it's not overnight. But I think he has been talking an awful lot about the whole idea of integrating services across Government.
I can't speak for any other department. I know the Secretary is very interested in integrated services. He and I have talked about that. Just one quick example. We've had excellent conversations with the Agriculture Department because there's a real need, if we do extend the time children are in schools, to consider how we're going to extend the School Lunch Program to provide snacks for kids. Kids are kids, they're not going to stay in school until 6:00 at night and not eat something. Schools don't have the money to just do that. So we're talking about supporting each other's budget in terms of your funnel idea. Yes, yes.
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So I would like to suggest some things are happening, and I would agree, not necessarily to the extent that you'd like to see it happen. I can tell you I had the same frustration you have but at the State level. I had the same frustration when I was a local superintendent. It is very hard to get people from different agencies to come together and agree to share resources, if I may be that candid. It's very hard. Unfortunately, these turf wars that take place involve the games that adults play at the expense often of children.
But I think the concept of reinventing Government, if we stay at that task and we expand it even further to what you're talking about, has great potential at the Federal level. Maybe we will become what we should be. We should be a model in terms of what we want States and districts to do.
Mr. HOYER. Thank you, Dr. Tirozzi. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mr. Hoyer.
Secretary Tirozzi and Director Pompa, I apologize, I have to go to a meeting with the Speaker of the House. I want to express my appreciation for your testimony and your very candid answers to our questions today. I will ask Mr. Bonilla to take the chair.
Mr. BONILLA [assumes chair]. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
EFFECTIVENESS OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION
Page 131 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Ms. Pompa, I asked the Secretary yesterday, and I didn't press him on it, I asked him about the effectiveness of bilingual education and he gave a very positive answer about bilingual education but didn't really provide, and we didn't have the time to really get into it to any great length, the subcommittee with real proof that what we are doing now is actually working.
In that regard, my question is, what real results do you have to show the subcommittee on how the current Bilingual Education Program is working? On page 3 of your testimony, you state that Census data suggest that language minority students were more proficient in English in 1990 than in 1980. That data is more than eight years old now. And I heard your comments talking about how positive the outcome is for bilingual education students, but what I'm concerned about I guess is the real data and if there is really more than just a feeling or an evaluation of a few studies here and there?
Ms. POMPA. Certainly. You're right, that Census data is quite old. That's what we had at the time the testimony was being written for submission.
As you probably know from the 1994 reauthorization of Title VII, we require biannual evaluations. We got the first evaluations in at the end of January and we have been analyzing those. Our preliminary data from those evaluations, and we have not finished the analysis, this is just preliminary data, is that our students look like they are learning English. We have indications that in over 75 percent of the groups or grades the children are increasing in their language proficiency. The same is true for the academic scores in language arts, reading, and math, that for these projects we've begun to evaluate the students, again over 75 percent of them, are making progress in these subjects. For the other 25 percent, the results are mixed but in no cases are the kids showing negative results.
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We think these are good indicators. We are just beginning to be able to look at these data. The funds that you provided under research have helped us analyze this. That's one of the reasons we requested continuing support from you on our research and support services.
These changes often, unfortunately, take a long time to document because you have to have the mechanisms in place. I do think we now have the mechanisms in place with the changed law and with the data we're able to collect. I hope next time I come before you I'll have even more data to report to you.
BILINGUAL EDUCATION STUDIES
Mr. BONILLA. I appreciate that very much. In regard to some of the studies that have recently come out that are saying that bilingual education programs are not getting the job done, one of them was from the University of Maryland and New Mexico State University. I know you know about it. Historically, over the years you have had an incredible retention for some of these reports that go out.
Ms. POMPA. I've got to read my press.
Mr. BONILLA. My point is I'm very impressed by how well briefed you are when you appear before us on a regular basis year after year.
Ms. POMPA. Thank you.
Page 133 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. BONILLA. Anyway, this one showed that bilingual education handicaps Hispanic children, severely limiting their earnings potential when they enter the job market. The study showed that, on average, first generation Hispanic students who went through the Bilingual Education Program over the past two decades are now earning about 50 percent less than their peers who received an English only education. Also, you referenced the National Academy of Sciences earlier, and in two separate reports they have criticized the quality of previous bilingual education research sponsored by your office and the Department of Education.
So tell me how the Department, I know you touched on this a minute ago, how do you track students who are graduating from these programs to see how they're doing later in their educational or professional career? Because these figures from this study from the University of Maryland and New Mexico State are somewhat alarming.
VALIDITY OF THE STUDY
Ms. POMPA. They are alarming and we were quite alarmed when we saw the article in the newspaper. So we went back and looked at the study. Folks in our evaluation section, our research section actually went back and read the study and looked at the sources that the researchers were using.
Unfortunately, the researchers were using data that don't truly represent students in bilingual education. In other words, they were comparing apples to oranges. So when you look at how they analyzed the data regarding these students, they were making some statements that you couldn't make from the data they had. They were talking about students in bilingual education when, in fact, the data they had suggested the students might be or could be in bilingual education. It was not really a true measure of whether kids were in bilingual education. Also, they were comparing those students with another data set and this comparison was not valid statistically. So we feel that study is unsound. But we were quite concerned when we saw it.
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In terms of what we're doing to track these students when they graduate from high school, unfortunately, we haven't mounted any studies that give us the ability to track the students once they leave high school. We have to rely on census data and on our large surveys that are done out of the National Center for Education Statistics. We have, now that we have these research funds, been able to give the National Center for Education Statistics funding that will allow them to focus on limited English proficient students and track them in the high school and beyond in the National Educational Longitudinal Survey in a different way. But we don't have that data currently or that capability.
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES STUDY
Your other question was about the National Academy of Sciences studies where they criticized some of the research studies that were, indeed, funded by the Department of Education. We agree with that criticism from the perspective that in the past people have tried to do what we call these ''horse race'' studies of looking at programs across the board and saying does this approach works better than this approach. And you're painting a broad picture of thousands of different approaches that are labelled as one kind of approach.
The National Academy of Sciences recommended that, instead of doing those sorts of studies, we look at individual schools and what difference we were making for limited English proficient students, what's working for them, and what commonalities there are in programs that are working and helping students learn English and achieve to very high levels. And those are the kinds of studies we are beginning to mount and look at more carefully.
Page 135 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. BONILLA. Somehow I knew you were going to know about that Maryland and New Mexico State study. You have never failed to have been well-versed on something that I've brought up here so far in the years that I've been on the subcommittee.
Ms. POMPA. Thank you.
Mr. BONILLA. On page 4 of your testimony, you request funds for studies and evaluations to chart progress towards showing performance results. What types of studies and evaluations specifically is your office planning, and what goals do you hope to accomplish with these studies? Will this research be conducted in accordance with what the NAS has referred to earlier?
Again, I realize it is very hard to track sometimes and to keep track of how programs are being used in different areas because they are all different. The Secretary referenced the local control of programs, and we all support that, the Secretary referenced that in his testimony. So I know that you sometimes can't provide a succinct answer to some of these questions. But give me your best thoughts on what your goals are for evaluating these programs.
Ms. POMPA. Our goals are to evaluate the very indicator that Congressman Porter talked about, which was whether children are learning English, and then follow that evaluation looking at whether children are making academic progress. That is what is most important to us.
Page 136 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 The kinds of evaluation studies we're mounting are looking at the evaluation data that are coming in directly from the school districts, analyzing what they are telling us is happening with their students with regard to English proficiency and with regard to academic proficiency. So the studies are analyses of all these evaluation reports that give us a picture across the country of how Title VII-funded bilingual education programs are working and supporting children as they learn English and as they reach high standards.
A second aspect of our evaluation studies is to begin to develop a database for what we should expect children to be able to do. One of the questions earlier had to do with why don't you just set standards or percentages each year. Unfortunately, we have not been in the business of evaluating achievement for bilingual students or limited English proficient students long enough to have the database developed, or haven't focused our energies in looking at what is the difference in the achievement of English speaking students and the achievement of limited English proficient childrenwill they progress at the same rate, what difference does language make, what difference does the education of the parent make, all those other factors.
So we're trying to create a baseline. We have something called the Expected Gain Study that will set a base for how we expect children to progress through the curriculum in learning English and in achieving to high standards.
NEW REPORT BY THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
There are other evaluation studies we are undertaking looking at reading, for example. The National Academy of Sciences has just issued a report last week looking at reading difficulties in young children and one of their findings was that children who speak a language other than English, if they have adequately prepared teachers and good curriculum materials, should be taught to read in their primary language. If they don't, we should spend our efforts teaching them English before we try to teach them to read in English. These kinds of studies need to be replicated to make sure that that's the case for children of all language backgrounds and in different communities. So that's another kind of study we're mounting.
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We're also looking at the professional development program with the evaluation funds to make sure that we're getting quality teachers, to find out what kind of money school districts are putting into these programs, what effect it is having, where the needs continue to be, and how effective we're being in training these teachers.
Mr. BONILLA. Good luck in that. That's a lot of evaluating to undertake in, again, sometimes the very vague fields that you're working with.
Ms. POMPA. Thank you.
NEED FOR GREATER LOCAL RESPONSIBILITY
Mr. BONILLA. Before I yield to Mr. Stokes, I just want to make a comment, because we've all expressed concern about education here this morning, and the Secretary earlier got into the schools that are crumbling, and we see that happening everywhere.
Unfortunately, I went to a school in a district that continues to be one of the poorer performers in South Texas. When I started high school in the South San Antonio Independent School District all the teachers quit that year and I was never even required to read a single book in my four years of high school. The school board, because of all of the horrible political fighting, created such an atmosphere that teachers that had wisdom, experience, and were interested in continuing in their great profession just said I don't want any part of this.
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A couple of years ago, the references were publicized greatly in the San Antonio market about how the school board members were physically attacking each other in elections. There were arrests made, investigations, and they are still in the newspaper for yet other scandals.
It is so unfortunate and sad that parents who run for these school boards and are in charge of budgets, principals, and curriculum have heady problems and causes that they get into it with each other and meanwhile the student's curriculum suffers, buildings start to crumble, bond issues aren't pushed appropriately.
Quite frankly, and I know you're trying to do all you can, I don't know what the answer is. If you can't get it inside the heads of these parents that the kids are suffering, it is one of the most unfortunate tragedies that exist in this day and age. I know that you recognize that and I recognize that. I wish there was some magic we could produce up here by appropriating another billion dollars for something that we thought would make a difference. But, quite frankly, unfortunately, in my old school district today, if we gave them another $3 million to do something, I don't think they would do the right thing. They have proven over the years that they are so small-minded that they are more concerned about their pettiness than about the kids.
Again, I have no solution but I just express the frustration I know a lot of you feel as well in your work.
At this time, I would be happy to yield to my friend, Mr. Stokes.
Page 139 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. STOKES. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary Tirozzi, nice to see you again.
AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDENT POPULATION
Mr. TIROZZI. Good to see you again, Mr. Stokes.
Mr. STOKES. I have read the testimony of both you and Director Pompa. In the testimony given to us by both of you, you provide us with extensive detailed information how your budget will directly affect the Hispanic population, it talks of your bilingual education aspects of the budget, limited English speaking, and so forth, all of which is fine and I think that's very important.
But noticeably absent from your testimony is any reference to the African-American segment of the student population. I would think, considering that this is 12 percent of the total U.S. population, that there must be some unique problems relative to that particular segment of the student population, unless they are now considered to be on an equal basis with the majority population. Perhaps you can address this for me.
Mr. TIROZZI. I think in fairness, Delia can speak to this better than I can. We highlight the bilingual population because I think there we're talking about a number of issues, one, of course, being language and language acquisition.
I think when we talk about the African-American students, I have always preferred never to get into a debate or make exceptions or excuses because youngsters are from different types of ethnic backgrounds. I think one of the problems, Mr. Stokes, with our schools is when you start disaggregating data that way, for many peopleunfortunately, regrettablyit becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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POVERTY AND ACHIEVEMENT
To me, the greatest correlate we can talk about to do with student achievement is the issue of poorness, the issue of poverty. Wherever that seems to exist, regardless of color of skin, it is a unique and difficult problem for children, whether it's rural America, or urban America. In our cities, for example, if you look at our program, and I used that guiding principle early ontargeting and equitya significant percentage of our funds, look at Title I, goes directly into our core cities. Some 7 percent of the districts in America, 7 percent, receive about 65 percent of all the Title I funds. So it is targeted, and our large, poor urban districts, in particular, are getting those dollars. And in those districts, as you said, the largest percentage of our students are still African-American students.
So rather than discussing the issue in the context of ethnic background or race, we would rather talk about it very distinctly in terms of the issue of poverty and what it means for students. I think that, and only that, is the reason that you don't see it in my statement. But in fairness, when we present our data, any of our testing data, we always disaggregate male/female, black/white/Hispanic. We do that all the time. But in terms of this kind of a testimony, I just personally didn't feel that was appropriate or necessary. I hope I've answered you.
I don't know if Delia wants to address that differently.
Mr. STOKES. Director Pompa.
Page 141 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 LANGUAGE MINORITY STUDENTS
Ms. POMPA. Because of the charge of my office, we focus on language minority students and there aren't a lot of African-American students who benefit directly from the bilingual education programs that we oversee. However, the number of African heritage language minority children is growing. When we look at the Caribbean Islands, including Puerto Rico, and the numbers of students who are of African heritage and also are language minority, that's one way we're beginning to deal with the issue.
TWO-WAY BILINGUAL PROGRAMS
Another way is the two-way bilingual programs I described earlier, where you've got children that are both language minority and language majority who are learning two languages. In a growing number of cases, the language majority children are African-Americans, so they are also benefitting from some of these projects. We don't have data on that because we haven't collected it that way.
The issues cross in many, many ways, as Dr. Tirozzi pointed out. Language minority children tend to be over-represented in high poverty schools as do African-American children. We believe the changes we make in our office for language minority students benefit other children living in poverty.
Mr. STOKES. Let me ask you about the new debate going on relative to school vouchers. Both here in the Congress and in many State legislatures, there many groups who contend that the utilization of vouchers is something that will help children who are relegated to public schools, which are not up to par, et cetera, et cetera. However, there are those of us who are concerned about the fact that the utilization of vouchers may eventually destroy the public school system as we know it today. Do you have any wisdom you can share with us on this subject?
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Mr. TIROZZI. I take the very strong position, as does the President and the Secretary, that we are unalterably opposed to vouchers to private and parochial schools. I think it takes much needed public school money and it puts it in the private sector. I absolutely respect what private and parochial schools do. I think they have a very rightful and responsible place in our society, but I don't think we have any responsibility to fund them. It is a private, parochial decision.
Also, candidly, private and parochial schools can select the students they want and they can return the students they don't want. They can make decisions if they want to accept youngsters with special needs or disabilities, and so on. We don't do that in public schools, nor should we. Public schools are for all of the children of all of the people.
Just last week I personally reacted to a commentary by a columnist I have the greatest respect and admiration for, Mr. Raspberry, who tried to talk about vouchers as related to the Titanic and the fact that maybe it is a fairer situation if we allow some of the students on the lifeboats to escape the Titanic. My comeback on that is I think that's the wrong way to come at the issue. If we're going to forever be wed to a lifeboat mentality, we'll never repair the Titanic. The idea is how do we fix urban schools, how do we make them better.
By the way, there's another reason I have to be unalterably opposed. In this country only about 10 percent of the total student population is in private and parochial schools, so there's not enough room, even if. As a matter of fact, that article, when Mr. Raspberry wrote it he was talking about Washington, D.C. and vouchers. The figure I looked at and the amount of money they would make available would only serve, I believe, 2 percent of the kids in Washington, D.C. And, quite candidly, you probably would siphon off the number of kids whose parents understood how the system worked and took their children and came forth.
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And I think you're right in your perception; my concern would be that public schools would become the schools of last resort. I think if that happens, pardon me, shame on America, I think it becomes a huge issue for this country and that's not what our democratic system is about. So that's where I'm coming from.
THIRD INTERNATIONAL MATH AND SCIENCES TEST (TIMSS)
Mr. STOKES. I appreciate that. I had some discussion yesterday with Secretary Riley regarding the Third International Math and Science Test on which 12th grade students in our nation did very poorly in terms of international competition. One of the factors that we learned from his testimony yesterday is that only 28 percent of the math and science teachers, who are qualified to teach in that area, have actually studied in that area. Does your budget address this situation in any way?
Mr. TIROZZI. There are a couple of proposals in the reauthorization of Higher Education which will afford scholarship money, if you will, to perspective teachers who will teach underserved populations largely in cites and poor rural districts. There is money in the Higher Education Reauthorization Act that begins to look at that and to address that. So, in some respects, the answer to your question is, yes. But I would say, in fairness, when you look at the reality that we're going to need 2 million teachers across this country over the next 10 years, we have to do a lot more.
I do want to step back and say, as I tried to say earlier in my comments, this is not an issue only for the Federal Government. This is an issue for States and local communities. Part of that issue resonates to the reality that we're going to have to figure out a way to pay teachers commensurate with their responsibility. I don't know how easy it's going to be in this country to recruit the brightest minds into teaching science and math when business and industry offer so much more.
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At the same time, I agree with standards, that we have to raise the standards for the profession. There is something wrong with a profession that lets 55 percent of the physics teachers who have not majored or minored in physics teach. That's like going to a doctor who has a major in medicine; it just doesn't make sense.
We could send you a lot more information on the Higher Education reauthorization. There is money in there to help begin to move in this direction. But I guess what I'm pointing out is this is an issue that far transcends what the Federal Government can do. We need State and local cooperation.
Mr. STOKES. I quite agree. One of the things that I really have very basic trouble with is that, in a country that can afford to pay people to run up and down a court with a basketball in their hands millions of dollars, we can't pay someone teaching our children $30,000 a year. There's something drastically wrong in that type of a society.
Mr. TIROZZI. Just to build on that, Mr. Stokes. Ed Zigler at Yale, a preeminent authority on early childhood education, points out in his speeches that in this country we pay zookeepers more than we pay childcare providers. There is really something drastically wrong with what we're doing in this country when we admire animals more than children.
Mr. STOKES. My time has expired. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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Mr. BONILLA. Mr. Stokes, thank you.
Secretary Tirozzi and Ms. Pompa, we want to thank you for being here today. On behalf of the Chairman, I offer that gratitude as well. He, of course, is still detained in another meeting he has with the Speaker. We look forward to working with you on the issues that are important to what you're working on.
Mr. TIROZZI. Thank you very much.
Mr. BONILLA. Thank you again.
At this time, I will adjourn the committee. We will stand in recess until 2:00 p.m. this afternoon.
[The following questions were submitted to be answered for the record:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
Thursday, March 26, 1998.
H. PATRICK SWYGERT, PRESIDENT, HOWARD UNIVERSITY
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ANTOINE GARIBALDI, PROVOST, HOWARD UNIVERSITY
THOMAS ELZEY, VICE PRESIDENT, BUSINESS AND FISCAL AFFAIRS, TREASURER, HOWARD UNIVERSITY
FLOYD MALVEAUX, VICE PRESIDENT, HEALTH AFFAIRS
ROBERT DAVIDSON, DIRECTOR, POSTSECONDARY ANALYSIS DIVISION, BUDGET SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Introduction of Witnesses
Mr. PORTER. The subcommittee will come to order.
The hearings on the Department of Education continue. We're pleased to welcome Mr. Patrick Swygert, the President of Howard University, this afternoon.
Mr. Swygert, this is your third appearance before the subcommittee. This is the second appearance since the adoption of the strategic plan that you instituted for Howard. We're very anxious to hear how that plan is being implemented and what problems you've faced, and what problems you've overcome, as well.
So why don't you proceed with your statement, and then we'll go to questions.
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Mr. SWYGERT. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much, and good afternoon, sir.
It's my privilege to be here, my privilege as well to greet Congressman Stokes, who like yourself, Mr. Chairman, is a great and dear friend of Howard University.
Mr. Chairman, it is once again my honor to appear before you to discuss the fiscal year 1999 budget request for Howard University. With me today are Dr. Antoine Garibaldi, the University Provost; Dr. Floyd Malveaux, Vice President for Health Affairs; and Mr. Thomas Elzey, Vice President of Business and Fiscal Affairs.
I'm also joined by Dr. Hassan Minor, Vice President for Government Affairs; and Ms. Madeline Lawson, who's serving in our University Advancement Office. And I'm very pleased today to re-introduce you to Mr. Bertram Lee, a distinguished member of our Board of Trustees. The Chairman of our Board of Trustees, Mr. Frank Savage, is not with us today. Business requires that he be in South Africa. He extends his deepest regards to each member of the committee, and to you, Mr. Chairman.
We also have with us today a dear friend of the University, Mr. Robert Davidson from the Department of Education. We expect his colleague, Dr. Claudio Prieto, to join us shortly.
Mr. Chairman, I have distributed two documents to the committee that are intended to provide you with an authentic overview of the University in a number of important areas. Taken together, they delineate the progress achieved since our last appearance before this committee, and they identify as well the challenges that remain.
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The first of these documents, Mr. Chairman, is ''FACTS 1998'', which provides the Congress with a snapshot of the University. The committee is well aware that Howard University is the only Carnegie Level 1 Research university serving a predominantly African-American population. This year, I have added the name of each full-time faculty member to the fact book, and have included the university from which they received their highest degree.
I am also pleased to report that the faculty who teach at Howard University represent a broad cross-section of America, and have earned advanced degrees from 74 of the 88 Carnegie Level 1 Research universities in the Nation.
The second document is entitled ''Special Reports for the United States Congress'', and contains first a status report on the Strategic Framework for Action; second, the fiscal year 1999 Analytical Abstract; and third, the Howard University Government Performance and Results Act report.
As you will recall, Mr. Chairman, the strategic plan for the University calls for achievement in four strategic areas; one, strengthening academic programs; two, promoting excellence in teaching and research; three, increasing private support; and four, enhancing national and community service. As you can see from the two-page summary at the end of the Report, after only 18 months, I am very pleased to report that we have successfully implemented the consolidation of the schools and colleges, and have either completed or accelerated our schedule in the overwhelming majority of our measurable objectives in each of the four strategic areas.
Page 149 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 The second report presents an analysis of the state of the University in selected areas. As former Congressman Jack Kemp, and now a University Trustee, stated before this Committee, Howard University was created by the Congress to be a national university serving a national need. One hundred and thirty-one years later, we maintain fidelity to that mission.
As the first exhibit in the Analytical Abstract demonstrates, Howard students, like our faculty, come from every corner of the Nation and from all 50 States. Howard University is also fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Exhibit 2 shows the 26 different agencies, in addition to Middle States, that have also accredited Schools and Colleges of the University.
Exhibit 3 illustrates the performance of entering freshmen compared to all African-American students and to all test takers. It shows that test scores for Howard students continue to be 150 points higher than the national average for African-Americans, and virtually identical to the national average of all test takers.
And Mr. Chairman and Mr. Stokes, if you recall, last year we talked about this. And my goal is seeing to it that the Howard line exceeds the national line, the top line. And I think we're moving in that direction. And I'm confident that we'll be able to do so shortly.
Exhibit 4 shows that the number of advanced degrees awarded by the University increased last year by 4 percent. Howard continues to lead the Nation in producing African-American graduates at all degree levels.
Exhibit 5 shows that, while overall employment remains constant at the University, there was a slight increase in Howard University Hospital employees to address the special needs of providing first-rate health care in an increasingly complex academic teaching environment. And let me add, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Stokes, unlike last year when we were looking at a possible operating deficit for the Hospital, the Hospital finished last year with a very modest, but I think important to note, operating surplus.
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Although the dollar amount of research declined somewhat within the past fiscal year, it should be noted that the number of research awards remains virtually the same. We fully anticipate that research productivity will grow as we continue to provide first-rate technological resources to the research faculty. These resources will be found in the laboratories and other facilities of the projected Interdisciplinary Science Center, and in the financial support provided by the Fund for Academic Excellence for inquiries and explorations into issues and areas that hold promise for future significance.
Three of the most exciting projects that the University hopes to begin or expand on are: the Interdisciplinary Science Center, the School of Science and Mathematics, and the Africa Technology Project. First, the Interdisciplinary Science Center would upgrade university facilities in basic science and engineering, as well as provide a robust foundation for substantive research in emerging fields.
The School of Science and Mathematics, a university-based regional school located in the Howard University campus area that provides cognitive ability among children in the Washington Metropolitan area, is another goal of the University. The school would also provide much-needed support to area teachers through summer institutes, science kits, curriculum development workshops and other programs designed to interest students in studying science and technology.
The Africa Technology Project, a national HBCU initiative based in Howard University's Ralph Bunche International Affairs Center, is designed to use emerging information technology to create a virtual network to foster educational and economic opportunity through African-American partnerships in sub-saharan Africa. And I do hope, Mr. Chairman, that your time will permit us to discuss this in a little bit of detail.
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Exhibit 10 is a portrayal of changes in the endowment of the University since 1982. During that period, the endowment has grown from $17.8 million to $176 million. The curve reflects an increase of about 10 percent within the last year.
Exhibit 11 demonstrates conclusively that the University serves a national constituency whose alumni reside in all of the 50 States. Eighteen States have more than 500 Howard University alumni. Thirteen have more than 1,000 and five have more than 2,000 living alumni.
For 131 years, Howard University has been a major avenue of post-secondary access and opportunity for many, many Americans. It has taken the under-prepared, under-funded, high potential student and produced more successful, prominent, professional, tax-paying citizens than any other university of similar size and complexity. The University, since its founding, has awarded more than 86,000 degrees.
The final report provides an encouraging glimpse of how well Howard University is complying with the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993. In all performance indicators, Mr. Chairman, the University is reporting a stop light status of green, indicating bench marks have been clearly defined and outcomes are on target. And here, Mr. Chairman, I want to again acknowledge our colleagues from the Department of Education, Assistant Secretary Longanecker and his colleagues, for helping us in the development of these benchmarks.
Finally, I want to thank the members of this Committee publicly for their investment in Howard University. Your support enables the University to provide a comprehensive, high quality curriculum that makes it possible for students with ability, who come from families of limited means, to become contributing, productive participants in the mainstream of American society.
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Mr. Chairman, this concludes my Opening Statement. I'd be happy to answer any questions the committee may have, and I thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today, and for your patience.
[The written statement of Dr. Patrick Swygert follows:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
Mr. PORTER. Dr. Swygert, thank you very much for your fine opening statement.
Mr. Stokes is the ranking member on another subcommittee and has responsibilities there, and I'm going to call on him first for any questions he may have.
Mr. STOKES. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Appreciate that accommodation.
Mr. Swygert, it's a pleasure to welcome you back before our subcommittee. I enjoyed your presentation. It was quite informative and well presented.
Let me take this opportunity to also welcome Dr. Bertram Lee, an old friend, to our hearing. This is the first time I've had the pleasure to welcome him here, and I wouldn't pass up that opportunity to do so.
MERIT PAY SYSTEM
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Mr. President, during last year's hearing you discussed the University's new merit pay system. The system has now been in place for a year. Are you seeing any measurable progress, and what impact is it having on the University's productivity?
Mr. SWYGERT. Mr. Stokes, thank you so much for that question. We are very pleased with the way in which merit pay is being implemented. As you recall, last year we indicated to the committee that we would initiate merit pay both for faculty and for staff. We've done so.
This indeed is the second year of merit pay, and this is the first full year of implementation for both faculty and staff. And though we've had some bumps in the road, we have tried to learn from past experience. I think it's been very well received.
We've distributed the resources in a way in which 69 percent of salary adjustments went to academic support and 31 percent went to administrative support, which is, I think, a fair distribution of the resources. We are moving toward a system, Congressman Stokes, of 100 percent merit pay. We hope that in doing so, coupled with other opportunities for advancement for our employees, including more liberal opportunities to take courses during the academic day for faculty and staff, that we will help in making a major cultural shift in terms of how employees relate to their responsibilities at the University.
We're working closely with the faculty, with the Faculty Senate and other faculty, with the Staff Association at the University, and we're very, very pleased with the results so far.
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HUMAN GENOME RESEARCH PROJECT
Mr. STOKES. Mr. Swygert, a few days ago, we had testimony here from the National Institute of Human Genome Research at the National Institutes of Health. They testified about its genome research initiative with Howard University.
What specifically is required to establish a first rate human genome project?
Mr. SWYGERT. Congressman Stokes, I very much appreciate the opportunity to respond to that question. As you indicate, we have worked very closely through a team led by Dr. Floyd Malveaux, who's here today, and more specifically by Dr. Georgia Dunston and her colleagues at the medical school, on the human genome project and Howard University.
We believe to establish a program at Howard, a world class program, which would require approximately $100 million over the next five years. We have already made a substantial record in human genome research. Indeed, I believe Dr. Collins has indicated to the Committee his satisfaction, indeed, his enthusiasm, for the work taking place at Howard University. We're proud of that.
We're proud, Congressman Stokes, that the investment that you and Congressman Porter made in Howard University research a number of years ago is truly bearing fruit through the work of Dr. Dunston and her colleagues, and the recognition it's now receiving.
Page 155 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 More specifically, in addition to this $100 million investment over five years, we have evidence already of the commitment and the confidence of NIH. As you know, we have a program at Howard University in human genome research which is working and looking at basic diseases, the diseases of prostate cancer and diabetes, working with colleagues in West Africa. There are four sites in West Africa that are working with Howard University and our project to see whether or not there is some gene resonance in this question of this extraordinary incidence of prostate cancer and diabetes in the African-American community. It is a very exciting, very important research project.
Mr. STOKES. What is your estimate of the cost of establishing a world class Howard University Center for Human Genome Research?
Mr. SWYGERT. We believe with an approximately $100 million investment over the next five years, we can put together a world class program. We have the ground to place the building, we've discussed with Dr. Francis Collins the construction of a new building on campus. We've described a site for him and his colleagues at the NIH. We have the core faculty and scientific investigators in place.
We would certainly have to do more recruitment on that end, and we recognize that, and we're prepared to do so. But we believe it's eminently doable and eminently feasible, and I believe NIH endorses that position.
Mr. STOKES. During last year's hearing, you talked about the disparity between Howard University faculty salaries and those of your peer institutions. This committee assisted the University in its efforts to begin to address this issue.
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What steps do you plan to take to resolve this disparity?
Mr. SWYGERT. We again thank the committee for looking favorably upon this issue. We have made a tremendous amount of progress in the past year.
Indeed, Congressman Stokes, I hope that within the next few weeks, no more than three weeks, we'll be able to announce a program to get at, in a significant way, this salary compression of our faculty salaries versus our peer group's, a compression that over time has had the effect of significantly reducing our ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest faculty.
We'll have the program available for review by the Congress and implementation will begin within the next three weeks.
Mr. STOKES. You testified last year that the market value of the University's endowment fund had increased since June 1996. Can you provide an update as to what extent the endowment fund has changed since you last testified before the subcommittee?
Mr. SWYGERT. Our endowment as of February 28th, 1998, currently stands at $235.2 million. That's the market value or an increase of 7.9 percent. We are very, very pleased with the management of our endowment. We're also the beneficiaries, as is the case with our colleague institutions, of a very robust stock market, and we very much appreciate the role of Congress in providing for an environment in which the stock market can perform and continues to perform so handsomely.
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As a beneficiary, we've tried to take full advantage of it. We have expert counsel and expert advice available to us. Our Vice President for Business and Finance, Mr. Tom Elzey, and our special Board committee on investments, formerly chaired by Chairman Frank Savage, now chaired by Mr. Dennis Hightower, has worked very, very hard, indeed assiduously, to ensure the best return on our endowment.
LEDROIT PARK INITIATIVE
Mr. STOKES. Part of the discussion last year centered around the University's role in providing community services within the surrounding neighborhoods. I'm sure you're aware of the publicity, both locally and nationally, that your joint venture with Fannie Mae, known as the LeDroit Park Initiative, has received. What specifically are the goals and objectives of this initiative?
Mr. SWYGERT. Congressman Stokes, LeDroit Park, as you know, is one of the most important communities, from an historical perspective, in the Nation's capital. LeDroit Park was first established as a close-in suburb of downtown Washington. It was initially peopled by some of the leading personalities in the Nation's capital, and shortly was peopled by some of the leading African-American personalities, including Paul Lawrence Dunbar and others.
Over a period of years, some parts of the community fell into disrepair, although it remains, as it is today, an important, viable, indeed outstanding community. The first elected mayor of the District of Columbia, the Honorable Walter Washington, is a resident of LeDroit Park, as one example of some of the kinds of people who remain in LeDroit Park.
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Howard University, over the years, acquired a number of properties, 45 in number, that today exist in various states of disrepair. We made a commitment to the Committee and to ourselves and to our community that we would do the best we could to convert these otherwise derelict properties into viable residences for members of the Howard University community.
With Fannie Mae and its Chairman, Jim Johnson, and its Vice Chairman, Jamie Gorelick, as our partners, we have begun the process of doing so. Fannie Mae has helped us pre-qualify owner-occupiers of the property, who will be members of the University community. They have assisted us with identifying architects and builders and putting the finances together to make acquisition of these properties by our employees possible.
Indeed, we have made so much progress to date that I am prepared today to say to the committee that we expect the first owner-occupiers of these properties to move into the properties by the end of this year, or the early part of 1999.
Mr. STOKES. I'd better check my time.
Mr. PORTER. We're not keeping time.
Mr. STOKES. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, that is very generous of you. I appreciate it.
STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION
Page 159 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. President, you've provided the subcommittee with several very important documents, your Strategic Framework for Action, Howard University magazine, with the very distinguished General Colin Powell on it, and then Howard University's Saluting our Literacy.
Let me ask you about the University's strategic plan. Can you update the committee with regard to the progress that you have made in implementing the University's strategic plan?
Mr. SWYGERT. Yes, sir. When we introduced the plan to the Committee last year, we spoke about the plan's implementation being a phased process. The first phase we spoke about had to do with approval by the Board of Trustees and the reorganization of the schools and colleges. That phase is now complete, or soon will be completed.
The Trustees, and again I want to acknowledge the presence of one of our most distinguished Trustees, Mr. Bertram Lee, who's with us today, approved the plan and gave us the go-ahead to begin the process of implementation. The first phase of implementation was the reorganization of our previously existing 17 schools and colleges into 12 schools and colleges.
We indicated to the Committee at the time that that probably would be greeted with some anxiety on campus and might be subject to some reaction on campus. Indeed, that's precisely what happened. But we have survived, I think. Indeed, the demonstrations on campus and the reaction gave us an opportunity to further explain what we were trying to accomplish with the reorganization.
We now have 12 schools and colleges where 17 previously existed. The Provost, Dr. Antoine Garibaldi, has been charged with the responsibility to continue that phase of the implementation.
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Phase twoand as I did last year, I'm taking this opportunity to share with the committee, and indeed alert the committee to what I anticipate will be another reaction on campuswill begin a searching and serious examination of faculty work load policy; will include even greater implementation of merit pay; and will include review of all academic programs at the University.
We believe as a mature research University we need to continuously evaluate and assess the academic programs at the University. And that's really what phase two is about. And just as we have a reaction to the reorganization of the schools and colleges, I anticipate another reaction when we begin this examination of work load policy, and when we begin this examination of program review and full implementation of merit pay.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Mr. STOKES. Dr. Swygert, there appears to be a unique opportunity for the University to play in strengthening both the public school system in the District of Columbia and enhancing the city's welfare to work activities. Can you tell us about the University's involvement in providing the District of Columbia with assistance in each of these critical quality of life areas?
Mr. SWYGERT. Mr. Stokes, thank you very much for giving me that opportunity. I don't think there's anything quite as important to me as a professionaland I'm sure it's a significant area of interest to the members of this committeethan the whole question of public education, particularly public education in the urban communities of the United States.
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At Howard University, through our School of Education, through all our programs, we have charged ourselves with re-examining how it is that Howard University is relating, both nationally, of course, and more specifically locally with the D.C. public schools. In that regard, I will be meeting next week, I have a scheduled appointment next week, with Dr. Arlene Ackerman, who is the new Deputy Superintendent of Schools here in the District of Columbia. She's new to Washington, and she's just come in from Seattle, Washington, and I will talk to her about ongoing relationships.
We think that one initiative we've put before the Committee for fundingour School for Science and Mathwill speak to one of the issues we believe requires attention here in the District of Columbia. My vision of the School of Science and Math is not simply another magnet school for the best and the brightest children here in the District of Columbia. It's an opportunity for children of potential in the District of Columbia to have an experience with some of the best and brightest faculty both within the school district and at our university, and to introduce them to the opportunities that exist in science and mathematics.
And also to create and then transport emerging pedagogy and methodologies to improve and enhance science and math education throughout the District of Columbia and its schools, which is something that we believe is a need and which is something that we are capable of at least partly addressing that need.
Further, we have begun and will continue a more aggressive posture relative to the schools in and about Howard University itself. It seems to me, Congressman Stokes, and I know this is a sentiment you share, the mark of a great institution is not simply how it defines itself, but how it's defined by those around and about it. I believe that Howard University's greatness ultimately will be measured by how it affects not only the lives of its students and its faculty, but the lives of the hundreds of thousands of men and women who form our community as well.
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I believe that it's appropriate for an institution to reach out, and we're trying in many, many ways to reach out. The natural point of reference, of course, is the local schools, whether it be tutorial programs, whether it be sharing of our resources, computers, giving students access to summer programs on campus or otherwise. And we're about the business of doing that, sir.
KUDOS FOR PRESIDENT SWYGERT AND CHAIRMAN PORTER
Mr. STOKES. Just before I yield back my time to Chairman Porter, let me just take a moment and say that I appreciate very much the kind of leadership that you have brought to Howard University.
Mr. SWYGERT. Thank you, sir.
Mr. STOKES. During the more than 20 years that I've sat on this subcommittee, it's been my responsibility to try and get the appropriate appropriation for this University. Howard University is considered to be the flagship of African-American graduate education. You're the leader. And of course, over the years, Howard has had its ups and also had its downs.
You came into the presidency at a unique period in Howard's history, and you have brought to the University a type of strategic planning and a type of vision that I think will enable it to continue along that road that you spoke of in terms of achieving and living up to its stature of greatness in American education.
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In that respect, I want to take just a moment to publicly acknowledge my appreciation for the type of support that I've always received from Chairman Porter on this Subcommittee with reference to Howard. The appropriation that you've received each year has been because of the Chairman's responsiveness to my concerns and to the testimony that's received here.
But even before becoming Chairman of the Subcommittee, and after becoming Chairman, he's always been very considerate and committed to what Howard University stands for. I want to express my appreciation for that, and for the accommodation you've given to me here today, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PORTER. Mr. Stokes, thank you.
Mr. SWYGERT. Thank you, sir.
Mr. PORTER. Those are very kind and generous comments. I certainly appreciate them, and I do consider myself a good friend of Howard. We think Howard's a very, very important institution under the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee.
President Swygert, let me say, this book is very helpful. So is the layout of the strategic plan.
Mr. SWYGERT. Mr. Chairman, I hope you found the listing of the individual faculty members helpful as well. It's quite instructive when one takes a look. You can get a sense of the depth and breadth of the men and women on our faculty.
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Mr. PORTER. Absolutely. I had the same thought when I looked at it. I certainly agree with you.
UNIVERSITY RESEARCH GRANTS
Let me ask about research grants. You indicated in the presentation, and as you probably realize, we always focus on the worrisome things instead of the wonderful things. But there was a slight decrease in the total dollar value, I believe, for this past year.
Mr. SWYGERT. Yes, sir.
Mr. PORTER. My question is, many of these research awards are multi-year, are they not?
Mr. SWYGERT. Yes, sir.
Mr. PORTER. And my question is, has there been a drop also in new research awards?
Mr. SWYGERT. No, we've actually seen a modest increase year to date in the number of new applications. I don't believe we've seen a decrease in the absolute number of awards, but we've seen an absolute decrease in the amounts of the awards.
There is another factor at work here, and that is that we have been the beneficiary, if you look at 19941995, then 19951996, of some substantial awards during that period. We've seen this dip in the last year. And I expect that arrow to take a northern trajectory when we report again next year, if not much sooner.
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In this regard, I would also share with the Committee that we are searching for a new Associate Vice President for Research. This is not to suggest that the current Associate Vice President for Research is somehow accountable for this decline. But we have operated with an interim Vice President, and we are searching for a permanent individual whom we believe will provide appropriate resources as well.
In intramural research and private sector-funded research as well, part of the dynamic has to do with generation of applications in and of itself and the resources needed to do that. I'm prepared to commit to you today that you're going to see a difference, and that line will be going in a different direction and a very positive direction this time next year. We're going to provide the resources to make that happen.
Mr. PORTER. And I might say to you that Dr. Francis Collins, in his testimony for the National Human Genome Research Institute, testified about Dr. Dunston's work. I think if we can get NIH the kinds of resources they ought to have, that ought to be very helpful in funding the very important research that is being conducted under her direction.
Mr. SWYGERT. That's one of the reasons for my confidence, Mr. Chairman, in making that statement, sir.
REQUEST FOR DORMS AND SALARY COMPRESSION
Mr. PORTER. President Swygert, let's start off with some housekeeping before we get into more substantive matters. Last year, we discussed two initiatives not included in Howard's budget request, moving undergraduates out of Meridian Hill and faculty salary compression. You testified that these two initiatives could be completed for $13.5 million, that is $8.5 million for the dorms and $5 million for salary compression.
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On the basis of your testimony, the subcommittee added $14 million to the Howard request and then negotiated with the Senate to retain the full amount in the conference report. We understand that the $5 million is an ongoing cost for the University and should be included in your base. But the $8.5 million for the dorms is a one-time cost with potential offsets, depending on the disposition of the Meridian property.
Just looking at the budget request, it is level, $210 million for fiscal year 1999, the same as fiscal year 1998. But because fiscal year 1998 included the one-time $8.5 million dorm renovation funding, the fiscal year 1999 request actually represents an increase for the University operations of $8.5 million.
The operating plan submitted by the Department does not indicate any departure from the plan you outlined in the hearing. Is the University allocating the $14 million increase for fiscal year 1998 as follows: $5 million for salary compression for associate professors and $8.5 million for dorm renovations?
Mr. SWYGERT. Yes, we are, Mr. Chairman. As we indicated last year, we indicated that within the next several weeks we'll have a plan for the salary compression issue. Although we may move the compression issue from associates, we may try to touch some of our assistant professors as well.
In terms of the capital improvements in Truth and Crandall Hall, we have retained Turner Construction Company, which is preparing the appropriate documentation for that ongoing project as well.
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As to Meridian Hill, Mr. Chairman, we had indicated some time ago that the University was in the process of disposing of that property. That representation was made several years ago. When I became president, I asked staff to take another look at that property and whether or not it made sense to dispose of that property or whether or not it had some continued vitality and use as a residence hall.
We have made a decision to hold on to that property. As you know, Mr. Chairman, the Metro work will be completed, I understand, within the next year, placing a Metro stop relatively close to that property. Secondly, we have made some targeted investments, new roof, new windows and air conditioning on that property.
We now are housing 668 or so, I believe, residents in that property. So Meridian Hill, which had been viewed almost as a derelict property, through some targeted investments, we believe, is now a quite viable resource for the University.
And as we are finding in terms of our recruitment, more and more of our parents and more of our students are seeking on-campus or near-campus university-managed residences. So those dollars certainly continue to be needed, and we will continue to have a need for residences and support of residences.
Mr. PORTER. So the $8.5 million will go for that purpose?
Mr. SWYGERT. Yes, sir.
Page 168 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. PORTER. Although you will have no offset, because you're retaining Meridian Hill.
Mr. SWYGERT. Yes, sir.
Mr. PORTER. Would you provide a table for the record for each of the two initiatives, indicating the amounts and purposes for which the total funding is allocated?
Mr. SWYGERT. Yes, sir.
[The information follows:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
Mr. PORTER. President Swygert, I've taken the position that when we appropriate funding to Howard University, it ought to be able to spend it according to its best judgment, without micromanaging with legislative earmarks. For instance, we have not, as the Administration requests, earmarked minimum amounts for the endowment.
In fiscal year 1997, you used this flexibility and dedicated no funds to the endowment in order to upgrade library facilities that were critical to accreditation. Last year, however, in response to my question as to how funds would be allocated if we did not earmark endowment funds, you testified, ''We fully intend to match the $3.5 million in endowment funding based on specific requests to donors for matching contributions, and as the University sees appropriate for other contributions, whether there is a specific requirement to do so or not.''
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Since we have not been notified that the University has dedicated fiscal year 1998 funding to the endowment as required in the report, we assume that you have not done so at this point. The operating plan did not indicate any departure from the justification or your testimony. Do you still intend to dedicate $3.5 million of the fiscal year appropriation to endowment, and if not, why not?
Mr. SWYGERT. Mr. Chairman, we're nine months into the year, and we've not done so to date. And we've not done so to date, Mr. Chairman, because we have not seen a specific need in order to do so. But should the need arise, obviously, we would do so.
Mr. Chairman, if I may, I would respectfully request an opportunity to respond more fully in writing to your question, and to give you a more full explanation of our intent.
[The information follows:]
The University intends to dedicate $3.5 million of the fiscal year 1998 appropriation to the endowment by the end of the Federal fiscal year.
Mr. PORTER. Do I assume that the need is reflected in your earlier comments that the investments of the endowment fund have appreciated quite a bit, by reason of good market?
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Mr. SWYGERT. Yes, sir. And management as well.
Mr. PORTER. I would also say to you, though, that if you put $3.5 million into the endowment now, with the growth in the market, they may prove to be very good investments for the future of Howard. We would encourage you to consider that as well in making your judgment.
Mr. SWYGERT. Thank you, sir.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, President Swygert.
KUDOS FOR PRESIDENT SWYGERT
Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, I don't have any questions. I've been listening to the President's answers. But I wanted to come over and show my support to President Swygert, who's done an outstanding job stabilizing and expanding upon the promise of Howard. I have, along with this Committee, been pleased to support him in many of his objectives, and wanted him to know that I look forward to doing that in the future.
Mr. SWYGERT. Thank you.
Mr. HOYER. Quite obviously, President Swygert came in and had some problems confronting him that had to be addressed. I think he's addressed them forthrightly and effectively. That's why I'm here. I've looked at your statement and I'm pleased with the progress that's being made.
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Mr. SWYGERT. Congressman Hoyer, if I may, I want to thank you for your outstanding support and advocacy and articulation of Howard's needs and issues over the years. As you know, many of my faculty and staff, who are proud to call themselves members of your Congressional district, very much appreciate your support as well.
Mr. HOYER. Thank you. We are very blessed at this point in time to have you leading Howard and President Jordan leading Gallaudet, two outstanding institutions of higher learning, unique, really, in many respects, in the country, appropriate for our Nation's capital. I'm just very pleased that we have such high quality leadership in both of those institutions.
KUDOS FOR GALLAUDET'S PRESIDENT JORDAN
Mr. SWYGERT. Well, we're truly blessed to have Dr. King Jordan, that's for sure.
Mr. HOYER. He's an extraordinary fellow. We just had, I don't know whether you know about that, but we just had a very significant program on the west front of the Capitol of the United States recognizing the ten years that have transpired since students and others said to the board and to the country, it was time to have a President at Gallaudet who was in fact deaf and understood first-hand the challenges of the deaf community, and had shown and was such a shining example of success in the face of what otherwise some Americans would think was a disabling disability, which in fact, President Jordan and others there have shown as enabling factors.
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KUDOS FOR PRESIDENT SWYGERT
But President Swygert, back to you, I want to reiterate how impressed I have been with your leadership and your willingness to look at education issues and make real solutions, in light of what is in any institution of higher education, a lot of conflicting politics, if you will. We talk about politics in the Congress, I don't know if there are any rougher politics than in the educational community, either higher education or the primary/secondary education level. And you have handled that well.
I think as a result, you have engendered credibility for your own administration and confidence in the Congress that if we invest in Howard, that investment will be applied appropriately for an objective that is accomplishable and worthwhile.
Mr. Chairman, again, I don't have any questions of the President. I look forward to working with you towards supporting this institution which has made such a contribution historically through this century, certainly. I look forward to its continuing growth and contribution.
Mr. SWYGERT. Thank you, sir.
Mr. PORTER. Mr. Hoyer, I noticed when you said academic politics, there were a lot of knowing smiles in the audience. [Laughter.]
Mr. HOYER. There were a lot of people reaching for their ribs. [Laughter.]
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Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mr. Hoyer.
Ms. NORTHUP. Mr. Chairman, I also don't have any questions. But do want to welcome you and thank you for Howard University and what it has meant in the past, and in the future to this country.
Mr. SWYGERT. Thank you so very much. Thank you.
Mr. HOYER. President Swygert, if I might, Mr. Chairman, Ms. Northup is one of the newest members of the Committee. I tell people, I sat in that chair for at least, I think seven or eight years. It was a long time I sat in that chair.
The problem with that, however, is she is getting very hard to live with. Unlike Howard, the University of Kentucky is doing very well
Mr. HOYER. She very gently and in a very respectful fashion reminds us from time to time that Kentucky is still in there in the final four and is doing very well.
Ms. NORTHUP. That's right. It will be over soon, and hopefully we'll have a smile on our faces.
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Mr. HOYER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Ms. Northup, thank you, Mr. Hoyer.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I do have questions. President Swygert, I want to take a moment. We've discussed how the Howard appropriation represents a very substantial $18,000 investment per student per year. When students don't complete their degrees, obviously a good part of that investment is lost.
We want to look at the graduation rates in the context of what you've identified as your peer schools. Last year, you testified that Howard's four year graduation rate is 23 percent compared to 83 percent at Georgetown, 81 percent at the University of Virginia, 74 percent at Vanderbilt and 31 percent at the University of Maryland. Howard's six year graduation rate is 46 percent, double the four year rate, but still lags behind the other schools. Georgetown is 90, Virginia is 91, and Maryland 61 and Vanderbilt 83.
The budget justification indicates a goal of increasing the graduation by 3 percent over fiscal year 1998. What is the base on which the increase is predicated? Is that the four year or the six year rate, and what school year is the data taken from?
Mr. SWYGERT. We're looking. The last data we have, I believe, Mr. Chairman, is 1996, the last data that's absolute data. But we will respond of course in writing to your question so that we can be absolutely precise.
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[The information follows:]
The baseline data being used for the goal of increasing the graduation rate over fiscal year 1998 is the FTIC cohort group, which enteredd in Fall 1990. The four-year graduation rate for the 1990 cohort was 23.1 percent. The six-year graduation for this group, which graduated in 1996, was 45.6 percent.
Mr. SWYGERT. Mr. Chairman, you raise a question that we did discuss at some length last year, and it continues to distress me. Indeed, our four-year graduation rate that we reported was 22.9 percent, which was rounded up to 23 percent. It's not acceptable. We are, through better academic advisement, through better freshman orientation, through more resources for our students, through more financial advisement as well, doing everything we can and will continue to push this rate up.
I come from a background, as you know, Mr. Chairman, where these numbers would be very different. I know what those institutions had as resources, both in terms of advisement, faculty and otherwise, to make those numbers different. We purposely identified these four peer institutions, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, University of Virginia and University of Maryland, because the bar was high. That's where we want to be. We did not compare ourselves to other institutions, but with institutions that have a special resonance with this committee and indeed with the Nation.
Page 176 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 I am committed to doing so, the Strategic Framework challenges me to do so, and we're on record with this committee. I realize that in terms of our institutional credibility and my own professional credibility, we've got to move these numbers.
I will have a written response which will give you an answer to your first question, Mr. Chairman, namely, what baseline data are we looking at, and secondly, I will give you a more detailed response in terms of how we are tracking what we're guaranteeing to you will be an upward trajectory of these numbers.
[The information follows:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
Mr. PORTER. Is the 3 percent goal based on the four-year or the six-year rate?
Mr. SWYGERT. I believe it's the four-year rate.
Mr. PORTER. Okay. I hear your strong commitment to raising that rate. And I also recognize the problems in achieving that.
But do you have something like a goal that is out farther, five year goal as to where you hope to be in a period of time?
STRATEGIES TO INCREASE GRADUATION RATES
Page 177 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. SWYGERT. I think it is not infeasible to consider doubling your four-year goal. That's going to sound quite extravagant. But I think if you work on your first year students in the first year, most retention strategies unfortunately tend to operate in a sense when the student is already in a deficit position. You've got to create an environment and an opportunity for a student to take what some of us in the old school still refer to as a full load.
Now, students will say that if you look at all of the indicators, and if you look at the lexicon of higher education, full load today means 12 credit hours or more. When I was a student, Mr. Chairman, a full load meant 15 hours or more. Those three additional hours, more or less those six additional hours, for 18 hours, over eight semesters, were the difference between graduating or not graduating.
We've got to do several things. If I could just take a moment, Mr. Chairman, and indicate what I think those things are, to increase this rate as dramatically as I've suggested. The first thing we have to do is make sure that we tailor financial aid to the real needs of our students, as opposed to tailoring financial aid to administrative ease. That is to say, you've got to boutique financial resources for the student to cut down the likelihood that the student will work during the normal, the typical, regular school day.
Now, some work is going to be required. We understand that. But you've got to make sure you give the student the kind of hard and tough financial aid counseling so they understand the consequences and they understand the resources that are truly available to them.
Secondly, you've got to have the tough, in-close academic advisement that indicates to the student, and indeed, directs the student to the kinds of course loads and sequencing that are necessary to graduate in four years. You say, well, if you have a thousand course offerings and you're dealing with very intelligent studentsand we have some of the most intelligent students and brightest students in the Nationstudents should be able to fend through this system.
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Well, indeed, that's simply not the case at Howard or anywhere else. Academic advisement and devoting resources to academic advisement is absolutely critical.
The third step in this process is you've got to offer the courses at times convenient for the students. You've got to have more Saturday courses. As an undergraduate student at Howard for seven semesters, I had a course Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, at 8:00 o'clock in the morning. I did that purposely, not because I wanted to be in a class 8:00 o'clock on a Saturday morning, but because indeed I did have certain work responsibilities. But I wanted to graduate from Howard during the lifetime of my family and friends. [Laughter.]
So Mr. Chairman, I did that. But we've got to do more of that. We've got to have early evening, we've got to have twilight courses. We've got to have evening division courses.
We've got to have courses at a time convenient for the students, so that no student can say, that is, a first time in college, undergraduate student, I followed the advisement regulations or suggestions, I had my financial resources reasonably in order, yet I couldn't graduate in four years from Howard University because the courses were unavailable. We've got to take that issue totally and completely off the table.
The fourth thing we have to do is, if you will, we've got to change the paradigm in terms of expectations. Mr. Chairman, as you well know, and Congresswoman Northup and Congressman Hoyer, as you all know, it wasn't too long ago when the national expectation for graduating from college was four years. That was the expectation. Today it's six years.
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Have we benefitted from the elongation of this expectation? I would say no. I would say we must go back to four years, for two very good reasons. The first is, we have the capacity of doing so. And second, it's very expensive to keep a student in school for six years.
So it's in our interest to do so. And through our deans, through our provost, through proselytizing on campus, through providing the administrative resources, advisement, financial and academic and otherwise, that's what I intend to do. It can be done. I've spent 23 years in institutions where it was done. There's nothing magical about it, but you just really have to get at it, and that's what I intend to do, sir.
INCREASING SAT SCORES
Mr. PORTER. Can we look for a minute at SAT scores?
Mr. SWYGERT. Yes, sir.
Mr. PORTER. Obviously, the goal is not only to graduate students, but to provide them a quality education. And in order to deliver high quality, you have to start with good students.
The SAT scores of incoming Howard students are increasing, I believe you say that in your opening statement. But the average SAT score at Howard, according to your testimony last year, still lags the peer schools by about 300 points at the 25th and 75th percentiles.
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Do you believe this gap can be eliminated, and if so over what time frame? And if not, what is a reasonable expectation over the long term?
Mr. SWYGERT. Well, eliminating the gap I think is a worthy aspiration or goal. Can it be done? Yes, it can be done. Can it be done within a reasonable time frame? I would argue that in this context, it is not so much, at least from our perspective as academic administrators, eliminating the gap as to how you are moving in terms of your incoming first-year students. If your quality indicators continue to improve, and if they're improving in a reasonable way, a rational way, then I think you can feel and see substantive progress.
A 300-point spread is a quite substantial spread to overcome within five years. Indeed, it's a real stretch. So closing the gap, what I would call reasonable, when I think of reasonable lengths of time, five years is what occurs to me.
I would not want to commit to a five year closing of the gap, but I think at the end of five years, certainly we are going to see, and already seeing, some substantial progress.
To recruit, of course, your 1200, 1300, 1400 student, is again, partly a resources question. And one has to find and allocate the resources necessary to do so.
Mr. PORTER. President Swygert, last year you testified that Howard's goal was to increase the average SAT score of enrolling freshmen for the 19971998 school year by five to ten points. Did you achieve this goal, and what is your goal for fiscal year 1999?
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Mr. SWYGERT. I believe we did achieve the goal, although I don't have the precise data from Dr. Janice Nicholson, our Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management. I think we are looking forward to doing much the same this coming year, this coming September. The early indicators are quite encouraging. We have approximately 300 more applications in hand this time this year than we did last year. And they look very strong and robust, and I feel relatively confident about that, Mr. Chairman.
SAT SCORES AS A MEASURE FOR GPRA
Mr. PORTER. Is this measure included in your GPRA plan?
Mr. SWYGERT. Yes, sir. It's part of the benchmarking that we did with the Department of Education. And as I indicated, Mr. Chairman, we've had a very positive and cooperative relationship with our colleagues in the Department of Education. They've been true to task and they've been good colleagues. We've been meeting those targets.
ALUMNI PARTICIPATION RATE
Mr. PORTER. Can we talk a minute now about increasing Howard's independence of Federal funding? Last year, you testified you had set a goal of 10 percent of the alumni giving rate for 1997. At the time you testified, the rate had already increased by half, from 4 percent to 6 percent. Were you able to meet your 1997 goal, and what was the increase in giving in dollar terms?
Page 182 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. SWYGERT. The answer to your first question, Mr. Chairman, is that yes, we did increase our alumni giving. Our goal under the Strategic Framework for calendar year 1997 was 10 percent. We are beyond 10 percent. I'll have the precise number. Of all the papers I have before me, Mr. Chairman, I don't have that number.
Our target for 1998 under the Strategic Framework is 15 percent alumni giving. And I'm very confident that we'll be able to do that. My confidence, Mr. Chairman, is grounded in the number of developments that have taken place. And I know we're running a little late, Mr. Chairman, but if I could, I'd just like to say a word about something we instituted since we last met with the Committee.
ALUMNI PARTICIPATION AND THE TELEFUND PROGRAM
We have put together, Mr. Chairman, a telefund program at the University. Every evening, between Thursday evening and SundayI'm sorry, between Sunday evening and Thursday eveningwe don't make phone calls on Friday and Saturday nights. But from Sunday evening to Thursday evening, we call all of our alumni. We're using categories of alumni.
This telefund is operated by Howard University students. They are under professional direction and management. It has been absolutely spectacular, Mr. Chairman, in getting alumni engaged again with the University. From November to January 30th, I believe, if my recollection is correct, more than $400,000 from alumni were pledged to the University.
But in addition to the dollar amount, what was very important to us was the number of alumni pledges.
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As to your final question of what is the gross amount, Mr. Chairman, I'll get that number to you in my written response.
[The information follows:]
Mr. PORTER. And for fiscal year 1999, you initially had a goal of 20 percent. Do you still have that goal and expect to meet it?
Mr. SWYGERT. Yes, sir. I'm still pushing towards that 20 percent.
Mr. PORTER. That would be wonderful, indeed.
INCREASING FISCAL INDEPENDENCE
President Swygert, one of the measures we use to determine Howard's level of independence is the percentage of total revenues represented by the subcommittee's appropriation. As you've noted in the past, this figure dropped from 59 percent in 1988 to 45 percent in 1993.
Mr. SWYGERT. Yes, sir.
Mr. PORTER. However, since then, according to the information on page 639 of last year's hearing volume, the figure has remained stable in the 44 to 45 percent range. Generally, do you expect this figure to drop in the coming years? What is your projection for this next fiscal year and what is your five year projection?
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Mr. SWYGERT. Under the Framework, Mr. Chairman, as you know, we indicate that declining dependence upon direct Federal support is one of our principal goals. We're working very, very hard to make that happen. We have adjusted tuition twice, once shortly before we testified last year and since, though our tuition adjustment this year was more modest than the year before, but it was an adjustment nevertheless.
We've increased fees, and we have increased dorm rates. Our Board plans are still quite competitive. We've increased that as well, trying to self-fund more activities at the University.
You're absolutely correct in that we've been flat at about 45 to 46 percent. I hope that we can see at least some decrease. If I say a 1 percent decrease, Mr. Chairman, I have to be mindful that my Vice President for Business and Finance, that his head is beginning to whirl as he works out that number. But that's our goal, Mr. Chairman. We're going to do the best we can.
Mr. PORTER. President Swygert, thank you. You have answered all of our very tough questions. And your statement, as I mentioned before, was an excellent one.
Mr. SWYGERT. Thank you, sir.
Mr. PORTER. We believe that you are doing a wonderful job there at Howard. We know it's not an easy job, and you're making all of us proud of the kind of work you're doing and the kind of work Howard is doing. We thank you for that.
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Mr. SWYGERT. Mr. Chairman, thank you so much for your questions and your patience and your support, and Congresswoman Northup and of course, our dear friend, Congressman Hoyer, as well. And Mr. Chairman, I hope at some point I'll have the opportunity to visit you in chambers and speak to you about some of our ideas in terms of distance learning and some of the things we think are going to really be the hallmark of leadership in the 21st Century in our education, and Howard's role in distance learning, both as it relates to HBCUs and other institutions as well. We think there's a real role and opportunity for Howard in distance learning, and I hope I have an opportunity to present that to you.
Mr. PORTER. We certainly would be happy to do that.
Mr. SWYGERT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PORTER. There is a vote on. The subcommittee will stand in recess for the vote.
[The following questions were submitted to be answered for the record:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
Thursday, March 26, 1998.
SPECIAL INSTITUTIONS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
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JUDITH E. HEUMANN, ASSISTANT SECRETARY, SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
TUCK TINSLEY III, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN PRINTING HOUSE FOR THE BLIND
I. KING JORDAN, PRESIDENT, GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY
ROBERT R. DAVILA, VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL TECHNICAL INSTITUTE FOR THE DEAF, ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
WENDELL S. THOMPSON, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL TECHNICAL INSTITUTE FOR THE DEAF
RAMON F. RODRIGUEZ, LIAISON OFFICER, OFFICE OF SPECIAL INSTITUTIONS, OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
CAROL A. CICHOWSKI, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION, REHABILITATION AND RESEARCH ANALYSIS, BUDGET SERVICE, OFFICE OF THE UNDER SECRETARY
Introduction of Witnesses
Mr. PORTER. The subcommittee will come to order.
We continue our hearings on the Special Institutions for the Disabled this afternoon, and we're pleased to welcome Judith Heumann, who will make a brief statement, because we understand you have another appointment.
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Let me welcome Robert Davila, the President of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and King Jordan, the President of Gallaudet University, and Tuck Tinsley, President of the American Printing House for the Blind.
And I want to recognize our colleague, Ray LaHood, for a special introduction of King Jordan.
Remarks by Representative Ray LaHood
Mr. LAHOOD. Mr. Chairman, I thank you very much for allowing me to begin your hearing by introducing the President of Gallaudet University.
I have the good fortunate of being the Republican House member appointed by the Speaker to serve on the Gallaudet Board of Directors. And when Steve Gunderson left the Congress after the last session, I went to the Speaker, due in large measure to the fact that I have the only school for the deaf in Illinois in my district, in Jacksonville, Illinois. And I've taken a great deal of interest in the work that they do there.
I have worked very closely with Dr. Jordan and the work that he does as President of Gallaudet. I just wanted to be here to introduce him. I know that you know him. I know you feel pretty strongly about the work that goes on over there, and he is very appreciative of the support that he has received from you and also the subcommittee.
We just had a big rally on the west front of the Capitol recently to honor his tenth anniversary as President of Gallaudet. It was quite an extraordinary event. I think we are privileged as a board to have him as the President of Gallaudet, and I look forward to his continuing excellent work and to the support that he gets from you and your subcommittee.
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I thank you for the opportunity to be here to say a word or two about what really happens at Gallaudet, and the fine leadership that Dr. Jordan has provided. Thank you very much.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Ray.
Congresswoman Northup also would like to make a special introduction.
Remarks by Hon. Anne M. Northup
Mrs. NORTHUP. Yes, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
It gives me great pride to introduce this committee and the people in this room to Tuck Tinsley, who is with us here today. He is the President of the American Printing House for the Blind. With him is Gary Mudd, who is also with that institution. He's the Director of Public Affairs.
In the State House, I had a really wonderful opportunity to work with the blind community in Louisville. My district is very close to the Kentucky School for the Blind and the American Printing House for the Blind. Many of the teachers and people connected to those two institutions live in my district.
And as I became aware of what they contributed, what they mean, their services mean to the blind community, I'm so pleased they are with us today.
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I think it's important to remember that the American Printing House for the Blind provides literally all of the Braille materials that we use across this country. They are literally the link to those people that are blind, to all the printed materials, the textbooks, the periodicals.
I had an opportunity to take a tour and visit with them. There is a very strong community spirit that works with them, a board that helps them. They are very connected to Toyota and well thought of, and are making really a tremendous impact for the blind community.
So Tuck, welcome to the committee today, and Gary Mudd, welcome to the committee today. We're glad to have you here so you can share with us the work you do.
Remarks by Hon. Louise M. Slaughter
Mr. PORTER. Now, arriving exactly on cue
Mr. PORTER [continuing]. Please come up and join us, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York, to make a special introduction of Bob Davila.
Ms. SLAUGHTER. Thank you very much.
Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate this opportunity to address you again, and I'm delighted to be here this afternoon with two of my best constituents. They represent the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.
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And I want to express my profound thanks to you, Mr. Chairman, for your kindness over the years and for hearing us this afternoon. You've been wonderfully supportive over the years of NTID and we're very grateful.
These gentlemen represent an institution that we know is very special, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester. Dr. Davila is the Vice President and Mr. Wendell Thompson is the Associate Director, and has been visiting this committee as a member for many years.
I'm especially pleased to introduce Dr. Robert Davila, now in his second year as Vice President of NTID. Many of you will remember Dr. Davila from his testimony before this committee as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services from 1989 to 1993, or earlier, in the 1980s as the Vice President of Gallaudet University.
And I'm pleased to see President Jordan here as well today.
NTID is very fortunate to have Dr. Davila at its helm. He has a background of nearly 40 years in education, as a high school math teacher, an assistant principal, a K-12 superintendent, a college professor, a college administrator and a university vice president. These worthwhile experiences, as well as his four years as assistant secretary, have prepared him well for his current responsibilities.
I'm very proud of NTID and want to make a few additional comments about the Institute. NTID has achieved tremendous success in preparing deaf people to enter society and the work place and compete on par with their hearing peers. NTID graduates earn 93 percent of what their hearing peers earn, which is significantly above the 70 percent national average for disabled individuals. And NTID grads pay back the Federal investment in their education at least three times in taxes alone.
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In addition, the employment rates among NTID graduates are exceptionally high, with 95 percent becoming employed shortly after graduation. These good jobs are commensurate with the education and training received. For example, more than 70 percent of them are employed in business or industry, and clearly, NTID has an impressive record of success.
In recent years NTID has responded to the same needs and requirements that all Government institutions are facing: the need to improve efficiency and to do more with less. They have restructured. They have streamlined the administration, reallocated their resources to direct more services to students.
In addition, they have reduced their work force by nearly 20 percent. All of this was done at a time when they were implementing their strategic plan, which is now in its final stages.
Mr. Chairman, I am sure you are as impressed with NTID as I am, and hope you will look favorably upon them in this appropriations cycle. These gentlemen will give you all the details that you require, and I am pleased to turn it over to them.
But I would like to say a special thanks to Dr. Heumann for her recent visit to Rochester. Thank you.
And thank you, sir.
Mr. PORTER. Congresswoman Slaughter, thank you very much for your special introduction. And we thank all of our members of our panel for being here today.
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Ms. Heumann, we were going to say nice things about you, but you've got to wait until your own hearing for us to do that. [Laughter.]
Ms. HEUMANN. I'm glad to hear that.
Mr. PORTER. I know that you have another place to go, so we're going to ask you to present your opening statement and then excuse you so you can make your other appointment.
OPENING STATEMENTJUDITH E. HEUMANN
Ms. HEUMANN. Thank you, sir.
It's my pleasure to be here before you on behalf of the Special Institutions for Persons with Disabilities, which include the American Printing House for the Blind, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and Gallaudet University. These institutions, as you know, provide specialized programs and services to students with disabilities. The Department helps ensure that each institution provides services and programs in compliance with the requirements of its respective authorizing legislation, and that these activities meet the needs of the students for whom they are intended.
I am pleased to present the Department's testimony on behalf of the President's fiscal year 1999 budget for the three institutions. I would like to take a few minutes to summarize the budget request and to comment on several key issues. Then representatives of each of the institutions will provide specific testimony in support of the budget request for their respective programs.
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FISCAL YEAR 1999 BUDGET REQUEST
The total budget request for the Special Institutions is $136.5 million. This includes a request of $8.256 million for the American Printing House for the Blind; $44.791 million for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf; and $83.48 million for Gallaudet University. The Department is pleased to be able to provide support for these important programs, and for the children and adults with disabilities who will benefit from their services.
The Department has not included a separate request for the endowment grant programs for either NTID or Gallaudet. Instead, our request would provide Gallaudet and NTID the flexibility to use current-year program funds for their respective endowment grant programs. This provides each institution with the discretion to determine whether and how much of the appropriation to use for matching purposes. The Department believes that these funds help promote the financial independence of these institutions, and provide a permanent, increasing source of funds for special projects.
The Department has been working with all three of the Special Institutions to develop performance plans that meet the requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA). The draft plans are based on the strategic planning documents developed by each of the three institutions and include strategic objectives and performance indicators that can be used to help measure the effectiveness of their respective programs.
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We are pleased with the collaborative process we established with each of the institutions and believe that the final plans will help provide concrete, measurable data on the progress of each institution in meeting the mandates of their respective authorizing legislation.
EDUCATION OF THE DEAF ACT
The Education of the Deaf Act expired at the end of fiscal year 1997. However, the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) provides for a one-year extension of the existing authority. The Department, Gallaudet University and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf have been working to assist the authorizing committees to develop legislation to reauthorize these important programs. We anticipate that this legislation will be enacted prior to the expiration of the GEPA extension.
In another area, as we have reported in the past, the Department and Gallaudet University have worked closely to ensure effective implementation of the requirements of the Education of the Deaf Act and the incorporated provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as they relate to students who have been placed in Gallaudet's elementary and secondary education programs by their parents. During this past year, my staff have been working with the school's managers by providing a number of technical assistance sessions in order to apprise them of their responsibilities under the new provisions of IDEA.
In fiscal year 1999, the Department plans to continue to work closely with all three Special Institutions for Persons with Disabilities to ensure that Federal funds are being used efficiently and effectively to expand educational opportunities for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals who are blind.
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My colleagues and I will be happy to respond to any questions you may have.
[The statement follows:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Ms. Heumann.
Let's proceed with the statements of each of the institutions, and we'll begin with King Jordan, the President of Gallaudet University.
Opening StatementI. King Jordan
Dr. JORDAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I appreciate very much the opportunity to appear before you again today. This is my eleventh appearance before the subcommittee.
Recently, as you've heard from both Congressman Hoyer and Congressman LaHood, we've been celebrating the tenth anniversary of what we call DPN, which stands for Deaf President Now.
I'd like to correct a little bit what Congressman LaHood said. He said we assembled on the west front of the Capitol to celebrate my ten years as President. That was not the intent of the assemblage on the west front of the Capitol. We assembled to celebrate ten years since the Deaf President Now revolution took place at Gallaudet University.
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Ten years ago, there was a march to the Capitol to protest the appointment of a hearing president and to demand the appointment of a president who was deaf. This year when we went back, again on March 11th, the intent was not to protest, but to celebrate the accomplishments of deaf people.
I think the accomplishments of deaf people and the changes that have happened in the last ten years have been nothing short of phenomenal. The attitudes that people who can hear have about people who are deaf have changed. The aspirations of individuals who are deaf have changed.
Often, people ask me, what do you think is the biggest change that's happened since Deaf President Now happened in 1988? And I answer very quickly that the biggest change I see is the goals that the students at Gallaudet University have for themselves, the goals they have for their futures, for their academic years at Gallaudet, for their jobs, for their graduate study. They see no limits any more on what they can achieve if they work hard to do that.
The changes that happened have not just been changes at Gallaudet University, but have been changes all over the United States and all over the world. Many of the changes relate to very specific and measurable and noticeable things, like captioning on every TV that's sold in the United States, relay service for telephones, interpreting at public events, and more deaf people who are into law school, medical school, dental school and other professional careers.
All these things were just dreams short years ago, and today are a reality.
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TECHNOLOGY AND INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE DEAF
The one thing that may have helped more than any other single issue to make that happen is advances in technology. The changes in technology over the last ten years have really leveled the playing field for deaf people. Now things like e-mail, World Wide Web, the captioning on television, the internet, teleconference capabilities, TV cameras that are very cheap and easy to use have really changed the way communication happens. And they've opened up new opportunities for deaf people.
In fact, talking about teleconferences, like I said, we were celebrating DPN at Gallaudet University. We've had two very successful teleconferences recently. Those teleconferences were broadcast to 200 sites around the United States where many deaf, hard of hearing, and professional people who work with deaf people, watched and learned about the potential and the abilities of deaf people.
I speak about technology. I can't avoid thanking you and the committee for your very generous help and support in enhancements in our technology at Gallaudet University. Last year, the $1.8 million gave us a very good start in upgrading and changing our e-mail system and installing new servers and workstations, and in enhancing the infrastructure at Gallaudet.
This morning when I ran on campus, I had to jump over a trench they were digging to lay new fiber optic cable on the campus. We soon will have every building at Gallaudet University wired with the highest, fastest fiber optic capability that is available today.
Page 198 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Finally, we're installing a brand new information management system that will integrate all of the different computer systems on campus. Those 1999 funds that are included in the budget will allow us to complete this job in the next year.
We at Gallaudet really appreciate it, but probably the most sincere appreciation comes from the students themselves. This is because deaf students by definition are visual learners and using technology will really enhance the way we can provide information to deaf students in an interactive, visual sense.
Periodically at Gallaudet, we conduct surveys of everyone who attended Gallaudet University. The last one we did was in 1993. We will do another one in 1998. Those surveys give us very good information about the success of our graduates, what they do, how they compare to the graduates of other colleges and universities.
That's helped us measure what their jobs are, what their salaries are, what we need to do to help improve that even more. In that regard, we've been working very closely with the Department, as Ms. Heumann said. We have a very good collaborative working relationship. We have fine tuning the objectives, the indicators and the measures that we need to be able to document the successes at Gallaudet University. We'll talk specifically about things like the economic goals and achievements of our students. As I said before, more than half of the students that graduate with BAs at Gallaudet University go on to earn advanced degrees.
I would like to say it again, and make sure it appears in the record, because the national average for people who receive BAs who go on for advanced degrees is only 19 percent. That really puts Gallaudet way out in front in that regard.
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Specifically, also related to employment of our students, two thirds work in very high level professional occupations and earn the same kinds of salaries that people who graduate from regular colleges and universities do.
Last year, I told you that the northwest campus was on the market for sale. I'm very happy to report that it's now sold. We received $1 million up front and took back a loan of $2.9 million. The $1 million we've already deposited in the endowment. When we receive additional money, we will also put that in the endowment.
Pre-college programs at Gallaudet continue to focus on the three priority areas that we talked about before: literacy, family involvement, and transition to work or higher education. Pre-college programs have been working very hard to collaborate with other institutions and schools outside Gallaudet University.
Last year, there were two very important conferences related to transition and to family involvement. Those collaborations are something that the Commission on Education of the Deaf called for 10 years ago, and are now very highly regarded in the education of deaf children.
I want to update you a little bit on staff reduction as well. We continue to reduce staffing. Since I started a voluntary staff reduction program in 1989, we've reduced staff by more than 18 percent. At the same time, while we're reducing staff, we've been increasing the percentage of people on the staff who are deaf. We've gone from 25 percent deaf employees to 35 percent. That's a very good achievement, but it's not good enough.
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And one thing I announced recently during the DPN celebration was what I'm calling a President's Fellows program. That program will be designed to help young deaf people who aspire to achieve Ph.D. degrees do that. Then when they have their Ph.D.s in the appropriate discipline, they can come back and become faculty members at Gallaudet University.
I know that in years to come, when the President sits here and testifies before the subcommittee, he or she will be able to talk about the continued increasing percentage of deaf faculty at Gallaudet.
I keep using the word celebration. The Deaf President Now celebration sounds like looking back. We're not looking back, we're looking forward. The impact that DPN has had on Gallaudet, has had on the education of deaf people, continues to pay very positive dividends. In the next 10 years, we'll see a world that's transformed by new technology. We want to be sure that deaf people are right in the front and involved in this transformation and that the technology is accessible to us.
We will see changes in the diversity of the students coming to Gallaudet. We will be ready to adapt to those changes.
So I'm very encouraged by what's happened in the last 10 years. But I'm even more encouraged by the future. And I very much look forward to working with the subcommittee to continue that work.
Thank you, sir.
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[The statement follows:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mr. Jordan.
Opening StatementRobert R. Davila
Dr. DAVILA. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman.
Before I begin, I wish to inform you that we have two professionals and four students from our computer integrated machine technology program from NTID. They are here in the city on some other business, and were able to fit into their schedule an appearance this afternoon. This is the first time NTID students have been able to come. We are so far away from Washington. I wish to recognize them in the back of the room.
Mr. PORTER. We're happy to welcome you. Thank you for being with us.
Dr. DAVILA. And thank you.
Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to present the President's fiscal year 1999 budget request for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. We support the President's request for $44.791 million. The fiscal year 1999 budget request includes $44,141,000 for operations, which is the same amount as fiscal year 1998.
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In addition, $650,000 is included for covering the cost of our detailed design for our dormitory renovation project. NTID's dormitories are approximately 25 years old. We are currently estimating that total renovation costs will be close to $11.5 million, spread over a three-year period beginning in fiscal year 2000.
Funds received by NTID for tuition, room and board and fees are not expected to generate additional income in 1999, above the total expected in 1998, because NTID has decided not to increase tuition. Charges in the next academic year for room, board and fees will increase, but only to cover increased cost.
We estimate that the Federal appropriation for NTID will constitute approximately 80 percent of that total funding in 1999. We stand before this committee as a fiscally healthy and vibrant academic institution. We are well positioned for the year 2000 and beyond.
We can do this in the face of a major change and limited resources, because we anticipated those condiditons and initiated significant reductions in a major way, while preserving our academic mission.
Since 1993, we have reduced the number of administrative units from 13 to 6, eliminated 7 academic programs that were least marketable and cost effective, and downsized our employee base by 117 positions, or nearly 20 percent of the work force, for a total savings of over $6 million. Much of the money saved from these activities went to balance our budget, while the rest were reinvested in our strategic plan.
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A number of significant, strategic plan initiatives that have been or will be implemented by the end of 1998 are moving along. These will include new programs to replace programs that have been eliminated, as well as new programs to assist students with their selection of a major, and to help them with the transition to college life.
These are important elements of our retention program. Our graduation rate is improving. For NTID, our graduation rate is 48 percent. For students at RIT, who are studying at the six other colleges of RIT, the graduation rate is 61 percent. We experience exactly the same graduation percentage as the rest of RIT.
NTID STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS
New admissions of students for the fall of 1997, meaning fiscal year 1998, totaled 366, approximately the same number as in fiscal year 1997, but 18 percent higher than in 1995.
NTID enrolled 84 students in its educational interpreter training program and 16 students in its master of science in secondary education program for the fall of 1997. For the fall of 1998, which will be fiscal year 1999, NTID expects to admit approximately 375 new deaf students, which will increase the enrollment to almost 1,100 deaf students while enrollment in the educational interpreter programs and MSSE program is expected to grow to 100 and 25, respectively.
As Mrs. Slaughter said in her introduction, over the past 28 years, nearly 95 percent of NTID's 3,850 graduates have eventually been successfully placed in jobs commensurate with their training. Research conducted by NTID and the Internal Revenue Service shows that our deaf graduates with bachelor degrees earn 93 percent of what their hearing peers earn.
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A deaf NTIDRIT graduate with a bachelors degree in his or her lifetime will pay back over three times the cost of his or her education to the Federal Treasury in taxes alone.
This year, approximately 39 percent of our students were fully matriculated into other colleges of RIT. These students received over 82,000 hours of interpreter service, 42,000 hours of note taking support and 15,000 hours of tutoring, as well as counseling, advising and other professional services.
In total, nearly 700 of NTID's 1,085 students have ongoing contact with hearing peers through course work and extracurricular activities on the RIT campus.
NTID's educational outreach efforts are designed to address the needs of our alumni and other deaf adults, professionals working with students in academic settings, employers, vocational rehabilitation personnel, deaf secondary school students and parents of deaf children. We are reaching out with programs such as the Explore Your Future program for high school juniors who are deaf. Last year, 225 students participated in this program.
In addition, a summer institute was held for deaf adults, mainly our alumni, on various topics, such as computer skills, small business opportunities and networking for career mobility, and management. In addition, workshops and training sessions were offered to over 300 employer representatives and school personnel last year. Through these and other outreach efforts, we work to expand opportunities for deaf people in this country.
Page 205 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 No specific amount is requested for the endowment program. However, the budget request leaves us the flexibility to set aside operational dollars that could be used to match privately raised funds. Our priority is to develop ongoing revenue streams to supplement NTID's operating budget. Over the past five years, commitments totaling $9.5 million have been received to date towards our current $10 million campaign. The current market value of NTID's total endowment now stands at over $16 million.
In summary, the 1999 request would allow NTID to continue the mission of preparing deaf people to enter the workplace and society and compete on equal terms with their hearing peers. In the institute's brief history, our alumni have demonstrated that they can be fully independent and contributing members of society. And they can experience an exceptional quality of life as a result of education they received.
Mr. Chairman, my colleague and I will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
[The statement follows:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Dr. Davila.
Now, Mr. Tinsley.
Opening StatementTuck Tinsley III
Page 206 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Dr. TINSLEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I'd like to also thank Congresswoman Northup for the wonderful introduction, and let you know, Mr. Chairman, how fortunate we feel in Kentucky to have her representing the Commonwealth in Washington.
I've submitted an opening statement for the record, and I'd like to briefly summarize it for the committee.
It's a pleasure for me to present the President's fiscal year 1999 budget request for the American Printing House for the Blind. In 1879, Congress passed the Act to Promote the Education of the Blind, which mandates that APH, a non-profit agency, produce and distribute specially designed and adapted educational materials necessary for pre-college level blind students to have an equal opportunity to participate in their educational programs.
The Act designates a board of ex officio trustees, currently 158 professionals, to assure that funding for the Act is used to produce and distribute specially designed educational materials which are not otherwise available.
By approving the expenditure of appropriated funds only for unique educational materials designed for blind students, the ex officio trustees ensure that this program does not duplicate other programs.
The total request for funding for the Act to Promote the Education of the Blind for 1999 is $8.256 million, an increase of $70,000 over the fiscal year 1998 appropriation level. This appropriation is segmented into three categories: educational materials, advisory services, and educational and technical research.
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The request for fiscal year 1999 includes $7.191 million to supply special educational materials to an estimated 58,205 legally blind students. This is an increase of $141,000 over the 1998 appropriation level for funding for educational materials. The number of students represents an increase of 2.7 percent over those registered in 1998.
The request for advisory services also includes funding for four initiatives: $145,000 for an initiative to create an electronic file repository; $61,000 for a student use initiative for the Carl Et Al. data base; $100,000 for continuation of the expert data base service begun this year; and $50,000 for continuation of a videotape technology project.
The request for $145,000 for an initiative to create an electronic file repository supports a current national effort to expedite the provision of publishers' files to producers of alternative media. The national effort has recently gained momentum due to improvements in computer technology, braille translation software, and the passing of several State braille laws, which require publishers to provide electronic files.
Under this initiative, APH would create a repository of electronic files that will meet the needs of both reproduction agencies and print textbook publishers.
The request for $61,000 for the Carl Et Al. student use initiative will allow students, who are the ultimate consumers of materials, to access the data base. Carl Et Al. has recently been renamed the Louis data base, in recognition of the work of Louis Braille, and to mark the significant changes that will make this data base easily accessible to the vision impaired population.
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Using the Louis data base, students will be empowered to identify, locate and access their educational materials as needed. Louis will become more navigable in speech access mode and will be Internet accessible. The initiative will fund the design and presentation of workshops for visually impaired students to teach them to independently use and interact with resources available through the APH web site and the Louis data base.
The $100,000 requested for the continuation of the expert data base service begun this year involves the development of an on-line data base of facts, references and resources, and will provide a user-friendly, accessible means of providing technical assistance. The 1999 request also includes $50,000 for continuation of the video tape technology project.
The educational research, educational technical research request is $464,000. It includes $70,000 for a new project to develop guidelines for the administration of computer assisted tests for visually impaired students. As computers have become an essential tool in education, research is currently being conducted on computer administered tests for the sighted population. We need to make sure that guidelines are developed for the testing, through this medium, of the blind population.
The American Printing House for the Blind continues to be committed to meeting the needs of blind students through the research, development and provision of unique educational materials necessary for them to have an equal opportunity to benefit from their educational programs.
The Act to Promote the Education of the Blind is a program that works. The key is the continuous commitment of direct service providers at the State and local levels, with all the obvious benefits of grass roots involvement.
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Mr. Chairman, I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have regarding the 1999 budget request.
[The statement follows:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Dr. Tinsley.
Let me thank each of our witnesses for their good statements.
I have to give my sermonette to start with, because I've given it to most of the witnesses who have appeared here. It's brief, but the President's budget included a great deal of new revenues that are very unlikely to be adopted in this fiscal year, or this year, prior to the beginning of the fiscal year, including $65 billion over five years from a comprehensive tobacco settlement and $35 billion from user fees and taxes on businesses, that I don't think will be enacted.
That means that those $100 billion in new revenues, about $16 billion of which was in the fiscal year 1999 budget offered by the President, are not there to support the spending that he has indicated. And obviously, that's going to make it a great deal more difficult for all the subcommittees, including this one, to provide the kinds of increases that the President has suggested in his budget.
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And I simply want to state that for the record and for your understanding.
MECHANICS OF SIGNING
I'd like to ask a couple of curiosity questions. And let me ask the first of Dr. Davila. That is, when you are signing, do you have to think about that at all any more, or do you simply sign without having to think? Do you have to use a mental process at all?
Dr. DAVILA. Let me put it this way. I learned to speak English after I lost my hearing. But I learned sign language first. So I have the habit of signing at the same time in order to control my rate of speech. When I try speaking alone, I lose it and speak too fast. [Laughter.]
Mr. PORTER. Aha. Obviously there's a mental process when you're reading someone else signing, but I wondered if you are so used to doing this that you even have to think about it at all, or whether it's just second nature, as part of your ability to communicate.
Dr. DAVILA. By now, it is almost second nature, yes, by now. I don't have to work at it as much.
Mr. PORTER. I've got a similar curiosity question for Dr. Jordan. And this relates to a period some time ago, but it used to be for a while politically incorrect to use the word ''deaf.'' For a while, one was to use, I think, the words ''hearing impaired'' instead of ''deaf.'' That then got dropped. And I imagine there was some kind of a debate within the deaf community about which was the proper term to use, am I correct?
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Dr. JORDAN. That's right. The words that are used today in different communities and different cultures are very powerful things. I think it's safe to say that in the deaf community, the word deaf is very highly regarded now. We would prefer, in fact, for you to call us deaf, not to call us hearing impaired.
The word impaired suggests something that we don't think we have. Our hearing doesn't work, but everything else is fine. So deaf defines what we are, and we're very happy to use that word.
Mr. PORTER. Why was there a time when people didn't want to use that word? In other words, why did the words hearing impaired come into the lexicon at all?
Dr. JORDAN. I would speculate that it probably had something to do with the fact that deaf was always paired with dumb, people didn't just say deaf, they often said deaf and dumb. And dumb, while the original meaning of that word meant doesn't speak, it has come to mean instead not very intelligent.
So sometimes you still hear that used, and you still see it in print. I can tell you that in the deaf community, there's a great deal of resentment to that term. We don't like to see or hear deaf and dumb.
GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE AND RESULTS ACT (GPRA) TARGETS
Mr. PORTER. Those were the easy questions.
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Now, Dr. Davila, I asked NTID why you hadn't chosen targets for several of your GPRA measurements. And you indicated that you had. But the Department provided us a comprehensive GPRA report at the end of February, and the targets were missing for NTID.
Apparently, the Department had taken them out. Do you happen to know why this has happened?
Dr. DAVILA. Well, you are correct, we did include the targets. But the Department said that they didn't think they were necessary the first year, so we let go of them. I don't know the reason.
Mr. PORTER. You don't know why they thought they were unnecessary in the first year?
Dr. DAVILA. I know I thought that we were really moving into a new process for evaluating outcomes. During the next year, we will be working at institutionalizing that process. So I assume there was a reason.
Ms. CICHOWSKI. Mr. Chairman, may I comment on behalf of the Department?
Mr. PORTER. Absolutely, Ms. Cichowski.
Ms. CICHOWSKI. We agree wholeheartedly with your comment that targets are important and necessary. We have focused primarily during the last year on trying to get agreement on appropriate objectives and indicators. It was a complicated and involved process to articulate what we want to measure and how to measure it.
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We did include targets where NTID in particular had suggested them, and where we thought they were reasonable and challenging. However, it's difficult to establish targets, particularly where we haven't had experience with either collecting data on these issues or watching the data over time. I think we want to be thoughtful about that, and that is the next step, to establish targets for all our objectives.
Mr. PORTER. So are you saying that the targets that NTID submitted were not thought to be proper targets, and you wanted to have them submit new ones, or what?
Ms. CICHOWSKI. I think we just didn't know, and wanted to talk about them more, to determine the basis of their targets. I think we're finding for all our programs, it's very hard, where we haven't historically either collected or monitored data in these areas, to know what's achievable and what's a high enough standard. I think it's just something we have to keep working on. But we absolutely agree that we need to have specific targets.
In many cases, I think we're comfortable where we have baseline data in saying that improvement over this baseline is an accomplishment. I don't want to appear to be overly defensive about the way we have framed our indicators. However, where we can be specific, that would be ideal.
Mr. PORTER. I frankly do not understand why, if NTID worked this through and submitted targets, and you're simply providing us with a comprehensive GPRA report, why you wouldn't include your targets. You could always work with them, if you think they're inappropriate, to change them, I would think.
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Ms. CICHOWSKI. In some cases, the indicator itself changed along the way. NTID did provide specific targets for a number of indicators. But, over the months we've been working on this, we restated indicators or objective in such a way that we're not sure whether the original numerical target is appropriate. So I think we need to just go back and work through this with NTID, and of course we need to engage Gallaudet in the same conversation.
Mr. PORTER. I do, too. But I think if you're going to submit a comprehensive report and you simply leave out the targets that the agency has provided without any indication why they're not there, that makes the agency look like they're not doing their job. And they certainly have tried to do it, apparently.
Ms. CICHOWSKI. One thing that's important to understand, is the distinction between the Department of Education's plan and NTID's own plan and targets. The annual plan that was submitted to Congress represents the Department's objectives for the programs for which it's requesting money, and targets that it feels comfortable with. There's a distinction to be made between an institution's suggestion for an appropriate target, and the target that the Department might think is more appropriate. There's room for disagreement between the institution and the Department. These plans should represent our targets what we think is achievable for that institution.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you.
I have to be in the Capitol at 4:30 to chair another meeting. And I'm going to call on Mrs. Northup for her questions at this point, and if she wishes to use the remainder of the time, I'll submit my questions for the record.
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BUDGET REQUESTS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1999
Mrs. NORTHUP. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I also have a meeting at 4:30, so I'll be submitting other questions.
First of all, I would like all of you, for each institution, for the record, since we're probably going to be a little short of time, to provide for the committee what your submissions were originally to the Department of Education, and obviously, there may have been reductions. If so, what sort of reduction in services will be required in order to meet what the Department has proposed?
I would like to say, Mr. Chairman, while you're here, it's clear to us now that Government can't do everything. There has to be some prioritization and some identifying of essential responsibilities.
And in some cases, families can do things, communities can do things, States can do things. But when we have a national institution that supports the disabled community that only the Federal Government can have a national resource like the American Printing House for the Blind, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and Gallaudet University. As we prioritize and spend money, for those people who depend only on these institutions, then I want to advocate as strongly as I can that we provide for them.
In particular, I'd like to point out that two of them at least received less than an increase based on inflation. I'll go through each one briefly. The blind community, the American Printing House for the Blind, got a $70,000 increase. But that is specified for use for an improvement.
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So essentially, you're flat funded, even though I presume that inflation costs have hit you all, too. Is that correct, Tuck?
Dr. TINSLEY. Yes, ma'am.
Mrs. NORTHUP. Have you found that there's been a decrease, per student decrease in the demand for your services for the periodicals or the textbooks?
Dr. TINSLEY. Definitely not. It's rising.
Mrs. NORTHUP. Now that we have the new data base of periodicals that will be available and the new technologies to convert to Braille, I assume we could expect that there might be quite a large expansion of people that would use, effectively use that data base and the demands they would make.
Dr. TINSLEY. That's right.
Mrs. NORTHUP. Also, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, your increase was 1.5 percent, less than the rate of inflation. Is that, I cannot remember, but is that designated for a particular project?
Dr. DAVILA. The increase included in the 1999 budget includes $650,000 for dormitory renovations, but no increase for operations.
Page 217 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mrs. NORTHUP. So there's no real increase, real dollar increase?
Mr. DAVILA. Correct.
Mrs. NORTHUP. And Gallaudet, do I remember, Doctor, that your increase is also specified for increased technology?
Dr. JORDAN. Yes, the entire increase is specified for technology enhancement, yes, ma'am.
Mrs. NORTHUP. So in operational expenses, you're really flat funded?
Dr. JORDAN. Yes.
Mrs. NORTHUP. Would the Department of Education like to comment on that?
Ms. CICHOWSKI. I would, Mrs. Northup. In all three cases, these institutions received over a million dollar increase in 1998. I believe it was $1.5 million for the American Printing House, $1.1 million for NTID and $1.8 million for Gallaudet. In the case of the Printing House, we estimate that $424,000 of that $1.5 million increase was for non-recurring costs, projects that were completed in that year. So, from our perspective, at least that amount is available. It's in the base of our 1999 request, is available for new activities, and, in fact, we believe will provide sufficient funding to support all of the initiatives that the Printing House has proposed in the area of advisory services. There also are sufficient funds to provide for an inflationary increase for the educational materials activity.
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In the case of the other institutions, again, the increases provided in 1998 are retained in the base. One option for us could have been to eliminate nonrecurring costs and then reestimate our requests for 1999. Instead, we simply retained those increases in the base, and then tried to accommodate new activities that we thought were worth supporting in 1999.
Of course, in all three cases, we added additional funds for new initiatives.
Mrs. NORTHUP. Well, if I could just point out, since there's one institution I'm particularly knowledgeable about, what we did in 1998, since the American Printing House had been flat funded, was, we restored the per student expenditure to $122. In actual dollars.
So of course, in 1984, that would have purchased a lot more material per student that uses it than about $50, I believe, in real dollars we restored the appropriation. So to me, it's very important that we not let that slip. We're not actually, Mr. Chairman, increasing it in terms of per student allocation, in terms of real dollars. All we're doing is keeping it at a rate that, you know, I think we should provide the inflationary rate at least.
Ms. CICHOWSKI. There is enough money in our 1999 request to accommodate a 2 percent increase for the educational materials activity. That's our estimated inflation rate for next year.
Mrs. NORTHUP. Two percent?
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Ms. CICHOWSKI. Yes.
Mrs. NORTHUP. Well, thank you. I'll follow up on that, but I appreciate it.
Mr. PORTER. If the gentlelady would yield, again your budget is supported by revenues that aren't going to materialize, or are very unlikely to materialize at least. So it makes it more difficult for us.
Let me apologize to each of our witnesses, because I think we have unfortunately run into a time problem. Last year, our hearings went until June 11th. Most of my subcommittee members thought that was way too long, and I think they were correct. We have tried to compact our hearings into a shorter time frame and finish by May 1st.
I think this has created some problems for us in terms of our getting enough time with our witnesses. For that, we apologize very greatly. Maybe it makes our witnesses happy, I don't know.
But we do apologize. I'd like to spend a great deal more time, and we simply don't have it.
Let me close by saying that we should have these baselines and targets. The law was passed in August of 1993, the Department has had plenty of time to get this done. Obviously, we expected it to be done, and we think it doesn't make a lot of sense for the Department to tell agencies that they're going too fast on this. This should be provided, and the agencies have provided it, and yet it hasn't been worked out yet, and we think it ought to be worked out.
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Again, let me apologize to each of our witnesses. We do have extensive questions for the record for each of you to answer. We ask that you do that.
Mr. PORTER. We thank you for your excellent statements and for the fine jobs each one of you is doing in your institutions. Thank you very much for coming.
The subcommittee will stand in recess until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.
[The following questions were submitted to be answered for the record:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
Tuesday, March 31, 1998.
SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATION SERVICES AND DISABILITY RESEARCH
JUDITH E. HEUMANN, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
THOMAS F. HEHIR, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
KATHERINE D. SEELMAN, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION RESEARCH
FREDRIC K. SCHROEDER, COMMISSIONER, REHABILITATION SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
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THOMAS P. SKELLY, DIRECTOR, BUDGET SERVICE
CAROL A. CICHOWSKI, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION, REHABILITATION AND RESEARCH ANALYSIS, BUDGET SERVICE
Introduction of Witnesses
Mr. PORTER. The subcommittee will come to order. We continue our hearings on the budget of the Department of Education and are pleased to welcome once again Judith E. Heumann, the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
Ms. Heumann, if you will introduce the people that you have brought with you, and then make your statement, please.
Ms. HEUMANN. To my far right is Tom Skelly, the Director of the Budget Service and Carol Cichowski also from the Budget Service. To my left is Fred Schroeder, who is the Commissioner for the Rehabilitation Services Administration; Kate Seelman, who is the Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; and Tom Hehir, the Director of the Office of Special Education Programs.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you.
Ms. HEUMANN. Thank you.
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The budget I am about to discuss with you today will affect how millions of Americans live their lives, whether they become self-supporting and independent, whether they do well in school and graduate, whether they find fulfilling careers, whether they become responsible members of their communities.
While budgets are about numbers, we must never lose sight of the human lives they affect. And so, Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to discuss the President's fiscal year 1999 budget request for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
Our work in the Department of Education greatly affects the lives of so many Americans, children and adults. As you know, our three major areas are special education, rehabilitation, and disability research.
This budget reflects the Administration's strong commitment to furnish a free and appropriate public and quality education, advance needed disability-related research, and provide job skills and improve employment outcomes. We continue to work hard to assure equal opportunity for disabled people in the classroom, in the workplace, and in the community.
As all of us here know, education and work are key elements to success in our society. No one should be denied the chance to acquire and use these keys. Those of us with disabilities want and deserve a place in the mainstream of our society alongside our nondisabled peers. This is a goal that unites all of us.
Page 223 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 We have worked very hard with Members of Congress to improve the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and are currently striving to improve and reauthorize the Rehabilitation Act.
Additionally, authorization of the Education of the Deaf Act and the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act, both of which are up this year, will also enhance vital services for disabled Americans.
This strong continuing effort on the part of this Administration to better the lives of our Nation's disabled citizens and their families has been guided by a bipartisan commitment for which I am sincerely grateful. There are certain issues in life which should unite our Government, and I believe the right to an education and the right to employment head the list.
SPECIAL EDUCATION REQUEST
I would like to begin by discussing the President's budget proposal for special education. Our fiscal year 1999 proposal will help the Department to effectively implement the new directions set forth in the IDEA amendments of last year. The elementary ABC's of IDEA are advancing educational excellence, being focused on results, and continuing to support and produce quality teachers.
Our $4.8 billion request for special education represents an increase of $35 million over fiscal year 1998 and includes increases for Grants to States studies, Grants for Infants and Families, State Improvement, and Parent Information Centers.
Page 224 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 We are requesting $3.8 billion for the Grants to States formula program to assist the States in covering the excess costs associated with providing special education and related services to children with disabilities. During the past 2 years, Congress has increased funding in this area by almost $1.5 billion or 64 percent. These funds will help States carry out the 1997 IDEA amendments and our budget proposal is to maintain that.
Our request of $374 million for Preschool grants is level with the 1998 appropriations. Since students served under the Preschool grants program also are included under the Grants to States program, they will benefit from the significant funding increases the program received in 1997 and 1998. The budget proposes an increase in funding for our youngest children.
We are asking for $370 million for Grants for Infants and Families, the only Federal program focused on servicing infants and toddlers with disabilities ages birth through 2. This is an increase of $20 million. This will allow States to expand the number of children served and improve the scope and quality of services. This is essential to improve outcomes for these young children, especially when it comes to being ready for school.
The total request for National Activities is $291 million$12 million more than the amount appropriated in 1998. Funded for the first time last year, these activities consolidated 14 separate programs into 6 programs.
Within National Activities, we are requesting $45.2 million for State Improvement Grants$10 million over the 1998 level. These flexible resources will assist State educational agencies, in partnership with others, to reform and improve their systems of providing educational, early intervention, and transitional services.
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The special education budget request is very positive and will help States successfully implement the new IDEA.
REQUEST FOR REHABILITATION SERVICES AND DISABILITY RESEARCH
At OSERS, we also have a great commitment to making sure that Americans with disabilities get the necessary skills to secure a job, retain that job, and advance through a career. By way of coordinated and comprehensive vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs, our consumers become self-supporting, taxpaying citizens who live independently in their communities.
The $2.6 billion request for the rehabilitation account, which is in excess of $54 million over the 1998 level, will enhance efforts to meet the Department's strategic plan goal of ensuring access to postsecondary education and lifelong learning by assisting individuals with disabilities in acquiring or strengthening their skills and improving their earning power.
For the Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants program, the Administration requests a $57.5 million or 2.6 percent, increase over the 1998 level, which includes the statutory cost-of-living adjustment. It also includes $5.9 million to support the training of State agency personnel previously funded under the Training program.
I am very proud of the fact that each year the Vocational Rehabilitation program successfully rehabilitates over 200,000 individuals with disabilities, about 78 percent of whom have significant disabilities. However, we would all like to increase that success rate. We are all too painfully aware that approximately 67 percent of people with disabilities are still unemployed.
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If we look at the most recent 1996 data, 87 percent of people who had a successful employment outcome were employed in the competitive labor market or were self-employed; 86 percent of these people earned at or above minimum wage, and 71 percent reported that their own income was their primary source of support as opposed to their family or public and private assistance and public entitlement program.
We can all appreciate just by looking at these success rates how important it is to fund vocational rehabilitation services, which can be the bridge to independent, productive lives.
Under Special Demonstration projects, we are requesting $18.9 million in fiscal year 1999, which includes funding for a major employment initiative that begins this year under the Program Improvement authority. Awards will be made for model systems-change projects that will identify and reduce systemic barriers to the employment of individuals with disabilities participating in public support programs. These projects are part of a larger, very exciting Administration effort launched under a recently signed Executive Order promoting a coordinated and aggressive national endeavor to decrease the dismal unemployment rate of adults with disabilities.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION RESEARCH
Turning now to our research program, we are requesting $81 million for NIDRR, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. This represents a $4.2 million increase over the 1998 appropriations. The Institute's focus on applied research means that we significantly improve the lives of people with disabilities at work, in the family, and in the community, with practical, meaningful results.
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The request for NIDRR would provide approximately $64 million for continuation grants, including 51 research centers. These funds will facilitate collaborative research activities, interdisciplinary and longitudinal studies, and the transfer of technology into manufacturing and distribution, and research on emerging issues and new technological developments based on NIDRR's long-range planning efforts. Another $13 million would be used to support new activities, including 8 new research centers and 30 new field-initiated research projects.
NIDRR also manages the Assistive Technology program, which helps States improve access of disabled individuals to assistive technology devices and services. Assistive technology has been identified by disability advocates, State vocational rehabilitation directors, and others as vital for successful employment outcomes. Our $30 million investment will enable the Department to support Assistive Technology programs in 43 States and 4 outlying areas.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and we are ready for your questions.
[The information follows:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
GRANTS TO STATES REQUEST
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Ms. Heumann.
Let me ask regarding IDEA what your request was to OMB for the next fiscal year.
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Mr. SKELLY. Mr. Chairman, I cannot even remember that. We asked for an increase, and we could provide that for the record. But I do not recall.
[The information follows:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
Mr. PORTER. You do not have any idea of what range it was in?
Mr. SKELLY. I do not recall. I think it was at least inflation plus an amount that would cover the increase in the number of children with disabilities.
Mr. PORTER. Well, all right. We will aim this criticism not at Ms. Heumann or the Department. We will aim it at the administration and their budget.
The requirements imposed under IDEA are some of the most difficult and expensive to implement. It is one of the clearest examples of an unfunded or, in this case, underfunded mandate. We have been able to raise the funding substantially over the last few years, without, I might add, any help from the administration whatsoever.
Today, I believe we are providing about 9 percent of the additional costs mandated on State and local educational agencies. The requirements, however, are so clear that the underlying statute requires that the Federal Government pay 40 percent of the additional costs imposed under IDEA.
Page 229 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 The proposal by the administration is for, the way I calculate it, about a seven-tenths of 1 percent increase for the next fiscal year over the last fiscal year. Why does the administration continue to propose funding that falls so short of these goals? And why is this number so small in the budget?
Ms. HEUMANN. Mr. Chairman, I think that the budget that we have submitted to the Congress is one which, in fact, is responsive to the need of assuring that the IDEA can effectively be implemented. As you know, there was a 64 percent increase in the IDEA over the last 2 years. We believe that is a substantial increase. It is a $1.5 billion increase, and we believe also that the reauthorization does not, in fact, require significant additional responsibilities for States.
There were many provisions that were placed into the statute which had previously been required by regulations or previously were considered to be good practice. And we also believe that a number of the changes that we have made in the reauthorization, such as mediation, while resulting in an initial cost, will reduce costs overall because it will reduce due-process complaints.
I also would like to address the issue of IDEA as an unfunded mandate. The Administration does not believe that IDEA is an unfunded mandate. We believe the Congress, in fact, has specifically stipulated that IDEA is not an unfunded mandate. IDEA is a civil rights piece of legislation, and I would be very glad to submit for the record some review that we have done of comments that were made by members on the House and Senate side when the IDEA was passed in 1975, reiterating the fact that it is not a commitment to achieve the 40 percent excess cost but, rather, a goal.
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SPECIAL EDUCATION MANDATES
Mr. PORTER. Well, if it is not a commitment but, rather, a goal, nevertheless the costs were imposed by Federal law. So it either is an underfunded mandate or an unfunded mandate, one or the other.
Ms. HEUMANN. If I could read a comment that was made by then-Congressman Grassley: ''So today we are trying to fill this void at the Federal level of Government. The Government in Washington, regardless of how good our intentions, will never fill this need. But it could have the end result of harming the cause because the situation of educating handicapped children is so demanding that the answer is not just to get the State or the Federal Government to fill the void, but the situation will only come when handicapped children get their fair share of money now being spent on all educational programs. To think that the Federal Government, with a gigantic national debt''that is 1975''can really make up for decades of neglect is really wishful thinking. The handicapped child is not only entitled to help from the Federal Government, but is entitled to a larger share of the local and State budgetary pie. When local and State governments are drawing up their education budgets, the handicapped child should not get the crumbs from the table, but should be entitled to the same considerations as the chemistry student or the football player.''
I think, Mr. Porter, that in addition to the submission that we have specifically proposed for the IDEA, the Administration's proposalswhich focus on reduced class size and professional development as two of the itemscan have a very significant impact in the area of special education. We believe, for example, that the focus on early identification and the focus on professionally trained teachers who can identify children who are having difficulty learning to read early on will reduce the number of children that need to be referred to special education. And a reduced class size will also help to assure that students who are being integrated in ever larger numbers are able to be appropriately served in those classes.
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SPECIAL EDUCATION BUDGET POLITICS
Mr. PORTER. Well, Ms. Heumann, again, this is not a criticism of you or your stewardship. It is a criticism of the White House in a budget that anyone looking at it has to say is purely a political budget.
The fact is that this is a very high priority in our country. The fact is we have imposed on the States and the LEAs a great deal of responsibility that has cost them huge amounts of money at the local level. And we have never given them the kind of support with Federal resources that they deserve. The President well knows that this is an important priority, and yet while he is ramping up suggested spending in all kinds of other educational accounts, he gives this account seven-tenths of 1 percent. Why? Because he knows it is a high priority with Congress and that we are going to do better than that by far, hopefully, and he does the same thing, I might add, until this year with biomedical research. In fact, he told me straight to my face, he said, ''Oh, I know you are going to take care of that.'' Well, that allows him to then propose a budget with huge spending that plays to all kinds of special interest groups, and everybody thinks he is wonderful, and at the same time we are taking the responsibility to do what he should do, and that is, provide some leadership and put some resources where they really are important.
So I think the budget is a phony as it can be. It has been phony from the beginning. And I cannot tell you how disappointed I have been with the kind of leadership that this administration has provided throughout, in all kinds of areas, where the documents, the whole message is a political message and lacks any kind of real substanceand he knows it, I might add.
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Ms. HEUMANN. Mr. Chairman, I would like to take exception to some of your comments and say that I think the Administration, in fact, has provided strong leadership on issues in the area of IDEA. I think the work that we have done on the reauthorization really was a robust review. I think it really was the Administration that led on the work with the reauthorizationfocused on improving results for disabled children, which I think previously had not been done in an appropriate way. The approach that we have been taking has not been just looking at an individual account. I think we have been very much looking at how to assure that issues affecting disabled children in the case of education are really addressed across components within the Department. So I think one budget line item standing independently is not the only way to look at this.
I do sincerely believe that other efforts that are being undertaken will benefit disabled children.
Mr. PORTER. Well, Ms. Heumann, again, I think you are doing a fine job. I think you are right on all the things you just said; they are important efforts. I am simply saying I think that the President's budget is not an honest or fair or real budget and does not deserve a great deal of attention from any of us, in any particular, I might add.
In your budget justification you indicate that the Department believes that the Preschool Grants program helps reduce the number of children needing special education or the extent of children needed when they enter school and helps to ensure that young children with disabilities enter school ready to learn.
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Yet, a table in the justification indicates the funding level on a per pupil basis is the lowest since 1987, when the current statutory framework was enacted. This administration speaks often of investments, yet, this investment is being cut by the administration. What is the policy justification for this reduction in per pupil expenditure?
Ms. HEUMANN. The 3-through-5 program receives funding both through Part B section 619 and through Part B section 611. Again, my response is that the $1.5 billion increase, the 64 percent increase over the last 2 years, we believe will help to assure that children of this age range are receiving appropriate services.
GRANTS FOR INFANTS AND FAMILIES
And, if you will note, and I am sure you know this, we have put our focus on the youngest of children, the 0-through-2 population, where we have a $20 million increase, which is a 5.7 percent increase for that population.
We focused our attention on those children because they are the youngest, because this program is unique for this population, and because we believe it is critically important that, through coordinated services, which is what Part H and now Part C, is supposed to be focusing on, we can assure that families and children can be identified early and provided appropriate services to allow those children to be more successful.
Page 234 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. PORTER. Well, this is what we are saying, why take a program that has a direct impact on achievement that we think is very important and cut the investment in that area while bussing up programs like Goals 2000 and national testing that we think do not do much at all for students?
So, this is not a question for you except to the extent that you are a representative of the administration but we simply think that the budget does not reflect what the real priorities are or ought to be for our country.
I notice in your justificationI want to skip this question for a moment.
CLIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
As best as I can tell, we have been funding the client assistance program since at least 1983, for about 15 years. In discussing the performance measures for this program, your budget justification indicates the Department has very little information on the performance of this program.
Honesty counts and I am thankful for the frankness of your admission. However, in your 1993 biennial evaluation report, issued by Secretary Riley, you state that the Rehabilitation Services Administration has developed uniform program monitoring instruments for use by RSA in evaluating performance and activity of the Client Assistance Program designated agencies.
Page 235 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 This sounds like a pretty comprehensive data collection effort publicly discussed in 1993. What happened to this data and why does it not provide at least some of the performance data required by the Results Act? Why was this reference dropped in the 1995 version of the report?
Ms. HEUMANN. Mr. Chairman, I am going to have Commissioner Schroeder respond to that.
Mr. SCHROEDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Client Assistance program CAP as you rightfully point out has been in existence now for 15 or more years. We do collect a good deal of data on the number of complaints and some of the particular activities in which the CAP programs are engaged. Translating those, however, beyond just a statistical or mathematical tabulation of activities and turning them into a truly quality measure of program success has been the difficulty. That is the area in which we are striving for additional data collection so that we can establish baseline information really on the effectiveness of those services, not just on the number of clients who access the CAP program for individual advocacy.
Mr. PORTER. And, from the data available, do you think you are going to be able to establish the guidelines?
Mr. SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, yes, we do. And, in fact, we are undertaking a preliminary evaluation of CAP programs this year to be followed next year by a more comprehensive evaluation. But it is our full intent to establish measurable performance goals for this and all of our programs.
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Mr. PORTER. I notice in your justification that you have several objectives relating to preschool children receiving appropriate services, ensuring their participation in accountability programs and assuring they are educated in the least restrictive environment. There are also measures related to professional development.
It seems to me the single most important measure, if not the only measure, is whether the children in the program are academically and socially better off for having been in it. Why do you not have as your primary objective that children reach a certain academic level or are prepared to enter elementary school or some other measurement of academic achievement along with a clear measure of how this data will be collected?
Ms. HEUMANN. I think, Mr. Chairman, it certainly has been our intent, and I think the reauthorization certainly focused on that. One of our major premises in the reauthorization was the importance of early identification of children, and helping to assure that those children were prepared for school. I believe that, in the goals and indicators that we have established for IDEA, while not stipulating the levels of achievement, we certainly have been aiming towards allowing children to achieve goals comparable to their non disabled peers.
Dr. HEHIR. Yes. Mr. Chairman, our GPRA indicators cover students from ages 3-to-21. Assistant Secretary Heumann mentioned, before, the reauthorization of IDEA. Under the reauthorization, States must establish performance goals for their special education programs. This has not been a previous requirement.
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At a minimum, those performance goals must look at how well children with disabilities perform in the assessments that States provide on both academic readiness as well as academic performance for children State-wide.
In the past, students with disabilities have largely been excluded from those assessment accountability systems. They must now be included. We do not haveand again this goes to the issue of GPRAwe do not have good baseline data on that information now, but we certainly hope to have that as States are now required to include those kids in their assessment systems for 3-to-21 year old students.
GRANTS FOR INFANTS AND FAMILIES
Mr. PORTER. Tell me if your answer covers this as well then. Your measures for technical assistance in the infant and toddlers program also focuses too much on inputs. The basic measure, in my view, is whether the technical assistance is used by anyone, whether the information is integrated into a program and, when included, whether it improves programmatic performance.
Why do you not have these kinds of measures included in your technical assistance performance measures and what kind of measures along this line to you feel might be appropriate?
Dr. HEHIR. You are right, Mr. Chairman, in terms of how we should be viewing technical assistance. I think that is implied in our measures here. But, again, the issue of performance levels and baseline data for children with disabilities is something that we do not presently, have but we expect to have within a couple of years.
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PARENT AND CLIENT ASSISTANCE
Mr. PORTER. All right. Secretary Heumann, what, in your view, are the roles of Parent Information Centers, Protection and Advocacy programs, Client Assistant programs, Equity Assistance Centers and the Office of Civil Rights in protecting the rights of disabled children and adults?
What formal mechanisms exist to assure that information given by one of these programs is consistent with information given or legal requirements imposed by the other offices?
Ms. HEUMANN. I cannot speak specifically for the Office of Civil Rights or the equity program, which I believe are administered through one of the other offices in the Department, but I can speak for the programs that we have specific responsibility forthe Parent Training programs, the Client Assistance projects, and Protection and Advocacy. While Protection and Advocacy also is administered out of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities over at HHS, we have a small part of that program through the Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights (PAIR) project. But we work very collaboratively, for example, with the Parent Training programs.
I can use as an example the work that we have been doing with the reauthorization of the IDEA. We have had representatives from the Parent Training programs come to Washington to be specifically trained on the IDEA and as materials are being developed by the Parent Training and Information (PTIs) projects and other programs, we have been reviewing materials that they, in fact, have been utilizing. We work with these programs on a regular basis to assure that they are getting adequate information.
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Their primary responsibility is to assist particular constituenciesin the case of the PTIs, parents who have children with disabilities, and in the case of the Client Assistance projects, individuals who have complaints against the State rehabilitation agencies. But these types of programs, I think, have been very important because they have been providing vital services and technical assistance to assure that otherwise unmet needs are more effectively addressed.
OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS COORDINATION
Mr. PORTER. We want to know what kind of coordination you have with the Office of Civil Rights, for example, because they apparently handle a great deal of disability matters.
Ms. HEUMANN. We work with the Office of Civil Rights very carefully. Our monitoring office, particularly the Office of Special Education where they get a substantial number of complaints under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, meets regularly with their staff. When we go in to monitor States we, in fact, look at the data that OCR has been gathering. We have been developing a close relationship with OCR, at least in the 4 years that I have been at the Department.
CASEY MARTIN CASE
Mr. PORTER. What input, if any, did you have in the reference to the Casey Martin case?
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Was there anything that
Ms. HEUMANN. Aside from the fact that I learned more about golf
Mr. PORTER. Yes, but I mean did they have any contact with the Department or ask you for any information that they might have used?
Ms. HEUMANN. They did not ask us directly for any information, but we were aware of other members on the Hill and their staffs that were working on this, and organizations that were working on this, and we certainly would have been available to provide them with any information.
Mr. PORTER. Like Senator Harkin or others that have shown a direct interest, obviously, from the very beginning in the ADA.
Ms. HEUMANN. Exactly, yes.
SPECIAL EDUCATION NATIONAL ACTIVITIES
Mr. PORTER. All right. As you know the recent reauthorization of IDEA consolidated a number of small discretionary programs into 4 larger programs. As you phase out the continuation grants under the former statutory framework, how are you administering these programs to assure that you have 4 integrated programs rather than simply an aggregation of smaller programs funded under 4 appropriations headings?
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Ms. HEUMANN. Actually there are 6 and I will have Tom answer that.
Mr. PORTER. Six?
Ms. HEUMANN. Yes.
Dr. HEHIR. Mr. Chairman, one of the things we have done in the context of GPRA is we have basically looked at how these discretionary programs support the implementation of the formula grant programs. So, for instance, in the area of teacher preparation, which is one of our grant programs, one of the things that we think is critical about the teacher preparation programs throughout the country is they integrate within their teacher preparation programs what we know about reading research.
So we established this year, for instance, a center that is at the University of Kansas that is looking at ways in which to integrate the best knowledge that we have in research both at Education and at NIH in teacher preparation programs. Because these programs do not exist in a vacuum, they need to be much more integrated than they have in the past.
And, so we really view GPRA in the way in which we develop performance indicators as a way to drive our priority development as well as our implementation activities with the Act.
We have also, within the Office of Special Education programs, placed most of our technical assistance efforts more closely with our monitoring of the States and in implementation by the States. And in making sure that those technical assistance efforts are
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when we go out to monitor the programnot looking just at crossing ''T's'' and dotting ''I's'' We are looking at the degree to which the program is integrating, for instance, the best information we have on research and innovations in technology, for instance.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you.
SPECIAL EDUCATION PERSONNEL PERPARATION
Ms. Heumann, you indicate in the justification for your request for Personnel Preparation that the IDEA amendments in this request, which I note is frozen, reflect a growing appreciation of the complexity of the causes of the shortage and the need to address shortages through a variety of coordinated strategies. Can you discuss in detail the causes you see for the shortage, the coordinated strategies needed and why you feel that additional funding is not needed for this program?
Ms. HEUMANN. Let me first start off by saying that as you know we have a $10 million increase in the State Improvement grants and 75 percent of the dollars for the State Improvement grants actually goes into professional development. So, in fact, we are addressing the issues of professional development through the State Improvement grants.
Do you want to talk about that?
Dr. HEHIR. There are a number of factors in the shortage and again, our strategies here have several dimensions.
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One is recognizing that in order to address this issue there have to be stronger State and Federal partnershipsthat the responsibility to staff classrooms is primarily a State one but that the Federal Government has an increased role with IDEA of assisting in that process.
One, as Assistant Secretary Heumann mentioned, is the State Improvement program, which is a new program that we are just starting this year under the reauthorization of IDEA. And, again, in that program, 75 percent of that money under the statute must be used for personnel preparation activities.
States vary tremendously in the degree to which they have shortages. Some of those shortages are, for instance, created by restrictive policies at the State level in relationship to the ability of certified people to move from one State to another.
I worked in Illinois, as you know, in Chicago, and we had tremendous barriers in hiring people from Michigan and Indiana and Iowa and Wisconsin to work in the Chicago public schools because virtually all people had to get recertified in Illinois.
And those are things that we hope States will start addressing in terms of things like reciprocity agreements.
TARGETING PERSONNEL PREPARATION FUNDING
Mr. PORTER. Can I ask, if $7.5 million of the $10 million increase goes into personnel preparation to the States.
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Dr. HEHIR. That is correct.
Mr. PORTER. And did you not just say that the States have very great differences in their need for personnel preparation, for example?
Why would you not put this $7.5 million into the personnel preparation account and have the Federal Government direct it to where it is mostly needed?
Ms. HEUMANN. I think there are two separate issues here.
Mr. PORTER. Yes. I do not quite understand why, what are the differences between spending the money one way and spending it another way?
Dr. HEHIR. There are several of them. One is that we have concentrated our priorities at the Federal level to where the shortages have been the greatest and where we believe that there is an enhanced Federal role.
Number one is in the area of low-incidence disabilitiesteachers of the blind, teachers of the deaf, teachers of kids with multiple disabilities. In most States except the largest States there is not sufficient demand at the State level to have programs to train these teachers.
So we have encouraged through our priority development and through the allocation of resources the development of regional programs to serve regions of the country to promote the development of a sufficient supply of teachers of low-incidence disabled students.
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In what is called the high-incidence disability area, we have focused our priorities on where we know the shortages are the greatest. Those tend to be in rural areas and in urban areas. There are many areas of the country where there are not shortages, where there are plenty of applications for vacancies. And, again, we do not see that the Federal role is as great there as where those shortages exist.
In the State Improvement program, even though some States vary in terms of the number of shortages they have of personnel to teach kids with disabilities, virtually every State has identified a need to also work in the area of in-service training with the teachers that they have nowparticularly with general education teacherson being able to better serve kids with disabilities. And States will be able to use the money for that purpose.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you very much.
All right, those were the easy questions. Now, Mr. Dickey?
Mr. DICKEY. I have one.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION STATE GRANTS
This has to do with Special Education and Rehabilitative Services and I do not really know who I should direct this to.
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Ms. HEUMANN. Here I am.
Mr. DICKEY. All right, there you are, You are Ms. Heumann?
Ms. HEUMANN. Yes.
Mr. DICKEY. I have visited our State rehabilitation center in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on several occasions and am thoroughly impressed with the work that Bobby Simpson is doing there with their efforts to get the disabled citizens of Arkansas into good stable jobs.
I am wondering if the State rehabilitation agencies can utilize more Section 110 monies to rehabilitate persons with disabilities into employment?
Ms. HEUMANN. I think, Mr. Dickey, that the budget that we have submitted provides increased funding for the Rehabilitation Services program and will allow the State of Arkansas to be able to provide some additional services. But let me say that our Office, under the leadership of Commissioner Schroeder, who is the Commissioner for RSAthere he is down therehas been working very closely with the State agencies to help the States look at how they have been providing services to enable them to streamline the way that they have been providing services so that they can maximize the dollars that they currently have.
We have been working in a number of other areas to help improve employment outcomes for disabled individuals. One of those is the new Executive Order that the President signed a couple of weeks ago which is going to be establishing a task force pulling together 8 agencies from across the Federal Government to look at ways that we can be working more aggressively to help support improved employment for disabled individuals.
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I think all of that together will help the State of Arkansas provide better services.
Mr. DICKEY. I know how the bureaucracy works. If you want me to come get the money and take it down there, I will do it. [Laughter.]
I am going to submit the rest of my questions for the record.
Thank you very much.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mr. Dickey.
Ms. HEUMANN. Thank you.
Mr. PORTER. Ms. Heumann, you have answered all of our questions very well. And you have listened to our diatribe about the President's budget and we appreciate that and we thank you for the excellent job that you are doing.
Ms. HEUMANN. Thank you.
I appreciate it.
Page 248 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. PORTER. Thank you for being here today.
The subcommittee will stand in recess until 2 p.m.
[The following questions were submitted to be answered for the record:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
Tuesday, March 31, 1998.
VOCATIONAL AND ADULT EDUCATION AND SCHOOL-TO-WORK
PATRICIA W. McNEIL, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR VOCATIONAL AND ADULT EDUCATION
THOMAS P. SKELLY, DIRECTOR, BUDGET SERVICE
THOMAS M. CORWIN, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF ELEMENTARY, SECONDARY, AND VOCATIONAL ANALYSIS DIVISION, BUDGET SERVICE
Introduction of Witnesses
Mr. PORTER. The subcommittee will come to order.
We continue our hearings on the fiscal year 1999 budget for the Department of Education, and we are pleased to welcome Patricia McNeil, the Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, along with Mr. Corwin.
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Mr. CORWIN. Good morning.
RESULTS ACT MEASURES
Mr. PORTER. Ms. McNeil, we want to begin. The staff has informed me that you deserve congratulations for some of your Results Act measures. For Adult Education State Grants, you win the Oscar, they tell me.
Ms. MCNEIL. Thank you.
Mr. PORTER. You are one of the only programs to provide both a baseline and a specific numerical goal for your activities. For example, you indicate that by the year 2000, 40 percent of adults enrolled in secondary-level programs will earn a diploma or GED. You also indicate that currently 32 percent achieve this goal. These are exactly the kinds of standards we expected from each program in the bill and in the Department of Education. They are measurable, they deal directly with student achievement, and they set a future goal that we can hold you and them accountable for.
The subcommittee takes the Results Act obviously very seriously, and in many cases, the Department of Education has been unable to meet the kind of measurable standards we expect. In your case, however, it is important to highlight a very credible effort and to congratulate you on it.
Now, if you would proceed with your statement, then we will have questions.
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Ms. MCNEIL. Thank you very much. I think I should quit while I am ahead. [Laughter.]
Mr. Chairman, thank you so much for the opportunity to discuss our 1999 budget request for Vocational Education, Adult Education, and School-to-Work. You have my written statement, which I would ask to be entered into the record in its entirety. And I would like to just briefly summarize it.
In my remarks, I want to highlight three issues: how the grants programs we administer help young people and adults meet the challenges of a high-tech society; what we are doing to build systems of accountability for results; and how we use national activity resources to achieve our Government Performance and Results Act objectives and provide national leadership.
Today, all of our education institutions face critical challenges. At every level, schools and adult education programs are being asked to raise academic standards and impart a new set of technical and information skills. They must now strive to ensure that every student meets these standards. International comparisons of skill levels between our country and other countries, such as the Third International Math and Science Study of our youth math and science skills, and the OECD study of adult literacy levels, all tell us that we are facing major challenges to keep our international competitiveness.
School-to-work, vocational education, and adult education are three components of the solution. School-to-work stresses academic achievement, preparation for college, and exposure to a wide range of career options. More than 1 million students and 200,000 employers are participating in school-to-work activities as of the end of 1996, and we know that number has increased.
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Schools that have adopted school-to-work principles have increased attendance, reduced dropout rates, and increased college going among students. The request for school-to-work, including funds requested by the Department of Labor, totals $250 million. This is a decrease from the 1998 level, but it reflects the planned phaseout originally envisioned by the school-to-work legislation.
For vocational education at the high school level, a combination of skills is important preparation for both college and a career. From agriculture to business, to emerging information technology careers, vocational education in high schools is becoming a strategy for the acquisition of both strong academic skills and computer and other technical skills. These skills are needed both for entry into post-secondary professional and technical degree programs as well as for entry into the workforce.
Colleges and technical institutes serve both recent high school graduates and college graduates returning to get some technical skills and adults trying to leave welfare. My daughter actually has gone to community college. She is now in graduate school, but she is taking a few technical courses at community college.
Community colleges and technical institutes are a primary source of technical education for a high-tech workplace. Vocational Education State Grants help States, school districts, and colleges retrain teachers, acquire new technology, and introduce new instructional practice. Tech-Prep has stimulated employer involvement, increased math and science content of technical classes, and forged stronger relationships between secondary and post-secondary institutions. The request for vocational education and Tech-Prep is $1.015 million.
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The Adult Education Act and the adult education providers funded by our grants, and, thankfully, supplemented by volunteer staff and volunteer organizations, ensure that adults have the opportunity to acquire basic skills they need to make the transition to work and higher education. They also give parents the education skills to be more involved in their children's education. Addressing the needs of our limited English proficient adults is an increasingly important component of adult education. Therefore, our request includes funds for new model English as a second language programs that will serve an additional 40,000 students and demonstrate what ESL instruction methods are most effective. Our request for adult education is $394 million.
GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE AND RESULTS ACT
Now, you said you take GPRA, the Government Performance and Results Act, seriously. We have, too, and we have set program goals in four main areas in all three of our investment areas: one around improving student achievement and outcomes; the second, improving program quality and accountability; the third, in building partnerships for school improvement and program improvement; and, fourth, making our own management more effective and efficient.
We are working very closely with the State directors of vocational education, school-to-work, and adult education to establish uniform performance measures with common definitions. As you noted, we have established baseline information on some of our performance indicators, and we intend to use our national activities resources in all three programsto continue to collect information and set baseline data for all of our programs, and to invest in technical assistance to help achieve our GPRA results.
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These new investments that we are making in research, data development, and assistance to States to implement GPRA are some of the most important uses of our national activities funds. Let me just give you a couple of other examples of national program investment.
NATIONAL PROGRAMS INVESTMENTS
We are studying a group of high schools to learn how vocational and academic instruction is changing in order to ensure all students are prepared for post-secondary education and our high-tech society. In fact, two of those schools are located in Chicago.
These schools have set challenging academic standards, increased the academic rigor of their vocational courses, and used workplace and community experiences to enhance classroom learning.
We are also investing resources in the use of technology to improve access to and the quality of adult education. We have just launched an effort to identify innovative ways to use technology for distance learning, classroom instruction, and assessment in adult education.
National program funds also support research in technical assistance, including the National Center for Research and Vocational Education and the National Institute for Literacy, whose work includes an Internet-based information network and an awareness campaign to help the public understand the dimensions of the literacy challenge in the U.S.
Mr. Chairman, if we are to prepare our citizens for our changing economy, we need a major transformation in schools in adult education programs. More education needs to take place outside of formal classrooms. We have to make better use of technology, and we must be innovative. The Federal Government has long been a catalyst in providing resources to spur such reforms, and we believe that the investments that we are proposing will continue those efforts.
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My colleagues and I will be happy to respond to any questions that you may have.
[The information follows:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Ms. McNeil.
GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE AND RESULTS ACT INDICATORS
Let me ask about the four measurable standards first. Do these simply represent an extension, the goals that you set, do they simply represent an extension of what your data shows for the past? Or are they set with a goal to doing better than the past has shown?
Ms. MCNEIL. Well, they are absolutely set for doing better than in the past, and they are also set to do, I think, something different than the programs have traditionally done in the past. The Administration has proposed new legislation for vocational and adult education, and a version of that legislation has passed the House and is now pending in the Senate. This bill stresses different outcomes for students. It really recognizes the changes that are taking place in the economy and in society, and so recognizes that the purposes of those programs have to change and the skill levels that students have to have are going to change. So we have incorporated those outcomes into our performance systems.
Most definitely, particularly in terms of academic achievement and basic skills achievement in adult education, as well as the kinds of technical skills that students need, we have set higher standards than we have had before.
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Mr. PORTER. Why were you able to craft such effective goals when the rest of the Department seems unable to produce them?
Ms. MCNEIL. Well, I was not involved in the setting of standards for the rest of the Department. I think that we have all been trying really hard. This is not easy work to be able to measure the outcomes from our programs. We are far away from the students that we want to see be successful in our programs. And so trying to figure out how to set measurable standards, get that baseline data, and then conduct the activities from a national level and through our State grant programs to ensure that the results are achieved, is really complex work.
I think we have made great strides at the Department. We may be a little farther ahead than others, but basically I know we are all working hard at it.
Mr. PORTER. Well, let me ask Mr. Skelly and Mr. Corwin. How come Ms. McNeil is doing so well and the rest of the Department does not seem to be doing anywhere near as well?
Mr. SKELLY. Vocational and adult education has done a good job, but I would take issue with your statement, Mr. Chairman. The Department does have extensive numerical quantitative indicators for dozens of its programs. They are included in the documents we have prepared for the Government Performance and Results Act, and we are quite proud of what we have done.
Page 256 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 I guess it was CongressCongressman Armey, and the General Accounting Office who have looked at our document and have informed us that we have done exceptionally well. In fact, we were rated second highest in the entire Government. We have, again, numerous quantitative and numerical indicators throughout the document. We are quite proud of what we have done.
Mr. PORTER. I think you need to talk to my staff because they do not think you are doing quite so well.
Mr. CORWIN. If I could add a little bit more, you will notice in some of the programs that there is not a quantitative goal because we do not have the baseline yet. And it is very hard to say you are going to reach 300,000 people if you do not know how many you are getting to now.
What we have done, though, is made a plan for obtaining the baseline data, and we have put that in the document. It is going to be available in one year or in two years, maybe, at the most, so that we can come back to you in another year and say this is the quantitative goal. But, frankly, it would have been unrealistic to do that without the baseline.
Mr. PORTER. Obviously. All right.
NATIONAL CENTER FOR RESEARCH IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
Mr. PORTER. Ms. McNeil, I note that in your budget you are proposing to spend $4.5 million for the National Center for Research in Vocational Education. I notice that in other areas single grantees have multiple grants from the Department. The regional laboratories may also be the grantees for comprehensive regional assistance centers, equity assistance centers, and so on. How many of the grants for the National Center for Research in Vocational Education are going to grantees that also administer other education center grants?
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Ms. MCNEIL. I do not know the answer to that question. It is a good one, and we will check on that. We have tried to do a couple of things this past year to make sure that there is not duplication across centers.
We held a conference of all of our technical assistance providers last fall to bring them together to focus on the objectives of the Department, including our GPRA objectives, and to get them to have a sense of what each center and lab is specializing in. Now, our center on vocational education does specialize in improvements in technical education. But we also know we can learn from some of the work that the other centers are doing. There is the center at Johns Hopkins, the lab at Johns Hopkins that works on at-risk youth. We can learn a lot from the work that they are doing, so we want to be informed about what they are doing so we do not duplicate that work.
It is possible that some of our grantees may get funding from one or more centers, but that would be to complement the research that they are doing. I have been very concerned, ever since I came to the Department, about trying to avoid the level of duplication of investments both in our national activities money and in our center money. And so we are doing an awful lot to try to make sure that that does not happen and that the whole investment contributes to school improvement.
Mr. PORTER. Could you expand on that for the record?
Ms. MCNEIL. Certainly.
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NATIONAL CENTER FOR RESEARCH IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
Although the Perkins Act allows the Department to fund one or more National Centers for Vocational Education (NCRVE), the Department is currently funding only one Centerat the University of California at Berkeley. The Department does not have any other research and development centers at Berkeley other than NCRVE.
MISSION OF SCHOOL-TO-WORK
Mr. PORTER. The subcommittee has received testimony from Lynne Cheney, who is a well-respected scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She expressed a strong opposition to school-to-work based on the fact that rather than focusing on vocational education students, it ''by law includes all students.'' She gave several anecdotal examples of students with high career aspirations being told to lower their goals based on the lowest grade of group grading and on trying to change student attitudes toward non-traditional jobs.
Her two most telling arguments from my point of view were: first, employers are far less concerned with familiarity with a particular job than they are with a lack of students' basic skills; and school-to-work, by focusing so much attention on vocational measures, undermines the teaching of history, literature, and the liberal arts.
Ms. McNeil, are we focusing too much on short-term current occupational needs and too little on the need for well-rounded educational programs that will give the students the tools to change careers three or four times during their working lives as experts tell us they are going to have to do? What is the Department doing to assure that the kinds of excesses Ms. Cheney and others have identified do not continue?
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Ms. MCNEIL. Well, first of all, I have known Lynne and Dick Cheney for about 20 years, and I was really surprised when I saw her article in the Wall Street Journal. I wrote her a personal letter just telling her that this certainly was not reflective of the experience that I have had with school-to-work; that I see quite different things happening out in the States with regard to the School-to-Work Act.
As I mentioned in my statement, I see it as really turning students on to learning, and not just technical skills learning but history and literature and math and science.
When you give students a context for why things are important, when you give them a relevance for what they are doing in the classroom, it begins to excite them and open them up and let them see the possibilities, let them see that they can do something. And then it opens them up to a wide variety of interests. I mean, I have actually seen internships in history that have helped students really explore a wide variety of career opportunities if you have an interest in history.
So, I would just say that my experience with school-to-work does not reflect what Lynne wrote about in that article.
GOALS OF SCHOOL-TO-WORK
In vocational education and in school-to-work, we are trying to stress three things: first, academic achievementthat students who are in vocational education, all students, are prepared to meet the challenging academic standards set by States and by local communities; second, that they are all prepared for post-secondary education, because we know that at some point in their life students are probably going to have to go back to school in some way to get more skills, because the skills requirements are changing so rapidly; and, third, that students get a wide exposure to careers and a variety of careers and a variety of career experiences.
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TECHNICAL SKILLS ATTAINMENT
In vocational education, we do want students to get some technical skills. It is important. If you are going to be an electrical engineer, you need to have a knowledge of electricity, and you can get that in physics, in a physics lab, and you can get that in an electronics lab in high school.
If you are going to go to work for Bell South, you are going to need to have knowledge of electricity. That is an entry-level requirement for them.
So we do stress some specific technical skills, but what we are trying to show students is that those skills can cut across a wide variety of jobs and that they need to be prepared for lifelong learning and also for being able to change jobs many times throughout their lifetime.
We have got a project now where we are looking at how States are redoing their vocational education clusters, broadening them out so that students see the relationships between a whole variety of occupations.
LIFELONG LEARNING AND SCHOOL-TO-WORK
Mr. PORTER. Ms. McNeil, I think the emphasis on lifelong learning is terribly important because there is such a huge body of knowledge out there that did not exist in the past, and it is growing incrementally, and it is very difficult for people to know a lot, and they have to keep working at it.
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The reason that this argument that Lynne Cheney brought up resonated so much with me is that I grew up in a time when young people were expected to choose career paths before they knew what career paths even meant. And we narrowed our education so much that one of the great regrets of my life is that I spent a lot of time learning narrow things that I have never used and missing, I think, the broad skills of languages, philosophy, literaturethe kinds of things that I think prepare you for much of life one way or the other, including whatever occupation you may choose.
So let me ask you, did Lynne Cheney write back and say anything in response?
Ms. MCNEIL. I have not heard from her yet, but I know I will.
Mr. PORTER. Well, I think it is important that we attempt to address all of this, and I think you are probably both thinking along the same lines, but you differ on what is out there and happening. And I think she raises a very serious concern, though, that I am sure you take very seriously as well.
Ms. MCNEIL. I have five children, and I want my kids to have a broad exposure to lots of things in education. My children have chosen very different pathways, and so I understand that no parent wants their child to be narrowly trapped in one area that they cannot get out of.
This is one reason why I think, that we have got to stress academics, we have got to stress preparation for post-secondary education, and we have got to give kids a broad exposure to the arts and literature and everything else in high school.
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I also think it is good for them to have an opportunity to explore careers because then they can see whether they are truly interested in that field. One of the great things is when a child says I wanted to be a doctor but when I went into the hospital I found out I could not stand the sight of blood. Well, fortunately, the parent did not spend $80,000 sending his child off to school only to discover that later on.
So I think we can learn what we do not like as well as what we might like.
COORDINATION OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION RESEARCH
Mr. PORTER. What research is being done in OERI related to vocational education? And how is the research in the two parts of the Department coordinated?
Ms. MCNEIL. Well, we have been working closely with OERI on establishing baseline data for GPRA. They do a number of surveys on vocational education. They had a publication early in the decade on vocational education in the 1990s, and they are working on their late decade publication of the same name.
We have been working very closely with them to make sure that we can use the statistics and the information that they develop, either for baselines or for giving us additional information about what we are doing in terms of achieving our GPRA objectives.
Soon they will launch another national assessment of vocational education. We will work very closely with them on developing it. We have worked extremely closely with them on the International Adult Literacy Survey, the first oneand now the second one has just been releasedand on the second edition of the National Adult Literacy Survey. They also fund an adult literacy center, and we have now coordinated our research agenda in our office with OERI's National Adult Literacy Center.
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So we use their research. We work with them to coordinate agendas, and we do not believe that we are duplicating work that they are doing. In fact, right now we are managing one of their Star Schools grants to put the GED on line.
TECH-PREP AND SCHOOL-TO-WORK
Mr. PORTER. Your budget justification indicates that Tech-Prep has laid the foundation for the development of school-to-work opportunity systems. How are localities integrating school-to-work programs with Tech-Prep? How will localities fund the current School-to-Work activities as Federal funding ceases?
Ms. MCNEIL. Those are two good questions.
In many cases, where Tech-Prep was well established, it has many of the same elements of School-to-Work. It stresses academic standards. It stresses preparation for high-tech careers. But, particularly, it stresses that link between secondary course work and post-secondary course work. So it serves as a very strong foundation for school-to-work in many places.
In terms of sustaining funding for school-to-work, this is sort of a fact of life that the first original eight States that got School-to-Work grants are now facing. They are in their last year of funding, and so as the Act anticipated, that funding will go away, and they will have to sustain that with other sources of funding.
Page 264 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 We are doing some resource mapping right now of States to see what resources they have available to sustain school-to-work. Most of them intend to use Tech-Prep, Voc Ed, and some Title I money that is used at the secondary level. Our intention was to really have them use their own local and State resources differently, not add onto but use them differently. An important part of sustainability is maintaining those strong connections with employers, because employers both provide resources and offer the opportunities for young people to do internships.
It takes effort, it takes strong partnerships to continue those kinds of investments.
We are right now going to do a review of those first eight States whose grants are running out, to do an assessment of where they are, and where they may need some additional assistance in order to keep their school-to-work efforts going.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Ms. McNeil.
Mrs. LOWEY. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And I want to apologize for coming late. As you know, we are called in different directions, but I do appreciate your appearing before us.
I wanted to pursue the school-to-work question because I understand that the chairman referred to a statement made by Lynne Cheney. I have always been a strong advocate of the voc ed programs in the schools, but I am as disappointed, shall we say, as many of our colleagues, in that many of them just do not work. And I was very enthusiastic about the President's school-to-work initiative, and I am hoping that we can actually do both: we can make sure the youngsters do get the three R's, but some of them may just not be ready or may not choose to go on to college, and I think we have a responsibility to be sure they are trained for a vocation.
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And so I am going to watch this personally very closely because I think voc ed at its best could be very constructive and very important. But we have all seen the mediocrity in many of the programs.
I appreciate the fact you are going to be doing a review and evaluating the School-to-Work program. Could you discuss with us some of the programs at the State and local level that you think show real promise? And what are the ingredients of those programs? What have we really learned in the last year about the school-to-work programs? And is there any evidence that they do improve the career prospects of the youngsters?
Ms. MCNEIL. Well, first of all, Westchester County has a very strong school-to-work initiative, and I think one of the things that makes that so strong is the fact that they have established really good partnerships, really actively working partnerships between the business community, elected officials, colleges, the schools. They have parents involved. It is a community effort, and it is a community effort that is not just focused on instituting a program. It is really focused on changing the educational experience of students in school.
I think the emphasis on strong academic skills is very important. We do our students a disservice if we do not place a strong emphasis on that, an emphasis on getting students out of school and into workplaces or community service experiences where they can really see the relevance of what they are doing in school. An emphasis on trying to make connections between math and science and between English and science or history and math is very important. They do lend relevance.
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Getting out of the classroom gives students motivation. Providing students with mentors gives them a lot of extra support to keep going through difficult times, sometimes, to help them with their homework, to help them with a whole array of things, including thinking about college, thinking about career choices after high school.
So, to me, school-to-workand I think it is really exemplified in Westchesterreally gets us thinking about a different way of preparing our students for the future. Technical skills are important. Employability and life-coping skills are important. And academic skills are important. All of those things have to be present.
We do not want to track students narrowly into careers. We want to open up career opportunitiesin fact, opportunities for further education for all students. And I think school-to-work has been critically important in helping us think differently about schools and helping us think differently about vocational education and what it should be in the future.
CAREER CHOICE AND SCHOOL-TO-WORK
Mrs. LOWEY. I know that you are just embarking upon the evaluation, but have you seen movement into certain careers that have been successful?
Ms. MCNEIL. You are absolutely right. Most of the students that have started sincewell, the School-to-Work Act was passed in 1994, so many of the students have now gone on to post-secondary education. I think when School-to-Work really started, the thinking of a lot of people was, okay, this will be sort of an alternative; this will be a pathway into the workplace after high school for students. But, indeed, one of the most interesting things that we have seen happen is that students now begin to understand that the level of skills required for work at least requires one or two years after high school of post-secondary education, so many more have gone on to school.
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Some students actually know in high school what they want to do. I was with two students last week who were national science winners out of a transportation academy that we have funded with our national activities monies in Los Angeles. The transportation academy focused on aerospace engineering, and one of the students was going to be a pilot. This is something that he had wanted to do since he was young, and so he was going on to college in engineering and hoping to become a pilot.
The other student was in this same academy. She wanted to be a teacher. She went to the academy because of some of the things that the academies offer, which are small supportive learning environments and an emphasis on math, and access to computers, which many students in her school did not have. But she wanted to be a teacher.
Do I consider that a failure? No. I think it is a success. I mean, she is getting the skills that she needs. She is not going to go into the career that the transportation academy broadly exposed her to, but that does not really matter in high school. What matters is that she has got a good foundation and she has learned some things about what she does and does not want to do.
Mrs. LOWEY. That is interesting. I await the evaluation, because if there is a transportation academy, I would wonder what percentage of the youngsters are actually moving into careers in that area.
Ms. MCNEIL. Well, some will and some will not. And I think at the high school level, a real question we have to ask ourselves is how concerned are we when students graduate from high school, if they are going on to post-secondary education and they have some idea of what they want to pursue. Are we concerned that, because they went through a transportation academy, now they do not want to pursue something in transportation?
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My own daughter wanted to be an architect. She has wanted to do that her entire life. She took mechanical drafting in high school. She went to UVA. She spent two years in the undergraduate architecture school, and she said, hey, I do not want to spend my 4 years in the architecture school nights and weekends, so she switched to foreign affairs. And she graduated from UVA with a foreign affairs major.
Mrs. LOWEY. I went to the Bronx High School of Science, and I took calculus and advanced calculus and bacteriology and advanced bacteriology, and I went on to college, and I don't think I took another one of those courses again.
Ms. MCNEIL. Well, you know, my daughter is now back in architecture. She is in graduate school in architecture, but she has been on this odyssey of really trying to find out what she wants to do, and the important thing is that she had the foundation skills to do a lot of things and to try a lot of things. And I think that is what we really want for students today in their high school years.
If kids do not want to go on to post-secondary education right away, they ought to have some skills that they can take to the marketplace to get a job and actually advance with. But we also ought to give them a level of skills so they can go on to post-secondary education if they want to. And so I think that is what we are really trying to achieve today.
EXEMPLARY TECH-PREP PROGRAMS
Mrs. LOWEY. I do not know if I have other time, but if I dookay, Mr. Chairman. I will ask a question about the Tech Prep program. The administration's budget request includes $106 million for Tech Prep, which is a slight increase over the current level. In fact, in Yonkers, New York, we have a Tech Prep consortium, and it is actually working rather well.
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In a 1997 study, it was found that students who participated in the program had better attendance records and higher GPAs at their high school graduation than those who did not. Moreover, those who went on to college are performing better than their college peers who did not participate in Tech Prep, which is actually validating your point.
We are very pleased with this program in Yonkers, and I just wondered whether there are other Tech Prep programs that are equally successful and whether these programs and the successes are being shared with other communities. Because what I have often found in Government is that you can have successful programs and then if you try and replicate them, you do not succeed.
Ms. MCNEIL. Right.
Mrs. LOWEY. But we do not really share the successes, or in some situations, if the person running the program may be exceptional, that may develop a particular relationship with the youngsters, and it is very difficult to replicate that.
Could you discuss the Tech Prep program?
Ms. MCNEIL. Yes, we do have good examples of where Tech-Prep has been very effective, and I think technology is great. Our goal is to get more and more of these examples on our Website, because I think that is one of the best ways of getting people to be able to access information about innovative practice without having to find the right person on the telephone or being on the right mailing list. So that is one of the things that we are really focusing on.
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Tech-Prep has taken two forms. One is to promote the development of very broad course work in high-tech areas that creates a pathway for students from secondary to post-secondary. And the other form that it has taken is that schools have used Tech-Prep resources to improve the whole quality of education in the school. We have just completed an evaluation about a year ago of Tech-Prep, and I would be happy to share some of those results with you. We think it is an important education reform strategy.
Right now we are working with a group of ten high schools across the country, which we call new American high schools. A couple of them have dropped the general track and now just have College Prep and Tech-Prep. The same academic standards are used across the two and an opportunity for students in College Prep to take trigonometry, for example, in an applied setting as opposed to in just a straight lecture setting.
We are now studying what makes those programs effective. What is it about what is happening in those high schools? Does it go beyond personalities? And are there techniques and things that other schools can actually use? Schools do not have to take the whole model. But they can take the techniques and learn from them. How do they change their professional development? How do they change their guidance and counseling? How do they use time in schools? How do they organize schools differently? Do they group students in smaller class situations and keep them together throughout the entire time that they are in school?
We are trying to get insights into whether there are certain practices that pay off in terms of improved student achievement that go beyond the personalities that you mentioned, and that go beyond a specific program model, because there is a lot of reluctance to take something from here and put it over here. People like to experiment and adapt things to their own situations.
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Mrs. LOWEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Ms. McNeil.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mrs. Lowey.
EDUCATION FOR ALL STUDENTS
Mrs. NORTHUP. Mr. Chairman, I will tell you, the minute my buzzer goes off, I have to stop in mid-sentence and leave, so I hope you will bear with me. I am sort of trying to be in two places at once. But I did want to come back and ask some questions because I am very interested in this.
Notwithstanding the chairman's questions and some of the perspectives that Mrs. Cheney shared with us, I am very concerned that everybody that puts together post-secondary programs and school-to-work programs are in the 125 IQ range, and think they understand what kids who are average or below-average intelligence need. And I sort of think it would be nice if everyone sort of adopted a child that struggles very hard in school to find out what it is really like. It would be like putting me in music classes to sing for 12 solid years. I would probably get better at singing, but it would be agony every single step of the way.
I feel that we do not do anything for those kids who valiantly work for 12 years to get through school, and in a sense come out able to go work at the mall or in a job that is very unexciting and very unchallenging, even though they are eager to work to their highest potential.
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You know, I have to say, while we talk about post-secondary and we do not use the word ''college'' anymore, when I look at the new programs that are funded by this Administration, almost all of them are dedicated to helping people who are able to reach for college and maybe financially struggle or who maybe are not reaching for college and ought to. But we are not creatively addressing the problems for those kids who are going to struggle.
As I see State after State being encouraged to set higher graduation standards, it is like some people refuse to believe there are some children that are not going to pass Algebra II, unless the schools fake it, unless the schools water it down so much. And what they really need to know is how to balance a checkbook, how to read an insurance form, how to fill out applications. And I am very discouraged at the rate we are going in this country because we are talking about challenging kids that maybe have not been challenged enough, but we are failing to really address those students that are below average.
I appreciate what you said about engaging them in the workplace earlier. You are right. If you had me in singing lessons all the time, at least going to see an opera might be a better introduction into music than trying to pull out of me a talent that simply does not exist. I think that to reassure these students that there is an important place for them in this world is just a job that we do monstrously, and I do not see the budget in this direction addressing that in any way.
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND SCHOOL-TO-WORK FOR ALL STUDENTS
Ms. MCNEIL. I do not know if you remember, but you and I had a little bit of this conversation last year, because I have five kids, two of whom are adopted, and two kids who dropped out of school and did not finish high school, and really struggled hard. One of my daughters now is living in Newport News and she is married, and she is interested in cosmetology. And we sometimes make fun of cosmetology, but she is really interested in it and she wants to pursue it. And I want to encourage my kids to do whatever they want to do. So I understand what you are saying.
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There are a couple things I want to say. First of all, I think that one of the really exciting things I see in vocational education and in our school-to-work initiative is that some kids now understand how they can do some of this math and science that they did not think they could do before because it is presented to them in a different way. So I think we have to continue to think about new ways of instructing children, think about how they learn and what they are interested in learning, and try to play to those strengths rather than hammering home their weaknesses to them all the time.
So I think that some of our new instructional practices are really helping students see that sometimes, though they thought they were stupid, they really can learn this stuff. It is just they could not learn it in the way they were being taught it before. So that is, I think, positive.
We do stress post-secondary education. We do stress having the strong foundation skills, such as being able to read by the end of third grade. I do not think one of my daughters ever really got reading by the end of third grade. She certainly did not get a lot of math by the end of eighth grade. By that time, her teachers had given up on her in many cases. And so she was just sort of pushed on through. So I think those basic skills and the emphasis on them is very important.
I think it is important to help students think about getting post-secondary training. My daughter, who dropped out of school, now has to get a GED before she can get into a school and get some additional training. And even if you are going into cosmetology today, you have to know a little bit about the science of it, the math of it. So she is going to need that kind of help.
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But having said that, there are plenty of studentsI see them every day when I go visit high schoolswho have no interest in going on to post-secondary, but they are getting very good preparation in some vocational courses for the future and to be able to go out and start earning when they leave high school.
I do not see us as neglecting that group of students. I see us as trying to lay a good foundation, provide opportunities for all students who want to go on to post-secondary, provide kids with support to do better in school, and change the instruction in school in a way that helps more of them to be able to achieve the kinds of things that they are interested in.
Mrs. NORTHUP. Well, I agree that that is important. I think that anything you could do to help me sing better would be great. But the fact is that we are still trying to find a way for them to fit into our model. And all those things are importantto be able to write a letter, to be able to do those thingsbut I do not believe that this budget reflectsnor do we really understand what about a third to halfmaybe a third to a fourth of our students, what school means to them. And the important thing is that they are productive, constructive members of our society, and that they believe they can have constructive lives the rest of their life. And I guess I do not think that in the majority of high schools today the bottom third or fourth of our kids, in terms of academic talent, believe that, nor do we structure a school that inspires and excites them for their unique place in our society.
Ms. MCNEIL. Well, having been in a lot of high schools, I have to agree with you right now. There are kids that fall through the cracks. I think some of the innovative things that we are doing in vocational education and school-to-work are turning that around, not that everybody has to go on to get a doctorate, but that kids can have opportunities to do a wide variety of things and school can be interesting and challenging and a positive experience for them.
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That is what I see coming out of our school-to-work initiative and out of our vocational education program.
Mrs. NORTHUP. Well, part of it is a rethinking of some things. I do not know whether it is a difference in degree or what we do. But we keep putting pressure on more math classes, more foreign language classes. We have some really good models and some really good school-to-work programs, and some high schools that are magnet schools. But when no kid can graduate without having an increasing numberand I know I raised this with you last yearan increasing number of math credits and foreign language credits and everything, they end up not having any time to go spend in the vocational schools because they have to take two years to pass Algebra I.
INTEGRATING VOCATIONAL AND ACADEMIC COURSE WORK
Ms. MCNEIL. One thing we are trying to do in vocational education now is to integrate some of the academics into the vocational course work. I was in a classroom the other day where kids were fixing a VCR, which I thought was impressive since I cannot even program mine, but they were doing this. They are using physics, they are using trig, and they are using some calculus. They hardly even know it, but they knew it when they went back to math class. But it is put in a setting for them and presented to them in a way that it is part of something that they are interested in.
So I think trying to integrate some of those academics into the technical course work does get at that issue of time to do things.
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One thing I would like to do is share with you information on some of these high schools that we have in our new American high schools initiative, because their whole focus is to not cream kids. Their whole focus is to help all students in those schools be successful, and they have done some really innovative things. I have visited a lot of them, and they have just average kids like my kids or your kidswell, I guess none of our kids are average, but basically they are doing some really remarkable things with kids, and the students love to come to school. Attendance goes up very quickly when they start doing things differently.
These are the kinds of schools I would like to send my own children to. The students are excited about going there. And they are not elite schools. They are in rural areas, in inner cities, but they are doing something different for students that makes them feel valued and make them feel that they can be successful.
HISPANIC EDUCATION INITIATIVE
Mrs. NORTHUP. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Mrs. Northup. You made it through the whole 10 minutes.
Just a brief few additional questions, Ms. McNeil. Why does the Department propose a new $20 million adult education program for Hispanics? Over 40 percent of new entrants into adult education programs are seeking English as a second language services. Aren't Hispanics being adequately served under the Adult Education State Grant program? And if not, why not? What will this new program do that existing programs are not doing? And why can't we incorporate the elements of success into existing programs rather than creating new programs?
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Ms. MCNEIL. Well, that is a good question. Right now we are serving about 1.5 million adults in English as a second language programs. The 1990 census estimated that there were about 12 million adults for whom English was not their first language. And we actually estimate that by the year 2000 there may be as many as 17 million such adults in the country.
So we touch a very small percentage of adults who need our services. In fact, in the States that have the highest concentrations of adults for whom English is not their first language, we have long waiting lines to get into our programs. So there is a demand out there that we have not been able to meet.
There is a second issue around English as a second language programs for adults, and that is that, although there are good programs out thereand, as a matter of fact, we right now are funding a research project trying to examine what does make a good programthere is not a lot of research that has been done systematically that helps us understand how adults come to gain a second language. There has been a lot of research done on brain development, and we know that a lot of those language functions are developed very early. So when you get to be an adult, how do you learn a second language? What is the most efficient and effective way? We cannot keep adults in classes for 2, 3, and 4 years. They have family responsibilities. They have jobs.
We have got to figure out how to do this more effectively and efficiently, and we do not actually know a lot about how to do that.
Page 278 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 We think by funding a new demonstration program which has an evaluation component, which focuses on 10 or 15 sites, that we can study how they are doing this. We can experiment with a variety of new techniques. We can use technology, which we think is a very promising practice both to increase access to services and effectiveness of services, and we can learn more that will make our major investment more fulfilling.
That is what we are trying to do here. Before we ever propose spending more money on something, we really try to look to see whether there is a good, strong reason for it. And I think that in this case, there is, both in terms of the demand for services and in terms of what we need to know in order to provide better services. This investment is going to really help us do that.
Mr. PORTER. Will this new program require authorization?
Ms. MCNEIL. We can do it out of our national activities authorization in the current Adult Education Act, so, no, it will not.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Ms. McNeil.
Mr. STOKES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 279 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Secretary McNeil, nice to see you.
Ms. MCNEIL. Good morning.
Mr. STOKES. Regarding the role of proprietary schools in providing students with access to quality vocational education, and the highly technical skills that will be required in the 21st century, has the Department conducted any studies to assess the impact of these institutions in helping students make this transition, say, from welfare to work?
Ms. MCNEIL. Not that I know of, but, Tom?
Mr. CORWIN. Certainly not under vocational education, because up to this point, proprietary schools really have not participated in our vocational education programs. It is an issue before the Congress now as part of the pending reauthorization. I do not know, Tom, on higher ed if there have been studies of proprietary schools.
Mr. SKELLY. Not on helping in the transition from welfare to work that I am aware of. There was a change made in the appropriations bill last year that would allow independent students without dependents to get additional Pell grant funds and all campus-based student financial aid program participation. But I am not aware of an answer to your specific question.
TECH-PREP FUNDING REQUEST
Mr. STOKES. Okay. I note that under State grants your Department's fiscal year 1999 budget request provides a $3 million increase in funding for voc ed programs. Is that correct?
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Ms. MCNEIL. For Tech-Prep, yes.
Mr. STOKES. Is this funding sufficient for ensuring that all youth have access to quality vocational education?
Ms. MCNEIL. Yes.
Mr. STOKES. It is? Okay. Let me ask you about under your Tech-Prep, your budget request includes a $3 million increase for Tech-Prep. How will these funds enable States to extend the Tech-Prep programs to more schools and students?
Ms. MCNEIL. Well, of course, $3 million on top of $103 million is not a huge increase. We do not have an estimate of how many new students will be served with the $3 million, although I think we could make an estimate for you. But what I see is that States are going to use this to expand Tech-Prep programs to other schools.
Tech-Prep is run by consortia of community colleges and high schools. Often more than one community college and more than one high school participate in a consortia. This funding increase will enable schools to increase the number of consortia and increase the number of schools participating and expand the kinds of technical courses that are offered in schools.
WELFARE REFORM AND BASIC SKILLS
Page 281 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 Mr. STOKES. I want to go back to welfare reform for a moment. One result of welfare reform has been an increasing emphasis on work first. As such, the amount of resources available to help people on welfare get basic job skills training prior to entering the job market has been reduced.
During last year's hearing, you indicated that the Department has been considering how to help adult education providers and employers conduct more work-based literacy training.
Ms. MCNEIL. Yes.
Mr. STOKES. What has the Department done to increase adult literacy training?
Ms. MCNEIL. Well, we have done several things. We have jointly funded with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor a series of seminars for community colleges on how they can help provide both adult basic education and vocational training to welfare recipients, especially in situations where work first is the requirement that States have.
There are a lot of welfare recipients who were participating in post-secondary education or in adult education programs, only to find out that they might not be able to complete their degree because of the competing demands of working and trying to learn at the same time.
Page 282 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 1 Of 2 The first seminar we had was in Huntsville, Alabama, with the States of Tennessee and Alabama. They brought teams of community college, Labor Department, and HHS people together to try to come up with strategies in a work-first environment of helping adults continue their post-secondary training. So we are trying to work on this in that case on a very individual State-by-State, city-by-city basis.
We have also let State directors of both welfare and adult education know that they can use some of their adult education funds that the State provides as part of the match to gain resources for the $3 billion welfare job training program that the Department of Labor administers. That forges stronger partnerships between adult education and the welfare people because they are being able to use some adult education money to meet that match.
We have been working with community college presidents in general, trying to help them come up with some strategies for how to keep adults in post-secondary programs. We are going to fund, using our 1997 national activities money, a study of 10 to 15 sites in which vocational education training is being provided effectively to welfare recipients.
So we have got a number of activities underway to try to help States grapple with this issue of how to provide education and training to welfare recipients who are juggling lots of different demands. I think that the feedback that we are getting from our adult education providers is that there are a number of States in which they have really been successful now in working together with the welfare agencies and the labor departments to come up with some good strategies. And I would be happy to share with you some of the examples of States where they have been doing this, which we think represents promising practice. We have been trying to put those examples up on our Websites so other States can learn about them and emulate them.
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Mr. STOKES. Well, I am pleased that you are up on this particular important facet of this critical situation.
RESOURCES FOR ASSISTING WELFARE RECIPIENTS
Is this part of your budget adequate to address it?
Ms. MCNEIL. I did not plant that question. [Laughter].
Well, we are going to work hard to use these resources that we have requested to do what we can to promote this. You know, everybody could use more resources, but one of the things we try to do is use the resources that we have in an effective way.
Mr. STOKES. Well, I appreciate your answer. I asked this question because what you are doing in this area to help the States with what is a very thorny problem is very important.
Ms. MCNEIL. It is.
Mr. STOKES. And I think it is critical.
Ms. MCNEIL. It is true we have seen a drop-off in some States of participation in adult education, and we have seen a drop-off in some States of participation in community college training. But we are trying to come up with some creative solutions to that and help States see how they can help welfare recipients balance both.
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ADULT LITERACY RATES
Mr. STOKES. Lastly, regarding adult literacy, which some years ago on this subcommittee we talked about was a very real problemadult illiteracy, I suppose I should really say, What is the cureent overall situation?
Ms. MCNEIL. Well, it is still really serious, and it is a large problem. It is not so much illiteracy. There are only about 7 million adults, we estimate, in the country that absolutely cannot read and write. So that is, relatively speaking, a small number.
Mr. STOKES. Sure.
Ms. MCNEIL. But the bigger problem is the number of low-level literate adults. Just between the ages of 16 and 64, there are about 26 million adults who are at the very lowest level of literacy.
Now, we do not like to use grade numbers, but they sometimes help paint a picture. This is at or below the fifth grade level in reading, writing, and computing, 26 million adults. Then there are another 40 or so million adults who are at the second level of literacy.
The problem is compounded by the fact that, in order to work and be successful in our society today, you have to have a much higher level of literacy than you ever had to have before. So the bar is being raised at the same time that we have large numbers of people who did not make the first cut, and that is compounding the challenge. And I think it is that second challenge of having the bar being raised now that is making it difficult for employers to find people that can do jobs, for people to get jobs and keep jobs, for people who have jobs to be able to move up the career ladder. Because they may have some basic skills, but they do not have skills at a high enough level to be successful.
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Mr. STOKES. And the situation continues to get worse as we enter into this new millennium.
Ms. MCNEIL. It does, absolutely. Because now, in addition to just reading, writing, and computing, you need to have the technical skills, the computer skills. So we are putting a strong emphasis on technology in our adult education programs because we think technology can help adults learn faster, and we also think it is obviously an important tool for them to be comfortable with so that they can go and get jobs.
Mr. STOKES. Thank you, Madam Secretary.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PORTER. Thank you, Ms. McNeil. We very much appreciate your good answers to all of our questions. We have kept you a little over time. We apologize for that, and thank you for the find job that you are doing there.
Ms. MCNEIL. Thank you.
Mr. PORTER. The subcommittee will stand briefly in recess.
[The following questions were submitted to be answered for the record:]
"The Official Committee record contains additional material here."
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Next Hearing Segment(2)