EXAMINING THE 21ST CENTURY COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTERS PROGRAM
SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD,
YOUTH AND FAMILIES
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
HEARING HELD IN WASHINGTON, DC, FEBRUARY 10, 2000
Serial No. 106-85
Printed for the use of the Committee on Education
and the Workforce
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS *
OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN MICHAEL CASTLE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, WASHINGTON, DC. *
OPENING STATEMENT OF RANKING MEMBER DALE KILDEE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, WASHINGTON, DC *
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE STEVE GUNDERSON, DIRECTOR OF THE WASHINGTON OFFICE, THE GREYSTONE COMPANIES, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA *
STATEMENT OF MR. MICHAEL COHEN, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, WASHINGTON, DC *
STATEMENT OF DR. MARIANNE RUSSELL KUGLER, PROGRAM OFFICER, CHARLES STEWART MOTT FOUNDATION, FLINT, MICHIGAN *
STATEMENT OF MS. LYNNE VAUGHAN, DIRECTOR, MEMBERSHIP AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT GROUP, YMCA OF THE USA, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS *
APPENDIX A - WRITTEN OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN MICHAEL CASTLE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, WASHINGTON, DC *
APPENDIX B - WRITTEN OPENING STATEMENT OF RANKING MEMBER DALE KILDEE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, WASHINGTON, DC *
APPENDIX C - WRITTEN STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE STEVE GUNDERSON, DIRECTOR OF THE WASHINGTON OFFICE, THE GREYSTONE COMPANIES, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA *
APPENDIX D - WRITTEN STATEMENT OF MR. MICHAEL COHEN, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, WASHINGTON, DC *
EXAMINING THE 21ST CENTURY COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTERS PROGRAM
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2000
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD, YOUTH, AND FAMILIES
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:00 a.m., in Room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building, Castle Michael N. Castle, (Chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Chairman Castle, Reps. Goodling, Petri, Schaffer, Kildee, Mink, Woolsey, Romero-Barcelo, Sanchez, Ford, and Wu.
Staff: Becky Campoverde, Communications Director; Cindy Herrle, Professional Staff Member; Patrick Lyden, Professional Staff Member; Krisann Pearce, Professional Staff Member; Shane Wright, Legislative Assistant; Dan Lara, Press Secretary; and Holli Traud, Staff Assistant.
OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN MICHAEL CASTLE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, WASHINGTON, DC.
Chairman. Castle. The Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth, and Families will come to order. We are holding this hearing today to hear testimony on the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program. Under Committee Rule 12(b), opening statements are limited to the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member of the Subcommittee, Mr. Kildee of Michigan, which is okay because there is nobody else here yet.
We want to start this on time because we are going to have votes today -- a lot of irregular votes today. We are going to have to run back and forth, so I am going to do my opening statement sort of quickly here. If we have time, we will get Mr. Kildee's opening statement in. Then we will have to go vote and come back for your statements. I apologize for this.
We would like to welcome all of you here, obviously, particularly the witnesses. We will be having a series of these hearings to learn more about the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Today we will focus on 21st Century Community Learning Centers, a program that designates schools as community centers and provide for the needs of all members of our rural and inner city neighborhoods.
A mere blip on the radar screen 5 short years ago, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers have literally exploded on the Federal scene, both in terms of interest and funding. In fiscal year 1995, this program was funded at $750,000. This year it is $453 million. This is growing faster than Intel's stock is growing. The President is proposing to increase it to $1 billion for fiscal year 2001.
Let me just say, parenthetically, I am going to have some questions about this. I could not be a stronger supporter of this program, but I never thought it was going to happen quite like this. I have serious questions about that. As many of you already know, studies show that juvenile crimes go up 300 percent after 3:00 p.m., and half of all juvenile crime occurs on weekdays between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
These same studies show that students that participate in productive after school programs feel safer, and enjoy school more, and make academic gains. Yet, the program we have before us today appears very different from the program I voted for in 1994. For that reason, I think we need to take a moment and rethink what we are trying to accomplish with this program.
Fortunately, we have a panel of true experts here today to help us along the way. We have one distinguished guest I almost recognize. I have seen him someplace before, but maybe when we get the introduction we can pinpoint who he is. It is my hope that we can have a frank discussion about the program.
Specifically, I have some questions that I would like to get answered. These are questions which I think are by and large not answered. While I am a strong believer in the program and I have seen it work first-hand in Delaware, I would like to see more data and more basis as how this is working across the Country and what particular is working. So, what is working when it comes to this program and what is not, is the basic question that I have.
How do we evaluate performance of this program, other than just word of mouth? Has the original intention of this program changed? If so, do we agree with that change? Are we getting the best buying for the taxpayers' buck and is that buck too big, even if we are getting the best bang for it, particularly in terms of the increase for this year. Given the newness of the program, I am especially pleased to welcome you all here today.
I am hopeful you can provide us with some direction as we look to preauthorize this program in a way that best serves our children and our communities. At this time, if he feels we have time, I will yield to Mr. Kildee. You need to understand, he has the longest consecutive voting record in the House. He likes to get over to the Floor rapidly. I do not want to hold him up from that.
So, if he is comfortable going ahead, we will do his statement now.
[The statement of Mr. Castle follows:]
WRITTEN OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN MICHAEL CASTLE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, WASHINGTON, DC SEE APPENDIX A.
OPENING STATEMENT OF RANKING MEMBER DALE KILDEE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, WASHINGTON, DC
Mr. Kildee. I will abbreviate my opening statement, Mr. Chairman and ask unanimous consent so it may be submitted for the record. I really want to thank you for having this hearing. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program is an excellent program. It has done so much, particularly in the after school area, with the consolidation of services of the school.
We have the significant appropriation proposed by the President this year, coupled by other money, including funds from the Mott Foundation of Flint, Michigan. Dr. Marianne Kugler from the Mott Foundation is here this morning. I want to take time to introduce her later. In 1935, the Mott Foundation in Flint really began to do something very similar to the focus of todays 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program. They really planted the seeds for this in 1935.
I was a bit younger then. I remember my family. We lived in the East Side of Flint and were not very rich. We benefitted so much from the program of community schools, which Mr. Charles Stuart Mott began there. I am so happy that Bill White, the head of the Mott Foundation, your boss, has been so closely associated with this program, contributing $83 million over the next 6 years to this program.
I think he is ready to give some more. He and Secretary Riley are very, very close on this issue. So, I will submit my entire testimony in the record.
[The statement of Mr. Kildee follows:]
WRITTEN OPENING STATEMENT OF RANKING MEMBER DALE KILDEE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, WASHINGTON, DC SEE APPENDIX B
Chairman. Castle. Thank you very much, Dale. We will certainly have you introduce Dr. Kugler. Let me try to explain to you what is happening. The word has gotten to us that there may be a series of procedural votes now. This is always a difficult time when you are trying to have a hearing. Mr. Gunderson and Mr. Cohen are pretty familiar with this. For Dr. Kugler's sake and Ms. Vaughan's sake, what this means is you are going to have quorum calls and all kinds of interesting things going on, which means that we have to be on the Floor to vote, which unfortunately, and for all of the witnesses and all of the people who are here, it will delay being able to continue this panel.
If we can come back for awhile and take testimony, and then go vote again, we will do that. But it may be a situation where votes follow one another. So, I am going to tell you now that we are going to break for what is a vote. I would not be at all surprised if we do not stay over there for a little bit and vote again, or whatever. We will try to keep the staff informed and try to keep you informed.
We have one panel today. So, hopefully once we get going we can move fairly rapidly. I apologize to you, but unfortunately this happens from time-to-time. You should have been here yesterday when we had a hearing. We did not have any votes yesterday. It was a very simple way to have a hearing. So, we will stand in temporary recess. Again, I apologize. Hopefully, we can get to it and get through it.
Chairman. Castle. By the way, before we go on, I would like to ask for unanimous consent that we can leave the record open for 14 days until all Members' statements and witness' statements can be made a part of the record.
There is no objection. So, ordered.
We have four distinguished witnesses. The good news, by the way, is we may not have notes for awhile, at least until an hour from now, so we can get some work done here. To introduce our first witness, I am going to turn to the Chairman of the Full Committee, Mr. Goodling.
Mr. Goodling. Well, I have already told him that I am glad to get him on the other side of the table. We can really drill him.
Chairman. Castle. The other side, like where he is now or where he was before?
Mr. Goodling. Where he is now. Well, I am very pleased to introduce former Congressman Gunderson. I always said when he was a Member of the Committee that I do not know anyone that was more prepared at all times. He also always had all of the alternatives. Now, sometimes I did not appreciate the alternatives, but he always had an alternative to every other proposal that there was.
Of course, he was a great Member of this Committee and worked very effectively in a bipartisan fashion. Sometimes he would sneak down to the White House when I did not know it either. But we are very happy to have Steve testify today as a wonderful Member of Congress in the past.
Chairman. Castle. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
The second witness is Michael Cohen. He may be the person that Steve was sneaking off to see, so far as I can ascertain. He is the Assistant Secretary of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the United States Department of Education in Washington, D.C. He has been involved in education at various levels for a number of years, and has an abiding interest in that. We appreciate Michael being here today.
I am going to turn to Mr. Kildee for Dr. Kugler's introduction.
Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
It is really a great pleasure to introduce Dr. Marianne Kugler from the Charles Stuart Mott Foundation of Flint Michigan. Dr. Kugler is a long-time friend. She has received degrees and completed post-graduate work from the University of California-Berkeley, UCLA, the University of New Mexico, and Michigan State University where she received her Doctorate.
She lives in my hometown of Flint, Michigan, and is currently the Program Officer for the Foundation's $83 million partnership initiative with the U.S. Department of Education aimed at providing technical assistance to 21st Century Program grantees.
The work of the Foundation, and her work in particular, has been essential in both expanding the quantity and quality of local programs. I also want to introduce a student which Dr. Kugler has brought with her, Chantal Cotton, from Longfellow Middle School in Flint, Michigan. Chantal was a participant in a 21st Century Community Program. We are very pleased to have you here, Chantal, and look forward to both of your testimonies this morning.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Castle. Chantal, you sort of half stood up. Why do you not stand up so everybody can see who you are? You are going to become famous before the day is over. Thank you.
Our last witness is Ms. Lynne Vaughan, who is the Director of Membership and Program Development Group of the YMCA of the USA in Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Vaughan has been a YMCA professional for 17 years. I have been a YMCA user for many years. You are a professional and involved in these programs. We appreciate that as well.
Because two of our witnesses are relatively new, let me state what is going to happen now. Each of you will be given 5 minutes. The emphasis is on 5 minutes, in which to present your case. That does not mean you have to read every bit of your testimony. That is made a part of the record anyhow. You have a little new light system in front of you.
It should be green for 4 minutes, yellow for 1 minute, and red thereafter. Hopefully, by the time it turns yellow, you are starting to think about wrapping up, and by the time it turns red, you are in your last sentence, or close to it, or whatever. This is so we can give all of the various Members who will come and go the chance to ask questions. Everybody has other schedules, as you know.
So, we really do need to try to keep these hearings moving. It is not because what you are saying is not important. The record will contain that and the questions that the Members want to ask as well. We will go in order, starting with Mr. Gunderson and working across here. Then after that is concluded, each of the Members will have 5 minutes with the same lighting system, as a matter of fact, in which to ask questions.
I, theoretically, theoretically only, as the Chairman of this Subcommittee have the right to gavel witnesses down, which is a little easier than the Members. They get a little difficult sometimes with this, but we will try to keep things moving. Having said that, we want to learn as much as we can about these programs. We have some serious questions that we want to get answered. So, the intent and purpose of what we are doing today is of vital significance to all of us.
Mr. Petri. Mr. Chairman.
Chairman. Castle. Mr. Petri.
Mr. Petri. Mr. Chairman, I just want to briefly, and I am sure others have already done so, welcome our esteemed former colleague and gentleman from the neighboring District of the Dairy State to the other side of the table here this morning.
Mr. Castle. Is there anybody left who wants to introduce Mr. Gunderson today before we go on?
Mr. Kildee. Hi Steve.
Mr. Castle. Steve was a tremendous asset to this Committee. In fact, that is one of the reasons I ever was on this Committee. He asked me to show an interest and I did. We appreciate his coming back today. We will start with Mr. Gunderson.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE STEVE GUNDERSON, DIRECTOR OF THE WASHINGTON OFFICE, THE GREYSTONE COMPANIES, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA
Mr. Gunderson. Thank you very much, Chairman Castle.
I do hope that this is a hearing and not a roast. While Chairman Goodling still calls me, son, I must tell you that I am old enough to now reflect on some very warm memories of this Committee, its Chairs, and its accomplishments. More importantly, I think the history is important because it sets the foundation for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers and what I want to say this morning.
I recall the commitment of Carl Perkins to assist those who suffer grinding poverty, the courage of Gus Hawkins to reform Federal programs that had lost their original, the leadership of Bill Ford, the life-long learning that carries citizens into the global economy, the discipline of Bill Goodling to demand that appropriations are investments and must therefore pay a powerful return when they are made.
During the farm crises of the 1980s, as my friend and colleague, Tim Petri has suggested, in the ruralest location of the 1990s, we in rural Wisconsin, and I think across the Country, understood that resources were at a premium. As a Republican, I have always believed that we need to look for ways to maximize both public and private resources, and try to assist rural America in their same capabilities.
Rural America does not have YMCAs or health clubs. Rural America's libraries are small, financially strapped, and outdated. City Halls are typically nothing more than a small series of offices. Only the most fortunate communities enjoy anything close to an auditorium. No one, except the schools, had anything close to computer centers.
I was always amazed at how, in the summer, our public school buildings stood largely empty. I wondered why communities had two poor libraries: the city's and the school's. I could not understand why each summer my high school library had hung sheets over rows of books waiting for the fall, and why we could not find ways to better utilize these facilities.
This was the background which led me in 1994 to develop and offer legislation creating the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. We wanted to offer both schools and communities an incentive to rebuild, remodel, and redesign their facilities and their programs to maximize the use of such precious resources on a year-around basis for the greatest number of citizens.
My concerns this morning, however, began with a disclaimer, as I have told Mr. Cohen of Secretary Riley. I have great admiration for him. I come here this morning because I am not sure the Department has fully implemented the program as we intended. Allow me some examples. The Department, I think in their literature, in their advocacy, misrepresents the program's mission. When they say, the focus of the Program is to provide expanded learning opportunities for children in a safe and drug-free, supervised environment, I reflect that is laudable, but it is not correct.
The legislation articulates 13 different activities that can be funded through the act. To qualify for a grant, applicants must carry out at least four of the options. Second, as you look at the locations of the programs, it suggess that they probably missed their primary purpose. The Department should be commended for their efforts to balance disbursement of funds between inner city and rural schools.
When only 9 percent of the grantees are high schools, I think we are missing that important component, which is to transfer those learning centers into the adult population. Third, I think the Department's competitive priorities are not consistent with the program's intent. The Secretary, while he has the authority to do so, and has done so, I think in many ways those priorities contradict the philosophy and intent of the program.
Therefore, I would encourage this Committee to do two things. Redesign the program to focus exclusively on students in need, or simply clarify to the Department, through the legislation, that this program is to assist communities in putting facilities and programs in the educational service of the entire population.
I obviously believe that the program should focus on the community's population. But if you conclude this is not a need or a priority, then have the courage to repeal the act and simply redirect funds for its Title I, to after school, to safe and drug-free schools, or other programs. So, as you do your reauthorization, I would encourage you to consider the following items.
I encourage an assessment of the program's outcomes and the community's needs. I believe a couple of different studies would be in order in this regard. Second, I would encourage you to ask the GAO to review the program for duplication. When we have this kind of funding, it is essential that we not be accused of duplication down the road.
Third, I would encourage now with the resources available to look at the issue of formula funding to the States. The fact is that when you are talking of a half- billion to a billion dollars, I am not sure many of these communities most need to compete on a nationally competitive basis. Finally, I would encourage the Committee to either include in the legislation specific performance standards, or mandate the development of such standards by the Department.
On the walls of one of our Greystone Offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in a conference room is this saying, "Whichever hired workers, and human beings came instead." In the Year 2000, human beings need life-long education. I am convinced this legislation is more vital today than it was 5 years ago.
[The statement of Mr. Gunderson follows:]
WRITTEN STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE STEVE GUNDERSON, DIRECTOR OF THE WASHINGTON OFFICE, THE GREYSTONE COMPANIES, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA SEE APPENDIX C
Chairman. Castle. Thank you, Mr. Gunderson; Mr. Cohen.
STATEMENT OF MR. MICHAEL COHEN, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, WASHINGTON, DC
Mr. Cohen. I want to thank Chairman Castle, Chairman Goodling, Mr. Kildee, and other Members of the Committee for the opportunity to testify before you this morning about 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program. I will be brief and within the time period. I have three main points that I would like to make.
First of all, there is a tremendous need throughout the Country for high quality after school programs. Secondly, this program, the 21st Century Program is sound. It is strong. It is moving in the right direction. Thirdly, the Administration's proposal, the President's proposal, to increase funding for it, as well as the suggestions we have made in the reauthorization proposal will keep the program moving forward in the right direction.
Let me elaborate on those. Fist of all, there is indeed a tremendous need for high quality after school programs throughout the Country. Seventy-percent of married couples with children ages 6 to 17 work outside of the home. The figures are even higher for children who have just one parent in the home. The estimates are that between 5 and 15 million children go home to an empty house after school. They truly are home alone.
The demand for after school programs clearly exceeds the current supply. In some areas, urban areas, according to a GAO study, there is only enough supply to meet 20 percent of the demand. We have seen in our own administration of the 21st Century Program, in the last year along, in fiscal year 1999, more than 2,000 local communities requested more than $900 million in assistance. We were able to provide $93 million in new funding in that competition.
So, there is a huge demand for funds that we are not able to meet at the current levels. We know that quality after school programs make a difference where we can provide them. High quality after school programs, children who are in those programs have better peer relations and emotional adjustment, better grades and conduct in school, more academic and enrichment opportunities.
They spend less time watching TV. They have lower incidences of drug use, violence, and pregnancy. High quality programs pay off for students. We think the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program is doing good for students and their families now. Right now, with funds that have been spent through fiscal year 1998 and fiscal year 1999, the program currently serves approximately 600 communities and 2,100 schools.
It provides services to more than 500,000 students and more than 250,000 adults. With the additional $453 million that Congress provided last year, we expect the program to serve almost 4,000 schools, more than 800,000 children and almost 400,000 adults in the next school year. So, it is making a difference for many people. This is a program that focuses on quality. It is a competitive program. You have to go through a rigorous review process in order to get funded.
We do not fund applications that score below 95. At least we have not yet. So, they are very high quality proposals. These programs force a strong partnership between schools and their communities. There must be a partnership in order to get funded. The grantees, as Mr. Gunderson pointed out, are required to carry out at least four of 12 or 13 activities provided for in the statute that range from literacy education, senior citizens programs, summer and weekend school, day care services for children, et cetera, et cetera.
There is a wide array of purposes. Now, in administering the program, the Secretary used his authority to establish an absolute priority for programs that include an array of services required by the statute, but they must include activities that offer significant expanded learning opportunities for children and youth in the community, and activities that contribute to reduce drug use and violence.
We think that was the right priority for the Secretary to set because it reflects our Nation's values, protect our children and keeping them safe, and helping them succeed in school. We would point out that this focus on after school programs has been critical to the success of 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
It has been critical to securing the bipartisan support for increased appropriations. At the local level it has been critical to capturing the attention of local communities and opening schools for a broader array of services and clients. Let me take 31 seconds and tell you what we know about what current grantees are doing. First of all, the grantees form partnerships, strong partnerships with their communities.
Nearly 90 percent have partnerships with community-based organizations, 71 percent with Government agencies, 63 percent with businesses, 47 percent with local law enforcement agencies, 34 percent with libraries and museums. There is are broad community partnerships. They provide an array of services that students and parents say they need and want: help in reading, math, science, recreational activities, music, and art.
Eighty-percent of the programs provide services to adult members of the community as well. So, there is a wide array of services, both to children and adults. One important factor that is key to the success of this program is the partnership that the Education Department has been able to establish with the Mott Foundation. I will leave it to Dr. Kugler to describe that in her 5 minutes.
I want to just express the support of the Secretary and every one of us in the Education Department for the strong partnership that we have been able to form with Mott, which is key to the success of the program and ensuring quality in the programs that we fund.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
[The statement of Mr. Cohen follows:]
WRITTEN STATEMENT OF MR. MICHAEL COHEN, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, WASHINGTON, DC SEE APPENDIX D
Chairman. Castle. Thank you, Mr. Cohen. Dr. Kugler, I hope you are getting ready to say what he said you were going to say, since he sort of previewed it all for you here. Whatever you want to say, you feel comfortable.
STATEMENT OF DR. MARIANNE RUSSELL KUGLER, PROGRAM OFFICER, CHARLES STEWART MOTT FOUNDATION, FLINT, MICHIGAN
Dr. Kugler. Thank you, Chairman Castle, and Chairman Goodling, and Mr. Kildee. It is a privilege to be here. The Charles Stuart Mott Foundation has been active in the development of community schools for more than 60 years. The Founder of the Foundation, Mr. Charles Mott, was a principal investor in and founder of General Motors who lived in Flint, Michigan.
During the depression, Mr. Mott noticed the many youths who spent their time on street corners and in vacant lots playing ball, smoking, and sometimes getting into serious trouble. At a suggestion from the then-Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Manley, Mr. Mott gave his first small community schools grants to encourage schools to stay open after regular school hours so that these youth would have somewhere to go.
From that small beginning, after school programs have remained the key entry point to the community schools movement. The Foundation legacy is one of belief that schools are not just critical elements of a community, but that its schools are owned by the community, and therefore are the community, its families, and children.
This is the time when children and youth are most likely to be unconnected, this after school time. For us, that is an entry point into community schools. Given this history and the legacy of work in this field, the partnership with the C.S. Mott Foundation and the Department of Education is a natural sharing of commitment. The work of the Foundation in supporting the development of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers is primarily in the area of training and technical assistance.
The work involves three aspects: developing high quality, encouraging sustainability, and ensuring access and equity for the hard to reach and high needs communities. One of the recent shifts in the thinking of the Foundation, under the leadership of Mr. William White, is that community schools should emphasize academic learning as a key part of any effort, both in school and in the after school efforts.
Especially in low income communities where the closure of the learning gap is our first imperative, that emphasis is critical. Among the activities the Foundation has supported in partnership, have been a variety of efforts in training. I would like to call your attention to the Bidders' Conferences. These conferences provide interested school districts and community-based organizations with information about the initiative and how to apply research findings, common elements, and examples of positive practice.
Last year, 7,000 people attended these conferences. This year, the conferences are occurring in all 50 States, including your States, and more than 12,000 people are expected to participate. Another type of activity supported by the Mott Foundation is that of research and evaluation. In the early days of this partnership, a paper was written by Dr. Fashola of Johns Hopkins in which she noted the lack of research on after school programs.
She also noted, however, that when such programs were closely tied to the school day, there appeared to be some evidence of improved academic achievement. Based on her work, an Evaluation Task Force was formed to stimulate the development of an evaluation base for the after school field. That group has met regularly for 18 months, addressing research concerns, advising on research, and hearing findings.
I call your attention to some of the findings at this point. While we do not yet have a longitudinal study and we know that we have a lot to learn yet, even in the early stages, we have been able to document both academic impact and increased safety for communities. What the evaluation findings have done is begin the research base. We know we need more.
It is also important to notice that we have done polling of the public on this issue over 2 years now. The voters have indicated very strong support, both years, with an overwhelming majority saying that there is some type of organized activity for teens and children that must go on after school every day. It is important to note that there is no different between parents and non-parents on this issue. I would like to also call your attention to the research we have done most recently in which we found that voters were supportive of after school programs, both for schools and by CBO groups, but preferred to have their tax dollars and the location of the program be schools. I am now going to give my few seconds left to my young friend, a leader in the 21st Century Program, who will read the poem that she wrote about the program. Chantal.
Chairman. Castle. Could you come up to the table and use the microphone so we can all hear the poem. None of us are poets up here.
Ms. Cotton. The 21st Century Community Programs are very educational. They are fun, but they teach you something with a lasting effect. They have their many different affects, depending on the person. The affect it had on me was this. I wrote a poem about it:
I come in not knowing what to expect, thinking I would have no fun, that I might be a reject. I am learning things that can help me in life and in class, and trying to remember the skills I learned in the past. Figuring out new things can be fun. Thank you.
Chairman. Castle. Thank you, Chantal.
Thank you, Dr. Kugler, or did you have any finishing remarks?
Dr. Kugler. No, Mr. Chairman.
[The statement of Dr. Kugler follows:]
WRITTEN STATEMENT OF DR. MARIANNE RUSSELL KUGLER, PROGRAM OFFICER, CHARLES STEWART MOTT FOUNDATION, FLINT, MICHIGAN SEE APPENDIX E
Chairman. Castle. You know when to quit, right, and on what note on which to quit. Thank you very much. Ms. Vaughan, we look forward to your testimony.
STATEMENT OF MS. LYNNE VAUGHAN, DIRECTOR, MEMBERSHIP AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT GROUP, YMCA OF THE USA, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
Ms. Vaughan. Thank you. Tough act to follow, I must say. As Director of Membership and Programming for the YMCA of the USA, I oversee the development of all YMCA programs nationwide, including After School programs, Welfare-to-Work Services, Alternative Education Opportunities, Mentoring, Tutoring, and Gang and Delinquency Prevention programs.
I am here this morning representing the YMCA movement, a nationwide network of 2,283 YMCAs serving over 17 million people, including 9 million kids in the out of school time. YMCAs operate 8,000 after school programs in this Country, 84 percent of which take place in school building. I am also here today to attempt to speak on behalf of other community- based organizations who also have a long history of providing quality after school programs.
This morning I want to tell you how Congress has the opportunity to take the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program and make it more powerful, more extensive, and give it a greater impact in communities across the Country. Please do not misunderstand me. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program is an excellent program. Its priority on after school programs is a giant step in the right direction.
I would like to applaud the commitment that Congress has made to our young people through continued support of this program, and urge you to maintain its after school priority. In order for this program to reach its full potential, we encourage Congress to expand the eligibility of grant recipients to include community-based organizations, also known as CBOs, and increase the collaboration requirements of all grantees. Here is what we believe. We believe the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program is limited in its scope and depth because the field of grantees is limited to schools.
Let us expand the eligibility to include agencies outside of the education community, recognizing that community organizations like YMCAs, Campfire Boys and Girls, and Boys and Girls Clubs play a significant role in the healthy development of young people. Let us put CBOs on equal footing with schools for these funds. Let us focus the funding on kids, not institutions.
We believe the full potential of this program can only be realized once a wide variety of organizations are eligible for funding. Aside from the benefit of increased competition, different community organizations bring fresh ideas and new ways of thinking to the table, which can have a very positive impact on learning.
For example, community organizations may be able to provide life skills training, gender-specific activities, and experiential learning that can reach kids who remain uninspired during the school day are turning their backs on academics.
We believe that expanding the edibility of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program will also mean that fewer areas will have to go without good programs. Often the schools in the poorest communities feel they do not have the resources, even to apply, much less operate a program after school. It is the kids in these communities who suffer the most. For it is likely that there are youth-serving organizations in these communities that have the capacity to operate a quality after school program, if they were only eligible to receive the funding. For example, the YMCA has launched a nationwide city agenda focused on at-risk kids in our urban core. In addition, YWCA's Girls Incorporated and Girl Scouts, among others are always to expand in under- served areas.
We believe more needs to be done to ensure true collaboration and real partnerships in local programs. The Department of Education has gone out of its way to encourage collaboration among grantees and their community partners. Again, this is a step in the right direction. However, we must recognize that many partners are brought to the table only as an afterthought or as a minor part of a large project.
In the last couple of years, it has not been uncommon to hear of 21st Century Programs where schools have written the grant, established the goals, devised the programs, set the schedule, and then only faxed the proposal to the YMCAs. Finally, we believe that expanding the eligibility to CBOs and increasing collaboration among all community partners will help ensure the sustainability of local programs.
Projects come and projects go, and so does funding. However, sustainability is always the issue at the end of the day. Successful collaborations have a shared sense of ownership and collective purpose which increases the likelihood that partners will stay involved over the long term.
I will end by saying that kids and families need more support than ever before. YMCAs, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Campfire Boys and Girls, all of us live in this world every day. We know that our children are at risk. Our greatest frustration is our inability to do more, to access more resources, to invest more heavily in programs, support youth and families. So, why not work together?
Let us expand eligibility and increase collaboration in the 21st Century Program. I am very pleased that Congress is making a serious commitment to after school programs. We look forward to working with you to help build strong kids, strong families, and strong communities across our Nation for many, many years.
[The statement of Ms. Vaughan follows:]
WRITTEN STATEMENT OF MS. LYNNE VAUGHAN, DIRECTOR, MEMBERSHIP AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT GROUP, YMCA OF THE USA, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS SEE APPENDIX F
Chairman. Castle. Let me thank all of you very much. I will yield myself the first 5 minutes for questioning. I have about a million questions. So, we are not going to do well on this at all. Dr. Kugler, I will start with you. I need brief answers if you can.
You used the expression "longitudinal study." I immediately turned to staff and said, exactly what is a longitudinal study? I assume it is a longer range study to see the benefits of something; if you could define that. My real question is, I assume that what you are saying with respect to the Mott Foundation or anybody else -- and I think Mr. Cohen could give the same answer -- what you are saying is that the studies are mostly of particular programs. They are a little bit anecdotal. I am not trying to put down these programs because I am in favor of them. The truth of the matter is I do not know if we really have much in the way of what I would call hard data to show that these things are really working. You can rebut that if you wish or tell me what a longitudinal study is.
Dr. Kugler. A longitudinal study is a study that occurs over time, so that one can say what happens to the youngsters after they leave the program, even as they grow up what the long-term impact is. That kind of study is one that we are investing in right now.
You are quite right, of course, there is not enough research information. On the other hand, it is important to know that in the last 3 months, we have begun to have real research. We have research from the University of Cincinnati, from UCLA, and from many other places that are very reputable in the research area. Those studies, while they are small and do not exist over time, have some things in common, including the fact that in each of the studies that I mentioned in my paper and just quoted to you, there is definite indication of academic improvement.
Also, student attendance improves in the core day with after school programs. That was shown in each of these studies. There was more parent involvement. So, we have some findings.
Chairman. Castle. We are interested in those findings. We are also interested in the more longitudinal aspect of it as it comes along.
Dr. Kugler. Yes.
Chairman. Castle. That is very significant in terms of our commitment.
Dr. Kugler. It certainly is.
Chairman. Castle. Let me turn to Mr. Cohen. I want to ask about something Steve said and something Ms. Vaughan said here. Basically, you heard from the YMCA, you know, why cannot it be opened to them as well? In Delaware, one out of seven children are in the Boys and Girls Clubs which have tremendous programs after school. By the way, I did not hear any of you mention this. I have been to a lot of these programs. I have been to almost all of them in Delaware. They all mention that the greatest problem they have is transportation, which was very interesting.
It was something I had not thought of because it discombobulates the transportation. That was a huge issue. But I am interested in the community-based organizations. Some of them do a tremendous job with children. In some instances, I think they can come into the schools. I do not know exactly how it works. How do you interpose that with the decisions you make on letting these programs go into schools and just schools?
Mr. Cohen. First of all, the statute right now limits eligibility to participate in the program to just schools.
Chairman. Castle. Would you want that changed?
Mr. Cohen. What we have proposed--
Chairman. Castle. That is what we do.
Mr. Cohen. First, I was answering your question about why we do it the way we do. What we have proposed is that up to 10 percent of the funds could go to community-based organizations. If in fact the school system in the area basically says it does not want to come in for the money and is in agreement working with the CBO, we think there needs to be very, very strong partnerships between schools and community-based organizations.
I tried to indicate that in my testimony. We think that the schools is in fact the right place to provide these services, physically or supervisory and physically. Supervisory and principally physically, although there are plenty of programs where students provide community service or are involved in community service activities.
So, the point is not that the students need to be sitting in the school building all of the time, but that is where they start. In fact, there are fewer transportation difficulties if that program is housed in the school than if it is housed someplace else.
Chairman. Castle. But you are listening to them and you are trying to listen to their concerns, which helps children, which is what we are all interested in, ultimately.
Mr. Cohen. That is correct. We are not opposed to community-based organizations.
Chairman. Castle. It is not a political thing or anything of that nature. It is just a question of how it will work.
Mr. Cohen. Right. We think the program ought to be housed in the school.
Chairman. Castle. I am running out of time. Let me ask the other question which Mr. Gunderson had proposed. I have looked at this legislation which, in the broad authorization is substantially different, as you know I am sure, than what is actually happening, which we are funding in Congress, and which you, the Department of Education, and the White House are pushing as part of an agenda of trying to help children.
This includes all kinds of things in the legislation. Senior citizen programs, for example, nutrition, and health programs, extending library services, et cetera; things well- beyond the after school, weekend, and summery type care. I would like your thoughts on that, particularly with the extra funding, which I am not going to have a chance to ask you right now, that you have sought.
I would like your views on whether these other needs should try to be accommodated or should we reorient the laws so that, as Mr. Gunderson mentioned, so at least you are doing what the law stated you should do, because that is so important. I mean, how does the Department look at this law which you are taking a very narrow slice of and working on much more specifically than perhaps everyone thought when the law was originally written?
Mr. Cohen. Fair enough. We are actually not taking a narrow a slice as you think we are. That is the law says that grantees need to provide activities in four out of the 13 categories. In fact, when a community develops an application, they need to do a needs assessment and look at that whole array of activities and decide what their priorities are.
Now, we have said, you know, our priority is to make sure that whatever else they do, there is after school services. So, we have focused it in that sense, but we continue to carry out the requirements of the law and insist that the grantees do that by providing an array of services. The performance we have so far suggest that they are. As I said in my testimony, 80 percent of the grantees are providing services to adults in one fashion or another. So, I do not think we have strayed as far as you might think we have.
Chairman. Castle. Well, I do not have time to follow-up on that.
Mr. Cohen. You will find a way.
Chairman. Castle. We will talk about it some more. At this point, I will yield to Mr. Kildee for his 5 minutes.
Mr. Kildee. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Marianne, in your testimony you mentioned the training conferences that the Foundation operates for potential applicants. How significant do you view these conferences in driving the quality of the applications?
Dr. Kugler. Very significant. I just came back from Mississippi where I was attending one of these sessions. Mississippi has had 250 people attend so far, these conferences in Mississippi. The part that I was most pleased with is many of the people who are attending were people who had never ever submitted proposals to the Federal Government on any issue before. This one meant so much to their community, that they were learning how to do it. I think we are making a dent in the question of access and equity.
Mr. Kildee. You also mentioned that the newest grantees are learning from the experiences of the initial grantees in 1998. How is the Foundation helping to disseminate the knowledge learned from the earliest grantees to the newer programs?
Dr. Kugler. We are doing it both face-to-face and in writing. The earliest grantees lead some of the training workshops that are occurring for the new grantees. In fact, this summer, there will be one of those. Next month there is going to be one too. They are experiencing things that they are able to share with others. In addition to that, there are a great many publications that are going out.
We also are establishing ambassadors that are among the earliest grantees who are going to be helping communicate their experiences to new programs, not just 21st Century Programs, but other programs that wish to start.
Mr. Kildee. Chantal, I taught at Central High School. I am not sure which high school you will be going to, but I taught at Central. I would have been very proud to have you in my class. Could you tell us how the program helped you and your classmates, particularly the after school program? Could you tell us something about how you feel the program has been effective?
Ms. Cotton. A lot more students have attended school. This will help some students to do their work and everything, but some of them just go to the programs after school. They have tutoring and other educational programs where it will help the student in class. If they have any homework, or they do not know how to do it, they can go and get help. So, it is helping them with their school work.
Mr. Kildee. So, there is emphasis upon the education portion, not just recreation. This really will help the students so they will do better in the regular school day.
Ms. Cotton. Yes. And now we have it from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. is educational programs. From 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. is recreational. So, that way if they want to go to recreational ones, they have to go to something educational first.
Mr. Kildee. Thank you Chantal. Thank you very much for your testimony. Let me ask Ms. Vaughan, you did not indicate in your testimony anything about the Administration's 10 percent set aside for CBOs. Is your concern that the 10 percent set aside may become a ceiling rather than a floor?
Ms. Vaughan. Yes, sir. As we have looked at the funding, one of the things that the YMCA believes strongly is that community-based organizations should be on equal footing and that, that 10 percent could truly become a ceiling. As we look at what is happening in communities across America, the access to funds can be critical outside of the schools as well as inside of the schools.
Our ability to work with children, and YMCAs are involved in 8,000 sites, mostly at schools across America. They do not meet all of the needs of all of the children it needs. So, we recommend that we become an organization that can be on equal footing.
Mr. Kildee. Steve, you also mentioned the need to establish performance indicators and outcome expectations. Could you tell us what specific outcomes you believe are important for us to examine?
Mr. Gunderson. First of all, I am one of those who believes that outcomes are essential in any education program and flexibility in how you achieve those outcomes is pretty important. So, I think what works in Flint, Michigan, would not be the same as what would work in Delaware or rural Wisconsin.
Having said that, I would re-emphasize what I have said earlier. Remember, this program right now is meant to be a 21st Century Community Learning Center. I think the key word there is ``learning.'' I thought the discussion that if you want recreation, you have to learn for an hour and a half. That begins to get the right focus on the outcomes. It is meant to be a learning center.
As I listened to the testimony, I reflected on Gus Hawkins and the example that I used here. Do not run the risk of losing this program because it becomes a community activity center versus a learning center. This really is meant to be community learning. That is why I really support keeping the priority through the LEAs and through the Education Department.
Mr. Kildee. So, you would agree that Chantal's description of the program was a good description that you would use most of the time?
Mr. Gunderson. Yes. I mean, the reality is that you are not always going to have an administration that is going to be as aggressive in their advocacy for funding as this Administration is, very bluntly. If you do not make sure that you have an outcome-based program that focuses on learning, you are going to see people come up here and say, you know, this is nothing more than glorified baby sitting.
I do not know if there is anybody at this table or anybody in this room who wants that. So, let us focus on the outcomes. That is why I think performance standards become really key to the long-term success of the program.
Mr. Kildee. Thank you.
Ms. Vaughan. Mr. Kildee, may I say something in response just for a moment please?
Mr. Kildee. Yes.
Ms. Vaughan. I think one of the things that needs to be taken into consideration in relationship to community-based organization is the role that they do place and play in the life of a child related to learning. Much of what can happen in a community-based organization after school program involves learning and recreation, and to really begin to look at some of the significant programs that have happened in community-based organizations that do, I believe, very strongly meet the qualifications of what the 21st Century Community Learning Centers is asking of the schools.
Again, in partnership, never apart from, but in very strong partnership with the schools. YMCAs and other CBOs can be the lead agency in some of these fundings.
Mr. Kildee. I thank you very much.
Chairman. Castle. The next individual to ask questions will be the Chairman of the Full Committee, Mr. Goodling.
Mr. Goodling. Mr. Secretary, you used a word that is near and dear to me, one that they have heard on this Committee for the last 6 years, more than they ever had hoped to. That word was "quality." So, having used that word, I am assuming then that you are very busy out there collecting data as to how well these grantees are doing and data beyond what they are telling you how well they are doing. Is that correct?
Mr. Cohen. Yes. But I think it is important to keep in mind the most significant funding that was provided through this program began in fiscal year 1998 when we went from $1 million up to $40 million. That means that the programs that we have funded in that first real wave of funding are now only 18 months old. So, it is not a lot of time to have a program in operation to have a rich array of results for you.
Here is what we are doing. Under GEPRA, we have established performance indicators for these programs. They deal with student achievement. They deal with student behavior. They deal with the satisfaction of participants. They deal with the extent to which programs provide a range of high quality educational, developmental, and recreational services.
We track and monitor what services are being provided. We make sure that the money is targeted to high-need communities. So, we are looking at essentially benefits for participants, the range and quality of services provided and whether the funds of getting where intended. Those are the performance areas in which we said are quality indicators. We have also just launched an evaluation of our own with Mathematica Policy Research that will be conducting an independent evaluation. So, we will not be dependent entirely on the reports that the programs provide themselves.
Finally, the partnership with Mott has been very important for building quality into the program. Starting at the very beginning with the Bidders' Conferences so that people really get a chance to understand what has been learned from research and experience about quality and build that into their applications. The competitive process itself is very important and helps ensure quality because it is a rigorous review. So, we are looking at quality and working on it in a number of ways.
Mr. Goodling. When a program goes from $40 million to $400 and some million in one year's time, I would hope someone has been looking at why it got that kind of a boost. It must have been outstanding. You do not get those kinds of boosts here normally.
I want to save a little time here for my former colleague because the Secretary has said you have not strayed very far from your are supposed to be. A former Congressman said you have strayed. So, let us hear from the Congressman as to where they have strayed to, and why, et cetera.
Mr. Gunderson. Well, Mr. Chairman, I would encourage you all to look at the law itself. If you look at, if I can refer to the specific code, section 10904(b), the priority. The language is very clear. It says, the Secretary shall give priority to applications describing projects that offer a broad selection of services which address the needs of the community.
That is why I gave you the testimony I did which says, either the Department needs to refocus this program on its original intent, which is broad-based community learning centers, or else you need to re-write the language so that it reflects the after school and children at risk kinds of programs.
I am not here condemning children at risk programs in any way, shape, or form. What I am simply suggesting is that there is the potential for a collision course. We are going to have a new administration next year at this time. We do not know which party it is going to be, but there will be a new administration. There will be new priorities. I think that is the kind of scenario which begs a new administration, in the development of their budget, to come to Capitol Hill and say, this is a program that has lost its mission and its vision.
As the author of the program, I would hate to see that happen. So, I am asking you to really use the reauthorization process to either redirect it towards its original intent, or else just scrap it. If you conclude that at risk programs are more important, I understand that. I will buy that priority and will not even be upset by it. I would be disappointed, but not upset. So, I would call your attention to look back at the law.
Mr. Goodling. I want to make sure that we do not do as we did in Head Start where we sat for 10 or 12 years and watched a program develop that became a baby sitting, poverty employment program, rather than what we intended it to become which was a reading readiness program and a school readiness program. It took us all that time to change the focus. I want to make sure that we do not do the same here. I will not be around to complain, but Kildee will be here forever. So, he will do it.
Mr. Gunderson. You might be on this side of the table when that happens.
Mr. Goodling. I doubt whether I will get invited back.
Dr. Kugler. Congressman, I would just like to add one thing. It is important to recognize that these programs do meet the community's wishes. The Mott Foundation has a long history in wanting the community to tell us what needs to be done in that community. All of our research says that right now this is the priority of the communities.
Mr. Goodling. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman. Castle. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The next questioner will be the distinguished woman from Hawaii, Ms. Mink.
Ms. Mink. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This has been a very fascinating and serious discussion because we are now talking about serious money. We need to really understand the comments that are made here, because they are widely varying.
I want to ask our former colleague, Mr. Gunderson, when you conceived this program and called it a community- based program, one would conclude that it means that there would be a very large component of participation of community-based organizations or community-identified organizations serving as the conduit through which these various learning programs would be organized.
So, I have some trouble in reconciling your view that this must be contained, initiated, organized, and administered by the schools with a strong academic educational target. If so, where is the community?
Mr. Gunderson. Thank you very much for the question. I was teasing Secretary Cohen that the Department needed to give me some kind of a favor coming here this morning and defending the Department because it was not totally my original intent when I was writing my testimony.
I think when we wrote the law, Congresswoman Mink, we wrote it, and certainly I advocated it from a real biased representing a rural District. I have to tell you that in rural America, we do not have that many community-based organizations. We certainly do not have that many YMCAs and those kinds of organizations that can be the vehicle for this. What we were looking at is how do we maximize the limited resources we have in those communities to serve the greater needs of that community.
As you look at the whole debate on the House Floor back in 1994 when Mr. Kildee accepted the amendment that made this all possible, we talked about the whole discussion of breaking down the barriers to schools for only those young people from age 8 to 18; that we had to look at the whole concept of life-long learning. So, those were the things which drove this at that point in time.
If you open this up to the community-based organizations, then I think there are a couple of things that become essential, one of which is that you make very sure that the Department, in the future, continue the balanced distribution between urban and rural that this Department is doing. I think that becomes key or else many of us would just lose out.
I think second, you then really need to be pretty specific in your performance standards in your assessments. What are the desired outcomes of that program so that, as Chairman Goodling says, you do not have a repeat of other programs where they become glorified baby sitting. I do not think that is the goal of anybody, even the community-based organizations.
Ms. Mink. I represent a total rural District, and agree with your observations that many of the programs that are common place institutions in center cities are totally absent in our communities. Your description of the school house being closed at 2:30 p.m., having no activities during most afternoons, evenings, and weekends, and being totally vacant in the summer are typical in our two Districts.
I can understand the frustrations that you have expressed, which I share. The activities in my state are concentrated in the City of Honolulu, and all of the other Districts are left out. So, I want to see this program generate the kinds of things that we applaud in urban centers, and drag them out kicking and screaming to our Districts as well.
So, it seems to me that having this centered in the school is an absolute requirement, because the first thing that came to your mind was that these schools are not being utilized. That is a perfect place to have it. If you center it in the schools, then people have to come to it to provide the services that the community needs.
But it seems to me that rather than having another thing that the school has to do, we should open the door for participation by other community entities that have previously considered coming to our Districts to help our kids. With this stimulus, they may very well send out their trained people to help our communities do the same things they do so well in the cities. So, that was my only point that it seems to me that we have to find a balance to this.
There is no question that after school programs are important. But the more important aspect I think is to bring programs into the school in the after hours, not just concentrating on the after school kind of thing for kids, but to utilizing the physical facilities there in a much more aggressive effort to benefit the whole community.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman. Castle. Thank you, Ms. Mink.
The distinguished gentleman from Colorado, Mr. Schaffer.
Mr. Schaffer. Thank you Mr. Chairman. I appreciate all of you being here I apologize that I was unable to be here for your testimony, although I have had a chance to skim through some of it. I appreciate it. I just want to get to the dollar figure here. I have seen a couple of these centers out in Colorado. I am not familiar with everything that they do or much less what the original intent and vision was supposed to be.
I have got to tell you that I am somewhat impressed by this letter I received from the Colorado Child Care Association. These are private providers of before and after school programs of all sorts who say essentially, why are you people in Washington spending more money on the Government version of what we provide? These are hard working folks who pay taxes, care about kids, and do a remarkable job in the State of Colorado.
I presume they have counterparts throughout the rest of the Country as well. What kind of input have these folks been able to have in an Administration proposing a request of a billion dollars of their money to be used in States to compete against them?
Mr. Cohen. Mr. Schaffer, I do not believe that there is any evidence that we are driving private providers out of the market or anything like that.
Mr. Schaffer. Here is some here. I will be happy to let you have that.
Mr. Cohen. I would be thrilled to look at it and we can follow-up with them. All of the evidence we have is that there is a tremendous unmet need. If the Congress provides the billion dollars that the President has asked for, we estimate will be able to provide after school care.
Mr. Schaffer. Let me stop you there because in most of these kinds of discussions that we have in any important industry in the Country, if there is not enough telephones so some people can talk to one another, we try to find ways to encourage the telephone industry to build more.
If there are not enough airlines to take people from point-A to point-B, we try to find ways to promote private companies to increase their presence and meet the demand. Why, in this case, are we deciding that if there is not enough service to meet the demand that Government is somehow a better answer than private providers, who would have a strong record of doing a better job frankly?
Mr. Cohen. One of the reasons that we think it is essential that the Federal Government invests in this is because the people who most need the services are not the ones who can afford to pay for it out of their own pockets.
Mr. Schaffer. Well, let me ask you. You know, today, we have a bill on the Floor right now to try to save an average married family $1,400 per year. What is the Administration's position on that?
Mr. Cohen. I am really not the person to speak to the Administration's position on tax policy, sir.
Mr. Schaffer. I will tell you. The Administration is going to oppose it and they have opposed it. I think our strategy and our focus ought to be to try to find ways to help people afford these kinds of services for their kids, rather than continue to take cash from people who are contributing to the economy, sending it here to Washington so we can distribute it under our idea of what demands need to be met out there in the free market, in a way that will cause some of these people to shut down.
Let me ask you. One of the things they claim here is they say, the program's statistics say that among the 1998 grantees, which is 824 schools, 50 percent of the centers are in middle schools, 35 percent are in elementary schools, 5 percent in high schools, and 10 percent in other school-owned facilities. Do those numbers sound about right to you?
Mr. Cohen. About right, yes.
Mr. Schaffer. They go on and they say, therefore as a practical matter, private providers are not being utilized, and children who attend private elementary or middle schools are not allowed to participate, regardless of their need. That does not seem like an erroneous observation in my opinion. If 35 percent of the funds are being spent in elementary schools, then we are clearly putting our resources in other places so these elementary school students are not really our top priorities, are they?
Mr. Cohen. I do not quite follow that.
Mr. Schaffer. Thirty-five percent in elementary schools. So, the elementary schools, as a practical matter, the children who attend private elementary schools or middle schools are not allowed to participate regardless of their need. So, just in terms of distribution, 50 percent is in upper grade levels. Do you follow me? Thirty-five percent is for the elementary school children, which is what I have heard voiced most today, is the greatest concern.
Mr. Cohen. Let me make a couple of comments, if I might. First of all, the distribution of funds to different grade levels, in other words, elementary, middle, or high school are decisions that are made at the local community level based on their assessment of their need. Secondly, school districts are perfectly free to contract with private providers to provide these services. They do not need to be provided by the school. They can be provided by community- based organizations.
Mr. Schaffer. Is there a requirement that they pay market rates?
Mr. Cohen. That they pay market rates?
Mr. Schaffer. That the schools pay market rates.
Mr. Cohen. I would have to check. I do not know.
Mr. Schaffer. I do not think there is.
Mr. Cohen. It is certainly not a requirement that a provider provides services for below its rates.
Dr. Kugler. Congressman Schaffer, I do not know about Colorado, but I was in Connecticut 2 weeks ago speaking to the Connecticut Association of Child Care Providers who are very close partners with the Mott Foundation. I asked those child care providers how many of them were partners in school programs and it was 80 percent in Connecticut.
Mr. Schaffer. May I ask one more question, Mr. Chairman?
Chairman. Castle. Yes.
Mr. Schaffer. These funds are only available if you send your kid to a Government school. Am I right?
Mr. Cohen. No, not at all.
Mr. Schaffer. If I send my kid to a private school?
Mr. Cohen. Your child can participate in one of these programs, absolutely.
Mr. Schaffer. Is that right? I did not know.
Mr. Cohen. Yes, sir.
Mr. Schaffer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That was my last question.
Chairman. Castle. Thank you, Mr. Schaffer. Mr. Kildee and I try to run an efficient Subcommittee here. We try not to have too many rounds of questions because people have schedules, but you all provoked a few things that need addressing. So, I am going to ask a few more questions. We will stay within the 5 minutes here. We will wrap it up and if there is a vote, we will wrap it up anyhow. So, let me just start.
I was actually going to ask, I think, something related to what Mr. Schaffer was asking. I had this written down here from the staff. I did not actually remember you saying it, and I did not read it. But Mr. Gunderson's testimony highlights the fact that only 9 percent of the grantees are high school. Is that a fact?
Mr. Gunderson. Yes.
Chairman. Castle. Yet, they often have additional facilities that could be used to serve children of all ages. A part of this whole program, I mean it is a learning center, but it is a community learning center. A part of this was to try to deal with children in various other ways. We want them to learn, but we also do not want them to commit crimes or be another behavior, often which happens as kids get into their mid-teens and older.
I think a part of your answer, Mr. Cohen, before to Mr. Schaffer was, well, it is up to the local schools to make their applications. As we know, you are getting a lot more applications than you are granting. Are you doing anything with respect to paying attention to the high schools? I mean, I am a great believer that we should be using our buildings better, and high schools better, and doing more for high school kids. Nine percent to me would be an imbalance in terms of the population of our schools. Can you help me understand that?
Mr. Cohen. I can a bit. I actually saw Mr. Gunderson's testimony this morning and asked the same question myself before I came over here. Here is the best answer I have now and we will go back and take another look at this. The primary answer is, as you have suggested, the communities themselves are making an assessment of what their needs are. They are the ones that are determining what levels of schools to involve in this. I suspect what is going on, for a variety of reasons, is that they are deciding that the younger kids who, as a working parent, the prospect of my fourth grade daughter being home alone is more frightening than the prospect of my high school senior being home alone, most of the time.
We have got him involved in after school activities, but I think there is probably a greater priority for most working parents for the younger kids than there is for the older ones, but we would have to go back and look at this, and we will do that.
Chairman. Castle. Again, we do not want to get into a babysitting day care service. We want to get into the educational aspect. I mean, not that it does not serve that other purpose as well. Obviously if you can occupy a child from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., that is helpful for a whole variety of other reasons, single parent households, and parents working, whatever it may be.
On the other hand, this is supposed to have that educational component. We are supposed to be helping these kids. I do not want to unfairly help one group of kids and not another in terms of age categories here.
Mr. Cohen. Again, we will go back and look and see what we can tease out by way of better explanation. I think it is important to keep in mind that regardless of the age level involved, the data that we have suggest that 80 percent of the Centers or more are providing educational services to whatever kids they are serving, whether it is homework help, or tutoring, or reading, or math, or science, or arts, or whatever, both kind of extra help and enrichment activities. Those services are being provided.
Chairman. Castle. That part of it is very important too. I am interested in that sort of disproportionate spread. At some point, maybe we can go into it further.
Mr. Cohen. I think it is worth trying to understand better than we do right now.
Ms. Vaughan. Chairman Castle, if I might.
Chairman. Castle. Ms. Vaughan, before you answer, because I was going to ask you the next question.
Ms. Vaughan. Okay.
Chairman. Castle. Combine it with what I am going to ask you.
Ms. Vaughan. Okay.
Chairman. Castle. I am interested in what you have to say about what your definition of learning is. I mean, I am all for the YMCAs, the Boys and Girls Shelter and everything. I totally agree with the concept as we have heard from Chantal, and we have heard from Mr. Gunderson that this was designed to help be a learning experience. I think, frankly, we are talking about an educational learning experience.
We are not talking about learning about how the world works or something of that nature. I am interested in how your community-based organizations, starting with the YMCA in your case, would do that in addition to whatever else you were going to say.
Ms. Vaughan. Oh, no problem. Let me start by piggy backing on what was just talked about by Mr. Cohen. Let me give you a trend in community-based organizations related to high school programming, Mr. Castle.
What we are seeing in communities across America is that community-based organizations are being asked right now to step up to the plate in bigger way with high school aged students, and to do that not only to keep them out of trouble, but to help them learn in ways that they are not connecting with some of the formal education they are getting in school, and to supplement what they are doing in school.
So, we are actually seeing an increased trend in community-based organizations being asked for just that. So, I can see down the road where there might be some wonderful opportunities. As for what we define as learning in a YMCA community-based organization, we have always seen that our after school care programs or after hour programs really enhance what the schools do.
But more recently, we have been called upon by communities to take a more active role in supplementing educational opportunities. Let me give you a few examples. Recently what we have done in the YMCA under the auspices of our YMCA city agenda is to really focus on helping with reading skills in the after school hours.
So, that Chairman Castle, the focus of education in some after school programs is reading. It is literature-based. It is focusing on helping young people learn by grade three. It is homework help by helping them achieve greater. Maybe they are not getting those from their teachers. YMCAs have found themselves in supplementing math through tutors, through bringing volunteers in.
Many of our YMCAs, in fact New York with the Virtual Y Program is literally based on the fact that the goal of that program is to help improve scores in schools. So, we are not the only community-based organization that focuses on learning in partnership with the schools to help young people grow and learn to be healthy adults.
Chairman. Castle. My time is up. I appreciate that answer a great deal. I really want to ask Mr. Cohen another question, even though my time is up. So, you need to be brief and I need to be brief. There is a huge increase in the President's budget for this program, as you know. Obviously you all had some input into that. So, you must have some confidence that this is a program which you think is working, even though we do not have the longitudinal study and some of the other things that we need to make sure that it is working.
My hunch is that Congress is not going to be able to appropriate that kind of money. I would be interested in the rationale behind it. I am just as interested in what is happening in the local and outside funding, outside funding being foundations or whatever, local being school districts, States, whatever.
Are they getting involved with this thing or all of a sudden are we creating a program which is, and I know this was created at the Federal level, but I mean are they doing similar things? Are we out there by ourselves doing all of this funding? Are you monitoring all of that?
Mr. Cohen. We are beginning to pay more attention to that. I think States are increasingly stepping up to the plate with after school initiatives of their own. Secondly, in our reauthorization proposal, we have suggested two important modifications that go hand-in-hand. One is that instead of limiting funding to 3 years, we allow it to go on for 5 years.
Secondly, that there be some cost sharing so that this is not entirely a Federal effort, but there is a local matching requirement as well, so that the programs will be sustainable after the Federal funds disappear or move elsewhere.
Chairman. Castle. Okay, thank you. At this time, let me yield to Mr. Kildee who may yield to Mr. Ford who just came in, in case he has a question or a statement.
Mr. Kildee. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. First of all, in conjunction with Mr. Schaffer's questions and comments, I was the director of the teen activities at Flint Central High School for many years when I was teaching during the day and directing teen activities at night. There were, at least in Flint, Michigan, kids from Central High School, the building was already there, at the programs and activities.
We also had kids from St. Mary's, and St. Matthew's, and St. Michael's. We did not bar certain kids at the door say, you cannot come in here. It really was open to the public. I think that is probably what you, Mr. Cohen, mentioned is the case.
Mr. Cohen. Yes.
Mr. Kildee. We certainly did not say, unless you go to school here, you cannot come in. They were children from St. Mary's, St. Matthew's, and St. Michael's. They came in for the activities. The building was already there. That is one of the beauties. The public school building is already there, paid for by the taxpayers. You might want to call it the Government school, but it is the people's school too. The people do pay the taxes for it.
I can also recall, with another separate funding, of course, while the students were engaged in various activities, and very often I would be tutoring them in Latin, someone would be playing basketball. Also the parents were there. Parent activities came from another source of funding. The parents were there for sewing classes and homemaking classes. It really was bringing the community into the school, and very often taking the school into the community.
It worked pretty well. We did not say you could not come in because you chose to go to St. Mary's or St. Matthew's. We served the entire community. That was the concept of the community's schools concept which began in Flint in 1935.
I would yield to my good friend from Tennessee, Mr. Ford.
Mr. Ford. Thank you, Mr. Kildee. If you have any other questions, I would be happy to yield.
Chairman. Castle. Take the full 5 minutes.
Mr. Ford. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Kildee. I am sorry that I missed a lot of the testimony that was given. I just wanted to ask one or two questions of Secretary Cohen and Ms. Vaughan. I am interested in particular in hearing their responses. Any of the witnesses can answer the question as well.
In terms of the still unmet need we have for after school programs, Secretary Cohen, what would you say still needs to be done? As you know, the President's budget has come, and obviously there will be a little jockeying on both sides. Here the Republicans will have ideas. As an expert who is right on the front line and works with all of these foundations, what would you say just in general? I know you could give me a 30-minute dissertation, but if you can whittle it down to something more brief, it would be much appreciated.
And Ms. Vaughan, regarding the Community Based Organizations, which play a vital role that they play in serving communities, how can we better strengthen the relationship between them and schools? I know we are making a big effort in my District, which is Memphis, Tennessee, to do some of these things, and thank the Mott Foundation for all it has done in our District, but Id like your ideas on that as well.
Thank you Secretary Cohen and Ms. Vaughan.
Mr. Cohen. Thank you, Mr. Ford. I will be very brief and answer your question in two ways. In terms of unmet need, the estimates are not precise. They range from between 5 million and 15 million school-aged children who go home to an empty home after school. If the Congress funds the President's proposal, we think we can reach 2.5 million. So, at best, we will be covering 50 percent of the lower bounds of that estimate.
Secondly, just in terms of the proposals that we have seen, last year we had requests from several thousand communities for more than $900 million worth of programs. We were only able to fund a tiny fraction of that. I suspect that as the Mott Foundation works with us to provide Bidders' Conferences in every State in the Country, that the level of interest and the level of applications will be considerably greater. So, there will be, once again, a large gap between what we are able to support and the number of high quality applicants that we get.
Ms. Vaughan. Thank you for your question, Mr. Ford. In relationship to how we can strengthen relationships between CBOs and schools, at least in the YMCA, we believe that we have been strong partners with schools for many, many years, but recognize there is more that we can do together, and really more that we can do at a variety of levels of education and not just for the child but for the whole family.
One of the things that we recognize is we work with schools on a daily basis, is that not all programs can happen inside of schools. In fact, in many cases, we are filling schools in some communities. We need to recognize that very good programs happen in other places in the community that can be supported, whether it is through 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program or other ways.
The YMCA and the schools need to look at one another as equal partners in looking at that community-based need of helping young adults grow into adults that can really be contributing members of society. It is really about partnership and communication. I think one of the things that we see in many of our communities, and I mentioned it in the testimony was, that in some cases a community-based organization is brought in as a partner as an afterthought, but to be able to be there as the community need is being identified, and when the real community is gathering together whether to solve a problem or to take the next step towards something else.
Mr. Ford. Have you been able to attract widespread private sector support when you talk about community-based organizations and these partnerships and alliances that are forming? We are trying to do more and more of that. I see the Secretary shaking his head. I imagine those are things that are encouraged. How would you recommend, other than just laying out the facts, what has been your experience?
Ms. Vaughan. With bringing other funding from other places other than Government to be able to support these things?
Mr. Ford. Primarily from the private sector.
Ms. Vaughan. Right. We live and die on that every day in community-based organizations that we really rely from the private sector significant resources to fund programs in communities of need in particular. We are constantly working with in a very collaborative way because that is being required more and more of all organizations today, to really look towards high quality programming with very good outcomes that are funded by the private sector.
We are seeing more private industry, business, and other individuals, who are literally making significant contributions to solve significant community needs. So, we are seeing increase in that and that is literally how we fund most of the programs that we do. Other than much of the Government money that we have received, whether it is through Welfare to Work Programs with childcare and some other things.
It is that community-based community people coming together, citizens deciding what are the greatest needs, and private dollars being really put towards that. Mr. Secretary, just to close, you said the lowest score that received, the lowest grant was a 95?
Mr. Cohen. That is correct.
Mr. Ford. So, this is a high quality program?
Mr. Cohen. We are very, very competitive. We are only funding things that we are very confident are high quality and our outside reviewers are confident are high quality. If any of my colleagues on that side of the aisle that want to ridicule the program and say they do not want it, please consider Memphis more highly as you look at these things. I would appreciate it. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman. Castle. Nobody here has ridiculed the program. I would just like to point out that all of Delaware's programs are high quality. Mr. Schaffer, did you have anything further you wanted to say.
Mr. Ford. It was a joke, Mr. Chairman. It was a joke.
Mr. Schaffer. One final question. Going back to my letter from the Colorado Child Care Association, we would not want these programs to become a funding substitute for academics. It should be the responsibility of a proper K through 12 education system. Let me just ask, a billion dollars spent, Mr. Secretary. Is it better spent on this program or is it better spent on classroom activities in schools across the Country?
Mr. Cohen. We have proposed significant increases in programs for classroom activities also. So, we do not think this is an either/or situation. We think that investments need to be made in both places.
Mr. Schaffer. Let me restate the question. Of the billion dollars that is being proposed here, is it better spent on your program or better spent in classroom activities around the Country?
Mr. Cohen. The billion dollars that we have proposed for this program is better spent in this program. The proposals we have made to spend in classroom activities, such as lowering the class size and increasing Title I are better spent there.
Mr. Schaffer. You know, frankly, that is a remarkable statement. I will tell you why, because I doubt you are going to find a school board member, a teacher, an administrator anywhere in this Country who thinks that there is any priority that is higher and greater than getting dollars to classrooms and to kids so their teachers can teach. All of the kinds of social, moral, and societal goals that are presumably at the object of these centers is clearly more achievable through improving and enhancing the academic achievement of children period.
Secondly, for anyone here in Washington to suggest that the mission of schools should be defined by us here in Washington, as opposed to those who we elect locally at school boards, through our school boards or State legislatures, and so on, I find to be terribly arrogant.
I, frankly, trust the folks in my State who have decided that improving classroom achievement is the number one priority for their tax dollars. I can tell you that we in Colorado disagree with you that there is some other priority of our schools that are greater than those which our State has established. So, do you disagree with the people of Colorado that getting resources to the classroom, instructional supplies and materials, and paying our teachers better is a lesser priority than the billion dollars, than spending this billion dollars here?
Mr. Cohen. No. That is not what I said.
Mr. Schaffer. We have a billion dollars that we could spend anywhere we want in Government. You say it is better spent in your program than to be spent on my kids' classrooms.
Mr. Cohen. Well, no. First of all, the proposal that the President has made would target the additional funding to schools that have been identified by the State as low performing because we know the students there will need extra learning time in order to catch up. This program will help do that. That is targeted directly to achievement.
Secondly, we have proposed $1.75 billion for a program that gets funds directly to the classroom in the form of more teachers for smaller classes. If that is a priority in Colorado, I would urge you to support that effort as well.
Mr. Schaffer. That is a priority in Colorado and Colorado is moving forward on accomplishing it and doing remarkably well. Of the billion dollars that is in question here, we could spend it on classroom supplies, materials, and instruction. Is it the Department's position that these centers are a higher priority for the billion dollars?
Mr. Cohen. No. The Department's--
Mr. Schaffer. No, you said?
Mr. Cohen. The Department's position is that there are a range of needs that students in school have that we are prepared to help them meet. A billion is, for example, for this program, is not our entire investment in elementary and secondary.
Mr. Schaffer. But that is the investment I am talking about, the billion dollars that the President has proposed in this program. Is this the highest priority in our Federal Government for when it comes to education for our kids?
Mr. Cohen. This is one of the highest priorities. The President did not send up a budget that was just a billion dollars for after school programs. He sent up a budget, for example, that increased education funding by $4.5 billion. So, we have a lot of priorities. This is one of them, sir.
Mr. Schaffer. Just for my own clarity, I did not hear you say yes, did I?
Mr. Ford. Mr. Chairman, we do not have to listen to this badgering. I understand Mr. Schaffer has feelings about this, but he and Secretary Cohen can handle this--
Chairman. Castle. We have a couple of problems.
Mr. Ford. We have a vote on, Mr. Chairman. Clearly, the man has answered the question.
Chairman. Castle. Mr. Ford, Mr. Schaffer has a right, although you may not agree, and maybe others do not agree, but he has a right to ask questions as he pleases as a Member. We are going to be voting in about a minute. So, that will relieve the whole problem.
Mr. Schaffer. Mr. Chairman, I have one unanimous consent request that this letter from the Colorado Child Care Association be submitted for the record. Thank you.
Chairman. Castle. Without objection, it will be received.
[The letter referred to follows:]
LETTER FROM THE COLORADO CHILD CARE ASSOCIATION, DENVER, COLORADO SEE APPENDIX G
Mr. Schaffer. Finally, I just wish to apologize for anyone I offended by being critical of the way the Government spends money.
Mr. Ford. Thank you, Mr. Schaffer.
Chairman. Castle. Let me thank the panel. We are close to a vote. Mr. Ford was right about that. We are close to a vote. Ms. Sanchez is here. By the way, I understand, I want to acknowledge her presence, and is not going to ask questions.
Ms. Sanchez. Actually, I had no questions other than to say I think a lot of the programs that are funded through this were intended to be funded as our former colleague from the House suggested. When I visit schools in my District, I see that parenting is just as important for the ability of a child to learn in the classroom, as the quality of their teacher, because parents are teachers also.
A child spends a lot more time, sometimes, with the parent. So, some of these programs are needed. I would say you cannot have one without the other. I believe that is the reflection of the President's budget. Thank you.
Chairman. Castle. Thank you, Ms. Sanchez.
We are down to about 5 minutes in this vote. We are all going to have to run out of here. So, I am going to have to thank you from a distance, but we do thank you. Obviously this has been a lively panel.
It started off with some lively conversations. That is the way it should be. Hopefully, we learn from it and can make the program even better than perhaps it is today. Again, my very sincere thanks to everybody who is here, particularly the witnesses.
[Whereupon, at 11:50 a.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]