Serial No. 106-126


Printed for the use of the Committee on Education

and the Workforce


The Opening Statement Of William F. Goodling Chairman, Committee On Education And The Workforce, US House Of Representatives *

The Opening Statement Of Mrs. Carolyn Mccarthy, Representative From The State Of New York, US House Of Representatives *

Statement Of Kenneth Gamble, Chairman, Universial Companies, Philadelphia, PA *

Statement Of William E. Strickland, Jr., President And Chief Executive Officer, Bidwell/Manchester Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA *

Statement Of Kate S. Little, Director, Atlanta Office, The Enterprise Foundation, Atlanta, GA *

Statement Of Amy Gillman, Director, Community Investment Collaborative For Kids, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, New York, NY *

Appendix A-The Written Statement Of William F. Goodling Chairman, Committee On Education And The Workforce, US House Of Representatives *

Appendix B-The Written Statement Of Mrs. Carolyn Mccarthy, Representative From The State Of New York *

Appendix C- The Written Statement Of Kenneth Gamble, Chairman, Universal Companies, Philadelphia, PA *

Appendix D-The Statement Of William E. Strickland, Jr., President And Chief Executive Officer, Bidwell/Manchester Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA *

Appendix E-The Written Statement Of Kate S. Little, Director, Atlanta Office, The Enterprise Foundation, Atlanta, GA *

Appendix F- The Written Statement Of Amy Gillman, Director, Community Investment Collaborative For Kids, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, New York, NY *

Appendix G-The Enterprise Foundationís Response Letter *

Table Of Indexes *




Wednesday, September 27, 2000


House of Representatives,

Committee on Education and the Workforce,

Washington, D.C.




The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:30 a.m., in Room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. William F. Goodling [chairman of the committee] presiding.

Present: Representatives Goodling, Petri, Barrett, Greenwood, Graham, Ehlers, Fletcher, Kildee, Owens, Payne, Roemer, Woolsey, Fattah, McCarthy, Kind, Sanchez, Ford, and Wu.

Staff Present: Linda Castleman, Office Manager; Dan Lara, Press Secretary; Lyden, Patrick, Professional Staff Member; D'Arcy Philps, Professional Staff Member; Michael Reynard, Media Assistant; Jo-Marie St. Martin, General Counsel; Kevin Talley, Chief of Staff, Bailey Wood, Legislative Assistant; Mark Zuckerman, Minority General Counsel; Cedric R. Hendricks, Minority Deputy Counsel; June Harris, Minority Education Coordinator; Marshall Grigsby, Minority Senior Legislative Associate/Education; Mary Ellen Ardouny, Minority Legislative Associate/Education; and Roxana Folescu, Minority Staff Assistant/Education.

Chairman Goodling. The Committee on Education and the Workforce will come to order.

We are meeting today to hear testimony on urban renewal in minority communities. Since we are eager to hear the witnesses, we will limit the opening statements to 5 minutes to myself and 5 minutes to Mrs. McCarthy. As others come in, they can put their opening statement in the record, and that will give us time to get to you folks for questions.

If you can summarize and stay as close to 5 minutes as possible, we will appreciate that. It worked out fairly well yesterday, except one person got to the twelfth minute, and I was hesitant to say, "Could you wind down?" So when the light is green, it means go; and when it is amber, it means start wrapping up; and when it is red, it means that you should really truly wrap up.



Despite one of the longest running economic expansions in American history, some communities have been left behind. This is true especially in many inner-city neighborhoods where unemployment has remained stubbornly high, student academic success has remained low, and the opportunity to live the American dream is still just a dream.

Over the years, dozens of programs have been created at the Federal level to help these communities; they are typically designed to address a specific problem rather than the needs of the whole community.

As a result, efforts are rarely coordinated, and despite a success story here and there, these separate efforts fail to revitalize the entire community.

In fact, many Federal programs create unintentional barriers for local communities to develop and implement comprehensive revitalization plans. Differing requirements on who can be served, multiple performance measurements, inconsistent governance structures and the complexity of thousands of Federal regulations make coordination at the local level nearly impossible and very intimidating to even the most enterprising advocate.

For example, by our estimates, there are over 760 Federal education programs, crossing over 39 agencies with innumerable and separate program requirements. In addition, hundreds of other Federal programs focus on housing, economic development and other social services.

Clearly, without a highly paid cadre of Federal grant writers, accountants and lawyers, entrepreneurs and communities cannot begin to navigate or access the funds available to help in their revitalization efforts.

Fortunately, we have made progress over the past 6 years to make things easier all around. The Education Flexibility Partnership Act, or "Ed-Flex" program, provides States and local schools with the opportunity for increased flexibility to get around rigid requirements that often serve as barriers to reforming troubled schools. I am sure all of our witnesses will attest today that without improved educational opportunities, these communities will not meet their potential and economic reward.

The passage of the Workforce Investment Act consolidated over 60 Federal job-training programs, expanded flexibility and promoted the coordination of diverse programs. Now job trainers, job seekers and job providers are all working together to increase job placements.

The enactment of welfare reform has also provided far greater flexibility at the local level in moving individuals toward self-sufficiency.

In addition, recent reforms in antiquated Federal housing programs have led to the consolidation and increased flexibility of public housing authorities.

However, it is clear much more needs to be done to coordinate efforts and provide more local flexibility. Fortunately, many residents in these communities are not waiting for Washington to act.

These communities are taking the lead in forming their own associations, community groups and action agencies. Often spearheaded by strong leadership; and with the help of nongovernmental resources, these initiatives are generating their own capital and creating their own prosperity. Most importantly, they are empowering entire neighborhoods to make a difference.

Instead of focusing on one issue at a time, these leaders are tackling the wide range of problems afflicting their neighborhoods, including dysfunctional schools, boarded-up storefronts, high unemployment, crime and dilapidated housing. They are addressing these intransigent problems through comprehensive plans of urban renewal for their whole community.

I have talked to many people involved in such endeavors, and I can tell you they are among the most exciting phenomena going on in America today.

We are fortunate today to be able to hear from some of these groups and how they are addressing the flight of urban America, one neighborhood at a time.

The lessons learned from today's hearing will hopefully set the stage for future discussions of how the Federal Government, in cooperation with State and local governments, community organizations and the business community, can work together toward the common goal of expanding the American dream.

See Appendix A For The Written Statement Of William F. Goodling Chairman, Committee On Education And The Workforce, US House Of Representatives

I now recognize the gentlelady from New York, Congresswoman McCarthy.



Mrs. McCarthy. Good morning and welcome. I have a speech here, but I think I am going to put it into the record. And there are just a few things that I would like to say.

I think the work that all of you have been doing is tremendous. And the keyword that comes up constantly is holistic, a holistic approach.

When I first came into Congress 4 years ago, I had two areas that unfortunately have come on hard times. Now, I remember when I was a young girl, my mom used to take me to Hempstead, and we used to do all our shopping there. But over the years we have seen the whole area, unfortunately, go down. These are urban areas in a suburban neighborhood. With help from the Federal Government, programs with private partnerships, I am seeing Hempstead being rebuilt.

I am seeing Freeport coming back to the way it was 30 years ago. This is well-spent money and time, because there is a pride coming back into the whole community. But again there is much more that I think that we have to do. We have to bring it this in holistically. We have look at our schools and our communities.

I thank you for having this hearing. When I read about it last night, I said, this is what I want to do. This is why I am here in Congress to help an awful lot of people.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

See Appendix B For The Written Statement Of Mrs. Carolyn McCarthy, Representative From The State Of New York

Chairman Goodling. I thank you.

As we continue, I will be leaving to see what we can do about getting the appropriations bill, all those kinds of things.

Now it is your turn, and we will begin with Mr. Gamble and work down the line. We will start to my left.

Mr. Gamble, be sure that your microphone is turned on.



Mr. Gamble. Good morning, everyone. On behalf of everyone associated with Universal Companies, I want to thank the Honorable William Goodling, Chairman, the other distinguished members of the committee, and the entire U.S. Congress for allowing me to the opportunity to speak before you.

As many of you know, I have devoted most of my life to writing music. I thank God every day for allowing me the opportunity to not only do something that has received so much success and worldwide acclaim, but to do what I really loved.

America has developed separate and unequal societies. This disparity between the wealthy and the poor, the educated and the illiterate, large cities and their adjoining suburbs are increasingly worsening.

I liken America to a human body, and our inner cities are like the stomach. Whether you want to accept it or not, the stomach of America has a deadly cancer. Like cancer, if it is caught early enough, it can be cured and America will have a long and healthy future. This urban cancer cannot continue to be ignored. If this problem continues to go unchecked, it will spread and America will die from within. The cancer I am referring to is human ignorance.

I come before you today as a private individual who believes in America, and I must ask you, what is it going to take for this Congress to face up to this cancer? This urban cancer is a national security issue. All of America should be outraged, including this Congress, for spending trillions of public dollars only to find the problems are worse than ever. That is why I am advocating what we call the Universal Plan, which is being implemented by Universal Companies in South Philadelphia.

Universal Companies has grown and we are now able and have the capacity to challenge some of the conditions that are deteriorating in Philadelphia. In fact, we are now poised to rebuild a major segment of South Philadelphia, making this effort the largest community revitalization effort in the history of our city.

To ensure that community residents are the real benefactors of this effort, Universal has not only become one of the largest providers of affordable housing in the city of Philadelphia, Universal also operates a workforce development center, a vocational skill training center, a charter school, a business support center, with plans to open the Universal Technology Center, Universal Mini-Market retail store, and the Universal Cafeteria in the year 2000. With the appropriate support, the Universal Plan could become an innovative model for rebuilding urban America.

The Universal Plan is about a comprehensive approach. The Universal Plan believes that traditional community development activities carried out in isolation are inherently limited in their ability to promote the type of fundamental changes that are needed to bring about sustainable community revitalization. You must have a comprehensive approach. The Congress must ensure that government supports community plans that have this comprehensive approach.

The Universal Plan is about rebuilding families. The Universal Plan focuses on the forgotten head of the household, American men. The Congress must ensure that any policy or program that does not support families and the rebuilding of men must be abolished.

The Universal Plan is about educating our children. The Universal Plan is about educating our children and their families on literacy and mandatory African studies. We need this Congress to provide additional support for public schools and fully support options such as charter schools. What good is a 4-year charter when we need at least 15 years to correct some of the problems of our children and their families? Another option is vouchers.

The Universal Plan is about private investment and economic development. To start the Universal Plan, I personally committed my own resources, and we have leveraged that commitment to levels that I never imagined. The glue of the community life in urban America is economic development, and we need this Congress to establish real ways to support reinvestment back into our communities.

The Universal Plan is about supporting local leadership. To implement the Universal Plan, we had to move back into our neighborhoods to provide leadership and direction. I never knew the conditions were as bad as they were until I saw it every day. The Congress must ensure that government establishes clear and focused community partnerships with business, community and religious organizations that are real stakeholders in the community, in other words, people who live there.

The Universal Plan is about a long-term approach. The Universal Plan is about planning out of our lifetime, and we have begun to institutionalize a new way of thinking. Congress must ensure that government realizes that there is no quick-fix approach; we need a long-term plan. We cannot correct the issues of economic disparity in 24 months that have taken hundreds of years to produce. The Universal Plan needs to be capitalized long term as a demonstration.

In conclusion, how is it that we can develop economic bailout packages for other countries in the world and we can't do it for our own cities?

Thank you very much.

See Appendix C For The Written Statement Of Kenneth Gamble, Chairman, Universal Companies, Philadelphia, PA

Chairman Goodling. I apologize for not introducing the panel. The information was not in my folder. I now have it. So I belatedly will introduce the panel. Mr. Kenneth Gamble is the Founder and Chairman of Universal Companies in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Universal Companies focuses its energies on revitalizing South Philadelphia through job and vocational training, housing assistance, small business support, even education programs such as a charter school. Mr. Gamble, as well, is an accomplished artist in the music industry being inducted into both the Song Writers Hall of Fame and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame.

Mr. William Strickland is President and CEO of Bidwell Training Center and Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Bidwell Training Center provides training in southwestern Pennsylvania for careers in the high tech, culinary and medical fields. Serving on numerous boards, Mr. Strickland has been honored with numerous honorary degrees from schools such as the Maryland Art Institute, Rutgers, Columbia College and the San Francisco Art Institute, to name a few.

Ms. Kate Little is currently the Director of the Atlanta office of the Enterprise Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia. The Foundation's mission is to see that all low-income people in the United States have the opportunity for fit and affordable housing and to move up and out of poverty into the mainstream of American life. Ms. Little has had a long career in dealing with affordable housing issues in many different capacities.

Ms. Amy Gillman is the Director of the Community Investment Collaborative for Kids, CICK, a division of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation here in Washington, D.C. CICK seeks to expand the supply of quality childcare in high-need neighborhoods across the country, as well as provide for other social services.

Now, Mr. Strickland.



Mr. Strickland. Chairman Goodling and members of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, I am honored to be able to briefly share with you some of the ideas I have developed at the Bidwell Training Center and Manchester Craftsmen's Guild regarding the training and education of the chronically unemployed and disadvantaged. I have run both organizations since the late 1960s in the inner city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Bidwell began as a poorly run poverty program that I was asked to rebuild in the late 1960s. The program grew out of the war on poverty and had the right intentions and leadership to realize them. Through my work in the arts at the Manchester Craftmen's Guild, I had achieved a level of credibility and leadership in the immediate community. I interviewed for the Bidwell job on a street corner and assumed leadership of the program immediately thereafter.

The first day on the job, in a decrepit old warehouse with no windows and no doors, I arrived at the front door to a number of students on their knees, gambling. The students looked up and went right back to gambling. At the end of my first day, I asked the secretary what game these students were playing. I considered myself street wise, but did not recognize this particular game. She replied, "They were taking bets on how long you would last."

Well, anyone who bet against me lost the bet because I have been there all of my adult life. In the first several years at Bidwell, I retired all of the organizational debt and created in place of a poverty program a market-responsive technology and service industry program for the disadvantaged and dislocated. I hit upon the clever idea of asking employers what they needed in an employee before my center started to teach the subject. Through this entrepreneurial approach, I was able to get industry leaders representing companies like Bayer, Alcoa, Mellon, Calgon Carbon, BASF, PPG and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and many others to form a strategic partnership with my organization.

In other words, my center took a task-specific approach to solving a social problem, a quality that is almost nonexistent in most public education and job training centers that I am familiar with across this country. Year in and year out, my center has achieved an effective placement rate of more than 80 percent for the most severely in need in our community. As the result of this achievement, we recently receive the EPIC award from the Federal Department of Labor, presided over by Secretary Alexis Herman. The previous recipient of the ward was the Eli Lilly Corporation.

I hope that this illustrates to the committee the ability of an innovative program to achieve results comparable to a Fortune 100 company such as Eli Lilly.

In our arts education program that I founded in the 1960s, I worked with, quote, "at-risk" children from the Pittsburgh public school system. In our view, all of the children are at risk under the prevailing educational conditions in both Pittsburgh and most, if not all, major urban areas. For more than 14 years, we have been able to work with hundreds of inner-city kids using ceramic art, photography and computer imaging as discipline-specific program areas.

More than 80 percent of these children have gone on to college, year in and year out. Why? The answer is very simple. Our center operates on the assumption that there is nothing wrong with these children that superior facilities, good food, commitment and enthusiastic, disciplined professionals cannot cure.

The programs in both the arts and technology have caught the attention of the Hewlett-Packard Corporation, Cisco Systems and E-Bay in Silicon Valley. We feel there is a high probability that our center will soon be adopted as a demonstration technology site with these companies both for Pittsburgh and, perhaps, as a model for the country.

Our center has currently been asked to replicate this concept and vision in five cities: Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and St. Louis. We hope others will quickly follow.

None of this would have been possible without the leadership of a world-class corporate board that I have created in Pittsburgh, led by William K. Lieberman of Hilb, Rogal and Hamilton Company, and Leslie Schmid of PPG Industries. These corporate leaders, along with the Pennsylvania Majority Leader, John Perzel, and Chairman of the Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee, John Barley, saw fit to provide direct legislative funding to support our entrepreneurial approach to education.

We at Bidwell and Manchester stand ready to work with the Congress to create more of these models around the country. We believe that corporate and community leadership is in place or can be trained to create high-profile models such as the one I have described. The net result of this will be the creation of high expectations on the part of communities in performance-based education and technology-based education. This is exactly as it should be.

I would invite this committee to explore these and other ideas involving innovation and real measurable change, now, while we still have a chance, before the problem and circumstances surrounding it are so vast as to be impossible to change.

I appreciate the opportunity to have been able to speak before this committee on these matters so vital to the welfare of our country.

See Appendix D For The Statement Of William E. Strickland, Jr., President And Chief Executive Officer, Bidwell/Manchester Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA

Chairman Goodling. If I am going to ever get out of here this year somebody has to help with the negotiations. So I have been elected.

Mr. Barrett. [Presiding.] I am pleased to introduce our next witness, Ms. Kate Little.



Ms. Little. Good morning, members of the committee. My name is Kate Little. I am director of the Atlanta office of The Enterprise Foundation. I am honored to be here today.

All across our Nation formerly distressed neighborhoods are being reborn, thanks to the efforts of thousands of community-based groups working with a host of public and private-sector partners, including The Enterprise Foundation.

Enterprise is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1982 by Jim and Patty Rouse. Our mission is to see that all low-income Americans have access to fit and affordable housing and the opportunity to move up and out of poverty into the mainstream of American life. The essence of our work is enhancing and expanding the work of community development groups to increase their strength and their numbers.

Most of our community group partners share a few general characteristics. They are located and are accountable to the neighborhoods they serve. They are mission-driven entities whose priority is social change, and they are true social entrepreneurs defined by their business creativity.

Enterprise is a community development intermediary. We connect community groups with corporate board rooms and Federal agencies. We provide a pool of resources and a pipeline for funneling them to the grass roots. We assure that private and public funds are spent appropriately. We achieve our mission by increasing community group strength, institutionalizing local support for community development and investing in community development activities.

In Atlanta, for example, Enterprise has made nearly $3 million in loans to support development of more than 500 affordable homes for low-income people and committed almost $600,000 for office and retail development. We are pioneering community safety strategies and putting welfare recipients to work with private employers. We have awarded $3 million for operating support and provided more than two dozen training seminars to community development groups.

A big reason for our success and that of so many community development corporations nationwide is the National Community Development Initiative. The NCDI is a unique partnership between major national financial institutions and foundations, the Federal Government, The Enterprise Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, another community development intermediary. The NCDI channels private and public resources through Enterprise and LISC to community-based groups at the local level. The results, as reported by the Urban Institute and others, have been extraordinary. They offer Congress useful lessons on how to continue and expand the progress we are making in community development.

First, engage the private sector as a key partner. Fully 85 percent of the more than $250 million in total NCDI funding has come from the private sector. We encourage Congress to expand existing incentives that mobilize private investment and community development, such as the Community Reinvestment Act, the low-income housing tax credit and home ownership zones.

We also strongly encourage Congress to enact new, carefully targeted incentives to induce private investment in other important social priorities. The bipartisan House-passed Community Renewal and New Markets Act of 2000 contains a variety of excellent examples. We strongly urge Congress to pass the legislation this year.

Second, provide Federal resources without stifling innovation with needless bureaucracy. The NCDI would not have achieved its extraordinary successes without the Federal Government's strong and sustained involvement. Congress has appropriated $38 million to HUD for the NCDI since 1994. Inspired by the NCDI's successes, Congress has appropriated more than double that amount in non-NCDI/HUD funds to further increase community group strength.

Almost as important as the scope of HUD's role has been the nature of the role. As the Urban Institute noted, HUD's participation in NCDI was a significant move for the Federal Government because HUD pledged to act as an equal to other funders, not imposing its own criteria for selecting cities or community groups, but instead tailoring its regulatory requirements where possible.

Third, relying on intermediaries to channel the resources and assure they are used appropriately. NCDI's participants recognize the benefits of this approach of the private and public sector having increased their commitment to the initiative at each new founding round. Increasingly, community development experts are looking to intermediaries' leading role in other areas, including those under this committee's jurisdiction.

For example, Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution has recommended that in the workforce arena Federal and State policies need to build and support a network of intermediaries, faith-based and secular, to improve the skills of low-income workers and link them to metropolitan job opportunities.

The Enterprise Foundation urges Congress to seize the opportunity of our Nation's historic economic prosperity to adapt the NCDI model to other pressing priorities. We encourage Congress to empower the Departments of Education Health and Human Services, Justice and Labor to participate in NCDI-like initiatives to address issues such as welfare reform, job training, crime prevention and education.

We know what works in community development, and in the words of Winston Churchill, Give us the tools and we will finish the job.

Thank you for this opportunity to testify. I would be pleased to answer any questions.

Mr. Petri. [presiding.] Thank you.

See Appendix E For The Written Statement Of Kate S. Little, Director, Atlanta Office, The Enterprise Foundation, Atlanta, GA

Mr. Petri. Ms. Gillman



Ms. Gillman. Good morning, members of the committee. I am Amy Gillman from the Local Initiative Support Corporation, or LISC, and I am the Director of LISC's national childcare initiative, the Community Investment Collaborative for Kids.

LISC was created 20 years ago and is now the largest nonprofit community development intermediary in the country. Our mission is to build healthy neighborhoods by channeling resources and expertise to community-based organizations like some of those you have heard from already this morning. These groups develop affordable housing, spur commercial investment, create jobs and expand other vital services that improve the quality of life in low-income communities.

We believe that neighborhood-based organizations like these most clearly reflect local needs and priorities and are the best vehicles for creating positive change in their communities.

LISC specializes in building public-private partnerships between the corporate, philanthropic and public sectors. Our current board chairman is former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

Over the last 20 years, LISC has raised over $3 billion to support local community development and neighborhood revitalization activities in 38 cities and 66 rural areas around the country, over 90 percent from private-sector sources. This investment has helped local community groups create almost 100,000 affordable homes and over 11 million square feet of commercial and community space.

Because building healthy communities requires comprehensive approaches, LISC carries out a broad range of work from housing to economic development to fighting crime. Today, I am here to talk about childcare and an aspect of childcare that is too often overlooked, and that is the woefully inadequate supply of appropriate, high-quality childcare facilities in low-income neighborhoods.

It has been a priority for LISC to help build the supply of quality childcare in the communities we serve, and our work, to date, has stimulated investments in new, high-quality childcare space for over 5,000 low-income children in some 40 cities across the country.

Childcare is essential to the welfare of the local communities and an integral part of any successful workforce development strategy. It is really a precondition to employment. Families now struggling to make a successful transition from welfare to work will certainly need many supports, but at the top of the list is quality, accessible childcare. Without this, parents simply won't be able to pursue employment opportunities or keep the jobs they have.

Unfortunately, there are few, if any, communities we work in around the country that have a sufficient supply of quality childcare. So many low-income parents end up relying on informal, unregulated and unlicensed childcare arrangements that are generally less stable and of lower quality. And as we know from a growing body of Welfare-to-Work literature, these parents are far more likely to be affected by lateness and absenteeism and even lose their jobs because of breakdowns in these informal childcare arrangements.

With that in mind, I am delighted that six members of this committee are among the 46 supporters of a very important piece of Federal legislation that seeks to address this challenge, the Childcare Facilities Financing Act. I would like to acknowledge, in particular, the strong support that Representative Payne has provided for this bill.

This bill is an excellent first step in the right direction, channeling $50 million a year over 5 years to experienced community development intermediaries like LISC and like The Enterprise Foundation, an organization we work with on childcare, that is also supporting this bill. This modest amount of flexible public funding is the key ingredient that would enable us to make specialized financial and technological resources available to community-based groups and to stimulate private investments in these local efforts to build the supply of high-quality childcare.

It has been an honor to be invited to testify before you this morning. I am very excited that this committee has chosen to look at such important issues as childcare and workforce development through a community revitalization lens. At LISC, we believe that using the tools developed by the community development industry will bring additional public and private resources to the table and build the capacity of local communities to sustain these efforts over the long term.

Thank you very much.

Mr. Petri. Thank you.

See Appendix F For The Written Statement Of Amy Gillman, Director, Community Investment Collaborative For Kids, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, New York, NY

Mr. Petri. Now we will turn to questions. Mr. Graham.

Mr. Graham. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to start with Mr. Gamble.

Welcome to Washington.

Mr. Gamble. Thank you very much.

Mr. Graham. I had several very pleasant conversations with the gentleman from Philadelphia.

I wanted to begin by focus on the education aspect of urban renewal. What is the waiting list like for your charter school today?

Mr. Gamble. At Universal Institute Charter School we have about 1,400 people on the waiting list, and that is without advertising or marketing. But the demand is very great.

Mr. Graham. In your testimony you talk about, I think, pretty creative approaches to urban renewal, especially in the area of education. You mentioned vouchers. What part, if any, do you believe a voucher program would play in terms of energizing the education environment in urban neglect?

Mr. Gamble. Well, I think that looking at the state of education and the condition of education, there needs to be options. And by no means do I oppose public education; I think that public education should be supported. But I believe that people in the inner cities need other opportunities and other choices, and I believe that charter schools, with the response that we have gotten with the charter school, is something that the community really wants.

And I do believe that vouchers would be another option for people, so that they wouldn't have to go through all of the changes that they are going through with public education. Until that can be worked out, I think it creates a competitive process for education; and I think that would be healthy for education.

Mr. Graham. What was your biggest obstacle to getting the charter school started?

Mr. Gamble. Well, our biggest obstacle was basically finances, and the biggest obstacle basically is facilities. And I think there is a major issue when public school is the old schools that they are dealing with . . . the facilities are like dungeons, especially in Philadelphia . . . and many of the other obstacles, like the red tape that have you to go through with charter schools.

And the length of the charter is definitely an obstacle. It is only a 4-year charter. And I believe that if, like in my testimony, that the charter should at least be 10, maybe 15 years at least. Because then you can leverage those dollars and leverage the concept of the charter school to do a lot more things.

Mr. Graham. Thank you very much.

Would any of the other participants like to comment on the role they think vouchers could play in urban renewal or charter schools?

Thank you very much for the work you are doing and for all of you trying to enlighten us.

Thank you very much. I yield back.

Mr. Petri. Thank you.

Ms. Woolsey.

Ms. Woolsey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First of all, Ms. Gillman, I would like to extend Representative McCarthy's apologies. She had to leave to go to the floor because her bill to bring safe standards to childcare facilities, to upgrade the facilities so that they are more appropriate for taking care of our children and for educating childcare workers and training them, is on the floor as we speak. So she was fairly sure that you would be understand why she was not here.

So while I have your attention, childcare, I don't think there is anybody up here that understands the significance of Welfare-to-Work and childcare like I do. Thirty years ago when my children were 1, 3 and 5 years old, I was working. Their father abandoned us. And the year I went back to work and before I went on welfare, even though I kept working, we had 13 different childcare arrangements.

Now, it was horrible that their father turned our life inside out. The worst part was that my children's lives were turned upside down by not having something that we could count on, somebody to take care of them. Thank heaven; 30 years ago, I had friends that were home. Because of that, I understand the significance of what you are talking about and can't give up on the fact that we have to improve the childcare situation 30 years later.

One of the things I am doing, and I would like you to comment on this, s, I have legislation that recognizes that women from welfare to work quite often are going to work evenings and weekends. And would you comment on the availability of childcare during those times of the week and the need to increase childcare?

Ms. Gillman. Yes. Certainly, first, I want to thank you for your support of this very important issue. I also want to recognize Representative Owens, who is also a supporter of the Childcare Facilities Financing Act.

The issue that you have pointed out is of enormous significance because increasingly, as more and more people enter the workforce, they are finding jobs with nontraditional hours, second and third shift; and the challenge of finding stable, quality childcare during the day is hard enough to find. In those off hours, it is very difficult.

Certainly, a lot of the programs that we work with locally are trying to develop programs that meet these additional needs, not in place of the regular daytime shifts, but adding to what is already there. And this is something that really requires a lot of innovative thinking and creativity, because it is much harder to piece together the funding needs to support programs that are needed after hours.

One of the things that we have seen is, many parents actually prefer home-based environments after hours for second and third shifts, and we are seeing an increasing number of centers that will actually partner with satellite family childcare homes, so they can serve families during the day and at nighttime. This is something that we are seeing a lot of interest in and are trying to support as well.

Ms. Woolsey. Would you comment also on the need for infant care in childcare; and so I won't interrupt you, also how important it is that we start paying our childcare workers what they are worth?

Ms. Gillman. Sure.

There is an enormous shortage of childcare for infants, and this is one thing that we have really taken into consideration in thinking about the bill that we have been talking about. Many families also prefer family childcare settings for their infants. They prefer the intimacy and accessibility of those arrangements.

Our bill would address both family-based as well as center-based care. One thing that parents have been concerned about is the quality of the home-based arrangements. They are less reliable, less stable.

One of the things we are seeking to do is help more providers get licensed and relate it to a more formal system, and interact with one another with more support so that they can be better trained and more responsive to the needs of families.

On a second issue, extremely important issue and one that is part of this whole puzzle is, how do you create an overall, high-quality early childhood system? So, it is teacher training, teacher wages, accessibility to childcare facilities etc. are they all part of it? Are they the many facets of how you move toward a quality system. Because obviously it is not just the parents who are seeking childcare to keep working. Childcare is, in and of itself, a job. So you want to make sure that the people who enter that profession can have a career ladder and can have a worthwhile profession that not only is satisfying, but enables them to support their own families.

So it is an enormously significant issue.

Ms. Woolsey. Thank you very much. The time is up. I am sorry.

Mr. Petri. Thank you.

Representative Owens, would you care to ask any questions?

Mr. Kind.

Mr. Kind. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will take my turn right now.

I want to thank the witnesses for your testimony, for being here today. I think it has become pretty obvious, when you talk about the renewal of some of our communities in the country, especially in light of the first grants going out in 1994 with the economic empowerment and the enterprise communities, we have to be talking beyond just tax incentives and business developments in our communities and be taking a more holistic approach to where the challenges really lie . . . job training, housing opportunities, employment opportunities, but education and childcare services that are crucial when you are talking about the revitalization of a lot of our communities.

I especially appreciate each of your testimony and the realization that we need to be looking at this in a comprehensive way, because these are all pieces that have to fit well together.

Mr. Gamble, let me start with you. I have been following what have you been saying now for some time, and the work that you have been doing, and it is really quite exciting. You say you have an about 1,400 student waiting list for your charter school that you have up and running.

I have been a strong proponent of this charter school movement. My State of Wisconsin was one of the leaders of embarking upon this very creative idea of education reform throughout our country. It does provide another option, another choice for a whole host of families and their children as far as educational opportunities.

My question for you is, how does your charter school kind of fit into the economic development plan of the community right now? Is there some overall strategy in regards to the educational goal that the charter school has, and what is being done for the community at large?

Mr. Gamble. Yes, one is that in the comprehensive approach that we are taking to community development, you are bringing people back into the neighborhood. And many of the public schools in that area are not desirable for people to send their children to. In fact, education is one of the reasons why people are leaving the inner cities, number one.

So the charter school, what it represents, is an option. It represents an option to the public schools and the area.

Just to make a note, we are working along with the public schools in that area to help support them, and to assist them also, because it is involved in the whole community revitalization. Our goal is education and economic development.

The other thing that our charter school brings in is that we have mandatory African studies. It is very important for African-American students that they know about Africa, that they know about their history. Because I am a product of the public school system myself, and I went to all the schools in Philadelphia. I never heard anything about Africa. I never heard anything about my history or my connection to Africa. So in our charter school we have mandatory African studies which gives a sense of self-love and pride and a totally different concept of a view of themselves.

So the building of a community, you must have options to education.

As far as training, we are not just training the children; we also have family training. We are dealing with their parents, so we are not just dealing with the children. The education has to be comprehensive in its approach, that you just don't train the kids and don't train their parents at the same time.

Mr. Kind. I visited some charter schools in my area. I think the verdict is still out for the population at large because they are so new, we are just now starting to collect a lot of the feedback as far as student performance and enhanced achievement and that; but the real successful charter schools that I have noticed back home have an incredible involvement of the parents in that school and the decision making of the school. Are you encountering that?

Mr. Gamble. That's correct. In fact, we have a Parents Advisory Group and they are working very closely with us. We demand that the parents be involved in our charter school. The only thing that we are concentrating on in our charter school is that we don't have much red tape to deal with.

The number one issue with young people is reading, literacy. That is what we are concentrating on. Our whole focus is on concentrating on literacy because that is the building tool for education is being able to read. So you can have all the other goals and objectives that you might want to focus on; they are all fantasies if at the end of the day the children cannot read.

So in our charter school we are able to do things that would take the public school system months and months of red tape to work out. So literacy and reading is the number one project that we are working on now.

Mr. Kind. Thank you. Five minutes is an awfully short time to delve into a lot of the issues. But thank you.

Mr. Petri. Thank you. Mr. Deal.

Mr. Deal. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I would like to join with the others in we welcoming this panel and especially Ms. Little from my home State. Ms. Little, I'd like to just ask you if you would elaborate on to what extent has your Enterprise Foundation incorporated working with the schools in the area and what, if any, Federal regulatory or statutory impediments have you found to exist in making your program perhaps better than it is?

Ms. Little. The Enterprise Foundation has not worked directly with the school system. I would like to echo what Mr. Gamble said in terms of how the perception of the public school system does affect the work and the population of a given city. Coming from Atlanta where the school system has a very bad reputation, we have seen the community development work that we do in migration in some of the neighborhoods which have tackled housing and economic development issues. But we have found that the returning population generally consists of young professionals who do not have children. Because of this, we have begun to urge our community development groups to actually look at the school systems, to look at the elementary and middle schooling systems and begin to dialogue with them to have an impact on what is going on.

The school system has also begun to address community development issues. And in Atlanta there is actually a development council where various community development stakeholders come together to begin to discuss what is going on, so that each are aware the school system has in fact looked at closing some schools or opening schools in some areas. So it needs to be aware of the community development work ongoing in the city of Atlanta.

Another initiative, though, that I do want to mention, Representative Deal, has to do with we in Enterprise at this point, this time, are in the beginning stages of talks with another foundation about a community development education collaborative where we would embrace a wholistic approach and look at the school and elementary schools serving as the focus or funnel point for different activities ongoing in the community. So that we can address social services, we can address work force, because the school is a public space and most schools now are open, they close at 3 o'clock, and we want to be able to begin to use the school to offer literacy programs, job force training activities, summer activities, after-school activities for the children.

Mr. Deal. With regard to any Federal impediments, are there any suggestions as to things you would see that we need to change in the Federal statutes or regulations that would make these efforts easier?

Ms. Little. Unfortunately, I apologize, education is not my expertise so I can't really address any Federal regulations.

Mr. Deal. Let me ask something that I know is something that our State has wrestled with, and that is the role of vocational education and at what level should that become an important ingredient? I know as I go across my district which, Mr. Chairman, is about 50 to 70 miles north of Atlanta, across the more rural part of north Georgia, one of the complaints I hear from the business community is that they simply cannot find the necessary skilled people to fill noncollege-level jobs, and the lack of basic reading, writing, and basic math skills.

So elementary and middle school education levels are important, but also the question of vocational training is important. Have you had any cooperative efforts with the Quick Start program that is a part of our vocational tech schools at the adult level, has that been a type of educational cooperative effort that has been successful?

Ms. Little. Again, I am sorry have to plead ignorance. What I can say in terms of the vocational efforts is that there is a need for opportunities for those children who are not necessarily on a college track. There are many job opportunities that you indicate which do not necessarily require a college education. And I know Enterprise does concentrate on working in the city of Atlanta, but there are several organizations with which we are affiliated that work on a statewide basis. And this is a crucial issue, because many of the counties cannot attract the employment that is needed. But I think we are seeing a more coordinated effort among the various State agencies in order to address these work force and educational issues.

Mr. Petri. Thank you. Representative Owens.

Mr. Owens. The National Education Association just completed a survey a few months ago where they said we need about $320 million to bring the infrastructure for public schools up to data across the country. The biggest need is in the inner cities areas and in the rural areas, too.

A little more than 30 years ago, I was commissioner of a community action program in New York City which had the Head Start program underneath it. And we had problems 30 years ago with facilities, finding facilities and maintaining them. Many of those same Head Start programs, they still have those problems of looking for maintaining adequate facilities, physical facilities. Day care programs, group day care have had similar problems and are having similar problems now.

We are talking about the expansion of preschool programs, both State and Federal Government. The Federal Government are talking about making more commitments in that area. But can this be realistically accomplished if we don't address the basic problem in the inner city of physical facilities you don't have? Are you talking about a charter school, public school?

The first problem you mentioned was physical facilities, getting physical facilities and the need for help at that rather large expenditure, but some help is needed regardless of what kind of approach you are taking to help educate children. So can you comment on that? And are we talking realistically about proven education unless we do that first, you know? I am not trying to play down the importance of the other problems, but if you don't have a decent physical facility, what kind of message are you sending to the parents and the children about your commitment to education? You care to comment?

Mr. Strickland. I happen to feel very strongly about that. We built a world-class training facility in the worst neighborhood in Pittsburgh with the highest crime rate, which happened to be in the old industrial park where I grew up. In fact, if you ever come to Pittsburgh, Representative, I would love to show it to you. You will fly into Greater Pittsburgh Airport. That is the blown-up version of my building. We got a student of Frank Lloyd Wright to build a world-class training facility in an old industrial park.

The psychological effects of that have been very powerful. Secondly, it has also changed the perception of value within that community, and we are finding that the real estate and property values are coming up quite dramatically as the result of that investment in that community.

We just completed several years ago a county jail. It happened to be done by the same architect, and I happen to know the price tag was $400 a foot.

Mr. Owens. For the jail?

Mr. Strickland. Yeah. With union labor. I built a world-class training facility for $90 a foot with union labor. It costs $40,000 a year to keep those folks in the county jail and $31,000 a year to send them to medical school and $9,000 to send them to my training center. So there are, I think, some cases to be made for investing in superior facilities in the worst neighborhoods.

Mr. Gamble. I would like to comment. I think in community revitalization that it is very important to have new facilities. But in addition to having new facilities, I think that there needs to be some different options looked at such as private management of public schools.

Mr. Owens. Let me just say, to what degree do you find yourself and your time and your energy and your effort being consumed with pursuing adequate physical facilities so you can't put as much time and energy into the actual education?

Mr. Gamble. The facility is basically only a financial transaction. It is only dollars. The facility that we built in Philadelphia was a hurdle for us to get over, because what do you leverage it with? We only had a 4-year charter. So 4 years is not enough time to leverage anything with the banks. We had to use other collateral that we had in order to do that. What I am saying is that the facility is probably the least of the problems.

Mr. Owens. It should be.

Mr. Gamble. It should be and it is. The problem is being able to put families together and put the concentration on the education. What can we do in order to bring up the morale of young, especially African American children?

I say that mandatory African studies is one way to bring about a clear consciousness of young African people. They seem to be not interested in the way schools are going now because there is nothing in those schools that relate to them.

I went through the public schools myself. I think you can look probably through the country and see how many school systems and how many educational systems have mandatory African studies. And try new things; let's try mandatory African studies.

As far as buildings are concerned, the dollars and cents is the problem when have you a 4-year charter. If there was a 10-year, 15-year charter, I think the building of the buildings would be a lot easier.

Mr. Owens. Any other comments?

Ms. Gillman. I wanted to first thank you, Representative Owens, for pointing out what has been an enormous barrier certainly in the early childhood arena. It is really two problems when sometimes there is simply no space at all for services, so families go unserved. In other cases, the facilities that do exist are of such poor quality that it has a negative impact on the families and the program and the children.

I want to acknowledge that we have been joined by Representatives Kildee and Fattah, who along with Representatives Owens and Payne are supporters of the Childcare Facilities Financing Act, which I think is a very good step in addressing this issue for childcare.

Mr. Owens. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Petri. Thank you. Representative Payne.

Mr. Payne. Thank you very much. I appreciate the panel. And, Mr. Gamble, I certainly looked at your testimony. Unfortunately, I came after you gave it. But I did catch a comment; I think your approach perhaps to charter schools is a positive one.

We have run into inadequate education in urban areas, as we all know exist. And there have been people who have characterized the only answer being vouchers or a charter school. And I think, as you did make it clear, that charter schools may be one of the remedies. But we do have some legislators here who would just want to see total vouchers, do away with the public schools, and have large corporations perhaps get into the business as the last big public dollars out there. And there are some people looking at we wouldn't mind taking over all of those education dollars, and since we don't make tanks anymore, let's do math or something, you know. So I get a little nervous with that.

What you have done, of course, and I experienced the same thing going through elementary school, all the African American history I learned was certainly long after I graduated from high school and college. And I think that it is good that you have an emphasis on African studies, African American studies.

In New Jersey, the State legislature has introduced legislation making it mandatory that African American studies be taught in the curriculum, integrated into the curriculum. We had the Holocaust being taught as a legislative mandate, and so we want the history of African Americans from 1619 to the present also. And it is bottled up in committee, but Assemblyman Payne is hoping it will get out of committee. Assemblyman Payne just happens to be my brother.

The whole area of, like I said, charter schools . . . some people have the feeling that this is . . . that that is the answer; and the vouchers, and death to the public schools. But I am happy to hear you indicate public schools have to be to be there. This is just something to try to maybe have competition and maybe we can see an overall better outcome.

There is a public school, Harriet Tubman School, where the same things that you are doing at a charter school are being done right in the public school. And the kids are on a reading level above the rest of the city. It is public school, public school teachers, teachers union, all the rest.

So I think what we need to do as we look at the problems of public education is to see where it is working around the country. There has got to be a Harriet Tubman in Philadelphia and New York City and in Detroit, and see how we can replicate, find out the ingredients that make that work.

These are the things that you probably did with your charter school. You know what works so you put it in.

Let me just ask quickly a question to Ms. Gillman just in my remaining time. What do you view as the key elements of H.R. 3610, the Childcare Facilities Financing Act that will help in the growing need for childcare in low-income communities? What are the key parts?

I know childcare is much better now than it was before, as I was a single parent and had a 2- and a 4-year-old to try to find childcare, too. And my wife passed. It was a long time ago, and there was practically no existing infant care and childcare in the communities. It was extremely difficult. Either they encourage or they don't work, or you just have a problem unless you have got a relative that lives close by. So I know childcare has improved to some degree since those days; but it is still a tremendous problem of course, the availability. So could you tell me how our legislation that you have encouraged us to introduce will help in this? I know you have touched on it, but if you want to give another synopsis.

Ms. Gillman. Sure. Two key things really. One is that it provides the opportunity to really strengthen the childcare field by building their capacity. Providers may understand how to run a childcare program, but really don't know the first thing about real estate development and financing or best management and business practices. So this provides technical assistance and training for the childcare field in these areas.

The other key part is really access to flexible public funding. This increases the feasibility of their projects and also reduces risk that other funders might perceive and allows us to bring more private sector funding partners to the table to help providers expand their capacity and expand the quality of their programs.

Mr. Payne. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Petri. Mr. Ford.

Mr. Ford. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am delighted to see the contingent from Philadelphia. My colleague, Congressman Fattah, who hails from Philadelphia, I would be more than willing to yield time for him. I know we were at a meeting earlier. I know he is sorry he is late. We have so many fine representatives from Philadelphia. I am a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. I have been a big fan of Mr. Gamble for some time, certainly predating my time here in the Congress, as I am sure many Americans are he touched.

At this time I would yield to my dear colleague from Pennsylvania.

Mr. Fattah. Let me thank the gentleman from Tennessee. And let me welcome to the House Education and Workforce Committee my good friend and brother, Kenny Gamble, and thank you for your great work. Let me thank all of you who have provided testimony today on the most critical problems facing urban America.

Our country has failed, I think miserably, to respond to the needs of urban areas in any real way. We have really neglected our large urban centers and it is only through the work of community-based entities and nonprofits like LISC, Universal Companies and the Enterprise Foundation that some progress and I think a great deal of hope has materialized. So I want to thank you for coming.

And I have heard some of the comments about the intersection with education. Education, obviously, is something I have paid a great deal of attention around. And one of the issues that this committee has been grappling with in a piece of legislation that I put forward is an effort to equalize per-people expenditures. One of the problems that has existed since Kenny Gamble went to public schools in Philadelphia is that from time immemorial, the public schools in Philadelphia have been underfunded as compared to our suburban neighbors. That is not unique in Philadelphia. This happens in every big city around this country. But let me just talk about the Philadelphia instance.

In Philadelphia, about $6,000 is being spent per pupil. In the surrounding suburbs, an additional amount of money is being spent. Let me give you a for-instance. In Radnor Township they are spending about $15,000 per pupil. They do that each year, every year of a child's education, from kindergarten to 12th grade.

This differential is ignored when we talk about the plight of urban schools. People want to say, well, the kids are not performing as well as they ought to be. But no one wants to talk about the lack of investment that is being made as compared to the other young people. In the 70 surrounding suburban school districts around Philadelphia, an average of $70,000 dollars more is being spent each year in each classroom in these public school systems.

And I have been working on this issue, and I would be interested to know how you deal with the lack of investment and a whole range of issues in the community, but particularly as relates to this issue of education. Alan Greenspan was sitting right where you are sitting, testifying just a few days ago, and I noted to him that when it comes to monetary policy in our country, we have a central control; we have the Federal Reserve Bank, and it controls the flow of money and monetary policy and regulates the banks and so on.

When we deal with education, we have this notion that education is a local matter, and States can decide how smart or dumb they want their children to be, and it is no one else's business; the Federal Government shouldn't intrude.

And we have a lot of people in the Congress, when we talk about building schools, they don't think the Federal Government should have any role in building schools. They thought it was fine that we give States money to build prisons, billions and billions of dollars. But somehow it would be an inappropriate role for the Federal Government to involve itself in schools in any significant way.

So anyway, I am very interested in what you see in terms of the inequity of the public school finance systems. And it impacts even our charter, because obviously the charter per-pupil expenditure, if you had a charter school in Radnor Township, would be pegged to that number versus a charter school in Philadelphia. So all of it relates, and I think it would be helpful to the committee as we go forward to hear from you, because you are actually involved in the process of rebuilding and revitalizing these communities in a way there, which I think you have the respect of both the Republicans and Democrats here, as policymakers, and your input on these issues would be very important.

Mr. Gamble first, please.

Mr. Gamble. First of all, I would just like to acknowledge that I am very glad to see you here, Chaka. I have known Chaka Fattah for a long long time. I am very proud of him. All of Philadelphia is proud of Chaka Fattah.

In answer to your question from my view, I think that it is unfair that there are more dollars spent in the suburban areas, but that is not something that is unusual for America. We even operate the charter school on less dollars than the public schools, because the charter school is a public/private school, so we operate on even less dollars than the public school. But one of the things that we have noticed is that management is very, very important in whatever dollars that you have, and that money is an issue but it is not the only issue; that management of the dollars that have you is very important.

With our charter school, with even less dollars than we have had, and we have all types of programs, we had a small surplus this year as it relates to dollars. And I think as dollars are very important, as facilities are very important, I think that the strength of the testimony that we gave earlier that we are calling this a national security issue, education and community revitalization, that it threatens the quality of life here in America.

And so whoever it is, I mean, you are saying that the Congress says the State should do it, the States say . . . I think that this should be resolved. In fact, in any testimony, it should be an outrage. And when we look at our country and we look at the inner cities, this will be the issue that pulls America down.

Mr. Fattah. Thank you. I'd like to hear from the other panelists, if they would care to respond to the issue of per-pupil expenditures.

Ms. Little. The only comment I would have is coming from Atlanta, and many of the surrounding suburbs in the Atlanta metropolitan area really have a much higher median income, I think we do see the disparity. I think, as you said, it is not atypical.

I think one of the things that the Enterprise Foundation is doing is trying to encourage community-based groups to begin to advocate for these types of things. Education is key. One of the things the Enterprise concentrates on is the affordable housing. But generally people need an education in order that they can get a job so that they can pay the rent or so that they can buy a house and afford a mortgage. So it is all interrelated. It is of concern. I think it is something that we are all probably realize that we do need to address.

Mr. Petri. Thank you. Mr. Greenwood.

Mr. Greenwood. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I apologize to the committee and the panels for being late. I had a children's health bill on the floor that I worked on for a long time and really wanted to get that passed.

I want to add my welcome to Mr. Gamble whose acquaintance I have met a couple of times, with whom I am very, very impressed.

I want to just quickly respond to Mr. Fattah's issue of disparity of funding, because it is a tough issue, because it is not as easily resolved as you might think. Obviously people who succeed financially in whatever way frequently move out of the city. Mr. Gamble is the stunning reverse example of that, his return, but move out, and they want to do the best for their children. They ask to be taxed to pay for that and they are going to spend as much as they can. You can't expect those parents to spend less to change the disparity, but what you can try to do is move resources from those who can afford the most to those who can't. We do that in Pennsylvania. We have an education formula that takes money from my constituents and ships it to Mr. Fattah's constituents. We send our money to Harrisburg, the State capital, and it is redistributed. It is not redistributed to make up for what is being spent in the suburbs. That would be impossible. But the problem is doing it at the Federal level. Of course my constituents, Mr. Gamble's neighbors in Philadelphia, I think, would resent to some extent sending their tax dollars here to Washington so we could send it to the L.A. School District when the State of California has passed a referendum out there. They don't want to tax themselves to pay for their schools, so it is impossible to resolve that at the Federal level, it has to be resolved at the State level. If people in California want to help the kids in L.A., they ought to tax themselves and send the money there.

Having said that, I do want to ask a question. Mr. Gamble, you spoke that your Universal Plan is about rebuilding the family. The Universal plan focuses on the forgotten head of the household, American men. Congress must ensure that any policy or program that does not support families in the rebuilding of men must be abolished.

I think that is a very true statement. I wanted to ask you to expand on that. If you are aware of policies that you think undermine the role of the man in the family, let us know about that; or if you have ideas for how we can do things that would have the reverse impact?

Mr. Gamble. Well, yes. As far as the forgotten members of the household, men, the welfare programs basically were anti-men, especially working in Philadelphia with the Martin Luther King projects there. The experience that I have encountered there is that most people on the welfare rolls were females, and that there were strong, strict laws and conditions keeping men away from them, from the women in the projects, and this was a very, very bad situation.

Most of the welfare-to-work programs are basically all for females, and there are not many programs that are for men. They are non-existent. So there needs to be a concentration, in our opinion at Universal, that what we have been working on is coming up with concepts and working with our public officials and foundations to come up with programs that are directly related to men, because we believe that the young men that stand on the corners, stand on the corners and have nothing to do, that they need help. They need help. They need programs that they can be helped with. When they are able to get a great education, find a job, be able to start a family, good families make good communities, good communities make great cities.

One of the things that you just mentioned when you were talking about tax base, Philadelphia is a city which is designed basically for 3 million people. Right now today, you have about 1.3 million, and people are leaving all the time. So the tax base has been eroded. So all of the pressure comes on these inner cities for tax base.

As far as men are concerned, there are really no programs that are designed for men. The programs that I see being designed for men are prisons, penal system. Young men are being put in prison, they are being put in prison for just about anything, and they are receiving long sentences.

As Mr. Strickland has said, the amount of dollars that are being allocated for these prisons, they could be put into programs to uplift their educational standpoint. If you want to get rid of the violence and crime in America, you have to do it through education. Education is the key and the tool to end all of or many of the ills that we see in the inner cities in America.

And I have one other thought I would like to say while I am here, is I believe from an educational standpoint, if it was mandatory, if it was mandatory for everyone . . . public official, Congressmen, Senator, etc., that you sent your children to public school, if that was mandatory the public schools would get straightened out.

Mr. Greenwood. It is not mandatory. But I can't afford private schools so I send my kids to public schools.

Mr. Petri. Mr. Kildee.

Mr. Kildee. I too send my children to public schools, as I think most of us do. I don't think there is any need for a mandate. I think most of us do send our children to public schools. I believe very strongly in the public school system.

Let me ask this question: When enterprise communities and empowerment zones are designated, how can we do a better job of coordinating education with other activities in or near that zone? Let me specify that a bit more. Within what is now the enterprise zone in Flint Michigan, several years ago we build a Hyatt Regency Hotel with EDA grants, no cost to the hotel at all. We built a beautiful new transit system in downtown Flint in what is now the enterprise zone, and adding on to it. We built a brand new county jail within an enterprise zone. And although it has got extra points because they were in that zone, we blew up the old jail because the Federal judge said it was not fit for human habitation. And yet about half a mile from the jail is Central High School where I taught for 10 years, and it is in deplorable shape. About 2 miles away is an elementary school which is in pitiful and pathetic shape.

Can we do a better job if we are going to revitalize these enterprise zones and these community empowerment areas to help education in various ways including proper facilities? I mean, I look at that jail. That is a magnificent jail. And the school I taught at which was built in 1925 is starting to fall apart. The elementary school, I think, is actually dangerous for the children. What can we do to recognize that education within that area is as important as the Hyatt Regency Hotel or a transit facility or a new jail?

Mr. Gamble.

Mr. Gamble. Well, you ask could you do a better job? I say yes, you can do a better job. I think America can do a better job. I think that education, as I stated before and I will repeat it again, as a community revitalization is a national security issue. If that comparison that you just made, what you saw with your own eyes, where a prison is being built and the schools are not being built, then there is something wrong here. There is nothing wrong here in Congress. There is nothing wrong with the officials with the use of dollars and the use of those dollars in instruction in those facilities. So I would say there is something wrong definitely.

I would agree with you that there needs to be some type of outrage among the officials here, and that is why we are here. We are testifying . . . I am testifying to try to encourage you to utilize more of your influence so that public education charter schools will receive more funds in order to upgrade their facilities, and not only facilities but the approach to education.

Mr. Kildee. You and I are in agreement. It is much easier in this Congress to get money for jail construction through the Department of Justice than for school construction. We have been trying for several years now to get money for school construction. We just can't seem to get it.

Mr. Gamble. You have to get the people to go with you. You must get the people, the country, to go with you. That is why I say it is a national security issue, because this is not a soft approach. You can't take a soft approach to this. This is something that is going to destroy America. So you have to take a hard approach to it. You can't be soft with this.

Mr. Kildee. Thank you very much, Mr. Gamble.

Mr. Petri. As you may have noticed, there are going to be several votes on the floor. We can continue for a few minutes. We are going to try to give everyone a chance to ask a question or two, see if we can finish before we go to the floor; otherwise we will return.

Mr. Ehlers from Michigan, do you have any comments or questions.

Mr. Ehlers. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I apologize for being so late but I was in another hearing in the Science Committee. I do want to thank you for having the hearing on this topic. It is something that we have addressed at great length in my home town, Grand Rapids, Michigan. I am pleased we have made considerable progress, but I thank you for highlighting it here.

I will yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. Petri. Mr. Roemer.

Mr. Roemer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank the panel for their expertise and their time and their devotion to a very important issue here this morning to help us out. I also want to thank Mr. Gamble for coming this morning, since I have had my good friend from Tennessee, Mr. Ford, humming Pendergrass tunes to me all morning. He is not very good, Mr. Gamble, but I sure . . . .

Mr. Ford. He thought I was good, Mr. Gamble.

Mr. Roemer. He is not very good. I will say that for the record. We don't keep any secrets from Harold Ford. But we have really enjoyed your time this morning and your continuing devotion to a very, very important issue.

Ms. Little, I would like to ask you the first question. I was at a food bank in my hometown in South Bend, Indiana on Monday. In that food bank , called the North Central Indiana Food Bank, we have about 60 to 65 percent of the people coming in there are working poor, people that work 40, 45, 50 hours a week and still need to come in to get food to put on the table to feed their children. We also have AmeriCorps in that food bank helping us out. I understand that you have a relationship with AmeriCorps at the Enterprise Foundation. Can you tell me a little bit about this relationship?

Ms. Little. Well, actually the Enterprise Foundation operates in 16 cities across the country, and in Atlanta we do not have an AmeriCorps program.

Mr. Roemer. You don't have any kind of relationship with AmeriCorps?

Ms. Little. Nationally, but not in Atlanta.

Mr. Roemer. Not in Atlanta, but nationally.

Can anybody speak to the relationship nationally? And please identify yourself.

Ms. Siglin. I am Kristin Siglin.

Mr. Roemer. Tell us who you are. You didn't know you would get to do this.

Ms. Siglin. I am Kristin Siglin. I am the director of the Enterprise Foundation's public policy office here in D.C. And we are a national nonprofit foundation that has offices in six different areas, so Kate is the director of our program in Atlanta. We do the whole range of affordable housing, home ownership, work force development, childcare, but we do different activities in different cities.

The AmeriCorps program has helped us carry out our work in various cities. I think there have been several places across the country. I can get you the specifics on what we have done with AmeriCorps in our different cities. But primarily they have been used for public safety programs. They have worked in conjunction with community development corporations to work on making neighborhoods safer by doing things like organizing block cleanups or orange hat patrols. But I will follow up with your office. But it has been a very useful tool to us.

Mr. Roemer. That would be very helpful.

See Appendix G for the Enterprise Foundationís response letter

Mr. Roemer. Mr. Strickland, I would like to ask you a quick question. Job placement, job training, job skills, are some of the most important issues for my constituents back home in Indiana. We have about a 2-1/2 to 3 percent unemployment rate. We have most of our businesses trying to compete with each other to take workers from each other. And so job training, whether you are 18 or 48, is a very, very important issue for us today. Plus we are expanding our jobs, creating some new jobs with some new manufacturing plants coming in.

Could you tell me a little bit about the Bidwell Training Center and what kind of job placement rate you have for individuals that graduate from Bidwell, and then how long these individuals retain their employment and what types of wages they earn once they graduate? I thank you, sir.

Mr. Strickland. Yes, sir. Right now we are averaging between 80 and 85 percent positive placement for our students.

Mr. Roemer. Those are your graduates.

Mr. Strickland. Yes, that is correct. What we have done is we have worked with companies like Alcoa and Bayer and so on, and customized curriculum specific to those industries by having industry people sit down with our educational staff and write the curriculum so there is an exact fit between what we teach and what they want.

Mr. Roemer. Do they actually teach, too, from Alcoa?

Mr. Strickland. Yes. We train chemical technicians, for example, for the chemical industry. We have had industry personnel literally teach the first course or two, train our people, and the third year we take it on ourselves. So it is a very market-driven, product-specific kind of training.

Mr. Roemer. Does Alcoa have to pay for that or do you have to compensate Alcoa?

Mr. Strickland. I will have to pay for it.

Mr. Petri. Time has expired.

Mr. Roemer. Thank you again for your help.

Ms. Sanchez. I have a question for those who work within an empowerment zone, because I have a new one out in Santa Ana. One of the problems I find, or one of the frustrating things I find, is how have you worked with the community to make sure that funds from the empowerment zone don't go to consultants who just do things, versus trying to get in real work on the job or apprenticeship programs. You work with unions. How do you ensure that it just doesn't get spent by a bunch of people who really don't have anything going on?

Mr. Strickland. By controlling the process.

Ms. Sanchez. How is that? How do you control the process?

Mr. Strickland. Carefully. By that, I mean we have a pretty clear idea of what we are trying to accomplish before we engage the government; rather than the other way around, where the government kind of takes the initiative and comes to you. So we already have the industries, we already have the programs. Then we selectively work with people in the empowerment zone who represent government in many cases to make sure that the funding is tied specifically to the task that is at hand.

Without that, that is exactly what you do get, is you have consultants kind of talking to each other, and the administrative costs get out of hand and none of the money ever gets down to where it is supposed to be. So we have learned from hard experience that you have got to be pretty clear before you engage the empowerment zone with firms in a funding relationship, that you have a pretty clear idea and that have you your logistics in place and that you have your corporate support in place and political support in place in order to drive the funding relationship. Otherwise there is not much hope it is going to be successful.

Ms. Sanchez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Petri. Thank you. And I really do want to thank the entire panel for the time and effort you put into not only your prepared remarks but the very interesting question and answer session. And hopefully with this you will have planted a few seeds, and we appreciate that.

And with that, this hearing is adjourned.

[Whereupon, at 12:05 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]