Serial No. 106-59


Printed for the use of the Committee on Education

and the Workforce
































The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 1:37 p.m., in Room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Michael N. Castle, [Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.

Present: Representatives Petri, Schaffer, Payne, Hilleary, Kildee, Woolsey, Scott, McCarthy and Ford.

Republican staff present: Linda Castleman, Office Manager; Michael Reynard, Media Assistant; Lynn Selmser, Professional Staff Member; Richard Stombres, Professional Staff Member; Shane Wright, Legislative Assistant; Dan Lara, Press Secretary; June Harris, Education Coordinator; Alex Nock, Legislative Associate; MaryEllen Ardouny, Legislative Associate and Roxana Folescu, Staff Assistant, Education.



Chairman Castle. Good afternoon. Everybody is more punctual than I am, and I apologize for that. My name is Mike Castle, and I am the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families which you are testifying before here today. Mr. Dale Kildee from Michigan is what is called the "Ranking Member" and he and I will make opening statements and then we will go directly to your statements. We appreciate Mr. Petri being here as well.

Let me just start by saying that this hearing is really part of a series of hearings we've been going through to learn more about the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which you know is very extensive. Today we will hear testimony on programs that are specifically designed to meet the diverse needs of children across our country. Each of us wants to assure that our children receive a quality education, and this committee has been gathering recommendations from experts like you to determine how best to accomplish that goal.

So far I have learned that our approach must focus on academic achievement and increased flexibility, but it must also include teacher quality and help involve parents in the education of their children. Most importantly, no child regardless of his or her special talent or need must be left behind in our attempt to educate today's students for the challenges of tomorrow's world.

At this hearing I hope to learn how to improve the programs that meet the very needs of our student population. We will focus on the education initiatives incorporated in Title X of the ESEA generally and the Inexpensive Book Distribution program, the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, the Jacob B. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program, the Civic Education Program, and Arts in Education Program specifically.

We obviously have a lot to cover today, so I'll briefly review these programs. I have to have, of course, ample time to discuss these issues with our witnesses.

The Inexpensive Book Distribution Program operates a single non-competitive award to Reading Is Fundamental, Incorporated. It supports the distribution of inexpensive books to school children to read, with priority given to those who serve special needs children such as children with disabilities, children from low income families, and children at risk of school failure.

The next program, the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, which is not part of Title X, provides equal access to a free public education for homeless students. These funds are used to establish an Office of Coordinator of Education of Homeless Children and Youth within each state education agency, implement professional development activities for school personnel, and provide homeless students the opportunity to achieve to the same high standards as their more advantaged peers.

The Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education program helps build our capability to meet the needs of gifted and talented students in elementary and secondary schools. Since 1989, the Javits program has supported model programs and practices to educate talented students nationwide. Projects under the program identify gifted and talented students, individualized instruction, and expand educational opportunities through collaboration with business and industry.

The Civic Education Program encourages instruction on the principles of our constitutional democracy and the history of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It also supports the annual competitions of simulating congressional hearings for secondary school students. I'm not sure if that's something we should have our students doing or not, but I'll let that go for now. More recently, language was added to support advanced teacher training on the constitutional U.S. political system and middle school instruction on state and local government.

Finally, the Arts and Education program incorporates arts education into elementary and secondary school curriculums. The program supports the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts which helps teachers integrate the arts into the classroom. It also supports other programs like performances for young people and artist training. Arts in Education also supports the Very Special Arts problem which creates programs to bring arts education into the lives of children and adults with disabilities.

As I mentioned earlier, I want to keep my remarks brief, so I'll end here by thanking our witnesses for their appearances here this afternoon before the Subcommittee. I realize that logistically it is an inconvenience for you to be here and then you'll run into the problem of us voting and everything else, so we do appreciate your taking the time to be here. I do look forward to your testimony. As I indicated, I will yield briefly to Ranking Member Kildee for his opening statement.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Castle follows:]




Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am very pleased to join Governor Castle at today's hearing on several ESEA and related programs that serve diverse populations. All of these programs are extremely important and I am very much looking forward to hearing about them today. When we are talking about civic and international education, the impact of art and music on a child's ability to learn, the importance of education to a homeless child, the value of books in reading, or programs that research the benefits to gifted and talented students, there are many worthwhile Federal investments that do not reach the scale of some of our more prominent programs but nevertheless fill vital roles in our educational system.

The programs which we'll hear about today, Civic and International Education, Inexpensive Book Distribution, Arts in Education, the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Program, the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program, meet the diverse educational needs of our children and spur learning and academic achievement.

While there are many in Congress that are very supportive of these programs, their inclusion in last year's Dollars to the Classroom Block Grant Act and previous other attempts to block grant their funding continues to concern me. It concerns me because I've been here 23 years now in the Congress of the United States. I was here in 1981 when we took ESEA and divided that basically into Chapter One and Chapter Two.

Chapter Two's funding, it funded all these various programs together and the funding went down like that. This is not just a theoretical fear I have; it's a fear that I saw materialize in 1981, when David Stockman was budget director. The reason that the dollars go down is the fact that when a program loses it’s identifying it generally then loses its immediate advocacy.

When it loses its advocacy it loses its dollars, and that happened. Chapter Two became a miserable chapter in educational history. I fear any block grant that takes these programs that you are representing here today, block grants them, that they will lose their identify. Hopefully, they would not lose their advocacy, but they very often do and they lose their dollars. I think that it's very important that we keep these as programs with their own identify in ESEA. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Castle. Thank you, Dale. We appreciate your comments and your own advocacy here with respect to that. We have six witnesses. Sometimes I introduce everybody but with six I think I'm going to go one at a time. So I won't introduce everybody now. By the time we get to Mr. Kemp, we'll forget who Mr. Kemp is, so we want to know who you are as you get ready to speak.

We'll start and we'll go in order and there is a clock up here that will be reflected in the lights there. The green light will be on for four minutes, the yellow light for one minute, and the red light for as long as you continue to speak. We don't want to cut you off in five minutes necessarily, but we do have a number of witnesses, and it's an afternoon session and there is liable to be interruptions. So we would like to give everyone a chance.

If you can try to keep it as close to the five minutes as possible, that would be appreciated. Obviously, we have your written testimony which, by the way, will be distributed to all of the Subcommittee and to all the Subcommittee staff as well. We have the material even if you don't get a chance to say it all right here, so think about maybe the strongest points you want to make and we'll go from there.

We're going to start with Mr. Richard Sells, who is the senior vice president of Reading Is Fundamental, Inc., in Washington D.C. He has over 25 years of senior management and consulting experience in both corporate and non-profit organizations of various backgrounds. Mr. Sells, we're looking forward to hearing about Reading Is Fundamental.


Mr. Sells. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Kildee, and other Members. I will briefly talk about the Inexpensive Book Distribution Program. It's been described quite succinctly by the two introducers. Specifically want to emphasize the importance of the Inexpensive Book Distribution Program to the broader Reading Is Fundamental children's literacy programming around the country.

Simply, RIF's mission is to develop and deliver children and family literacy programs and help prepare young children to read and motivate school age children to read regularly. For the last 22 years, since 1976, the Inexpensive Book Distribution Program has been a key factor in Reading Is Fundamental's programming. Prior to that, in 1966, when RIF started here in the District, Margaret McNamara and a group of her friends were tutoring in the D.C. public schools and became shocked at the lack of books in the school system. So they began with private funding and with a Ford Foundation grant to begin to try and remedy that.

In 1976 Congress authorized the Inexpensive Book Distribution Program and through the Department of Education, then the Office of Education, the contract was extended for RIF to expand its work to move nationally to help other states do what the original grassroots effort had done, starting here.

Since that time RIF has grown slowly, steadily, and we believe very effectively to the extent that we now have across the country and in the U.S. territories over 250,000 grassroots volunteers who are the actual front line of the RIF programs. The hallmark of what RIF's programming does is local control of programs with a national framework. Today we're talking about diverse populations, RIF's programs are as diverse as the populations we serve.

The people that deliver the programs are the local community volunteers, parents, teachers, librarians, and other adults, and older children who are engaged in the process of not just distributing books to children but surrounding book distributions with motivational activities, with encouragement, with recognition, and generally producing an environment that is positive toward children's literacy.

Last year through the Inexpensive Book Distribution program and through a significant level of private support that RIF receives from over 100 corporations and foundations, RIF distributed over 12 million books to 3.5 million children in the U.S. We are constrained only by funding. We have a wait list that dates back to the earliest days of 1993.

The last time the ESEA was authorized, an amendment or a call was made a part of it that RIF went to the Country and asked for interest. Over 2,000 local community groups responded, representing approximately 1.7 million children. Today some of those groups, many of those groups are not yet served. The call went out, the response came in, RIF has done the best it can with private funding and with increasing, slightly increasing Federal appropriations to the contract over the years.

And until next year we won't have been able to serve that wait list. We still have 1.3 million of those children represented on the wait list. They aren't the same children, obviously. Those children that were on the wait list in 1993 got skipped. They are the fourth and fifth and sixth graders of today that are probably reading below their basic reading level for their grade.

Last year, in response to our urgent request, Congress appropriated to the IBDP an additional $6 million. That will allow us to at least eliminate what we call the "old wait list," that's the work of 1.3 million kids prior to September 30th, 1998. We already have a new wait list. Beginning last October we opened the door again for requests for programming. We already have over 300 requests, over 400,000 children represented, and it grows by the month. So we know that the Inexpensive Book Distribution program works, we know it's an important foundation for RIF's broader programming, and I could go on about what that programming is.

But the fundamental issue is a book in children's hands that they can choose for themselves and keep. The involvement, engagement and motivation by adults and older children, volunteers, grandparents, any one who can engage in the community and be supportive are the key, we believe, to solving the children's literacy problem in the U.S. and we need to start earlier.

We are starting now, we say birth through age five. For all practical purposes, we have programming that is starting with mothers with children in arms, teaching the mothers to communicate with the children to prepare them for literacy experience. And if we don't do that, we will still be solving the problem 10 years from now or trying to on a remedial basis. It must be earlier, it must be more thorough, and it must be on purpose in every one of our communities in the country. Thank you very much.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Richard E. Sells follows.]




Chairman Castle. Thank you, we appreciate that. Our second witness today is Mr. Thomas Norlen, who is the Educational Liaison for the Homeless Children's Initiative, in Buck's County Schools in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Mr. Norlen has 11 years of experience providing services to homeless children and youth. Prior to that he worked as director of business development for several years with a Fortune 500 company, and he has a master's degree in education. Mr. Norlen.



Mr. Norlen. Thanks. Just before my official green light goes on, I want to ask permission if a small handout could be given to each Committee Member and the staff sitting in back that I brought with me today. It's a picture of a school photo of a homeless student from Pennsylvania.

Chairman Castle. Without objection, certainly that can be done, and with staff help, we can do that.

Mr. Norlen.. I believe one of the reasons that I wanted to do this, and Mr. Kildee certainly made an excellent point that helped me, was relating to identity. That while I'm speaking and when I leave I would ask that you would look at this photo of a real person, a person whose family I've grown to love over the last several months, and this particular student.

I know that some of you sitting back there are fathers, some of you perhaps are grandfathers, there are mothers here and maybe some grandmothers, including those in the audience, and I have a feeling that if we look inside of your wallet there probably would be several pictures of loved ones as well.

When you consider what you want education-wise for your loved ones, I would be sure that you would want a smooth enrollment with no hassles, that you would consider it to be automatic because it's an American right. Well, I guess the reason I'm here today is that for thousands of homeless children and youth, what we take for granted isn't so if it becomes a barrier and it becomes a major problem.

Now, since 1989 I've had the tremendous blessing of being a liaison for this McKinney program. I can tell you within my office I have a drawer that's overflowing with notes and cards that have come from homeless parents, from shelter case managers, from school counselors, teachers, and nurses that have taken the time to write that the presence of the local McKinney site makes a significant difference in the life of a homeless student.

Now, sometimes I compare homeless to a wheel with homeless being the hub and so many spokes going out. Obviously, in the short testimony I can't possibly even begin to talk about all the spokes. But year after year there are two central issues that stick out to me as a liaison.

Number one, the McKinney Act is the only official tool that we have as liaisons to enroll homeless students. It's the door opener, and number two, the McKinney funding allows us as liaisons to enroll the students, have them attend regularly, have them participate and find successes. I fully believe there can be no school success without school access, and this is what the McKinney Act does.

One of the activities that I am involved with year around is explaining and re-explaining the McKinney Act to homeless staff in school. You might think, well, is it obvious about this act? The answer is, no, it is not obvious. I try to imagine life in the future if something happened to this McKinney Act regarding homeless children and enrollment in school. From my experience I see chaos, I see arguments and stress in school offices while they try to figure it out, I see extended delays, and I see students not going to school that should be going to school.

One key national survey in 1987 prior to the McKinney Act saw 57 percent of homeless students going to school. A 1995 survey saw 86 percent. To me, in part, that is proof that this McKinney Act opens the doors to education for homeless children and youth.

What I find when I go to the schools is that they both need and appreciate the help in identifying homeless students because as a rule they don't often know that they are homeless. Surprise is a key emotion that comes from school staff when I go and say, "Did you know that student in your class is homeless?" They are overwhelmed. They didn't understand why the grades dropped, why the student couldn't concentrate, why they weren't there that often. They might have thought the student had a bad attitude or they were slovenly or just didn't care. Everything changes when the student is identified with the help of a McKinney liaison.

On page 4 of the written testimony are about 18 to 20 bullets of all the different programs that we offer from the McKinney Act. They are major things that are not duplicated by any shelter or school or community anywhere. It is truly a unique program. On pages 5 and 6 of the testimony, I've given several examples that this program can be measured and that it is effective.

On page 7 of the testimony I've given eight recommendations that I believe could further strengthen the McKinney Act during the reauthorization. I realize once again that the 24 clock is almost over and I need to shoot the ball. I really hope that your staff, the Committee Members, will take the time to read the written testimony in full.

I'm testifying here today not for myself, but I'm testifying for many people. Firstly, homeless parents who do not know this McKinney Act exists, homeless children and youth who can't bear another change of school or another move, school staff who need help in identifying homeless students, shelter and agency staff who need to be better linked with schools, school districts who have never had the opportunity to receive the benefits from this wonderful program, and for fellow McKinney liaisons all over the country who are thankful for this act and are truly blessed to be able to work with homeless students.

I hope and pray that this testimony will help you all be able to make a better decision regarding this legislation. I hope that you will look into the eyes of Nicky, the photograph that I gave you, and that you would want for her and all the children that she represents regarding education the same that you would want for your loved ones. Thank you.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Thomas M. Norlen follows.]


Chairman Castle. Mr. Kildee, did you want to say something?

Mr. Kildee.. I really am very moved by your testimony and moved by this -- I carry pictures like this in my wallet. I have three children and two grandchildren. But I'm just moved to offer this statement.

I was residing as Speaker Pro Tempore when we passed what became the Steward McKinney Homeless Act. As you recall, we named that after he died. He was such a great advocate for that act. I presided in that debate.

Such a great and compassionate advocate of that act that I pressed the Republican page button, it hadn't been pressed for years. You always pressed the Democratic page button when you were Speaker, we were in charge then. The Republican page came up and I sent a note to Stewart McKinney and I said, "`You bring dignity and respect to this House and make it possible for us to accomplish things." It's something that I occasionally do with Members who do an outstanding job.

Mr. Ford. I hope I get one of those notes from you sometime soon.

Mr. Kildee.. Very good. In about 10 minutes the page came back with a note from Stewart McKinney and he said, "Those words are one of the kindest words I have received recently." He died about one month later of a respiratory infection he caught while sleeping with other Members of Congress outside in the streets to demonstrate the needs of the homeless.

It was so appropriate that we named the bill after Stewart McKinney, because he was compassionate. I just feel that this Committee can learn from that compassion and that we can make a difference. The Federal Government can do some really kind things. Thank you very much for your testimony.

Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Mr. Kildee. We appreciate that, too. Our next witness is Dr. Sally Reis who is the president elect for the National Association for Gifted Children in Washington D.C. Additionally, she is a professor of educational psychology and serves as the principal investigator in the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented at the University of Connecticut. I wonder if she played basketball there--

Dr. Reis.. I was just thinking about the time clock.

Chairman Castle. The time clock doesn't start until I get done so you are okay. Dr. Reis brings extensive experience with gifted and talented students and programs to our panel. We appreciate your being here.



Dr. Reis. Thank you. It's an honor to be here. I am Sally Reis. I am indeed the president elect of the National Association of Gifted Children which is the Nation's oldest and largest organization dedicated to addressing the needs of gifted and talented students. I was a classroom teacher for 15 years prior to becoming a professor at the University of Connecticut, and also a GT educator, both a teacher and a coordinator.

I'm also here as a parent. I have four children; two of my children are still in school. One of those children was a premature infant who has a learning disability, and the other child, the last one, whose name is Liza, has been identified as gifted and talented. So I come to you today wearing many hats.

I'd like to just summarize my written testimony for you. The National Association for Gifted Children strongly supports continuing the Jacob Javits Act. I think also named for pioneer and for somebody who brought great dignity to our Country in a number of service acts. The Javits program currently is the only Federal program dedicated to looking out for the needs of the gifted and talented students.

However, it doesn't fund local or state programs. It did essentially three things. It reestablished a Federal office in Washington, it supported and started the only national research center dedicated to doing research primarily on underserved populations. In fact, there are some studies dealing with youngsters such as those who are homeless, the Javits Act details and deals with kids who are in many instances poor, who represent culturally diverse populations, who represent youngsters who have disabilities. So in many ways I speak for talented youngsters from many different quarters.

At this particular point I'd just like to mention one study funded by the Javits Act, and that was a study that I worked in Hartford, Connecticut. It was a large urban high school, one of the poorest high schools in the country. That particular study followed 50 students who had been identified as gifted and talented students over a four-year period. And I must tell you that it broke my heart. In that particular study we followed 25 young people who were underachieving in high school.

They had learned to underachieve because in the public schools from which they came, they never learned to work. Many of those students dropped out. Many of them became involved in gangs. And any minimum kind of programming for them would have made a difference. By the time many of them reached high school little support was found for their abilities and in many instances their talents went unfulfilled. These students and others like them have educational needs that are different and that are often not recognized by our schools.

The National Research Center has identified many effective strategies because of the funding that we have received that will help kids like this. But in many cases teachers don't know about them. We have very good evidence that gifted programs can raise the bar for all kids. In many instances the strategies that we learn about are able to bring enrichment opportunity for all children and then also benefit identified GT students.

We have a huge disparity across the Country for gifted education. Some states have no coordinator, some states have no funding. In a recent study done by the National Research Center, we found that 7,500 third and fourth grade teachers surveyed only 61 percent had ever received any training whatsoever on what to do for bright kids. So we have classroom teachers who have no idea of what to do.

ESEA can help. We believe that it ought to provide some resources to deal with our most capable youngsters. I'd like to just briefly talk about my own two children who are still at home.

Our daughter Sara, a premature infant, has a learning disability. She has many, many services available for her to meet her needs in school. Our other daughter, Liza, read at a 7th grade level in 2nd grade. As a 2nd grade student she ran away from school. A phone call at my office at the University of Connecticut saying she had taken off.

Part of the reason that this happened was because for the two or three years she was in school she was reading at grade level, when at home she was reading chapter books like Nancy Drew. We know that curriculum differentiation strategies can make a difference for kids like her. Unfortunately, most teachers don't know how to do this. Just giving kids appropriate content at their grade level is something that many teachers don't do.

We support an expanded Javits program and I think that the current bill that has been introduced by Representative Elton Gallegly, H.R. 637, does exactly what we hope can happen. This is a bipartisan bill that provides opportunities for many different types of services to be decided upon individually by states. We ask that you consider incorporating H.R. 637 into Title X.

And I'd just like to, as an example of what we believe can happen, point out what happened when Title IX made a difference in women's athletics. I truly believe that because of what happened last weekend with the women winning the World Cup, that would not have occurred without what happened with Title IX. We also think that the same kind of statement can be made for talented youngsters in academics.

Thank you very much for this opportunity and I ask you to consider doing what you can to help this group of youngsters in our Country. Thank you very much.

[The prepared statement of Dr. Sally Reis follows.]



Chairman Castle. Thank you, Dr. Reis. You may have noticed some stirring while you were speaking and we apologize for that. The vote has started to occur. We don't know how many votes it will be, but I think we have time to get Mr. Quigley’s testimony in before we break. I'll give a very brief introduction and I'll get right to your testimony.

Mr. Charles Quigley is the founder and executive director for the Center for Civic Education in Washington D.C. The center is the Nation's largest organization devoted to the study and implementation of programs on the United States Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the principles of a free democratic society. Further more, the center administers both the We The People Program, and International Education Program, under the authorizing jurisdiction of this Subcommittee. Mr. Quigley.



Mr. Quigley. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's an honor to testify before the Subcommittee. I'd like to talk to you about two programs, both within the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee and both up for reauthorization. One is the Civic Education Program that's Part F of Title X of the 1994 amendments to ESEA. The other is the International Education Program that's Title VI of the Goals 2000 Educate America Act.

The Civic Education Program, better known as We The People Program, began in 1985 as a cosponsored program of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution. It's success led to its inclusion in the 1988 ESEA amendments. The We The People Program is first and foremost an innovative instruction program for upper elementary, middle and high school students. It provides students a working knowledge of our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the principles of democratic government. It also fosters the development of both critical thinking and participatory skills.

Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of the program is the simulated Congressional hearing where all students in class work cooperatively in teams to prep and deliver all testimony on Constitutional topics. Preparation for the hearing develops a student's interest in class participation, leadership and public speaking skills.

One principal said he values the course because, quote, "It shows kids there are ways other than violence to work through disagreement". At the high school level teachers may enter their classes in a competition that begins at the congressional district level and culminates in national finals held here in Washington D.C. An event David Broder just recently describes as, quote, "The place to have your faith in the younger generation restored."

The We The People Program has involved more than 26.5 million students in 24,000 elementary and secondary schools and every congressional district in the United States. More than 82,000 teachers have participated in the program and more than 80,000 sets of textbooks have been distributed free to schools throughout the Nation. Success however is measure in more than numbers.

An evaluation of the program conducted by a Stanford University professor concluded that high school students participating in the We The People Program become significantly more committed than others to the beliefs, attitudes and values essential to a functioning democracy. The Educational Testing Service found the students at all levels significantly out performed comparison students in their knowledge and understanding of the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, as well as their underlying philosophical principles.

While we've accomplished a great deal in our small program, it would appear that we are swimming upstream. This year the National Association of Secretaries of State found that fewer than 20 percent of 18 to 24 year olds voted, and concluded that our Nation is at risk of losing this generation's participation in democracy.

According to a national survey college freshmen two years ago exhibited higher levels of political disengagement than any previous entering class of students. In short, it's painfully clear that we have only scratched the surface and that much more has to be done. The International Education Program began in 1994, when former Senator Claiborne Pell included the legislation in Goals 2000. Several years earlier he saw the need civic education assistance to emerging democracies in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. This program is the result of that concern.

Today educators in 15 American states are linked in established partnerships with more than 17 fragile emerging democracies. This year alone, almost 56,000 U.S. students and more than 550 U.S. educators, along with 225,000 students and more than 2,000 educators from emerging democracies have been provided training in the principles of democracy and the responsibilities of living in a free society.

An opportunity for influence on this scale has seldom existed since our founding fathers faced some of the same seminal philosophical issues 224 years ago. Students and teachers here in the United States are learning from those with first-hand experience about the difficulties of building an open, free and democratic society. They are interacting with teachers, administrators, and government officials who are literally on the front line of democracy in their respective homelands.

One public official in Bosnia-Herzegovina observed our program and said that with it perhaps these countries' children could avoid the tragedy their parents could not. The success of the program has already led to its expansion into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as fledgling democracies, Latin American, Africa and Asia. In referring to this program, Congressman Henry Hyde has said, "I am convinced that one of our most useful and productive programs is the Civitas Network. It really works." Mr. Chairman, with your continued support for both programs, we hope to continue and expand the important work we are doing in civic education.

I thank you on behalf of the many thousands of young people here and abroad who have had the honor to participate in the building and strengthening of democratic institutions, and will have the responsibility of ensuring their survival. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you this afternoon. I look forward to responding to any questions that you or other members of the committee may have.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Charles N. Quigley follows.]


Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Mr. Quigley, and let me just tell you the scenario now. We have one vote at this time, a 15-minute vote. We're about half way through it so we have to hustle to get over there and vote. There will be another vote or two after that. If it's two votes, the break could be up to 30 or 35 minutes. If it's one vote, it may be a 15-minute or something of that nature. We just simply don't know that until we get there and see what motions are raised.

When we come back we'll reconvene and we'll obviously start with Ms. Hinckley and go to Mr. Kemp for their testimony. Then we'll have questions of the various witnesses. In addition, I have votes in another Committee that may start at some point, so another Member is going to be sitting here for sure at that time. Mr. Kildee has volunteered to take over, if my Republican friends will go along with that. We will proceed as rapidly as we can.

Some of you are from Washington and some of you are from afar. If you have any logistical problems in terms of planes or something, you might want to let our staff know so that we don't get into a complication and we don't hear from somebody we'd like to hear from.

So at this time we have no other choice but to stand adjourned to the call of the Chair. Hopefully in the range of 15 to 30 minutes.


Chairman Castle. We'll get right to business. The next witness is Ms. June Hinckley, who is the president of the Music Educators National Conference in Reston, Virginia, and is the arts education specialist of the Florida Department of Education. Ms. Hinckley's wide array of experience includes teaching music, developing state arts standards, writing articles on a variety of issues and taking leadership in the field of arts and music both in Florida and nationally. We appreciate you being here and look forward to your testimony.



Ms. Hinckley. Thank you very much. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee. I am president of the MENC, the National Association for Music Education, which represents over 70,000 music educators across the Country. My day job is an arts specialist with the Florida Department of Education where I get to work with all the arts in the over 3,000 schools in Florida.

But my special area, as you might imagine, my area of specialization is music. We all understand the power of music in the arts to inspire and connect us. We've heard many moving stories today, and as I was listening to them, each time I thought about the power of music in the arts in making these a reality. When we were children learning to read how did we learn our ABCs? We sang the ABC Song. Little children are sensory learners. They learn by doing, they learn by having hands on.

We have a growing body of research that tells us that these experiences of making music and playing music stimulates more than just their musical talent, it stimulates their intellect as well. Dr. Francis Rauscher and Gordon Shaw at the University of California at Irvine, have done a variety of studies that show the impact of making music in an organized, concrete, sequential learning manner, and the impact on spatial, temporal learning ability which relates to math skills.

People were so attracted to the impact of this study that it's been replicated in several places. In one instance it was replicated at Kettle Moraine Elementary School. And after the music instruction in group piano lessons, with children of all ability levels, and these were not were just children who had special talent or special interest in music, a diverse group of children that showed an astonishing 48 percent higher scores on spatial reasoning ability.

In my own state, Florida, they were so attracted to the impact of this study that they decided they would replicate it as well. And so at Gemini Elementary, they did a similar thing, having kindergarten, first and second grade children have study two times a week at piano. They were so pleased with the result of the study that they are now having the children have more time to make music.

But I really come to you today as a music teacher. Because before I went to the Department of Education and before I started working with MENC as national president, I was a music teacher in a classroom.

I want to tell you a story about Miguel. Miguel was a child of a migrant family in Florida. And he was part of a program with classroom teachers who were very concerned that these children sit up straight, behave, be well organized, and do things correctly. My friend and I who were working on an early childhood program were invited in to act in a consultative role with the preschool teachers.

We felt it was just a little too structured for little kids, that they needed to play and be more interactive. And so we went in and taught them songs and invited them to move.

There was one child in our class, Miguel, great big eyes, always attending to what it is we did, but he never sang, he never participated. In talking with his teachers we understood that he never spoke in class. He spoke at home for his parent’s language was Spanish, but he didn't speak at school.

One day my friend taught a lesson and she taught a little song that a lot of parents teach their children. It goes like this, "Ha, ha, this-a-way, ha, ha, that-a-way. Ha, ha this-a-way, ha, ha, that-a-way, then oh then." A month later my friend Mary went back and Miguel was in class, eyes wide open. Mary did her wonderful lesson and got up to leave.

Just as she was walking out of the room, Miguel rushed up to her, tugged on her skirt, looked at her with great big eyes and went, "Ha, ha, this-a-way." The first time Miguel had spoken at school. Music was a key to unlocking the world of language for Miguel and to the chagrin of his teachers, then they couldn't shut him up.

Music is a key for many children and our concern is too many children are not receiving this key to learning, having the benefit of instruction in music and the arts. Disturbingly, we've just gotten news that music programs have been cut in Providence, Rhode Island. Instrumental music program in San Francisco has been cut.

We look at San Francisco and we think that this is a city of great cultural resources, and yet the elementary music program is being cut there. We also have heard that the music program in San Diego has been relegated to after school status. We know that while after school music programs can do many wonderful things, all children don't have the opportunity to participate.

Aristotle said, "Music has the power of producing a certain effect on the moral character of the soul. It has the power to do this. It's clear that the young must be directed to music and must be educated in it."

Gentlemen and ladies, with the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we exhort you to make sure that language that speaks directly to the arts is included in the reauthorization. Currently, the language for Goals 2000 includes the arts in basic study. This has such an important impact on decisions that are made at district and state levels.

The bully pulpit of Congress carries a strong message to schools and to school districts. Thank you for much for your interest in this and your support. I'll be happy to answer any questions.

[The prepared statement of Ms. June Hinckley follows.]


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Ms. Hinckley. I wonder if Miguel sings as well as you do, or as well as I do, which is the other side of it.

Ms. Hinckley. If you were in my class it would be a different story.

Chairman Castle. You don't know my natural ability you are dealing with here, I'm not sure about that.

Ms. Hinckley. I taught middle chorus as well. Changing voices I can handle.

Chairman Castle. Okay. Our clean up hitter today is Mr. John Kemp who is the president of VSA arts in Washington D.C.; an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the creative power in people with disabilities. Among his various activities he is also serving a presidential appointment as a member and Chair of the Civil Rights Committee of the National Council of Disability, and is acting president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities, which he also cofounded. And we're obviously very pleased to have Mr. Kemp here as well. Mr. Kemp.



Mr. Kemp. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It's an honor to be before you and other Committee Members this afternoon. I wanted to also point out that we've already made available to all of the members and staff two pieces of literature. One is the "Journey to Here" which is 25 years of programming by Very Special Arts and also a state prospectus which is a state by state review of each of the programs and all of the programs of our state affiliates.

A recent success for VSA arts was our international festival, Art and Soul, held in Los Angeles over the Memorial Day Weekend. We had over 1,000 artists from all over the world come there. I was going to show you some slides but technology didn't allow us to get that up and running, and that's okay. It would have probably been a wonderful backdrop but we'll provide it at another time. All the arts, performing, visual, and literary enhance critical thinking and problem solving. They promote mutual respect and understanding and they give children valuable academic and social advantages. And they provide youth with artistic outlets that enhance self-expression and independent living skills.

There is a tremendous amount of research, and especially the research that Ms. Hinckley just discussed with Rauscher and others that would reinforce the value of music education in other arts education activities in the benefits to children.

Research supports the needs for arts education. They confirm the value of the arts to positively shape the lives of young adults with and without disabilities and leave them to become contributing members of communities and work places. But for kids with disabilities it is not only a must that they have access to arts programs, it is that they must be also included in the benefits of such programs, And that is where a lot of kids with disabilities drop out. They are not included in what's going on in regular classroom activities.

A strong desire to involve children and adults in the arts and arts education resulted in the birth of VSA arts in 1974. Over the past 25 years we have taken several important strategic steps to strengthen our mission and broaden our reach, including the creation of an U.S. affiliate network that will serve 4.3 million people across the Country in this fiscal year. In the few states where we don't have affiliates, we invest in arts councils and other program providers to extend and implement out initiatives.

VSA arts is able to provide programming nationwide by creating model programs such as the annual Young Soloist Program and Playwright Discovery Program that facilitate affiliate involvement and present opportunities for program replication across the Country. Through funding provided by the U.S. Department of Education we are able to support our affiliates with direct financial and technical assistance and support as they carry out the national programs of VSA arts and create their own unique initiatives. We regard our programs as a good investment.

So how does the Federal dollar make a difference at the local level? In the last fiscal year VSA arts affiliate network leveraged an additional $10.58 for every dollar of Federal support provided. Generating this additional financial support makes it possible for programs to be replicated, for new initiatives to be developed and for millions of people across the Country to benefit from our programs and services.

To give you an idea of the caliber and diversity of our programs, I'd like to mention just a few. VSA arts of Wisconsin, the Chair of the Board of that organization happens to be Sue Ann Thompson, first lady of Wisconsin. In the last fiscal year this affiliate working with corporations, foundations, service organizations, and local school and arts and education agencies were able to use Federal dollars to obtain over $1 million in funding. This increase in funds enables VSA arts of Wisconsin to provide many programming benefits that directly 125,000 people in the State of Wisconsin.

Our Wisconsin affiliate is one that has grown dramatically over the last two years through innovative programming initiatives.

Chairman Castle. I'm sorry to interrupt you. I have to run to make the votes of my other Committee. Mr. Kildee is getting his wish, he is going to take over the Subcommittee temporarily and go through the questions. You go ahead and finish your testimony and then we'll turn to him and I'll be back shortly.

Mr. Kemp. Hundreds of Wisconsin adults and children with disabilities experience the power of music through VSA arts of Wisconsin's choir programs. Choirs have been established in Fond du Lac, Appleton, Madison, Menomonee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Rapids, Rhinelander, Stevens Point and Wausau counties. And I had the experience of sitting in on one of those choirs and I tried not to sing too loudly because I was not like any of the talent we have here today.

VSA arts of Wisconsin provides essential training to educators throughout the state through teacher training. VSA arts of Wisconsin has provided more than 200 arts educators with the skills to effectively utilize adaptive and inclusive teaching techniques in their classrooms. Called the Early Childhood Program, this initiative is encouraged to designed the use of arts activities as an educational tool to promote the development of social cognitive and physical abilities in preschool programs.

I had the opportunity just two months ago to participate in that type of teacher training program. And they were getting excellent hands-on instruction on how to include kids with a variety of disabilities and limitations in participating in those programs.

VSA arts of Michigan has launched a comprehensive effort to enhance cultural access working in partnership with the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs they have encouraged the inclusion of people with disabilities in all of the state's cultural activities.

In Michigan, as well, our affiliate conducts artists in residencies in schools, art centers, recreation facilities, social service agencies throughout the state, as well as providing art classes for youth and adults with disabilities.

There is an after school arts club for students with disabilities age 16 and up. It aims to increase the academic inclusion and self esteem of the participants -- and that is fundamentally, I think one of the problems that many kids with disabilities face is that they lack positive self esteem. That's probably something that happens for all kids today that are having some difficulties -- strengthening inclusion by bringing together community members from across the state VSA arts of Michigan provides an array of festivals and statewide programming and they are in a number of towns throughout that state. California provides professional development opportunities for educators and artists at their annual statewide conference. And, again, it's talking about the inclusion of kids with disabilities in regular classrooms where kids rightfully belong.

VSA arts of Delaware is another example, serving as a test state for our new Express Diversity middle school curriculum. I'm very proud of Express Diversity. Express Diversity is designed to help teachers promote the inclusion of students with disabilities within the academic and social environments of their schools.

Last year Delaware affiliate worked in collaboration with the museum at Winterthur to implement its new initiative. It is also a site for our partnership with the Veterans Administration. And we have a wonderful VA-VSA program. We have many other examples of affiliates I won't go into, but I do want to mention very briefly Matthew Volbrecht who I've become friends with.

He is a 10th grader from Pennsylvania who Congresswoman Pelosi and Congressman Gilman recently heard perform at our 25th Anniversary International Night Gala. And he was the recipient of the VSA arts Young Soloist Award. This led him to become the national ambassador for UNICEF.

His mother credits music with Matthew's academic and social success and she says, "Singing has played a part in Matthew's being so well adjusted, when people meet him, they forget he is blind."

There is 10 year old Hope Avery from Iowa who started dancing in VSA's New Vision Dance Program, and now takes a mainstream jazz class. She happens to have artificial legs. "It's nice to dance without them on. It doesn't hurt to wear them but sometimes we have to leap and I don't think I'd be able to leap with my legs on because they are sort of heavy and I think they would pull me down."

"In class we practice leaping. We do things by ourselves. I like when we dance really fast, that's fun. Dancing has built up my confidence. My stumps hurt after dancing but inside I feel very, very happy because I've achieved something special. I am proud of myself."

On a personal note, I benefited from an inclusive educational setting in a regular kindergarten classroom right through law school. My mother's passing when I was 15 months old and my father's advocacy with public and private schools in North Dakota, Kentucky, Washington D.C., and Kansas both enabled me to develop social relationships and academic opportunities in a real world setting.

This also provided my teachers and fellow students with an awareness that students with disabilities rightfully belong in every classroom in every school in the United States. VSA arts is creating opportunities for all children to receive the same advantages from which I've benefited. Through implementing programs that encourage inclusively and that utilize the value of the arts to enhance academic performance, as well as nurturing an unstoppable disability culture, we have not only given our children a jump start in life but teach them the importance of appreciation, acceptance, and tolerance.

I'll conclude my remarks by just saying that we've undertaken a rather extensive strategic planning process and we now share even more of our resources, cash resources, directly with our affiliates and all of our money goes toward supporting an affiliate network nationwide. Thank you very much.

[The prepared statement of Mr. John Kemp follows:]


Mr. Kildee..[presiding] Thank you. There is another vote on in the House, but we can take some time and I'll get my questions in and then we can go to the other members. First of all, I and Jack Faxon were the cosponsors of a bill, which established the Michigan Council for the Arts. There are some bills that one wonders if they accomplish anything, but that's one that really has been very helpful, I know, in Michigan. And of course, the National Endowment for the Arts interfaces with it too, and does a very good job. And I've been one of the great defenders of the National Endowment for the Arts, also. Even though it's been under attack here from time to time, it's one of the great programs of the Federal Government.

I'm going to ask my question of my good friend Chuck Quigley. I'm really intrigued by your International Education Program and your efforts to educate those around the world about the democratic forms of government. Could you tell us about some of the things you are doing, and maybe some of the parts of the former Republic of Yugoslavia where you might have been reaching people who have not really ever lived under democracy in their lives. Could you tell us a little bit about that?

Mr. Quigley. If their children are any indication of their future, they will be democratic pretty soon because they are taking to it like ducks to water. As a matter of fact right now we have 10 American teachers from throughout the Country in Bosnia working with all three groups, the Bosnia Serbs, Bosnian Croats and the Bosniacs training about 300 Bosnian teachers from kindergarten through third grade on basic principles of democracy, of authority, of consent, of justice and so forth.

This is a program that American teachers have worked together with the Bosnians to develop. Also the program has been going there now since 1996. Over 100,000 students have been involved. It's the only problem in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the only educational program that's been established that has continued. All the others have fallen by the wayside. It's also the only program that brings together students from the three different groups. It's the only program that is studied by all in the students in all the groups throughout the Country.

They have separated the curriculum and have a Croat curriculum, and a Serb curriculum, and a Bosnia curriculum but this has been the one thing that has been uniting them.

The results so far have been wonderful, in so far as when you see those students discussing issues of democracy and going out into the communities and looking at problems and solving the problems and bringing their solutions to their government officials, and actually getting the government officials to listen to them, which is something that's not happened in the past. It's inspiring.

Mr. Kildee. You know it's interesting because these students really are the future of that area over there. I've been down here 23 years and I can recall students coming to Washington in various capacities. And I ran into one of those students whom I had met, and he showed me a picture taken about 12 years ago of his group and myself standing on the steps of the capitol building and now he is a member of the Michigan State Legislation.

So I think, you know, it's so important. Theoretically we often think this is our future, but what was our future back then is now our present. And it's very, very important. How are you received by the government over there?

Mr. Quigley. Extremely well received. In fact, the Minister of Education of the Federation said they look to the United States and to schools and programs from the United States rather than Europe. He said the history of Europe the last 100 years has been a history of failure. And in fact they might even have too much of a too idealistic a notion of the United States.

But we have the same thing, we are also doing the program in Macedonia. I just got a phone call from my staff who is there and he was taken to Kosovo. There were Kosovo teachers who want to do the same sort of program that's being done in Bosnia. And they look to the United States. So it's rather nice being liked in those areas.

One other comment in that regard. The high school text on the Constitution was translated by the Russian Teachers Union verbatim and it's used with over 60,000 Russian high school students in American studies classes with the approval of the Ministry of Education in Russia. So there is a hunger in these countries for democracy and for getting democracy programs going in the schools. And this is one thing that we're trying to meet. And what we're doing is also trying to bring all of the resources throughout the United States to bear on the problem. So with the international program, we're taking the best programs domestically throughout and linking them with other countries. For example, we have Florida and Texas linked with Hungary. We have Massachusetts, New York and Washington D.C. linked with West Russia. We have Alaska and Washington linked with Sakhalin in East Russia. So there is really a very large number of American educators who are teaching this at home but then also are sharing what they have learned with people in these other countries.

At the same time the people in the other countries are developing lessons on the transition from authoritarianism to democracy that are now being used in schools throughout the United States, so it's a two way street.

Mr. Kildee. Thank you very much.

Ms. Woolsey. I can't come back and I'd love to ask a question. But I'll stay and you can go. You can monitor me.

Mr. Kildee. I haven't missed a vote in 15 years.

Ms. Woolsey. We're not going to miss the vote. My question and it's to all of you. There is a lot of emphasis now here on the Hill to block grant everything that has to do with education. And your small, valuable, focused programs I fear will get lost in block granting. And I'd like you to tell me what you think about that. What do you think would happen if we took everything and put it in one pot? If you could just answer at will, I guess.

Dr. Reis. I'd be glad to start. I know that programs for gifted and talented youth, if it was in block grants that were not categorical, that is categorical towards our population we would be the last people. Perhaps it would be tied with the arts, but we would be the last people to receive funds, because that's historically what's happened. We're the first to go, along with the arts and the last to get anything back.

So representing a smaller group of young people, I completely agree with you. And I would ask if block grants were to be considered, there would be categorical block grants that would enable us to have a percentage of money for the populations we represent.

Mr. Quigley. As Congressman Kildee said, they would lose their identity, advocacy and existence.

Ms. Woolsey. All right.

Mr. Quigley. To make it short. But also, even if you block granted, for example, the amount of money that we have in Civic Education, for example, Delaware, we've had about $14,777. Now what are they going to do with that for civic education? I think in some instances national programs are much more cost effective. And, in fact, I can say, also, I think probably everyone here can say they probably leverage 10 to 1 in cost sharing. So these programs would lose their existence. But I think really costs less in taxpayers' dollars to do them as they are being done now than to put them out in the states.

Ms. Woolsey. Yes, Mr. Sells?

Mr. Sells. As far as Reading Is Fundamental is concerned, I echo everything that's been said. Our effectiveness is our ability to engage with other organizations at the state level, at the community level, the leveraging effect for us is about $8 to $1, and that's not counting very much soft dollars in that equation at all. But if the funding went in block grants and we had to go hunt it, we're a very small organization, we have 70 staff, we have 250,000 volunteers, to try and organize to engage in delivering even the same level of service with the block grant proposal, it would be hard for us to imagine how it could even function.

Ms. Woolsey. Ms. Hinckley?

Ms. Hinckley. I work for a Department of Education and even if you did block grants the importance of language to support the kinds of programs we've been talking about here is critical, the bully pulpit of the Congress to carry the message. In my instance the importance of arts in schools and the impact that it can have.

I remember a number of years ago Title II language included in the long list of things "the arts". I did wonderful programs in schools because that language was in there. When you say things like "and other subjects" as far as we're concerned in the arts does nothing for us because it doesn't single it out in any way and it's not permissive.

And so what we see over and over again is funding to go for science and math, science and math. And the Eisenhower Program is wonderful, but we have some programs that have tremendous amount of funding coming for it now and programs that are just left in the lurch. And yet our experience, my experience as a music teacher is to see the power of these programs. And you've heard from all of us to speak to that, it's a frustration.

Mr. Kildee. We have to stand in recess right now. We'll be back. We'll only have one vote. If you can remain, I know we have other questions for you. We'll be right back.


Mr. Kildee. I've been waiting to do that for a long time. The goal is to occupy the big chair yet. I think Mr. Scott, the gentleman from Virginia is next. Mr. Scott, you are recognized.

Mr. Scott. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I had a few questions I guess. Mrs. Hinckley, do you have a cost per student that it costs to participate in the arts?

Ms. Hinckley. No, I do not but I'd be happy to find that information for you. I think that it certainly varies from state to state.

Mr. Scott. You indicated that it's important to make sure that everyone can get access to the arts, and there is some expense involved in that. I know we have some youth orchestras, for example, where there is expense of getting the instruments. And sometimes they can be rented at a very low cost.

Ms. Hinckley. Sure.

Mr. Scott. You don't have an estimate on cost?

Ms. Hinckley. I surely don't because there is such variety in the costs, and facilities, and the equipment, and those kinds of things that they have. For instance, some schools have rental programs and children provide their own instruments. Other school districts, they provide all the instruments for them.

Mr. Scott. Okay. Now, you've shown how much this can help the students, Mr. Kemp, do you have numbers to show, quantitatively, how much you help in discipline and drop out numbers? Are those involved in the arts less likely to drop out and less likely to be involved in discipline problems? Do you have any studies to help us with that?

Mr. Kemp. Not with me today, but I'd be happy to research it and provide it to the committee.

Mr. Scott. Ms. Hinckley?

Ms. Hinckley. We did a study in Florida in 1990 on the role of the arts in high school drop out prevention. And in self-surveys by administrators 70 percent of the administrators indicated that the students who were actively participating in arts programs were more likely to stay in school and it was a positive effect in their lives.

Then we observed these students who had been identified as potential drop out students at risk, and their on-task behavior, which is educational for them being active in the class and attending in the class was much greater in the arts classes than it was in their other academic classes.

Mr. Scott. Do any of the programs have studies to show how they affect minorities as opposed to everyone else, whether or not minorities do particularly well with access to some of these programs? Dr. Reis?

Dr. Reis. Yes. Actually, one of our Jacob Javits Act's programs was done in the Bronx. It was a program in the arts for talented students, primarily minorities, showing achievement gains of 40 percent. I can send you the study. A three-year program called ``Art Connections," out of New York City, for talented youngsters in the arts who were not necessarily academically talented but their achievement gains were 40 percent after a two year program in which they participated in dance and music.

So we find a definite connection between arts education and academic achievement. Sometimes it's self-efficacy, sometimes it's self-confidence, sometimes there is just a joy of learning that translates, and the issue of working hard in the arts, which also translates into academic achievement. But a 40 percent gain in academic achievement is quite significant.

Ms. Hinckley. In the recent NAEPS study that was done in the arts, one of the wonderful things we saw was in the creating part. There was no difference between minority students and white students. And in every other NAEPS study that's been done there has been a definite difference in the performance results of white students and Hispanic students and African American students, and there was not in the arts.

Mr. Quigley. At the high school level, our program provides an academic competition for entire classes of students. It has an egalitarian twist; it can't be just cooked up especially for the program. In the State of New York, almost every year one of the top classes has been from the Bronx, from Mr. Owens' district, all black kids from homeless shelters, that class has actually won the state competition in New York a number of years, and when it's come here, it's always scored in the top 10.

The same, we have - in fact, the winning class a couple of years ago was an all Hispanic class from Florida. And a number of the classes that are in the top throughout the United States are classes that are actually dominantly with minority participation, minority students.

Mr. Scott. Mr. Sells, did you have, as our acting Chairman has said, disaggregated results to show what the effect RIF has on minorities as opposed to the other populations?

Mr. Sells. Not in a real specific way because we do not require or ask for information from the local programs in that fashion. However, as you recognize our mission and certainly all of the Federal funding goes to the neediest and most disadvantages populations, so we can demonstrate on the positive side not in an orderly quantitative way but we can demonstrate certainly the impact on minority populations but in the studied fashion that you are asking.

Mr. Scott. We've had two first ladies in Virginia that have been very strong champions of Reading Is Fundamental, Linda Robb and Jeannie Baliles have been very strong supporters.

Mr. Sells. Yes. Mrs. Robb is our Chair, as you know.

Mr. Scott. Let me ask one other question. Ms. Woolsey asked about block grants and I'd like to ask you Mr. Norlen, in terms of the McKinney Act funding, could you tell us a little bit about what it was like before you got direct funding and what we could assume would happen if we went to a block grant?

Mr. Norlen. I only began the project as the first liaison in a project in Pennsylvania, so I don't in my life experience have that, other than the statistic I referred to in my verbal presentation, and you were here, I believe for that, correct?

Mr. Scott. I wasn't there but I have noticed that the attendance rate, I've read your comments, the attendance rate--

Mr. Norlen. Yes, it went from 56 percent to 86 percent. The one comment that I wanted to make about block granting was that we can't make an assumption that school district personnel know who the homeless students are, they do not. When we tried to do a state census in Pennsylvania in 1993, questionnaire after questionnaire, dozens and dozens came back with ``zero`` written down. When we did a shelter based, it was 20,000 to 30,000. They wouldn't have a clue, and therefore if block granting occurred it would be a disaster to homeless students. They wouldn't get any help.

Mr. Scott. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Castle. Thank you very much. Mr. Scott, we appreciate that. I think Mr. Kildee has a unanimous consent request?

Mr. Kildee. Yes, Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that a presentation paper by the National Council of Economic Education be included as a part of the record of this hearing.

Chairman Castle. Without objection it is so included.

[The prepared statement of the National Council of Economic Education follows:]


Chairman Castle. I think I'm ready to yield to myself a few minutes, five minutes, to ask a few questions, if I may. Obviously, with six people, it's sort of hard to get it all in, but just a couple of things. You know, one thing that went through my mind is as you went through all this, Mr. Norlen, what is the definition of "homeless." I don't mean too legal of a definition, but two questions. What is the definition of homeless? I mean, is somebody living in a motel, who may or may not be homeless, we see a lot of transient corporate apartments now which of course none of us have considered to be homeless. I mean I don't know how you identify that way. Secondly, how do you find these people? How are they referenced to you, or how do you find them? I mean, you may have gone into the -- if you could handle that fairly concisely, I'd appreciate it.

Mr. Norlen. I'll do that. I think when I begin a presentation at a workshop for a school or an agency, one of the first things that they realize is that they don't know who the homeless are. That's why when I tell them I'm from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which is one of the top tourist attractions in the United States, and I tell them that of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania we are fourth in the most homeless children.

They are all like going, "Well, what are you talking about?" Because in their minds they think homeless means outside on the street. Most of what we're talking about here with homeless families and children is they have a roof over their head. The roof is a shelter roof, it's a motel roof, or it's doubled up with their friends and relatives for a while because they can't get into a shelter. So that's the main way, through our state plan that we were required to write, we identify the homeless. Very few of what we are talking about, for the McKinney Act, are people living outside in the street. The identification process is done with liaison working strongly in the community publicizing.

We approach this like a marketing campaign with posters, stickers, presentations and then we will go to motels. People at motels will call our 800 number. People who have been educated in school districts will start calling us and saying, "We think we've identified a homeless student. Will you get involved?" So we have calls coming in from school staff, agency staff, the shelters, motels, quite a lot because we're out there working at it.

Chairman Castle. Of course, we could talk about that for a while, but it has sort of answered the question. Dr. Reis, You mentioned the Gallegly Bill, which is H.R. 637, the Gifted and Talented Students Education Act for 1999. There is also an Administration's Educational Excellence for all Children Act of 1999, which deals somewhat with the Gifted and Talented Programs, is it preferable for some reason to the Administration bill, and if so, why?

Dr. Reis. Well, the Gallegly Bill is dedicated exclusively at this point to gifted and talented students, while the Administration bill, much the same way as block grants, would have gifted and talented as one area that could be funded. And in that particular situation, once again, we tend to not end up with most of the funds. And most funds today in education are being dedicated towards getting the lower end of the scores up. As we said previously, math and science. And this particular bill, the H.R. 637, is dedicated towards youngsters with high potential. And we really believe that in many cases, what can happen when we target gifted and talented students and programs is that we can raise the bar for all kids. And I think the Gallegly Bill pretty much because of the population being defined would be better for the constituents that I represent.

Chairman Castle. Would anyone in this panel, -- I don't want six answers, but would anyone on this panel, I would assume you would all be concerned about a block funding concept, a block funding even with flexibility on the basis that you feel your particular needs might get knocked out. Am I saying that more or less correctly? You don't have to reiterate it, if I am, but I assume that's where you would mostly be coming from? Is that at least generally correct?

[All panelists nod affirmatively.]

Chairman Castle. Let me ask a question, if I can. I think both Ms. Hinckley and Mr. Kemp may be able to speak to this and maybe I'm wrong. That is I'm looking at the Arts in Education programs in the two parts that you do, and I'm thinking about the NEA, the National Endowment for the Arts. Do you receive any funding, or do the programs that you support receive any funding from that, or do you receive funding solely from the Arts in Education? Is there any cross over at all with respect to that?

Mr. Kemp. We received a small grant recently, about $20,000. That's the only finding we've gotten from NEA.

Ms. Hinckley. The funding from the NEA primarily goes to support wonderful arts institutions that do lots of nice things, but it's more partnering, it's not directly to

the schools.

Chairman Castle. Exactly. I've been a supporter of the NEA, but there are those who feel it should be a little more educationally focused and that might take some of the political pressure off what we have dealt with the NEA for years. That's one of the reasons I raised the question as well.

Sort of the same question as the block grant question, and this will be my final question, but in each instance are your programs primarily federally funded as opposed to state and or local funded? Or in some cases is the Federal part of it a smaller component than the state and the local part of it may be? Mr. Sells.

Mr. Sells. In our case the Federal portion of the funds that flow through our Department of Education contract go to the local organizations strictly for the purchase of books. The local organization has to raise at least 25 percent of their book budget locally and they have to raise the money to support administratively the local organization.

Chairman Castle. Do you have corporate -- I would think in your situation you might have corporate contributions more than some might?

Mr. Sells. We do that.

Chairman Castle. What percent is it of the overall budgeting?

Mr. Sells. We're looking for it to be a much higher percentage. We will this year raise an incremental match to go with the additional appropriation that we have access to, 10-1, of $6 million. Next year it will go up to 8 and up to 10. So we're trying to crank the leverage much faster on the private side. Because the Inexpensive Book Distribution Program is relatively constrained and because it really goes to buy books and specific technical assistance, all of our program development, our development of training programs, all of the rich additional programming that benefits the federally funded programs is developed by private funds. We have over 100 corporations and foundations that help us but it still is a constant task to work forward against the wait list that I described.

Chairman Castle. You said that you wanted the corporate contributions to become a higher percentage of the funding that you receive. I assume you don't want to see that happen by the Federal Government reducing its share of it? I'm just kidding.

Mr. Sells. No, we don't.

Chairman Castle. Thank you, sir. Yes, Ms. Hinckley?

Ms. Hinckley. I'm unique among this group because music and art programs get no federal funds specifically. What we're very concerned about is that the language in the reauthorization Elementary and Secondary Education Act do as was done, as I mentioned, in Goals 2000, that includes the arts as a part of basic study. And that's such a critical thing because it doesn't require any money on your part, but it is the support and the inclusion of the language, which sends the message on.

Chairman Castle. Thank you. And I think that Mr. Norlen has a comment?

Mr. Norlen. Okay. Regarding the McKinney Homeless Act, I know I'm not telling you anything you don't know, it's for the record here. There is only one act for homeless children, that's it. There is only one source of funding that comes from that act; it's Federal funding. It flows through, as a rule, the State Department of Education and then people compete, meaning from school districts or intermediate units. And I think I just want to stress how important that is because the loss of that funding doesn't mean that there would be funding anywhere else. It isn't there, that's it.

Chairman Castle. Mr. Quigley?

Mr. Quigley. Yes. As I said earlier, our Federal money leverages about 10 to 1, as many of these do, in cost sharing at the state and local level. Some of that's direct funding, some of that is volunteer time, et cetera. Backing up a little bit. There is a problem with civic education in the United States and that is that it doesn't exist. Only about 15 percent of the students in the United States get a good civic education program. And this has become widely recognized by the National Conference of Secretaries of State, and the National Conference of State Legislatures, and so forth.

So we have launched a national campaign to try to get state legislatures to support civic education. And this is with the cooperation of the National Conference of State Legislatures. So far we have five states that have actually contributed funding, and also authorizing legislation to support civic education.

Our goal, of course, is to get all 50 states to do so, and develop the support of policies as well as appropriate funds for civic education. So that's something that's increasing and we hope that we will be successful within a few years, and get every single state legislature to support the program in addition to the Federal money.

Chairman Castle. Dr. Reis.

Dr. Reis. The Javits Act is the only Federal act. It's about $6 million. The states are quite variable amounts. Connecticut puts no money into gifted programs whatsoever. Other states put very small amounts all the way up to a very few states that put significant dollars in. But the issue for us is very much like for the arts, and that is the statement it would make from the Federal Government that this is important, that we spend such a tiny amount on a population of children who so often underachieve and use their talents in ways we would prefer they would not use their talents. In addition, we're very, very hopeful that the kind of statement that could be made would be helpful to all these constituents because there is talented kids in the arts, there is talented kids who are homeless, there is talented kids who need education in this area, and so I think in that way the Federal Government's leadership in this could provide a vision for what we ought to be doing.

Chairman Castle. My time is way up. Just a follow up because it's being pointed out to me here that you could receive Title VI monies in addition to the Javits Act? Is that correct, and do you?

Dr. Reis. Well, not -- there is a possibility. But, again, those funds are not used for our population. Throughout the Country I don't know anybody who is currently using Title VI funds for gifted and talented programs.

Chairman Castle. But it could be used for gifted and talented programming?

Dr. Reis. I think certain types. But, again, it's generally the last priority, just like the arts. I mean we throughout the Country people are using funds to improve scores. And almost all of them are targeted for lower achieving kids.

Mr. Kemp. The Federal money we receive, when looked at with our affiliates, is a minority amount of money that's not anywhere near half of the amount of money that we spend on a consolidated basis.

Chairman Castle. Okay. Let me thank you. You've been here longer, probably, than you should have been for the length of time that you were allowed to talk because of the interruptions, and I apologize for that. I did give Mr. Kildee a taste of that old flavor of being in charge. I appreciate it. Let me turn to him for any closing which he would like to make.

Mr. Kildee. First of all, I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this hearing today. You have brought together people who represent some very, very important programs and I would suggest that perhaps among yourselves you can form a certain informal alliance because programs like yours are the ones that are probably the greatest threatened through a block grant. You might think, you know, of keeping in contact with one another. But I'm really very grateful to you, Governor Castle, for bringing this group together, and they have been very, very helpful.

Chairman Castle. Thank you, Dale. We appreciate your interest and concerns about all these things. I would just say in closing, maybe I should have said this at the beginning, but as all of you know, you are not novices at any of this, you are very experienced at dealing with the funding problems and these issues. As you know, at the level of the governors, and even some state education levels, and here in Congress, we're going more and more to flexibility.

If it's not block granting at least, you know, more moving funds together with flexibility, with accounting kind of thing, which I understand can have a negative financial impact on some of the things you are doing. I mean, it's happening out there, and its happening, frankly, with some Republicans and some Democrats so it's not just a particular political thing. There is a lot of huge change going on in education in America today that I think the press has by and large completely missed. It's happened particularly in the last two or three years, not here in Washington particularly but out in the states and the local districts. I say all that because I sense that your programs at some point will at least be impacted by this. Not necessarily eliminated by it, but impacted by it in some way or another. It's something that while it can be resisted to some degree, its going to have to be dealt with to some degree too, I think. That's a personal observation. I don't say that as a threat or a warning or even a determination of where I am on it, but I think it is something we all have to be aware of. I have had a lot of sympathy, as I'm sure the other two Members here and the other people in the room do, with your particular programs and your concerns. Particularly kids with needs, I think that's something we have to pay attention to. Those voices have to be heard so you've got your work cut out for you. I didn't mean to give you a homework assignment but that's what I sense it ending up doing. Again, as I said at the beginning, we do appreciate your being here. We know this is an inconvenience and that it takes a good part of your day to be here. Hopefully, it will make a difference. With that we stand adjourned.







[Whereupon, at 3:55 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]