Impact Aid 3(e) Payments:
This program authorizes four years of payments to school districts after they have lost federally connected students. This prolonged payment period is unnecessary. The payment provided under the department's authority to base payments on prior-year enrollment data is sufficient to allow districts to adjust to decreased enrollments. Scarce Impact Aid dollars should be provided to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) that enroll federally connected students rather than those that do not.
Ellender Fellowships (Close-Up Foundation):
An audit of the program, requested by Congress, indicated that despite significant increases in federal support, the Close-Up Foundation, which administers the program, has not expanded the fellowship program. In fact, the number of fellowships decreased and the federal share per fellowship increased, indicating a substitution of federal for non-federal support. Other organizations offer similar government education programs in Washington, providing financial assistance to economically disadvantaged secondary students, without federal support.
Education for Native Hawaiians:
Native Hawaiians, to the extent that they meet eligibility criteria that are applied to all citizens, are already eligible for ED services, including student financial aid programs, that duplicate many of the activities in the programs.
Foreign Languages Assistance:
This program is poorly structured to be an appropriate vehicle for the advancement of foreign language education in the schools. The size of the fiscal 1993 appropriation is insufficient to support a formula grant program, particularly one with the ambitious goals and broad scope of this program.
Consumer and Homemaking Education:
The purpose of this program is to assist states in conducting consumer and homemaking education programs that prepare youth and adults for the occupation of homemaking. This program can be supported with non-federal resources. All states currently have active, well-established consumer and homemaking programs that will continue without direct federal support.
Bilingual Vocational Training:
The purpose of this program is to provide bilingual vocational education and training and English language instruction to persons with limited English proficiency and to prepare these persons for jobs in recognized occupations. A small discretionary program such as this cannot begin to meet the needs of the nation's 4.3 million limited English proficient adults. These needs are more appropriately addressed through Vocational Education Basic Grants and Adult Education Basic Grants.
State Student Incentive Grants:
This program was intended to provide an incentive for state need-based postsecondary student grant assistance through dollar-for- dollar federal matching funds. Federal funds are no longer necessary as an incentive to states to provide need-based aid, inasmuch as state expenditures for need-based grant aid have continued to expand in recent years, even as federal funding has dropped or remained constant. This suggests a considerable level of state commitment regardless of federal expenditures.
Dwight D. Eisenhower Leadership Program:
This program awards grants to institutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations to support the development of student leadership skills. Allowable activities under this program are already included in the regular curriculum at many institutions of higher education.
Cooperative Education programs are those having alternating or parallel periods of academic study and employment related to the student's academic programs or professional goals. Federal encouragement and motivation in the area of cooperative education is no longer necessary. The concept of cooperative education has been demonstrated successfully and accepted by the higher education community, as evidenced by the number of institutions of higher education operating such programs without federal funding.
Assistance to Guam:
This program assists the University of Guam and Guam Community College in providing education programs for nonresident Micronesian students. Direct federal subsidy of postsecondary schools is not an appropriate federal role. In no other case does the federal government make direct payments to postsecondary institutions to help meet the costs related to the education of non-state or non- territorial residents. Moreover, the cost of educating nonresident students is, for the most part, reimbursed to the postsecondary institutions through the fees charged to these students. These students also may qualify for federal student aid to help pay tuition.
Robert A. Taft Institute of Government:
For 20 years, the Institute has sponsored a variety of teacher training programs. Given the fact that the Institute operated for many years without federal support, it should be able to continue this work without direct federal support. In addition, funds are awarded on a non-competitive basis, which is not an appropriate method of allocating federal resources. Financing for this purpose is available under a number of competitive federal programs.
National Academy of Science, Space, and Technology (NASST):
The administration strongly supports efforts to improve the mathematic and scientific capabilities of American students and is requesting increases in many of its mathematics and science programs. However, this program is duplicative of the National Science Scholars program. All funds under that program are awarded to students, whereas program funds under NASST must also be used for administration, thereby reducing the amount available for scholarships. NASST also has a service repayment requirement that is very difficult to monitor.
College Housing and Academic Facilities Loan Program--New Loan Subsidies:
The academic facilities programs were created to provide financial assistance to institutions of higher education for the construction, reconstruction, or renovation of academic facilities and the acquisition and maintenance of special research and instructional instruments and equipment. The federal government should not support new loan commitments because these programs are excessively subsidized and supplant rather than supplement traditional state, local, institutional, and private sector support. The federal government should not bear responsibility for financing the capital outlay needed to maintain the physical plant of institutions of higher education.
Territorial Teacher Training:
An evaluation of the program concluded that while it has had a positive impact on the professional standards and teacher performance in the Territories, the impact has been relatively modest in relation to the amount of time and resources expended. To help meet locally determined teacher training needs, the Territories can use resources under the authority to consolidate their allocations from the department's formula grant programs.
Public Library Construction:
This program provides formula grants to states for the construction of new public library buildings; the acquisition, expansion, remodeling, and alteration of existing buildings; and the purchase of equipment. In 1991, the last year for which data are available, only 13 percent of the funds were used for new construction projects. The majority of funds were used for remodeling projects. Purchases of equipment, added to the authorized activities, are already permitted under other library programs. Early indications are that the number of funded projects that do not involve construction will increase.
Foreign Language Materials:
Federal funding for the purchase of library books and materials for public libraries is not necessary when larger and more appropriate sources--the general operating budgets of local jurisdictions, gifts, and state aid available to local public libraries--are available. The impact of the program is slight since it awards only a few small grants. Furthermore, foreign language material may be purchased under the Public Library Services program, for which an increase in funding was requested.
Library Literacy Programs:
This program provides $35,000 grants primarily to local public libraries to assist in promoting volunteerism, acquiring materials, and using library facilities for literacy projects. Since the program was first funded in 1986, nearly 2,000 small grants have been made to state and local public libraries. In 1990, only 22 percent of libraries applying had never previously received a grant. Furthermore, programs under the much larger Public Library Services can support literacy activities.
College Library Technology:
This program supports grants primarily to institutions of higher education for the acquisition of up-to-date equipment used to expand library resource sharing among the nation's colleges and universities. Academic libraries are arguably among the most sophisticated users of technology and lead the library community in applying technology to the development and enhancement of library services. The most urgent needs for up-to-date technological equipment for use in college libraries have been met through funds provided by the program over the past six years. Colleges and universities generally overmatch the federal contribution.
Library Education and Training:
This program supports grants to assist in educating and training individuals in library and information science. While spot shortages of librarians occur, no studies have predicted a widespread lack of adequately trained librarians at any level.
Library Research and Demonstrations:
This program supports small grants for the improvement of library services. Other than a one-time increase in 1993, this program has been essentially funded at the same very low level since 1980. There is no justification for continuing a small categorical program to support research and demonstrations. Meritorious proposals could be supported through a variety of other sources.
This program supports grants to major research libraries to help them strengthen their collections through the acquisition or preservation of materials and to help make these collections available to other libraries and users. Only a few research libraries have received a single award over the life of the program, and several have enjoyed virtually uninterrupted funding. Many of these awards go to institutions that are among the wealthiest in the nation and that could support such projects themselves. Institutions would still be eligible for funds from other federal sources and, of course, they may also seek private support.
Foreign Periodicals Program:
This program provides grants to libraries and institutions of higher education to provide assistance for the acquisition of and access to periodicals published outside the United States. This is a low priority for federal funds and should be primarily an institutional responsibility.
Impact Aid 3(b) Payments:
The department requested a 50 percent reduction for these payments in the fiscal 1994 budget request as the first step of a three-year phase-out called for by President Clinton in his February 1993 message to Congress. These payments, which are made on behalf of children who live or have a parent working on federal property, provide very small amounts of $25 to $125 per section 3(b) child. The presence of these children, most of whose parents pay local taxes to their communities, imposes little if any financial burden on local education agencies.
Fund for the Improvement and Reform of Schools and Teaching (FIRST):
The purpose of the program is to improve the educational opportunities for and the performance of elementary and secondary school students and teachers, and to encourage local education agencies to increase the involvement of families in the improvement of the educational achievement of their children. These purposes should be part of a comprehensive school restructuring proposal, not separate categorical programs.
Educational Partnerships Program:
This program was established to encourage the creation of alliances between public elementary and secondary schools or institutions of higher education and representatives of the private sector to work together on school improvement projects. Educational partnerships have been amply demonstrated as a school improvement strategy and are now widespread and generally supported without federal assistance. The department's fiscal year 1994 request reflects a phase-out of the program.
General Assistance to the Virgin Islands:
This program provides general assistance to improve public education in the Virgin Islands; it does not address any specific educational goal but can be applied to all goals. This assistance duplicates support under Chapter 1 and other ED programs. The department proposed a 50 percent reduction for fiscal year 1994 to begin phaseout of the funding. The program was established in 1978 as a response to the increasing public school enrollment in the Virgin Islands. By the early 1980s, however, enrollment had stabilized, and by 1991-92 enrollment had declined. These statistics suggest that the original purpose for providing the funds no longer exists.
This program is designed to assist state education agencies (SEAs) and LEAs in providing supplementary educational services and offsetting costs for immigrant children enrolled in elementary and secondary public and nonpublic schools. The eligible recipients are the states, which then distribute the funds to LEAs within the state according to the number of immigrant children. Immigrants are served in bilingual and compensatory education programs; therefore, this program is duplicative of the more general programs.
Law School Clinical Experience:
This program is a demonstration that has achieved its original purpose. This program provides funds to accredited law schools to establish or expand programs that provide clinical experience in the practice of law, with preference given to programs providing legal experience in the preparation and trial of actual cases, and to programs providing service to persons who have difficulty in gaining access to legal representation.
Educational Improvement Partnerships:
Law-Related Education: The purpose of this program was to enable children, youth, and adults to become more informed citizens by providing them with knowledge and skills pertaining to the law, the legal process, the legal system, and the fundamental principles and values on which these are based. The projects predominantly serve students in public and private schools in kindergarten through grade 12. This is an example of a capacity-building program that has met its goal; these goals can be met through a comprehensive school reform designed around the National Education Goals.
Dropout Prevention Demonstrations:
The department is conducting an assessment of the projects under this program. The first interim report is scheduled for January 1994 with a final report in August 1996. The statute limited funding to applicants: (1) proposing to replicate successful programs conducted in other LEAs or to expand successful programs within an LEA; and (2) having a very high number or high percentage of school dropouts. The demonstrations supplement other federal programs that help children complete school, such as Chapter 1, Special Education, and Vocational Education. Demonstrations will be complete with fiscal 1994 funds.
This is a 25-year-old demonstration that has met its original objectives. The program was intended to sustain the gains made by preschool children through Head Start and similar programs. Also, these populations can be served with funds under other Elementary and Secondary Education Act programs such as Chapter 1 and Even Start, and through collaborative efforts between Head Start programs and schools.
Impact Aid-Section 2 Payments:
These payments go to school districts with federally owned property, based on ED's estimate of local revenue that the local education agency would have received from the eligible federal property if that property were taxable. Most school districts that receive payments under section 2 also receive substantial payments in lieu of taxes from other federal agencies, such as the Interior Department. The department requested a 50 percent decrease for fiscal 1994.
Community-Based Organizations (CBOs): The purpose of this program is to provide special vocational education services to disadvantaged youth through community-based organizations. Where CBOs can reach disadvantaged groups that regular vocational schools cannot, states can use their multi-billion dollar programs supported by federal and state grants. There is no information available at the national level on how critical CBOs are to the success of this population in this area.
This program provides a non-competitive grant to the Center for Civics Education to support instruction in history and civics. History and civics are important parts of school curriculum, but this grant is non-competitive and too small to have national impact.
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