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The primary mission of Federal education programs is to assure that all Americans have an equal access to a good education. This mission is carried out by giving State and local governments Federal funds to enhance their educational systems and to provide enriched education for the disadvantaged and the handicapped.
Elementary, secondary, and vocational education.—The mission of these programs is to provide assistance to State and local educational agencies either through formula grants or through discretionary project grants.
The greatest share of this assistance is to improve the quality of educational services offered to the low-income and handicapped, Indians, and students of limited English language skills. Funds also are provided to support vocational education and to compensate school districts for the economic burden placed on them by the presence of Federal facilities.
Aid to education. agencies.—The largest share of the funds for elementary and secondary education consists of grants to State and local education agencies for supplementary services to low-income, low-achieving students through title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Substantial increases are requested for this program. Emphasis will be placed on improving basic skills, especially reading. Budget authority of $400 million in 1979 is included for a new legislative proposal to provide additional help for those areas that face particularly severe education problems. Approximately $3.4 billion will be provided under the basic title I program in 1979 to aid 5.6 million students at an average per-pupil expenditure of $453.
Budget authority of $150 million is requested for grants to States and local schools to help 250,000 children of limited English language skills. These funds will establish bilingual education programs and develop the capacity of these schools to meet the needs of bilingual children through teacher training and curriculum development.
Budget authority of $76 million is recommended in 1979 to advance the education of Alaskan Natives and Indians. Grants of $160 per child will be made to 1,200 school districts serving 300,000 Indian students. Special projects will increase the number of Indian professionals in medicine, law, business, forestry, and engineering. Over 16,000 adult Indians will receive assistance in reading and mathematics. In addition, $271 million in budget authority for 1979 is proposed for education programs administered by the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The purpose of the impact aid program is to compensate districts for the cost of educating the children of Federal employees. While the ability of these districts to raise revenue from local sources has been reduced as the result of Federal acquisition of local property, much of the aid now goes to districts where Federal activities do not place a burden on the local communities' educational systems. In fact, the Federal presence in some communities has strengthened the local tax base. Therefore, reform is being proposed to limit Federal impact aid to those districts where Federal activities actually impose an economic burden on the school system by reducing tax revenue. Budget authority of $780 million is requested for impact aid in 1979, compared to $831 million in 1978. In addition, $752 million of 1979 budget authority is requested to forward fund the program.
The budget includes budget authority of $804 million in 1979 to help support State and local education agencies that educate handicapped children. These funds will offset 12% of the additional cost incurred by school systems to identify and educate handicapped children.
Increased assistance will also be provided through the Emergency School Aid Act for civil rights advisory activities. These funds will aid school districts in complying with school desegration requirements.
Child development—Proposed budget authority for the Head Start program for disadvantaged preschool children rises from $625 million in 1978 to $680 million in 1979. In 1979, the Head Start program will serve about 442,000 children, 34,000 more than in 1978. The 1979 budget also requests increased support for programs aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect.
Higher education.—The primary mission of Federal higher education programs is to improve access to postsecondary education for students of varying economic backgrounds.
Student aid and institutional support.—There has been increasing concern in recent years about the rising costs of higher education, particularly at small and medium-sized private institutions. Middleincome American families often find that the costs are more than they can afford, yet their incomes are often too high to qualify for either Federal assistance or for private scholarships. Tax credits to offset part of the cost of higher education are often suggested as a remedy and received very serious consideration by the Congress last year. The administration, while recognizing the seriousness of the problem, believes that this approach to its solution has serious drawbacks. First, the form of assistance that was under consideration by Congress and that would be possible as a direct Federal subsidy would provide only marginal help to each family. Second, the tax credit approach ignores the long-run benefits that individuals receive from their investment or the investment of their parents in education. The 1979 budget includes $2.2 billion in budget authority for the basic opportunity grant program. Grants of up to $1,800 will be given to 2.2 million undergraduate students in the 1978–79 school year. The limit on allowable family assets will be increased to $25,000 to allow more middle-income students to participate in the program. The administration plans to recommend more effective alternatives during the coming months which will provide further aid to students from middle-income families through conventional programs rather than through the tax system. Funds for these proposals are included in the allowance for contingencies. Budget authority of $77 million in 1979 is recommended for the State student incentive grant program to provide assistance to 300,000 needy students. In addition, $450 million of budget authority is proposed for the work-study program to help provide part-time employment for 504,000 students during the 1978–79 school year. Budget authority of $750 million is recommended in 1979 for the guaranteed student loan program. This amount will help provide $1.7 billion in loans to about 1.1 million students in the 1978–79 school year; $304 million is recommended for the direct loan program. Budget authority of $8 million is requested to increase the number of minorities and women in graduate education programs. Budget authority of $50 million is also requested to provide loans to higher education institutions to reconstruct and renovate facilities to make them more accessible to handicapped students.
Special institutions.—Budget authority of $175 million is recommended in 1979 to fund the American Printing House for the Blind, Gallaudet College, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and Howard University. This is an increase of $20 million over 1978. These institutions will serve an estimated 52,000 students in 1979.
Research and general education aids.-Programs in this mission further educational research and development, support cultural affairs and promote related special projects. Recommended budget authority for this mission is $1.3 billion in 1979.
The principal aim of categorical programs for special projects is to upgrade the quality of instruction for students. The Special Projects Act, under which nine such programs are funded, is restrictive and does not allow sufficient flexibility to fund projects to meet emerging
1 Includes sale of loan assets.
Includes loans counted as direct loans of other accounts.
special and unique educational needs. Legislation is recommended to permit increased flexibility in funding discretionary activities under this act.
In 1979, the National Institute of Education will focus its research toward solving the educational problems that particularly affect disadvantaged groups. Budget authority requested for the National Institute of Education rises from $90 million in 1978 to $100 million in 1979. Basic research will be substantially increased but with emphasis also on the dissemination of research results.
Budget authority for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities requested for 1979 is $150 million and $146 million, respectively. Emphasis will be placed on reaching under-served populations. Federal support for the Endowments is matched by contributions from non-Federal sources. The Endowment for the Humanities will initiate a new program in social history to increase public awareness and appreciation of the history of everyday life in America in the 19th and 20th centuries.
In addition, budget authority of $128 million is recommended for the Smithsonian Institution. Noncommercial broadcasting will be supported by $172 million in budget authority in 1979 through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Federal funds will provide $2 for every $5 of private contributions to the public broadcasting system up to specified limits.
Related programs.-A number of Federal programs are related to education, although their primary purpose is to meet other national
FEDERAL EDUCATION OUTLAYS SUPPORTING OTHER MAJOR MISSIONS, 1979
[In millions of dollars]
needs and to serve other major missions. The above table shows major education-related programs that support other major missions.
TRAINING, EMPLOYMENT, AND LABOR SERVICES
The mission of these programs is to help individuals get jobs and improve their long-term earnings. This mission is carried out primarily through Federal support to State and local governments for job training, employment services, and temporary public service employment. In addition, the Federal Government enters into contracts with private sector organizations to provide training or employment services. The Federal Government also establishes and enforces minimum wage and other standards governing employment and labor-management relations.
Training and employment.-Employment and training programs have grown steadily to serve an increasing number of individuals. Major increases occurred in 1977 and 1978 in response to high unemployment. Although the economy is improving, the unemployment situation continues to call for special measures. Thus, the budget continues support for 725,000 public service jobs in 1979, largely for the low-income, long-term unemployed, and substantially increases youth employment programs. Total outlays for employment and