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Senator Nunn. Thank you very much Mr. Morie and Mr. Paul. We appreciate very much your appearing. The cost analysis on this is very interesting.
Mr. MORIE. We would be happy to submit any additional information.
Senator Nunn. Our next witness, Dr. Jack Nix.
Dr. Nix, we have talked a lot together in private conversations about this. I assume, Dr. Nix, this is not your testimony in the package but perhaps is a demonstration project.
TESTIMONY OF DR. JACK P. NIX, GEORGIA SUPERINTENDENT OF
SCHOOLS, ATLANTA, GA.
Dr. Nix. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Levitas, no, that is not my testimony but I will refer to it. First of all, I would like to say to both of you people, it is a privilege to face you in the position that you now hold. I have faced you as members of the House of Representatives in the State of Georgia, pleading more money and passage of legislation.
I am pleased to say to you and to make it public that I am most grateful for the work you both have done and are doing in Washington to help us. The stack of material to my right has a blue ribbon around it. We did not have a red ribbon or we would have put the red ribbon around it to represent redtape because what you see here, Mr. Chairman, is 24 pounds of forms and rules and regulations on how to fill out those forms that relate to public education receiving Federal support. I would like to also indicate that those, that stack of forms and instructions on how to fill out those forms, do not include the forms relating to school lunch or to civil rights or to the CETA program. If I had those added to this, it would be more than 24 pounds and a considerable higher stack.
I have submitted the required copies of my written testimony and I would like to request that that become a part of the record.
Senator Nunn. Without objection, it will become a part of the record.
Dr. Nıx. And I will not leave you with this stack of material here to put into the record.
Senator Nunn. I wish we could get a picture of that. We do not have a camera. When you take it back, if you can, get somebody in your department to take a picture.
Dr. Nix. And I will put a red ribbon around it and put it in color.
Mr. LEVITAS. Could I ask a question, Dr. Nix, about that. Those are for various programs and forms, in other words, if you had to go through, say, an application for a particular grant program, that is the type of materials that you would have to read and work through?
Dr. Nix. These are the forms, Congressman Levitas, that relate to vocational education programs, all of the titles that we will get, title I program, title II, title III, special education, all of those excluding
1 The photograph requested and subsequently supplied may be found in the subcommittee files.
the three categories I mentioned, school lunch, CETA program, civil rights programs.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to make two or three comments about some specifics, other than perhaps what is designed completely in my written testimony.
It has been my privilege to work with the Federal officials and the Congress some 15 or 16 years, as vocational director of the State and for the last 10 years as superintendent of schools in this period of time. It has been my privilege to work with a number of Secretaries of HEW and a number of Commissioners of Education, and many. many lower bureaucrats.
I believe that I can accurately say to you that things get worse rather than better. This is, there is, in my opinion, entirely too much specificities in the rules and regulations; there is certainly not enough input from the operators, from the State and local levels of programs. I am getting a little bit concerned about some of the specificity now being written in some of the legislative programs that come through. I think we can get more from the dollars we are spending because as you can see, it costs literally millions of dollars across this Nation to fill out these forms and get them back up there. Many of these dollars could be better utilized closer to the child, because each dollar you spend to get the form represents someone sitting in a school superintendent's office or State department of education or U. S. Office of Education working up figures for forms. You could get a lot more mileage if that were put near the child, in terms of staff or additional materials relating to learning.
The process, I have gathered, takes place up there in Washington, and goes something like this. The Congress passes a piece of legislation; the President signs it into law, and it is handed to a Cabinet officer to implement. He has lawyers on his immediate staff and they look at it and they say well, I believe we would like to have this kind of information, so we are going to require these rules and regulations.
When it finishes that level of bureaucracy, it passes to the next level, the under-Secretary and assistant Secretaries add their increased desires. Then it gets to the Commissioner of Education and he and his attorneys decide they would like to have a little bit more information. It drops on down to some of the program operators and the decide it would sure be nice if we had this additional information and they put their additional requirement to the implementation of that particular law, so you can readily see by the time it gets to us, we really have a tremendous problem satisfying all those levels of power and levels of bureaucracy.
Many times, this is done with little, or no, input from those of us who are legally responsible for public education in the individual States. In fact, last year, the previous Secretary of HEW refused to even let the Commissioner send to us some of the proposed rules and regulations to implement 93-380. This created a real problem for us and it is still creating a problem. My staff and I have identified a process that is now being utilized concerning just one title of that piece of legislation. title I.
There is a contract let to a contractor for the purpose of developing models for reporting or gathering information concerning title I. This contractor has developed 5 models and is presently in the process of going around State by State, seeing which model the States would like to have.
Now, let me just give you, as comparison, what model one contains. This represents the number of data items that would just be reported in our State by the school officials in a school building, not the school system. There are some 752,625 items that would be reported by 1,000 school buildings in this State.
Senator NUNN. How many?
Mr. Nix. 752,625 items. Now, the school system added with the thousand schools—not one school but the thousand schools—the school system representing the same thousand schools would have an additional 68,292 items and then the State would have the same additional 68,292 items. We would have to be a conduit to gather all of this and submit it to Washington. A total of some 889,209 items of data would be collected from the thousand school buildings in our State and sent up in support of title I. This is the model that requires the least number of data items.
Let me pass on to you another of these requirements. Now, in this model they are looking at, the one that requires the most for the thousand schools in our State, there would be 2,709,450 items for the thousand schools buildings. That is 2.7 million. The school system would have an additional 273,166 items added and then the State would have 34,146 or a grand total of over 3,016,000 items of data from 1,000 schools.
Now, multiply that by 50 States and six territories.
Senator Nunn. What is the overriding purpose of that kind of requirement under Title I?
Dr. Nıx. In the legislation, Mr. Chairman, there is great latitude given to the administrators of the legislation to determine what it is they need and, as I mentioned a moment ago, as the different levels of bureaucracies look at legislation, they decide they need more information. So it would be my assumption that this contractor, in determining what these models ought to consist of, determined he needed to add all of these together or to cover all of these levels or his contract might not be renewed in the future.
Senator NUNN. You would be interested to know in November of last year, I was having hearings on the student scholarship program and Commissioner Bell testified that in the last 5 years, the number of educational programs for which he is personally responsible, as Commissioner of Education, has gone from something like 37 to something like 180 various separate programs.
He also testified very frankly, and I appreciated it, that there was no possible way he could run the Department of Education. No human being, he said, could run what he is being charged to run. That is a serious matter. I do not know what is happening in the Educational Subcommittee. The Senate Government Operations just had a collateral interest, because a billion dollars was lost in the student loan program, because they were not administering it correctly.
Dr. Nix. Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Bell, in my opinion, is perhaps the most responsible commissioner we have had, and I am not speaking disparagingly of any of the others, because he came from a local school system to the Commissioner's office. Previously, he had served as a State superintendent so I think he understands the proklems with which we are confronted. But he is caught up in the bureaucracy itself in trying to administer the U. S. Office of Education. So, here, I think if there is some kind of in-depth study that the Congress could make of this whole process there in HEW, it sure would be helpful.
Let me mention another thing and I will quickly name a couple of others here which do not answer your question.
Presently, there is a piece of legislation that is on its way through committees, in Senator Pell's committee right now. It contains the provisions that me, are real harmful to the whole business of our form of Government in this country. I am referring to the section that would mandate a structure for organization for the administration of education within the States.
In other words, it does not recognize the present statutory or constitutional structures that the States have put into position to operate public education in the several States.
It mandates a different kind of a board, for instance, so I would hope that as the Senate and the House look at this legislation, concerning vocational technical education that is coming up in the next few months, that you would be sure to respect the wishes of the people in the 50 States in the organization of the legal structure of public education. Otherwise, we are just going to multiply this stack of forms and instructions.
Let me touch on another item that you reminded me of just a month ago, in referring to Ted's mass or jungle of pieces of legislation he has to implement concerning education.
We, the Council of Chief State School Officers, have been supporting for a number of years the consolidation categories to try to eliminate some of these things. We had hoped that in title IV, which brought together title V and title II and one or two other areas, we would be able to get rid of some of this but it seems like it has been multiplied because of the latitude. And I have referred to this in the prepared statement, the latitude it has given to the Federal people up there to demand materials. As you analyze the written testimony, I hope you will look a that.
Now, let me mention two others quickly. Last fall, we received a memorandum from the Secretary of HEW, relating to mandates on local school systems to maintain records on discipline, all forms of discipline. This would go out to the 16,000 plus school districts in the Nation and each individual school would have to keep a file on each student that any disciplinary action has been taken. There are no funds to pay for such an operation. We are not receiving any Federal funds to pass to the local systems to implement this so as president of the Council of Chief School Officers last year, we objected
very strongly to this. Secretary Mathews withdrew the memorandum and has now issued a new one and has taken some of the suggestions we have asked him to take; but here again, I think this is an infringement on the local school systems and mandates expenditure of State and local funds that should not be coming out of the Federal offices. We will have a sampling technique now where all 16,000 school systems will not have to keep these records and report them to the Secretary but if any system is called on to produce them, in terms of violations of civil rights of any description, then there are going to be problems if they do not have it in their files. So there is another means of mandating recordkeeping in the local system that should be looked at. But the last thing I have in mind, is in the February 10 issue of "Education Daily.” On the first page, I would like to read you the item. It says, “OCR looks at giving power to the regions." HEW's office for civil rights is studying a proposed reorganization that would shift enforcement decisions from the Washington headquarters office to the 10 OCR regional directors. Now, Mr. Chairman, let me simply say that I would be bitterly opposed to such a transfer.
For the last decade, we have here in the South worked diligently at complying with the Civil Rights Act and for the most part, we have eliminated discrimination in the public schools and we have an unitary school system.
Now, just because the Federal bureaucrats are running into a little opposition in a few other places, I do not think they ought to get by with transferring some people in Boston to let those people in the New England States do one thing and then mandate from a regional office here in the Southeast that we do something else. So I hope that you people will pay very close attention to such an activity on the part of HEW, because it could really make a tremendous difference in the attitude of our people here in the South and certainly in the student bodies that we have. Let me say again, that most of our civil rights' problems are behind us in the public schools of this State and I would hate to see some other sections of the country doing less and disturb our people to the point that we would begin to have to rework this whole business again.
I appreciate the opportunity of appearing before the committee and I stand ready to provide you any additional information in the days to come concerning this problem. I think it is truly a problem that is an economic problem and that is economic in the sense that it eats up too many dollars.
Senator Nunn. Thank you very much, Dr. Nix. I agree with you on that latter item. In fact, I think I agree with everything you said and I certainly look forward to working with you and hope you will keep in touch with us on these various concerns as they come up.
I have already asked a couple of questions and I will defer to Congressman Levitas.
Congressman LEVITAS. Dr. Nix, have you any way of ascertaining or estimating the amount of manpower or dollars that it takes from the budget of the State department of education to complete these forms, to comply with Federal regulations?
Dr. Nix. Congressman Levitas, I do not have that figure at hand