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Governors want control of federal education money

By Paul Courson/CNN

February 23, 1999
Web posted at: 4:22 p.m. EST (2122 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, February 23) -- Governors urged a Senate panel Tuesday to let them be responsible for how their states spend federal education money.

The National Governors Association, which is holding its annual winter conference in Washington, has been pleading with the Clinton Administration not to link federal money for education to performance standards on issues like graduation rates, test scores, and the physical status of school buildings.

Engler
Gov. John Engler  

Michigan Gov. John Engler, a Republican, stressed to the senators the need for local control and flexibility in education spending. He said Congress has already seen great results in getting people off welfare and into the work force, as states took control of entitlement reform.

"I'm confident there are similar gains waiting for us in education if we can get that freedom," he told CNN.

But a member of the Senate Education Committee told the governors not to expect carte blanche if given more leeway in spending federal education support.

Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minnesota) said he can support more flexibility in how states spend the funds, "but also there has to be some accountability. I believe we've got to insist on that. It can't just be straight blank-check block grant without at least that ..."

Panel chairman Sen. Jim Jeffords (R-Vermont) promised to review issues of spending control but suggested there first must be a better system for measuring the performance of the educational system. He noted that obtaining results from performance studies can take years, making it difficult to find quickly what works.


RELATED STORIES

Clinton presses agenda with nation's governors (2-22-99)

Ventura, governors, get inside look at White House (2-22-99)

Feds seek national standard on teacher licensing (2-17-99)

Clinton spells out education agenda (1-21-99)


VIDEO

President Clinton endorses a change in law (2-23-99) video Real: 28K | 80K, Windows Media: 28K | 80K

CROSSFIRE Highlight: Governor Tommy Thompson says the Federal Government should stay out of states rights issues (2-23-99) video Real: 28K | 80K, Windows Media: 28K | 80K

CROSSFIRE: Governors debate tobacco suit money issues (2-23-99) video Real: 28K | 80K, Windows Media: 28K | 80K

CROSSFIRE: Governors debate whether more power should be given back to the states (2-23-99) video Real: 28K | 80K, Windows Media: 28K | 80K


RELATED SITES

U.S. Department of Education Web site

National Governors' Association Web site



MORE STORIES:

Tuesday, February 23, 1999

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