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Bennett Names Panel To Study Aid Programs

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Washington--Secretary of Education William J. Bennett last week assigned an Education Department task force the job of studying how the department might streamline its financial-aid programs for college students.

The panel, headed by Gary L. Bauer, the deputy undersecretary for planning, budget, and evaluation, includes Edward M. Elmendorf, assistant secretary for postsecondary education; Anne M. Graham, assistant secretary for legisla-tion and public affairs; and James B. Thomas Jr., the department's inspector general.

Waste To Be Studied

"The President asked me to look at ways to improve the operations of the Department of Education, and this task force will focus on those programs which represent more than 45 percent of the total department budget," Mr. Bennett said in a prepared statement.

Citing chronic inefficency in the $2.4-billion Pell Grant program, the Secretary said he was directing the panel to "consider fundamental, systematic changes in both the program and the delivery system."

The main federal higher-education laws must be reauthorized during the 99th Congress, and both Republicans and Democrats have rejected initial Administration student-aid proposals made in the fiscal 1986 budget.

The Republican-controlled Senate Budget Committee rejected the proposal to slash aid to postsecondary students by $2.3 billion.--jh

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