Bauer, in Hearing, Says E.D. Study On Reorganization To Be Delayed
Washington--The study requested by President Reagan on the effectiveness and possible reorganization of Education Department will not be completed until late this year and will most likely be included in the fiscal 1987 budget proposal, a department official said last week.
Completion of the report was to be one of Secretary of Education William J. Bennett's first tasks, said the President's chief spokesman, Larry Speakes, in announcing Mr. Bennett's nomination in January. Mr. Bennett subsequently said he wanted to finish the study "in about three or four months."
But Gary L. Bauer, undersecretary-designate of education, told senators at his confirmation hearing last week that "the press of business'' in Mr. Bennett's first few months in office had delayed work on it. "Even though we originally set out to send that report to the President within a few months, we may now wait until the budget cycle before we do that," Mr. Bauer said.
(Mr. Bennett's plan for the reorganization of the department's research operation, the office of educational research and improvement, will be completed in the next few weeks, said his chief of staff, Wendell L. Willkie 2nd, last week.)
Approval Seen Likely
Mr. Bauer's appearance before the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee went smoothly, despite a behind-the-scenes procedural snarl over a requirement that the committee obtain the unanimous consent of the Senate to hold the hearing after 2 P.M. on a day when the chamber was in session.
Committee aides predicted confirmation for Mr. Bauer, who has served in the department as deputy undersecretary for planning, budget, and evaluation since October 1982 and was nominated by President Reagan in April for the number-two post at the 5,000-employee agency.
The committee will act to clear Mr. Bauer once he responds to written questions submitted by committee members, said the committee's staff director, Ronald F. Docksai.
Will Obey Congress
On other matters, Mr. Bauer said he initially opposed the creation of the Cabinet-level Education Department but repeated to several senators that he was committed to upholding the law and abiding by the will of the Congress, which has expressed no desire to abolish the department or to make major reductions in its budget and programs, as the President has proposed.
He gave similar answers to questions relating to civil-rights enforcement and the need to serve disadvantaged and handicapped students.
Mr. Bauer has been one of Secretary Bennett's chief advisers and has been designated to head the study of the effectiveness of the department's programs.
Prior to working at the department, Mr. Bauer held a number of positions in Republican political operations before and after President Reagan's election in 1980.
He has held posts with the Republican National Committee; the Direct Mail/Marketing Association, a lobbying group here; the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign; President Reagan's transition team; and the White House office of policy development.
Mr. Bauer, 39 years old, is married and has two children. He earned a B.A. from Georgetown (Ky.) College in 1968 and a law degree from Georgetown University in 1973.