Education 'Swap' With the States Still Possible

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Although certain elements of President Reagan's "new federalism" proposal have been rejected by the National Governors' Association, the President's plan to "turn back" education and other programs to the states may be proposed separately in the Congress this year.

President Reagan in January asked the states to assume full responsibility for the costs of welfare and food-stamp programs in exchange for the federal government's full support of the Medicaid program to provide health services to the poor. The governors have repeatedly insisted, however, that all three programs should be maintained by the federal government.

Administration spokesmen announced last week that the negotiations between the White House and the governors had reached an impasse on that issue. The other element of "new federalism"--which would give states responsibility for all elementary- and secondary-education programs except those for disadvantaged and handicapped children--was characterized by one budget official as "not dead."

One official explained that the governors had expressed willingness to consider the proposal that would give the states 43 federal programs in the areas of education, transportation, social services, and community development. The cost would be paid in part by a multi-billion-dollar "federalism trust fund" that would be phased out after four years.--E.W.

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