Dukakis Offers Plan for Federal-State Collaboration
Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, the Democratic Presidential nominee, last week unveiled a position paper on education at a rally in California, where copies were handed out to the crowd.
The paper, which discusses both new and previously announced proposals, dubbed the package "stripes," for "Start Investing in Public Elementary and Secondary Education." The candidate in September had unveiled a plan called "stars" that proposed a long-term method for financing students' higher-education costs.
The new paper says a Dukakis Administration would work with governors "to set high standards for measuring success and for holding themselves and their school districts accountable for their failings and progress." The program would give "state and local authorities new federal resources if they set specific goals in their education plans and demonstrate progress in meeting them," the position paper says.
Mr. Dukakis specifically promised to ask governors to convene "education summits" in their states to devise school-improvement plans.
Gene Sperling, a domestic-issues adviser, said the Governor did not propose to put states' existing federal grants in jeopardy, but to require states to develop strategies for improvement and standards for measuring success in order to receive additional funds or grants under new programs.
"We do not want to tell states what to do, but we want to set a tone of accountability for education," he said.
Other Elements of Plan
Mr. Dukakis also proposed:
To "fully fund" Head Start and the Chapter 1 compensatory-education program. Serving all children eligible for both programs would cost as much as an additional $10 billion a year. Mr. Sperling said the Governor would gradually increase spending in pursuit of that goal.
A program providing grants to "Leadership Schools," which would "play a special role" in such areas as teacher training and devising and disseminating effective teaching methods.
To contribute federal funds to programs in which community leaders or university students serve as mentors to at-risk precollegiate students.
A federal program called "Job Start," based on the Boston Compact, which would "create school-based career services to link students with jobs" through a8partnership between government, schools, and the private sector.
The position paper also contains proposals the Governor had already announced, such as grants to improve science teaching and encourage students to become teachers, and the "stars" program.
Bentsen on Youth Service
Meanwhile, Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas, the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate, has praised a proposal to require recipients of student aid to first perform community or military service.
The proposal, which Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia promised to introduce as legislation in the 101st Congress, calls for youths to receive vouchers worth $10,000 to $12,000 for each year of service. The vouchers could be used for college or vocational training or the down payment on a house.
Mr. Sperling said that Mr. Dukakis is "a strong believer in youth service" but does not support the student-aid proposal. He also said Mr. Bentsen did not endorse the plan, although he had praised it during appearances on college campuses last month with Mr. Nunn and other Democratic senators who are promoting the idea.
Mr. Dukakis backs legislation approved last month by a House subcommittee that would support local youth conservation corps and human-services programs, Mr. Sperling said.
Aides have said the bill's sponsors plan to revive it in the next Congress. An aide to Senator Claiborne Pell, Democrat of Rhode Island and chairman of the subcommittee on education, arts, and humanities, said the Senator also plans to revive his service proposal, which would provide education grants to volunteers.
While Mr. Dukakis has not proposed his own youth-service plan, Mr. Sperling said, several of his proposals have a service element. He cited a proposal for a "national teachers' corps," which would be similar to the Peace Corps and offer loan forgiveness, and the "stars" plan. The aide said that plan would aid students who choose low-paying service positions after graduation because payments would be pegged to income.
Vol. 08, Issue 09