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Carl D. Perkins Vocational-Technical Education Act Amendments Of 1997

Pursuant to House Resolution 187 and rule XXIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the further consideration of the bill,

Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the further consideration of the bill (H.R. 1853) to amend the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act, with Mr. Ewing in the chair.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

The CHAIRMAN. When the Committee of the Whole rose on Thursday, July 17, 1997, pending was the amendment by the gentlewoman from Hawaii [Mrs. Mink] and the bill was open for amendment at any point.

Pursuant to the order of the House of today, the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole may postpone a request for a recorded vote on any amendment and may reduce to a minimum of 5 minutes the time for voting on any postponed question that immediately follows another vote, provided that the time for voting on the first question shall be a minimum of 15 minutes.

Is there further debate on the amendment?

Rep. William F. Goodling

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, I do that so that I can call to the attention of the Members and anyone who may be watching the proceeding exactly what legislation we are dealing with today. My colleagues will hear more emotional comments made, but in many instances not too relevant to what we are doing. H.R. 1853 authorizes funding for vocational-technical education. I repeat: H.R. 1853 authorizes funding for vocational-technical education. For the first time in this legislation we deal with access to excellence instead of access to mediocrity. The most difficult thing to do around here over the years, has been to get people to think beyond access, because in so many instances it was access to mediocrity.

But here we are talking about authorizing funding for vocational-technical education in 43 of the 50 States, that funding goes primarily to vocational-technical education at the secondary level, vocational-technical education at the secondary level, area vocational-technical schools at the secondary level. That is primarily what we are talking about in this legislation.

Now if we have a one-size-fits-all, and we decide this one-size-fits-all set-aside is good, then we have to keep in mind that the money must come from somewhere. And under this proposal we would take it from the secondary education programs for which 43 of the States use the money that we are talking about today. So it is extremely important that we understand what we are doing today. We are talking primarily about secondary vocational-technical education.

Now, I do not take a back seat to anybody when we talk about the importance of special populations. And so, I remind my colleagues again, that in this legislation section 114 on the State application asks the State to describe, (A) how to provide vocational technical education programs that lead to high-skill, high-wage careers for members of special populations, including displaced homemakers, single parents, single pregnant women, and (B) ensure that members of special populations meet State benchmarks, because again we are talking about excellence now, not access to mediocrity.

In section 115, on accountability, each State that receives an allotment under section 102 shall annually prepare and submit to the Secretary a report on how the State is performing on State benchmarks that relate to vocational-technical education programs. In preparing the report, the State may include information about technical education benchmarks that the State may establish; and (B), Special Populations--the report submitted by the State in accordance with subparagraph (A) shall include a description of how special populations, displaced homemakers, single parents and single pregnant women have performed on meeting these benchmarks established by the State.

Then we talk in section 201 about State uses of funds, and again we talk about special populations, and the State must tell in an assessment how the needs of special populations are being met.

So I want to make very sure that everyone understands that we have one, two, three, four, five, six different statements, six different sections dealing with special populations. But more importantly when we talk about special populations, as I indicated, here we are talking primarily about taking money away from secondary vocational education programs in 43 of those States.

But we have other programs, one that just came from our Committee back in May. We passed the Employment Training and Literacy Enhancement Act that significantly expands services, for displaced homemakers. The bill includes displaced homemakers in the definition of dislocated workers, making them eligible for $1.3 billion in employment and training services. In addition, displaced homemakers are eligible to receive services under the Disadvantaged Adult Employment Training Program, another billion dollars, and then another $3 billion for welfare-to-work in the Balanced Budget Act.

So we have not done anything other than increase the opportunity for special populations, not just to get access, but to get access to quality.

Rep. William Clay

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

(Mr. CLAY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Rep. William Clay

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Mr. Chairman, for the past 10 years, the Perkins Act has contained strong provisions to address the needs of displaced homemakers and to encourage advancement of women in nontraditional employment. Unfortunately, this bill repeals the act's emphasis on gender equity, and I think that is a shame, Mr. Chairman.

I think that the amendment of the gentlewoman from Hawaii [Mrs. Mink] will put that back into the bill, and I rise in support of that.

Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentlewoman from Hawaii [Mrs. Mink].

Rep. Patsy T. Mink

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the ranking member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce for yielding to me.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to remind the House that we cut off debate and consideration of this amendment on Thursday last, and we were not able to bring it to a vote. There was a very large number of Members who were here on the floor to speak about the amendment, but just to refresh our memories on the pending amendment, what it seeks to do is simply to say, hold harmless the amounts of monies and numbers of programs that are in existence today specifically to deal with vocational education and training for displaced homemakers, single parents, pregnant women, and to particularly allocate funding for a gender equity coordinator for this program. The reason for the amendment is that the bill we are considering eliminates the targeted program that has been in place and established for over 13 years.

If it were simply a matter of eliminating this set-aside of funding, and the program directives and direction and so forth are the same, perhaps this is an overly sensitive concern. But bear in mind that this program has been totally rewritten, overhauled. We have a new approach which has been now set down by the majority. If we do not hold harmless this program, I fear that the program will just simply be lost in the confusion.

We saw how difficult it was for the States to accommodate to the new rules under welfare. They had to completely revamp their programs, and in the process there was much confusion, and many of the people were left out in the process. This group of individuals, the single parents and displaced homemakers, is too critical a group of individuals to cause this confusion because we are rewriting this legislation.

It seems to me absolutely critical that we hold harmless this program. We are not adding any more money. We are not even keeping the 10 percent set-aside. We are simply saying that those programs that exist now should continue to exist, and the program emphasis, to deal with the special problems of displaced homemakers and single parents, ought to have the consideration of this Congress.

In view of the fact that the welfare legislation has now put a very high premium on jobs for those on welfare, the single parents we are so concerned about, that they find work and get off of welfare and become self-sufficient, in the language of the bill we have specifically said that work activity includes vocational education and training and they may have this benefit for 12 months. So the Congress has recognized the importance of vocational education and training and directed work activity as including the definition of vocational education.

So with that as a mandate by this Congress in the welfare reform act, it seems extremely urgent that we continue this program in order that these individuals now, under the demand of the Congress that they find work, not find empty spaces, nonexistent programs, when they are looking for vocational training in order to better their skills and get employment that can put them into the position of supporting their families and being self-sufficient. That is what this Congress said: Get out and work, get trained if you do not have the skills, support your own families, and become part of the contributing part of our society.

So it seems to me absolutely parallel that we support this amendment, continue the vocational education programs, and target this program to this special needs community. So I urge this House to support this amendment and continue the program with a hold harmless provision.

Rep. David E. Bonior

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, I will not take the full 5 minutes, but I just want to echo the comments of my friend, the gentlewoman from Hawaii [Mrs. Mink], and support this amendment. What we are talking about here is a program that has worked, that has a proven track record of improving the lives of women and girls.

Let me just say that if Members are in doubt of that, all they need to do is look at the 1996 GAO study entitled ``Employment Training: Successful Projects, Shared and Common Strategy.'' The single parent displaced homemaker program funded through the Florida set-aside was cited as one of the most successful training programs. Most of the 1,300 single parent displaced homemakers programs that we have follow this Florida model.

A study of Oregon's displaced homemaker, single parent program documented the long-term success of this program in increased employment rates from 28 to 71 percent of the participants, 28 to 71 percent; increased median wage rates from $6 an hour to $7.45 an hour, and a reduction of the AFDC dependency from 29 percent to 15 percent.

In Arizona, participants in these programs averaged higher median wages and worked more hours than they did prior to their participation. Women in nontraditional jobs have increased in Arizona from 7 to 17 percent. And in Georgia, participant salaries increased from an average of $11,000 prior to participation to about $16,500.

So these programs are important. They are important to women, they are important to girls, they are important to raising the standard of living of people who are in a situation who are trying to move from work. They are terribly important to our society.

Here we have a program with a proven track record. It has had bipartisan support. As I understand it, this was Senator Hatch's idea in the Senate. It has had great support here in Republicans and Democrats in the past. I hope that we will continue with this program. It is a set-aside of a reasonable percent. It is not a huge percent. It is a reasonable percent of programs that work. If we are trying to move people from welfare to work, we ought to stick with this program that has had a proven track record.

I commend my colleagues, the gentleman from Missouri [Mr. Clay], the gentlewoman from Hawaii [Mrs. Mink], the gentlewoman from Maryland [Mrs. Morella], and all those who are working in support of this program.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, I strongly support the Mink amendment because the distinction the amendment makes is vital. It is a distinction that this body makes all the time in favor of the most vulnerable and the least likely to take advantage of Federal fund opportunities. These are the women who are most likely to have been tracked into low-wage jobs. We can untrack them and undo that discrimination by allotting a very small portion of these funds for them.

Why go to that trouble? Why not use what is already in the bill? The reason is that there is no question but that these funds, like most Federal funds, are likely to go disproportionately to the best-educated and the most conscious; those who understand their rights and the availability of funds. Those happen not to be displaced homemakers, single pregnant women, or single parents.

This body has a vested interest in the Mink amendment because these are the women most likely to cost the government the most, because these are the women most likely to be dependent and the women least armed with education and experience. We make distinctions of this kind all the time, and ought to continue to make them.

Constantly, Mr. Chairman, I see Federal opportunities getting to people who would get them anyway. We need to make it impossible to spend a certain amount of this money, this small amount, except for the most vulnerable. Nothing guarantees that except the Mink amendment. What it means is that the funders, the States and cities, are going to have to do outreach rather than simply report to us that they tried to do outreach.

The Mink amendment encompasses a long, bipartisan tradition. This is not the year to break that tradition. I thank the gentlewoman for indeed striving to continue this important tradition.

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Mink amendment. Mr. Chairman, the Congress has a duty to provide political leadership in our Nation. We hear a lot of talk these days about States' rights. I was a State Senator in Ohio, and I know about the importance of State government action. But I also know that State officials look very carefully at the policies put forward by the Federal Government. We shirk our duties if we do not convey to the States the issues and the approaches which Congress considers to be important for the unity and economic security of our Nation.

Mr. Chairman, the Mink amendment provides an excellent example of the importance of Federal leadership. I have watched the progress of the vocational education bill carefully. I have seen my colleagues insert a special set-aside for rural areas, a provision that has been expanded to rural and urban areas. At the same time, I have seen a set-aside for gender equity programs eliminated from the bill.

Need I point out the inconsistency here? Are people somehow more important because they live in a particular rural or urban area? What about the importance of women and girls having the opportunity to enter any and all occupations so they can make the maximum contribution to our economy?

Mr. Chairman, for 13 years the Congress has felt that programs for displaced homemakers, for single parents, gender equity programs, were so important in vocational education that we required States to spend a certain percentage of the Federal funds that they received. Is the Congress now saying that this policy was wrong?

Mr. Chairman, the Mink amendment is a reasonable and moderate measure to continue Federal Government policy. It would restore the vocational education equity coordinator. It would require that localities that now have gender equity programs continue those programs.

If this amendment is defeated, it will send a clear signal to the States. It will signal that the rights of women and girls are not important when it comes to vocational education programs. It will lead to the elimination of dozens of very successful programs that have helped thousands of single parents and displaced homemakers. It will harm the ability of women to move into nontraditional jobs, the sort of high skill-high wage jobs that allow them to move out of the pink collar ghetto.

I commend my colleagues who have exercised the commitment and determination to keep these programs alive for the benefit of all students, and I ask my colleagues to join with me in supporting the Mink amendment.

Mr. Chairman, I yield to my colleague, the gentlewoman from California [Ms. Woolsey].

Rep. Lynn Woolsey

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me.

Let me remind Members that training women for a livable wage for jobs that are nontraditional, for the same jobs their counterparts trained for, the men that earn a livable wage, by training these women for those jobs, we prevent welfare. In fact, we get people off of welfare.

With welfare reform in our face, we now have the challenge to help women support their families, to help women who have children move from welfare to work. We must help these women by supporting them through vocational education programs that will get them into jobs that pay a livable wage, the same jobs the males in their lives have that can and will support a family.

Mr. Chairman, if we do not train women for nontraditional jobs we are saying to those women, women, stay behind the typewriter, stay as a service worker, stay as a nurse's aide, but do not compete with the men, because the men have the jobs that pay a livable wage. We want to prevent welfare. We want to get families off of welfare. We must, we must, and we must give women a chance by supporting them in vocational education. Please support the Mink amendment.

Rep. Gerald B.H. Solomon

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words, and I yield to the very distinguished gentlewoman from New Jersey [Mrs. Roukema]. Mrs. ROUKEMA. Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman of the Committee on Rules for yielding to me, the gentleman from New York.

I say that because I know that the gentleman from New York [Mr. Solomon] has been concerned about questions of set-aside programs and certainly special populations, and most explicitly I know of his extraordinary interest in vocational education per se. I want to explain not only to the gentleman from New York [Mr. Solomon] but to others here, because there is a misperception, particularly a misperception of the last speaker based on his own experience in the State legislature that somehow we are leaving the special populations, particularly women, out there in this legislation without any protection that the Federal Government or this legislation is going to have some sort of control or monitoring of the State programs.

I wanted to tell my colleagues that that is a wrong understanding of what we are trying to do here. The Mink amendment would set up a set-aside, and some would even say quotas, actually, but precise set-aside for only those populations. However, the bill is reformed to provide grants to the States for all special populations and to have, and I must stress this, to have enforcement mechanisms in there to ensure that the States do their jobs. That is why I wanted to address this.

For example, the concerns of the special populations under this bill are accommodated under page 29, which I specifically referenced the other day when we were talking about this and debating this. This statement on page 29 refers to how the State has to take certain actions in accordance with the legislation that include all populations in specifically displaced homemakers, single parents and pregnant women.

Further, the legislation does include the necessary enforcement mechanisms and penalties. If the State application fails to show where the State will ensure that the special populations meet or exceed the benchmarks, then the Secretary can disapprove the State application; that is, the Secretary of Education. In addition, the Secretary and the Department could also sanction the State by withholding all or part of the grant.

I think also we must turn to section 115 on accountability, which mentions in section B, and I am reading now, quoting from the legislation, B, special populations, the report submitted by the State in accordance with paragraph (a) shall include, not may, shall include a description of how special populations, displaced homemakers, single parents and single pregnant women participating in vocational technical programs have performed in meeting the vocational technical education benchmarks established by the State.

Then it goes on to tell how they are required in terms of the funding to comply with the requirement.

I appreciate the gentleman from New York yielding to me. I hope this satisfies his questions on the subject.

Rep. Gerald B.H. Solomon

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Mr. Chairman, it most certainly does. I thank the gentlewoman for a wonderful explanation.

Rep. Bob Etheridge

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, I rise to support the Mink-Morella-Sanchez amendment to ensure gender equity in vocational technical education. I urge my colleagues to support this important amendment.

Mr. Chairman, immediately prior to my election to this body, I served for 8 years, or two terms, as the elected State superintendent of the schools of the State of North Carolina. As a former State school chief, I know firsthand how important gender equity is in vocational education. According to the 1990 census data, there were more than 15.6 million homemakers in this Nation that were displaced, and a half a million of those homemakers live in North Carolina. In North Carolina single mothers care for more than 130,000 children. In my State an estimated 128,000 families with children live in poverty, and 81,000 or 63.6 percent of those families are headed by women. We must empower these women to succeed in today's economy.

Mr. Chairman, gender equity has produced significant and positive results in female enrollment and work force development in North Carolina. In 1986, there were 140,000 women enrolled in vocational education. Today in North Carolina that number is 190,000. These students have a 98 percent completion rate; 84 percent go on to post-high school education or training at our technical schools or in the job market.

Female participation in the apprenticeships have an 87 percent completion rate in their efforts to prepare workers for the work force.

Finally, in North Carolina our gender equity is linked, or maybe I should say partnered, with our local community groups and with business groups to match their skills when they come out of the public school. This arrangement provides for effective use of our resources and effectively and efficiently expands opportunities.

This amendment would protect efforts serving these displaced homemakers, single parents and pregnant women. The amendment would simply require that localities maintain funding at the same level as they did in 1997 and restore current law with respect to the vocational education equity coordinators that oversee, coordinate and make sure that equity is there.

Mr. Chairman, public education is the great equalizer in our society. By equipping people with the tools they need to make the most of their God-given talents, we must empower them to achieve the American dream and to succeed. Every American citizen deserves no less.

Not a guaranteed result, but a guaranteed opportunity. That is what this Congress ought to do. Sadly, without gender equity, women and girls will be shortchanged. If we are going to keep raising the bar, we better make sure that people can jump.

Equity access to education initiatives help women become self-sufficient and stay off welfare. Gender equity helps women attain higher skills, higher technical training that is necessary to land the best jobs in today's economy and will be essential to America's economic prospects in the 21st century. Without this amendment to H.R. 1853, it would fundamentally change our vocational education policy and threaten to roll back the clock against gains women have made in the workplace.

The effect of this change would be to reward localities that have lagged behind the effort to expand educational opportunity to girls and women. It would send a signal that this Congress no longer believes that efforts for girls and women, for displaced homemakers and single parents should be a priority. That is exactly the wrong signal that we should be sending in 1997.

Under H.R. 1853, a State can serve no displaced homemakers, no single parents, no single pregnant women and no individual training for nontraditional employment and under this bill it would be OK. That is wrong.

Mr. Chairman, during the previous Congress, Members of this House launched an all-out attack on public education that was devastating to the morale of the people who worked in the public schools. I stood with them shoulder to shoulder. I am here to tell my colleagues today, that is not going to happen in 1997. We need to stand up for girls and women and pass this amendment.

Rep. Tim Roemer

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the Mink-Morella amendment. I do so for the following reasons: First of all, in this body we all tend to talk in bumper sticker solutions. We all say, families first agenda. We all say, fix welfare now.

Well, this Mink-Morella amendment is the vehicle that these bumper stickers are attached to because this is the car that actually solves some of these problems. The solution does not fit on a bumper sticker. It is much more complicated than that. It is about getting education and fairness and equity to some of the people that have the most difficult time in America getting that education and equity and justice and fairness.

The Mink-Morella legislation would restore the 10.5 percent set-aside and also make sure that we have the equity coordinator. We have heard some speakers get up and say, well, there is no reason for this legislation. There is no reason to do this.

Prior to the Perkins law in 1984, less than 1 percent, less than 1 percent of all basic State grant money was spent for displaced homemakers, and only 0.2 percent of all State and local matching funds went for these activities. So if we just assume that these problems are going to be fixed by leaving it up to some magic wand theory or bumper sticker, then they are not going to get fixed.

Previous speakers have also said that 63 percent of those welfare families are headed by females. This program is completely oriented toward helping those people get off of welfare and not tracking them into low wage, low pay jobs but giving them some of the necessary skills so that they can work up the ladder and get higher skills and higher pay down the ladder.

I know that a lot of Members in this body, particularly on the other side, are concerned about costs. What about costs? Well, I am a strong advocate of balancing the budget, and costs are certainly one of the most compelling reasons to vote for the Mink-Morella legislation.

In 1996, sex equity reserves were documented in several States to reduce welfare expenditures. Let me say that again. In 1996, sex equity reserves were documented in several States to reduce the welfare expenditure costs. So making sure that we spend money on education and training and equity reduces the costs later on on welfare expenditures.

In States like Missouri, they have saved more than $1.4 million in welfare payments. In Georgia's New Connections to Work Program, they saved $13 million over 10 years.

Mr. Chairman, if Members want to help some of the most vulnerable people in America, if they truly want to put families first, if they want to help us fix welfare and not just put bumper sticker solutions out there, if we want to do real things to help people, to help single parents, to help pregnant women, to help displaced homemakers, then they will vote for the Mink-Morella amendment. They will help put a vehicle, a car, fueled with gas, with answers, with strength, with solutions to propel that bumper sticker slogan that wants to put families first, to fix welfare, they will vote for that vehicle that will help us solve some of these problems in America.

Vote for the displaced homeworker. Vote for the single parent. Vote for the pregnant woman. Vote to fix welfare and put our families first. Vote for the Mink-Morella amendment.

Rep. Eva Clayton

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to speak in support of the Mink-Morella amendment to the Carl D. Perkins Vocational-Technical Education Act. This amendment is essential in preserving an existing program that effectively serves the needs of girls and women in our vocational education system.

This amendment provides the programs serving displaced homemakers, single parents, pregnant women and those that promote gender equity in vocational education should be held harmless. The whole notion of set-aside is the same way of saying we hold harmless at the same rates that we had already, 10.5 percent for these programs.

These programs have proven themselves effective. For instance, in 1996, there was a GAO study entitled ``Employment Training: Successful Projects Share Common Strategy,'' stating that these programs are very effective indeed in moving people from welfare to work. Again, a similar program evaluated in the State of Oregon showed their displaced homemaker, single parent program, documenting its long-term success in increasing the number of people who were earning beyond the minimum wage, from $6.00 per hour to $7.45.

Mr. Chairman, this program indeed is effective. It has indeed proven what other programs promise to do, and for that reason I am delighted indeed to support this program.

Rep. Patsy T. Mink

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Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?

Rep. Eva Clayton

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I yield to the gentlewoman from Hawaii.

Rep. Patsy T. Mink

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding to me.

Much has been said about the effect of provisions in the legislation that we are considering today that call for benchmarks and for the preparation of a State plan which include language for consideration for displaced homemakers, single parents and pregnant women. I acknowledged that in the earlier debate last week. But what we are concerned about is that once submitting a State plan, once acceding to the idea that there would be benchmarks, there is no enforcement mechanism.

Under the provisions of this bill, the State could serve not a single displaced homemaker because there is no way in which there can be any sort of enforcement, and that is the consequence that we fear.

Most people on both sides of the aisle acknowledge that the funding that was created 13 years ago, setting aside 10 percent of this program for the displaced homemaker, for the single parents, was an extremely worthwhile program. Why create a bill now that is totally different in its mechanism and risk the chance that some of these programs will fall by the wayside at the very time when we are enforcing the welfare reform bill and saying that people on welfare or single parents must find work activity?

Work activity is vocational training, and they need to have a place that can give them special attention, recognizing the fact that they are on welfare and want to make the 12 months that they are entitled to have of vocational training produce the kind of skills that can guarantee them a job which can support their family.

That is the whole idea of this, to get women into a position where they can qualify for nontraditional jobs, make enough money so that they can support their families.

In the brief time I have left, I wanted to also note that in the debate on Thursday there was mention that no one has come forth discussing the needs of this special program for the single parents, for the pregnant women, displaced homemakers, and for the sex equity coordinator. Fortunately, Mr. Chairman, many of the people who wrote to the committee also sent copies to the minority side and we have here a whole pile of letters that came in.

They are dated early June, mid-June, June 6, June 12, June 8, and so forth, from people all across the country addressing their concerns to the chairman, the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Goodling], to the gentleman from California [Mr. Riggs], who is the chair of the subcommittee. And I am sure that if the staff will look in their files, they will find many of these letters.

Not only that, there was a witness that testified in the subcommittee that brought forth the importance of this program and urged the subcommittee continue the funding of this special emphasis program. So I am startled that there was reference to the fact that there were no letters.

At an appropriate time I will ask the House to allow me to insert these letters in the Record for the benefit of the House.

Rep. Jennifer B. Dunn

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, today I rise not just as a woman, but also as a single parent in opposition to the Mink amendment.

H.R. 1853 authorizes funding for vocational-technical education. This bill benefits women already because it directs funds to local vo-tech programs giving women the opportunity to receive a quality education.

The bill also requires States to establish benchmarks and show how these vo-tech programs prepare special students groups: Specifically, displaced homemakers, single parents, and single pregnant women for postsecondary education or entry into high-skilled, high-wage jobs. In this way, Mr. Chairman, this bill actually protects the funds going into programs for women.

The Mink amendment, however, would mandate that States set aside funds for local areas to maintain gender-based programs even where they might not be needed. For example, Washington State is due to receive more than $19 million for vocational educational spending under title II and title III of the Carl D. Perkins Act, 90 percent of which will go directly to the local level.

Under the Mink amendment, more than $2 million of the $19 million would be reserved, set aside, for gender-based programs that are already adequately addressed and protected in H.R. 1853.

I, therefore, urge my colleagues to oppose the Mink amendment and support the thoughtful, pro-woman bill reported by the committee. Mr. PETERSON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?

Rep. Jennifer B. Dunn

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I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

Rep. John E. Peterson

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding to me. This has been an interesting debate to listen to. I support the goals of the Mink amendment, I support the gentleman from Indiana and what his goals are, and the gentleman from Cleveland and the gentlewomen from the different parts of this country. But what we are really doing with the Mink amendment is we are going to be putting a lot more money in bureaucracy and less money in the classroom. It is a bureaucracy builder.

Historically, we set aside at the State level. The Mink amendment says that each and every school district must spend no less than it did in the previous year. That means we have to have a Federal bureaucracy and a State bureaucracy that will monitor every district in this country, every vocational school in this country to make sure that they spend the exact dollar amount that they spent last year. Do we need this kind of oversight from the Federal Government?

My colleagues keep talking about the welfare-to-work bill. I helped write Pennsylvania's welfare bill. Every State is targeting the population of displaced homemakers, single pregnant women and sex equity program because that is the majority of the welfare population. They are using Federal and State welfare-to-work moneys to do that. We have expanded the ability to use the job training moneys in a bill we recently passed. Many States have promoted and expanded their homemaker training programs. And any State that wants to meet the Federal mandate is going to target this population.

The bill, in four different areas, talks about this population, that it must be part of the plan, it must be a benchmark, we must meet those goals or they do not get the money. To put a mandate on every vocational training program in America, that they must spend the exact same amount as last year, does nothing but create a bureaucracy that will waste millions of dollars that will train nobody.

I think the Mink amendment, Mr. Chairman, has laudable goals, but I think it misses the mark. What the gentlewoman is talking about is happening. Any State that is not making it happen is not going to be able to implement the welfare reform bill.

It is an unneeded amendment, it is an amendment that will waste dollars in bureaucracy at the national and at the State level. It will force every State to hire a $60,000 sex equity coordinator, whether needed or not. Let us leave that up to the States.

Every State has a built-in incentive to make this happen. This amendment will only put money into the hands of bureaucrats and not train displaced homemakers, single pregnant women, or bring sex equity.

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

(Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee

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Mr. Chairman, the last dialog indicates that we really do need a mandate to affirmatively ensure that there is a reality in this bill, and that is that we do have vocational training for women, and as well that we remedy the equity disparity that comes across in many instances.

A 1993 CRS report on the educational status of women confirms that public high school girls participating in vocational educational programs tend to be clustered in traditionally female occupations and, as well, an analysis reported in an American Association of University Women Report, ``How Schools Shortchange Girls'' concluded that the problem of sex segregation in vocational education programs continues to exist both at the secondary and postsecondary level.

This particular amendment, does not add amount of moneys for women vocational programs, homemakers, single parents, pregnant women but rather it requires States to maintain fiscal year 1997 funding as well as it provides for an equity gender specialist for each State to make sure women are treated fairly in vocational training programs.

Let me just simply say, Why do we not have women airplane mechanics, and there may be some; why are there not more computer technicians, and there may be some; why are there not more women specializing in the building trades, and there may be some? The reason is because we need someone who oversees the programs in the State who says, ``I do not want to give an incentive, I want to see the job done.''

We want the job done. This is a good amendment to get the job done, to ensure that women have equal access along with men in training in unusual vocational trades that traditionally are geared toward men.

In this time when Republicans are pushing welfare to work--let us give women, single parents, displaced homemakers, pregnant, a fighting chance to get good high-paying jobs with the right kind of vocational training.

I clearly think we must pass this amendment, the Mink-Morella-Sanchez-Woolsey-Millender-McDonald amendment that fairly says to women, ``You, too, can do it.''

Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of this amendment and thank Congresswomen Mink, Morella, Sanchez, and Woolsey for their leadership in protecting vocational and educational programs for women and girls.

This amendment to H.R. 1853 will preserve existing programs serving the needs of girls and women in our vocational education system. The amendment will accomplish this by requiring that local recipients of vocational education funds spend at least as much as they spent in fiscal year 1997 on programs for displaced homemakers, single parents, single pregnant women, and programs which promote gender equity.

This amendment is critical to remedy the cuts that have been made in H.R. 1853. The vocational education reauthorization bill in its current form eliminates a 10.5-percent set-aside of State moneys required under current law for these programs. The bill also eliminates the equity coordinator required in every State to oversee, coordinate, and evaluate equity initiatives in vocational education.

My colleagues, it is critical that we pass this amendment for while we have made significant progress in the area of educational equity, to end our emphasis on these areas now would result in serious setbacks as illustrated by a 1993 CRS report on the educational status of women. This study confirms that public high school girls participating in vocational educational programs tend to be clustered in traditionally female occupations. Additionally, analysis reported in the American Association of University Women report, ``How Schools Shortchange Girls,'' concluded that the problem of sex segregation in vocational education programs continues to exist at both the secondary and postsecondary level.

For these reasons I urge my colleagues to join me in voting to pass this important amendment and in so doing to protect these important programs. Thank you.

Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald

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Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee

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I yield to the gentlewoman from California, who happens to be a cosponsor of this very good and positive legislation.

Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding to me, the gracious gentlewoman from Texas.

Mr. Chairman, we have heard the old adage, I have been there, done that. As the former director of a gender equity program, I can tell my colleagues firsthand how successful these programs are. It is not by happenstance, it is because there was a gender equity coordinator at the State level that ensured that we followed an accountability trail of these programs.

I cannot imagine that we are trying to argue with success or even challenge it. These are successful programs that were done by this person, who was the director of gender equity programs for the second largest unified school district in America, the Los Angeles one, and we simply ensured that those women who were most vulnerable received the type of access to the vocational programs that gender equity ensured.

What is missing here is the whole notion that one thinks that we can put this money in vocational programs and those vulnerable groups would be serviced. Let me just say that these are women who need not only the vocational training and the skills, but they need the self-esteem, the self-worth. That is what comes when the gender equity coordinator at the helm, at the State level, ensures that those of us directors throughout the Nation and throughout the States provide for these women.

This amendment, our amendment, is a hold harmless amendment which does not restore the set-aside that has been articulated numerous times, much to my chagrin. The main purpose of the Perkins Act is to improve the quality of vocational education and to provide access to quality vocational education for special populations.

I have seen 80 percent of the participants with children, 80 percent of participants on some form of public assistance be enhanced and enriched by this Perkins equity program. I say to my colleagues that those who do not see the need to service those who are most vulnerable, those who are moving from welfare to work to get gender equity programs, I feel are short-sighted.

So I say to my colleague, a person who has been there and done that, do know the success of this program, gender equity programs, Mr. Chairman, do work for those women, those pregnant women, the displaced homemakers, and those who are in need of this program.

I would say to all of my colleagues to support the Mink, et al. amendment, of which I am one of the cosponsors.

The amendment: This is a hold-harmless amendment which does not restore the 10.5 percent set-aside, at the State level but rather, assures that these valuable services to an often overlooked population continue. The Mink - Morella - Woolsey - Sanchez - Millender- McDonald amendment would require that localities currently funding such programs continue to provide funding for these purposes at, at least, the same level as fiscal year 1997. This amendment would also restore the requirement that a vocational education equity coordinator exist in every State.

The main purpose of the Perkins Act is to improve the quality of vocational education and to provide access to quality vocational education for special populations such as women who are single mothers and displaced homemakers. We need this amendment to ensure that we continue to meet this purpose.

In the Los Angeles Unified School District, where I served as the director of gender equity programs, the preliminary statistics for the 1996-97 year: 1,642 adult women completed programs offered through the Perkins grants--several more attended classes but did not complete the courses; 2,600 teen mothers benefiting from these programs--5,000 total teen mothers in Los Angeles city school district, 10,000 in Los Angeles country; ages range from 14 to 62, median age is 30's; 80 percent of participants have children; 80 percent of participants on some form of public assistance; 68 percent of participants are Hispanic; 14-16 percent of participants are African-American; and 4-6 percent of participants are Asian-Americans.

Results of the Los Angeles Unified School District's gender equity programs: 50 percent of participants are employed after completing these programs which directly results in reducing the number of people receiving public assistance.

State of California--98 percent of the Perkins Act funding in 1996 was distributed to local districts in the State of California

These programs help over 1,000 school districts and 107 community colleges in California regardless of whether they receive the Perkins funding

Throughout the country the long-term success rate of these single and displaced homemaker programs is very impressive. in the neighboring State of Oregon in 1996: Employment rates soared from 28 to 71 percent; median wage rates increased from $6 per hour to $7.45 per hour; and dependence on AFDC of the program participants fell from 29 to 15 percent.

In Arizona, women in nontraditional jobs have increased from 7 to 17 percent.

In Georgia, participants' annual salaries increased from an average of $11,000 prior to participation to an average of $16,500, and the New Connections to Work Program saved the State $13 million in welfare savings over 10 years.

In Pennsylvania, these programs saved the State $2.3 million in welfare savings in the 1994 program year.

MR. RIGGS. Mr. Speaker, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from California?

Rep. Patsy T. Mink

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Mr. Chairman, I object.

The CHAIRMAN. Objection is heard.

Rep. Frank Riggs

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Mr. Chairman, I have a parliamentary inquiry.

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state his inquiry.

Rep. Frank Riggs

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Mr. Chairman, did you hear objection when previous speakers who spoke on this subject at some length in earlier days sought to address the House?

Rep. William Clay

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Mr. Chairman, no one on this side has spoken more than once. We have yielded to everybody who spoke. Someone has yielded, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Members who spoke on this amendment last week, have been allowed to speak again this week with unanimous consent.

Rep. William Clay

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Mr. Chairman, we have not had a single speaker today who spoke on his or her own time last week. The ones who spoke last week were yielded time by other speakers. My colleague cannot name one person who has spoken twice.

Rep. Walter B. Jones

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words, and I yield to the gentleman from California [Mr. Riggs].

Rep. Frank Riggs

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from North Carolina [Mr. Jones] for his courtesy in yielding and would just note to him, I must marvel at our colleagues' selective memory in terms of how this debate has unfolded on the floor.

But my point in seeking to be recognized, Mr. Chairman, is to let our colleagues know that our bill, as reported out of committee, is a vast improvement upon current law. It reduces bureaucracy at the Federal and State government levels, it caps State administrative expenses so that more dollars can actually reach students, and it decreases mandates on States and local school districts so that they may create vocational programs that reflect their own needs and priorities.

The Mink amendment would undercut each of the improvements I have just mentioned. Rather than allowing States and localities to set their own priorities based on their own local vocational needs, and I know that is a radical thought to our friends on the Democratic side of the aisle, sex equity programs would be mandated. And we have heard several speakers on this side of the aisle refer to it as just what it is, and that is a mandate.

All we are doing in this amendment is talking about transferring a State set-aside down to the local level so a State set-aside becomes a local set-aside, and we replace a State mandate with a local mandate. I would love to hear any speaker on the other side of the aisle stand up and deny that as the case.

This does not make sense. The gentlewoman from Hawaii [Mrs. Mink] made reference to testimony before the subcommittee. May I remind her that Paul Cole, the vice president of the American Federation of Teachers, testified in front our Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families in support of eliminating set-asides. My colleagues heard me correct. Paul Cole, vice president of the American Federation of Teachers.

In fact, I quote from his testimony now. ``Federal legislation should eliminate set-asides at State and local levels. Funding formulas for special populations are harmful when they provide an incentive for schools to retain students in these categories because funding depends on it.''

He was simply referencing the National Assessment of Vocational Education, Final Report to Congress, Volume 1, prepared by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education. I quoted from this report last week, and I quote again.

There are two major risks in broad-brush efforts to include more and more special population students in vocational educational, including the special populations that are intended to be served by this 10\1/2\ percent set-aside, 10\1/2\ percent of the funding that is taken right off the top. The first is that factors other than the student's best interest will become more prominent in placement decisions. For example, recruiting special needs students in order to keep vocational enrollments up and thus maintain staff positions is a familiar practice, and it often complements a desire in comprehensive schools to get hard-to-educate students out of regular classes. In situations such as this, some students will benefit for participation in vocational programs, but others will not. The second risk with this practice is that vocational programs, especially those in regional schools, will increasingly become special needs programs, separated from the mainstream of secondary education, an outcome that is opposite to the very intent, the original intent behind the Perkins Act.

This is clearly dumping. It is a problem. I go on to quote from the report.

Special population students are an ever-increasing proportion of all vocational students, and the Perkins emphasis on recruiting special population students to vocational education may be among the factors contributing to this tendency.

We have tried to rectify that. We have come up with, I think, a good compromise. We have said in our bill that States and local communities should be allowed to continue to fund these programs at their choice. That is perfectly in keeping with the long-standing American tradition of local control and decentralized decision-making in public education.

Our bill already includes, but it does not mandate, and there is the difference, support for displaced homemakers, single pregnant women, and single parents at all levels of State and local vocational educational programs. We have to take a firm stand against more mandates on local schools. It is time to practice what you preach if in fact you do believe that decisionmaking should be vested at the local level.

So I urge my colleagues to vote against the Mink amendment and to say no to more mandates for local schools.

Rep. Michael Bilirakis

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Mr. Chairman, as a long-time supporter of programs designed to assist displaced homemakers, I support the intent of the Mink amendment. However, I do have some concerns about the mandate it would impose upon States.

Since coming to Congress, I have supported transferring more authority to State and local governments. Too many times, we have adopted a one size fits all approach when we are establishing new programs or policies. In many instances, the very people that we are trying to assist could have been better served if States had been given the flexibility to create programs designed to address their specific needs.

While I believe that displaced homemakers should have access to vocational training, I want to make sure that we are serving their needs in the most effective way. I believe one way that we can assist displaced homemakers is by providing a tax credit to employers who hire and train these individuals. For over 10 years, I have sponsored such tax credit legislation, and in the 105th Congress, I have reintroduced this legislation as H.R. 402.

Displaced homemakers are primarily women who have been full-time homemakers for a number of years, but who have lost their source of economic support due to divorce, separation, abandonment, or the death or disability of a spouse. Many displaced homemakers are living at or near the poverty level, are younger than 35 and have children.

One of every six American women is a displaced homemaker. In 1990, there were 17.8 million displaced homemakers in the United States. In my own State of Florida, there were over 1.1 million displaced homemakers in 1990--a 55-percent increase since 1980.

My bill, H.R. 402, would allow employers a tax credit for hiring displaced homemakers by establishing them as a targeted group under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit [WOTC] Program. The WOTC Program is intended to combat and lessen the problem of structural unemployment among certain hard-to-employ individuals.

My bill would extend the WOTC to include displaced homemakers. Under the proposal, employers could apply for a tax credit if they hire these individuals who are having difficulty reentering the job market.

I see this approach as cost-effective. By providing prospective employers with the incentive to hire displaced homemakers, we avoid the much more costly alternative of publicly supporting these homemakers and their families.

Mr. Chairman, these are people who are in financial need and want to work. I encourage my colleagues to cosponsor H.R. 402.

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney

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Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Mink amendment.

I often say the 104th Congress was the most antiwoman Congress I can remember.

Well, the 105th is catching up.

For 13 years the Perkins Vocational Technical Education Act has provided funds to ensure that America's women do not miss out on opportunities to better their lives.

For 13 years these programs have worked.

Displaced home-makers, single parents, pregnant women, and some girls in vocational schools have been able to count on help from their government, not to bail them out, but to help them bail themselves out.

It's a fact that vocational education keeps women off welfare.

In Oregon, a recent study documented its long-term success in increasing employment rates from 28 to 71 percent. Wages increased. Fourteen percent of the women on welfare got off.

In Arizona, not only did wages increase, but the number of women in nontraditional jobs increased from 7 to 17 percent.

In Georgia, women benefited from the programs by increasing their salaries from $11,000 to $16,500.

Now, it's not as if the government handed those people $1,500 raises. What it did was allow them to earn those raises in the private sector themselves.

Isn't this why we're here?

Are we not in the business of helping people help themselves?

Is that not what we're trying to do in reforming the Nation's welfare program?

Many States are reporting that higher wages--achieved through the vocational program--are keeping women off welfare.

In Pennsylvania, in 1994, the setaside program saved the State $2.3 million in welfare payments.

In Missouri, $1.4 million in welfare payments were recovered.

If this Congress is truly working to get women and children off welfare, why would it cut a program that helps them do just that?

As my colleagues, Representatives Mink, Morella, Sanchez, and Woolsey point out, this amendment does not ask for an increase.

It only asks that the 10-percent setaside be preserved.

It restores the vocational education equity coordinator position.

And it keeps the Federal policy on track and consistent.

It shows that our effort to achieve gender equity and to help at-risk groups such as displaced homemakers and single parents stay off welfare, get an education, and keep well-paying jobs a priority.

The original intent of this legislation was to make the United States more competitive by developing more fully the academic and occupational skills of our citizens.

Our citizens who most need that help are on the verge of being cut out of the deal.

I urge a vote in support of the Mink amendment.

Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez

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Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the Mink amendment. This proposal will encourage young and middle-aged women to receive valuable skills training in occupations that have traditionally been filled by men. It will allow them to get jobs with better pay and better benefits, and make it easier for women to support their families. I urge my colleagues to vote yes on this important amendment.

The Mink amendment will do all this by protecting the funds that States currently use for programs that ensure gender equity in vocational education. Make no mistake--without this protection, these programs will disappear. The evidence is clear--before 1984, when State grants were reserved for gender equity programs, only 1 percent of these grants were actually used for gender equity.

Last year, Republicans passed a bill based on a twisted premise--that if you push people off the boat, they will somehow learn to swim. The Republican bill assumed that by shredding the vital social safety net, jobs would magically appear for people. This strategy is not only cruel, it is wrong--without help in learning to swim, many people will drown.

If Congress is really serious about encouraging women to achieve financial independence, then Congress should make sure all women have the opportunity to obtain the tools they need to find a good job and support their families. The Mink amendment would provide these opportunities. I urge all of you to vote yes on the Mink amendment.

Rep. Walter B. Jones

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Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Hawaii [Mrs. Mink].

The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.

Rep. Patsy T. Mink

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Mr. Chairman, I object to the vote on the ground that a quorum is not present and make the point of order that a quorum is not present.

The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the order of the House of today, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Hawaii [Mrs. Mink] will be postponed.

The point of no quorum is considered withdrawn.

Rep. Ron Klink

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Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Amendment No. 3 offered by Mr. Klink: Page 30 strike lines 5 through 9, and insert the following: ``(2) Information dissemination.-- ``(A) State requirements.--Each State shall make the information contained in reports described under paragraph (1) available to the general public through publication and other appropriate methods which may include electronic communication. ``(B) Secretary requirements.--The Secretary shall make the information contained in such reports available to the general public through publication and other appropriate methods which may include electronic communication.

Rep. Ron Klink

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Mr. Chairman, I will not take all the 5 minutes. My understanding is that the majority has agreed to accept this amendment. I am pleased that we are here today to work on this bill reauthorizing the Perkins Vocational Technical Education Act.

The gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Goodling] and the gentleman from California [Mr. Riggs], the chairmen, and the gentleman from Missouri [Mr. Clay], the ranking member, and the gentleman from California [Mr. Martinez] are to be commended for maintaining our country's commitment to vocational education.

This amendment is really quite simple. It will require each State to make the report required in the accountability section of this bill available to the public. The bill requires the Secretary of Education to make these reports available to the public. Local grant recipients are required to make the performance information available to the public.

My amendment would ensure that each State will make its report to the Secretary available in that State in the same manner that this legislation requires the Secretary to make these reports available on a national basis. What we are talking about is a bipartisan strive toward openness. That way, information about vocational-technical education program performance will be disseminated in the widest manner possible.

This amendment will provide for further accountability in vocational education. I would urge my colleagues to support it.

Rep. William F. Goodling

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Mr. Chairman, I accept the amendment. The amendment would require States to make the information contained in their report on how the State is performing in regard to their State benchmarks available to the public. This is consistent with the provisions of the bill which require the Secretary and local districts to make the information available to the public. We do accept the amendment.

Rep. William Clay

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word. We have no objection to the amendment, and we accept it.

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Klink].

The amendment was agreed to.

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy

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Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Amendment No. 2 offered by Mr. Kennedy of Massachusetts: Page 52, after line 15, insert the following (and redesignate any subsequent paragraphs accordingly): ``(8) providing an on-site workforce development coordinator who will coordinate activities described in this section with an emphasis on developing additional curricula in cooperation with local area businesses;''.

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy

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Mr. Chairman, I think this amendment really gets to the heart of whether or not we are serious about reforming our voc education and really the general practice of whether or not we are going to be encouraging our young people in this country to go on and continue their education.

We hear statistics across America today that tell us if we are really interested in the education of our young people, we ought to recognize that we ought to look at them in terms of the 25 percentile. The top 25 percent of all American children go on to college or even higher education beyond college. They do very very well for themselves.

The next 25 percent struggles to get through high school but gets some sort of additional education. The third 25 percent in fact struggles to just get through high school. And the bottom 25 percent never even finishes high school.

The truth of the matter is, if we are serious about encouraging that bottom 50 percent to do anything more than they are currently doing, and as I just came from a hearing in the Committee on Banking, where chairman Alan Greenspan condemned all of the efforts dealing with job training in this country, it seems to me that it is critically important that we, in fact, take a look at what is really working around America.

What we find is, and I think even the chairman of the committee would agree, that there are a number of innovative and creative programs. For instance, the BIC in the city of Boston that works hand in glove with the local business community to help assist to develop a curriculum with the high schools to make certain that--in fact where I come from, the city of Boston, we have an important high-technology industry--that going to a high school where you are learning reading, arithmetic, and basic languages might be helpful but it might be very discouraging for a poor child from the inner city who does not know what in fact those courses are going to actually have to do with their ability to be able to handle or deal with the real crises and the real issues that they face in their day-to-day lives.

What we found is that by getting a coordinator who actually works with the business community and the high schools to begin to set a curriculum where in fact the high school student knows that if he completes a set of courses outside of the curriculum that the high school itself would set working with the school committee, but works on additional courses that are set by the business community, the business community then agrees to in fact provide after-school opportunities, summer youth jobs, that in fact the kids have an enormously high success rate. We have been able to see children move directly from high schools into jobs after high school and from those particular instances their rate of actually going back and continuing their education, going on to community college and in many instances 4-year schools, have been much, much higher than the population in general.

What this amendment would do is allow for the use of a coordinator, a work force coordinator to work with the business community at the level across our country, using voc educational funds to work with that business community to help set a curriculum with the high schools and through that curriculum to then ask our business community to then provide after-school programs and summer youth jobs for our kids.

It, in fact, is a program that works. And I am surprised that there would be any opposition to the simple use of a coordinator to work with the business communities and the local high schools in order to accomplish what seems to me to be a fairly reasonable and easy goal to deal with.

However, in negotiations with the other side of the aisle, it has come out that in fact the use of the word coordinator somehow gets a yellow flag on the field of the Congress of the United States. If you use anything involving the word coordinator, somehow or another there is a group of people in this country that are going to scream that we are somehow setting the agenda of our high school students and somehow we are going to be teaching them about sex or some other thing that has absolutely nothing do with what this amendment is all about.

What we are trying to accomplish here is dealing with the real needs of real people, the young people of America that are the future of this country. This is not about any kind of ideology. This is just straightforward talk about what works in America today. If we want to stand here and pass a voc-ed bill that continues programs that will not work, we just heard them talking and yacking about the fact that there are going to be mandates.

We mandate that we are not going to hurt women, but we do not do anything to make certain that women, young girls, are going to be encouraged to continue and get better jobs.

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Kennedy] has expired.

(By unanimous consent, Mr. Kennedy of Massachusetts was allowed to proceed for 1 additional minute.)

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy

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Mr. Chairman, the truth of the matter is that what we are trying to accomplish here is a straightforward approach to actually getting our young people of this country educated in the kinds of jobs, not just the kind of jobs that would be good in Boston but the kind of jobs that would be good in Missouri, the kind of jobs that would be good in Pennsylvania, the kind of jobs that would be good in California or Hawaii or Virginia or any other State. Let the local people decide exactly what kind of jobs that is appropriate for their local high schools to set up. But encourage those young people. If one goes into high schools today and tells all those kids in high schools in the inner city that they can go on to a 4-year college or to community college and then ask them whether or not they intend to go, what they will find is 50 percent or more of the kids say they have no intention of going to college. Ask them why, and they say they do not think they can afford it, they do not think they can attain college. What this program will do is set up a track where these kids will get the kind of job training, get the kind of encouragement from the local business community that I think will make them a success in life.

Rep. William F. Goodling

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

Mr. Chairman, we have to make sure that we understand that this amendment would add support for a work force development coordinator at schools as an allowable use of funds under this bill. As the gentleman from Massachusetts recalled, we had a discussion regarding this issue during the debate on the job training bill earlier this year, at which time I said I would be happy to work with the gentleman when we considered the vocational education bill, and I think that our bill accommodates his concerns without specifically allowing for funding of a work force coordinator.

I understand the gentleman's concern that he is trying to get at it through his amendment, but our bill does not currently list support for any specific staff. The Federal Government should not outline what staff may or may not be hired by a school. However, what this bill does is list a number of activities as allowable uses of funds for vocational technical education programs at the local level that allow for the types of activities that I believe his amendment is trying to achieve.

Under this bill, local school districts and postsecondary institutions may use funds for involving parents, businesses, and representatives of employers in the design and implementation of vocational technical education programs. That is already an allowable use of funds. Allowable use of funds, providing guidance and counseling. Allowable use of funds, providing work-related experience, and business and education partnerships. All of this is in the present bill.

I believe that coordination activities with employers are implicitly included in these allowable activities, but again without specifically mentioning any support personnel that would be employed at local schools. In fact, this legislation does not specifically spell out support for any staff, not teachers, administrators, counselors, or coordinators.

If the gentleman had had the experience, as many of us had, during the last 3 years trying to put together a job training bill, he would understand how those 2 words in a piece of legislation, would as a matter of fact take, I would imagine, 80 votes from his side and 150 votes from my side. We carefully made sure that we did not get caught in the trap that we were caught in for a couple of years on the job training bill and had to work our way through it. If we say that we will have a work force coordinator, that just raises all sorts of problems for both sides of the aisle. I would hope that the gentleman would either withdraw the amendment or I would hope we could defeat the amendment because if we do not, in my estimation we cannot pass the bill.

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy

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Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Rep. William F. Goodling

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I yield to the gentleman from Massachusetts.

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy

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I appreciate the gentleman yielding.

Mr. Chairman, in the gentleman's opinion a few minutes ago, I thought the number was we were going to lose 40 Democrats, and now I understand the gentleman feels we would lose 80 Democrats, but setting that aside, if we were not going to lose any Democrats, does the gentleman feel substantively that this is the proper way of handling this particular piece of legislation?

Rep. William F. Goodling

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I believe in this legislation we now do much of what the gentleman is trying to do without specifically authorizing a work force development coordinator in a high school or a secondary tech school.

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy

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I just would point out that while I recognize and I think that the gentleman has attempted to cover many of the activities that the coordinator would in fact be responsible for, I think that the gentleman has also voiced great concern over mandates without providing the resources that are necessary in order to fulfill those mandates. So by standing there and saying or suggesting that we are going to ask these schools to accomplish all of these goals but then not giving them any staff to actually be able to follow through on those promises, I am very concerned that we end up with simply a hollow bill, and I think that the gentleman and others on his side would voice the same concern, that we are simply sending out signals but we are doing nothing to actually follow through and give people the tools that are necessary to fulfill those goals.

Rep. William F. Goodling

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Again, let me repeat, that when the gentleman mentions a work force development coordinator at schools, the gentleman is asking for the bill, in my estimation, to be defeated. I can only tell the gentleman from 3 years' experience trying to put together a job training bill, it is this kind of language and that will get us in trouble again.

Rep. James P. Moran

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, let me first say that I appreciate the comments of the chairman of the committee making it clear that he does not have substantive opposition to what this amendment intends to do. He does have concerns apparently with semantics and with the politics of certain code words and all, and I appreciate that. I am not surprised, though, to see him behind what such an important amendment attempts to do.

Maybe we can call it something other than a work force coordinator, but that is exactly what our schools need. I appreciate the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Kennedy] offering the amendment, because it is time we stopped just talking and started doing something about this issue.

In the Washington metropolitan area, we have 19,000 jobs related to computers that we cannot fill. The average salary is $47,000. Thousands of these jobs do not require any kind of college education. And what are we doing? We are going to India, we are going to Pakistan, we are going to Ireland--some people might not object to that--but nevertheless we are going every place we can find to find people to fill these jobs at very low wages. Yet they do not require any skills that our high school graduates cannot acquire, it is just that our high school graduates have not acquired those skills because they did not have the benefit of a vocational education curriculum.

We have thousands of young people in this Washington area who are desperate to find jobs. What a disservice that we have done to them. They get out of high school and they have virtually nothing to take with them when they go looking for a job. No skills, minimal education, little work preparation. Why? Because our schools are not geared up in many ways to create a match between the jobs that are available and the kids that can fill them. What a crying shame to have thousands of kids desperate for jobs, desperate for employment, desperate to find a way to support their family and yet also to have thousands of jobs unfilled.

That is what this amendment is all about. It is about trying to get someone who is going to make that match, who is going to work for the kids by working between the schools and the businesses, to consult with businesses, bring them in, tell the kids what jobs are available, what they pay, and then to help put together the kind of curricula that is going to be relevant for the jobs that are available. Unfortunately, what has happened is that many of our vocational education schools have become a dumping ground. In many ways voc ed means a dumping ground, primarily for disruptive students. This is the attitude that this amendment can help change.

In the District of Columbia we have a voc ed school, and it could have become a good one. What happened was that the other schools started putting their most disruptive students in that school, and now it is virtually a reform school. They are not going to like me to say that, so I will not give the specific name of the school. But it is not serving their needs. What a crying shame. Yet if we had this kind of liaison between the business community and the school system, we could serve a lot of their needs. We desperately need their talents and their skills. We need to develop vocational education as an immediate step to getting a good job, to being able to go to an employer with the kind of skills and basic education and attitude that they are looking for.

So our school system is disserving these kids. Are we really going to pass this kind of bill, the Perkins bill here without addressing this most critical need? I would hope not. I would hope that we would pass this amendment, that we would underscore the need to bring the business community in for its own self-interest, in influencing the curricula, in giving the real opportunity, the real access to the jobs that are available to these kids who desperately need them.

This is an important amendment. I would urge my colleagues' strong support for it. I appreciate the support of the chairman of the committee. I know that the ranking member of the full committee from Missouri is very strongly in support of vocational education. I thank the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Kennedy] for introducing it. I would certainly expect and hope that this body would pass it overwhelmingly.

Rep. Frank Riggs

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, I just want to point out to the gentleman from Virginia that we had a field hearing just across the Potomac River at Thomas Jefferson High School, which I believe is close to his congressional district, in fact he was good enough to stop in at the hearing briefly. And we saw that at Thomas Jefferson High School--which is one of the most outstanding academic high schools in the country with a long record of national merit semifinalists and a tremendous history of sending kids to the top 4-year colleges and universities in the country--they are doing this already. They are working closely with the private sector. They have extensive private sector involvement in the design of their curriculum. They have the private sector involved in any number of internships, job shadowing opportunities, and mentoring types of activities. This is all done without the need for an on-site work force development coordinator--which is a classic example of how we micromanage Federal legislation.

I do not quarrel that the gentleman is well-intentioned. But I do point out that his amendment does represent micromanagement. It is in fact not necessary because under the bill, if we look at the section of the bill dealing with permissible activities, we will see that we allow and encourage local school districts and postsecondary institutions to use funding for involving parents, businesses and representatives of employers in the design and implementation of vocational-technical education programs, to provide career guidance and academic counseling, to provide work-related experience, as I just mentioned, and to help form business-education partnerships in the local communities.

So the Kennedy amendment is a classic example of overkill and micromanagement.

Rep. William F. Goodling

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Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Rep. Frank Riggs

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I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

Rep. William F. Goodling

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Did the gentleman say that the outstanding Thomas Jefferson School near our colleague from Virginia's district, is already doing all of these things and the Federal Government did not have to mandate it and did not tell them they had to do that?

Rep. Frank Riggs

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Reclaiming my time, the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Goodling] is so right. In fact we learned from the example of Thomas Jefferson High School. We acted upon the testimony that we heard at our hearing. In our bill, we have said under the section dealing with the permissible uses of funds, that the funding can be used by local institutions--a high school or regional vocational school--to provide, and I quote now from the bill, work-related experience such as internships, cooperative education, school-based enterprises--like we also saw up in Delaware where the kids are running a bank at Wilmington High School--entrepreneurship and job shadowing. They are all related to vocational-technical education programs.

What we do not do again is attempt to micromanage, we do not dictate, we do not spell out that local schools should use any of the funding to pay for the salaries and benefits of local personnel. We do not, anywhere in the legislation, talk about support for any staff; not teachers, administrators, counselors, or coordinators.

So I join the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Goodling] in urging the gentleman to withdraw his amendment with the understanding that the type of coordination activities that he wants to see, that we all want to see take place between local secondary schools and local employers, are already allowed under our bill for vocational-technical education programs.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words, and I yield to the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Kennedy], my friend and colleague.

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy

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Mr. Chairman, I just want to deal with a couple of the arguments that have been made. As my colleagues know, the idea that there are not innovative and creative vocational educational programs, that there are not young people that are attending those schools that are not going on to do tremendous things has nothing to do with what we are trying to suggest in this amendment. Of course there are, and we should recognize and encourage those activities, and where they are accomplished without the assistance of a coordinator is terrific.

But the vast majority of the kids that we are designing programs to help and assist are the kids that are falling through the cracks. We do not need to have programs for kids that are A students and are doing terrifically. The reason why we are having these programs is to make certain that the kids that are currently not achieving everything they can in this country can have an opportunity to go out and become all they can be.

That is what this is about, and it is trying to suggest that we give them opportunity, if we get them to work with their local businesses and get the businesses to recognize that the young people that are in their communities have all the future of this country in front of them.

As my colleagues know, the fact of the matter is I come from the State of Massachusetts. The State of Massachusetts has more college graduates per capita than any other State in the Nation. That is something we are extremely proud of. I have 60 colleges in my own congressional district, more than 26 other States in one congressional district.

The fact of the matter is that we have a first-rate education system, but within that there are still so many of the kids that end up falling through the cracks. In my district I have some of the poorest Hispanic kids in the United States. I have the minority influence district. Go into the poorer high schools and find out whether they think they can go to Harvard University or whether they can go to MIT. They do not think they can. None of those kids feel that they are going to be participants in the so-called greatness of America's education.

These are the kids that we need to reach out to. They can; in fact 50 percent, despite the fact that Massachusetts is No. 1 in terms of higher education, 50 percent of all the adults in the State of Massachusetts have nothing more than a high school education. Fifty percent of them. We still have dropout rates of 25, 35, and 40 percent in many of our major cities and urban areas of our country. Those are the kids that we need to reach out to. They are not bad kids. We need to reach out and let them know that they count and that they are important and that our businesses will value them because those businesses will one day be employing them. And if we can establish that relationship early on in their lives and make certain that they know that those companies, those high-technology companies, the gentleman from Virginia [Mr. Moran] talked about 19,000 here in the Washington area.

The fact is that there are HVAC companies, there are diesel engine companies, there are all sorts of technical skills that our young people are simply not learning, and the companies do not have the access to those local high schools to know and be able to set the kind of curriculum that is going to allow them to learn those skills. Let them have that opportunity. Do not deny them because there is a few Members of either party that are sitting there saying that this is going to be sex education. Do not do that. Do not buckle to that.

Mr. Speaker, my colleagues should stand up and say what is right. What is right is that we provide that coordinator. Let them in fact. Do not buckle to some right wing or left wing or anybody else's wing. Stand up for the kids; that is what this bill is supposed to be about. Stand up for the kids, pass this amendment.

Rep. Tom Petri

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words, and I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Goodling].

Rep. William F. Goodling

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Mr. Chairman, I just wanted to make sure that we think this the whole way through. Where do we stop if we want every child to reach their potential? Would it not be a good idea to mandate that we have a military coordinator in every school? It seems to me there is great potential by joining the armed services, even to get a college degree, but certainly to get all sorts of training. So where do we stop? Where do we decide that the Federal Government no longer should mandate?

And I think we make a big mistake when we go down the line of determining for local school districts who it is they should hire.

The program is working well at the present time with the coordination that is available. The activity is allowable in the legislation but we do not mandate any personnel. It does not matter whether it is an administrator or a teacher--we do not mandate personnel. We allow the local level to make that decision.

Again, we need to remember that when we start down this slippery slope, I can see all sorts of wonderful things that a military coordinator could do to help young people reach their potential, but I certainly would not mandate it.

Rep. Frank Riggs

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Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Rep. Tom Petri

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I yield to the gentleman from California.

Rep. Frank Riggs

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Mr. Chairman, I have to tell my colleagues I am now perplexed a little bit about the Kennedy amendment because I am looking at the gentleman's Dear Colleague, and I quote:

This person, referring to the work force development coordinator, would help develop courses in addition to the core curriculum, and I always thought that the design of that curriculum, that local curriculum, was the responsibility of the locally elected school board. That is certainly in keeping with the longstanding American tradition. And second, the gentleman talks about this individual again helping familiarize young people with college opportunities or college possibilities and maybe encouraging them to set their sights high and to apply to attend a 4-year institution.

Yet again I read from his Dear Colleague. He says:

This person would educate our students about career possibilities in their own hometown and help students obtain jobs in the local economy. This acts as a local job placement service run at a local high school, and that is contrary to the idea of encouraging more young people to go to college.

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy

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Mr. Chairman, would the gentleman from Wisconsin [Mr. Petri] yield?

Rep. Tom Petri

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I yield to the gentleman from Massachusetts.

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy

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First of all, as my colleagues know, we have heard a lot of talk about mandates. I just like to point out that all this is is a permissible activity. There is no mandate. I mean I think it should be a mandate, but I did not write it because I did not think we could get enough votes if we wrote it as an absolute mandate. So it is just a permissible activity.

And I would just say to the gentleman, through the gentleman from Wisconsin to the gentleman from California, that all we are trying to suggest here is that of course the core curriculum is going to be set by the local school committee. We want to involve the local school committee and everyone else in this activity. But unless we provide them a coordinator who can work with the business community in order to accomplish this, you will get our top tier, the top 10 or 20 or 30 percent that will take care of this anyway. We are talking about the kind of high schools that maybe do not exist in my colleague's district but certainly exist in mine, the kind of high schools that are really struggling, that are having a very hard time. Go to those high schools' principals and ask them whether or not they would like to have a coordinator that can work with the local community and work with their businesses.

Rep. Tom Petri

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Reclaiming my time, I yield to the gentleman from California [Mr. Riggs]

Rep. Frank Riggs

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Mr. Chairman, colleagues, let us apply the commonsense test here for a moment. Will one work force development coordinator, paid through Federal taxpayer funds, be able to do what the locally elected school board cannot?

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy

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It can help.

Rep. Frank Riggs

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And a locally elected school board, it seems to me, is accountable to and responsive, we hope responsive, to the local community, not a federally funded work force development coordinator who is not an elected official and therefore really not accountable to the community at all.

Rep. John E. Peterson

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, I find this debate interesting. I would like to ask the Members here today how many of them would like to have a partner in their business that provides 7 percent of the capital and wants to run the business? We provide about 7 percent of the money in this country for vocational education, and here we sit in Washington and we want to say how it is best to do it in all 50 States, and we provide 7 percent.

We ought to be ashamed of ourselves. If there is one message that I have received from educators as a local leader, as a State house member and a State senator, was get Washington out of our school districts. We get a little bit of money from them, and most of our people are spending the bulk of their time trying to deal with Federal bureaucracies and Federal rules.

And then we get down to this issue, and on page 52 of the bill it says providing career guidance counseling, almost providing work-related experience such as internships, cooperative education, school-based enterprises, entrepreneurship, job shadowing that are related to vocational technical education programs, programs for single parents, displaced homemakers, single pregnant women, local education and business partnerships, vocational student organizations, mentoring and support services.

Now we do not tell them who they have to hire. We just gave some guidelines of directions that the programs ought to cover, and that is all we should do. At the Federal level, we are wrong when we provide. If we were doing 70 percent of the money, I might agree with my colleague. Seven percent of the money, and we want to run the voc-tech schools, and that is wrong.

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Kennedy].

The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the ayes appeared to have it.

Rep. Frank Riggs

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote, and pending that, I make the point of order that a quorum is not present.

The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the order of the House of today, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Kennedy] will be postponed.

The point of no quorum is considered withdrawn.

Rep. Leonard L. Boswell

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The CHAIRMAN. Does the gentleman have an amendment?

Rep. Leonard L. Boswell

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Mr. Chairman, I would like to have a moment before I go to that if I could.

Mr. Chairman, as I have reviewed the goings on here, I first want to compliment the chairman and the ranking member for the things that they have done to try to bring some sense to it and some of the amendments; I appreciate that.

Some of my colleagues may not know, but I come from a State that has a lot of diverse situations. I have got some rural area and some urban area, got some rural area that is very sparse, very poor, and I am very concerned about does this really cover the things that are needed, does this really provide those much-needed things?

Some of my colleagues may not be familiar with what we term as the farm crisis that took place in the 1980's, but I can tell my colleagues that a lot of the small schools are very poor but are trying to offer equal opportunity in a State that is known for its education, particularly the K-12. In fact, all of its education.

And so I have some concerns that we look out for these folks. So I have offered an amendment that would in fact add some resources to the process we are doing here today.

But I am told after I have dropped it that maybe this is all being taken care of. I understand that the 10 percent has been divided 5 and 5. What I was trying to do, Mr. Chairman, was to say in a permissive manner that the States could add another 5 percent if they chose to do so. I am informed that this is provided for in the process.

I wonder if I could engage the honorable gentleman from California [Mr. Riggs] in a short, wing-it colloquy, if I could.

Rep. Frank Riggs

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Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Rep. Leonard L. Boswell

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I yield to the gentleman from California.

Rep. Frank Riggs

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Mr. Chairman, as opposed to our normally very carefully scripted colloquies, I would be happy to engage in a colloquy with the gentleman.

First of all, let me point out to him that under the chairman's manager's amendment we were able to reach a bipartisan agreement on probably the most sensitive and delicate issue of all, and that is the intrastate or substate funding formula change.

Under that amendment, States will be allowed to reserve up to 5 percent of their allotment for a rural reserve and up to 5 percent additional for grants to urban areas, or an urban reserve. I have to tell the gentleman that the amendment he intended to offer was perfectly consistent with the creation of the 10-percent reserve under the bill and under the manager's amendment of both a 5-percent rural reserve and a 5-percent urban reserve.

Furthermore, I want to point out to the gentleman that under the bill, the Secretary of Education may grant a waiver to States that can demonstrate they have a better way of distributing funds. In other words, the Secretary can grant a waiver to any State, and I quote now from the bill, ``* * *that demonstrates that a proposed alternative formula more effectively targets funds on the basis of poverty.'' That is virtually verbatim language to the gentleman's amendment, using the definition of poverty as defined by the Office of Management and Budget and revised annually in accordance with section 673, subparagraph 2 of the Community Services Block Grant Act.

So I am glad I have an opportunity to engage in a colloquy with the gentleman, to thank him on his well-intentioned amendment, but also to point out because of the changes that already are incorporated in the bill, I feel that his amendment is not necessary. I hope this colloquy does in fact strengthen those sections of the bill that are compatible with the gentleman's amendment.

Rep. Leonard L. Boswell

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I think it has. Mr. Chairman, I just want to want the gentleman, by nodding or even commenting, to assure me that the flexibility is there in what is being offered for the States to do the very thing that I was suggesting in this amendment that is in place, and if they choose to have need to put more into it, they can go through this process the gentleman has outlined and have that opportunity.

Rep. Frank Riggs

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That is correct. If the gentleman will continue to yield, the language in the bill allows, and again, I believe encourages, the States to use up to 10 percent of the money to drive those funds to the areas of greatest economic need and highest poverty, and again, that is very consistent with what the gentleman is proposing.

Rep. Leonard L. Boswell

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They can add to that, the vehicle that is in place, they can add to that if they go through the process the gentleman has described.

Rep. Frank Riggs

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Under the alternative secondary formula, they can drive all of their money to areas of greatest economic need and high poverty areas, if in fact they can demonstrate that the formula will do just that to the satisfaction of the Secretary of Education.

Rep. Leonard L. Boswell

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I thank the gentleman very much.

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Iowa [Mr. Boswell] has expired.

(By unanimous consent, Mr. Boswell was allowed to proceed for 2 additional minutes.)

Rep. Matthew G. Martinez

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Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Rep. Leonard L. Boswell

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I yield to the gentleman from California.

Rep. Matthew G. Martinez

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Mr. Chairman, the last comment made by the chairman of the committee, the alternative formula, the gentleman understands that in a State like his, where his State can prove that the formula difference they come up with is targeted to a higher poverty area than the original formula, in other words, that they are really addressing the population with the greatest need, then that waiver will be given. So the percentage, rather than 5 or 10, or it could be 15, 20, whatever the State would determine its greatest need is.

Rep. Leonard L. Boswell

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I thank both gentlemen from California for their hard, conscientious work. I think they have met my concern. Therefore, I will not offer the amendment. I thank them for this exchange.

Rep. Frank Riggs

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If the gentleman will continue to yield, Mr. Chairman, just so I can reinforce the point just made by my good friend and the ranking member of the subcommittee, he is absolutely correct that we have provided in the bill for a waiver in that situation, where the State demonstrates that, and again I quote from the bill, now, ``A proposed alternative formula more effectively targets funds on the basis of poverty.''

So again, the language that is already in the bill would seem to do pretty much what the gentleman would like to do with his amendment. Therefore his amendment, I believe, is unnecessary, but hopefully this colloquy will now not only underscore the gentleman's concerns, but strengthen the intent of the language already included in the bill.

Rep. Leonard L. Boswell

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Mr. Chairman, I thank both Members for their response. I feel reassured, and I will not offer the amendment. I look forward to us pressing on.

The CHAIRMAN. If there are no other amendments, pursuant to the order of the House of today, proceedings will now resume on those amendments on which further proceedings were postponed in the following order: amendment No. 5 offered by the gentlewoman from Hawaii [Mrs. Mink]; and amendment No. 2 offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Kennedy].

The Chair will reduce to 5 minutes the time for any electronic vote after the first vote in this series.

The CHAIRMAN. The pending business is the demand for a recorded vote on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Hawaii [Mrs. Mink] on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote.

The Clerk will redesignate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Amendment No. 5 offered by Mrs. Mink of Hawaii: Page 21, line 4, strike ``(b)'' and insert ``(c)''. Page 21, line 6, strike ``(b)'' and insert ``(c)''. Page 21, line 10, strike the periods and end quotation marks and insert a semicolon. Page 21, after line 10, insert the following: (5) in subsection (b)(1)-- (A) in subparagraph (A)-- (i) by striking ``section 221'' and inserting ``paragraph (3) of section 201(c)''; and (ii) by striking ``section 222'' and inserting ``paragraph (4) of section 201(c)''; and (B) by striking subparagraph (J). Page 33, after line 12, insert the following (and redesignate the subsequent paragraphs accordingly): ``(4) sex equity programs;''. Page 34, after line 5, insert the following: ``(e) Hold Harmless.--Notwithstanding the provisions of this part or section 102(a), to carry out programs described in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection (c), each eligible recipient shall reserve from funds allocated under section 102(a)(1), an amount that is not less than the amount such eligible recipient received in fiscal year 1997 for carrying out programs under sections 221 and 222 of this Act as such sections were in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational-Technical Education Act Amendments of 1997''.

The CHAIRMAN. A recorded vote has been demanded.

A recorded vote was ordered.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 207, noes 214, not voting 13, as follows:

Mr. GANSKE changed his vote from ``aye'' to ``no.''

So the amendment was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the order of the House of today, the Chair announces that he will reduce to a minimum of 5 minutes the period of time within which a vote by electronic device will be taken on the additional amendment on which the Chair has postponed further proceedings.

The CHAIRMAN. The pending business is the demand for a recorded vote on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Kennedy], on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the ayes prevailed by voice vote.

The Clerk will redesignate the amendment.

The Clerk redesignated the amendment.

The CHAIRMAN. A recorded vote has been demanded.

A recorded vote was ordered.

The CHAIRMAN. This is a 5-minute vote.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 189, noes 230, not voting 15, as follows:

So the amendment was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow

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Mr. Chairman, on rollcall Nos. 286, and 287, had I been present, I would have voted ``yes'' on recorded vote 286, the Mink amendment and ``no'' on recorded vote 287, the Kennedy amendment.

Rep. Ron Paul

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Mr. Chairman, over the past 35 years, Congress has constructed a centralized system of vocational education, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on a system that all-too-often serves more as a ``dumping ground'' for special-needs students than as an effective means of providing noncollege bound students with the knowledge and skills they need to become productive citizens.

Congress is considering prolonging the life of large parts of this system by reauthorizing the Carl Perkins Vocational Education and Applied Technology Act (H.R. 1853). While 1853 does eliminate several Federal programs and State mandates contained in current law, if further legitimizes the unconstitutional notion that the Federal Government has a legitimate role to play in education.

Furthermore, certain language in H.R. 1853 suggests that the purpose of education is to train students to serve the larger needs of society, as determined by Government and business, not to serve the individual.

During the discussion of this bill, the case has been made that constitutionalists should support H.R. 1853 because it reduces the number of Federal mandates on the States; however the 10th amendment does not quantify the extent to which the Federal Government can interfere in areas such as education. Instead, the 10th amendment forbids any and all Federal interference in education, no matter how much flexibility the programs provide the States.

H.R. 1853 represents mandate federalism, where the Federal Government allows States limited flexibility as to the means of complying with Congress mandates. Under this bill, States must submit a vocational education plan to the Department of Education for approval. States must then demonstrate yearly compliance with benchmarks that measure a series of federally set goals. The Secretary of Education has the authority to sanction the States for failure to reach those benchmarks, as if the States were the disobedient children of the Federal Government, not entities whose sovereignty must be constitutionally respected.

Congress has, so far, resisted pressure from the administration to give the Department of Education explicit statutory authority to create model benchmarks, which would then be adopted by every State. However, certain provisions of H.R. 1853 may provide the Department of Education with the opportunity to impose a uniform system of vocational education on every State in the Nation.

Particularly troublesome in this regard is the provision requiring every State to submit their vocational education plan to the Secretary for approval. The Secretary may withhold approval if the application is in violation of the provisions of this act. Ambitious bureaucrats may stretch this language to mean that the Department can reject a State plan if the Department does not feel the plan will be effective in meeting the goals of the bill. For example, a Department of Education official may feel that a State's plan does not adequately prepare vocational-technical education students for opportunities in postsecondary education or entry into high skill, high wage jobs, because the plan fails to adopt the specifications favored by the Education Department. The State plan may thus be rejected unless the State adopts the academic provisions favored by the administration.

H.R. 1853 further opens the door for the establishment of national standards for vocational education through provisions allowing the Secretary to develop a single plan for evaluation and assessment, with regard to the vocational-technical education and provide for an independent evaluation, of vocational-technical education programs, including examining how States and localities have developed, implemented, or improved State and local vocational-technical education programs. Education bureaucrats could very easily use the results of the studies to establish de facto model benchmarks that States would have to follow.

Mr. Chairman, the Department of Education may impose national standards on State vocational education programs by requiring that States improve the academic component of vocational education. Integrating academics with vocational education is a noble goal, but Federal education bureaucrats may use this requirement to force vocational education programs to adopt national academic standards, upon pain of having their State plans denied as inconsistent with the provisions of the act mandating instead that States integrate academics into their vocational education programs.

States are also required to distribute their Federal funds according to a predetermined formula that dictates the percentage of funds States must spend on certain federally approved activities without regard for differences between the States. For example, H.R. 1853 singles out certain populations, such as displaced homemakers and single parents, and requires the States to certify to the Federal Government that their programs are serving these groups. These provisions stem from the offensive idea that without orders from the Federal Government, States will systematically deny certain segments of the population access to job training services.

Another Federal mandate contained in this so-called decentralization plan, is one requiring States to spend a certain percentage on updating the technology used in vocational education programs. Technological training can be a useful and necessary part of vocational education, however, under the Constitution it is not the business of the Federal Government to ensure vocational education students receive up-to-date technological training.

The States and the people are quite capable of ensuring that vocational education students receive up-to-date technological training--if the Federal Government stops usurping their legitimate authority to run vocational education programs and if the Government stops draining taxpayers of the resources necessary to run those programs.

H.R. 1853 provides businesses with taxpayer-provided labor in the form of vocational education students engaging in cooperative education. Since businesses benefit by having a trained work force, they should not burden the taxpayers with the costs of training their future employees. Furthermore, the provision allowing students to spend alternating weeks at work rather than in the classroom seems inconsistent with the bill's goals of strengthening the academic component of vocational education.

Work experience can be valuable for students, especially when that experience involves an occupation the student may choose as a future career. However, there is no reason for taxpayers to subsidize the job training of another. Furthermore, if it wasn't for Federal minimum wage and other laws that make hiring inexperienced workers cost prohibitive, many businesses would gladly provide work apprenticeships to young people out of their own pockets instead of forcing the costs onto the U.S. taxpayer.

Today, employers can be assessed huge fines if they allow their part-time adolescent employees to work, with pay, for 15 minutes beyond the Department of Labor regulations. Yet, those same businesses can receive free, full-time labor from those same adolescents as part of a cooperative education program. Clearly, common sense has been tossed out the window and replaced by the arbitrary and conflicting whims of a Congress attempting to do good.

Further evidence of catering to well-established businesses can be found within the provision of H.R. 1853 wherein teachers are instructed not to meet the needs and expectations of students, but rather the needs, expectations, and methods of industry. All education, including vocational education, should explicitly be tailored to the wishes of the parent or those already funding the costs of education.

Mr. Chairman, H.R. 1853 continues the Federal education policy of dragooning parents into education as partners in the education process. Parents should control the education process, but they should never be placed in a subordinate role and made to help carry out the agenda of Government bureaucrats.

Concerns have been raised that vocational education programs may be used as a means to force all students into a career track not of their own choosing, and thus change the American education system into one of preparation for a career determined for the students by the Government. Such a system more closely resembles something depicted in a George Orwell novel than the type of education system compatible with a free society. H.R. 1853 attempts to assuage those fears through a section forbidding the use of Federal funds to force an individual into a career path that the individual would not otherwise choose or require any individual to obtain so-called skilled certificates.

However, States and localities that violate this portion of the act are not subject to any loss of Federal funds. Of course, even if the act did contain sanctions for violating an individual's freedom to determine their own career path, those sanctions would have to rely on the willingness of the very Federal bureaucracy which helped originate many of the education reforms which diminish student freedom to enforce this statutory provision.

Mr. Chairman, the Carl D. Perkins Act reauthorization may appear to provide for greater State and individual control over vocational education. However, H.R. 1853 is really another example of mandate federalism, where States, localities, and individuals are given limited autonomy in how they fulfill Federal mandates. As H.R. 1853 places mandates on the States and individuals to perform certain functions in the area of education, an area where Congress has no constitutional authority. It is also in violation of the ninth and tenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Furthermore, H.R. 1853 forces Federal taxpayers to underwrite the wages of students working part-time in the name of cooperative education, another form of corporate welfare. Businesses who benefit from the labor of students should not have the costs of that labor subsidized by the taxpayers.

Certain language in H.R. 1853 suggests that parent's authority to raise their children as they see fit may be undermined by the Government in order to make parents partners in training their children according to Government specifications.

Congress should, therefore, reject H.R. 1853 and instead eliminate all Federal vocational education programs in order to restore authority for those programs to the States, localities, and individual citizens.

Rep. Adam Smith

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Mr. Chairman, I want to express my strong support for the Carl D. Perkins Vocational-Technical Education Act. The Perkins program provides much-needed vocational and technical education to students around the country.

Federal investment in vocational-technical education is vital for assuring a well-trained work force for the upcoming century. The Perkins Act distributes vocational education funds to the local level to ensure that our students are taught the necessary skills to be productive citizens. Investing more in education and training our work force to better compete is a sensible and farsighted way to spend our Federal funds.

Just last month, I visited Chief Leschi School in Puyallup, WA. My office helped them apply for their first Perkins grant. They won the grant, and they will receive over $370,000 to put toward vocational and technology programs. The grant money will fund computers and equipment for the vocational department, such as the auto, wood, and print shops and the photography lab. When I toured Chief Leschi, I saw how important these grants could be. I met motivated administrators, high-quality teachers and students who were eager to learn. It's critical to provide them with the equipment and facilities they need to be successful, and because of the Perkins Vocational-Technical Education Act, Chief Leschi will soon have even stronger vocational and technical programs.

Again, I urge my colleagues' support to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Vocational-Technical Education Act. The Perkins grant has made an important difference in the quality to our Nation's vocational and technical education, and we should reauthorize the program to ensure it is maintained for the students of tomorrow.

The CHAIRMAN. If there are no other amendments, the question is on the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended.

The committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended, was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. Under the rule, the Committee rises.

Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. Quinn) having assumed the chair, Mr. Ewing, Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, reported that that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 1853) to amend the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act, pursuant to House Resolution 187, he reported the bill back to the House with an amendment adopted by the Committee of the Whole.

Under the rule, the previous question is ordered.

Is a separate vote demanded on any amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute adopted by the Committee of the Whole? If not, the question is on the amendment.

The amendment was agreed to.

The question is on the engrossment and third reading of the bill.

The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was read the third time.

Rep. Patsy T. Mink

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Mr. Speaker, I offer a motion to recommit.

Is the gentlewoman opposed to the bill?

Rep. Patsy T. Mink

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Yes, I am, Mr. Speaker.

The Clerk will report the motion to recommit.

Mrs. Mink of Hawaii moves to recommit the bill (H.R. 1853) to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, with instructions to report the bill back to the House forthwith, with the following amendments: Page 21, line 4, strike ``(b)'' and insert ``(c)''. Page 21, line 6, strike ``(b)'' and insert ``(c)''. Page 21, line 10, strike the periods and end quotation marks and insert a semicolon. Page 21, after line 10, insert the following: (5) in subsection (b)(1)-- (A) in subparagraph (A)-- (i) by striking ``section 221'' and inserting ``paragraph (3) of section 201(c); and (ii) by striking ``section 222'' and inserting ``paragraph (4) of section 201(c)''; and (B) by striking subparagraph (J). Page 33, after line 12, insert the following (and redesignate the subsequent paragraphs accordingly): ``(4) sex equity programs;''. Page 34, after line 5, insert the following: ``(e) Hold Harmless.--Notwithstanding the provisions of this part or section 102(a), to carry out programs described in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection (c), each eligible recipient shall reserve from funds allocated under section 102(a)(1), an amount that is not less than the amount such eligible recipient received in fiscal year 1997 for carrying out programs under sections 221 and 222 of this Act as such sections were in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational-Technical Education Act Amendments of 1997.

Rep. William F. Goodling

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Mr. Speaker, I reserve all points of order against the motion.

The gentlewoman from Hawaii [Mrs. Mink] is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Patsy T. Mink

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Mr. Speaker, I take this extraordinary measure in order to emphasize the importance of the amendment that was just defeated.

My effort in offering the amendment was simply to hold harmless, to continue a vital program that has been in existence for the past 13 years because Congress recognizes that unless we set aside 10 percent of the funding in the vocational education program, that these individuals, the displaced homemakers, the single parents, the pregnant women, others in that category would simply not be provided for under the traditional vocational education concepts.

And, so, the Congress agreed and put forth a 10-percent set-aside for these individuals. I understand that the new majority has a new way of looking at funding these education programs. They prefer to allocate the monies to the States, and through guidance called in the bill as benchmarks, attempt to try to suggest that these programs ought to be continued.

My amendment would say dismiss the 10-percent set-aside, we are at a new point, all right, let us dismiss that, forget the targeting; but let us not forget the program. And, so, all I do, under my amendment, is to hold harmless the current programs that are in existence at the current level of funding. That is all that we do. We do not ask for an extra dollar to be allocated to this program, nor do we set aside any particular mandates for new programs. And the reason why this is so important, my colleagues of the House, is that just a year ago, just a few months ago, in August of last year, we passed the welfare reform bill; and in it we mandate that all of the women, single parents be required to go to work as soon as 2 months after getting on welfare.

The justification for this requirement to work was that there would be abundant funds and abundant programs in existence to help these individuals get job training, get an education in order to get a decent job. It was not intended that they should just get a job and earn minimum wage, which we all know is insufficient to sustain a family.

So education is the key. Everyone who got up to speak for the welfare reform bill made reference to education and training. This is our one opportunity to link the two together, the welfare reform, go back to work, get education, together with the job training programs that are implicit in the vocational education concept.

So I ask my colleagues, especially those who voted for the Welfare Reform Act, do not destroy a program that is in existence today that is providing probably the only single effort that this Nation makes to recognize the hardships of single parents. It is very difficult for them. We cannot throw them to the masses.

Before this Congress earmarked 10 percent, let me tell my colleagues that only 0.2 percent of the program money under vocational education went to this target group. And, so, it is extremely important today that we not cut this off. There will be, of course, turmoil in the restructuring of the vocational education program as it is. We do not disagree with the changes that are being made. But we say, at the same time that the changes are made, do not create a turmoil in this program that is so essential, not just for the particular women that are in it, but in order to have a transition into the welfare reform program, which is saying to all single mothers under welfare that they must work and if they must work they need training, because in order to get a good skilled job, in order to earn a decent living, they recognize that they have to have further education. So I plead to this House to accept my motion to recommit.

Rep. Jack Quinn

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Does the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Goodling] insist on his point of order?

Rep. William F. Goodling

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Mr. Speaker, no, I do not insist on my point of order. I rise in opposition.

The gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Goodling] is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. William F. Goodling

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Mr. Speaker, I want to make sure that everybody understands that H.R. 1853 authorizes funding for vocational technical education. It is not a welfare program. It is an education bill. And in this bill, anytime we set aside money for something else, we are taking that money from our local school, our secondary school, their vocational program; we are taking it from the vocational technical school in our area, the secondary vocational technical school.

Now this is a different time. My colleague is talking about ancient history. Why is it different? It is different because we passed several pieces of legislation that take care of special populations. We provide over $2 billion in our Federal job training program that may be used to serve displaced homemakers and other special populations. Most of these programs are geared toward special populations. We have over $3 billion in our welfare-to-work program, again geared to special populations. It is a different time we are talking about. Do not mandate things to local school districts. Let them determine what is in the best interest of their local area.

Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from New Jersey [Mrs. Roukema] to say what we do in this legislation already, to protect special populations, over and over and over again. We protect them without mandating anything.

Rep. Marge Roukema

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Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman and must say that I know my colleagues are saying that it is not often that the gentlewoman from New Jersey [Mrs. Roukema] stands up on something that is a woman's issue and says a no vote.

But I have got to say that we have put every enforcement mechanism here in this legislation. This is plain and simply a set-aside proposal that the gentlewoman from Hawaii [Mrs. Mink] has advanced. It goes contradictory to the whole reform effort that we had on a bipartisan basis in the committee, the reform effort, which was to give authority back to the local schools so that they can make their decision based on the local population needs.

I want to assure my colleagues who are as concerned as I am about the special needs of populations such as displaced homemakers, single parents, and single pregnant women that the enforcement mechanisms are here. They are very explicit throughout the legislation and put the authority on both the Department of Education and Health and Human Services to monitor and require compliance.

I do not have time to go through all of this, but page 29 and the accountability standards of section 115 and section 201 amply protect those special populations. I would simply urge that we not take 10 steps backward when we are trying to reform this most essential program.

Rep. William F. Goodling

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Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, I would like to close by merely saying do not take money from your local school districts, do not take money from your area vocational technical school, do not take money for your vocational programs in your secondary schools in your district in order to feed a State bureaucracy and a Federal bureaucracy. Let them make those decisions at the local level.

All the special populations are well protected in this legislation. And as I indicated in other legislation that we passed this year, we have emphasized those special populations, particularly displaced homemakers, in programs where it should be done. This is an education bill that we are dealing with today.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

Without objection, the previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit.

There was no objection.

The question is on the motion to recommit.

The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that the noes appeared to have it.

Rep. Patsy T. Mink

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

A recorded vote was ordered.

Pursuant to the provisions of clause 5 of rule XV, the Chair announces he may reduce to a minimum of 5 minutes the period of time within which a vote by electronic device, if ordered, will be taken on the question of passage.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 207, noes 220, not voting 8, as follows:

Mr. CAMP changed his vote from ``aye'' to ``no.''

So the motion to recommit was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

Rep. Jack Quinn

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The question is on the passage of the bill.

The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that the ayes appeared to have it.

Rep. William F. Goodling

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Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.

The yeas and nays were ordered.

The Chair will remind Members that this is a 5-minute vote.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 414, nays 12, not voting 8, as follows:

So the bill was passed.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.