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Using the Money. Events so far, at any rate, have shown that most educators are only too eager to accept the new Government programs. The Elementary and Secondary Act gives school districts and the states virtually a free say on how they will use their federal funds. The uses will vary widely. Houston, for example, plans to put about $3,000,000 into 25 schools in poor neighborhoods. Pupils will get more individual instruction and go to museums and the opera; 5,000 parents will be enlisted in guidance programs; the correlation between the degree of a student's muscular coordination and the development of his reading skills will be studied. Sacramento School Superintendent Dr. F. Melvyn Lawson wants to concentrate on psychological and psychiatric services for disturbed children, hopes to find out "what's bugging problem youngsters and why they cannot tick." Arlington, Va., educators are considering a music center, a planetarium and a science day camp. Responding to a survey in the trade publication, Grade Teacher, Detroit Teacher Jean Curtiss declared: "Oh boy, I'd like to see to it that every child came to school decently clothed, especially with warm clothes" (part of the federal allotment can, in fact, be spent on clothing). Other instructors want to use their money for such aids as film strips, slide projectors, tape recorders, closed-circuit TV and copying machines.
Although not all details of the Higher Education Act have been worked out, the plan calls for allocating college scholarship funds to the states. Each college will then choose from among the regularly enrolled students in good standing those who are most in need of the help. The grants, which should be available in February, may run as high as $1,000, can be used for other college expenses as well as tuition.
As soon as the National Teacher Corps gets organized, school districts with concentrations of low-income families will be able to get help from the pool and use it any way they see fit. The roving teachers will probably form teams, so that classroom time can be used more effectively, or they may provide individual students with remedial work and counseling.
In addition to these new programs, federal school-construction projects continue to get special attention. U.S. funds this year are helping to build classrooms and laboratories at 460 colleges and universities, 360 public libraries and 26 community colleges and technical institutes.
Research Channels. The real potential in the Government's big push lies in the attempt, for the first time, to set up orderly ways to get new ideas flowing from fertile minds into local classrooms. The network for innovation will comprise 20 broadly based "national laboratories," nine research and development centers at major universities, and 2,000 local "supplementary service centers."