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Bennett Sees Limited U.S. Role in Schools

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United Press International

Education Secretary-designate William Bennett echoed the anti-big government sentiments of President Reagan today by telling Congress there is an appropriate, but limited, federal role in America’s schools.

Bennett testified the government must be an education advocate, but must not dictate policy to the states and localities.

“I will make every effort to prevent the department from being needlessly meddlesome or intrusive,” Bennett said in testimony before the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee.

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“In my view, providing financial support should not give the federal government the right to control educational policy in our schools,” Bennett said.

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), the committee’s chairman, said Bennett, 41, “is eminently qualified to be the federal government’s foremost spokesman for education.”

Today’s hearing was on Reagan’s nomination of Bennett, director of the National Endowment for the Humanities since 1981, to replace Terrel H. Bell, who resigned as secretary on Dec. 31.

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