The Rev. Jesse Jackson will get an additional $825,000 from the Department of Education for his PUSH-EXCEL school program, despite three highly unfavorable evaluations of the project in the past 15 months.
Education Secretary Terrel H. Bell said he is required to renew the contract, which lapsed March 1, because money for it was included as a line item in the federal budget voted by Congress.
Bell said that after reading the evaluations prepared by the American Institutes for Research, which is under contract to DOE's National Institute of Education, he favored rescinding the $1 million Congress voted for PUSH-EXCEL last year.
However, the final administration proposal to Congress sought a rescission of only $250,000, and Congress, in the rescission measure just signed by the president, went along.
"I have no alternative" but to continue funding at the $825,000 level, Bell said. To do otherwise would be to illegally impound money specifically allocated by Congress to the Jackson project. But Bell said that as far as he is concerned, "this will be the last year."
The project is an attempt to translate Jackson's high ideals and inspirational message into a systematic workable public school program.
In three separate reports since April, 1980, evaluators have said that Jackson had failed to create a permanent, workable institutional structure that could assure an effective program.