In the 1980s individual states will probably continue to have the major responsibility for education in this country. While the federal government may increase the percentage it contributes to the total costs of education, it will continue to be the junior partner in the enterprise, though one with increasing influence. This junior partner today places more demands on state government than its financial contribution seems to warrant. Conventional wisdom acquired in the 1960s and 1970s suggests that the federal government has set the right agenda on such issues as civil rights, poverty, and policies for minority groups and the handicapped—issues which state governments have generally neglected. But, under the Constitution, the federal government has not had the power to carry out its wishes for education without state and local cooperation. In fact, we often forget that a state's willingness to administer programs effectively is the key to the success of federal programs.

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