Federal Requirements and Supervision of States under Grants-in-Aid
THE CONFUSION of aim apparent throughout the grant-in-aid pattern affects the relationship between federal and state activities under the various grants. The meaning of requirements laid down by the federal government and the supervision of state programs under a grant depend on the view held concerning its purpose. If it is believed that its primary function is to make funds available to the states, then any federal requirement is resented as "interference" in state affairs. On the other hand, if grants are thought of as arrangements to stimulate new functions of government and to elevate standards of administration, then federal requirements are not found objectionable. It is to the latter purpose that attention is primarily directed in this study.
If grants-in-aid are to be more than gifts forgotten as soon as given, they must continue to stimulate and develop standards of state performance long after the original grant has been made. If a federal organization supervising the administration of a grant does not understand state conditions and is not continuously sensitive to changes in those conditions, the success of the grantin-aid scheme is seriously jeopardized. Continuing lines of communication must therefore be established and maintained between the federal and state grant-in-aid administrations so that earthquakes and tremors at one end may register themselves at the other. These lines of communication must be tied together at the federal end by an organization whose business it is to supervise the program and to maintain contacts with the states.
Controversies between different federal agencies stretching out to secure grant-in-aid activities for their administrative domain