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Mr. FLETCHER. That is what I mean.
Mr. TAYLOR. There is no question about that.
Mr. FLETCHER. It is easier to appeal to the ignorant maladjusted man than it is to the intelligent, cultured man.
Mr. TAYLOR. Yes; and unfortunately, as Mr. Palmisano says, it is being led by a lot of pretty smart people.
Mr FLETCHER. But do you not believe that the young folks represent one of the first lines of defense in a democracy and that it is best for us in our efforts to preserve democracy to see that all of these people have at least educational opportunity so that they will not be malcontent?
Mr. TAYLOR. That is what we want. We want some education for all of them. Of course, this bill is only the first step in the right direction, but it is a good step. There is no question about that.
Mr. FLETCHER. And the question of taxation has been raised here in regard to some of the folks that do not apparently pay big income
The facts are that the poorest man, the man with the smallest wage-earning capacity, pays more taxes in relation to the amount that he earns than any other taxpayer in the country and does so in the form of invisible taxes. Everybody is paying taxes, and because these people happen to be of another color than ours we cannot discriminate on their taxpaying ability. It is not their fault that they have this low taxpaying ability, and these ten or fifteen million people on relief, we do not deny them education because they cannot pay income or big taxes. Is not that true?
Mr. TAYLOR. Yes; I have read a lot about the invisible taxes. I question a good bit of it, but anyway we support this legislation, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee.
Mr. BARDEN. Just one question, Colonel. I have noticed reference has been made two or three times to the South and as to whether or not the proper educational facilities were available there. Who, in your opinion, should determine as to whether or not a State is furnishing proper educational facilities?
Mr. TAYLOR. I will pass that. I am no educator at all. I could not answer that question.
Mr. DONDERO. Colonel, one question that has been before our committee is this: Whether or not this distribution should be made to the States on the basis of school population or school attendance. What do you think about that?
Mr. TAYLOR. I should think school population, because to a great extent the school attendance is the result of the very condition that this bill is attempting to correct.
Mr. COLE. Is it true that the American Legion is very positively opposed to Federal regulation of education?
Mr. TAYLOR. No; it is not positively opposed to it. In this resolution of ours it asks that these funds be made "without Federal control", it says, but I would not say, in answer to your question, that we are positively opposed to Federal regulation; no.
Mr. COLE. Then you are willing that the Federal Government should, to some extent, regulate the educational system?
Mr. TAYLOR. The educational system? I would not say that at all. I thought you meant the control of the money.
Mr. COLE. No; I do not mean the money. I mean control of education.
Mr. TAYLOR. No; personally I think that we are rather against Federal control of education.
Mr. COLE. Quite definitely?
Mr. TAYLOR. Against Federal control of education. I thought you were referring to the funds.
Mr. COLE. No: I mean control of education. What would be the attitude of the Legion, would you say, in case any of the Stateschool systems should teach un-American principles in their schools? Mr. TAYLOR. The question has been up right here in the District of Columbia.
Mr. COLE. Those same schools having received this Federal money, do you think the American Legion would countenance the use of Federal funds for such teachings?
Mr TAYLOR. We certainly would not.
Mr. COLE. Then how are you going to stop it?
Mr. TAYLOR. As Mr. Palmisano said, there should be some degree of control, and I think
Mr. COLE (interposing). Then you are going to go back to control?
Mr. TAYLOR. I do not think that the Federal Government has any right to control the educational system or anything of that sort, but if the Federal Government contributes funds I think it would be proper that the Federal Government would have control.
Mr. COLE. How? To what extent?
Mr. TAYLOR. I think it should have some control over it. Of course, there is a distinction between education and funds.
Mr. COLE. But no difference. You have to have the funds in order to start the education, in order to teach, so by controlling the funds, the use of the funds, you control education.
Mr. TAYLOR. Well, this is a contribution of Federal funds to equalize educational opportunities in States that cannot themselves provide those educational opportunities, and that is a thing this Government should do. There is no question about that.
Mr. COLE. That is the purpose of the bill.
Mr. TAYLOR. Yes. Now, the question that you propound is what kind of control should the Federal Government exercise over the way in which such Federal funds are expended.
Mr. COLE. How far should it go?
Mr. TAYLOR. I do not know. That is for this committee to decide. But I agree with Mr. Palmisano; yes, there ought to be something. The Federal Government has something to say about all the other money that is spent.
Mr. FLETCHER. It is provided in the bill that it be left entirely to the States to conduct the educational system.
Mr. TAYLOR. I understand that.
Mr. FLETCHER. Do you approve of that?
Mr. TAYLOR. As the chairman of the committee has pointed out, when these funds increase-and they will increase-and as Mr. Cole has pointed out, when questions come up, and they will develop later on, as to the proper use of the funds, maybe Congress itself ought to have something to say about that.
Mr. FLETCHER. As to the funds but not as to the educational curricula?
Mr. TAYLOR. Oh, no.
Mr. MASON. There is a difference between tieing a string or two to the funds, and controlling education in the States.
Mr. TAYLOR. I think so, certainly. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee.
Mr. HALL. Mr. Chairman, I would like to present Mr. Boyer, a member of your committee, who will present a paper from Illinois. STATEMENT OF HON. LEWIS L. BOYER, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS
Mr. BOYER. Mr. Chairman, with your permission and at the request of our superintendent of schools of the State of Illinois, I would like to insert his remarks in the record, together with other information that was handed in here last night.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, it may go in the record. (The paper referred to follows:)
STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY JOHN A. WIELAND, SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION, STATE OF ILLINOIS
We have 997 high schools in the State of Illinois, and approximately 180 of them are badly in need of some increased support.
For instance, Christopher Community High School, in Franklin County, collected 70 percent of its school taxes. Its pay rolls were reduced 571⁄2 percent during the depression, and they are schools owe this district $22,000, and it poned in 1928.
still in that condition. The nonhigh has a bond default of $20,000, post
The district has a bond debt of $3,450, and there are anticipated warrants, unredeemed, to the amount of $34,000. There are unpaid teachers' orders amounting to $13,000, and because of a floating indebtedness there are judgments against the school district to the amount of $27,000. The constitutional debt limit was nearly doubled, and the teaching staff has been so reduced that there are now 475 pupils with only 13 teachers. During the last 5 years less than $150 has been spent on the library and no equipment has been purchased for at least 3 years. The school buildings should have about $15,000 worth of renovation to put them in proper condition. A Works Progress Administration project was started; but, due to the district being unable to share its percentage of cost, this project was discontinued.
This is a picture of the prevailing conditions, due largely as the result of the depression upon the mining industry in that community.
Now, let us turn to Zeigler Community High School. It collected 79.3 percent of the school taxes. The salaries were reduced 23 percent in December 1935 and the pay roll runs 37 percent lower than the former salaries, the salaries being now paid in cash by the disctrict because it owes 30 months' teachers' salaries previously rendered.
The nonhigh schools owe the district $6,145, and the bonded debt amounts to $12,400. The unpaid teachers' orders amount to $35,000, and the judgments against the district aggregate $1,650. The teaching staff has been reduced and class size enlarged, and a negligible amount has been spent on the library. The manual-training class and all class activities have been greatly cut and reduced to a minimum. The buildings have not been kept in repair for several years. The debt, under the 5-percent limitation, runs nearly 12 percent, or nearly two and one-half times as much as the constitutional debt limit.
Benton Elementary School: The valuation for pupils is $1,232. The school collected approximately 54 percent of its taxes. Salaries were reduced 371⁄2 percent during the depression, and that cut still exists. The bonded indebtedness amounts to $136,500, and the anticipated warrants, unredeemed, total $5,000. The unpaid teachers' orders amount to $30,000 and judgments against
the district amount to $4,335. The teaching staff has been reduced and the music and art supervisors have been eliminated, making the teachers' load very heavy. The teachers' salaries are extremely low; there are university graduates receiving $70 per month.
Benton Township High School collected 72 percent of the high-school taxes; this is an overlapping district owing to a number of elementary-school districts under it. The non-high-school district owes Benton Township High School $87,500. In this district the teachers' pay roll has been reduced 53 percent, necessitated by the depression, and none of it has ever been restored. The bonded debt amounts to $128,000. There are unpaid teachers' orders to the amount of $3,700 and judgments against the district for $7,000. The teachers' salaries are in arrears. The teaching staff, here also, has been reduced from 35 to 19 teachers; and the class sizes have been increased. There are no departmental supervisors and printing; industrial arts, mechanical drawing, and agriculture have all been dropped. The district is unable to purchase library replacements and no equipment has been purchased for several years.
Now I will give you the educational facilities of a typical county:
Clark County, Ill., is an agricultural community and the teachers of that county have made a study of 90 schools. They found that the number of frame buildings was 75 and some of those were in extremely poor condition. There are only 15 brick buildings housing rural schools in the county. Thirtysix of these 90 buildings had no paint, or practically none, on them at all; 27 were on dirt roads; 55 were without any play facilities; 73 had no drinking water supply and a considerable number of these schools did not have their own water supply.
The condition of the seats in 50 of the schools was very poor, and the supply of maps and charts was very negligible. Seventy of the schools were without musical instruments.
All of the buildings, in general, were uncared for inside. For instance, the floors were open, rough, and unsightly in 24 out of the 90. The average salary in this community, for the teacher, is $64.79.
Now let us go to the financial side of these facts:
I have taken here a number of counties, some very poor and some rather wealthy, and shown the amount of assessed valuation, starting with the year 1931, progressing through years 1932, 1933, 1934, and 1925.
Alexander County had an assessed valuation, in 1931, of $18,158,878, and that was gradually reduced until in 1935 it was $12,919,599.
Bond County, which is rather a good county in our State, had an assessed valuation of $15,168,857, which figure was gradually reduced to $11,925,577. Franklin County, which is a rather poor county and was hard hit because of the coal industry, had an assessed valuation of $26,752,183, which gradually reduced itself to $17,427,698.
Hancock County, which is considered a fairly rich county, had an assessed valuation of $40,841,618 in 1931 and this was reduced until in 1935 the figure was $30,114,673.
Sangamon County is a rich county with good financial farm standing and contains good black land and is the county in which is situated the State capital. This county had an assessed valuation of $122,073,437 in 1931 and this has gradually decreased until in 1935 the valuation was $88,791,365.
The State total in 1931 for assessed valuation was $7,149,380.025 and that has gradually decreased until in 1935 the total stood at $5,563,938,409 and that total has not been increased. These figures were the ones available in 1935, or a little over a year ago.
Let us now take up the matter of the bonded indebtedness of these same counties:
Alexander County has a bonded indebtedness amounting to $480,400 in 1931; the bonded indebtedness is now $447,000.
Bond County. The bonded indebtedness of this county increased from $77,250 in 1931 to $105,200 in 1935.
Franklin County has held steadily her bonded indebtedness.
Sangamon County has reduced considerably the bonded indebtedness from $665,009 to $471,000.
State totals of bonded indebtedness have jumped considerably. In 1931 we had a bonded indebtedness for schools to the amount of $75,017,156 and this had increased in 1935 to $112,144,231. At the same time we have picked up approximately 51,000 in enrollment of high-school students.
To give you a summary of the amount of anticipated warrants unredeemed for the years 1931, ending 1935:
In 1931 the anticipated warrants unredeemed amounted to $50,718,070 and in 1935 the amount was $92,925,091. This is in addition to the bonded indebtedness previously mentioned.
Now I should like to present some pertinent facts concerning the salaries of the teachers for 1935-36.
We have, for the teachers of the one-room schools, less than $400 per year and 481 teachers for the year of 1935. In 1936 there were 239 teachers. We did start to pick up some in the salaries, and for less than $500 per year salary, there were 3,244 teachers under this bracket in 1935. In 1936 there were 2,325 teachers in this bracket.
In 1935 there were 5,877 teachers receiving less than $600 per year, but in 1936 we had 4,950 teachers in this bracket. Those receiving less than $700 per year numbered 8,329 in 1935 and 1936 that number had decreased to 8,074. Each one ran approximately 9,000.
I have simply brought before the committee cold facts to present proof of the fact that we have picked up in unredeemed, anticipated warrants, outstanding in school bonded indebtedness, and that our teachers' salaries in the State of Illinois, in spite of the fact that it is considered a wealthy State, are quite low.
I wish to file for the record, a report of a fair example of one county in a study of its rural schools, which, in this case, will be Clark County, Ill.
I wish to file a report for the record of nine typical counties in Illinois, some of them entirely rural, and some, like St. Clair County, which as a city of 75,000 population; namely, East St. Louis; and Sangamon County, in which is located the city of the State capital, Springfield, which has a population of 72,000, rather metropolitan.
I further wish to include a report for the record, because this is quite a pretentious study of the department of research and statistics of Illinois Educational Association, of February and March of 1937, bringing this data right up to date.
GENTLEMEN: We respectfully urge your support of the Harrison-BlackFletcher hill for Federal aid to public schools.
Mr. HALL. Now, Mr. Chairman, I present Dr. Paul Mort, professor of education, Teachers' College, Columbia University, New York, who will speak to you at this time.
STATEMENT OF DR. PAUL R. MORT, PROFESSOR OF EDUCATION, TEACHERS COLLEGE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, NEW YORK
Mr. MORT. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I speak in favor of this bill because it is a significant step in Federal participation in the funding of the national program of education. The accumulated evidence on the gross deficiency in educational programs in many States makes it clear that a continuation of present conditions represents to us as a nation a vast economic loss on the one hand and a menace to our democratic institutions on the other. Personally, I would much prefer a solution to these great national problems by means of the traditional pattern of school finance,