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of Parents and Teachers, various veterans' groups, organized labor, and many civic organizations in the State of Colorado.
Colorado is not one of the richest States of the Union and not one of the poorest. Her wealth per pupil enrolled is $10,542, rank twenty-eighth among the States; income per pupil enrolled $1,659, rank twenty-fourth; expenditures. per pupil enrolled $70.37, rank thirteenth. During the year 1933-34 Colorado spent $16,991,576 on her elementary and secondary schools.
Although the State is about average in wealth and above average in school support, glaring inequalities exist in educational opportunity for our children which Federal aid under the terms of the Harrison-Black-Fletcher bill would help to remedy. It may be truthfully said that Colorado has some of the best schools of the Nation and some of the poorest. This is due to the unequal distribution of wealth in the State and the fact that the small-district system prevails and the State government has been slow to recognize any State obligation to support the schools on a State-wide basis. During the past month the Supreme Court of Colorado has handed down a decision to the effect that the schools are a State function and not a mere local function, which will enable us to effectively carry on a fight in the future for State support of education. Colorado has 2,050 school districts, 90 percent of which are third-class districts, having less than 350 pupils enrolled in the school census. Thirty-four percent of these small districts have 10 pupils or less in average daily attendance. The only State aid these districts receive comes from an equalization allotment drawn from the public-school income fund. This fund is derived from the revenues from and the sale of public-school lands. The county according to State law must make a county levy not to exceed 5 mills, in order to pay a minimum salary of $75 per month per teacher. What a 5-mill levy lacks of paying the minimum salary is made up from this equalization fund and all other expenses must be paid from a special tax levied upon the property of the district. The result is that the poorer districts have taxed property almost to the point of confiscation and are still unable to support a decent minimum program of education. This disparity in ability to pay for education is shown by the fact that 2.7 of the districts have less than $1,000 of assessed valuation per child while 1.4 percent have more than $50,000 per child. The special tax rate is less than 2 mills in 6.9 percent of the districts, and over 18 mills in 2.9 percent of the districts. The cost per pupil in average daily attendance is under $40 in 6.2 percent of the districts and over $300 in 5 percent of the districts. Forty-four percent of the teachers get $750 or less per annum while 6.2 percent get over $1,800.
The length of the school term in various districts varies widely. Thirtyfour percent of the children have 160 days or less, 3.6 percent have 120 days or less, while a relatively small number has 190 days or more. As usually happens the poorest districts have the heaviest educational load. For example, the number of pupils per 1,000 of population in the two poorest counties is two and one-half times the number in two of the wealthier counties.
The peculiar topography of Colorado has been a factor in perpetuating this small-district system and its attendant inequalities. Many small schools are scattered on arid plains or hidden away in inaccessible mountain valleys, making consolidation into larger units very difficult.
The proposed Federal subsidy will materially aid us in our long discouraging fight for equalization of educational opportunity in the State. Under the terms of the measure Colorado would receive $807,392 for the first year, $2,422,176 when the maximum is reached. The bill would guarantee to the underprivileged communities, to begin with, a minimum school term of 8 months. The State legislature is now considering a graduated income tax for schools to be allotted as an equalization fund and to relieve the burden borne by property in the various counties of the State. If this bill passes the legislature and is augmented by the proposed Federal aid, Colorado will make great strides within the next few years in providing an excellent minimum program for all the children of the State. We have already a high standard requirement for teachers, even in the rural schools.
Colorado is also interested in this Federal aid from the standpoint of the thousands of children who come into the State from other States of the Union. Like California, mentioned by a previous speaker, our State is made up largely of citizens born in other States of the Union. They come into our borders from far and wide seeking health or attracted by our excellent climate. No State can defend itself from illiterate and inefficient citizens by strengthening its own educational defenses. The problem is Nation-wide and demands Nationwide treatment. The argument offered by Texas and other States that much
of the wealth which is created in the States and really belongs there, is not taxable there on account of illusive corporate ownership hidden away in other States is true of Colorado. We can neither tap it by property taxation nor by income tax. Our economic system has become so complex that a just system of taxation demands that our Federal Government collect from this wealth where it is concentrated and turn it back in part to the States where it is produced.
For these reasons Colorado stands for the bill just as it is drawn, providing for a fair distribution of Federal revenues for education in the States with a minimum of Federal control.
STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY E. W. IRELAND, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, STRATFORD, CONN., REPRESENTING THE 10,000 MEMBERS OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION
I. The Federal Government should assist the States in the support of education for the following reasons:
1. For many years the Federal Government has assisted the States by appropriations for scientific research and for the dissemination of reliable information.
2. Financial aid is in accordance with well-established practice (Morrill Act, 1862; Smith-Hughes Act, 1917, etc.).
3. Such aid is necessary to equalize educational opportunity among the States. (1) In all but a few States the actual minimum status of education is determined by the economic ability of local districts to support schools rather than by social needs for education. This fact has resulted in vast areas in American education where the educational offering is distinctly inferior. It shows that in a large majority of States there existed, even at the peak of prosperity, areas in which educational opportunities were of the most meager type.
(a) Current school expense per pupil, $138 in New York State; current school expense per pupil, $24 in Mississippi.
(b) Average salaries, $2,361 in one State; average salaries, $465 in another State.
(c) This bill will increase school funds in the poorest State 62 percent and only 7 percent in the richest State.
(2) Connecticut has a highly mobile population and is thus interested not only in the education of the young people born in Connecticut but also in the education of those who come to Connecticut from other States.
(3) Connecticut through its great insurance companies and through its far flung industrial activities comes into close contact with all other States of the Nation. National issues, therefore, tend to replace local issues in the degree to which they effect the welfare of individual citizens. To Connecticut, then, it is important that the young people of all the States are educated so that they may rise above narrow selfishness and sectionalism and realize the importance of the greatest good for the greatest number.
(4) Rapid and cheap means of transportation and communication is making the United States a smaller place and bringing all the peoples of all the States into close relationship with each other. Crime, delinquency, and other social problems, resulting from ignorance, become, therefore, matters of concern to all the peoples of all the States.
(5) The wealth of Connecticut is in the last analysis dependent upon the peoples in other States with whom Connecticut people do business. If these other peoples are educated, intelligent, and prosperous, if they have recognized needs and means of satisfying them, they will be better and better customers, and as a result Connecticut will be a wealthier and better State.
4. Such aid is necessary to equalize the burden of educational support. The wealthiest States are six to eight times as able as the poorest.
In New York State 31⁄2 percent of income provides $138 per pupil.
In Mississippi 5 percent of income provides only $24 per pupil.
In New York State per-capita income is $673.
In Mississippi per-capita income is only $153.
In New York States there are 450 children per 1,000 population.
In Mississippi there are 650 children per 1,000 population.
METHODS OF TAXATION AND SUPPORT
5. Such aid is necessary to increase educational efficiency in all the States. 6. Such aid is especially necessary in times of financial emergency to prevent the entire break-down of the local educational program.
7. The collective citizenship of the United States is a responsibility for the United States as a whole.
8. The preservation of a democratic civilization is an obligation on all the people.
II. The Harrison-Black-Fletcher bill provides financial support for education in general and not for specific phases of education.
1. Experience with the Hatch Act, the Morrill Act, and the Smith-Hughes Act indicates that Federal control of the expenditure of funds under these acts tends to throw out of balance the local State educational programs and magnify certain phases of education at the expense of a well-rounded program.
(See Federal Relations to Education; Report of the National Advisory Committee, pt. I, pp. 11–13; 33-38; 83-84; pt. II, pp. 29–64.)
III. This bill does not result in control by the Federal Government of the fundamental social purposes and specific processes of education.
1. The American traditon has been that of local autonomy and local responsibility.
2. From the Revolution to the Civil War the Federal Government aided education in the States without regulating the purposes, defining the programs, or supervising the teaching.
3. Central administration and control is apt to have these bad resultsLess intimacy between schools and patrons.
Lack of local interest and support.
Results in class stratification.
Destroys experimental variations.
Means inflexibility and regimentation.
Control by a particular group, political or otherwise.
(See Federal Relations to Education, Report of National Advisory Committee, pt. I, pp. 9-36, 83-100; pt. II, pp. 121-240.) Department of Superintendence, official report, Cleveland 1934: Federal Aid a Boon or Bone? W. F. Russell, pp. 64-68.)
IV. While Connecticut will undobutedly contribute more in Federal taxes than it receives under this bill, nevertheless the Connecticut schools need this income for the following reasons:
1. It will assist the State of Connecticut to pass laws to equalize educational opportunity within the State.
2. It will release local initiative by relieving the local property taxpayer of the present intolerable burden. Five-sixths of the States today receive 80 percent or more of the support for education from the property tax. Connecticut receives 90 percent from this source. Recently 25 States have established tax limitations for localities.
STATEMENTS SUBMITTED BY E. PAUL BURKHOLDER, CHAIRMAN, LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE, DELAWARE STATE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION; H. E. STAHL, SUPERINTENDENT OF CLAYMONT PUBLIC SCHOOLS, CLAYMONT, DEL., REPRESENTING THE 2,000 MEMBERS OF THE DELAWARE STATE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
Please accept our thanks for the privilege of presenting our opinions concerning the Harrison-Black-Fletcher bill now under consideration.
For several years the State Teachers Association and the various county teachers' associations have been advocating the need for Federal aid in maintaining an adequate public school in America.
At the last meeting of the representative assembly of the Delaware State Education Association held in Wilmington, Del., on Wednesday, November 11, 1936, the following resolution was passed unanimously.
"The Delaware State Education Association reaffirms with emphasis its endorsement of the principles of Federal aid for education. The association urges upon the Congress of the United States early passage at the next session of such legislation as is embodied in Senate bill 4793, introduced in the second session of the Seventy-fourth Congress, entitled 'A bill to promote the general welfare through the appropriation of funds to assist the States and Territories in providing more effective programs of public education.''
Our representatives in both Houses of the United States Congress were apprised of the contents of this resolution and through the efforts of the legislative committee of our association the following resolution was introduced in the Delaware Legislature and at this time has passed the lower house:
"HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION STATING APPROVAL OF HARRISON-FLETCHER BILL IN NATIONAL CONGRESS
"Whereas there has been a bill introduced in the Congress of the Unite-1 States known as the Harrison-Fletcher bill relating to Federal participation in financing public education;
"Whereas the passage of this bill would tend to equalize the educational opportunities of the children of America;
"Whereas Delaware pays 0.34 percent of the national income and has only 0.18 percent of the Nation's children;
"Whereas this bill becoming a law would allot to Delaware the first year $179,293; the second year $268,940; the third year $358,586; the fourth year $448,255; the fifth year $537,897: Be it
"Resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met, That we approve of this measure and urge our Representatives in Congress to vote for this bill known as Senate bill 419 and House bill 2288."
The Sussex County, the Kent County, and the New Castle County Education Association individually endorsed the Harrison-Black-Fletcher bill providing Federal support for public education at their annual meetings in March 1937. In addition, the Wilmington Teachers' Association has repeatedly endorsed the principle of Federal aid in education. In other words, every organization of the teaching profession in Delaware has recently approved the bill now before Congress.
The need for this aid is greater in many States than it is in ours, and should this bill become a law our citizens would no doubt have to pay more than they would receive. Yet we maintain that one of the main functions of our Federal Government is the developing of proper attitudes of citizenship in the youth of our land and the exercising of this function implies financial assistance to the greatest institution where principles of good citizenship are being taught; namely, the American public-school system.
Furthermore, all American children should have the same educational opportunity regardless of the State in which they live and attend school. The passage of this act will tend to effect this advantage.
STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY MRS. CLINTON F. PARVIN, PRESIDENT, FLORIDA PARENT-TEACHER ASSOCIATION, REPRESENTING THE EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS OF FLORIDA
I come to you as a representative of Florida's educational interests. This includes the lay groups of Florida-the taxpayer, the citizen, and the parent as well as the teacher, the school administrator, and the State department of education.
We have a continuing educational council of the Florida Education Association with representatives from the American Legion, the Federation of Women's Clubs, the Congress of Parents and Teachers, the Federation of Labor, the Business and Professional Women's Club, the colleges, the teachers, and school administrators and State officials. This group counsels together to try to raise the standards of education in Florida. We have accomplished much during the past year, and we have made the people of Florida peculiarly schoolminded. It is from such a group that I come to say we are doing our best, and are helpless without your aid.
There is a constitutional limit of 10 mills on our district levy for school purposes, and the property holders in nearly every district of the States have gone to the polls and voted to pay the maximum levy for schools.
There is a constitutional limit of 10 mills for schools upon our county taxing unit, and only 1 county in our 67 has failed to levy the maximum amount. This one county is small and rural.
Our State legislature appropriates $800 per instruction unit as State aid for teachers' salaries and transportation and also provides free textbooks for all children. This totals over one-fourth of the entire amount appropriated for all governmental operations. Just think what it would mean if our Federal
Government appropriated one-fourth of its total for education. Can we reasonably expect more?
In spite of the fact that taxpayers, county, and State officials are doing all in their power to raise school revenue, last year our average teachers salary was only $76 a month. Many districts do not have sufficient funds with which to pay for the ordinary expenses for operating their schools other than teachers salaries and transportation.
Our State-aid law makes no distinction between the races in the apportionment of money. This year any county failing to provide a minimum 160-day term for each school-Negro or white, and to pay a minimum salary of $600 per instruction unit, is penalized. We earnestly desire to have every child in Florida have an opportunity for an education that will fit him for life.
You cannot judge Florida by her tourist cities. We are a rural State, and many of our rural school children-both Negro and white are decidedly underprivileged. We are ashamed of many of their school buildings; we deeply regret that we are unable to pay our teachers a living wage and that so many of them have to work outside school hours to supplement their meager pay; but we are honestly doing our best.
With your permission, I will submit a brief prepared by D. E. Williams of the State department of education to be read into the records, substantiating these statements.
In 1935-36 we had only 13 free kindergartens in the entire State. Library work is seriously handicapped. Music, art, and allied subjects-none of which are fads and frills-are almost entirely neglected in Florida, and we see no way out.
Florida feels peculiarly within her rights in asking for Federal aid, in that we have thousands of children coming in our schools every winter from all over the United States. We have tried to avoid charging tuition. A few districts have been forced to do so, but the great majority have been reluctant to make this charge. We welcome these children to our State, but they do add to our educational responsibility and expense. We do not want their educational program to be interrupted, as we are interested in their welfare. We feel they are entitled to an education not too far below the standards of the State from which they come. Should not those States which are relieved from this responsibility be very anxious that these future citizens of theirs shall not lose these valuable months from their school year? We accept this responsibility of providing an education for our guests gladly. We just as earnestly covet for our own children these same educational advantages which our guests assure us they are accustomed to have back home. We are doing our best, and we have nowhere to turn for help but to the Federal Government which we help support.
STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY D. E. WILLIAMS, STATE AGENT, TALLAHASSEE, FLA., REPRESENTING THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION
Florida needs Federal financial assistance to support public education. Revenue receipts for the support of public education in Florida are from State and local sources. In the past, except for the year 1935-36, the revenue from the State did not equal the appropriation by the State. The main local sources of support are taxes on real property. All counties except one and nearly all districts are levying the constitutional maximum millage for the support of education. The total revenue receipts from all sources is insufficient to support public education on an adequate standard. In 1935-36 the average cost of instruction was $42.62 per child enrolled, which was less than half the national average during the worst years of the depression. The major part of the cost of instruction is borne by the State. The State's apportionment is $800 per teacher unit based on average daily attendance. The average annual salary of teachers in 1935-36 was $912.07. This average salary shows the support from local sources to be very inadequate. This inadequacy is due largely to inability to contribute support caused by changes in values.
In addition to the cost of instruction, the local units of taxation and administration have the responsibility of supporting general control, operation, maintenance, auxiliary agencies, fixed charges, debt service, and capital outlay. The local units are supporting these responsibilities very inadequately, for the reason that the revenue needed to support them adequately is not received.