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books, and yet housed in an adobe hut that the cattle have hooked the blocks out of so that you could throw a cat through it most any place, a building unfit to herd livestock in, especially if they should be registered livestock.
I must say that during this depression period we have gotten P. W. A. money so that there is a much improved condition noticeable in our school buildings. So that furnishing employment during the depression has been a godsend to the schools of that State. I presume that is true of other States.
We have come to believe in Arizona that to tax the counties where the wealth is and spend it where the children are is equally as logical as to tax a man of wealth who may have no children, to support schools for the children whose parents have little or no wealth. Whether that is a correct principle of sound public policy-I think it is I leave to your judgment, and I think it applies right in this
I do not want to take too much of your time, but I want to say that I have traveled across this country-my mother came from Kentucky; we recognize the quality of that Commonwealth-incidentally I might say that the first trail blazers across Arizona were two Kentucky men, more than 100 years ago, when it was pretty wild, wilder than it is now, Dr. Richmond. We feel that education has marked a diagonal from New England back in 1620 down across that country in a southwesterly direction, culminating in California, the golden State to which we in Arizona look up for high standards of educational efficiency and leadership.
Today I find in my own State and other States educational high grounds where a generous public has furnished temples of learning and all the needed facilities, and where their teaching is on a par with the material equipment; and on the other hand, not far away, perhaps, educational low grounds, where children are herded into buildings unfit for animals, and attended by poorly paid, ill-prepared teachers. I think we have mighty little of that in Arizona, but I find it in some of the States. I find it, Mr. Chairman, within hitchhiking distance of this Capital.
Now, gentlemen of the committee, there is no physical or social insulation-if universal education is neglected-between the dregs of society and our most cherished institutions. A gentleman said to me the other day: "If we paid more attention to our boy in the high chair, it would probably save him from the electric chair."
I feel, Mr. Chairman, that it is wise public policy to take care of the youth of this land. The poet said:
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
I think he might as well have said:
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where youth, discouraged, sees no brighter day.
Now, State boundary lines have been thinned by the automobile, fast travel, communication, and people are shifting in this rapidly moving age from one State to another. It is of vital concern to every citizen of the Republic where and how each other citizen was trained in his childhood. We become one great family, and I think it now has become a national responsibility to iron out these in
equalities that exist, as we have attempted to do it in the State of Arizona. I thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. BARDEN. May I ask you a question, Mr. Murdock? How are your schools supported in Arizona? By the State or by the locality, county, and city.
Mr. MURDOCK. $25 per capita per child it taken out of the State treasury; about $35-it varies somewhat in the different countiesabout $35 per child out of a county fund. That is gathered from county-wide taxation, just as the other is gathered by State-wide taxation, and any additional amount needed is gathered by local taxation. Those three methods.
Mr. BARDEN. Do they have any special tax for the support of schools in Arizona?
Mr. MURDOCK. We have the school tax; that is, a poll tax, and then we have
Mr. BARDEN (interposing). Do you have anything in the way of an ad-valorem tax?
Mr. MURDOCK. Yes; all of the local tax is of that nature. We have a poll tax, a $2.50 poll tax that goes to school purposes.
Mr. BARDEN. You do not have any sales tax?
Mr. MURDOCK. We have had a sales tax, but we have had it so recently that you cannot say it has been applied to education. However, the sales tax has gone into the general fund and it has been a contribution to the support of education.
Mr. BARDEN. I am just wondering why the standard in Arizona is so bad, when I see here the expenditure, per capita expenditure, is $71.80.
Mr. MURDOCK. It depends on how the rating is made. There are various ways of rating educational systems. A census made by the Russell Sage Foundation a few years ago indicated that Arizona stood third from the top in educational efficiency. I do not know what your rating indicates.
Mr. BARDEN. I notice here that Arkansas spent $19.86 and Arizona $71.80. Arkansas must be-is there anyone here to defend that?
Mr. MURDOCK. I will say we have not spent a cent too much, Mr. Chairman, in the State of Arizona.
Mr. BARDEN. I hope the gentleman will not misunderstand me. I am just about as ardent a school man as you ever saw.
Mr. MASON. I think we may say that the picture you have painted of these adobe schools and their condition is not the general picture of Arizona. Those are the few cases. Arizona has a system of schools that averages quite high among the States.
Mr. MURDOCK. Mr. Chairman, if you look into the illiteracy figures you will find that Arizona ranks low in literacy. I want to remind you that we have 45,000 Indians in the State of Arizona, and when you count those in it puts us down the line. It is a far cry from the adobe school that I indicated a moment ago out in the desert to such schools as the Monroe School in Phoenix or the Roskruge School in Tucson.
Mr. MASON. Arizona reaches even into Illinois and gets some of our best teachers to go down there, because of the salaries paid.
Mr. BOYER. Mr. Murdock, is there any Government money now going toward any Indian schools in your State?
Mr. MURDOCK. Yes, the Indians are wards of Uncle Sam, and education is bing supported by the Government. We have been a little fearful for some time that Arizona might have that back-breaking burden thrown upon her of taking care educationally of these Indians. Thank heaven we have not been called on in that way yet. I thank you, gentlemen.
(Mr. Murdock submitted the following paper :)
STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY HON. JOHN R. MURDOCK, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ARIZONA
Gentlemen of the committee, for more than 20 years, the school forces of our country have been endeavoring to increase interest in, and participation of the National Government in the very vital work of education. Throughout our history it has been a hard struggle to get larger and larger bases for financial support for our schools. After the notion became generally fixed that the carrying on of education was the function of the various States of the Union, it has been rather difficult to convince national authorities that the Government at Washington should have much to do with the schooling of the youth of the land.
Some of our strongest advocates of education have opposed the entrance of the National Government into this work in any way. They feared the deadening effect of uniformity and the prospects of too great a control by bureaucracy at the National Capitol. Of course, the need of national financial aid has long been felt, but this has been offset by the fear of too much national control. Increasingly during the past 20 years, thinking people have come more and more to the conclusion that inequalities of wealth and opportunity must be counter-acted by national support of our schools, if we are going to make education of uniformly high grade in all sections of the country. Having been a school man myself for 30 years, laboring in several different States of the Union, and having given this subject long study, I feel that the bill before your committee is the best educational proposal that has ever been submitted to Congress. It is one which educational leadership of the country calls for enactment by this session of Congress.
EQUALIZING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY
One of the great objectives of our planning is to equalize educational opportunity for all of our children. In my own State of Arizona, there exists marked extremes of wealth and poverty among the 14 counties and also even greater extremes between school districts within a given county. We have sought in Arizona to remedy that, or at least to mitigate it, by having a part of the total of each school's support derived from a county fund and still another part derived from a State contribution. For almost 20 years, this State equalization fund, or "State aid" for schools in Arizona, has amounted to $25 per pupil annually taken from the State treasury. By a county fund distributed among the various school districts, the per-capita cost per each child is equalized among the pupils of that county, and by the State per-capita distribution, the revenue per child is equalized to that same extent. In Arizona, we feel that the same logic which justifies taxing a man of wealth, who may have no children, to support schools for children whose parents have little wealth, can with equal logic be applied to taxing the richer counties where the wealth exists to support schools in poorer counties where the children are. Educational leaders, and statesmen as well, have regarded this idea as sound public policy.
We feel more and more that conditions now justify the application of the principle to the Nation as a whole. So fundamentally important today is the adequate schooling of our citizenry that it is a matter of great concern to the Government of the United States of America to see to it that no section is neglected. Certainly, we have educational "high grounds" and "low grounds" in this country. Any State's position on the scale of educational efficiency depends very largely upon how much money is furnished there for schools. Arizona doesn't head the list of States in this respect but is very well up toward the top. Show me a State that doesn't have any support of schools from the State treasury and I'll show you one with a spotted educational system and a low average of efficiency. The other day, I was talking with a school superintendent of a large city system, a thousand miles from Arizona, and he
gasped in astonishment when I told him that Arizona furnishes $25 per capita annually out of the State treasury for our elementary and secondary schools. Said he, "Shades of Horace Mannth What could we not do in my State with so liberal a provision!"
Gentlemen of the committee, I have observed that State aid out my way has meant better salaries for teachers and accordingly, a better type of instruction than would otherwise have prevailed. It has also meant free textbooks and a more adequate supply of books and materials. However, State educational support in Arizona has not heretofore been applied to housing. For that reason, it was a noticeable fact that we had most schools in my State staffed with well-trained teachers and liberally supplied with books, but in the poor districts some were not very well housed. Since the depression, the Public Works Administration and other relief agencies of the Federal Government have done much to improve school buildings in my State. I presume that has been true in other States. This emergency building activity to furnish employment during the depression has been a blessing, and not in disguise, to the schools of Arizona.
I have had a personal acquaintance with thousands of teachers during the past third of a century. My hope for humanity has been encouraged; my vision of the future of this country has been brightened by this contact with the classroom teachers of our land. On the whole, they exhibit a fervor and zeal as commendable as that of religious missionaries. These teachers are missionaries of enlightenment. The poet has said, "Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, where wealth accumulates and men decay." He might as truthfully have said, "Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, where youth discouraged sees no brighter day."
COURAGE AND FAITH IN TEACHERS
During this devastating depression, through which we have recently been passing, my heart has been touched with evidence of the fidelity and courage of our teachers. I have heard the demands of taxpayers, which certainly seemed reasonable, for the reductions of teachers salaries as a measure of economy, but I positively feel that it is about the poorest kind of economy that any unthinking person could put forward. Although there are relatively few married women teachers in my State, I feel sure that for every woman teaching in our schools for the past 6 years there was an average of three dependents upon her salary. From the standpoint of sound business-even were the work done by classroom teachers, less meaningful to the welfare of the country-better salaries would be justified as a matter of good business.
Having been reared in the Middle West, lived and taught in the Far West, and in the East, I can say that I have traveled from east to west, and from west to east in search of further light in education. My comparisons of schools in the different parts of this country reveal some bright spots where a generous public has built beautiful temples of learning and where the teaching within such splendid buildings is comparable with the material surroundings. On the other extreme, I have seen many children of our Republic housed in buildings unfit to be used for registered livestock, herded by inadequately trained, poorly paid teachers, all to the detriment of the Commonwealth. What a range of difference this country exhibits between the poorest and the best. Some of the poorest are within hitchhiking distance of the National Capital, and also our marts of trade. Let us be reminded that in this much-moving, fast-moving age there is no physical or social insulation—if universal education for the masses is neglected-between the dregs of society and our most sacred American institutions.
EDUCATION A SOCIAL CORRECTIVE
A thoughtful public man said to me the other day: "If we paid more attention to the training of our son in the high chair, it would save him later from the electric chair." That, of course, emphasizes the first educational steps in the home, but it can just as easily and logically be amplified to mean that proper training through childhood and youth, is a good public investment in character development and citizenship and not a waste of the taxpayers' money. Now that we have such increased facility for travel and communication, now that the automobile and paved highways, and also the airplane, have dwarfed the size of our vast country so that a person born in one State is most likely to spend his life in some other State, a right start in life for every citizen is a
vital concern to every other citizen, no matter in what part of the country he may live.
In the measure before you, the national scope and character of education is recognized. A statesmanlike comprehension of the National Government's obligation is also recognized. These provisions furnish liberal Federal support without restricting the local control. It will go far toward eradicating the inequalities existing in the country, and giving each child equality of educational opportunity throughout the Nation. The supplying of funds from Washington to be handled by the State authorities with no further handicap or restriction than a salutary accounting will remove the objections lodged against similar measures in times past. Gentlemen, these are some of the reasons why I favor the enactment of the bill now before your committee.
Mr. HALL. Mr. Chairman, at this time I want to present the Louisiana delegation of persons who have come all the way from that State to support this measure. I wonder if they will rise as a body first. [The Louisiana delegation rose.]
I merely want to present them as a group, Mr. Chairman, and introduce them and give their titles, and then Mr. Spencer Phillips will make the statement for the group.
STATEMENT OF SPENCER PHILLIPS, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, LOUISIANA STATE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, BATON ROUGE, LA.
Mr. PHILLIPS. With the permission of the chairman I would like to submit these communications from school boards and others in Louisiana in support of this legislation.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, they will be received. (The papers referred to follow :)
J. N. POCHE,
CONVENT, LA., March 29, 1937.
National Education Association Representative,
Care of Congressman Paul H. Maloney. Romeville High faculty 100 percent for Harrison-Black-Fletcher bill. B. J. DICHARRY, Principal.
Mr. J. N. POCHE,
CONVENT, LA., March 29, 1937.
Louisiana Director, National Educational Association,
New Willard Hotel, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. POCHE: I note with pleasure the work you and your coworkers are doing in Washington with a view of obtaining Federal aid through the Harrison-Black-Fletcher bill, for the underpaid teachers of this country.
Here in Louisiana we have done everything possible to aid the teachers, but it is a fact that we have fallen short and are unable to pay them adequately for their services.
I am heartily in favor of making a strong appeal to the Committee on Education and Labor when this measure comes before it for consideration, and I regret that I am unable to appear in person to assist you in your appeal.
Please be assured that I am strongly for a 12-month pay for teachers at better salaries than we are now paying them.
I will bend every effort toward inducing the teachers and educators in this section to write or wire you their support of the Harrison-Black-Fletcher bill.
With my best wishes for the success of the cause you are working for and with high regards to you, my friend Frazar, and your coworkers, I am Sincerely,
S. J. DICHARRY, State Representative, St. James Parish.