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Mrs. Cook. I might say that our organization does not support the educational program which Russia is providing.
In the United States less than 2 percent of the national income is spent on education. Is this not a puny investment for a great nation to make in its future?
We parents and teachers of America praise these other countries for their efforts in this direction, for we realize full well that only through democratic education can true peace be achieved and maintained.
However, in our desire to commend other nations for their foresight, let us not be shortsighted about our own country's need for improvement along the same lines. We must make sure that American children keep pace with all children the world over. Because we have had a high standard of living, because we have led the world in providing a free educational system, we have perhaps become a bit too smug and satisfied. Yet a glance at recent statistics on education reveals some appalling inequalities.
We do not have nearly enough schools to educate adequately all those who want and are entitled to an education. Teachers by the hundreds of thousands have left the profession. Others with their backs to the wall, financially speaking, have resorted to strikes as their only means of maintaining standards to sustain their professional self-respect. We have surely come to a sorry pass when the men and women to whom we entrust the training of our future citizens virtually have to beg for a decent living wage.
The time has come when we must realize that without Federal aid to public, tax-supported schools we never shall be able to solve our educational problems. It has been pointed out that 60 percent of all Americans today are living in States other than those in which they were educated. I think, Senator Aiken, you have fortunately called attention to that previously.
Education thus became a national problem. The people of one region cannot afford to be indifferent to the needs of education in other localities. Statistics show that some States have twice as many children per 1,000 population as other States. And, unfortunately, these are not the wealthiest States. If some States were to spend all their normal revenue for education they still could not support their schools as well as the average school of the Nation is supported. Their children will never have equality of educational opportunities unless the Federal Government helps pay for the schools.
Therefore, as a Nation-wide organization, we believe that it is necessary for the Federal Government to appropriate funds to supplement those funds raised by local and State governments to provide adequate educational opportunities for all children and youth. To that end, we have set up very definite policies with respect to Federal aid for education Our policies are as follows:
1. We believe that Federal funds should be appropriated for the purpose of equalizing educational opportunity among the several States, with provisions insuring (1) distribution according to need, such need to be determined on the basis of established facts, which shall serve as a foundation for a specific formula for apportionment; (2) maximum local and minimum Federal control; and (3) encouragement to the States to put forth their highest efforts to equalize educational opportunities within their own State boundaries.
2. We support the principle that any such funds appropriated by the Federal Government should go to public, tax-supported schools only.
Senate bill 472 is an equalization bill appropriating Federal funds to States with distribution according to need, such need being determined on established facts. The bill also provides that the control of education be kept in States and local communities with a minimum of Federal control over the funds. Under special provisions in the bill, States are given encouragement to equalize educational opportunities and put forth their highest efforts. These special provisions are: A just and equitable distribution of Federal funds for minority races where separate public schools are maintained; the requirement that a State must spend 2.5 percent of its annual State income for public elementary and public secondary school education in order to receive the full amount of Federal aid; and a stipulation that the average monthly salaries paid to teachers from State and local funds be no less than the average monthly salaries paid as of February 1, 1947. Federal funds are to be distributed through the United States Office of Education to the State educational authority with definite specifications that there be maximum local control of education. All these provisions in S. 472 are in accordance with our policies.
However, one principle upheld by our organization-namely, that Federal funds should go to public, tax-supported schools only-is violated in section 6 (B) of S. 472. This section reads:
No provision of this act shall be construed to delimit a State in its definition of public education: Provided, That the funds paid to a State under this act shall be expended only by public agencies under public control, except that in any State in which funds derived from State or local revenues are disbursed to nonpublic educational institutions for expenditures for any purposes for which funds paid to such State under this act may be expended, funds so paid to such State may be disbursed to and expended by such institutions for such purposes.
Our organization agrees that no State shall be delimited in its definition of public education, provided that funds paid under the act shall be expended by public agencies under public control. We interpret the first part of that section to mean that if any State has considered in its program of public education a kindergarten at a lower level, or junior college at a higher level, it may expend Federal funds for those purposes. However, the exception made in this act for some States which distribute State tax moneys to nonpublic educational institutions is clearly a violation of a principle for which the National Congress of Parents and Teachers stands.
Therefore we urgently request that the members of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare amend this bill by striking out the exception made in section 6 (B). With such an amendment, the National Congress of Parents and Teachers will give Senate bill 472 its wholehearted support, and also to title I of the bill which you have sponsored.
Senator AIKEN. If it appears necessary to retain section 6 (B) in order to get any bill through at all, what would the position of your organization be?
Mrs. Cook. I think we probably would not support such a bill, because we believe that the public school system should be strengthened and maintained, and that all funds that are used for other purposes, other educational purposes-public tax moneys used for those
purposes take away from the necessary funds that should go for our public schools.
Under the sixteenth amendment, as was just brought out, Federal tax funds are received from States to whose State constitutions this is a contrary law, and you would be using the funds of those States to support States who have constitutions contrary. I don't know whether that idea has ever been brought out before or not, but it seems to me that in allocating these funds you do not have Federal control of the way the State spends its own money, but you control only the way if spends the Federal funds, and I think that since these Federal funds come from some States that do not make that provision in the State constitution, that should be taken into consideration. Senator AIKEN. I think that point is well taken. Are there any other questions?
Senator THOMAS. I would like to bring out one more point here, and I think we can narrow the scope of this question of private and public schools.
The Federal Government has, almost from its beginning, paid the salaries of chaplains in the Army, and surely they teach something pretty closely akin to religion. Nobody has objected to that. They are not restricted, under our scheme, regardless of the denomination that they represent. Never, I think, have we had a case where a chaplain has not lived up to his requirements, a chaplain in the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps, and forgotten that he had duties outside of them and a little broader than the duties which qualified him for the appointment. I think if we are not careful we may lose a great opportunity in opposing something which, as I said before, we fear, rather than something we have seen, and I would dislike very much to see educational opportunity for all these people wrecked because of a narrow interpretation of some provision in the bill.
Mrs. Cook. But these people have the opportunity to attend the public-school system of our States, and that is only a prerogative which their parents will exercise, because they want some special training for their child, whether it be in a private school or in a parochial school, and I think we should take that into consideration.
You speak of the chaplains in the Army. That is not promoting a particular ideology or religion. It is only providing a personal benefit to the soldiers therein. However, take for instance the establishment of a private school, that is for profit to some extent; for a parochial school it is promoting a religion, and not only does the student benefit but the school itself benefits, or whatever religion or ideology is being promoted, and I think that in the Supreme Court decision they considered that as a personal benefit to the child only. In making this distribution of funds, however, I cannot conceive that it is not a benefit also to the school itself. It is an unequal benefit, and I think that is contrary to our first amendment to the Constitution. Senator AIKEN. If you will pardon me, Mrs. Cook, I would like to qualify your original statement that all children have an opportunity to attend public school, to this extent, that in my State at least, I am sure there are a considerable number of boys and girls each year that would not be able to attend high school unless they could attend one of the old academies located in their community perhaps, as I have mentioned before, 25 miles from the nearest public high school. The old academies are public schools in reality but technically they are
private schools and could not qualify for any Federal funds if section 6-B were stricken out.
Mrs. Cook. I think that is a problem of the State of Vermont. believe that the State of Vermont should make those public schools, technically public schools. It is the fault of that State that they have
Senator AIKEN. They cannot do that, though. Many of the towns are too small to support public high schools, but these academies have endowments and use the income from these endowments to keep them going, with what public funds they can get from the States.
Are there any other questions? If not, we thank you for your testimoney, Mrs. Cook.
The committee has promised two other witnesses that they may have. 15 minutes each this morning. The next witness is Dr. Jesse P. Bogue, executive secretary of the American Association of Junior Colleges, Washington, D. C.
Dr. McHale and Dr. Sanders will not be here this morning.
I want to say that Dr. Bogue was president of one of our junior colleges in Vermont for a good many years and built that college up to its present excellent and enviable position. With that introduction, Dr. Bogue, will you proceed?
STATEMENT OF JESSE P. BOGUE, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF JUNIOR COLLEGES, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. BOGUE. Thank you very much, Senator Aiken, and members of the committee, for the opportunity to appear here. My statement has been mimeographed, and I believe is quite sufficient for the record, therefore there is no reason why I should go over the entire testimony nor several points which have already been emphasized rather clearly here this morning.
Senator AIKEN. Your complete statement will be included in the record, Doctor.
Mr. BOGUE. I think it will be better for me to simply take up what might be called some of the "hot" points. One of these has to do with Federal control. It appears to me and to our committee on legislation, which is made up of Dr. Morris, from California; Dr. Dickson, from Utah; Dr. Caldwell, from Texas; Dr. Farley, from Pennsylvania; and myself from Vermont, that we are on either one of two points of a dilemma. Either in this bill we will, through Federal legislation, tell the States how they should spend this money, or else we shall not. If we tell them how to spend the money, then we have immediately set up a precedent for what might be called "Federal interference in the programs of the States." Therefore, our position is that this appropriation should be made to the States, and the States be permitted, in turn, to decide how they will spend the money. If they have a provision in their State laws to spend it for private institutions such as we have in the State of Vermont, that is entirely the responsibility of the State. If we are going to step in and tell the States that they cannot do that, then we have immediately opened the door for Federal interference and everything else that follows in its wake.
While this does not bear specially on this point, I think there is one other point of view that ought to be brought out in all fairness. Often we speak about what the Federal Government or the State
government, through taxation, might be required to do for private institutions. It seems to me that in all fairness we ought to turn it around and think what many private institutions are doing for the public. If Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, and about 500 other private colleges and institutions, and about 250 private junior colleges and parochial schools, should suddenly fold up and all of that be thrown back upon public taxation, I think we would soon find out that the private institutions are doing something for the public, as well as we might think the public might do something for the private institutions. I think it is only fair to regard it in that light. For that reason, and as a matter of principle, we stand for the rights of the State, and in that respect we look at it as what might be called about three lines of defense.
First of all, we think that responsibility for education belongs to the parent and to the local community. We think that good, sound, American doctrine, and that whatever the parent and the local communities can do for their students by way of education should not be done even by the State.
I have just completed 2 weeks in Mississippi, visiting all the public junior colleges of the State. I found one school district, for instance, that has what it called the sixteenth section. Each sixteenth section of land in Mississippi was set aside for education. Now, on that sixteenth section they have struck oil, and the income of that school is $150 a day. Certainly that school would not need State aid nor Federal aid. So our line of reasoning is that if the parent and the local school district can't take care of their own affairs, they should not expect the State to step in and help them out.
We believe also that whatever the States can do to take care of their education should not be supplemented by the Federal Government. Therefore we are in favor of what might be called a floor appropriation, and one which will help to equalize the educational opportunities as between the States.
I am a little inclined to doubt if the floor is high enough. I think that with the increased appropriations that have been made, $40 is too low, and I would be inclined to think that probably $50 would be more nearly like it.
We are also in favor of some kind of scholarship fund to help save what, to me and to us, is our greatest natural resource, namely, the undeveloped brains of our country. I am thinking right now, Senator Aiken, of a young man who is very rapidly becoming one of the outstanding authorities in the field of naval rockets. He was born and brought up on a little farm on the other side of East Randolph, over in the mountain district. When we found him a number of years ago he didn't even have money enough to pay one-third of his tuition for 1 year, but by various means he was taken through the first 2 years of college, was a very high-standing student, and then when the war broke out and he went to MIT, where he graduated with very high honors-in fact, his honors were so high that they would not allow him to go into combat service, but he was put into research work, and now he is at one of the great naval experimental stations. I refer to that sort of thing. That is only one example, of course, but it could be multiplied by hundreds of thousands of times all over this country and I believe that in the light of our national need there is just as