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SEC. 5. No department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States shall exercise any direction, supervision, or control over any school with respect to which any funds are expended pursuant to this Act, nor shall any term or condition of any agreement under this Act relating to any grant made under this Act authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to direct, supervise, or control in any way the administration, personnel, curriculum, instruction, methods of instruction, or materials of instruction with respect to any such school.
REPORT TO CONGRESS
SEC. 6. The Commissioner shall transmit annually to the Congress a full report concerning the administration of this Act, including a description of the essential features of the several State plans carried on under this Act, a detailed statement of appropriations and disbursements made thereunder, a statement of the result of each annual audit made of the expenditure of funds under this Act by each State, a summary and analysis of legislative and administrative provisions adopted by each State for the expenditure of funds received under this Act, and statistical information showing the accomplishments achieved by the several States through the expenditure of such funds.
SEC. 7. As used in this Act
(a) The term "State" shall include the several States, the District of Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
(b) The term "legislature" includes the State or Territorial legislative or other comparable body, except that in the District of Columbia it shall mean the Board of Commissioners.
(c) The term "State educational agency" means (1) the State superintendent of public instruction, commissioner of education, or similar chief State school officer designated by competent authority, or (2) a board of education controlling the State department of education duly authorized to prepare and execute or to prepare and supervise the execution of the State plan under this Act, except that in the District of Columbia it shall mean the Board of Education.
(d) The term "Commissioner" means the United States Commissioner of Education within the Federal Security Agency.
(e) The term "public school" means a free public elementary or secondary school supported exclusively by public funds and controlled by the government of any State, political subdivision thereof, or other local public-school jurisdiction or authority.
(f) The term "teacher" includes (1) persons engaged in the instruction of pupils and (2) principals and supervisors or heads of department units within any public school, but does not include other persons engaged solely in the supervision of administration of instruction or education.
SEC. 8. If any provision of this Act or application thereof to any State, person, or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of this Act and the application of such provision to other States, persons, or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
STATEMENT OF SARA T. WALSH, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL TEACHERS DIVISION, UNITED PUBLIC WORKERS OF AMERICA, CIO.
Miss WALSH. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I have a prepared statement here. I should like to save time by reading excerpts from that statement and to make certain comments on significant portions.
Senator AIKEN. The committee has promised you a half hour, I believe, Miss Walsh; you may use that half hour just as you see fit. Miss WALSH. There was no reason to expect that the crisis in education would ease off with the cessation of war combat. On the
contrary, it has, by the second peacetime year, become a disaster of such national sweep that every major newspaper, magazine, and radio network has expressed the alarm of the educators and public. The Eightieth Congress has a responsibility to lift our Nation out of this eduational havoc. It is the only agency which can do so because only Congress can correct the fundamental cause. Federalaid action by this Congress is indispensable to the educational needs of millions of children and to the future productive ability of our Nation. Our public schools are one of the prime elements in building for peace, freedom, and prosperity of our Nation. The Eightieth Congress must discharge to our people its obligation to strengthen our public schools.
The National Education Association, the American Council on Education, and the CIO have presented to the Congress and to the public comprehensive data demonstrating the scope and severity of the educational crisis.
Now, I think what impresses us most about the data is the fact that basically there is the inequality among various States to support education; and we have been particularly interested and impressed by the data of the American Council on Education in connection with this.
In my travels in the past year, since I have left the school system, prior to that time I had taught for 21 years in the public schools, in my travels I have been particularly alarmed as a teacher over the disparities that are evident and could not have been evident to me in my previous career as public-school teacher in the North.
I want to cite to you particularly certain experiences in the South. I have been through, in one particular school system in Alabama, every school in the system and I noted especially, was surprised at the inadequate housing, the inadequate facilities. I have seen school buildings that were bungalows; some of them that had classrooms housed in simply houses or buildings that were used as churches during other periods in the week. These buildings had eight classes on each side of the schoolroom, one faucet for the children to use; some of them had no toilet facilities.
Now, to me from a northern school, it was a particularly shocking thing to see; although I have read about these things previously, they could not seem real to me until I had the actual experience of seeing them.
I noted expecially when I was in the South where the low-income States are, that the teachers try to do a good job. Now, we know that these teachers, many of them, are earning $500, $600 a year, and many of them less.
When I went through the schools that I mention, these teachers were teaching a lesson in the understanding of cultural and racial minorities. That is a lesson that I have taught many times in the North. The blackboard material was very much the same as I had used and yet the equipment that was available to these teachers and the surrounding environment of the children was such that made any kind of teaching the most difficult possible and made the whole problem of learning for children not the exciting and stimulating adventure that it should be but made it a wearisome problem, a problem of discomfort and particularly we want to plead in a Federal aid bill for the bill which will equalize education and lift the States
having the low incomes up to a higher level so that we can get rid of the worst educational blights in our Nation.
I want particularly to refer also to the existing inequities in educational opportunity for the children of minorities. Certainly, to us as teachers and as human beings, we find it very difficult to understand attitudes which say to a child of 6, you cannot have the same facilities; you cannot have the same service because you have a dark skin.
We feel it is an obligation of this Congress to take action which, while there will continue to be segregated schools in the South, will give the children of these schools a greater opportunity by removing the worst inequities there and insisting that the funds that go from a Federal aid bill will be distributed equitably among the Negro and the white schools in proportion to the population of the children in the State.
There have been numerous studies in the degree and extent of the crisis in the educational system.
I have in this statement selected items from Dr. Benjamin Fine's survey in the New York Times. I should like to send that survey if it has not already been placed in the record because I think it is an important checking by the major newspaper in the United States, a checking of the findings of the educators themselves, by personal staff visits from representatives of that newspaper to school administrators throughout the country.
Certainly, the findings of Dr. Fine of the Times show that our crisis is the deepest that we have ever had and the conclusions represented in the Times could point to nothing other than the need for Federal aid action by this Congress.
Senator SMITH. Do you know whether that survey checked pretty closely with Dr. Norton's?
Miss WALSH. I think it did. As a matter of fact, in much of the material Dr. Fine relied on Dr. Norton's recent booklet. Dr. Fine did show that in addition to the 350,000 teachers that have left the ranks since 1941, an additional 75,000 would be out this year; that as of now, 67,000 classrooms throughout the country were without teachers.
Now, actually, I think that that represents a much more serious situation than appears on the surface because that means classrooms still without teachers, whereas in most of the large cities, and I think in rural communities, there has been a tremendous doubling up of classrooms to make proper use of the teachers that do remain.
The findings of Dr. Fine, I think, followed closely on Dr. Norton's statistics.
We in the National Teachers Division, United Public Workers, CIO, endorsed S. 472 at the convention of the United Public Workers in 1946. We reemphasize our support, opposing, however, the provision for nonpublic school aid. This provision was added by the Educational Subcommittee in the Seventy-ninth Congress. It is contrary to the principles we support. We shall refer to our position on this section later.
We feel that S. 472, which provides a federally supported foundation program of $40 to all pupils is a realizable Federal program which will remove the worst inequities.
While this is essentially a more limited program than is necessary or than we would prefer, we support S. 472 because we believe that it
follows the essential features of desirable Federal aid, specifically, its equalization features, and most important, it has achieved a great measure of congressional and community coalition. Previously, all Federal aid has been hamstrung by divergent interests. The urgency of a solution has brought about a consolidation of forces around this bill which represents at least a minimum of what educational proponents desire and, as such, we endorse the bill as a fundamental agreement of a coalescence of opinion of which we are part.
We cannot support the section which was added in Senate subcommittee last June. Up until that time, the bill confined the allocations to public schools only. We support allocation to public schools only. The educational development of this country is a history of breaking away from the theocratic school of the colonial days, then breaking away from the pauper school. State by State recorded a vital struggle which involved the people and fundamental principles and which broke away from the system of church schools and pauper schools and established through a long period in the 1800's the public and free school. That there was important basic principle involved in the move toward public free schools is evident in the 46 States of the provision in the United States Constitution which directly or indirectly prohibit the use of public funds for sectarian or religious purposes.
Senator ELLENDER. In that connection, is it not true that section 6 (B) to which you refer leaves the distribution of the funds to be allotted according to State laws, and if such procedure is against the State laws, of course, no Federal funds will be used?
Miss WALSH. Yes, I know that is true because I have checked the bill.
Senator ELLENDER. This makes it only permissive in the event that State laws permit it.
Miss WALSH. That is true, yet there are a number of State lawswe take the position that we oppose it even though we understand that it is on a permissive basis and we do that for a definite reason. believe there are numerous State constitutions which prohibit the use of the common school moneys from the common school fund to be used for sectarian education. Now, I think that under such a State law money from this act could go for sectarian education because this money would not necessarily be interpreted as money coming from common-school fund of the State.
Senator ELLENDER. It would be distributed by the State unless the constitution provided for that. In my State, it is prohibited for any public funds to be used directly for private schools. The bill as drafted would make it permissive only to the extent that the States themselves would allow the distribution of public funds.
Miss WALSH. Well, Senator, you see we feel that there is so much variation in the wording of the State constitutions or constitutional provisions that it would be entirely possible that a great deal of this Federal money under this act could go to a sectarian institution in the States because of variations in the interpretation of State constitutions, and basically we believe that Federal money should go for the maintenance of the public school system.
Now, I won't go into the material I have in the
Senator DONNELL. May I interrupt to ask a question at that point? Even though it may be true, as Senator Ellender has indicated, that there is a provision by which these funds could be distributed to States
in which the State consitution permits it, nevertheless it would be Federal funds derived from the great majority of the States, which do not permit public funds to be spent for nonpublic schools. That is true, is it not?
Miss WALSH. That is true and it is our thinking
Senator DONNELL. May I interrupt again? So that that would mean, would it not, Miss Walsh, that in a given State, if its constitution permitted the distribution to nonpublic schools, that State would be enabled under this bill to take moneys that came from a great number of States which do not permit such distribution, and distribute them to institutions in which in this great majority of the States they could not be distributed. That is correct, is it not?
Miss WALSH. That is my understanding of it.
Now, I say that our position is that we would like Federal money appropriated only to the public schools for a number of reasons.
First of all, we feel that there is a history in this country which has had a varied course of development, but the total impact of that history has been to build for a free and a public-school system. I know that there are certain places in the country where there are numerous schools or school systems which permit religious schools to operate and it would seem to me that some of these sections of the country have not taken part at as rapid a pace for the free public schools historically as States like Pennsylvania did, and States like New Jersey and the other States that have this provision in the constitution.
I believe that the total effect of the history is important in that it shows a desire on the part of the majority of our people to build for a free public-school system.
We believe, as teachers, that the free public school system is one of the greatest agencies that we have in this country for unifying our people. We do not like segregated schools; we do not like segregated schools racially. We would not look with favor on any increase of another kind of segregation even if it were voluntary on the part of the parents who wish to send their children there. I would say that would be the choice of the parents; and we approve of the choice of the parents to do that, but we do not think that should be paid for by the State, you see.
And personally, I would like to point this out: That in every State the problem of financing public schools is one that is now or has met with struggle. You have to work hard for money to finance the free public schools, and certainly the people interested in education have had to work hard before Congress to advance the concept of Federal aid to education.
We feel that any money which is available for schools, any portion of money which is available for schools, is apportioned to nonpublic schools, is apportioned at the expense of the further development of our public schools, and for that reason we would like to see all of the available money apportioned to the public schools.
Senator AIKEN. When you say that you do not want to see money of the State spent, you refer to money of the several States, the 48 states, or do you mean the money of the Federal Government?
Miss WALSH. Money of the Federal Government, that is right. Senator ELLENDER. Miss Walsh, I would like to make this further remark in connection with what you have been saying. As I understand it, there are but one or two States that permit the utilization of