« AnteriorContinuar »
Virginia. Hero and there, city-wide federations of parents or school patrons have supported the interests of the schools. The hest examples of these are found in the home and school leagues of Boston and Philadelphia, the parents' league of Washington, D. C, and the Salt Lake City (Utah) home and school leagues.
TRAINING FOR LEADERSHIP IN PARENT-TEACHER ASSOCIATIONS
One of the most difficult problems facing the parent-teacher movement has been that of securing persons who were willing and prepared to lead either locally or in the States. There were no courses on parent-teacher associations in any of the educational institutions until 1922, when Columbia University offered its first course. In 1923 and 1924 this university began to offer credit courses in its summer sessions. This was reported to have been made possible in each case by the cooperation of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers. In 1924 a credit course was offered in the summer session of the University of Georgia for workers in parent-teacher associations. These courses were attended by superintendents of schools, principals, teachers, and parents who studied the problems of organization and development of these groups of parents and teachers. Radcliffe College offered a course, in 1922 and 1923, in the beginning course in education in which there was a treatment of the purposes and activities of parent-teacher associations. Students in this course were required to study and report upon their own communities in Massachusetts.
The demand for trained instructors to give courses in educational institutions was and continues to be greater than the supply, but in spite of this many institutions inaugurated lectures, courses, or institutes during 1924 to develop leadership in these organizations. The following is an incomplete list of the institutions giving such courses during 1924 in some form or other: University of California (southern branch); University of Delaware; George Washington University, District of Columbia; University of Georgia; Indiana University, Biological Station, Winona Lake, and Fort Wayne Extension Center, Indiana; Chicago (111.) Normal College; State Normal School, Maryland; Boston University; Radcliffe College; Hyannis, Fitchburg, and North Adams (Mass.) normal schools; Central and Northern State Normal Schools and Ypsilanti State Normal College, Michigan; University of Minnesota and five Minnesota teachers' colleges; University of Missouri; State Teachers College, Nebraska; Newark, Ocean City, and Glassboro State Normal Schools, New Jersey; Columbia University; Bowling Green Normal College and Ohio State University; University of Oregon; Winthrop College, South Carolina; East Tennesseeand West Tennessee Normal Schools, Tennessee Polytechnic Institute and University of Tennessee; University of Texas and the seven teachers' colleges of Texas; four State normal schools of Virginia.
FINANCIAL WORK OP PARENT-TEACHER ASSOCIATIONS
Parent-teacher associations take the stand generally that equipment for public schools should be provided by public funds. But these same organizations have met emergencies rather than to deprive their children of the necessary and proper means of securing an education.
The almost universal attempt at retrenchment in the use of public funds for educational purposes during the past five years has made it necessary for parent-teacher associations and other similar organizations to assume many financial burdens. The total amount raised and expended by these organizations has reached considerable proportions.
Finance committees devise ways and means of raising funds. In a thoroughly organized State like California, the finance chairman reports to the federation chairman, who reports to the district chairman, who in turn compiles the report and submits it to the State chairman on finance. Even in this State complete financial statements are not available, but 12 out of 15 districts reported that they raised and spent, during 1924, $100,000. This amount financed various projects, including nutrition, scholarships, and school equipment and play equipment. Three types of organizations, local, State, and National, present three kinds of financing. Membership dues for the national organization are 5 cents per capita for members in each local organization; the State organizations receive a like amount. Local organizations may tax themselves for any amount, and there is a wide range in the amounts which they actually raise. Besides the per capita dues, the national organization of parents and teachers receives the income of a small endowment fund, from loan papers, from bequests, from the annual child welfare day contributions, and from life memberships.
Funds for local parent-teacher associations are raised by numberless methods apart from the per capita dues—by salvage shops, bazaars, county fairs, moving-picture shows, food sales, fathers' dinners, carnivals, teas, plays, candy sales, dances, card parties, penny drives, minstrel shows, etc.
From the incomplete report of parent-teacher associations of Georgia, it appears that more than $120,000 has been raised and expended by the parent-teacher association for school and association libraries, school lunches, family service work, scholarships, school and athletic equipment, medical inspection and clinics, scholarship loan funds, and other purposes.
In another Southern State, Mississippi, the parent-teacher associations are reported to have contributed during 1923-24 a total of over $66,000 for health programs, school and play-ground equipment, libraries, hookworm tests, student loan funds, free lunches to needy children, and aiding school authorities in enforcing the attendance law.
In. Delaware the organization is financed by the per capita dues, but it is promoted also by the Service Citizens of Delaware. During 1923-24 nearly $18,500 was expended by the Service Citizens on the parent-teacher associations.
In Virginia, two organizations serve the public schools, the Community League of Virginia and the State parent-teacher association. The community league, with a reported membership in 1924 of 37,107, is financed by State funds, a community fund, the Laura Spelman Foundation, subscribers, the Virginia Tuberculosis Association, the Carnegie Foundation, and local league dues. The budget of the Virginia community leagues for a year is $26,625. Local leagues report that they raised $165,125 during 1924.
SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATIONS AND STUDENT LOAN FUNDS
Loan funds, under several titles, have been promoted by a committee of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, which does not furnish funds but promotes the idea throughout the States, acting as clearing house for information on methods of procedure.
In a number of States student loan funds or scholarship foundations have been the means of keeping children in school who could not be maintained by their parents. Many children are kept in the grammar grades or the high school, and a few are sent to college or teacher training schools. In some organizations the children are required to give a note for the loan; in others no pledge is required, but it is expected that the loan will be paid back as soon as the student begins to earn.
The California paront-teacher associations have conducted this work since 1923. The Kansas City (Mo.) council of parent-teacner associations has established a scholarship foundation which is financed by gifts from circles and by private contributions and by one-fourth of the income of the council.
Twenty-three children were enabled to remain in school during 1924 by the student loan fund of the Louisville (Ky.) Parent-Teacher League. In addition to the scholarships, this organization provided car fare to 38 children. Its budget for the year amounted to upwards of $14,000.
Texas parent-teacher associations have accumulated a student loan fund of $10,000, which is handled entirely by local clubs.
The movement in Oregon for student loan funds was started in 192.3. Tennessee State and local organizations have assisted at least 45 students in the university, State normal schools, high schools, and business colleges.
Michigan parent-teacher associations inaugurated a student loan fund in 1923, which provides mothers with the same amount of money that a girl or boy would earn if taken out of school and put to work. Local organizations raise the funds, and the distribution is made by superintendents of schools, county commissioners, or other county officials.
State organizations of parent-teacher associations in New Jersey Indiana, and Colorado also provide scholarship funds. In Ohio the student loan committee recommends that parent-teacher associations work through the Harmon Foundation for at least a year.
PARENT-TEACHER MOVEMENT IN STATES
Results of an inquiry instituted by the Massachusetts ParentTeacher Association and the Massachusetts State department of education have been made public. It appears that 113 towns, out of 316, reported one or more associations each and a total of 273 associations throughout the State; 140 of them are affiliated with the State and National organizations. Thirty-seven towns reported organizations of somewhat similar character, called mothers' clubs, community clubs, etc. One hundred and twelve union superintendents consider the parent-teacher association a vital factor in promoting closer relationship between the school and the home; 28 replied favorably with qualifications, and 20 superintendents have not found that results have been produced; 82 superintendents depend upon these organizations to support programs for educational improvement.
The State organization of Michigan was effected in 1918, and it stood third in size of membership in 1924, when it was reported that 161 cities and towns and 97 rural communities have 521 associations, with a membership of 40,000.
The Ohio Parent-Teacher organization made a gain of 11,000 members during 1923-24, which gives to Ohio the fourth place in size. This increase is reported to be due to membership drives.
Unprecedented growth is reported in Minnesota, whose membership increased 267 per cent in one year; and in West Virginia, with a reported increase of 255 per cent in the same year. Both of these State organizations came into being in 1923. In 1923-24 Illinois showed a gain of 98 per cent in membership.
Membership of State parent-teacher associations, 1924
1. California 79,808
2. Illinois 64,007
3. Michigan 40,567
4. Ohio 40,027
8. Missouri 34,239
«. Washington 32,158
7. Texas. 30,608
8. New Jersey — 29,114
9. Colorado 25,888
10. Iowa 25,126
11. New York 24,648
12. Pennsylvania 20,150
13. Kansas ". 17,383
14. Indiana 16,427
15. Kentucky 16,000
16. Georgia - 14,184
17. Minnesota 12,551
18. Oregon 11,164
19. Mississippi 10,504
20. Massachusetts 10,397
21. North Carolina 10,108
22. Delaware 9,698
23. Tennessee 7,792
24. Connecticut 7,624
25. Oklahoma 7,617
26. Maryland 6,009
The National Congress of Parents and Teachers employed, during 1923-24, two full-time field secretaries and two part-time workers, whose duties were to train leaders and to extend the work in districts which volunteer workers were unable to reach. This service was furnished in at least nine States. Several State associations, including North Carolina, Texas, Massachusetts, and Virginia, employ field secretaries.
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF PARENT-TEACHER ASSOCIATIONS
Thirty-three standing committees and one "bureau" constitute the machinery through which the National Congress of Parents and Teachers works. The standing committees are in five departments, which are under the general supervision of vice presidents. The committees have come into existence from time to time to meet definite needs. The committees assigned to the department of organization and efficiency include parent-teacher associations in churches, preschool circles, child welfare, child-welfare magazine, literature, membership, and publicity. Six committees function under the department of extension, parent-teacher associations in colleges, in high schools, in grade schools, and study circles.
Committees on children's reading, home economics, home education, social standards, standards of literature, and thrift are grouped under the department of home service; and under the department