« AnteriorContinuar »
This bill provides that a portion of this money can be expended for the purpose of building schools. I am trying to say that by developing a wise program of building schools in this country we can, in my opinion, do more for the improvement of education as a whole than by any other one thing that can be done through the expenditure of Federal funds.
So I should like to approve in the heartiest manner possible the provision in this bill having to do with the possible use of Federal funds for schoolhouse construction, as well as for other purposes.
Finally, I would like to end with the same comment that the previous speaker did; that has to do with the availability of 1 percent of this possible appropriation for studies on the part of the United States Office of Education.
As a member of President Roosevelt's Advisory Committee on Education, because of the experience that I happened to have as United States Commissioner of Education, I felt that it was particularly desirable that we should have an opportunity really to make some extensive studies in the field of education out of Federal funds.
May I again draw a parallel? It was about the year 1890 when people began for the first time to make extensive studies in the field of education; and it was about the same year that we began to spend a good deal of money on research for agriculture.
We have spent millions of dollars of Federal funds in developing agricultural production in this country. There was a time when there wasn't anything in the nature really of agricultural knowledge. It was in the same state as knowledge relative to education. Everything in agriculture was largely opinion. But today, as a result of that extended research program carried on by the Department of Agriculture, we have to a very considerable extent solved our problems of agricultural production. There are many others in the field of distribution and other places; but we no longer have the same problems in production that we used to have.
In the meantime, over here is the United States Office of Education, which has had but a mere pittance of money for investigations in the field of education as compared with investigations in the field of agriculture. In other words, we have been denied through Federal funds the opportunity to carry on these extended studies and research relative to human beings and their development while we seem to have had a great deal of money for the purposes of carrying on researches and studies that had to do with everything else on the farm except the individuals who were going to run it.
So I appeal to you to make available through this bill whatever funds can be set aside for the United States Office of Education to carry on these studies in order that we may continue to solve our problems as a result of knowledge rather than as a result of mere opinion.
I think, Mr. Chairman, that is all I have to say, unless there are some questions.
The CHAIRMAN. In connection with your last statement, Doctor, comparing the educational research with the agricultural research, could research in regard to agriculture have gone on in the way in which it has gone on in this country in the last 40 or 50 years
without Federal aid to the land-grant institutions, which has probably fur
nished both the training for the men and the laboratory equipment and even the real incentive for the work which the Department of Agriculture has directed?
Dr. Zook. That is very true, Mr. Chairman. Perhaps you will remember that when the agricultural experiment stations were first established quite a number of them were not established in connection with the agricultural colleges. Today, so far as I know, in every State in the Union those agricultural experiment stations have been brought into close relationship with the resident teaching program and with the extension program of those same agricultural colleges. So the answer has been given to us as a result of developments over the years.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any regret or is there any regretful criticism from one end of our country to the other that has come about as a result of the Federal Government's going into the agricultural experiment work that you know about?
Dr. Zook. I have never heard any which I regarded as being of any considerable importance. I would say that there has arisen from time to time some difference of opinion between the Federal authorities, on the one hand, and the States on the other. But without having more than a few instances of close opportunity for observation, I would say that they have always been able to iron out those difficulties with a minimum of friction, and to the satisfaction of the State authorities, which I would understand to mean that the States feel as if they are preserving their liberties and responsibilities.
I think there is one thing that I might add to that. In these more recent years it has been discovered, so I understand, that occasionally several States would be working upon the same problem in agriculture, and obviously the expenditure of money was going to be duplicated. In those instances the Department of Agriculture has exercised the right of bringing in the people concerned and trying to help them figure out an economical method of dealing with those situations. In some instances, as I understand it, they created regional experiment stations for certain problems. So with this exception all stations at the present time feel at liberty to turn their attention to anything they want to. It seems to me that is just good common sense.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Dr. Zook.
It is now 4:20, and there are several names on this list of gentlemen from out the city. I would like to know the pleasure of these gentlemen before we proceed. I want to be fair to them as to the time and also as to their convenience. If they have to return home tonight I will remain a little longer.
STATEMENT OF A. L. CRABLE, STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF
PUBLIC INSTRUCTION OF OKLAHOMA
Mr. CRABLE. Mr. Chairman, at present I am State superintendent of public instruction of Oklahoma.
This statement was prepared jointly by a committee that was appointed by the Oklahoma Education Association, of which C. M. Howell is secretary.
I desire respectfully to submit the following statement on the needs of the State of Oklahoma for Federal and for public education within the categories set forth in bill S. 1313 by Senator Thomas.
The needs of the State of Oklahoma for Federal aid for education can be understood in terms of the tragic role played by the State in the Great Plains disaster of the early and middle thirties. The State has not been able to achieve social and economic stability since the Dust Bowl episodes. The dust Bowl areas have approached stability on the basis of a farm population reduced about a third. The State has lost population. On the other hand, one mountain county has increased 32 percent, another 29 percent. Eight of ten hill counties have gained about 20 percent. Increase of population in such areas is not a healthy increase.
About one and a half million of Oklahoma's two and one-third million peopie are rural. The status of rural Oklahoma is typically that of the Appalachian-Ozark dwellers, or of the southern cotton region where farmers have one-eighth of the Nation's children and one-fiftieth of the Nation's income. Our production pattern is still geared to waste and depletion of natural resources. Ad valorem valuations have decreased 42 percent in 10 years. Much of this represents actual dissipation of wealth. As population concentrates in areas nearly devoid of wealth the problem of school support grows increasingly acute. The State is now aiding local schools to the extent of 1374 millions per annum, of which 11% millions is directly appropriated from general revenue. Over three-fourths of this money goes to rural schools because of their greater poverty.
The State taxes itself heavily. Only 11 States divert a greater proportion of private income into tax channels. Many taxes are levied. New taxes have predominantly been regressive.
The average salary of all teachers, supervisors, and principals—1937– 38-in Oklahoma was $1,027, while for the United States it was $1,374. In Oklahoma 65.1 percent of total school expenditures is devoted to salaries of teachers, while for the United States it is less than 60 percent. Oklahoma furnishes $20.50 from State sources for each pupil attending public school. Only 15 States in the Union furnish more. This is over 40 percent of the total cost of schools. From these figures it is shown that the State has attempted to provide a minimum of school privileges for all of its students.
(a) Need for reduction of inequalities: The minimum program provided in Oklahoma is almost exactly $1,000 per teacher for salary and all other purposes except transportation of pupils. This minimum obtains in about 11,000 of our 20,000 classrooms. Here teachers get $600 to $700 per annum; superintendents and principals are modestly paid; rooms are bare of equipment and books. Our 'minimum program alone should be augmented five to six million dollars.
(6) Negro salaries in the minimum program are set by law to equal salaries of white teachers. A proper general adjustment of inequalities would therefore maintain this item on an equitable basis. However, in recent years it has been possible for Negro schools to have only one-third their fair share of new buildings. The need for resources for building Negro schools is acute.
(c) Facilities in defense areas and for Federal employees on Government reservations. Three large communities, Tulsa, Oklahoma City
ton will be conspicuous in need for emergency school r'ontain 16 percent of the State's population. Initions of population due to defense activity in nities might add enough to involve some 20 percent of the population. Several hundred school children have been added to Lawton. The additions at Oklahoma City and Tulsa should soon be quite large.
(d) Migratory workers: A family whose shelter represents a cash outlay of $5 to $10 plus some casual collection and fabrication of tin, tar paper, and sawmill slab is essentially a migratory family whether or not it has ever migrated. Oklahoma has thousands of such families. Our actual migrants return. Perhaps they should be encouraged to do so. There is much intrastate migration. The migrant class or type constitute a formidable part of Oklahoma's population. The migrant's common name is "Okie.” Oklahoma must receive major consideration in any national program for providing educational facilities for migrant children.
If I might be permitted to make one statement, I would simply like to say this: That our people in Oklahoma are favorable to our educational program, and I think they have done all they can to support education during the depression years. When we were in the depression, not a single district in the State of Oklahoma failed to vote the excess levy that they should vote to qualify for State aid in the various districts for the support of education,
I think that is the best evidence that I can give that our people generally are for education.
And through committees, of which this report is partially representative, they have shown that they are heartily supporting this bill.
Our people, our administrators, and even school boards, and our State organization have studied the bill carefully since we were able to get a copy of it, and I would say that our people are for the bill as it is. We respectfully urge that it be passed.
The CHAIRMAN. Dr. M. D. Collins?
STATEMENT OF DR. M. D. COLLINS, STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF
SCHOOLS OF GEORGIA
Mr. Collins. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I am heartily in sympathy with this bill S. 1313. I think it is definitely the responsibility of the Federal Government to endeavor to equalize educational opportunities of the children of the whole country.
In 1934 in Georgia we took $1,600,000 of W. P. A. funds. Technically our teachers qualified and received that proportion of money from the Federal Government.
Equal educational opportunities is sound. In our State we endeavor to equulize opportunities of children. However, our educational fund is not large enough to do so. We levy a 1-cent tax on every purchased gallon of kerosene and gasoline, which goes into our State equalization fund. Last year it amounted to $3,841,000.
I think we ought to equalize educational opportunities within the State and within the Nation. Our people have gone this far. More than 1,290 school districts have levied local taxes on themselves, not the other fellow, but upon themselves in order to lengthen the school term and to supplement the salaries of teachers. In our State we levy 5 mills county-wide taxes for school purposes, which is our constitutional limit.
Before the school system participates in the $3,841,000 equalization fund it must levy the maximum limit of county-wide taxes. This year our State is doing more for education than ever before in its history, notwithstanding the fact that our budget is only $15,434,400.
To equalize the educational opportunities so far as teachers' salaries are concerned, we should receive from the Federal Government $12,678,120.
Of course, that is only one feature of equalization--taking care of teachers' salaries, that is, elementary teachers with high-school teachers.
Senator ELLENDER. Is it for the equalization of salaries of the teachers in your State that it would require $12,000,000?
Mr. COLLINS. That is right.
Today, Dr. Dawson and other distinguished gentlemen have gone at some length into strong professional testimony. I know that you are interested in education, and I know that you believe that everybody is concerned; and we have to pay the expense for the training of our boys and girls either at the schoolhouse or at the courthouse, And I would rather pay at the school building. And we have to lose them or use them. And I am in favor of using them, in training them along vocational lines as well as the other lines which you suggested this morning
I am heartily in favor of Senate bill 1313. I think it is decidedly the finest bill that has ever been introduced into Congress. I sin
I cerely hope that it will be translated into realities, so that our children in the poorer States may have a larger educational opportunity, because it makes a tremendous difference in the kind of educational program that we have in Georgia, that we have in California, that we have in Utah, or that we have in Massachusetts, because a great many of our folk going to school there will go to the other places later, and the better trained they are the better assets they are. They will be either assets or liabilities. That is why I think it is fundamentally sound to make available Federal funds to equalize education.
The CHAIRMAN. Dr. Parrett?
STATEMENT OF J. EASTON PARRATT, PRESIDENT, UTAH
EDUCATION ASSOCIATION The CHAIRMAN. Doctor, will you please state your full name, address, and title?
Mr. PARRATT. My name is J. Easton Parratt. I am president of the Utah Education Association and a State director of school finance and research under the Utah State Board of Education.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I will make my remarks very brief.
I represent the Utah Education Association and State Department of Education, including State Superintendent Charles H. Skidmore, all of whom heartily support Senate bill 1313. The statement which I have prepared in writing sets forth the Utah situation much more in detail than I will present it in this brief oral report.
The people of Utah have always been strong believers in education. From the time the pioneers first moved into Utah the people worked toward building a strong organization for education. We have shown leadership in consolidation. We have taken the lead in other administrative improvements. We are happy that our own Senator Thomas