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provide an excellent channel through which to distribute any Federal equalization funds made available. This is the second strictly equalization fund established and the fourth State fund created in the last 25 years.
Summary The foregoing data show conclusively that the public school system in Utah is organized and operated at a high rate of efficiency. The educational load is so exceptionally heavy and ability so low that even relatively great effort does not give Utah an adequate educational program. The people have shown their willingness to equalize educational opportunities within the State.
The general property tax burden is heavy and upon this tax Utah relies for 85 percent of its school revenue. Other taxes are levied in Utah but many are so earmarked as to be not available for public school purposes. Federal taxes likewise encroach upon the revenue sources and hamper the full use of certain State tax resources. This is particularly true of the income, franchise, and selective sales or excise taxes.
It should be remembered also that 76 percent of all the land surface in Utah is under control of the United States Government and there is no way of taxing these lands by the State. In one of Utah's very poor school districts, for example, Indian lands have an appraised valuation just about equal to the assessed valuation of the district.
Much of Utah's wealth is owned and controlled by interests outside of the State and is therefore more difficult to reach by State taxation. Federal taxation can be much more effective in this case.
The citizens of Utah are making a great effort to maintain good schools but this effort is not enough to provide the amount and quality of education in Utah which the complex social and economic conditions of today require. To provide the poorer sections of U'tah with adequate educational facilities, to be able to pay adequate salaries to teachers, to meet the increasing demand for an expanding curriculum, Federal aid for education is necessary, Utah is now prepared to put to immediate use on an equalization basis any such funds made available.
For the reasons enumerated and explained above as well as the broad, inderlying principles of greater social and economic development conducive to lessening inequalities in wealth and income and strengthening democracy so admirably brought out in the report of the Advisory Committec on Education and clsewhere, the educational forces of Utah enthusiastically support the Educational Finance Act of 1941 and vigorously urge its passage by the Congress of the United States.
II. NATIONAL DEFENSE ACTIVITIES AND SCHOOL NEEDS
At the present time the principal national-defense activities in Utah are concentrated in Weber, Davis, and Salt Lake Counties. In the Weber-Davis area are located three important projects:
(1) Ogden Air Depot at Hill Field.
(3) Utah General Supply Depot. It has been carefully estimated by persons in close contact with the projects that by 1942 these three depots will require some 5,000 to 7,500 permanent employees in addition to employees secured within the area. While this estimate includes both military and civilian employees, most of them will be civilians.
It is extremely difficult at this time to get satisfactory data concerning the effects of this increase in populatiou upon the three school districts in this area. Many of the employees will be women and many, as at the Ogden Air Depot, will be young men without families. Allowing for these factors it is estimated that there will be at least 3,500 to 4,000 additional public school students for the three schoo districts of Ogden City, Weber County, and Davis County. This will be an increase of 18.5 to 21 percent in the school population of this area. On the basis of the weighted average operating cost per census child of $65.84 in 1939–40 these additional students will mean a combined increase in cost of operations for the three districts of about $230,000 to $263,000 or an increase of 18 to 21 percent.
It is practically impossible to determine at this time just how this increase in school population will be distributed among the three districts.
For this reason it is difficult to make an estimate of the building needs of each district. While each school district can absorb some additional students, the anticipated increase will necessitate either new school buildings or additions to existing buildings. Additional school busses will be needed by both Weber County and Davis County because of the extent to which consolidation exists in both counties. Additional school equipment will be required by all three districts, the cost of which will be substantial. These building and equipment costs will be in addition to the increased operating costs listed above.
Acquiring property for these military depots has also reduced the assessed valuations of the school districts to some extent. In Weber County the decrease so far has amounted to about $500,000 or 3.05 percent. Davis County has likewise suffered some loss. To what extent these reductions in the tax base will be offset by additional private improvements directly and indirectly attributable to the military depots, is difficult to determine. There will at least be some redistribution and the losses may not be offset by gains in each case.
Although Salt Lake City does not come within the area of the above-named military depots, the location of a military reservation here places some additional cost on the school system. While the Thirty-eighth Infantry was stationed at Fort Douglas about 75 to 80 students were transported from the fort to the city schools. With the transfer of the Thirty-eighth Infantry from Fort Douglas and the location here of the Twentieth Bombardment Wing, the number of students from the military reservation has decreased some.
The school problem is not as acute in Salt Lake City as it is in the Weber-Davis area, but the growing importance of this city as an air base in the national-defense system of the United States makes the future very uncertain as to probable effects of this military activity upon the school system. The currently discussed plans to establish a small-arms plant in the Salt Lake area would accentuate already difficult financial problems in the school districts of this region.
The contemplated location of other national-defense projects in central Utah will give rise to school problems there similar to those of the Weber-Davis area.
Maximum tax levies are in force in all of these districts where national-defense activities are being located. In the long run they may or they may not give rise to sufficiently increased assessed valuations to take care of the increased educational load. In the near future budgets of the school districts will be greatly strained to meet the rapidly mounting costs. Very little additional local revenue can be secured which means that educational programs will have to be curtailed. Even if local valuations do rise, regular State funds must be secured from increased State-wide taxation.
It is of paramount importance that Federal aid for schools in these nationaldefense areas be secured as soon as possible.
Source of statistics Sources of the statistics in part I are as follows:
The Advisory Committee on Education, Report of the Committee, Education in the Forty-eight States.
Statistics of State School Systems, 1935–36 and 1937–38, United States Office of Education.
State Comparisons of School Support, Research Division, National Education Association.
Edwards, Newton. Equal Educational Opportunity for Youth.
STATEMENT OF LEVI GILBERT, PRESIDENT, PENNSYLVANIA
STATE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
Mr. GILBERT. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I have been asked to speak about conditions in Pennsylvania. My organization has a membership of 57,106 educational workers.
Much has been said about the wealth of the Northeast. We represent a section of the Northeast, yet financially we are very much distressed so far as schools are concerned.
I present the following facts with reference to the school situation in Pennsylvania as evidence of imperative need for Federal assistance.
Pennsylvania in many respects is the arsenal of the United States. The national-defense program has resulted in abnormal expansion of industrial activity in our Commonwealth and the location of many
defense plants for the manufacture of materials essential to the national defense-gun carriages, ships, tanks, armor plate, munitions, airplanes, and other necessary war materials. Typical 'illustrations include the Brewster Air Craft Co. at Hatboro, an enormous manufacturing plant; the enlargement of the Philadelphia Navy Yard and reconditioning of the Cramp Ship Building Co. at Philadelphia; expansion of the air depots at Middletown and New Cumberland; defense contracts awarded to companies in Berwick, Titusville, Erie, and Pittsburgh: In each instance the new workers in these communities will bring with them children for whom educational facilities do not exist and for whom educational facilities-buildings, equipment, and teachers-must be provided. It is for this reason, and recognizing the importance of public education as a bulwark of true national defense, that we petition the Federal Congress to act speedily in making available to the States and to Pennsylvania particularly, funds which shall guarantee to the children of these defense workers an American standard of education.
The Pennsylvania State Education Association brings to the attention of your committee and Congress additional facts with reference to inequalities of educational opportunity which, if permitted to continue, will ultimately result in a weakened fabric of citizenship. In the main, the character of education which any community provides for its children is balanced between the financial ability of school districts on the one hand and the willingness on the part of the taxpayer to sacrifice for education on the other. There are many districts in Pennsylvania which can provide the most modern facilities of public education with little tax sacrifice. On the other hand there are many areas in Pennsylvania which, because of meager local taxpaying ability and even with the greatest sacrifice on the part of the taxpayer, can provide only bare minimums. May I bring to your attention these facts—2,556 school districts in Pennsylvania, 934 have local taxable wealth of real estate of $50,000 or less per teacher; 865 have local taxable wealth per teacher of between $50,000 and $100,000; 475 have taxable wealth ranging between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000; and the remainder, or 282, have local taxable ability of more than $200,000 per teacher. It should be noted that more than one-third of the school districts in Pennsylvania have a true value of local taxable wealth of less than $50,000. Should the taxpayers in these districts sacrifice for education to the extent of paying a 20-mill tax on real estate (homes and farms) the amount thus raised would equal only $1,000 per teacher. Needless to say that in these school districts the paucity of local tax revenues is directly reflected in the character and type of educational offerings.
May I urge on behalf of the children in these districts, our future American citizens, that the Federal Government act most generously in the enactment of such legislation as will equalize educational opportunity and guarantee to these children a public-school education worthy of our great United States.
Perhaps these inequalities and distress can be brought more clearly before the committee and Congress by bringing to your attention the results of a recent survey made by our association on the situation in 150 distressed school districts-districts which because of economic maladjustments during recent years have lost industries, have had mines shut down, and the wheels of industry idle. Our survey made as of February 15, showed that in 150 of these districts in Pennsylvania 2,404 teachers serving diligently in the public schools daily had heen without pay for periods ranging from month to 7%
3 months. The total amount owing these teachers by local districts where inabililty to pay was due to exhaustion of local tax revenues was $968,952.51. Moreover, the survey further revealed that as of July 1, 1941, the number of such teachers would have been increased to $4,926 and that the total salaries unpaid as of that date would approximate $2,101,169.98.
As president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association I plead with you in behalf of the boys and girls of Pennsylvania, in behalf of the unpaid teachers sacrificing in the classroon in the cause of national defense, that your committee act favorably upon Senate bill 1313 and bring to Pennsylvania as to other States in the Union, the assistance of the Federal Government to make sure that in this emergency the blessings of education shall not be denied to any child in our Nation.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Dr. Gilbert.
Senator Ball. I was not present all of the time, but I am wondering if you can tell me how much is spent for education in Pennsylvania, and how much is raised by the local district and how much by State aid. You have State aid in Pennsylvania?
Dr. GILBERT. Yes, sir. Of course, that varies. I should say the per capita tax in Pennsylvania runs about $90 per child. The amount that the State pays is about 21 percent and the local district pays about 79 percent.
Senator Ball. Do you know how much that amounts to in figures? Do you know how much you spend?
Dr. GILBERT. No, sir. If I were to state it I am afraid that it would be too far off.
However, I did want to make this statement with respect to a question that came up here this morning, and I feel that it should be made.
The Senator from Louisiana has been talking quite a bit about the white-collar jobs. I, too, am of that same opinion. But I see an opportunity in this national defense program to take care of that after the emergency is over. In other words, if we administer from the long term viewpoint and take care of this by making some provision for future vocational education and use the facilities that we have for national defense, it will be a good thing. I don't know whether or not that will be possible; but we ought to think about it.
Senator BALL. How is your set up apportioned in Pennsylvania? Is it designed to be an equalization?
Dr. GILBERT. We have what is called the Edmonds Act-four classes of districts, the first, second, third and fourth. There are 2,556 districts in the State. There are nore fourth-class districts than first-class districts.
The first-class district gets 25 percent on minimum salaries of elementary teachers, which means $250 per teacher.
The second-class districts get $350 per teacher, the third class gets $500 per teacher, and the fourth-class district, depending upon the assessed valuation back of each teacher, gets from 50 percent to 75 percent from the State government.
That does not equalize things, because we have some districts in Pennsylvania where the assessed valuation back of the teacher might
be $2,000,000 while in other districts we have situations where the assessed valuation behind the teacher might be even $20,000.
Senator Ball. In that connection, could not the State of Pennsylvania do considerably more than it is now doing to equalize educational opportunities? You say the State contributes 21 percent and locally it is 79 percent. I think in our State it is about 50-50.
Dr. GILBERT. I think that was the answer that was made here this morning. There might be some States which would be able to help more than they do. But, in the main, a careful study of the whole national situation shows that that is not always true.
Senator Ball. Pennsylvania is not what you call a poor State.
Senator Ball. But the State has one of the largest assessed valuations in the country.
Dr. GILBERT. It is second in wealth and it is second in income.
Senator Ball. You have a pretty fair income, if you want to levy income taxes.
Senator ELLENDER. There is another tax which is the severance tax on your natural resources. I was dumbfounded to discover that Pennsylvania the richest State in the Union in the light of natural resources, such as oil, gas, and coal, does not have a severance tax.
In Louisiana we have such taxes, and we are using most of the revenue from that source to educate our boys and girls. You would be surprised at the vast amount of money that could be raised in your State from that source.
Dr. GILBERT. But you realize, Senator, that we are just school people and not politicians.
Senator ELLENDER. I understand that. But, still, you elect your lawmakers. I know that during a certain period of our history in Louisiana that it was rather difficult to get the representatives to respond to the wishes of the people. Usually they were very liberal in imposing taxes on real estate, but when it became to placing a tax on corporations or on those who produce, from our natural resources, they were not at home and they would not do so.
Senator Ball. Do you have a personal income tax in Pennsylvania? Dr. GILBERT. No, sir. Senator Ball. In our State we bave a State income tax going up to 10 percent on all over $20,000.
Senator ELLENDER. Do you have enough to run your schools properly there?
Senator BALL. They always want more.
Dr. GILBERT. As I understand it, this bill is to equalize educational opportunities throughout the Nation. And that might affect within the States too. I think parts of our State could help parts of Louisiana.
Senator ELLENDER. I did not get that last statement.
Dr. GILBERT. I say that parts of our State could help parts of Louisiana. Some of the wealth from Pennsylvania ought to be willing to go to Louisiana and to other places. And I think this will eventually work out in that way.
Senator ELLENDER. I do know this, that you now get from my State quite a lot of wealth, in that some of your big oil interests and oil companies are located in your State but do the draining on us. And it strikes me that you should make them pay by way of income taxes or in some other way. And you would get a very lucrative amount
in that way.