« AnteriorContinuar »
W. P. A., for instance. You have in some of the States in the country situations where labor is getting $65 to $90 per month, and down South they are getting $19 or $20 for the same service. So the Federal Government should not be taking issue on that proposition.
Dr. ALEXANDER. I am not speaking as a representative of the Federal Government, sir.
Senator ELLENDER. That may be, but I contend that it is not right, it is not fair for that position to be taken.
Dr. ALEXANDER. Well, the figures speak for themselves. As I say, there are historic causes and reasons for these things, and I think the people of the Southern States are struggling to do the best they can under the situation.
Senator ELLENDER. There is no doubt about that. The South has been penalized in freight rates and everything else. We have been producing the raw products and sending them to the North and the North has been making the money out of them. We simply have been slaves to the entire country. I mean not only the colored people, but the white people as well.
Dr. ALEXANDER. I would like to put into the record one other set of figures, if I may.
The expenditure per Negro child for education in Alabama is $14.05 a year, while the expenditure for a white child is $44.41 a year.
The expenditure in Arkansas is $13.55 for a Negro child, and $37.24 for a white child.
In Florida it is $27.68 for a Negro child, and $71.20 for a white child.
In Mississippi it is $6.67 for a Negro child, and $47.28 for a white child.
In South Carolina it is $12.99 per Negro child, and $54.53 per white child.
The CHAIRMAN. Even with those figures, Doctor, take the State of Mississippi, for example, every white child in Mississippi does not have that much money spent on it.
Dr. ALEXANDER. No.
Dr. ALEXANDER. The discrepancy between the opportunities of the city children in Georgia and the white children in certain rural sections of Georgia is just as great as this.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, we have got to have some kind of an all-embracing unit in order to equalize the opportunities for American citizens, wherever they live. That will have to come slowly, but that ought to be an objective, ought it not?
Dr. ALEXANDER. I do not think that there is any other way out of it. If you want to speak in terms of national defense, here is a type of expenditure for national defense that, in my opinion, is as important in the long run as anything we can do. I do not know whether you know it or not, but certain of those Southern States have had the largest voluntary recruitment to the Army of any of the States in the Union. Macon, Ga., I think, led, in relation to the population
I mean, there was nothing else for boys to do except to go into the Army.
The CHAIRMAN. Doctor, if you are embarrassed about talking about the South, you can switch to Utah, if you want to.
sort of criticism, the same sort of inequalities, the same sort of practically everything you mentioned is there. When it comes to the black, I think a Negro would have an awfully hard job getting a job in the Utah school system.
Dr. ALEXANDER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. So that we must be all the time, as Senator Ellender has pointed out, and as you have, always working that problem out. I have watched you work for the last 6 or 7 years, and I am sympathetic
social aims. If we can, out of some one bill, get a key to overcoming what have been great injustices due, let us say, to freight rates, absentee-landlord control, the inequality of citizen opportunity or the matching proposition between States which actually deprives certain States and certain persons of certain States of rights which the neighboring State gives those persons, if we can reorient ourselves in that direction we should do it.
I wonder how long the people of this country would stand for it if it were suggested that the boy drafted into the Army shall be paid $15 a month if he comes from Georgia because that is the average scale, or something, and $90 a month if he comes from New York?
Now you see we are not crude in some things, so that the problem can be solved. Do you see what I mean?
Dr. ALEXANDER. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. When it comes to paying a private in the United States Army, the colored man does get as much as the other man.
Dr. ALEXANDER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. We are not entirely pioneering in our efforts toward some kind of social equality, but, as you stated and as we all know, the pioneering is rather rough going all the time. I think Senator Ellender knows that better than anybody else.
Senator ELLENDER. It has been rough ever since I have known it. It has never been easy.
The CHAIRMAN. Doctor, if you come to a pause, it would be a good time to recess.
Dr. ALEXANDER. I have nothing else, sir, unless you want to ask questions.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not want to cut you off, but we have to be on the floor this morning, and we will invite you to come back.
Thank you for the inspiration that you have given us.
Dr. ALEXANDER. The only other thing I would have said is something that I think you already have, and that is the question of the migrants. I think the Tolan committee report contains everything that I have to offer, but it is an important subject and has an important bearing on this question.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
(Whereupon, at 11:50 a. m. a recess was taken until 2 p. m. of the same day.)
AFTERNOON SESSION (The hearing was resumed at 2 p. m.) The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be in order. I will read a part of a telegram from Mr. Jose M. Gallardo, commissioner of education of Puerto Rico:
Puerto Rico needs Federal aid to offer equal educational opportunity to all. Of 650,000 of school age only 280,000 in school. After exhausting possible resources can afford only $11 per child of school age. Passage of S. B. 1313 only hope of relief.
(The telegram referred to above is printed on p. 394:) The CHAIRMAN. Congressman John J. Sparkman from the State of Alabama.
STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN J. SPARKMAN, CONGRESSMAN FROM
THE STATE OF ALABAMA
The CHAIRMAN. Congressman, will you make what introductory statement you want to about yourself, and then proceed as you see fit?
Mr. SPARKMAN. Mr. Chairman, it is my understanding that I was asked to appear before this committee as a substitute for the Honorable John H. Tolan of California, who is chairman of the special House committee which has been investigating interstate migration.
Mr. Tolan was unable to appear and asked me to bring to you some of the findings of our committee which should be of interest to this committee in considering the matter of Federal aid to education.
In the last 20 years there has been a decided change in the character of migration in America. Since the development of the automobile and automobile travel the unit in migration has become, to a large extent, the family. Previous to that time the unit was the individualusually the unattached male. This change has brought about new problems in the field of education and I wish to touch on two of these problems especially.
The first of these problems has to do with the effect of the impact of large numbers of migrant children on the educational systems of their States of destination.
The second has to do with the necessity for proper education, includino technical and trade education, in those sections of the country from which the largest number of migrants have come in the last 2 decades.
In the report of this committee which was submitted to Congress on April 3, 1941, the committee stated as follows:
Throughout the country the committee has been impressed with the extent to which expert witnesses and the migrants themselves have indicated the need for greatly increased vocational training and guidance as part of the secondary education of young people in both industrial and agricultural areas.
Later in the report the committee stated that the "appropriate standing committees of the House continue to devote attention to the problems of soil improvement, farm prices, new markets, vocational training *" The committee made no specific recommendations as to the method of handling the problem of vocational training and guidance, because that, we felt, came within the province of the regular legislative committees.
In regard to the problem of the education of the migrant child we had many recommendations made to our committee. In the Montgomery hearing John E. Bryan, State administrator of the National Youth Administration, said:
Educational facilities, including libraries, available to southeastern farm youth must be enlarged. This improvement can be accomplished only by means of
financial assistance from the Federal Government. Such assistance may be partly met by an expansion of the National Youth Administration student work program, but it should also be approached from the viewpoint of expanding the general educational budgets of the affected areas, through Federal grants, since the Federal Government is the only agency that has the power and ability to tax the wealth of the entire Nation for the benefit of the children of the entire Nation.
In the Washington hearings held in December, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins testified as follows:
Then with regard to education, I think we cannot, in this country endure a situation where we do not have adequate school facilities for all of our children whether their families find it necessary to move around as migrants, or whether they are settled in a high-standard community.
We cannot bear this unfairness of opportunity offered to young children. So I think we have to look forward to State and Federal aid, when necessary, in order to secure equal educational advantages and opportunity.
In the California hearings held in San Francisco and Los Angeles we had a large number of witnesses who testified as to the effect upon the schools of the large number of children of migrants moving into the State in the last 10 years. I make reference to the testimony of Mrs. Walter A. Knapp, who represented the California Congress of Patents and Teachers. In her statement she said:
The State chairman conducted a general survey. Twelve counties responded to the over 300 questionnaires sent out, but no county returned a complete report. The following is a compilation of some of the items on these reports representing approximately 400 camps.
Seven thousand one hundred and sixty families were reported with 22,257 children, 18,879 of whom are in school; 1,602 of these children worked in the fields after school hours.
Two thousand nine hundred and fifty-five families lived in tents, 1,026 in 1room cabins, 789 in 2-room cabins, and 259 families lived in 3 or more rooms.
Twenty-six were reported as having electricity, 30 having running water. All Federal camps and most growers' camps have some showers.
Only five camps were reported to have Sunday school, church, and library services available. Only three had adult-education classes.
Motion pictures were taken of two Federal camps, three growers' camps, two squatter's camps, five shanty towns, and one emergency school.
From July 1936 to June 1937, Dr. Anita Laverman of the State department of health made a study of 1,000 children of migratory agricultural laborers in California. A comparable survey was made on 1,000 resident children in rural centers. The following are a few conclusions briefly stated:
Migratory American children, 85 percent of whom have been in the State less than 3 years, were found to have medical and hygienic defects in 23 percent more cases than resident American children examined in the rural areas of California during the same year. Furthermore, facilities for the correction of medical defects in these children through private medical care or county hospitals is limited to a very small number of them.
I should be glad for the committee to read all of Mrs. Knapp's statement and testimony which appears in Part 6 of our hearings on pages 2432 to 2457, inclusive, and which deals largely with the probsem as it has developed in the Pacific coast area. Many other witnesses from the Pacific coast States touched on this subject and all of them agreed that in those areas where a large amount of migrant labor is acquired in the harvesting of their seasonal crops, the schools face a very seasonable problem of overcrowding and a lack of teaching staff. The fact that the migrant children are seldom in school for an entire session but move from place to place adds to the seriousness of the problem there. In one county, Madera County, in southern California, they have used the system of mobile schools to pretty good effect. This is described by Dr. Lee Alexander Stone of that county in his article on page 3052 of the Los Angeles hearings as follows:
Education.—The school population of Madera County has increased by leaps and bounds in recent years. Every school in Madera, Chowchilla, and in all sections west and northwest of Madera has been hard put to properly care for the increased load of attendance that has been put upon them by migrants. Elementary and high schools have been compelled to add new buildings or extra rooms to their schools to take care of the increased load.
School facilities are now adequate to handle all migrant children, with the exception of the city of Chowchilla which needs for the present load eight additional schoolrooms. A recently passed school bond issue of $70,000 will take care of this bad situation.
Overcrowding at first did affect in many places in the county the efficiency of teaching. Today this has been overcome by new additions to present school buildings.
Madera County has 7 migratory schools employing 11 teachers. In all instances these schools are of modern construction.
There never has been any discrimination against migrant children. All attendants in the schools are treated alike. No favoritism is ever shown one pupil over another.
No discrimination against migrant adults ever has been shown. The honorable hard-working migrant receives respect at the hands of every good citizen of the community.
Mr. Chairman, if I may digress there, I want to say I set this out in order to show how the State of California has attempetd to meet the problem, and the result of our studies is to the effect that California is the only State that has made any appreciable headway against this tremendous problem.
These conditions pertaining to the migratory schools pertain only to the State of California.
Mr. Varden Fuller of the United States Bureau of Agricultural Economics at Berkeley, Calif., in his statement before the committee, included the following:
Only this last-mentioned factor can be directly associated with recent migration.
As a result of additional capital outlay for schools necessitated by migration, owners of agricultural land in the Linda and Ella school districts have had to carry an added burden in the form of a higher tax rate unaccompanied by any manifest benefits. On the other hand, the migrants who have settled in these areas have themselves become substantial taxpayers, not only in the form of sales taxes, but also by virtue of their ownership of land purchased at excessive prices in the subdivided districts south of Marysville.
In conclusion, local government costs in Yuba County have increased sharply in recent years due primarily to a return to normal spending following a business depression and to the acceptance of certain new responsibilities by all levels of government.
In many cases, distressed migrants, as victims of the business depression, have temporarily become objects of public assistance but in no case can they be said to have caused a serious problem in local government finance because (a) they are themselves important contributors of State and local taxes, and (b) all welfare activities, with the important exception of the county hospital, are financed largely by the State and Federal Governments.
Mr. Frederick Arpke, also of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics at Berkeley, said in respect to a question by a member of our committee:
As far as education is concerned in the State as a whole, the increase in the cost of education has not been phenomenal. I have indicated in this paper that the increase on a per pupil basis, for example, rather than on an average daily attendance basis, has for elementary schools been only $1 per elementary pupil. As far as high schools, there has been a substantial decrease per pupil.
Mr. CURTIS. There have been other things that have caused the increase in tax costs for education, besides, of course, the addition of students, due to the coming of the migrants?