Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Mr. ROBNETT. I do not intendit to be. I was reading an editoriallast night in the paper coming out here where some woman in Virginia had just examined a history book and had found three-hundred-and-fortysome-odd errors of fact in it. Dr. Cowling, whom I consider one of the best informed educators in the country and who, as I mentioned, was the first president of the American Council on Education and past president of the Association of College Presidents, I believe, used that statement in his talk, and I was quoting from him when I used the term, the one you just used. So my error, if I am in error, is based upon very good authority, that is, very good educational authority, under the auspices, at least, of good education authority.

The CHAIRMAN. That is all. Thank you.
Is Mr. Marsh present? Mr. Marsh is not here.
Mr. J. S. Vandiver.

STATEMENT OF J. S. VANDIVER, STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF

SCHOOLS OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

We are

The CHAIRMAN. The statement has been made that there are three types of educational systems, the Chinese, Negro, and the white in Mississippi. I would like you to comment just a paragraph on the Chinese case, and how general it is.

Mr. VANDIVER. Thank you, Senator Thomas.

My name is J. S. Vandiver, State Superintendent of Education of Mississippi. I would like to say just a word. Of course, Senator Harrison, as we know, is not able to be here today. He has had to do with the Federal aid bills for the past several years, introducing, I believe, three in his name, and he is co-author of this bill with Senator Thomas. Of course, we regret that he is not here. from Mississippi, and Mississippi has been used quite a number of times today in the testimony, and yesterday.

We have to do much with little in Mississippi. Our average per child is only $28.19, while the national average is $83.87, which is just a little bit more than one-third of the national average.

Now I would like to say to the committee that you might think that Mississippi is not doing her full effort, making a full effort for the support of education, but all the national studies I think will show that Mississippi is near the top in effort, and that during the past 5 years, since I have had the honor of being State superintendent, a little more than 5 years, the State appropriation for public schools has been increased from $3,600,000 a year to $6,000,000, a 66% percent increase out of State funds, and that the local taxes both in the districts and counties have been considerably increased for the support of education in Mississippi.

Senator ELLENDER. What is the highest rate in taxes in the counties, Mr. Vandiver, do you know?

Mr. VANDIVER. We have 10 mills county-wide, and 10 mills district for maintenance purposes. That does not include anything for buildings or equipment, or anything of that kind. It is 20 mills.

Senator ELLENDER. 20 mills?

Mr. VANDIVER. 20 mills. We have that in a good many of our schools.

Senator ELLENDER. Besides that you have a State tax?

Mr. VANDIVER. We have the State tax, yes,

sir. Senator ELLENDER. What does that amount to, do you

know? Mr. VANDIVER. $6,000,000 a year. It comes out of the State appropriation.

Senator ELLENDER. There is no special millage?

Mr. VANDIVER. There is no special millage, no, sir. I merely referred to show that the people of Mississippi appreciate their children and are making close to the maximum effort. I do not want to say the maximum effort, because I think we can even make a greater effort, but only a few dollars more per child can be added by State funds to the $28.19.

I would like to say this word also, that we in Mississippi are trying to get the most out of what we have to do with. We have, during the past few years, been stressing a great deal the work in our public schools with reference to public health, in reference to conservation of land, forests, in reference to all kinds of club work, the 4-H, the Future Farmers, and things of that kind. We are an agricultural State. Our largest city is only about 80,000 now, and that is Jackson. are an agricultural State of not more than 2,100,000 people.

We are striving to get the most possible out of the money that we have. All of our people have liberally supported it. Now we cannot hope for an adequate system from State funds. I do not believe any educator or anyone who understands economics could say that Mississippi could support an adequate educational system out of State funds. Why, I would like to say to the committee, we cannot hope to get one-half the national average for the support of our schools in the State of Mississippi, not one-half the national average out of State effort. Therefore we must look to the Federal Government.

We are asking for Federal funds, Federal aid, without Federal control. We believe that this is possible, and we believe that this can be maintained for the operation of our public-school system, to the good of all, in the development of the citizens in this great democracy that we have.

With special reference to the situation in Greenville, Miss., I believe that proposition was only just referred to. I am not familiar with that case, having just heard that, but I know that we have segregation in our schools, and we certainly will want to maintain that.

The CHAIRMAN. How many Chinese have you there, Mr. Vandiver?

Mr. VANDIVER. Very few. They have one Chinese school over in that section, I think.

The CHAIRMAN. Just one Chinese school?
Mr. VANDIVER. I think there is one Chinese school, yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. I wondered if the Chinese problem was very great down in Mississippi.

Mr. VANDIVER. No; we have very few. We have one Chinese school, I think it is over in that area in the Delta, yes sir.

I want to say to the members of the committee that we from Mississippi say, "Come down to Macedonia and help us,” because we certainly must look to the Federal Government for greater financial support. Whatever we get we promise to use equitably and fairly in the building of our school system.

Senator ELLENDER. Are there many of your schools taking advantage of the Smith-Hughes Act?

Mr. VANDIVER. Yes, sir.

[ocr errors]

Senator ELLENDER. And other Federal Aid Acts?
Mr. VANDIVER. Yes, sir.
Senator ELLENDER. To what extent?

Mr. VANDJVER. We have, I do not remember the exact number, but quite a great number of those, especially Smith-Hughes. We do not have many large cities. We bave quite a number, though, getting benefit on distributive education also.

Senator ELLENDER. To what extent has the Federal Government tried to exercise its domination over those schools?

Mr. VANDJVER. Well, I would say we find that our educational program in Mississippi is very popular, and that while we have suggestions from the Federal Office, they are not objectionable in the administration of the school system.

Senator ELLENDER. They do not try to interfere with you?
Mr. VANDIVER. No, sir.

The local boards really have the control, and all that part of it. Of course, the funds are supplied. _We do not find that objectionable. We would like quite well to have Federal aid for general education to be administered under a similar system, because there is not anything there that is objectionable that I know of, and I am the chief executive officer of that board. Of course, we have to keep reports and have audits, and all that, but we do not object to that.

Now I would like to submit a memorandum.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
(The memorandum referred to is as follows:)

a

MEMORANDUM BY J. S. VANDIVER

a

[ocr errors]

The cost of education in the United States is $2,419,968,408. The current expenses per A. D. A. varies from $147.65 in New York to $28.19 in Mississippi (Session 1937-38), with a National average of $83.87.

We realize that Mississippi, with a mild climate and a good system of highways which makes consolidation of schools desirable and practical, can operate the schools for less per capita than can many other States.

It is a fact too that in the operation of the Mississippi schools we have had very fine and businesslike management. It has been necessary “to do much with little.” However, we believe all will concede that even with our advantages, if we are to maintain the same quality of school work as is maintained in other parts of the United States, the South will need funds equal to at least three-fourths of the National average of expenditures per pupil. Mississippi is near to the top among the States in her effort to provide schools for her children. Because of lack of resources our State finds it possible to increase by only a few dollars the present per capita expenditures of $28.19. We think that Mississippi can and should provide a few more dollars per child. As I stated in my address during the M. E. A. convention, “We believe that it is impossible to maintain our present standards of instructional proficiency on salaries paid a majority of our white teachers at the present time—$10.23 per week for 52 weeks a year. Industry realizes and appreciates the fact that such a standard of wages would be entirely inadequate for its workers who are required to be only high school graduates. Consequently, no industry in the State, so far as I know, pays its employees for a year's work as little as is paid to a majority of our white teachers in Mississippi. We believe that a substantial increase should be provided. We should like to emphasize the need for increased support for vocational education, also for junior and senior colleges in approximately the same ratio as for common schools. There should certainly be made a proportionate increase for the support of our Negro schools.'

It is evident, therefore, that Mississippi and other Southern States where a large percentage of the population has a small income must look to the National Government for Federal aid for schools.

MISSISSIPPI IS DOING MORE FOR NEGRO EDUCATION

The last legislature provided both white and colored schools with free textbooks. The Mississippi Training School in Jackson (for Negroes) was established. Steps are now under way for establishing junior colleges in the Delta section for Negroes. Agricultural high schools for Negroes have been established in several parts of Mississippi and are operating successfully. Plans are being made to establish more of these in other counties. In the adult-education program the Negro has fared extremely well. Vocational schools have been provided in a great many of the Negro high schools of the State. In a large number of the counties a county-wide 1-mill levy has been made by the board of supervisors, a large part of which is used for improving Negro school buildings.

Ďr. F. J. Underwood, State director of public health in Mississippi, gives the following statement:

“Fifty-five of the 58 Negro physicians practicing in Mississippi have had the benefit of a postgraduate course in pediatrics and obstetrics given under the auspices of the Mississippi State Board of Health. Approximately 80 percent of all of the Federal and State money expended on the venereal disease control program in Mississippi is spent for the control of these diseases among the Negroes. Negro women in the State have the benefit of at least 75 percent of all Federal and State funds expended on prenatal care, clinics, etc. Negroes have the benefit of more than 60 percent of all immunization and vaccination services given by the State and local health departments. All of our midwives in Mississippi are Negro women. The State board of health midwife training program is most outstanding for the 3,000 midwives in the State. The Federal Children's Bureau and the health departments of other States and countries have complimented our State board of health on its work in this field of health education.

“That we have made great progress in health work among the Negroes in Mississippi is shown by the following vital statistics record: Tuberculosis deaths among negroes have decreased more than 50 percent since 1920; smallpox, 100 percent; typhoid, 80 percent; malaria, 60 percent; diphtheria, 30 percent."

FEDERAL AID A NECESSITY

Mississippi, even with the maximum effort out of State funds, can never hope to reach 50 percent of the present National average for schools--without phenomenal discovery or development. Therefore, if we are to have equalization of educational opportunities, we must look to the National Government for financial aid, without Federal control, for our schools.

How can the Southeastern group of States ever hope to have anything like a good system for all the children unless the Federal Government helps solve this problem? I quote from the Advisory Committee on Education, "The Federal Government and Education,” page 10, “In the Southeastern region, the farm group had the care of approximately 4,250,000 children age 5 to 17, with only 2 percent of the national income. At the other extreme, the nonfarm population of the Northeast, with approximately 8,500,000 children age 5 to 17, had 42 percent of the national income, 21 times as much income available with which to educate only 2 times as many children." Quoting again with reference to farm people, “In 1930 the farm population was responsible for the care and education of 31 percent of the Nation's children, but the farmers received only 9 percent of the national income.

If the Thomas-Harrison bill, S. 1313, should become a law and $300,000,000 be appropriated annually for schools, then every State could on a State-wide basis reach an average of from $60 to $70 per child. Every poor school district in any State regardless of how high the State-wide average might be could be brought up to this level, and there are a great number of poor districts in many of the States. Then quoting again from the same bulletin on page 7, “In many States the variation in expenditures between rich and poor districts on a classroom basis is about 6 to 1.

Leading educators in Mississippi will continue to press their efforts before Congress to secure Federal funds in order to provide more adequate educational opportunities for both races.

The CHAIRMAN. Did Mr. Marsh come in? (No response.)

The Chairman. Mr. Wells from Georgia. We called your name this morning, Mr. Wells. Mr. WELLS. I am sorry I was not here, Senator.

317387-414--17

STATEMENT OF JERE A. WELLS, SUPERINTENDENT OF FULTON

COUNTY SCHOOLS, FULTON COUNTY, GA.

Mr. WELLS. My testimony will be very brief.
The CHAIRMAN. Your name and your title, Mr. Wells?
Mr. WELLS. It is on this statement which I will submit.

In addition to this statement, Senator, I would like to state that our Senators and Congressmen from Georgia have always pioneered in the field of Federal aid for education, vocational education. I believe it was the Smith-Hughes bill, the first for Federal aid for vocational education, that came from Congressmen and Senators from Georgia.

It shows the interest of our Georgia delegation in Federal aid. I am satisfied the entire delegation at present is very much interested in Federal aid for the public schools.

I do not suppose it is necessary to take the time to read the statement with reference to the Fulton County School System.

I will just leave it with your secretary.

I am the superintendent of a county school system in Georgia. I have served for 16 years in this capacity and have had some practical experience in regard to equal educational advantages in rural schools and urban schools, and this statement covers the experiences I have had.

Thank you.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Wells. Your statement may go in the record.

(The mernorandum referred to is as follows:)

MEMORANDUM OF JERE A. WELLS For 16 years we have endeavored to equalize education in the Fulton County school system. This system is both rural and suburban. We find the economic status of the rural section, as a rule, to be much lower than that of the urban or suburban section. The lack of advantages and opportunities, other than educational, caused by this economic condition places a greater responsibility on the rural school teacher. Therefore, we endeavor to employ as well prepared teachers for the rural areas as those of the suburban areas.

For the rural teacher to properly help the rural children, it is necessary for us to get the rural children together in large units. This of course calls for transportation expense. The transportation item should not be overlooked in the cost per pupil for education of rural children. The average annual cost per pupil for transportation ranges from $15 to $20.

To offer equal vocational training as well as other types of training to the rural youth, we find it more expensive per pupil to properly equip a small high school than that of the larger schools. When consolidation in rural areas has been perfected to a reasonable degree, the school is still small as compared with the high schools in the thickly settled communities or in the city. Hence, the equipment necessary for the same training stands idle longer in a small school than in a larger one, which makes your per pupil cost for equipment much higher in a small school. These two items alone-transportation and equipmen - make the per pupil cost in thinly settled areas much greater in our county than is true in the dense communities.

The per capita tax values of the rural areas of our county is scarcely one-third the value in the suburban sections. To give the same opportunities to the rural children in Fulton County it is necessary to levy a uniform tax over the entire county (and in fact to tax the city of Atlanta, an independent system, by 142 mills) to properly finance the schools of the county system.

What is true in a small unit such as Fulton County is equally true in the entire State of Georgia. The State, through its equalization funds, endeavors to equalize

a

« AnteriorContinuar »