Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

(6) Authorization of an annual appropriation sufficient to pay salaries of teachers for children residing on Federal reservations and for operation and maintenance of school plant facilities and trasportation in “(a)” above.

The numerous local congested situations resulting from activities of the national defense program are, in many instances, very acute and the immediate school problems they create cannot be solved by local school administrative units or even by these units and the States.

The Federal Government has an obligation to provide school facilities to accommodate children of personnel connected with projects essential to this program.

In areas over which Federal jurisdiction is exclusive, States, and local governmental entities, such as local school administrative units, cannot legally provide public services, including public education.

Although State and local authorities of their own free will often grant education privileges to children residing on Federal reservations, such children have no legal right to attend public schools of the respective States. Generally, Federal reservations are not integral parts of local governmental entities such as local school administrative units.

Equity demands that the Federal Government assume responsibility for providing educational facilities for these children.

Senator ELLENDER. Do you feel that the reports on file in your office give you a fairly reliable estimate of total needs as well as the needs in individual areas?

Mr. Alves. They certainly do, from the standpoint of the total need, as I indicated a while ago.

Now, from the standpoint of individual areas, if at the time the estimate was prepared, in January, say, in Alexandria, in your State, the figures made available to the local school authorities indicated that there were 10,000 people in a given defense project, if today there are 30,000, logically their estimates projected in January are not accurate today. But we are getting supplements daily to this, so, in effect, I would answer your question "yes."

Senator ELLENDER. Does your system include school needs in defense areas even though no Federal housing programs have been planned?

Mr. ALVES. Yes; it does; and the reason it includes the areas for which there was no Federal housing planned, or for which there has been no program to date, is simply this: It seemed to us that we were not justified to exclude a local defense area if there were no Federal houses. In the first place, as I understand, the Federal Government is not building Federal family houses as long as private capital will build them. The result is that we included those for that very reason, because an influx of 1,000 pupils living in private houses will create just as much of a school need as if they lived in Federal houses. So the answer is emphatically "yes; we did.”

Senator ELLENDER. Now, Senator Ball has raised the question as to whether or not these facilities are to be temporary or permanent.

Mr. Alves. Yes, sir.
Senator ELLENDER. Can you expand on that?

Mr. ALVES. Yes; I shall be glad to. Let us assume that we have regularly established Army posts, as Fort Benning, Fort Bliss, Fort Dix, or regular naval establishments for which there is a permanent increase planned. To the extent that there may be actually under construction today, say, 1,000 permanent family dwelling units, brick buildings, it is perfectly obvious that it would be foolish to build a temporary school for the children who may be expected from these houses. Then, we would say that permanent school buildings must be supplied whenever the housing is permanent.

Which carries me

one step further. I am inclined to say that, by and large, schoolbuilding needs to house children who live in private houses will probably be permanent needs, because it is very difficult for me to conceive that the average one of us would spend our money to build a family dwelling unit that we thought would not be used 2 years from now.

Senator ELLENDER. In such localities does your study contemplate that the Federal Government shall put up these facilities?

Mr. Alves. If I may restate your question are you asking what plan for paying the costs of these needs might be proposed?

Senator ĚLLENDER. That is what I intended to do; yes. In fact, I asked Dr. Studebaker that question a while ago.

Mr. ALVES. Yes.

Senator ELLENDER. As to whether or not you have worked out some plans of payment.

Mr. ALVES. Yes.

Senator ELLENDER. It strikes me that where the Federal Government puts up housing facilities, if they are to be owned by the Government, then some method ought to be planned whereby those who occupy those houses, whose children will go to these Governmentfurnished schools, that they ought to be taxed in some manner to the same extent as I am for my children, and as my neighbors are.

Mr. Alves. We find that the obligation of the Federal Government centers around two groups of children, those who live on Federal property exempt from taxation locally and in the State, and those Îiving on private property. In the Commissioner's official report, you will find this recommendation for children residing on public property; that is, Federal houses not subject to taxation:

The Federal Government should bear the cost of capital outlay and current expense for school needs for the children living in those houses.

Senator BALL. May I interrupt just a minute?
Mr. ALVES. Yes.

Senator BALL. Does not the Federal Government do that now? For instance, at Fort Meade, where there is a permanent garrison, was the school district expected to build and maintain schools for those children?

Mr. Alves. The Commissioner made the statement in his presentation that Federal reservations are not integral parts of local governmental entities, such as school administrative units.

Senator BALL. That is right.

Mr. ALVES. Therefore, legally a school district and a State cannot provide public services on that reservation.

Senator Ball. Yes.

Mr. Alves. On the reservation at Langley Field in Virginia, near Newport News, there is a good-looking, substantially built school building for elementary grades. There is no public money flowing into that school. The teachers are paid from tuition paid by the parents. As I understand it, the State superintendent cannot expend any public money paying for teachers' salaries in a school on a reservation unless educational jurisdiction is ceded to the local school administrative unit.

Senator Ball. I was wondering what had been the practice in the past.

Mr. Alves. The practice has been—with two exceptions that I know of, and there may be others, that quite often on a Federal reservation there is a school building built generally out of contributions by the personnel. The teachers are employed by a school committee appointed from the personnel, and the salaries are collected in the form of tuition from the parents. Now where children living on reservations are not taught that way, we find that local school districts have just taken them in generally without any charge.

There are two exceptions that I know of. At Indianhead, Md., where the Navy powder plant is located, the county board of education of Charles County has, for a number of years, operated the school on the reservation. By contract the county board receives annually approximately $8,000, but the county board of education, by agreement, has the educational authority to operate those schools, and it brings even children from the farms around there to the schools located on the reservation. As you withdraw that educational jurisdiction of the county board there is generally no possibility to allow public funds to flow in there.

The other exception that I know of is Quantico, where there is a school on the reservation.

Mr. STUDEBAKER. Mr. Alves, who pays the $8,000 over there in Maryland?

Mr. ALVES. As I understand it, the Navy Department does.

Mr. STUDEBAKER. The Navy Department and not the enlisted men pay the tuition?

Mr. Ålves. No; it is an appropriation of money.
Senator ELLENDER. That will be all.
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Thank you.
Senator ELLENDER. Mr. Merwin K. Hart.

STATEMENT OF MERWIN K. HART, PRESIDENT, NEW YORK STATE

ECONOMIC COUNCIL Senator ELLENDER. Mr. Hart, will you kindly give your name in full, and such other descriptive matter as you care to give to identify yourself?

Mr. Hart. My name is Merwin K. Hart. I am president of the New York State Economic Council with offices in New York and Utica. I appear here on behalf of that organization.

Mr. Chairman, I oppose this bill because I believe it would result in undesirable Federal control over education; because it would add by just so much to the bureaucratic burdens already borne by the people; because its cost, which is $300,000,000 a year, at the start, would be wholly unwarranted at any time, and particularly at the present time when all national effort is supposed to be devoted to building up the public defense; because it would add substantially to the number of Federal employees, which has grown to roughly 1,200,000; and because American education, due to the fact that there is already too much educational machinery, is not nearly as good as it ought to be considering the money spent on it.

Dr. Studebaker has just commented on the fact, and obviously he is shocked, that in some of the camps classes of men to learn to read and write have had to be formed. Senator, in the city of New York, a few years ago, a canvass showed that 20 percent of all of the pupils admitted to the high schools of New York City had not been taught to read well enough so they could use the ordinary textbooks in the high schools; and in order to meet the situation-although as Dr. Studebaker said, the per pupil course of education is upwards of $140 per pupil in New York City--men had to be brought in from W. P. A., taught to teach reading, and put to work trying to teach these pupils to read.

Senator ELLENDER. I did not quite get your inference there. You say men who entered the high schools could not read?

Mr. Hart. Graduates from the grammar schools entering the high schools of New York City.

Senator ELLENDER. They were not able to read?

Mr. Hart. They had not learned to read, to the number of 20 percent of all the graduates admitted to the high schools.

Senator ELLENDER. You mean to say that they went through the elementary grades and were promoted to the high schools and did not learn how to read?

Mr. Hart. Did not learn how to read well enough to use the ordinary high-school text books. I can tell you when and where that was stated.

Senator ELLENDER. Do you attribute that to the method of teaching, or just what?

Mr. Hart. I attribute it, sir, to poor teaching, to the poor method of teaching. Let me say, sir, this was stated by a former associate superintendent of schools of New York City, Dr. John L. Tildsley, at a public meeting in the city of Albany, February 1940. He was telling of a survey made in one of the high schools where that was the result, and he went on to add that, in his opinion, the same proportion would apply elsewhere.

Senator ELLENDER. Of course, I do not mean to deny your statement, Mr. Hart, but it sounds incredible.

Mr. Hart. It has been published before. Promotion is by the calendar-that is the trouble and not by merit.

The passage of this bill would weaken the cause of private enterprise and capitalism, which are known quantities on which our whole economy is based, and would tend by just so much to get us deeper into the morass of collectivism which is an unknown quantity.

Let me take up these objections seriatim:

Even though section 2 declares there is to be no "Federal control over the educational policies of States and localities," and even though this same section says:

The provisions of this act shall be so construed as to maintain local and State initiative and responsibility in the conduct of education and to reserve explicitly to the States and their local subdivisions the organization and administration of schools, the control over the processes of education, the control and determination of curricula of the schools, the methods of instruction to be employed in them, and the selection of personnel employed by the State and its agencies and local school jurisdictions, yet I am convinced that from a fair weighing of all the provisions of the bill, in the light of the experience of the people with public administrative machinery, it is practically certain, in spite of section 2, that Federal control of education would be accomplished by this bill. This bill, of course, is merely the latest form. The bill has been before this committee, I believe, or before Congress, some 20 years.

*

*

*

*

*

Thus, discretion is lodged in the Board of Apportionment by section 4 (c), where it is provided that, On the basis of its findings, the Board shall allot to the respective States before the beginning of each fiscal year, or as soon thereafter as possible, such amount for that year as may have been appropriated by Congress under this act. The Board of Apportionment, which section 4 provides is to be created in the Federal Security Agency, is charged with a tremendous amount of work. To this Board are assigned, among others, the following tasks:

1. To estimate the financial ability of the respective States, to support reasonable standards of free public elementary and secondary school facilities according to a uniform procedure applied to all the States in such way as to determine the amount of revenues which could be raised from a uniform tax plan applied to all the States.

And also
2. To determine

the financial need of the respective States for Federal grants-in-aid for the support of public elementary and secondary schools in such amounts as will most effectively equalize educational opportunities.

These tasks, whether done with the great expense of time and labor that would seem necessary in order to do them well, or in a hasty and makeshift manner, would most certainly require the use of discretion. That discretion presumably no court would go behind. Employing this discretion the board would make findings and on the basis of these findings would allot the moneys. It would not require a very great degree of prejudice on the part of any commissioner for him to be swayed in reaching his decisions, not by the intricate facts and figures which the Commissioner is supposed to consider, but by extraneous considerations. It is not an unfair assumption that money could be given or withheld to a State in accordance with philosophical or ideological theories held by the Commission. And if it worked out that way, no relief would be open either to the taxpayer or to education.

Similarly, section 11 (b), which reads:

The Commissioner shall, so far as feasible, lend such advice and counsel as the States may request in working out legislative and administrative plans for expenditures of funds received through this act so as most effectively to lessen qualities of educational opportunities within the Statesprovides another way for the subtle hand of Federal bureaucracy to dictate policies within the State, to dictate them without seeming to

For a common trait of human nature is that when advice is asked of anybody and then not followed, resentment rises in the bosom of him who has given the advice.

Similarly, too, we find in section 13 (a) that familiar provision which reads:

The Commissioner, subject to the approval of the Federal Security Administrator, is authorized to make such rules and regulations, not in conflict with the provisions of this act, as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this act.

It is true there is no provision here specifying that these rules and regulations as such shall have the effect of law. But either that effect might be implied under the terms of the present bill or would be supplied by subsequent amendment. And I do not think anyone familiar

I in the least with the ways of bureaucracy can doubt that Federal control would be facilitated, if not insured, by this section.

do so.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »