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group of people are more in need of adequate educational opportunities than are those in our organization.

We note that provision is made for the expenditure of a proportionate share of these funds for the education of minority races and also that provision is made to care for the educational needs of the children of the migratory laborers.

Here in the Southern States several hundred thousand farm families have been forced to leave the farms due to factors such as increased mechanization and changing methods of farm operation. Only a few of these dispossessed farm families have had the means or the inclination to seek employment as migrant workers. The vast majority of these people remain within a few miles of their former homes and are living crowded up in the slum sections of small towns and cities depending largely on seasonal employment on the nearby farms and plantations. Under the present system of farm operation there is no hope of these people being reestablished on the land. There are thousands of others who in the next few years will also find it impossible to remain on the land.

In view of this situation would it not be possible for this providing funds for education to be changed or amended to set aside a portion of these funds for training these rural people both adults and youth in trades and occupations which will enable them to earn a living. Sincerely yours,

H. L. MITCHELL, Secretary. Mr. MARSH. As Mr. Mitchell points out, they have some 40,000 members in the Southern States where probably, under the very careful provisions you have made in the general principles, for allocation of funds, a good deal of this money will be spent, and most advantageously; and he has asked me to mention the fact, in addition to the letter he sent you, that they endorse it very thoroughly. We sincerely hope the bill will pass.

. Again let me repeat my congratulations to this committee on their courage in recognizing the home front as well as the foreign front, by the introduction of this bill and the hearings you are holding; and we express the hope that it will pass.

I might say that the People's Lobby is in a position to urge Federal legislation because we are one of the few organizations which, year after year—and we shall this year—appear before committees of Congress and request higher income taxes which, in my judgment, will make our members pay anywhere from 15 to 50 percent more taxes than they are paying today. I take it for granted that Congress is not overwhelmed with requests from organizations whose members will pay more taxes, and we will do all we can to help put this bill through.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Marsh.

The CHAIRMAN. Dr. Wilkerson. Dr. Wilkerson, your name please, and for the record, what you represent?



Dr. WILKERSON. My name is Doxey A. Wilkerson, associate professor of education, Howard University.

I appear here as a representative of the National Coordinating Committee for Equitable Distribution of Federal Aid to Education for the purpose of urging your approval, in its present form, of S. 1313, the educational finance bill of 1941.

The National Coordinating Committee, which I represent, is a federation of 27 national and 4 local organizations, comprising an aggregate of approximately 3,000,000 members in all of the States of the Union and the District of Columbia. We were organized in 1937 for the specific purpose of coordinating the efforts of a number of organizations then seeking amendments to the original HarrisonBlack-Fletcher bill.

Representatives of the committee appeared that spring before this committee and before the House Committee on Education, requesting that the proposed Federal-aid-to-education measures, S. 419 and H. R. 5962, be so amended as to guarantee equity in the division of Federal education funds between white and Negro schools in States with segregated systems of schools. Subsequently, to this same end, we conferred with the President's Advisory Committee on Education.

In March 1939, we again came before this committee, this time to record our support for S. 1305 which, following the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Education, incorporated precisely the types of safeguards for separate Negro schools that our organization considered essential. We are pleased to note that S. 1313 likewise incorporates those necessary safeguards.

It would be erroneous---even though we are primarily concerned with Negro schools—to assume that our organization's sole interest in this Federal-aid-to-education measure lies in its implications for Negro education. On the contrary, knowing full well that the disgracefully inadequate facilities for the education of millions of children of all races exist in many parts of the Nation, and realizing that any substantial change in these conditions is dependent upon a much enlarged program of Federal educational subsidies, we are in fundamental agreement with the general purposes and program of this bill. It represents, we think, the only effective approach to the solution of a long-standing problem of our society, one which the present social crisis raises to a new level of significance.

In the light of certain testimony presented here this morning, I should like to emphasize that in our opinion the present national emergency calls, not for less education but for more education, not for less regard for civil liberties but for greater protection for civil liberties. It is not through the curtailment of democracy but rather through its extension and strengthening, that the effective defense of democracy is to be found.

We think that during these times, and those which the immediate future probably holds in store, our traditional democratic institutions can no longer rest secure upon the faulty educational foundations which we have been content, this far, to tolerate. If we are now to maintain a free society in America, then quickly we must provide vastly more education for the American people. This, certainly, is an imperative of “total defense". It is from this basic premise that our general support for the present measure stems.

Even more specifically do we support S. 1313 because it assures a just and equitable division between separate white and Negro schools, of the proposed Federal funds for basic elementary and secondary education. It thus represents an important step toward equalizing the educational opportunities of white and Negro citizens in States and communities with segregated schools. We wish to record here a few select facts and principles which show the need for Federal aid to education as a means toward correcting the gross inadequacies and inequalities which characterize Negro public schools and which tend to validate, we think, the specific safeguards for minority racial groups that are included in this bill.

There are some 17 States and the District of Columbia which, by law require completely segregated schools for white and Negro children. These happen to be States in which four-fifths of all NegroAmericans live, and States whose resources for the support of public education are, with one or two exceptions, most meager. They are likewise the States in which educational facilities for Negro children are markedly inferior to even the substandard facilities for white children in the same communities. This condition was summarized as follows by one of the studies prepared for the President's Advisory Committee on Education:

THE STATUS OF NEGRO EDUCATION—A SUMMARY The indexes utilized in this investigation point consistently, in practically every field, to a relatively low standard of public education for Negroes in the Southern States. In general, and especially in rural areas, Negro elementary pupils attend extremely impoverished, small, short-term schools, lacking in transportation service, void of practically every kind of instructional equipment, and staffed by relatively unprepared, overloaded teachers whose compensation does not approximate a subsistence wage. The vast majority of pupils progress through only the primary grades of these schools. The few who finish the elementary grades find relatively little opportunity, especially in rural areas, for a complete standard secondary education. Opportunities for education in public undergraduate colleges are even more limited, and opportunities for graduate and professional study at publicly controlled institutions are almost nonexistent. In most special and auxiliary educational programs and services--public libraries, vocational education, vocational rehabilitation, agricultural research, and agricultural and home economics extension, the same low standards obtain. Only in case of one or two Federal emergency programs is there an approach to proportional provision of public education for Negroes in these States.

Educational opportunities in all fields are much more nearly adequate for the white population. Though its status is far below that for the Nation as a whole, still, on a scale of relative adequacy, public education for white persons in these States is markedly superior to that for Negroes. For example, the general elementary and secondary schools for white children, as measured by per capita expenditures alone, function on a level which is approximating two and one-half times as high as that for corresponding Negro schools. The disparity between the general status of education for the two racial groups appears to be decreasing only very slowly, if at all.1

The CHAIRMAN. Doctor, may I suggest here, that since this is the last afternoon of the hearing, and since most of the statistics have already been put in the record, that where you have information which you are sure is in duplication of what we have heard, will you pass over that with the understanding that the recorder will make your record complete before it is printed?

Dr. WILKERSON. Surely. Of course I have not been following the testimony here but I think I know the types of data that have been presented, and I will abridge that, so far as this oral testimony is concerned.

The CHAIRMAN. The reporter will see that that appears properly in case you abridge your testimony.

I say this because I would dislike to see anyone crowded out completely this afternoon.

Dr. WILKERSON. Well, there are several things we would like to say about these general educational inequalities for which we won't here quote data. One is that they cannot be explained solely, or even primarily, in terms of the meager financial resources of States with segregated systems of schools. Rather, they are evidence of deliberate racial discrimination in the expenditure of public funds. Were the States to attempt to provide democratic educational opportunities for the education of all their children, then, such funds as are available would be divided equitably between their white and Negro schools. All would share alike in the resources available. Yet, while recognizing the discriminatory policies which characterize the expenditure of public education funds in States with segregated schools, it is important to appreciate the dilemma in which these States are placed, and the necessity of Federal aid for any basic correction of existing inequalities.

1 Doxey A. Wilkerson, Special Problems of Negro Education. The Advisory Committee on Education, Staff Study No. 12, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1939, pp. 151-152.


It is estimated that, during 1935–36, the 18 States with separate elementary and secondary schools spent $314,192,511 for white schools and $38,316,250 for Negro schools, a total expenditure for current purposes of $352,508,761. On the basis of their 6,300,320 white pupils and 1,885,690 Negro pupils in average daily attendance, per-capita expenditures averaged $49,87 per white pupil and $20.32 per Negro pupil, a ratio of more than 2 to 1. If these States were to have attempted to equalize white and Negro school conditions, they would have had to choose one of two alternatives; either they would have had to increase current expenditures for Negro schools by $55,723,110, which they simply lacked the financial resources to do; or they would have had to reduce the already inadequate expenditures for white schools in order to apply more money to Negro schools, which is both impractical and socially undesirable.

What is really needed, of course, is to raise the expenditure levels for both white and Negro schools to some defensible minimum standard of efficiency. It is estimated that to do this in the 18 States with separate schools, would require a gross school budget of nearly $807,000,000.

It is also estimated that, with a model tax plan and with reasonable effort to support schools, in 1935 these States could have raised from their own resources only about $575,000,000 for all social functions of government. Thus, the cost of a defensible program of education alone would be 40 percent more than these States could raise for education and all other social functions of government combined.

It is clear that any substantial correction of this situation is going to have to come through aid to these States in enlarging their educational outlays. It is also clear that the only source from which such subsidies might come is the Federal Government.

Experience has shown also that merely to give Federal funds to States with segregated school systems is not sufficient to further progress toward equality of educational opportunity. On the contrary, it appears with certain existing Federal subsidies that, unless prevented by law, the more money these States with segregated systems of schools receive, the less money, proportionately, do those States spend on Negro schools.

The CHAIRMAN. You mean by that, that that would just happen naturally?

Dr. WILKERSON. Not naturally; rather, I think, deliberately. What I am saying is this—I can cite many funds to illustrate, but in general it is this: When we give several million dollars, say, to the

southern school system for education, the bulk of that money is spent for the white schools, thereby even widening the disparity which previously existed between the two groups, rather than tending to equalize. We could illustrate that in many places. I should like to call brief attention to the Federal funds for vocational education

Senator ELLENDER (interposing). You wouldn't say that that is general, would you?

Dr. WILKERSON. Yes; it is general; it is documented.
Senator ELLENDER. Have you facts to show that?

Senator ELLENDER. I don't want to go into them but I suppose you mention them in your brief.

Dr. WILKERSON. I mention them here; I don't go into great detail.

I would like to cite one fact which is illustrative in this regard. Take the 1935 expenditures under the Smith-Hughes Act, for vocational education. Some three and a half million dollars was spent in the 18 States with completely separate schools. These funds were apportioned among the States on the basis of their respective populations, including their Negro populations. Althougb Negroes constituted 21.4 percent of the aggregate population, only 9.8 percent of these Federal vocational funds was spent on Negro schools. On the basis of population ratios, Negro schools should have received $777,735. They actually received $354,934. Thus, the amount diverted from Negro to white schools-$422,801—was greater by more than $67,000 than the amount actually spent on Negro schools. Trends over a number of years reveal that this margin of financial discrimination varies directly with the amount of Federal funds available. The sole exception to this generalization, out of a dozen or more Federal educational subsidies, is found in case of the MorrillNelson funds for land-grant colleges. The act authorizing these funds requires that there be a “just and equitable” division of funds between white and Negro schools.

Thus, funds which S. 1313 would make available for public elementary and secondary education could be expected to be divided equitably between separate white and Negro schools only if the legal provisions governing the expenditure of funds expressly so require. It is for this reason that we believe the safeguards included in the bill are absolutely essential.

I would like to call brief attention to several of those safeguards, and why we think they are particularly important.

In the first place, the apportionment of funds is to be based, in part, uponthe financial implications of Federal court decisions interpreting the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution

as it relates to equal rights to educational opportunities.

Reference of course is to such things as the Gaines decision, salary fights, and various other matters. We think that is very wholesome

. because it expressly enunciates a Federal policy which ought to give marked impetus to the correction of the long-standing neglect of Negro education.

In the second place, this bill requires that in order to get funds, Southern States must set up a plan for the “just and equitable' division of the funds between white and Negro separate schools. That phrase "just and equitable” has a long legislative history with




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