« AnteriorContinuar »
regard to Federal subsidies for education. It was used in the second Morrill Act, and over the period of half a century has been so administered that that is the only Federal education fund out of a dozen or more, in which Negroes have shared with any degree of equity. In applying that formula to this bill we think we are doing something which is tremendously important and it is certainly a provision that needs to remain in the bill.
It is required, thirdly, that in providing for an equitable division of Federal funds, the States shall not reduce proportionately their own expenditures for Negro schools. That, of course, is necessary because otherwise, even though Federal funds are equitably divided, there could be a corresponding reduction in State and local funds, the net effect of which, of course, would be to leave the Negroes precisely where they are now.
A fourth provision here that we want to call attention to is the requirement that "State plans”, on the basis of which funds are allotted, make definite provision for reducing inequalities in educational opportunities for schools serving minority racial groups. The “State plan” technique is something that characterizes other Federal legislation, and having had an opportunity to examine many of those plans, there is no inclusion in those plans of a provision tending to equalize school facilities for white and Negro children. We think that in expressly requiring that State school officials undertake planning to reduce these inequalities, this bill would stimulate a type of policy that ought to be tremendously wholesome, even beyond the effects of this particular Federal money.
It is also provided that there shall be a Federal audit of State expenditures, and a Federal review of audits of local expenditures. I want to comment on the latter, which is particularly important. We have found that in most of the Southern States, even though the State office disburses the funds with a fair degree of equity, the local school jurisdiction tends to divert funds received on the basis of Negro schools, and to spend them on the basis of white schools; and the review, not only of State, but of local expenditures, to see to what extent the purposes of the act have been carried out, we think is tremendously important.
Finally, it is provided here that reports on the use of this money must present separate data for white and Negro schools in States where there are separate schools. There are now many official Federal reports on education in which such data are impossible to get. Take again this large subsidy for vocational education under the Smith-Hughes and George-Deen Acts, it is impossible, from the published reports of the Office of Education, to find out if any, and how much, money in the Southern States was spent on white and Negro schools. Thus, such inequalities as there are, certainly are effectively concealed. W think one of the most important provisions of this bill is the requirement that these reports make detailed differentiation between expenditures for white and Negro schools, so that the public can know how the money is being used.
This brief review of the safeguards included in this bill reflects, we think, a very wholesome policy for the administration of Federal educational subsidies in States with separate schools. Each of these provisions, like the bill as a whole, should be enacted into law.
Achievement of this objective should be considered, however, only as a first step to the modification of Federal practices in this regard. It should be followed by amendments to existing Federal education laws to the end of incorporating in them such safeguards for Negro schools as are here proposed.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Dr. Wilkerson.
Senator Hill. Mr. Chairman, I take great pleasure in presenting to the committee, Dr. Charles B. Glenn, Superintendent of Schools of Birmingham, Ala.; former president of the American Association of School Administrators—in fact I think he has been the recipient of every
honor that could come to an educator in the field of education in Alabama. He has just returned from the Pacific coast where he has been, with a group of educators, studying occupational education, and more particularly our educational problems today in connection with our defense program.
Dr. Glenn is one of the wisest and most outstanding educators in the country; has devoted all of his life to the cause of education and to the service of our people; and as an Alabamian I am very proud to present him here today to this committee.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Senator Hill. Dr. Glenn, please proceed as you wish.
STATEMENT OF DR. C. B. GLENN, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS,
Dr. GLENN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would express to you my appreciation of the privilege of being here for this committee's study. My board of education, when I referred to them the request to appear before your committee felt that it was highly important that I should come and endeavor to bring to you their feelings about this matter of Federal aid at this particular time.
I gathered from the invitation which came to me that you did not desire that I should come to discuss the merits or demerits of the question in its general or broader aspects. You have had these presented to you many times. You are familiar, no doubt, with the need that has arisen in this emergency for caring for the unexpected increases in population due to defense industries that are opening up. I feel that the South, because it is not so highly industrialized, is not as much interested in that problem, as serious as it is, as some other sections, certainly not as much as the Pacific coast which I have recently visited.
But we are deeply interested in one phase of it, the need of Federal aid in order to provide adequate and equal educational opportunity for whites and Negroes in line with a recent decision of the United States Supreme Court, and I am very glad to speak to you on that, although, as you will appreciate, I have no authority to speak for our State- I believe our State superintendent has been before you or is to be- I haven't even the authority to speak for the city of Birmingham or its board of education; but I can speak definitely for the school administration of the city of Birmingham, and what recommendations it would make to its board of education touching this matter.
The minimum salary for Negroes in our city is between 60 and 65 percent of the minimum salary for whites. This is somewhat better than it is in the State of Alabama as a whole.
Our State board of education recently adopted a uniform salary schedule for Negroes and whites. This places the responsibility definitely on the local boards.
The Birmingham Board reacted to this—that is the point I want to bring to you, because I think it has definite significance—as follows: They found that the adoption of this State uniform salary schedule for the two races would automatically increase the amount of money that Birmingham would receive from the State, between $20,000 and $30,000.
Upon our recommendation the board agreed that as a beginning this increase in revenue should be devoted exclusively to increasing the salaries of the Negro teachers, which, in their opinion, was only fair, right, and proper. The board of education is anxious to do something further for Negroes in the city of Birmingham. There are many very excellent Negro teachers in our city system.
When the question came up, touching the decision of the United States Supreme Court which made it mandatory that this equalization should take place, the Negroes of our city school system-and not only of the city schools but of the county schools, and of the several school units in the county of which there are five-of their own volition passed resolutions which they submitted to our Board of Education, and with your permission I would like to quote at least one statement from this resolution.
The CHAIRMAN. You may have the entire resolution inserted in the record.
Dr. GLENN. I would be very glad to bave the resolution inserted. This is a resolution passed jointly by the Negro public school teachers in Birmingham, Bessemer, Fairfield, Tarrant City, and Jefferson County, Ala., on February 11, 1941, and it reads as follows:
Whereas, we are encouraged by the recent United States Supreme Court ruling regarding the equalization in salaries of teachers and educational opportunities without regard to race or color; and
Whereas, we appreciate and endorse the action of the Alabama Association of School Administrators at its meeting held in Montgomery, Ala., January 27, when it appointed a committee headed by Dr. C. B. Glenn, superintendent of the Birmingham public schools and former president of the American Association of School Administrators, to present to the American Association of School Administrators at its meeting in Atlantic City, N. J., February 22 through 27, the urgent request that renewed effort be made to secure the enactment by Congress of a bill providing Federal aid for education; andand this to me is the significant part, the attitude of these fine Negroes
Whereas, we would not like to have the salaries of one group lowered in order to raise the salaries of the other group, which is never a satisfactory solution to a problem affecting two different groups of people who have to live together; therefore be it
Resolved, That the local, State, and national governments be respectfully requested and urged to devise ways and means of correcting all differentials in public education; and be it further
Resolved, That these resolutions be sent to the press, different educational and community organizations, political leaders, members of the State and National Congress, and to the President of the United States with the urgent request that they use their respective offices and personal influence to provide the funds necessary to carry out the principle of equitable distribution of educational opportunities for all American citizens.
In connection with that resolution I would like to quote from a resolution passed by the Alabama Association of School Administrators. This is an organization in our State of white school superintendents. The State superintendent himself is a member and was present.
The Alabama Association of School Administrators at its meeting held in Montgomery, Monday, January 27, appointed a committee, composed of C. B. Glenn, H. G. Greer, George W. Hulme, c. C. Moseley, W. C. Griggs, and Frank L. Grove, to present to the American Association of School Administrators at its meeting next month in Atlantic City the urgent request that renewed effort be made to secure the enactment by Congress of a bill providing Federal aid for education for the several States.
A recent decision of the United States Supreme Court makes it obligatory that boards of education pay equal salaries and furnish equal facilities to white and Negro teachers. To accomplish this without reducing the salaries of white teachers, already too low, would require approximately $2,000,000 additional
No funds are available for this purpose and based upon wealth per pupil enrolled, the citizens of Alabama are already taxed more heavily than in any State in the Union and should not be expected to make an increase.
In recent years the question of Federal aid for education has been widely discussed and bills presented to Congress providing for it. At present, more perhaps than beretofore, favorable action by Congress seems highly important. While spending billions in our efforts to protect our democratic ideals, we should make sure of preserving them by setting aside a few millions for better educating our youth in the principles upon which our American way of life is founded.
It was voted as the sense of the Alabama Association that earnest support be given to efforts toward securing Federal aid for education and that the matter be pressed vigorously at this time in order that in addition to the well-known benefits that would accrue, boards of education may be able to comply with the order of the Supreme Court and provide equal salaries for white and Negro teachers without detriment to the schools.
I don't know of any better presentation of the point that I was invited to discuss with you, than to present those two resolutions. They represent the feeling of the Negroes and the whites of Alabama and their attitude toward this problem. Federal aid at this time will, in their opinion, go far toward its solution.
This seems indeed an opportune time, a psychological moment for further cementing and assisting in solving the race problems in the South.
The Birmingham Board of Education would be proud indeed to take the lead in an effort to comply with the ruling of the court, without injury to the schools--I emphasize that because I believe, as these good Negroes say, that it would be injurious to the schools, both races, if the salaries of the Negro teachers were raised at the price of reducing the salaries of the white teachers. And there is no revenue with which to do it in any other way in the city of Birmingham. The city of Birmingham levies for education all that it is privileged to levy under the Constitution; it can go no further. Based upon their per capita wealth, our citizens are already taxed out of proportion to citizens of other sections.
They would welcome revenue from the Federal Government or from any source that would enable them to put into operation the equalization of educational opportunities.
I will be glad to endeavor to answer any questions that you may wish to ask.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Dr. Glenn.
Senator Hill. I would like the record to show that Congressman Luther Patrick of Alabama has been sitting here with the committee. I want to say that Congressman Patrick is one of the most ardent and devoted advocates of Federal aid to education that we have in the Congress of the United States.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Scott, please.
STATEMENT OF C. H. SCOTT, PRESIDENT, FEDERAL EDUCATION
LEGISLATIVE AGENCY, INC., WASHINGTON, D. C. Mr. Scott. Senator Thomas and other members of the committee:
My name is C. H. Scott, president of the Federal Education Legislative Agency, Inc., Washington, D. C., with offices in the National Press Building.
I am not going to read all of this, Senator Thomas
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. You heard what I said to Dr. Wilkerson and if you can belp us in that way we will appreciate it.
Mr. Scott. Thank you very much. Senator Hill, I heard you ask a question the day before yesterday of Dr. Dawson
Senator Hill (interposing). Before you start your statement there are one or two questions I would like to ask you because I might have to leave, I am not sure.
I would like to ask-if it is agreeable to the chairman-are you the Executive Director of the Federal Education Legislative Agency?
Mr. Scott. Yes, sir.
Mr. Scott. I felt that there was a place of a full time legislative agency devoting its entire time, energy, and thought in behalf of Federal aid to education.
During the past 8 years I have been president of the National Drainage, Levee, and Irrigation Association, working in behalf of legislation beneficial to the farmers in drainage, levee, and irrigation districts. We were successful in securing Federal appropriations of $125,000,000 for this purpose, as well as the passage of the Municipal Bankruptcy Act of 1934 and its repassage in 1937 after it was held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1936. The farmers in many States having these problems secured relief which permitted them to retain their equities and thus save many years of hard work. By assisting in the passage of this legislation I was able to render constructive service. In addition to making a living and saving some
. money from such activities, I also was compensated mentally in knowing I had contributed something toward the welfare of the farmers of this country. Of course I knew that soomer or later these districts would be refinanced and put in a healthy condition which naturally would conclude our activities in this line. I wished to continue my legislative work which I found interesting. I felt there was a place both for groups and individuals in such work which I found was appreciated by members of Congress when the work is kept on a high plane and helpful when sound facts are intelligently presented.
Some 3 years ago I approached a number of leading educators on the subject of organizing a full-time legislative agency to work in behalf of Federal aid to education. At that time I did not proceed because it was the opinion that the Harrison-Black-Fletcher bill would be passed by Congress; but it was not.
About 6 months ago I approached Dr. Howard Dawson, rural director of the National Education Association, and told him I would like to work in behalf of Federal aid to education and that I had in