« AnteriorContinuar »
We believe that, if the local and State units cannot adequately finance education, the Federal Government must. Our postwar economy will succeed only in proportion to the development of our human resources. Very truly yours,
M. P. MOE, Executive Secretary. Senator ELLENDER. Next, please.
Miss DODGE. Grace L. Dodge, president, Maine Teachers' Association. This statement comes from our State teachers' association and was filed previous to the changing of the number on the bill, but we are heartily in accord with the pending bill.
Senator ELLENDER. Thank you. (The statement submitted by Miss Grace L. Dodge is as follows:)
MAINE TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION,
Augusta, Maine, January 28, 1945. Hon. JAMES E. MURRAY,
Senate Ofice Building, Washington, D. O. DEAR SIR: At the annual meeting of the representative assembly of the Maine Teachers' Association last fall the following resolution was adopted by unanimous vote:
“Resolved, That we actively support measures to provide greater Federal aid, without Federal control of educational policy, for the public schools of this Nation. This step is necessary because the Federal Government has so far extended its system of taxation that we in Maine find it apparently impossible to secure the funds necessary to support an adequate educational program by means of our present tax structure which places most of the burden on the overtaxed real estate of our communities.”
Although this resolution does not mention the specific bills now before Congress, the Maine Teachers' Association does endorse Senate bill 181 and urges its immediate enactment to help remedy the crisis that many schools in northern New England are facing. Respectfully yours,
GRACE L. DODGE, President. Senator ELLENDER. Next, please.
Mr. ROGERS. My name is Charles M. Rogers, superintendent of schools at Amarillo, Tex., president of the Texas State Teachers Association. I am filing a statement containing a resolution of the State association favoring Federal aid and setting forth some figures with reference to the teacher situation in Texas at this time as a result of a survey in Texas in October. This statement represents some 47,000 teachers in Texas.
Senator ELLENDER. Thank you.
TEXAS STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION, INC.,
Fort Worth, Tex., January 18, 1945. Hon. JAMES E. MURRAY, Chairman, Senate Committee on Education and Labor,
Washington, D. O. DEAR SENATOR MURRAY: Below I quote a resolution passed by the State house of delegates of the Texas State Teachers Association at its last meeting, held in the city of Forth Worth, Tex., on November 25, 1944.
"We affirm our belief in the need of Federal aid for public education, without Federal control.”
In further support of the need for Federal aid for education, I give you the following facts developed from a recent survey of Texas schools, covering 37,071 teaching positions. This survey revealed that there were in Texas schools 1,619 vacant teaching positions when the schools opened in September. Eight hundred and sixty-nine of these places were still open on October 28. At the opening of school, 7,992 of the 37,071 teachers on whom information was received were new to their positions and 6,146 of the teachers surveyed held sub standard qualifications. Vacant teaching positions, the rapid turn-over in teaching personnel, and the lowering of teachers' qualifications are traceable directly to the low salaries paid teachers in this State, and members of the Texas State Teachers Association feel that Federal aid for education offers the only hope of relief during the emergency.
Thanking you and other members of your committee for any consideration that you may give this letter, I am, Sincerely yours,
B. B. COBB, Secretary. Senator ELLENDER. Next, please.
Mr. RAWLINS. R. E. Rawlins, superintendent of schools at Pierre, S. Dak. I am presenting this statement on behalf of the State Teachers Association and our legislative commission, and I will also later submit for the record a statement on this subject from Hon. M. Q. Sharpe, the Governor of South Dakota.
Senator ELLENDER. Thank you.
SOUTH DAKOTA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION,
Sioux Falls, S. Dak., January 27, 1945. Hon. LISTER HILL, Chairman, Senate Committee on Education and Labor,
Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR HILL: The Educational Finance Act of 1945 (S. 181) is essentially in accordance with the resolutions which have been adopted by the South Dakota Education Association over a period of many years. In 1943 the SDEA legislative commission proposed to our delegate assembly that “the South Dakota Education Association endorse the Educational Finance Act of 1943 (S. 637) as a proper method of providing financial aid to schools under local and State control. We urge our Senators and Representatives to continue to actively support Federal aid to public schools.” Again last fall our educational policies commission proposed this resolution : "That the people must be brought to a realization that education is the responsibility of the whole Nation if there is to be equality of educational opportunity. The financial support of education must be secured wherever it is found and spent where it is needed.” Both of these recent resolutions were adopted by our delegate assembly and constitute the standing policy of the South Dakota Education Association.
South Dakota has always maintained high educational standards, and these teaching standards have been dependent upon well-trained and competent teachers. Our biggest problem during these war years has been to maintain competent teaching staffs. We have found that competition for teachers is on a national basis. Salaries in South Dakota have always been low, but they are so far out of line with other States at the present time that it is impossible to retain many able teachers and impossible to replace them with persons of like training and experience.
The State department of public instruction, in a preliminary report on teachers' salaries for 1944-45 appearing in the February number of the South Dakota Education Association Journal, shows that of the 6,969 teachers in the elementary and secondary schools, 2,556 receive less than $1,200 in salary (of these, 2,301 are rural teachers, 176 are elementary, and 76 high school in town schools). Also 2,429 teachers receive salaries this year between $1,200 and $1,500 (of these, 1,251 are rural teachers, 1,076 are elementary, and 90 are high-school teachers in towns and 12 are supervisors). One thousand two hundred and twenty-nine teachers receive salaries between $1,500 and $2,000, and 765 receive salaries over $2,000.
Our department of public instruction has tried to maintain certification standards but this ha een impossible. To meet the challenge of keeping schools open in wartime, the department has worked out three ways: (1) Renewed certificates without the additional training which is usually required for renewals, especially of certificates which have been lapsed. We have no records as to how many such renewals have been made, but I know that it is very considerable. (2) Encouraged high school seniors to attend 6 weeks of summer school and write an examination for a second grade certificate to permit them to teach in the rural schools, and last summer, if they attended 12 weeks, no examination was required. Before this drive came on, 37 such second grade certificates were issued in 1942-43, and in 1943–44, 625 second grade certificates were issued. Approximately as many additonal certificates were issued during the present year so that we now have some 1,200 high school graduates with from 6 to 12 weeks of review courses teaching in our rural schools; (3) Permits have been issued to 617 persons last year and probably as many or more have been issued the present year.
Since the second grade certificates are in force for 2 years, it is fair to assume that we now have about 25 percent of the teachers in South Dakota with certificaton standards considerably below those which would be normally permissible. In our rural schools approximately half of our teachers have certificates which are below the standards customary 3 years ago, and the department is now considering reducing the requirements in town elementary schools from 2 to 1 year of preparation above high school. Many of these teachers are doing excellent work. Many of those who haven't taught for 15 to 20 years are now back in the classroom due to the dire need that exists in the community.
The assessed valuation of South Dakota has gone down from 214 billion dollars in 1920 to about one billion dollars at the present time. Our population has decreased from 642,941 in 1940 to an estimated 540,000. A great deal of the loss of population has occurred in the rural areas and in small towns. With the decrease in population there has also been a decrease in the ability to support local schools.
Our State finances have never been large in South Dakota, and we are laboring under the burden of repaying the costs of an expensive rural credit experiment some twenty-five years ago. Such belp as we might reasonably expect to secure from the State, will have to be used to pay off the rural credit bonds. The present State legislature finds itself faced with a problem of paying off some nineteen million dollars in bonds within the next 5 years.
Two years ago the State division of finance and taxation made a survey of the tax levies of the various districts in the State. They found that 50 percent of the town schools were levying the legal mill levy of 25 mills for current operation of schools. A partial survey which is in progress at the present time indicates that almost 70 percent of the town schools are now levying the limit. "The same survey also indicates that approximately 40 percent of the high schools are unable to levy an amount sufficient to carry on their educational program. In Spink County 12 schools requested a total budget of $200,000 and the county auditor was compelled by law to reduce this to a total of $132,500. Nine Turner County schools requested $156,500, and the auditor reduced this by nearly $20,000. One consolidated school west of the river prepared a budget that called for $24,000, but the county auditor was limited by law to spread $9,270. Forty percent of the high-school districts in the State can levy only 78 percent of the amount that they need for current operation, and deficit financing of schools is on the increase. In spite of better incomes for individuals, many town schools will be unable to remain on a cash basis. We believe that the enactment of the Educational Finance Act of 1945 will do much to keep the schools going in South Dakota. Sincerely yours,
S. B. NISSEN, Secretary.
PIERRE, S. DAK., February 10, 1945. Mr. R. E. RAWLINS,
Superintendent, City Schools, Pierre, 8. Dak. DEAR MR. RAWLINS: Referring to your request that I furnish a statement of my opinion and attitude on the subject of Federal aid to public education in the States, I will say that I am submitting the following statement which you may use as a part of your evidence or record by filing it with the proper committees of Congress or with departments of the National Government as you may see fit.
1. In general, my idea is simply this: I think that substantial Federal aid would be beneficial provided it carried with it no requirement for Federal management, supervision, or dictation of any kind to any of the States or their institutions on matters of education.
2. It seems to me proper for the Federal Government to use some of its income to aid the States in education, because proper education is of much impor. tance to all levels of government from the Nation down. However, there is so much diversity of various conditions and environment over a country as large as ours, that I am doubtful of the advisability of trying to set up general Federal systems of any kind, or even at present for the Federal Government to attempt very much, if any, dictation or supervision relative to education in the States.
Education is a very important factor in the production of better citizenship, lessening of crime, making people more self-reliant and efficient. These things are just as important to the National Government as to the State governments. Therefore, the National Government has a direct interest and it is both appropriate and practicable for it to participate in the expense. I favor direct Federal aid by grants to the States without any Federal supervision or control other than a requirement that the grants must be devoted toward aid of educ in the public school system of the State which receives it. The recompense to the Federal Government will come in the form of better citizenship and the attendant benefits above outlined and others which will no doubt occur to you in consideration of this important subject. Yours sincerely,
M. Q. SHARPE, Governor. Senator ELLENDER. Next, please.
Mr. SLONECKER. Lyle N. Slonecker, superintendent of schools at Leadville, Colo., vice president of the Colorado Education Association.
I wish to file this petition, which has been accepted and endorsed by 9,000 Colorado teachers in behalf of education.
I might say individually that I speak as president of the Bank of Leadville, Colo., as president of the chamber of commerce, and as a member of the State affairs committee of the Colorado State Chamber of Commerce, and from a personal standpoint I most enthusiastically endorse this bill.
Senator ELLENDER. Thank you.
THE COLORADO EDUCATION ASSOCIATION,
January 25, 1945.
Hon. JAMES E. MURRAY,
Washington, D. C.
"Whereas there is great inequality in the abilities of States to support education, and
“Whereas there is marked concentration of the taxable wealth which is pro duced by all the States with the resources of States with a relatively small educational burden, and
"Whereas the education of children is a national as well as State problem, and
"Whereas the National Government, during the war emergency, has come to realize the need for better schools to better train youths to met their responsibilities to the Nation, and
"Whereas a program of Federal support of schools would extend the principle of equalization of educational opportunity: Therefore, be it
"Resolved, That the Colorado Education Association pledge itself to efforts at securing Federal aid for education in accordance with the principles laid down in the legislation now pending in Congress; and be it further
“Resolved, That the Colorado Education Association accept the attainment of such Federal aid for education as a continuing part of its legislative objectives.”
The schools of Colorado are facing the gravest crisis in all their existence. The salaries are so woefully low that we are losing hundreds of our best teachers to industry and to other States. One school superintendent reported last week that he was losing 10 of his 14 teachers this spring. This is just a sample of what is happening over the entire State. The salaries for 1943–44, as reported to the State superintendent, are as follows:
“Of a total of 7,177 teachers outside of Denver 1,071 received less than 1,000 per year; 1,474 received between $1,000 and $1,200 per year; 2,357 received between $1,200 and $1,500 per year.”
One out of every three teachers in Colorado is a temporary teacher, serving either under a substandard emergency certificate or just for the duration. Although some of these people are good teachers, many of them, as one county superintendent has put it, “let the children run wild.” The children are the ones who suffer.
We have a State support bill which has been introduced in the State legislature which would increase the amount of State aid from 9 percent to about 14 percent, but it helps only those schools that are in the greatest financial straits. According to State legislators, the State surplus of $8,000,000 is a "paper" surplus and, with the repeal of the State service tax, will not be available.
It takes no stretch of the imagination to see that we face some very dark years for the children of Colorado unless Federal aid is provided to supplement our State and local resources. From the standpoint of good government and economic welfare, the Nation cannot afford to sacrifice the education of its youth. Respectfully yours,
COLORADO EDUCATION ASSOCIATION,
Executive Secretary. Senator ELLENDER. Next, please.
Mr. CRAFT. R. W. Craft, assistant State superintendent of education in Mississippi. I am filing three statements. One from the Mississippi Federation of Women's Clubs endorsing this proposed bill for Federal aid, one from the American Association of University Women, addressed to Dr. H. M. Ivy, and also a statement on school expenditures in Mississippi, prepared and submitted by State Superintendent J. S. Vandiver, of the State of Mississippi.
Senator ELLENDER. Thank you.
SCHOOL EXPENDITURES IN MISSISSIPPI
(Prepared by J. S. Vandiver, Mississippi State superintendent of education)
School expenditures in Mississippi for the public elementary and high-school pupils averaged $33.51 per pupil enrolled for the session 1943–44. During the same session all superintendents and principals and teachers received an average salary of $819.84. Teachers are receiving for the current session of 1944-45 about 10 percent more than they received the preceding year. Even with this increase, 5,490 of the 15,500 teachers in the State are receiving less than $500, and 9,434, or 60 percent, are receiving less than $800 per year. In spite of the fact that Mississippi is spending such a small amount per child in the public schools and is paying such low salaries to its teachers, the State is putting forth much greater than average effort to finance its public schools. în proportion to the State's ability to pay, it ranks among the highest 10 percent of the States in the Union in effort. If Mississippi should spend for its public schools an amount equal to the average of the United States, it would need to provide approximately three times its present expenditures. Obviously this would be impossible in Mississippi without Federal aid.
It is apparent that even with perfect equalization within the State, Mississippi would be unable to provide a satisfactory minimum school program without additional financial aid from the Federal Government. To provide what has been considered by competent students of the problem as the approximate cost of a defensible minimum program of education for Mississippi the State would have to make an effort 12 times as great as that of the richest State and 4 times as great as the average of the United States.' The fact that Mississippi pays below standard salaries and does not provide adequate buildings and equipment for the public schools is not due to lack of interest or effort on the part of the people. The State has about 2 percent of the children of the Nation between the ages of 5 and 17, with about one-third of 1 percent of the personal net income of the United States.
1 National Education Association Research Bulletin, vol. XX, No. 4, September 1942, pp. 142-143.