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better than to endorse in principle the proposal made by President Wilson and secure the signatures, not only of the Baptists of this Nation, now more than 11,000,000 in number, but also the signatures of other millions of Americans of other congregations who share with them a like devotion to freedom of religion.
Senator JOHNSTON. The next witness is Mr. Elmer E. Rogers.
STATEMENT OF ELMER E. ROGERS, AIDE TO THE GRAND COM
MANDER OF THE SUPREME COUNCIL, THIRTY-THIRD DEGREE, ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE OF FREEMASONRY, SOUTHERN JURISDICTION, AND ASSOCIATE EDITOR OF THE PUBLICATIONS OF SUCH COUNCIL
Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Chairman, I would first like to introduce a statement by Dr. Charles Fama, of New York, an eminent physician there, who is chairman of the personnel retirement board of that city, and then the statement of Col. John H. Cowles, grand commander of the Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemansonry, southern jurisdiction.
Senator JOHNSTON. They may be inserted in the record. (The statements referred to are as follows:)
APRIL 17, 1945. COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: We have read with apprehension and dismay of the pending bin presented by Senator Mead, of New York, and Senator Aiken, of Vermont, intended to give Federal aid to private schools.
It is our firm conviction that the passing of such a bill would undermine and eventually destroy State control of education, and with it, our democratic system of free public schools.
As citizens of the United States, we are deeply interested in the maintenance of free public schools and advocate the spending of all necessary amounts of money for their maintenance and equipment. But, we are against the spending of even a farthing for the support of private sectarian schools.
We are fully in agreement that under our democratic system, every citizen should enjoy the privilege of having private tuition if he so desires, but the division between church and State should be always kept alive and any attempt to link church and State must be opposed if we want to keep intact the structure of our democratic institutions.
Our school system, even making allowances for its deficiencies, ranks among the best in the world. Perhaps it is the best. Therefore, let those who wish to attend a private school pay their own way and not be a burden to the State.
It is with the foregoing in view that our committee wishes to register its determined opposition to the passing of the Mead-Aiken bill and urges Members of the Sinate to vote against it as contrary to all principles of our democratic system of public schools and Government. Respectfully yours,
CHARLES FAMA, M. D. President, Lay Committee. FRANCIS J. PANETTA,
STATEMENT OF JOHN H. COWLES, GRAND COMMANDER OF THE SUPREME COUNCIL,
330 DEGREE, ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE OF FREEMASONRY, SOUTHERN JURISDICTION, AND NATIVE SON, CITIZEN OF KENTUCKY
Mr. CHAIRMAN, I am John H, Cowles, grand commander of the Supreme Coun. cil, 330 degree, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, southern jurisdiction, and a native-born citizen, State of Kentucky.
While I am opposed to Federal aid to education for the reasons stated in the hearings on S. 181, I am even more strongly opposed to 9.717 because of its proposal to aid nonpublic schools, which is a radical departure from our established principle of prohibiting aid to nonpublic schools of a sectarian character.
Briefly the bill is badly drawn. It is
1. Vague and uncertain in some of its provisions governing the allocation of Federal funds to the States.
2. By indirection, through its broad discretionary powers in allocating funds to the States, the National Board of Apportionment is in position to exercise à real measure of Federal control over State and local school systems.
3. The proposal to establish private elementary and secondary schools on a permanent basis as recipients of Federal aid is contrary to long-standing American policy and practice which in the first instance sprang from an unsuccessfuis effort on this continent to make private and denominational education a charge against public revenues.
4. The break-down of Federal funds allocated the States as between public and nonpublic education has in it the possibility of permanent, unhappy competition between these two types of schools for such funds.
5. The creation of an additional Federal agency—the National Board of Apportionment-is unnecessary, undesirable, and a threat to the efficient administration of public education on both Federal and State levels.
Amplifying on the above statements, let me say that S. 717 authorizes appropriations amounting in the aggregate to $550,000,000 per annum. Of this amount $200,000,000 is to be allocated to the States on objective bases which permit of definite and precise computations. Anyone can compute the distribution of this $200,000,000 sum.
On the other hand, the provisions of the bill which relate to the distribution of the remainder, or $350,000,000, are vague and uncertain, so much so that there is no person or agency anywhere who can say how much of this $350,000,000 sum would go from year to year to any State in the Nation. The statement that the bill conforms to the President's declaration that Federal aid should be allocated where it is needed-and only where it is needed-is a statement that is purely opportunistic and entirely speculative. There is no fact or facts in the bill that supports this declaration-none whatever. As a matter of fact the discretionary power of the National Board of Apportionment is sufficiently broad to permit it to make almost any kind of allocation it might wish to make. The law does say that the board shall take into consideration "the findings and recommendations of the Secretary of the Treasury—the nature and extent of educational inequalities and relative substandard conditions-and the findings of the Director of the Census." But the act has nothing whatever to say about the relative importance of these "findings and recommendations.” It gives them no relative weighting. It does not show how these "findings and recommendations" shall be compounded to produce a method for distributing available funds to the extent of $350,000,000. Neither does the bill exclude other "findings and recommendations" of other agencies than those enumerated in section 202 and section 302 which relate to the distribution of the $350,000 000 in question.
To the extent of $350,000,000 (of the total of $550,000,000) the bill sets up a temptation to manipulate Federal funds in relation to school support which would almost certainly eventuate in great misfortune.
By indirection the National Board of Apportionment created by S. 717 can, if it wishes, bring a great deal of Federal control to bear upon State and local school programs through its power to exercise broad discretionary authority in allocating funds to the States. There are innumerable combinations of factors that can be found by any individual or board to allocate Federal assistance to the States. Some combinations will favor the neediest States, other combinations will favor the richest States, or the average-in-ability States. Certain combinations will better serve political motives, religious motives, or other motives. As the bill stands, the Board is in position to exercise a dominant influence upon the character of education through its extensive discretionary ability to determine which States shall get the biggest "take" on the $350,000,000 temptation set up in the act.
Because the provisions of the bill are vague and uncertain in respect to the way the funds authorized will be shared between public and nonpublic education, it is certain that the Board will be subjected to very great pressures by these two groups, each attempting to safeguard its own maximum interest in the distribution of Federal funds to the States.
This competition will inevitably strike at the basic freedom of religion in American democracy. From it will spring intolerance and prejudices harmful to the general welfare. The fact is clearly in view that for the most part the chief purpose of nonprofit, nonpublic elementary and secondary schools throughout the United States is that of maintaining and extending specific types of religious instruction for youth. Take this motive away and most institutions-nonprofit in character—would immediately disappear.
The principle of supporting such schools from public revenues was for many years a source of controversy in the development of American life. Experience proved the principle was not workable, hence it was discontinued. This lesson in self-government needs to be remembered. Denominational instruction is a private matter as well as a personal privilege which can be enjoyed in democratic America. It is, however, a conspicuous anachronism to suggest that our country forget what it has learned in this matter and that it return to a practice which, after long and patient trial, was found to be wanting in democratic American life. This is all the more true in point of the fact that the American public school system, without being denominational in its instruction, is yet one of the primary Christian institutions existing in the world today.
The bill under consideration attempts to recognize the foregoing viewpoint but without genuine success in doing so. For example, it provides that none of the money can be used for instructional salaries in nonpublic institutions. On the other hand, it appropriates money that can be used for all kinds of instructional materials and for other purposes related to instruction in specific, denominational doctrines. In this matter the bill is "everything to everybody" without being decidedly and frankly American on the issue at stake.
The erection of a new Federal agency to complete for functions and controls in the field of education is unnecessary, undesirable, and a threat to the efficient administration of public education in this country. We now have one or more boards in the Federal Security Agency that relate to educational administration. There have been numerous Federal agencies with like functions and purposes outside the Federal Security Agency from time to time. The effect of numerous agencies, administrative in nature, is to dissipate controls and responsibilities, to draw them into conflicts that cannot be smoothed over, and generally to make for inefficiency in administration. The National Board of Apportionment is just one more agency to help create confusion and inefficiency in education.
The excuse for creating the National Board of Apportionment is the absence of an objective formula for allocating to the States the funds provided in S. 717. While there is no such thing known to man as a "perfect" formula for distributing funds, it is nevertheless true, on the basis of experience in distributing State equalization funds, that a formula is preferable to a board or to an individual having broad discretionary power to allocate on a "judgment" basis.
Let the public schools alone. The business of the United States Government has grown so much that it has become unwieldly.
THE SUPREME COUNCIL FAVORS
1. The American public school, nonpartisan, nonsectarian, efficient, democratic, for all of the children of all the people.
2. The inculcation of patriotism, respect for law and order, and undying loyalty to the Constitution of the United States of America.
3. The compulsory use of English as the language of instruction in the grammar grades of our public schools.
4. Adequate provision in the American public schools for the education of the alien populations in the principles of American institutions and ideals of citizenship.
5. The entire separation of church and State, and opposition to every attempt to appropriate public moneys—Federal, State, or local-directly or indirectly, for the support of sectarian or private institutions.
Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Chairman, I am Elmer E. Rogers, aide to the grand commander of the supreme council, thirty-third degree, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, southern jurisdiction, and associate editor of the publications of that council. I testify here, however, on my own responsibility.
I have been appearing before the committees of the House and Senate on education bills for nearly 20 years. In my judgment, of all the bills that have ever rated a congressional hearing on Federal aid to education, S. 717 is the most inclusive, the most radical, very dangerous to our liberties, in its reactionary aspects, and certainly the most vague in the powers it sets up to allocate Federal funds for education.
It is inclusive in that it covers every facility for education, perhaps real property, and in this it would interfere with the rights of the States in locating school buildings where Federal appropriations are used by the State.
It is radical in that it would make direct gifts of money for education.
It is dangerous to our liberties in that it would establish the reactionary policy of supporting sectarian schools.
It is vague and ambiguous as has been shown by the many questions that have been raised as to its meaning in vital particulars by members of this committee.
It purports, as a motive for its introduction, to aid the public schools, whereas such is already provided for in S. 181 upon which hearings have been concluded.
The proponents of S. 717 would take advantage of the sentiment in behalf of Federal aid to public schools to press Congress for aid to all nonpublic schools from the nursery and kindergarten through the junior college.
According to the Statistical Survey of Education by the United States Office of Education the total number of such schools reporting in 1940–41 was 12,727. Of this number, 1,102 were nonsectarian, 1,576 were Protestant, and 10,049 were Roman Catholic. I submit tables of the data for the record as exhibit A.
(Exhibit A is as follows :)
EXHIBIT A.-RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION OR CONTROL OF PRIVATE SCHOOLS TABLE 3.—Enrollment in private sementary and secondary schools, by religious
affiliation or control, 1940-41
457, 768 3,063
283 1, 266 2, 496 2, 362
177 3, 232 8,528
1,977 361, 123 4, 712
87 3, 219 61, 554
66 1, 102
5, 544 2, 325 536 103, 708
1 U. S. Office of Education, Statistical Summary of Education, 1941-42, 194 p. 12.
Mr. Rogers. The proposed aid to nonpublic schools included everything from health programs, reading material, visual aids, school books, libraries, transportation, and other facilities. The bill would involve the Federal Government in $100,000,000 expenditure for such items but also for the payment of sums aggregating $150,000,000 directly to parents of persons of the age of 14 and 15 who are in regular attendance at public and at nonpublic schools, and directly to pupils in regular attendance at such schools who have attained the age of 16 but have not attained the age of 21.
Of course, the bill would include aid to needy public school pupils and to local public-school systems, else there would be little probability of its even being considered by this committee.
S. 717 raises the whole question as to the relative efficacy of sectarian schools and public schools in lessening crime and instilling moral lessons in the minds of the pupils, and the wisdom on other grounds of aiding such schools from public taxation.
The bill sets up a National Board of Apportionment whose broad discretionary powers are such, with their vague wording, as to establish a dangerous Federal control over many phases of education with subtle undefined advantages accruing to nonpublic schools.
The dangerous features and radical implications of the bill are many. They include the following:
A. Power of the board to interfere with certain administrative acts of the public-school systems of the States through the manipulation of Federal appropriations.
Under section 6, for example, such interference would extend to any act of Congress appropriating funds to be used in the location and construction of school buildings. If such funds were used jointly with State funds this power to interfere would involve the meddling of the board with purely State prerogatives. Appropriations of the kind that come under the Lanham Act would be a signficant illustration of this point.
B. Federal aid to nonpublic schools would greatly strengthen the growing system of sectarian schools now operating in competition with public schools. Such competition increased by Federal aid would be a constant menace to the expansion and efficient administration of the latter.
Religious leaders would then be able to force many more parents to send their children to the sectarian schools on the grounds of Federal approval of such schools.
C. The bill creates a permanent status wherein sectarian schools would become, among the nonpublic schools, the principal beneficiaries of Federal aid. Such a status would utimately destroy not only the free independent character of our public schools but would establish in our national life an interdependence of state and church.
D. The radical proposal in S. 717 to aid sectarian schools from funds raised by public taxes would put in reverse an American tradition of over a century and a half of complete separation of church and state.
E. This dangerous and reactionary departure from our tradition disregards and sets at naught the principles recited in Madison's Memoriał of 1784 to the voters of Virginia, and the same principles