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indicates that about 7,000 of them are likely to be interested in college level education.
As you know, Senator, the difference between this GI bill and earlier GI bills is that it does not include any additional provisions for the payment of tutition. Earlier bills enabled some of us to attend private institutions because the bill itself provides for tuition payments, This one provides only for subsistence. Therefore, the need for a tuition-free higher education system becomes quite apparent, at least as to these 7,000 veterans.
Senator MORSE. May I interrupt to say that as a cosponsor of the bill we certainly would have preferred a tuition provision, but we were confronted with both parliamentary and political practices and there were some questions whether or not they were going to get the objective of the legislation on the statute books. I need not tell you that in Congress compromises have to be made in the passage of legislation. I am always willing to compromise if they don't ask me to compromise principle and no one ever has any real difficulty in determining what is and what isn't a principle sitting in my seat as long as I have.
I am sorry that the tuition provision isn't in it, but my view was that we ought to start with this when we saw that was all we could get passed. There will be opportunities in the future, I think, to modify or amend the bill and I shall certainly always support such an amendment.
Mr. COOKE. That is very good, Senator.
Senator MORSE. Until then I agree with you about the potential 25,000 persons right here in the District of Columbia. There are going to be more, I think. We had better see to it that we provide public colleges for their education.
Mr. WEIL. In all other areas of the country there are such colleges. This is the one area which does not have them and I think this factor alone establishes sufficient rationale to pass the bills that are before the subcommittee.
Mr. COOKE. I was going to say that, even though the cold war GI bill did not include this provision for tuition, the American Veterans Committee as you know supported it right down the line. You see, Senator, the first GI bill paid for my doctor's degree. I earned that with the money from the GI bill, subsistence and tuition and that makes a big difference today.
I might not have been able to raise that tuition myself in 1946 and 1947 so we are very interested today that the veteran does not have the tuition, have the opportunity for public college.
Senator MORSE. Doctor, may I say along that line that I haven't any doubt, if you were to ask me what were some of the causes for this great shift in American public opinion in regard to Federal aid to education in recent years, you know I think I might put really at the top of the list, or so close to it that it would be within the first two or three reasons, the approval of the GI bill that people at the grassroots of America came to develop. I have tried it many times with general audiences. I said, "I would like to see the hands of all those in the audience that have been the beneficiaries of the GI bill," and you would be surprised how many became the beneficiaries. It sold itself and then because one of the things we had to overcome was this old bromide that has existed so long, "We can't afford it."
I have always said to taxpayers, "It really didn't cost you anything." "What do you mean, it didn't cost me anything? I paid the tax. But as a result of a good many of the economic results of the GI bill it has put you in a position where you can pay more taxes. You can earn enough to pay more taxes because this has been a great stimulant to the economy of this country as we have trained these additional thousands of GI's into these professional classes and into the business world. They are paying into the Treasury in the increased taxes as a result of their increased income which they never would have earned without their college degrees many times the cost of this so-called investment of the taxpayers' money. But it really has been an investment, a loan of the taxpayers to the expansion of the economy.
This becomes a matter of simple arithmetic when you really get through with it. You gentlemen are asking for something that isn't going to cost your country in the long run a single cent. It is going to be a form of a loan in our economy, but it is more than that. When one talks this way in politics today I know he is supposed to be a little bit distrurbed, but what you are also doing through this kind of legislation is carrying out a great moral obligation. I happen to think that morality must be basic to all our public programs and you are carrying out a moral obligation that we owe the young people of this country in investing in their human welfare. It is a matter of human value, and I am not going to lose sight of it and I am not going to let my committee lose sight of it.
I don't have to because my committee recognizes it and I will do everything I can to try to get the people of the country not to lose sight of it, either.
These are abstract principles, I know. They are abstract principles, but it happens to be that these abstract principles implemented are the principles that keep us free. To understand me you have to understand that philosophy. If we do not do these things we are not going to remain a free nation. We are going to become a decadent nation. I am sorry. Go ahead.
Mr. WEIL. I have always had great respect for that philosophy of yours which has certainly been evident throughout your 21 years here. I think after this we can rest on our written statement. Thank you for this opportunity.
Senator MORSE. Thank you, gentlemen.
(Mr. Weil's prepared statement follows:)
STATEMENT OF FRANK E. G. WEIL, THE AMERICAN VETERANS COMMITTEE (AVC)
The American Veterans Committee (AVC), the Washington, D.C., chapter, strongly endorses the proposed legislation to establish broad public higher education for the voteless citizens of the District of Columbia. Several years ago the National Board of AVC, meeting at a quarterly session in New York City, also endorsed the concept of a public university for the Nation's Capital.
AVC holds no reservations now in supporting both the 4-year liberal arts college and the community college, recognizing that the city will continue to have well-prepared teachers from a division of the 4-year liberal arts college.
The American Veterans Committee (AVC), an organization of veterans of both World Wars and the Korean conflict, holds as its guiding principle-"Citizens First, Veterans Second." In the instance of broad public higher education, we conclude that both the citizen and the veterans will benefit greatly from expanded college programs, although the AVC recognizes the effective job that the
District of Columbia Teachers College has accomplished for many years. As citizens, we concur in much of the testimony already presented to the committee. The need of this city and of its citizens for a 4-year college and a community college is obvious, in fact was obvious in 1945 when the citizens here first began the consideration of the junior college. As veterans, we have long recognized the need for the broader institution, and we particularly call to the attention of the committee the need of many new veterans-those who have served since 1955, especially in the Vietnam conflict, those now who can profit from new legislation. The Nation has genuinely appreciated the services of the men and women in the Armed Forces and has sought through the two GI bills to help the veteran return to civilian life. AVC, once again, commends the work of Senator Ralph Yarborough and other Senators who worked hard for passage of the cold war GI bill. A major interest of the Nation in the veteran has been to provide for his education. After World War II many veterans received substantial aid to continue and complete their education.
AVC points out the obvious: many veterans, aided by the new GI bill, will be seeking a college education. In this city alone, we believe that likely thousands of veterans may seek a public education, a public college, either liberal arts or community college. They would seek a public college for several reasons. First, many veterans are very familiar with public institutions and public services. Second, the cost of attending a public institution has always and will continue to be lower than the expense of a private institution. Third, the veteran will receive aid to his college through a subsistence allowance but will not have his tuition paid.
The Veterans' Administration estimates that hundreds of thousands of veterans over the Nation and in the District of Columbia more than 25,000 are eligible for some benefits. Of this number in this city, possibly as many as 7,000 might be interested in college-level education. We judge that a large proportion of the latter number might be interested in public colleges.
We have recently talked a great deal about the "disadvantaged." Rightly So. And there is a place for the able, disadvantaged in our colleges, both public and private. A public program is the answer for those who cannot afford the tuition of Georgetown University and American University or even Howard University. In some respects the veteran returning to civilian life after service in Germany or the Dominican Republic, Vietnam or duty in our own countrythis man or woman generally has some disadvantages as he faces readjustment. The relatively low cost of public higher education, the atmosphere of public education, the curriculum that such colleges will provide are more likely to aid the "disadvantaged" veteran to readjust to civilian life and to continue his education.
With respect to the particulars of the legislation, AVC notes with strong agreement the authorization for a board of public higher education. This is good; in fact, the present college should have a separate board and should be tied into the public school system and school board. Nominations for the board might come from both the Commissioners and the District court judges. Having been motivated, together with a dozen other community organizations, to urge the integration of the then existing separate teachers colleges, we have long studied the force of race in education and in the city. We have noted the number of barriers to quality education in the District of Columbia. Can the number and proportion of Negroes likely to benefit from better education and a public college program have been factors blocking both for so long? We don't know. We earnestly hope, however, that considerations of race will not block the authorization for the two public colleges and know that racial considerations have no force in the Senate.
We have appreciated this opportunity to present the views of the American Veterans' Committee.
Senator MORSE. The next witness will be Mr. Darnley Howard, education chairman, Federation of Civic Associations.
Mr. Howard, I am glad to have you. You may proceed in your
STATEMENT OF DARNLEY M. HOWARD, CHAIRMAN, EDUCATION COMMITTEE, FEDERATION OF CIVIC ASSOCIATIONS, INC.
Mr. HOWARD. Thank you very much, Senator. We are happy for this opportunity to appear.
The Federation of Civic Associations is very grateful for the opportunity to testify before you today. We are a federation of civic groups having 45 member associations, representing every region of the District of Columbia.
A public college established to satisfy the academic needs of the people of the District of Columbia at nominal cost to the student does not now exist except in the area of undergraduate teacher education.
The Federation of Civic Associations has long felt that the District of Columbia should have publicly supported institutions of higher learning. Virtually every State in the Union and the great majority of metropolitan areas within these States do have publicly supported colleges.
On today's labor market the minimum requirement for a position of professional standing is a bachelor's degree, and many skilled subprofessional positions require at least 2 years of college. At the same time, semiskilled and unskilled jobs are less in demand each year. This situation makes it mandatory that a person pursue his education as far as his ability permits, toward the end that he is prepared to perform a useful service which will be of value to the economy and the community.
A public college should have a strong evening program. Such a program would provide adults already employed or in business with an opportunity to prepare themselves for better positions and an opportunity for self-improvement in both the practical and the cultural
The college program should contain a graduate school for teachers, the need for which has been demonstrated, and other graduate level programs as the need arises.
A realization of the ambitions of young people and adults is attainable only if employment opportunity can be matched with adequate educational preparation. We believe that publicly supported junior and 4-year colleges, in keeping with the recommendations of section III of a report to the President "Public Higher Education in the District of Columbia," will be a major contribution toward adequate educational opportunity for Washington and, like all schools, a priceless investment for the future.
Senate bills S. 1612, by Senator Bible, and S. 293, by Senator Morse et al., both provide for a 2-year program, a 4-year program in the arts and sciences which would include teacher training, a master's degree program in the arts and sciences, and courses on an individual noncredit basis. Programs of this type will, to a large degree, satisfy the needs of the District of Columbia in the area of public higher education as outlined briefly in this statement and as presented in detail in the President's report. The Federation of Civic Associations wholeheartedly endorses the education programs which both bills would provide.
The bills differ, however, in the method used to select the nominating committee and the Board of Higher Education. S. 293 stipulates
that the nominating committee and the Board would be selected by the U.S. district court. This Board of Higher Education would, we assume, be the vehicle through which public expression and desires would be transmitted to the college administration in the same way as with the regular board of education.
Our experience indicates that the court discharges these duties such as Board appointments, without enthusiasm. We have seen that this method can produce a board that is aloof, indifferent, and unresponsive. The Federation of Civic Associations, therefore, supports S. 1612 as far as method of selection of a nominating committee and Board of Higher Education is concerned, in the hope and belief that a Board can be chosen which is sensitive to the needs of the community. I might digress a moment here to say that we are actually in favor of an elected board, but in choosing the alternatives between these two about his point you were here this morning.
Senator MORSE. I noticed when we had a discussion with Mr. Turner about this point you were here this morning.
I quite agree with you that I don't think the Federal court is very enthusiastic about this assignment and also as a lawyer with all the work these judges have to do I have reservations in placing the additional burden on them.
If the District Commissioners were elected officials, I would be less hesitant to place the appointment in the District Commissioners.
If you had home rule and you wanted to decide that the Board of Higher Education should be appointed by your mayor with the confirmation of your council, that is a democratic process, too. To date my mind is still open on the question. I am rather hesitant about favoring the Board of Education being appointed by the District Commissioners, which is no reflection on them. I am talking about procedure. I am talking about the degree to which they represent a democratic process. So I am leaning, as I said this morning, in favor of an amendment to the bill that would provide for an elected board of education.
Mr. HOWARD. The federation also supports S. 1612 in the area of fiscal responsibility. We agree that staff salaries, retirement, et cetera, should be the responsibility of the Board. We agree that gifts, grants, et cetera, should be accepted by the Board, subject to the District of Columbia Commissioners' approval and administered by the Board. Finally, we feel that S. 1612 should be modified so that revenue from tuition, fees, et cetera, would go into a fund administered by the Board and not into the general fund of the District.
In other words, we feel that the effectiveness of the Board and the college administration will be directly proportional to its financial independence.
Finally, the two bills under discussion do not provide for a site for the proposed college. Our association would like to urge that the site on which the present National Training School is located at Bladensburg and South Dakota Streets NE. be chosen for the community college. We feel that this location permits ready access by public transportation and is one of the last areas in Washington with enough open space to plan and build, without compromise, a complete educational complex.