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This is a national educational crisis. I am taking the position that we cannot justify sacrificing the training that any student needs in order to develop his or her intellectual potential, to the maximum extent possible. That, in my judgment, has become an obligation that government at all levels should fulfill. Also, I want to say that I am not moved by the argument that all you have to do is supply them scholarships.
Mr. MUIRHEAD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I wish I had had the wit to say it as concisely and persuasively as you have.
Senator MORSE. You have the wit.
Mr. MUIRHEAD. A large proportion of the students, scholarships in hand, would not be able to find programs suited to their capacities and needs at the existing institutions in the community. A responsible citizenry would not choose to shirk its obligation to bear a fair share of the cost of providing the obviously needed additional facilities and faculties for educating its youth.
Members of the committee, the need for broadened higher educational opportunities in the District of Columbia is pressing. Each June, the secondary schools of the District graduate hundreds of young people who are presently denied the chance to continue their education and thereby obtain the knowledge, the skills, and the employability to stay in the mainstream of our Great Society.
These young people can be given the educational opportunity they deserve an opportunity now available in some measures to citizens of all of the 50 States-by the early enactment of legislation providing for the establishment of a public community college and a college of arts and sciences for the Nation's Capital. This I urge you to do through the enactment of this legislation.
May I conclude by saying the Office of Education stands ready to assist in any way it can in the planning and development of the proposed public colleges in the District of Columbia.
Thank you. I will be pleased to respond to your questions.
Senator MORSE. Thank you for this excellent statement. I have no questions.
Senator YARBOROUGH. Earlier in the hearing you referred to your leadership in connection with the final passage of the new GI bill of which it was my honor to be one of the cosponsors. I have already paid respect to the dedication to education that you have extended to the youth of this country through the GI bill.
You have been a great help to me on the Subcommittee on Education and it is a great pleasure for me to present you to this group and to this record for a statement on the pending legislation.
You may proceed in your own way.
STATEMENT OF HON. RALPH YARBOROUGH, A U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS
Senator YARBOROUGH. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate very much this opportunity that you have given me and this privilege of making this statement at this time.
As a member of the Education Subcommittee of the full Labor and Public Welfare Committee, I have served under your chairmanship now for these past 5 or 6 years, during which time a volume of educa
tional legislation has been enacted. I congratulate the fine statesmanship you have shown there and your leadership in getting many divergent factions together in the Senate and during the many conferences we had with the House.
I have seen you bring order out of chaos many times in those conferences and I have seen you, with your conciliatory manner-maybe not known to the galleries in the Senate-but I have seen you there soften tempers and bring committees together in your aim toward improvement on higher education legislation.
As one of America's foremost law students you taught briefly in the University of Texas Law School. I am proud of the fact that one of the great lawyers of the country-you were dean of a law schoolhas been responsible for so much educational legislation at all levels. The antipoverty program. You were one of the people who helped put that bill through. The Headstart program; then the elementary and secondary education bill, and the higher education facilities bill and the higher education bill and the higher education facilities bill of 1963 and the one of 1965; and the mental retardation bill of 1963 for skills and training; the Institute for the Deaf-we could go on here for about four or five pages naming acts.
Senator MORSE. I am going to stop you, Senator. We did it together. The committee did it together and I thank you very much for that statement. I am delighted to have your support on that bill.
Senator YARBOROUGH. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for your help, for the 7 years you fought for the GI bill. It has finally passed. There will be 3 million veterans already discharged, eligible to enter school on the 1st of June with the educational provision backing the activity.
I thank the chairman for his courtesy in allowing me to appear here this morning to testify on behalf of improved higher education for the District of Columbia. It is always a pleasure to appear before this committee, which has done so much for the welfare of the residents of this city.
Unfortunately, the work of this subcommittee has sometimes been undone in conferences by other parts of the whole legislative process, but if the leadership of this great chairman were followed, much more would have been done for the District of Columbia in the field of education and public welfare than has as yet been accomplished.
But, Mr. Chairman, our work is never done, and today this committee is studying a matter of great urgency. The bills S. 1612 and S. 293 would provide for the creation of a 4-year public college of arts and sciences and a 2-year public community college. I wish to cite a few facts which I hope will indicate the need for these institutions in the District of Columbia.
First, there is the fact that four out of the five universities in the District have a tuition rate of $1,300 or higher. The five are: American University-$1,400 per academdic year; Catholic University-$1,300; George Washington University-$1,400; Georgetown University $1,400; Howard University-$500.
This is not in criticism in any manner of these five fine universities, four private and one Federal. They are invaluable to the intellectual development of this area and of the entire Nation.
For generations their graduates have gone out all over this Nation to enrich our culture and our national life. One of these, Georgetown
University, is as old as the American Constitution. George Washton and Howard Universities have been here for more than a century. These fine universities are overcrowded and and short of money, even with the fees they charge.
They have a backlog of requests for admissions, and the creation of this public university and this community college will aid in caring for the explosion in higher education of the tens of thousands now marching toward college doors.
This community needs these five fine universities.
In per capita public expenditures on higher education the District ranked dead last in the Nation, with an average of $2.26. This compares with the national average of $28.87 for 1963-64. Of all the 50 States and the District of Columbia only the District fails to offer its young people an opportunity to attend a publicly supported institution offering a liberal education through the bachelor's degree level. Studies by the Committee appointed by President Kennedy in 1963 showed that 55 percent of the seniors in the District's public high schools would be interested in a local public community college. Seventy-two percent indicated they would be interested if they were not otherwise accepted by the college or university of their choice. The Committee envisaged an opening class of 1,400 students during the early years of college.
That was 1963, Mr. Chairman. I should think those figures would be too low now, just as the enrollment last fall of approximately 6 million students in the institutions of higher learning in America were higher than any prediction that had been made.
The only public facility for higher education in the District—the District of Columbia Teachers College-is woefully inadequate. The third floor had been condemned as a fire hazard. In recent years the enrollment has dropped seriously; the number of graduates declined from 123 to 69 between 1958 and 1963, despite the ever-increasing need for teachers.
The members of this committee are well aware of the sharply increasing need for education in our society. I hope that the few facts that I have cited here will indicate some of the imperative needs for public higher education in the District today. I heartily endorse the proposals before this committee to establish such institutions.
In this connection, I have one suggestion to make. In my readings of S. 293 and S. 1612 I see no reference to the cost of instruction to the student. This may be an error but upon my examination I did not see that. I assume the cost is intended to be as low as possible, but this is nowhere indicated in the bill. I wonder whether the committee would consider an amendment to the bill clearly indicating that it is the intent of Congress that the educational opportunity provided under this bill shall be low cost, for otherwise the effect of this bill will be greatly diluted.
Perhaps the tuition should be limited to $100 per year. That is a limit in a number of States, in the State institutions of higher learning. I personally think that tuition should be free in the public community college, as it is in junior colleges in California.
Tuition is free through the junior college level in California today with the result that that State has enrolled in the junior colleges in the State of California 45 percent of all the students attending junior college in America today.
In the District of Columbia, this very great community, we should have a public junior college system here with tuition free, at least through the second year of work. We owe it to the country. We should not be the most backward area. Congress rules the District of Columbia. It should not be the most backward educationally in the Nation. It should be leading. We ought to catch up with California.
I should also like to suggest that authority be given for free tuition for some students and for scholarship aid for others in the 4-year college. One of the purposes of this bill, as I see it, is to give students from low-income families a chance to attend college. I believe that the amendments I have suggested here are necessary to accomplish that end.
If the committee is interested in the proposals I have set forth, I would be happy to have my staff meet with the committee staff to work out suitable language.
Again, Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank the committee for allowing me to appear here today. I fully endorse the proposals to establish public institutions of higher learning in the District of Columbia and appreciate the opportunity to offer the few suggestions which I believe would be in the best interests of accomplishing the objectives of this legislation. Such institutions are long overdue in the District of Columbia.
Senator MORSE. I am very proud to have your contribution to this hearing. After we build up part of the body of the hearing record in this case I would like to have our staff work with your staff in connection with the suggestions that you make.
Thank you very much.
I am going to put in the hearing record at this point a statement of a member of my subcommittee, Senator Prouty of Vermont, who could not be here, but who wanted to make a statement. He is another Member of the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee who has given me support at all times in regard to the work of this committee.
I would like to insert Senator Prouty's statement in the hearing record. I fully expected his support and we have his support for legislation in this field. I thank him.
(The statement referred to follows:)
STATEMENT BY SENATOR WINSTON L. PROUTY OF VERMONT RE S. 293 AND S. 1612
Mr. Chairman, I can imagine few pieces of legislation as vital to the growth and development of the District of Columbia as these bills, S. 293, of which I am a cosponsor, and S. 1612.
The roots of most of the important problems of the District can be traced directly to a lack of higher educational opportunities for the thousands who graduate from our high schools annually.
Washington is one of the last highly developed urban areas without some public facility for higher education in the liberal arts. It is one of the few highly populated urban areas without a truly community college. Accordingly, Mr. Chairman, it sets out to train our young for life in the space age with intellectual weapons of the Middle Ages.
Of the multifarious problems plaguing the District, many are traceable to the lack of a feeling of community, a sentiment that is not present, and cannot be present in a vacuum-that cannot exist in an area devoid of adequate public facilities for interesting and educating our young people.
In almost every major metropolis there are one or more public colleges serving as focal points-as cores of community life and activity. Around these facili
ties, institutions of art and entertainment abound. The communities develop pride and interest in the opportunities available "across the backyard."
Where, as here, no such public facilities are provided, the community attains no identity-young energies find no intellectual outlet and the community remains essentially less of an organized and interested entity, drained of leadership, vibrance, and vitality.
Accordingly, Mr. Chairman, I feel that enactment of public higher education legislation for the District of Columbia be essential-not only for the students to whom broad new intellectual vistas will emerge but for the community at large whose needs to find a common hearth must be served.
Senator MORSE. Dr. Chase, if you will bear with me a moment longer I would also like to have Senator Kennedy make a statement at this time. Senator Kennedy is a member of my Subcommittee on Education of the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee. He never fails to give support to the objectives of sound legislation, legislation nationally and for the District of Columbia.
I know of no one who has been in the Senate a shorter period of time than Senator Kennedy who has proved himself a more valuable member of the Senate District Committee.
STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT F. KENNEDY, A U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Senator KENNEDY. Thank you, and I must confess I listened to what you had to say, I kept my ears open and I appreciate it.
I just want to say how important I believe the legislation we are considering today is to the people, particularly the young people of the District of Columbia. The public education situation in the District is a national disgrace. At a time when 50 States are expending public higher educational facilities at a rapid rate, the District has one tiny and antiquated deteriorating teachers college.
Hundreds of boys and girls graduate from the District's high schools each year and simply have no place to go to college. I spoke at Western High School on Friday, Mr. Chairman, and I asked the group there how many of them wanted, or expected to go, would like to go on to college. I would think at least 85 percent of them raised their hands.
One of the first questions I received was, if we want to go on to college where can we go to college? What are you going to do about higher education in the District of Columbia?
Some of the residents, of course, have the financial resources to go to a privately endowed university or pay the resident fees. Others can get scholarship loans and go to a privately endowed college on that basis. There are hundreds of others each year who do not have the financial resources to go to college and are not qualified for a scholarship or loan. For them the educational system of the District is a hoax, a hoax which by 1970 will bar them from 70 percent of the Nation's jobs, because their education stopped at the 12th grade.
For some of these young people 2-year community college education would be appropriate; for others a 4-year liberal arts program would be in order; but neither of these opportunities exist in a public college in the District. Beyond the hundreds of District high school graduates each year who are visibly denied a higher education there are hundreds more who do not finish high school but may have stayed in school if they had some hope of going on to college.