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(2) studies have shown there are great differences among the States in their abilities and efforts to support schools without reaching their taxable capacities; (3) President Eisenhower has recommended a 4-point aid program; (4) several types of aid-distribution formulas that have been included in bills are explained in this report.


At least 25 bills pending in Congress propose that the Federal Government promote public library services in localities where such services are at present inadequate or nonexistent. For this purpose the bills propose a Federal appropriation of $7.5 million a year over a 5-year period of stimulation to State and local action.

According to published estimates about 27 million citizens of the United States do not have access to a local public library, and about 53 million others have available only meager library services. The majority of these citizens live in rural areas.

The pending bills propose an allotment of Federal funds to the States on a basis described in detail in chapter III of this report. The bills outline a Federal-State cooperative program. The United States Commissioner of Education would administer it at the Federal level.

Congress has taken some action on several of the proposals of this nature which have been introduced over a period of many years. No such action was taken, however, during the 83d Congress.

The issue has not been highly controversial. Most of the testimony given in hearings has been favorable to the proposition. A summary of the arguments pro and con appears in chapter III of this report.


As expressed in pending bills, the "oil for education" proposal is that revenue from oil and other resources of the federally owned outer Continental Shelf of the United States be used for the support of education. Precedents for such usage have been set by the early Federal land grants for the support of education in the States, and by the Morrill Act of 1862, which led to the establishment of our land-grant colleges.

A bill introduced in 1949. by Representative (now Senator) Francis Case and Senator William Langer has been referred to as a "forerunner" of the present proposal, which is frequently associated with the name of Senator Lister Hill.

Existing legislation establishes the jurisdiction of the United States over the outer Continental Shelf (beyond State boundaries) and provides for utilization of its resources. Basically the issue is a simple question of whether the Nation should devote to education the revenue it receives from the oil-rich outer Continental Shelf lands. Major considerations in the issue and arguments favorable and unfavorable to the proposal are summarized in chapter IV of this report.


For a period of over 15 years the question of universal military training has been many-sided and at times confused. As explained in chapter V of this report, the issue has important educational aspects. The ultimate purpose is preparation for national defense, or more specifically and currently, training of Reserve forces adequate for the national defense.

Historically the various UMT proposals have been associated with other educational or training proposals or provisions,

There has been an evolution of terms used to describe the proposals. At this time "national security training" or "Reserve forces training and service" ideas advanced by the President, the Department of Defense, the National Security Training Commission, the American Legion, and Members of Congress (in pending bills) are not in full agreement. The issue continues complicated and controversial.

One of the most profound effects of universal military training would be upon education. Some of the possible effects are reviewed in chapter Ÿ of this report, along with basic educational ideas which have been advanced as substitute proposals.

Perhaps the most important question from the educational viewpoint is that of the extent to which a Federal agency would have opportunity for indoctrination of the Nation's youth and for influence over education through the operation of a universal training program.

MODIFICATION OF THE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAM A program of Federal-State cooperation in vocational education below college grade has been in operation since the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 provided Federal funds for this purpose.

Proposals have been recently advanced that the Congress modify this program by (1) appropriating for the first time the full amount of additional appropriations authorized by the George-Barden Act of 1946, and (2) adding provision for practical-nurse training,

The administration-sponsored bill introduced in the 83d Congress proposing to replace the Smith-Hughes and George-Barden Acts with new legislation may be reintroduced in the 84th Congress. Chapter VI of this report summarizes arguments favorable and unfavorable to this proposal.

In 1954 the Congress increased the appropriation for the existing program by the amount of $5 million above the appropriation for the previous year. Some Members regarded this action as a steppingstone to the full appropriation of $29,300,000 authorized by the GeorgeBarden Act.

Several bills containing provisions for federally aided practicalnurse training have been introduced in the 84th Congress.

OTHER EDUCATIONAL MATTERS OF CONGRESSIONAL CONCERN Some other issues of concern to the 84th Congress, which this report does not fully analyze but deals with to some extent, are the following:

1. The question of putting into effect the Supreme Court decision of 1954 respecting racial segregation in public schools.

2. The question of Federal provision of financial aid to students in higher education proposed in various pending bills.

3. The forthcoming question of putting into effect recommendations which will emanate from the White House Conference on Education.

4. The question of establishment of a comprehensive training program for Federal employees-proposed in pending bills.

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The problem of making suitable and adequate provisions for public education in the United States is not mainly a problem of economic resources. It is primarily a question of public policy.

The United States undoubtedly has sufficient resources to support reasonably good educational opportunities for all its citizens, both children and adults. An effort to provide such opportunities principally through State and local financing has been continuous in this country for about a hundred years. However, it is apparent that this effort has not been wholly successful; and there is a current controversy over whether traditional sources of support should continue to be relied upon, or other sources should be utilized. Particularly there is a question as to whether the Federal Government should contribute more to the support of education, and if so, whether the contribution should be made in one or another or several of the various proposed forms.

The question involves consideration of such matters as: the relationship of education to government in this country; the respective roles of the Federal, State, and local governments in education; the basis for congressional concern with the problem; reappraisal of public policies in this field; the relationship of educational expenditure to gross national product; current methods of financing education; the controversy over "Federal aid,” and many other factors. Some of these matters will be briefly considered here, along with specific educational issues pending in the 84th Congress.


In ancient times such great thinkers as Plato and Aristotle recognized the need for establishment of a system of education to support the kind of political and social order sought. From colonial times in America, down to the present, many of our national leaders have emphasized the importance of education to the maintenance of our form of government. It may be of interest to consider statements made by several of our Presidents concerning this matter.

In his Farewell Address, George Washington admonished the Nation toPromote then as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

Thomas Jefferson pointed out thatIf a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

Abraham Lincoln said thatI view it (education) as the most important subject we as a people can be engaged in.


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Franklin D. Roosevelt expressed the opinion that, Education must light the path to social change. The social and economic problems confronting us are growing in complexity. The more complicated and difficult these problems become, the more essential it is to provide broad and complete education; the kind that will equip us as a Nation to decide these problems for the best interests of all concerned.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower has drawn attention to the fact thatBecause our schools help shape the mind and character of our youth, the strength or weakness of our educational system today will go far to determine the strength or weakness of our national wisdom and our national morality tomorrow.

Today as never before the philosophy of individual liberty under government by the whole people is challenged by the philosophy of suppression of individual rights under totalitarian government. More than ever before the maintenance of our traditional form of government in the United States depends upon the resourcefulness and sound judgment of the people developed through education.

Concerning maintenance of the "moving equilibrium of a complex democratic society” the Educational Policies Commission published a statement early in 1955, reading in part as follows:

Life in the United States has grown increasingly complex during the last century, and there is every indication that the complexities will multiply even further. To keep society moving forward and operating efficiently, American citizens must learn many things: They must have at hand a wide range of factual information; they must be familiar with the unwritten laws and mores of American behavior; they must master a variety of skills essential to that behavior. Know-how in 20th century America is not confined to engineers and scientists; there is a knowhow of ordinary living in our complex society which must be learned by the whole population.

In order to face the future with assurance America must make provisions for education adequate to assure continuation of the American way of life.


The subject of Federal, State, and local relationships in education has been treated in detail in other studies made for congressional committees the author of the present report. The subject therefore will not be dwelt upon here. In considering the issues dealt with in this study, however, it is important to recall that throughout the history of the United States the administration and financing of education have involved governmental concern at the Federal, State, and local levels. The most significant change in provisions for public education in this country through the years has been the gradual assumption by the States of educational responsibilities at first exercised by localities, particularly those respecting financial support for the public schools. The Federal Government has from the beginning operated educational programs of its own, and has from time to time provided various forms of financial aid and other promotion for education in the States.

The subject of Federal-State-local relationships in education will be dealt with in the forthcoming report of the Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.

1 Educational Policies Commission. Public Education and the Future of America. Washington, D. O. National Education Association, 1954. P. 7.

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