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Finally, if Congress decides to vote money for subsidizing education throughout the Nation, just what new taxes do you plan to impose in order to assure that there will be no Federal deficit financing and, hence, no deterioration in the value of the dollar?
I believe that you should give this matter your very careful consideration before appropriating money for aid to education.
I greatly appreciate your consideration in giving me time to thus present my views.
Senator Y ARBOROUGH. Dr. King, you have raised in your paper very interesting questions. I find that you agree on the basic premise with virtually everyone I have heard on this subject, that the state of education in America is not satisfactory now, that there is a drastic need for improvement. Your paper presents a different facet of it. You would seek that improvement through a change of direction for education rather than through greater financial support for our educational institutions
Of course, concerning portions of your paper, not being a professional educator, I am hardly in a position to question you about your attack on progressive education or automatic promotions based on age. But your paper raises many interesting questions about the quality of instruction, and, of course, those who advocate the Federal bill say that quality will be improved if we pay our teachers enough.
I notice from your paper you think that the main problem is not pay but lack of disciplines in the schools, the keeping of people there who you think should be out of the schools.
These are some of the most interesting questions I think facing American education today. Your statement will be printed in the record in full for the benefit of everyone interested in public education. Many people read these reports of these hearings. I assure you it will be studied.
Dr. KING. I noted that the Senator from my native State of Iowa said they had been closing the rural schools in Iowa and that was one of the causes for a shortage of school space.
You know that some years ago the State superintendent of New Hampshire compared the results of the education in one-room country schools with that in the consolidated schools, and he found that the one-room country schools gave much better training than did the consolidated schools.
Then the man in charge of the schools on Long Island, where I live, made a similar study on Long Island, and he found that the rural one-room schools on Long Island gave better results than did the consolidated schools.
That is another way apparently of cutting down the quality of education, by abolishing rural schools. That is one reason the Senator gave for the shortage of schools in Iowa.
Senator YARBOROUGH. Dr. King, as to those studies that you mentioned in New Hampshire and Long Island, do you know the length of term of those schools, whether they were comparable with the consolidated schools in length of term and quality of the training the teacher has had ?
Dr. KING. I do not know. I think they probably were all 9-month schools.
When I went to school as a boy out in western Nebraska we had 4month school most of the time, and it later got up to 5. I am sure we made far more progress than they do in our city schools in Douglaston at the present time in the course of a year.
Senator YARBOROUGH. You think you made more progress in 4 or 5 months of school than the average city school makes in 9 months today?
Mr. KING. I am quite sure we did more in 4 or 5 months than the schools in Douglaston, which is one of the nicer sections of New York City, make at the present time. One of our neighbor's little daughters, a very bright little girl, was commenting to us not long ago on our school in Douglaston, which is supposed to be one of the best schools around. “My, I wish they would teach me something there and not just have me play all the time.”
Senator YARBOROUGH. Thank you very much for your statement, Dr. King.
The subcommittee will recess until tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. The hearings will be resumed in this room.
(Whereupon, at 11:50 a.m., the subcommittee recessed until 10 a.m., Thursday, April 9, 1959.)
FEDERAL GRANTS TO STATES FOR ELEMENTARY AND
THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 1959
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, at 10:15 a.m., in room 4232, New Senate Office Building, Senator Pat McNamara presiding.
Present: Senator McNamara (presiding).
Mr. Finney, I notice the statement containing the views of the Chamber of Commerce that you have submitted this morning runs about 48-plus pages, with tables and so on. Of course, the subcommittee wants to have the full benefit of the chamber's views, particularly since it is a most vigorous opponent of Federal aid to education. On the other hand, there are other witnesses to be heard this morning, and I suggest you present the highlights and conclusions presented in this document rather than attempting to read it in its entirety.
Of course, the full statement will be placed in the record, if this Mr. FINNEY. That is very satisfactory, Senator. (See p. 342.)
Senator McNAMARA. Thank you. We will proceed in this manner and will be glad to hear from you now.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT A. FINNEY, ACCOMPANIED BY JOHN R.
MILES, MANAGER, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES
Mr. FINNEY. I am Robert A. Finney, the general manager of the Humboldt Brick & Tile Co., in Humboldt, Kans. I have been a member of the board of directors and the education committee of the national chamber for the past 2 years.
Since I am presenting the chamber's views, I believe that I should establish the fact that I had extensive graduate training at the University of Chicago, that I taught economic history and theory at Allegheny College for several years, and that I am presently chairman of the board of trustees of the College of Emporia and a trustee of the Kansas Foundation of Private Colleges and Universities. More recently I have had the privilege of chairing a meeting organized by the Kansas Society for School Improvement at which Dr. James B. Conant was a principal speaker.
I would like to have as my assistant here this morning Dr. John R. Miles of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Senator McNAMARA. Good morning. We are glad to have you at the table to testify and answer questions at any time that it is convenient.
Mr. FINNEY. Thank you, sir.
The Chamber of Commerce of the United States represents the concensus of business thinking of more than 3,450 chambers of commerce and trade associations. In the field of education it has stimulated the creation of committees on education in 2,200 local and State chambers of commerce. Delegates from these local and State organizations have by unanimous vote at our annual meetings in 1957 and 1958 created the policies on education of the national chamber. These policies state clearly the chamber's belief that public education is and should continue to be a State and local responsibility.
We believe there is and always will be a need for an improvement in education as there are changes in our living standards, indeed in our very way of life. But there seems to be a panic approach to the problems of education today. People who in their rush to do something destroy the unique character of our public schools, financed and controlled at the local level where the education takes place.
In quantitative terms, the accomplishments of our educational system under State and local responsibility are unprecedented. Fortyfive million persons, one-fourth of the Nation, participate in full-time formal education. Ninty-nine percent of the children age 6 to 15 and 80 percent of those age 16 and 17 are enrolled in school. One-third of our young people enter college and two-thirds of those who enter graduate. One and one-half million school diplomas and a half million college degrees are awarded each year. No nation on earth ever did, does now or has a reasonable prospect to approach these achievements.
To be sure, the Federal Government can help in many ways to improve the capacities of State and local government to meet their requirements. Our present tax system tends to inhibit economic growth. The Federal rate structure blocks tax avenues and preempts tax sources which would otherwise be open to State and local governments.
Many Federal grants in aid for a host of social and welfare activities in some instances tend to divert State and local funds from educational to perhaps less important public purposes. A heavy burden is imposed in some areas by the tax exemption of more than $200 billion of Federal property holdings. Adequate payments in lieu of taxes for at least a part of these properties would be of tremendous assistance.
The Federal Government, acting through its Office of Education, could render invaluable help to States and communities by providing advice and leadership to boards of education which are trying to make fuller and more effective use of the available manpower and facilities.
Great and largely unexplored potentials exist for making the educational processes more efficient. Better utilization of qualified teachers, employment of technological tools and methods of more economical school construction could help many communities cope with their school problems. The influence of the Office of Education could and should be exerted toward higher educational standards and a wiser use of resources.
In our testimony we have four main sections of facts that bear on the problems of school support. First, the investment in education;
, second, the matter of teacher shortage; third, the matter of classroom shortage; and, fourth, the State and local fiscal capacity.
First, as to the matter of investment in education, there has been a rapid and consistent growth in the financial support accorded schools at the local and State level. Education is by far the largest item of Government expenditure except for national defense.
Our tendency to increase funds for education more sharply than for other purposes can be gleaned from the testimony which Dr. Walter W. Heller, chairman of the Department of Economics at the University of Minnesota, presented to the General Education Subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and Labor and to this committee in February 1959.
Dr. Heller said that between 1948 and 1957 the gross national product increased from $316.6 billion to $440.3 billion, and public education expenditures from $7 billion to $15 billion, all in terms of the 1957 dollar. This equals an increase of 39 percent in gross national product and of 114.3 percent for public education.
Dr. Heller also showed an increase in gross national product per capita of 19.1 percent. The simultaneous rise in educational expenditures per student was 59.2 percent.
The fact is, as shown in the statistics of the National Education Association, that State and local expenditures for public schools have increased an average of about $1 billion every year, and enrollment increased an average of about 1 million pupils per year since 1950.
Now as to the teacher shortage. The statement was made in testimony before this committee in February 1959, that 29 percent of our elementary teachers do not have a college degree.
The more positive approach to this matter appeared in a pamphlet simultaneously published by the National Education Associaton, entitled "Fifty Milestones in the Professional Standards Movement." That pamphlet shows that in 1959 there were 29 percent of the elementary teachers without a degree, that 71 percent did have a degree, against 1946 in which only 45 percent of those so employed had college degree.
In 1946, 15 States required a degree for beginning teachers. In 1959, 37 States so required.
In 1946, there were 123,000 teachers holding emergency certificates, or 1 out of 6; in 1959 that figure was 1 in 14, or 95,721. In 1946 there were 41,000 degree teachers prepared. In 1959 the number was 115,989.
In 1946, there were 875,700 teaching positions. In 1959 they showed 1,400,000 teaching positions.
The average annual teacher's salary in 1946 was $2,080. Today it is $4,935.
The percentage of nondegree teachers in the public schools has been rapidly declining. For
years there has been clear evidence that the teacher shortage is rapidly diminishing. Three years ago the NEA, in its 1956 Teacher Supply and Demand Report, stated—and I quote—“predicted an end to the teacher shortage by the early 1960's.”