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Senator MURRAY. Thank you very much for your very fine statement.
Mr. ZANDER. Thank you very much. We appreciate the opportunity of appearing before you.
Senator MURRAY. Thank you.
Senator MURRAY. The next witness this morning is Mr. Samuel Jacobs, Washington representative of the United Automobile Workers Union.
STATEMENT OF SAMUEL JACOBS, WASHINGTON REPRESENTATIVE,
UNITED AUTOMOBILE WORKERS UNION
Mr. Jacobs. Mr. Chairman, my name is Samuel Jacobs. I am Washington representative for the United Automobile Workers Union.
Our president, Walter Reuther, had originally made the request for this time. Unfortunately, he is ill.
Senator MURRAY. I am sorry to hear that.
Mr. Jacobs. I wish to thank you for the opportunity of presenting the views of our union in support of S. 2, the Murray-Metcalf bill, which would help the States bring about at least some of the improvements in the Nation's school facilities which are so badly needed, and to raise the salaries of our teachers.
The position of our union, expressed in resolutions adopted at our constitutional conventions year after year, is that the delay by the Federal Government in this vital area threatens our national security, the future economic growth of our economy, and the democratic structure of American society. I shall deal with these points in my statement.
Our membership is directly involved in the problems which the existing shortages of classrooms and teachers have created. Those who live in the congested city centers must, along with their neighbors, send their children to the oldest and least safe of the schools. Here teachers, many of them inadequately trained for the problems they face, are frequently burdened by oversize classes under trying circumstances which make genuine education impossible.
Classroom shortages and teacher problems press down on families in the suburbs as well as in the cities. Schools built to serve new communities: are overcrowded before they are finished. Many of these communities have been settling for two-shift operations with standing room only in the classrooms.
The most tragic situation of all is that of the children of the 2 million hired farmworkers. The economic ladder which Lincoln said enabled hired workers to climb by steady ascent to independence does not exist for these children. Born in deep poverty, they are in the main condemned to the lowest level of society for the rest of their lives, because there are no educational opportunities for them worthy of the name.
NO CLASSROOMS FOR 2 MILLION CHILDREN
Senator Murray recently read into the Congressional Record some of the latest statistical findings of the U.S. Office of Education, which show the size of the problem to be met. The figures show that our public schools have nearly 2 million more children than they have room for. Altogether, the States need more than 140,000 additional classrooms, of which 75,000 are needed to replace obsolete facilities which are kept in use because of the shortage of space.
The figures show, too, that we are falling behind in the race for adequate facilities. Thé 68,000 classrooms which will be built this year will not be enough even to keep up with the increase in enrollment.
These figures were gathered before the Chicago fire. How many more burned bodies will it take before we take the measure of that side of the school shortage—the one out of every five schools that is potentially a firetrap and the other unsafe buldings that should have been replaced long ago, which are being attended today by tens of thousands of our children.
The Office of Education reports that nearly 100,000 people are teaching in our elementary and secondary schools with inadequate preparation and substandard certificates. This, in a period when national survival may depend on the education we give today to the rising generation.
Most American schools do not have adequate laboratory equipment, and they lack the visual and auditory aids, the libraries and library books, the art objects, the auditoriums and other teaching devices that would provide the kind of education the children of this country deserve and which would be worthy of our democratic traditions and our educational commitments.
MORE EDUCATION NEEDED AHEAD
Moreover, by 1965 we will need 350,000 more teachers than today for the more than 6 million additional elementary school and 4 million more high school teachers.
Also, the need for more education and better training will keep children in school longer. Consequently, the costs of education will continue to go up.
It is reasonable to expect that in the next 10 years the total bill for public education will at least double the present level of approximately $15 billion per year spent presently on elementary, secondary, and higher education.
However, there is no question about our ability to meet the bill. During this same period, even minimum growth in our economy should be more than enough to take care of this increased cost. If we have the good sense to achieve the 5 percent annual rate of growth which is within our power, our gross national product 10 years from now should have increased by $275 billion.
A small part of this increase should be enough to take care of our education needs, and leave enough for increases in every direction which would do credit to American life and culture.
The members of our union are aware of the close connection between education and the earning capacity of the individual. This is one but only one-of the reasons for the strong support which labor has given the American educational system since the very first days of American history. The differential in family income between persons of elementary, high school, and college education is a matter of deep interest to us.
School systems which fail to hold the interest of the child through high school and college, or which fail to provide the child with an education that measures up against modern needs, in a sense, condemn the wage earners of the next generation to substantially lower earnings, to a lower standard of living, and to a lower position in society. A national educational policy which does not provide every child with an equal opportunity for education thus fastens a heavy economic penalty on some of its children. It is to avoid this injustice, which perpetuates and renews itself in succeeding generations, that we support this bill.
EDUCATION AND JOBS BOTH NEEDED
Mr. Chairman, I am, of course, fully aware that we are discussing this problem at a time of widespread unemployment. Probably approximately 6 million workers who ought to be employed members of our labor force are either not in the labor force at all or are unemployed.
It is a fact that thousands of jobs for unemployed workers would be provided by the school-building program that this bill contemplates. I understand that expenditures on school buildings provide one job for each $7,100, approximately, that is expended. Certainly, in view of the widespread persistent and chronic unemployment from which this country is suffering, this is an extra and important reason for adopting this bill at this time.
LABOR'S SUPPORT IS TRADITIONAL
Our support for public education goes back a long way. In the United States one of the first demands of the first unions was for universal and equal education. In 1829 the Workingman's Party of New York demandeda system that shall unite under the same roof the children of the poor man and the rich, the widow's charge and the orphan, where the road to distinction shall be superior industry, virtue, and acquirement, without reference to descent.
American historians universally recognize that the establishment of free public education in the United States in the 1830's was almost a singlehanded accomplishment of the newly organized unions and the Workingman's Party.
It is not so well remembered that our State agricultural colleges are also rooted in the trade unions. The Workingman's Party had also recommended that agricultural and mechanics colleges be established in the States.
George Henry Evans, one of the leaders of the Workingman's Party in New York and the father of the Homestead Acts, was also the father of the land-grant colleges. You will recall that the Morrill Act, passed during Lincoln's first term as a product of Evans' activities, provided for agricultural and mechanics education. However, with the passage of time, the responsibiilty for the mechanics who had sponsored the law was forgotten; the exclusive concern of the landgrant colleges came to be with agriculture.
However, our support for public education has always been met by opposition from the predecessors to the groups which today oppose S. 2, such as the chamber of commerce and the NAM.
The arguments advanced against public education by these resistors have by now become well standardized. Unfortunately, the money available to propagandize these objections has fastened many of them firmly in the minds of the Americna people. For this reason, let me repeat the answers to some of the current arguments, even though your committee may be thoroughly familiar with them.
ARGUMENTS FOR FEDERAL HELP ARE POWERFUL
It must be repeated that Federal aid for schools is a solid and creditable part of the American tradition. It is older than America; it stretches back to before the signing of the Constitution, and is a functioning part of our system of government today. Those who doubt this statement should consult the biannual reports of the U.S. Office of Education which list, State by State, the sums of money granted each year to help with specified education programs.
Amazingly, this fact has been kept secret from millions of people in the country. We encounter large numbers of members of our Union, residents of States which every year receive large sums in Federal money for their schools, who have never heard of these sums and who are being told falsely that S. 2 and similar proposals would set a new and dangerous precedent.
I will not deal with this argument in greater detail. I prefer to use my time to document three points which are not generally developed in detail before these hearings.
These points are:
1. The fact that the American economic system would not have reached its present high level of development without the expenditures on education made in this country for many years back;
2. The fact that not the Federal Government, but the State and local governments, have so far carried the brunt of the big increase in nonwar governmental costs caused by the increase in population and in cost of living in recent years; and
3. The ridiculous fallacies in national thinking that are perpetrated as the States are pitted against each other in meaningless comparisons of tax collections and disbursements of aid.
ECONOMIC GROWTH DEPENDS ON EDUCATION
First. The growth of the American economic system depends on public education.
The thought is not new. However, it has recently received new and startling documentation from the work of Dr. Theodore W. Schultz of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Economics, among others. (See “The Emerging Economic Scene and its Relation to High School Education," in "High School in a New Era," edited by Francis S. Chase and Harold A. Anderson, published by the University of Chicago Press, 1958.)
Dr. Shultz points out that only about one-half of the economic growth of this country has been coming from increases in the labor force and in the stock of conventional capital. The other half must be explained mainly through improvements in health and through education.
One authority points out that, since 1870, net national product has increased in this country at the rate of 312 percent per year. The increase due to labor and capital combined has been 1.7 percent per year. This leaves 1.8 percent per year, or slightly more than one-half the increase, to be explained in other ways.
Better health and much of our education may be represented as improvements in the human agent *** Young men and women as they enter the labor force differ substantially in quality depending on whether they have had a high school or only an elementary school education.
In 1956, 28 percent of the gross capital formation of the country is explained by the investments in the education of those who attended high school and college.
The difference between the amount of money spent for education in the United States and in Great Britain helps to explain why the economy of Great Britain has been falling behind ours in economic growth and in output per man-hour.
Dr. Shultz, among others, explains this additional part of the increase in economic production as resulting from the large sums of money we have spent in this country on education and on health.
Over the last 75 years the per capita income in this country has grown by about 31/2 times. During the same time per capita income in Japan has grown more than five times.
Dr. Schultz points out in a document to which I will refer in a moment that this growth in the per capita income in Japan has taken place since Japan adopted universal compulsory education in 1873 before it actually became the thing in this country.
Many western European countries have done as well as we have in providing elementary education for all children and as well or better in educating those few highly competent students who get into the universities; however, we have done much more in educating the rankand-file students in high school age group and have served more students in the college and university age group.
Part of the result of education is to make people less traditionbound, less tied to particular occupations, and more mobile in taking new jobs and in migrating to where jobs are. Education has brought to the surface a wide variety of talents that would otherwise have remained undiscovered and dormant.
It is in connection with this last point that we are not making the most of the possibilities open to us. Also, we are not training students today to do the most difficult intellectual work of which they are capable. The discrimination against some human resources, especially Negroes, is also economically expensive, and destructive of future opportunities for maximum economic growth.
Mr. Chairman, since I prepared this statement, Dr. Schultz has published in the March-April issue of the Humanist magazine an additional article which I think has a tremendous amount of very useful and stimulating material on this subject. I had time only to prepare photostat copies of the article.
I would regard this as a very useful addition to the record if you thought, sir, that this might be made a part of my statement. .
Senator MURRAY. It will be carried in the record as a part of your statement.