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We realize that your responsibilities are tremendously great and your time and attention is limited for such important decisions as come before you. We sincerely thank you for your interest and your support of public education through legislation enacted by the National Congress. Continued support of education will insure that America's youth will receive it's most cherished heritage and that America will continue to provide free public education second to none.
CRESTVIEW JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL,
SCHOOL DISTRICT R-6,
Glencoe, Mo., January 9, 1959. Hon. Senator STUART SYMINGTON, Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C.
DEAR SENATOR SYMINGTON : With reference to the measures now before the Congress, I wish to give an account of the classroom situation as experienced in our local school.
We have been a reorganized district for 9 years and each year it has been necessary to do more building or revising of programs to take care of all students.
We have been in this new junior high building for 4 years. It was built to accommodate 400 students. However, we did not anticipate this capacity for a few years. We have had nearly 400 from the beginning. Every room and other available space is used at all periods of the day.
The study hall which is designed to accommodate 60 students is quite crowded in our attempt to take care of 80 or more at a time.
The home economics room was designed for a maximum of 24 but most classes could easily have had 30 takers. Many students who wish to take home economics are eliminated due to lack of space. Our principal has scheduled extra classes for top students which helps relieve the crowded study hall. Without these special classes, some study hall classes would number over 100. We cannot do away with study halls (which is desired) because there are no more classrooms or teachers with which to add to the curriculum.
Our physical education classes have 60 students instead of 40.
One room which was built for shopwork is a classroom instead, eliminating shop for the boys.
A small storage space, a part of the offstage area of the auditorium, has been converted into a makeshift classroom. This serves as a room for remedial reading, audiovisual, student council meetings, library repair and book storage, as well as a journalism and a part-time sick room. There is no regular room available as a sick room or nurse's room.
Our cafeteria couid not accommouate all students if it were not for the 8 percent absenteeism which we have most of the time.
Our gym and study halls are overcrowded in order to give priority to the academic classes.
The classroom shortage is a very major problem in our district. I have described only one building. We have passed bond issues until the people seem to feel that their taxation is at a peak. Last spring we attempted three times but failed to pass a bond issue for more rooms and an additional high school. The elementary overflow is now felt in the high school. This fall we finally passed a bond issue to give us added space. We hope this will be the last for awhile, but we hoped for the same thing a few years ago.
Many districts throughout the State are in the same predicament as we are with many students and a lack of heavy industrial plants to help supply tax money.
I hope this rather sordid picture will explain the drastic need for classrooms which many districts have.
Our principal and teachers are quite calm and everyone hopes for better conditions, but work must go on as usual. We do not know where we will place the incoming class next fall; but somehow I guess we will manage. We always have, although our principal will have quite a headache when the time comes to make out schedules. We hope that constructive action will be taken soon to meet this ever-growing problem. Sincerely yours,
Mrs. MARY E. BACON,
STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS,
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION,
Providence, R.I., March 23, 1959. Hon. JAMES E. MURRAY, Chairman, Senate Subcommittee on Education, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
HONORABLE AND DEAR SIR: As Commissioner of Education for the State of Rhode Island and one who has been deeply steeped in the field of education throughout my entire life, I wish to express to you and, through you, to your committee, a sincere request that every effort be made to promote and to make for successful passage in this session of Congress the Murray-Metcalf bill.
One of our greatest concerns in school administration as observed from a State office building is the need for more and better school buildings, equipped with all the modern services that American youth and American teachers need if the schools are to provide the type of intelligent citizen that is absolutely essential, in my humble opinion, to the perpetuation and maintenance of a free society. It is upon a free system that the principle of our Constitution is based, and I believe the real source of that is in better teaching in better environments.
Intelligent union is based in no small way on the attitudes that are developed in the hearts and minds of our young people while they are in school. Their attitudes will shape th environment in wh they wil live as adults; their attitudes will reflect from foreign nations either praise or condemnation of the American way of life.
I believe every State in the Union is faced with critical problems pertaining to building, and I know that we have been unable to entice young people to enter the field of education, particularly those of outstanding ability, because they believe that their intellectual powers can be more productive and be more appreciated in other fields. The profession of a teacher is a dedicated one and over the years has been closely allied to the ministry. In those days gone by, when the economic condition of our Nation and the world was normal, such dedication was profitable in the sense that one gathered a living such as was but enjoyed the situation of being appreciated by parents and children for what they represented. No longer can young Americans dedicate themselves to the teaching profession for, face to face with economic conditions, the spiral of inflation, one must weigh his talents with his eye on a satisfactory financial return for his investment of these talents.
You and your committee have at your disposal the ways and means of alleviating this situation. You and your committee face a very serious challenge for I am convinced that American education, dependent only on State and local contributions, cannot survive under present economic conditions. It is absolutely essential that the Federal Government fully realize that the first line of defense of a democratic form of government is a sound, productive educational system and to use it I quote one of our early philosophers. I believe I can summarize my thoughts in substantiation of what he wrote:
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it is expecting what never has been or never will be. All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends upon the education of our youth."
In conclusion I would strongly urge that you and the important. position you hold as chairman of this committee exercise all your influence in making the passage of this bill a reality, and I know of no other one area that will instill the life blood into American school systems as the passage of this type of legislature.
If you desire any further information or if you feel I can be of any assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to write or call me. I am, Sincerely yours,
MICHAEL F. WALSH, Commissioner of Education.
EASTERN WASHINGTON COLLEGE OF EDUCATION,
Cheney, Wash., February 16, 1959. Hon. HENRY M. JACKSON, U.S. Senate Building, Washington, D.O.
DEAR SENATOR JACKSON : We are trying quite unsuccessfully to hire teachers of physics and mathematics for our college. We have not even had an applicant apply for one of our positions in the past 5 years. We have contacted all the sources available, and still we cannot find a qualified man who will consider one of our positions. At present our pay scale starts at $5,600 for a man with the Ph.D. degree. This should make it quite obvious that we cannot compete with the large univesities or with industry. Consequently, we are continually forced to staff our faculty with people who are not fully qualified to teach mathematics and physics and these people are expected to train the teachers of our youth.
As mentioned above, this is a 5-year-old situation, and for a like period of time we have been turning our teachers for the public schools who have received a very poor college education in mathematics and physics. I can cite examples from personal experience: I have taught in the high schools and junior colleges in Washington since 1942, and I can recall only one individual who had a major in mathematics that included at least two or three theory courses, and who was qualified to teach high school mathematics.
The insufficiently prepared teachers we are sending out into the schools today destroy and kill what interest the youth in high school have in mathematics. And we certainly do not interest these people in college mathematics—our enrollment in mathematics for people who plan to teach is dropping each year. Here at the Eastern Washington College of Education, in a graduating class of over 200, we have 1 mathematics major planning to teach and no one planning to teach physics. Out of over 2,000 students, we have only 12 taking sophomore mathematics, and most of these students do not plan to teach.
The only possible way to arrest this rapidly worsening situation is to organize some type of Federal subsidization of mathematics and physics teachers. Most of you make speeches about doing something right now about the state of our national defense. I can say with confidence that we will be farther behind the rest of the world in technical development and exploration in the next 5 years than we are right now if we do not very quickly strengthen our program of preparing competent teachers of physics and mathematics. We must do something to make teaching of these subjects more appealing to our young people, or we will become a second rate power, void of a pool of competently trained engineers, physicists, and mathematicians.
Specifically, I would suggest a $2,000 per year subsidy to college teachers of mathematics and physics, and a subsidy of at least $1,000 per year for qualified high school teachers of these subjects. For the high school teachers, the master's degree in mathematics or physics should be a qualifying factor for the subsidy. This subsidy would not be simply a monetary inducement: it would only serve to enable our schools to compete with industry for the services of well-trained physicists and mathematicians. Scholarships and subsidies to enable students to attend college are not enough-the pay must be raised for classroom teaching.
When we counsel students to become teachers, we must point out to them that they will always be underpaid in relation to their training, that their wives will have to work to support a family, that their children will quite frequently have to wear secondhand clothes. And these teachers can have no hope of earning enough money to properly educate their children. In fact, we have to say, very candidly, that as teachers they will become second-class citizens. This would not be quite so bad, except that our very survival as a Nation depends directly upon the quality of our teaching. If an intelligent man or woman can look forward to having an adequate living, and can expect to be on an equal level with members of the other professions, a larger number will choose to become teachers.
Why should teachers of mathematics and physics study for 5 or 6 years and become proficient in their field and then work all their lives for a salary they could have in just 2 or 3 years in industry? In general, the 5-year salary in industry is the 30-year salary in teaching. No teachers ever reach the average 10year engineering or industrial salary. These grim realities annually take a large toll from the ranks of qualified teachers of mathematics and physics.
We all know that the Federal Government is already subsidizing agriculture and home economics. It is obvious that the time has come to extend Federal
help to the teachers of mathematics and science. It is equally obvious that such help is not going to come from the State governments at least not in this State, and it is quite representative of many others.
Everybody is in favor of better schools and better education, against sin, and for 100 percent survival, but everybody is waiting for someone else to show the way, to implement an active program of securing intelligent, well-trained teachers. Let's quit being hypocritical about the problems in education; let's provide the money that needs to be provided for proper education for our young people.
If the Federal Government does realize the gravity of this situation, and if the Government does set up a subsidization of teachers program, there must also be standards enforced to insure that the teacher receiving subsidization is ade quately trained. Right now, it does not make any difference what a teacher has taken in college, just so long as he has gone to school for 5 years and has taken the necessary courses in pedagogy. Again, the State of Washington provides a good example: More often than not, teachers in the elementary schools and high schools receive teaching assignments in fields they are almost totally igno rant of. I can cite an endless list of examples of this sort of thing. Most of our teachers in mathematics have absolutely no college mathematics beyond the sophomore level, and I am almost certain that they have not gone beyond freshman level mathematics.
So the solution to this vital problem is not only higher salaries, but higher standards. And only the Federal Government is in a situation to cope with this crisis in American education. What I have given you is a carefully reasoned statement; you are invited to check my facts. Remember, our technical training in the schools is not even standing still; it is regressing. This situation can only be alleviated by immediate action, not by arguments and high-sounding proposals. Sincerely,
JAMES E. MCKEEHAN, Assistant Professor of Physics and Mathematics.
DURHAM UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT,
Durham, Calif., April 22, 1959. Hon. JAMES E. MURRAY, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
MY DEAR SENATOR MURRAY: We are writing this letter to commend you on your work in securing Federal aid for education in the States.
For the past several years the certificated personnel of the Durbam Unified School District has tried to raise the salaries to a professional level, seeking to attract excellent teachers to provide a better education for the children of this area. Individually we have tried to do our best as teachers and administrators. We have at times tried to raise our professional standards. The local board of trustees has cooperated in every respect to help increase the salary schedule by making the maximum amount of money available for salaries and has paid top salaries for this area (this still is inadequate by professional standards).
We have watched the State moneys available for education increase slowly, but the local district, due to a very high assessed valuation and a maximum property tax rate, has increased its tax moneys even more rapidly in an inadequate attempt to keep up with the increasing demands for a more adequate salary schedule. These people with whom we live and who pay such a large part of our salaries through a system that seems to be very outmoded, are taxed almost to the breaking point and are not sympathetic to a further increased tax far salaries. They have demonstrated their rejection of higher taxes for land and buildings in a recent vote taken in the district.
We have talked about this problem and have discussed it at every opportunity, but we have had little or no opportunity to do anything about it. We are writing this letter to endorse heartily the work you are doing with the Murray-Metcalf and Udall bills, and to encourage and thank you.
We feel that a lot can be done for better education of our students through passage of legislation to allow Federal money to become available for State distribution for education. Sincerely yours,
JACK L. LUTZ,
Chairman, Salary Committee. 39997_59 32
SACO PUBLIC SCHOOLS,
Saco, Mont., April 28, 1959. Senator JAMES E. MURRAY, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR MURRAY: After going over the hill which you and Representative Lee Metcalf sponsored on education, I feel that finally we are working in the right direction in the matter of Federal aid to education.
Please convey my feelings to others who may be interested in supporting this bill when it comes before the House and Senate. Sincerely yours,
W. R. ANDERSON, Superintendent.
STATEMENT BY BILL TOMPOS, WEIRTON, W. VA. The educational system has been described as "an inadequately, financed business-habit ridden, tradition bound and snail paced.” The majority of our schools operate as though all progress was stopped 30 years ago. Do you know that 3 million adults living in the United States have never attended any kind of a school? That 10 million adults cannot read or write well enough to meet the ordinary demands of our present day life. That in World War II, selective service had to reject, because of illiteracy and other educational deficiencies, enough men to make up 20 combat divisions? Almost as many as the United States used in the whole Southwest Pacific operations in World War II? Do you know that 2 million children averaging 6 to 15 years of age are not in any kind of school?
The people who have opposed Federal aid to schools such as, chambers of commerce and the manufacturers association, have been sleeping at the switch on educating our people to have better schools and higher educational facilities to cope with any emergency that threatens our national security. The attack on Federal aid to public schools by the chambers of commerce is as much a catastrophe as the mess and trouble of our missile program. The chambers of commerce on State and national level must learn to look above selfish net profits, when our national security and educational programs are being stymied by anyone, let alone the chambers of commerce. We would like to think that our business leaders are smart, shrewd, and farsighted. Yet the chambers of commerce and the manufacturers association have consistently starved the most lucrative business enterprises of our Nation. That enterprise is the development of human resources, the public school. I would like to quote from the famous ordinance of 1787 that “Morality, religion and knowledge being essential to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” It has been proven that the better standards of education in a nation, a State, or a community, the higher standard of living prevails. Education makes people good producers and good consumers. The more they know the more they earn and spend. Education presents a new frontier for prosperity in America. If we could fully utilize it, it could be our first line of defense for a better world.
Some of these remarks were made in the years past. These visions and the awareness of the danger that befalls us today were their thoughts of yesterday. In closing, I think it only proper and fitting that the Congress pass a Federal aid program for school construction and other educational aids.
Give our youth of today the opportunity for better education and they will possess the knowledge to cope with the problems of tomorrow.
STATEMENT OF JAMES F. DANIEL, JR., CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL AMERICANISM
COMMISSION OF THE AMERICAN LEGION
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, my name is James F. Daniel, Jr. I reside at Greenville, S.C., and I am the chairman of the National Americanism Commission of the American Legion.
I wish first to thank you on behalf of the American Legion for permitting me to submit this statement in connection with your hearings on the bills pertaining to Federal aid to education.
On the basis of its record of performance in the field of education, I respectfully submit that the American Legion is qualified to speak on this matter and that its views are worthy of serious consideration.