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The National Council of Jewish Women urges prompt and favorable congressional action on the School Support Act of 1959 (S. 2) providing financial assistance to the States for increased school construction and teachers' salaries. I respectfully request that this letter be included in the record of the hearings on education legislation before your subcommittee. Very sincerely yours,

Mrs. CHARLES HYMES, President.

(The following was submitted for the record by Allen P. Burkhardt, Superintendent of Schools, Norfolk, Nebr.) [From "News and Cues," Education Department, Chamber of Commerce of the United





Allen P. Burkhardt is a native of Stanton, Nebr. He holds an
A.B. degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University, a M.S. degree from
Columbia University in New York City, and a Ph.D. degree from the
University of Nebraska.

He is the superintendent of schools and president of the Junior
College, Norfolk, Nebr., and has been since 1931. He has served as
visiting professor, summers, at Colorado College of Education, Gree-
ley, Colo.; the University of Omaha, Omaha, Nebr.; and the Univer-

sity of Nebraska at Lincoln. I would like to talk about the growing intrusion of the National Government in the field of education.

Let me put the case to you squarely-without prejudice and with a full realization that time never stands still.

In recent years the Congress has entertained legislation which called for National Treasury appropriations for school construction and for teacher salaries. These bills did not pass, but they are certain to be reintroduced. There is heavy pressure behind them.

Their passage would represent a basic change in the traditional philosophy of education in this country which dates back about 170 years.

Throughout our history, the American people have strongly adhered to the philosophy of popular education for all our citizens. During colonial times and during the early days of our republic our schools were maitnained by religious bodies, voluntary secular groups, and families who clubbed together to board a teacher around the neighborhood for the benefit of their children.

It was very early, however, that a public responsibility for education came to "be recognized. We find the first evidence in New England where the free school was aligned with the free church and the town meeting to form the third leg of what might be called a tripod of freedom.

The principle of education as a public responsibility spread from the New England colonies to others. In the second quarter of the 19th century, the more ment for universal primary and secondary education led to a tremendous growth of public schools throughout the country.

State governments began to gire financial support to education and to establish minimum education standards. The role of the States in education has steadily expanded ever since, although the immediate control and support of the primary and secondary school system still lies with the local school district.

The National Government stayed out of the educational picture insofar as control was concerned; but it helped education. As early as 1785 and on later occasions, the National Government made grants of public lands to help States and territories establish school systems. These grants were valuable assets to public education, but they did not initiate or imply a continuing national program of action for the support of education. They were in the category of single transactions. They were not in the category of continuing subsidies.


The proponents of National Government intervention in public education today will tell us that times have changed, and that only a dinosaur mind, would. resist the appropriation of Federal funds for school construction, teachers' salaries and other costs of schooling. They ignore or at least scoff at a Supreme Court decision which declares that the National Government may control that which it subsidizes. Those of us who say that Federal subsidy of education will lead to centralized control of education-with textbooks written by Washington bureaucrats are brushed off as calamity howlers and croaking ravens of despair.

They will point to the fact that the National Government is already contribut-ing to public education but is not attempting to control its direction. They raise the point that if a little Federal aid is a good thing, why not more of it?

They argue that Treasury funds help support agricultural extension programs and agricultural research at many colleges and universities; that the Reserve Officers Training Corps is federally supported. So aré defense research contracts with colleges and veterans' education programs. And as for building schools—why—the argument is that the National Government built a lot of them in the 1930's, and has built others since in areas especially affected by Federal activities. And what about the school lunch program?

In the end, they sum up their case by triumphantly challenging anyone who opposes Federal intervention in education by asking where the element of control comes in.

It au sounds plausible to those who have not taken the trouble to examine the facts. Those of us who work in the field of education know full well that control always accompanies gifts or loans of money. It is right that this is the case. No government agency should give away the taxpayers' money without knowing what happens to it. Dr. Ward G. Reeder, professor of education at Ohio State University, an eminent authority in the field of school administration, in his book "The Fundamentals of School Administration” says: "For anyone to advocate Federal aid without Federal control is to advocate nonsense; a certain amount of Federal control has always followed Federal aid and, as the present writer believes, a certain amount of it should."

Let us take a brief look at these existing programs of so-called Federal aids to education and at the U.S. Office of Education.


The U.S. Office of Education conducts research, provides information and service to school authorities and to Government agencies in the United States and abroad, compiles and publishes statistics and bulletins and performs varied service activities. It exercises little or no control over the schools because it. has no general aid funds to distribute.

It administers the temporary programs of financial assistance for school construction in federally affected areas. It also administers grants to States in support of resident instruction at land-grant colleges and the program of aid to vocational education. As of today, vocational education is tied to general education more closely than it used to be, but the Federal program grew largely from a national concern about the shortage of trained labor in 1917—the year we entered World War I. As a result, the National Government provided grantsin-aid to the States for the salaries and training of teachers of agricultural, trade and industrial, and home economics subjects in public schools.


Subsequent laws have broadened the scope of vocational aid. Total annual grants now amount to around $37 million, distributed among several categories.

In the fiscal year 1957, Federal grants accounted for only 19.4 percent of total public expenditures for vocational education. The States contributed 35.4 percent of local governments 45.2 percent. For every dollar the Federal Government is spending, the States are spending $1.82 and local government $2.32.

Compared with their Federal grants, 10 States spend over 5 times as much State and local funds, and 21 States spend more than 4 times as much. The two lowest spending States, Maine and New Hampshire, pay $1.90 of State and local funds for every $1 grant received from the Federal Government. Many of the States with low per capita income are spending heavily for vocational. education.

It is apparent the States and localities have already assumed the major responsibility for supporting vocational education. Most of the existing federally aided programs have matured, and might well benefit from closer integration with the general educational programs in the States and localities.

The Joint Federal-State Action Committee of Governors and Federal Officials, appointed by President Eisenhower last fall unanimously agreed that this vocational function of education should be returned to the States along with tax sources to support it. The administration has concurred in this viewpoint.

The key point is that the Federal vocational education program was designed to promote certain skills and not education generally. That is important to keep in mind. It is also important to note that the need for Federal aid in the fields of vocational homemaking and vocational agriculture has long since disappeared but the aid, with its accompanying control, continues to come. The control comes through the State, but it stems from Washington. The control is definite and in detail, regulating the course of study, length of class periods, qualifications and activities of the teachers, etc. It is also significant to note that the per student cost figures in vocational agriculture and vocational homemaking are among the highest, and in many schools the highest, of any subject in the curriculum.


It is also important to keep in mind that Treasury funds for schools in federally affected areas constitute a special case and have nothing to do with education generally. The program dates back to 1911 when Federal activity in the interest of national defenses began to alter the character of various communities. Quiet communities suddenly found themselves the center of roaring activity as defense plants moved in.

The program, as it presently exists, recognizes the obligation of the National Government to support education in areas where increased school enrollment arising from activities of the National Government places a substantial and continuing burden on local school districts.

Business and civic groups which resist general Federal aid have endorsed this assistance to federa impacted areas as a necessary part of our defense effort. They know that many such areas cannot meet the sudden demands for school expansion and that the problem is often aggravated by the tax-exempt status of Federal property.

Conditions of eligibility for Federal funds and allotment criteria are provided by law. Grants are made directly to eligible school districts, and matching is not required.

In some of these schools, however, Federal support would be unnecessary and in others could be substantially curtailed if legislation providing payments in lieu of taxes were to replace the present law. There will, however, be some districts which should have continuing support from the National Government to insure adequate education for the children of Federal defense personnelboth military and civilian.

Again, the point is that the Federal aid to schools in federally affected areas is a special case. Any argument that this program is a worthy precedent for Federal intervention generally is a thing of sound and fury, signifying nothing.


Now we come to the school lunch program which is often cited as an example of how benevolent a centralized government can be while at the same time keeping its hands off the control of the schools by local authorities.

Irregular emergency grants for school lunches date back to 1933. Annual donations of agricultural commodities began in 1935, and annual cash grants for balanced lunches in 1943. The primary authorization for the present program is the National School Lunch Act of 1946, under which the Department of Agriculture distributes cash and commodities to States for non-profit school lunches, and makes cash payments directly to non-profit private schools in the 27 States which prohibit State payments to private schools.

Let us take note that the school lunch program is administered by the Department of Agriculture—not the Office of Education. This comes to pass because the program assists in cutting down agricultural surpluses. This is the primary purpose.

I think we can all agree that surplus commodity donations should continue, but I would like to see a reduction and eventual elimination of cash grants after a reasonable period of time and let the States, localities, and parents assume the full responsibility for the cash financing required.

The school lunch program has the definite merit of promoting child health, but here again, we have a case of a specialized Federal activity which can in no way be construed as a precedent for an expansion of appropriations from the national Treasury for education in general.


The fact is that none of the long-standing education activities of the National Government have anything to do with general education. The ROTC was established in the interests of national defense. Research allotments to institutions of higher education are for the same purpose. Schools constructed in the 1930's with national Treasury funds were built to provide employment under an emergency public works program.

When closely examined, the case of the would-be interventionists in education falls flat on its fact. Their alleged precedents have no real exhibit value.


Nevertheless, they have their foot in the door, and they are a force with which to be reckoneil. They made definite gains in 1958. The last Congress was in a mood of intense concern about the sudden advent of the space age. It considered a variety of emergency programs to balance off the challenge of the Soviet sputniks.

In a sort of panic atmosphere the administration proposed scholarships and loans to high-ability youth and grants-in-aid to the States—which the States were to match-to improve the quality of instruction in science, mathematics, and foreign languages and to encourage Statewide setups for testing, counseling, and the guidance of all teenagers.

Other proposals to accelerate the training of needed manpower included programs in foreign language training, with special language centers for the teaching of the more rare languages. They also included Federal fellowships to encourage the establishment and expansion of the graduate schools and institutes at selected colleges for the further training of language teachers and guidance counselors.

Still other programs proposed as emergency defense measures were those to explore the possible uses of radio, television and other media to improve instruction, a system of area vocational technical schools, a new science information service and a better system of collecting statistics about education from the several States.

Altogether, the National Defense Education Act authorized 12 different programs, all presumed to meet the stated purpose of insuring trained manpower of sufficient quality and quantity to meet the national defense needs of the United States. In signing the act, the President said it is an emergency undertaking to be terminated after 4 years.

There are grave suspicions that it will not be terminated after 4 years or after 14 years.

This sort of thing has an unfortunate way of becoming engraved in national policy, and the powers of the National Government under the National Defense Education Act are tremendous, even if uncertain at this date. That is why the close obsevers of National Government policies opposed it during its consideration by the Congress. There is suspicion about this new law, if for no other reason than that advocates of permanent Federal intervention see it as a step in their direction.


The best argument against such permanent Federal assumption of responsibility for education is the faith in and success of local-State government in this field. And local control of education has succeeded. In fact, we Americans have evolved the best system of education ever developed through the diverse approaches of the 48 States.

I have nothing against change, if change will actually mean progress. But there is no evidence that a change to Federal responsibility in education would represent anything but deterioration-deterioration in local effort and determi. nation to have good schools.

The strength of this country springs from the fact that America is a republic. The Constitution guarantees to each State the right of a republican form of government.

The phenomenal growth and development of this continent was achieved without the benevolent direction of centralized government.

Our per capita income is greater than that of any other nation. Our educational system is the admiration of the world. Only recently, Britain has been examining our junior and senior high schodol system with a view to adapting it to its own needs.


The trend throughout the world is toward centralized decision-making-toward collectivism-and we ourselves have been edging in that direction for several decades, but collectivism breeds servility and stagnation. It has never worked anywhere, any place, in all recorded time of men.

What shall we do? Trade in a proven pattern of success for a pattern of acknowledged failure?

That is what we are being asked to do. National treasury support for public schools would be a critical step in that direction.

The American people can take pride in the accomplishments of State and local governments in the continued extension of educational opportunities. Financial support has, on the whole, been generously provided and standards have steadily risen, even in the less wealthy States. There is ample reason to regard State and local control of education as one of our most prized tradtions.

It is beside the point and completely unnecessary to justify a national interest in education solely upon considerations of national defense or population mobility.

There is nothing incompatible between the national interest in an educated citizenry and our tradition of leaving responsibility for general public education to the States. The national interest in education, like many other national objectives, is best served by State and local administration and control. National action related to general public education is best confined to research, advisory, and clearing house functions.

It remains to apply these general considerations to existing Federal programs and to any present or anticipated shortages in elementary and secondary school facilities.

MORE STUDENTS, MORE TEACHERS, MORE NEW CLASSROOMS Rapidly expanding communities have necessarily experienced some lag in getting schools built for their increasing enrollment, but the overall story of progress in education by local means is indicative of energetic leadership and widespread support.

I do not wish to clutter up this presentation with too many figures, but I would like to point out that school enrollments increased from 25.1 million in 1950 to 32.8 million in 1957. This was an increase of more than 30 percent. Nevertheless, the pupil-teacher ratio declined from 27.5 to 26.2. In other words, the teachers employed increased from some 917,000 to 1,254,000—or almost 37 percent.

This remarkable expansion of the teaching corps was achieved at the same time that the average salary of teachers was raised from $3,010 in 1949–50 to $4,650 in 1957–58.

We expanded the Nation's teaching force by more than one-third, while at the same time increasing the average teacher salary by more than 50 percent—and during this period built almost half a million new classrooms. This is an amazing achievement. It has not been duplicated either in the world of business or in other fields of Government.

Who did it? People did it. Localities did it. States did it. The National Government did not do it.

This achievement most certainly does not suggest any lack of will or ability on the part of the States and their communities to maintain good school systems.

On the contrary, it reveals a degree of leadership and a willingness to employ Tocal and State resources for school purposes, that denies any justification for "* * * a massive infusion of Federal funds to be used by the States and localitiés for teachers' salaries and to build classrooms * * *" as recommended in September 1958, by the National Education Association.

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