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POPULATION IN CREASE CAUSES SOME GROWING PAINS

Educational facilities vary widely from State to State, from community to community. This situation intensifies the problems, found in some States, that stem from marked disparities in the size and resources of local school districts.

A number of States have reorganized their school systems to eliminate districts too small and too poor to do an adequate job. The consolidation of uneconomical school districts needs to be speeded in the interests of economy and the improvement of educational standards.

Consolidation should be supplemented by effective equalization procedures or other devices under which the States enables poorer districts to carry on an adequate school program. In addition, the State should help finance both current operations and capital outlays for buildings when the locality clearly lacks enough resources to provide them. Many States are now doing this.

Some States have severely restricted the taxing and borrowing powers of their subdivisions. Many of these restrictions, and some of the limits the States have imposed on their own taxing and borrowing powers, will, if not modified, deprive school systems of the increased capital outlays and operating revenues required during the next decade. The States should modify these constitutiona) and statutory limitations that impede effective State and local action.

The proper course for State and local governments is quite clear. Good schools are essential to the national welfare: the most important resource of the United States is not its soil, minerals, climate, or extent of territory, but its citizens.

STATES HAVE CAPACITY TO MEET EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

The States do have the capacity to meet their educational requirements. This is a proven fact. Every State in the Union, and probably every school district in the United States is in better financial condition than is our Federal Government. Federal aid to the schools of America would either increase deficit spending or Federal taxation and speed the inflationary trend. With financial aid would eventually come Federal control. Any degree of Federal control over education would be disastrous to our tradition of local authority and State responsibility.

If adequate educational opportunities were possible only through a program of Federal financial assistance, the decision would be clear. But it does not follow that Federal aid is the way to get good schools. Under any moderate program of aid, the amount going to individual States would not be large enough to count effectively. And Federal aid in an amount sufficient to mitigate the problem significantly would result in such undermining of State and local responsibility as to endanger seriously the kind of educational system that has served America so well.

Our lawmakers in Washington can serve us best by cutting Federal participation in education and other fields which can best be handled by the States and local communities. They might better devote their energies toward the balancing of the budget and the saving of our economic system through halting the inflationary trend.

Local and State governments can, should, and, in my opinion, will make the wisest decisions--and adequate provision--for the best development of education.

[Excerpted from pp. 63 and 64 of the hearings, Wednesday, Jụly 16, 1958)

U.S. SENATE,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON EDUCATION OF THE
COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND PUBLIC WELFARE,

Washington, D. C. *** I have always been opposed to Federal aid for schools or education in any form. I am opposed to general aid, and also opposed to the present bill which calls for aid for school construction purposes. It's my feeling that the communities of Nebraska and, for that matter, of the entire United States are better able to build their own school buildings than is Uncle Sam. There isn't a school district in the United States in as bad shape, financially, as the Federal Government. Furthermore, if we ever accept aid from Washington, we will have to expect to accept accompanying control. Contrary to what some people try to say, there is no such thing as Federal aid without Federal control.

A good example is in the field of vocational agriculture and home economics. We receive Federal aid through the State department of education in the amount of about 27 or 28 percent of the teachers' salaries in these two departments, In order to get this money we have to accept and adopt the course of study outlined and specified by the Federal Government, through the State department. We have to permit inspection trips by State employees who receive part of their money from the Federal Government. We have to hire teachers whose qualifications are approved by the same groups. We have to send our teachers to conferences designated by those authorities. If we have night classes, they have to be operated according to the rules of the Federal and State departments. In other words, we are perfectly able to work out our own course of study in all other fields, including science, mathematics, English, and other technical fields because we don't get any Federal aid—but, because we get Federal aid for agriculture and home economics, we have to accept courses of study worked out by other people. We, also, have to accept supervision from the outside in those fields, while in every other field we are trusted to do our own supervision. Other examples of control in these fields are these : We are told how long our periods of recitation have to be that's not true in any other field; we are told how large the classrooms and shops have to be, what type of equipment we have to have, even the type of floor in the rooms. We are told about how much money to spend per student. We are not allowed to use the teachers in those departments in any other fields, except home economics, or agriculture. If we do, we lose our aid money.

If all the above doesn't constitute control from Washington, then at least it's a reasonable facsimile thereof. The school lunch program, veterans' aid for college students, etc., are all examples of aid with control. There is no such thing as aid without control and, for that matter, there probably should be control with aid. My whole story is that we don't need the aid, and since we don't need it, why should we ask for it and then give up local control of the schools in the process * * *

ALLEN P. BURKHARDT, Superintendent, Norfolk Public Schools, Norfolk, Nebr. [From the Norfolk Daily News, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 1958]

WASHINGTON TELLS Us

We have been assured all along that Nebraska could accept Federal money for mathematics, science, and other programs without fear that the Government would insist on calling the rules.

So the State board of education voted to accept $152,036, laid down the plans to use it, and sent the information to Washington.

Now the State's plans have come back with instructions to follow the plan established by the Federal Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

And State Commissioner of Education Freeman Decker announces that at the next meeting of the State board “the math and science program would be revised according to the final guide lines sent out by the Federal Government,” as the commissioner is quoted in Nebraska Education News.

The Federal Department will set the terms and the State will follow them.

This is as it has been and as it always will be. The Federal Government is not going to pay the bill unless it makes sure the money is used as the Gov. ernment wants it used.

RESOLUTION OF MONTANA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION

RESOLUTION IN

SUPPORT OF SCHOOL SUPPORT ACT OF 1959

A resolution by the 36th delegate assembly of the Montana Education Association to the Congress of the United States; the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare of the U.S. Senate; the Committee on Education and Labor of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Committee on Appropriations of the U.S. Senate; the Committee on Appropriations of the U.S. House of Representatives ; the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Marion B. Folsom; the U.S. Commissioner of Education, Lawrence G. Derthick; requesting the enactment into law of S. 2 and H.R. 22 now before the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States that would authorize and provide funds to provide financial assistance for the support of public schools to be used for constructing school facilities and for teachers' salaries :

"Whereas the continued economic growth and adequate defense of our country and the very preservation of our American way of life depend upon the degree to which our youth are provided the opportunity for a quality education ; and

“Whereas the basic requisites for a quality education are competent teachers and sufficient suitable classrooms; and

“Whereas official reports of Soviet educational and scientific accomplishments indicate the great need for strengthening American public education; and

"Whereas there is a present shortage of more than 140,000 classrooms and approximately 135,000 qualified teachers to meet current needs; and

"Whereas many States are unable to finance necessary school construction; and

“Whereas teachers' salaries are not sufficient to attract and retain qualified young people into the teaching profession in adequate numbers to meet the needs of our schools; and

"Whereas Federal financial support for education is not new and has not resulted in Federal control of education; and

“Whereas the provisions of S. 2 and H.R. 22 insure and guarantee continued State and local control of our schools : Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the 36th Delegate Assembly of the Montana Education A880ciation, That we respectfully urge and request the Congress of the United States to enact into law S. 2 and H.R. 22, otherwise known as the School Support Act of 1959, now before the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States and to authorize and provide funds to provide financial assistance for the support of public schools to be used for constructing school facilities and for teachers' salaries; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be submitted to each of the individuals and to the chairman of each of the committees named in the title of this resolution and also to the presiding officers of both Houses of the Congress of the United States, Richard M. Nixon and Sam E. Rayburn."

STATEMENT OF MRS. F. L. BULL, CHAIRMAN OF LEGISLATION, NATIONAL CONGRESS

OF PARENTS AND TEACHERS, ON FEDERAL AID TO EDUCATION First, I should like to identify myself. I am Mrs. F. L. Bull, chairman of legislation for the National Congress of Parents and Teachers. I appreciate very much this opportunity to appear before you and to express the views of my organ. ization regarding the crucial problems facing our public school system and our State and local fiscal authorities. Our national congress is a voluntary organi. zation with a membership of more than 11 million men and women who are taxpayers in every State and Territory of the Union. Our sole concern is for children—their health, their education, and their welfare.

In an organization as large and democratic as ours it is understandable that we find a wide variety of opinions. However, we have certain basic legislation policies each of which must be approved by at least 30 State congresses before it can be added to or deleted from our national program. These policies de termine, at all times, our legislation action and are briefly summarized as fol. lows:

That our free public school system should be maintained and strengthened.

That the ever-increasing needs of our school's require action at all levels of government: local, State, and National.

That Federal funds for the support of education should go to publicly controlled, tax-supported schools only.

That provisions should be made to insure minimum Federal and maximum local control.

That no legislation be promoted by the NCPT unless it has bipartisan sup. port.

That States and Territories be encouraged to put forth their best efforts to equalize opportunities within their own boundaries.

NEED FOR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION

The great shortage of classrooms in every part of the country has grown more and more acute each year even as States and local communities have constanly bettered their own efforts to finance thir own programs of school construction. During the last two Congresses our national organization has doubled and redoubled its efforts to secure legislation that would have provided aid from the Federal Government to States and Territories for school building construction. Today, despite greater effort and soaring costs at the local and State levels,

the need for school construction is greater than ever. Like Alice in Wonderland, we have had to run faster and faster just to stand still.

We feel we deprive children of their birthright when we push them into greatly overcrowded classrooms with inadequate teaching equipment and facilities, or send them to school in shifts, cheating them of a half day's schooling which is provided for others. Certainly it is not conducive to quality education when the teacher has no time for the slow learner, the rapid learner, the troublemaker, or the children who need special attention; actually, the entire class is handicapped under such conditions. You have heard testimony to the fact that States and local communities have tried to cope with these problems. Hundreds of school bonds have been sold, debt service charges have mounted appallingly, many communities and States have reached the limits of their bonded indebtedness, some have taxed themselves to capacity and curbed other essential services, and still the need grows. We agree with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that American education has much to be proud of and that substantial gains have been made in recent years; in fact we have worked diligently to achieve these gains at the grassroots and we know something of the costs and sacrifices. We do not agree that these needs are rapidly decreasing; on the contrary, we know they not only still exist but in many places are increasing.

INADEQUATE TEACHERS' SALARIES

As we have appeared before committees of the Congress in past years to call attention to unmet needs of our educational system, especially the shortage of classrooms, we have become increasingly more aware of the other great shortage the inadequate supply of qualified teachers. There is no way to measure fully the waste in the development of human resources as a result of the shortage of qualified teachers of our children. The deficiency in numbers has obscured the more serious and greater deficiency in the quality of personnel. Since World War II we have lacked more than 100,000 qualified teachers every year. Parents all over this country are shocked that today approximately 29 percent of all elementary school teachers in the United States have less than 4 years of college preparation.

It is even more significant when we realize that these elementary school years are the most crucial years for a child and he needs an extremely able teacher. Even the veterinarian who treats our cattle and the dentist who treats our teeth are required to have 5 or more years of college preparation, yet so many teachers dealing with the minds of children have less than 4 years.

Even more disturbing is the fact that too few young people are going into the profession and too few of those who do enter it actually stay. The Rockefeller report, “Pursuit of Excellence," claims that approximately 50 percent of all graduates from all colleges (public and private) all over this country for the next 10 years would be needed to meet the country's teacher shortage in the decade ahead. We know from experience that higher salaries is the key factor in securing and in retaining qualified teachers.

Parents who are closest to our schools know that in the final analysis it is the teacher that makes the difference, and that quality education depends largely upon quality teachers. Adequate salary scales would mean selective recruitment and thus higher standards with less teacher turnover, which adds up to improvement in the quality of teaching. Until we build up respect for the teaching profession by placing our dollars where we place our values, we will have to continue to outbid our neighboring States and communities for the few qualified teachers, leaving the less wealthy communities whomever is left. It this fair to children?

FEDERAL AID NEEDED

Piecemeal approaches to the construction and salary problems will not be sufficient. We need bold and courageous action in both these areas and we need it now. These problems have been accumulating for three decades. Many States have made valiant efforts to cope with construction needs, while others have tried to provide adequate salary increases; few have been able to do both, at least to no degree of satisfaction or adequacy.

We feel that our government at the local, State, and National levels has an inescapable obligation to provide increased moral and financial support to education if the American school system is to be able to meet the challenges of the present and of the future. We parents are concerned not so much as to the cost of providing the best possible education for our children as we are with the tremendously greater cost of not providing it.

I am not speaking for any particular bill but rather putting my organization on record as feeling that school construction and salary increases are the two most essential needs of education today.

Mr. Chairman, we recognize the ability and the sincerity of your committee, and are confident that you will report out a bill to meet today's education crisis.

I thank you for the privilege of appearing before you today.

CASCADE COUNTY TRADES AND LABOR ASSEMBLY,

Great Falls, Mont., April 21, 1959. Hon. JAMES E. MURRAY, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.

DEAR SENATOR MURRAY: The Cascade County Trades and Labor Assembly is unanimous in its support of the Murray-Metcalf bill ou Federal aid to education.

We feel that in Montana, where we do not have the vast property improvements needed to sustain property taxes, it is most necessary that Federal assistance be obtained to provide suitable educational opportunities for our youngsters.

The assembly also sees much fallacy in the great stress of technical subjects. We feel that training in how to live together and in statemanship is perhaps more important than how to decimate the earth the quickest.

Very truly yours, [SEAL]

JOHN EVANKO, Secretary.

MONTANA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION,
DEPARTMENT OF CLASSROOM TEACHERS,

Laurel, Mont., April 19, 1959.
Hon. JAMES E, MURRAY,
Senate Office Building,
Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. MURRAY: The following resolution on Federal support was passed at the State business meeting of the Department of Classroom Teachers in Billings on April 11, 1959 :

"We urge continued Federal assistance for present well-established and useful programs. We believe that Federal assistance should be given to the States to meet emergency needs of the public school construction and salaries. These funds should be distributed to all States through an objective allocation basis, and that administration of the funds should be under the control of regular educational authorities within the States. We recommend the support of the entire Murray-Metcalf bill which provides for Federal funds for each school child, with local control, and oppose any efforts to substitute lesser provisions.”

The department wishes to express its appreciation for your leadership and support of our schools in Congress. The recent school elections in Montana indicate the increasing need for legislation as proposed in the Murray-Metcalf bill. Sincerely yours,

CAROLYN STAIGER, Secretary.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,

Sheffield, Pa., April 25, 1959. Hon. JAMES E. MURRAY, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.

DEAR SENATOR MURRAY: Because the members of the Sheffield, Pa., Chamber of Commerce recognize that Senate bill 2 is a vital necessity to the public schools, the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce at its meeting Thursday, April 23, 1959, voted to request you to do all in your power to effect the passage of the bill.

The passage of this bill will aid greatly in the effort to provide all our youth with the quality of education to which they are entitled as the future citizens of our Nation. Some areas will necessarily fall below this standard without such aid.

In Sheffield the school district is right now engaged in a program to increase its service to the students in guidance counseling, in curriculum, and in other areas of education needed by the students. Sheffield will be able to carry through this program efficiently only with financial aid.

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