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Senator CLARK. Miss Root, I think you had better explain for the record what you mean when you say the State reimbursement factor. You and I may know it, but I don't think anybody else does.
Miss Roor. It is fraction rather than factor. It is much simpler to give the amount received. At the present time, the maximum State aid per teaching unit in Pennsylvania is $5,800-teaching unit is 22 in secondary school and 30 in elementary school-an amount we expect to have changed in the legislature this year.
A bill has been approved in the education committee and is over in the appropriations committee right now to raise that maximum amount from $5,800 to $6,400, with a slight change in the local effort, which on the whole means that each school district for the year, the fiscal year 1963-64 will get about a 10 percent increase.
Senator CLARK. But these figures that you put in here, Miss Root, showing Franklin, Dauphin, Lebanon and Kinzua Township of Warren County, showing them getting a fraction ranging from 80 to 86 percent-you say some of these districts are very poor.
As a matter of fact, tell me if you think I am wrong, I think Franklin, Dauphin, and Lebanon Counties are three of the richest counties in the State.
Miss Root. Franklin?
Senator CLARK. Yes; with that wonderful agricultural area there and the Letterkenny installation, the poorer counties in southwestern Pennsylvania
Miss Root. In comparison, I would agree with you that the counties in the southwestern part of the State and some up in the Scranton area are poorer.
But this is the formula. These districts in Franklin County do get this higher percentage of the $5,800 for each teaching unit. That is what they get.
Senator CLARK. These are among counties with the highest percentage of that formula, is that right?
Miss Root. That is right.
Senator CLARK. I know for the record that the formula is supposed to be unfair. I don't ask you and Miss Pincus to agree.
Miss Root. I would agree with that. The only thing that is going to be done in this session is an overall increase. There is still some talk of making an overhaul of the formula in 1965. Originally 1965 was set for thorough revision of the State aid formula because school district reorganization would be completed in that year that the Reorganization Act would not be thrown to the dogs, and therefore we would need a new formula and that 1965 would be the right time. Now, as you know, Senator Clark, the reorganization bill as introduced in the Senate this year was not too bad. It is on second reading, I think, this afternoon; but the latest amendments are very poor and will not correct what we consider inequities.
You are well aware that State aid is based entirely on your market value of real estate.
Senator CLARK. And not to belabor the point, because it is somewhat peripheral to our hearings, but the fact of the matter is that the assessments, the various Philadelphia and Pennsylvania counties, despite assessments to equalize them, have not been and therefore, frankly, Dauphin and Lebanon are among the counties that have the
smallest percentage of parochial school children. This whole thing does not make any sense.
Miss Root. Nevertheless, that is the way the figures stand at the present time.
Senator CLARK. I want to ask you, Miss Root, if Senator Morse will permit me
Senator MORSE. Certainly.
PUBLIC LAW 874 AID IN PENNSYLVANIA
Senator CLARK. You point out quite correctly the inadequacy of the impacted area grant to Pennsylvania as a whole and to Philadelphia in particular. This, of course, as you say, is due to the fact that Pennsylvania does not have its adequate share of defense installations and naturally, therefore, cannot share to the same extent as other States in the impacted area funds.
However, I ask you whether, in your opinion, the impacted area formula as such is unfair.
Miss Roor. You mean the idea?
Senator CLARK. Well, if the theory is that you give Federal aid to school districts where a large number of pupils have come into the school district because their parents are employed on or about Federal installations, then that formula works perfectly correctly as far as Pennsylvania is concerned, does it not? Actually, you get a great, big impacted area grant in Franklin County because of the Letterkenny installation. I wonder if that is due to any inadequacy of formula or if it is not that the whole theory of the formula is wrong. Miss Root. I would say it is on theory. I would emphasize, however, that unless there is a substitute many school districts would suffer. Although it contributes in some districts where there is perhaps not great poverty it does contribute in other districts where it is a most significant and helpful factor.
Senator CLARK. Senator Morse, I think, would be the first to testify, there are a great many Members of Congress who are not much interested in general Federal aid to education, because in their States they are getting a great, big sock out of this impacted area money on the theory that they have substantial Federal installations with children who should be taken care of on the theory in the public school system. Yet, we in Pennsylvania who do not have that break are very much interested in Federal aid to education on a general basis. In fact, we did what we could to hold up the reenactment of the impacted area bill hoping we could get some more equitable way of handling the situation.
Miss ROOT. I would say, though, that certain districts such as Philadelphia, unless you were very careful in working out the formula, unless you put in considerable aid for culturally deprived or some other special forms of aid, might not get as much out of general Federal aid as they get out of impacted aid.
Senator CLARK. That is right.
But this does not do any good to those counties in Pennsylvania where there are no Federal installations.
Miss Root. No; and I have heard some of them say, please give us an installation so we can get some. Mrs. Riebmann is very strong on that. She wants something around Easton and Bethlehem.
Senator CLARK. Then we will get all the installations in Pennsylvania and then we will get disarmament and we will have to do it all over again.
EFFECT OF PUBLIC LAW 874 5-PERCENT ELIGIBILITY PROPOSAL
Miss PINCUS. That I would like to worry about.
Miss Rooт. The department of public instruction gave me some figures on what would happen if the percent is raised from 3 percent to 5 percent requirement.
It is estimated that 36 school districts would be dropped. The poorest school district to be dropped would be one in Huntingdon County that has the high reimbursement fraction of 0.9173.
I don't think you would consider Huntingdon County a wealthy county, Senator Člark.
Senator CLARK. I would not. But on the other hand, it is certainly not the most poverty stricken.
Miss Root. You are thinking of Fayette and that section.
Senator CLARK. Huntingdon has some coal depression, but Huntingdon has-well, Huntingdon is not too good, I will agree.
Miss RooT. Reimbursement fractions from 0.8000 to 0.9000 are to be found in Adams County, Dauphin County, Lackawanna County (in anthracite area), Perry County, and York County.
Senator CLARK. There again, you have Adams prosperous, York prosperous, Dauphin prosperous, Lackawanna and Perry marginal. Miss Rooт. That is right.
Personally, I have seen no logic in jumping the requirements for entitlement from 3 percent to 6 percent when the average daily attendance goes above 35,0000. I assume that the reason is chiefly one of Federal budgeting. But consideration should be given to the poor districts that will be dropped under the 5-percent requirement.
Philadelphia teachers can understand the problems presently encountered in the city of Washington. They differ from those in several Pennsylvania cities only in degree. We are, therefore, glad to see the Federal Government assume more of its rightful fiscal responsibility by including the Capital City under Public Law 874.
Senator CLARK. Let me interrupt once more, Miss Root. Would not everything you say about Philadelphia also apply to Allegheny County?
Miss Root. Yes; well, as least to Pittsburgh. I don't know if you would say to the whole county.
Senator CLARK. And certainly, generally speaking, southwest Pennsylvania is in desperate need of further education funds.
Miss Root. That is right.
Senator CLARK. Are you familiar with the situation up in Erie? Miss Root. I know something about it.
I know more about Fayette.
Senator CLARK. I just want to make the point that while you have quite properly, and I do not criticize this at all, concentrated on Philadelphia, this is equally true of Pittsburgh and a number of other western Pennsylvania jurisdictions which I have to be very careful to to look out for, too.
Miss Root. Well, I do, too, because we have locals there.
One comment, Senator Clark, you might be interested in, is that the largest number of districts that would fail to-would be excluded from impacted aid if the percentage goes from 3 to 5, are districts in Delaware County, right outside Philadelphia.
Senator CLARK. Upper Darby.
Miss Roor. Upper Darby, Springfield, Sharon Hill, Yeadon, Darby, Colwyn, and Collingdale.
I think we should make them much more conscious of the fact that Philadelphia is helping to pay come of their school bills, more than just formula State aid.
Senator CLARK. Maybe I ought to get Senator Scott to help out with Delaware County.
Miss Root. That would be a good idea.
FOUR-YEAR EXTENSION OF PUBLIC LAW 874
Senator MORSE. Miss Root, with regard to the recommendations made, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers supports the plan to xtend Public Law 874 for 4 years, under the theory that so long as ve have federally impacted areas, we want Federal aid to go to them. I am not in favor of increasing the percentage, either. I am well ware of the fact that under our two Federal aid to impacted area laws, a third of the schoolchildren of America get Federal aid. I also take not of the fact that each year when the federally impacted area legislation is up for extension, whenever it is up for extension, some of the strongest speeches for its continuation are made by the most vociferous opponents of Federal aid.
So your recommendation that we support a 4-year extension of that makes it rather difficult, a matter of legislative strategy, for those of us who have for many years now been fighting for Federal aid for the other two-thirds of the boys and girls of this country.
I have not been inclined, and do not know that I will this year, to support a long-time extension of impacted area legislation, to support its continuation, because we are engaging in an educational process with regard to Federal aid to education.
I am satisfied we are not going to get Federal aid to education through the Congress of the United States until the parents of this country wake up to the facts and do a better job of realizing that they have their own Federal and statesmenship responsibilities.
There is a tendency to drain off much citizen support every time we extend Federal impacted aid legislation. Selfishness is a strange thing. Those parents having their selfish needs served, quickly lose an interest in the boys and girls in others areas, many of which are more impacted with children from the standpoint of lack of school facilities than the schools of boys and girls in the so-called federally impacted
I am not talking about Pennsylvania specifically, because I do not know enough about it. But I do know that across the United States, a good many areas in which there are Federal installations, are among the richest economic areas in the country. They can much better support their schools without a dollar of Federal aid than can many a lot of other areas that are really poverty stricken. In the latter, youngsters are going to schools so low in their standards, both grade schools and
high schools, that those youngsters can never really hope to qualify for college, to our shock and disgrace, as free men and women.
Your recommendation is a tough one for the senior Senator of Oregon when you recommend a 4-year extension of Public Law 874. I want you to know that I do not promise my support for it this morning.
I may vote for it finally, but I will be more inclined to vote for it if I can get some favorable consideration for the other two-thirds of the youngsters in this country.
I just don't see how we can justify continuing to cheat those youngsters, and we are cheating them shockingly.
Senator CLARK. May I say I agree with Senator Morse?
Miss Root. You would say, Senator Clark, would you not, that these districts in Pennsylvania are not among these wealthier school districts, with one or two exceptions.
GENERAL AID VERSUS IMPACTED AREA AID
Also, it is very difficult to make a transition. School districts look at something that they already have and wonder whether they are going to get anything else in its stead. It seems to me that you would need to make some provision, even if it is only a declining percentage, which is included in the decrease from 50 to 45 to 40 percent-you would need to make some provision to carry over for a period. You cannot change a budget overnight.
Senator MORSE. You have just emphasized the point, dramatized it a bit. I probably should not even have opened my mouth, because somebody will take my remarks out of context and wrap them around my political neck. Fortunately I am used to that kind of political hanging.
From a parliamentary standpoint, one might be able to make a case, if it is seen that a general Federal aid bill cannot get through, to cut out impacted area legislation. Might I say, one might make a case because then, perhaps the mothers, fathers, and taxpayers in the areas that have been the beneficiaries of Federal aid to education for a third of the schoolchildren might get busy to do a better job of informing the whole country as to the need for a total Federal aid to education program. I am not sure, just not sure, and I do not know who could be sure but that, if all Federal impacted aid legislation were cut for 2 years, we might then be able to hasten the day when we could obtain. Federal aid for all schoolchildren in this country.
I am pretty disappointed. It is a selfish attitude on the part of the representatives, and I think they are representative of the people in the impacted aid districts.
I am disappointed in the selfish attitude of a number of Congressmen and Senators in the Congress of the United States. Over the years, if you even suggest a delay in Federal aid to impacted legislation, they are right in there with all the strength at their command, to get their bill passed.
They have been hearing from their school districts. It is very easy for them to forget the kids in the poverty-stricken areas in which there are no federally impacted area benefits at all.