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Senator CLARK. We will ask that your complete statement, Miss Pincus, be printed at this point in the record.
(The prepared statement of Miss Pincus follows:)
PREPARED STatement of CELIA PINCUS, PAST PRESIDENT, PHILADELPHIA FEDERATION OF TEACHERS
I am Celia Pincus, speaking for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO.
I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity to be here. You were kind enough to listen to me in March of 1961. I wish I could speak 2 years later on a high note of optimism. Regrettably, I can only report that, at least in Philadelphia, for public education, things are worse in 1963. And because I am not an optimist, I fear they will continue to worsen, especially in big cities, as the years and the unsolved problems in education pile up.
ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Yours is an omnibus bill that includes many different kinds of needs. I am not here to question the wisdom of such a bill nor to address myself to all its sections. Our special concern is elementary and secondary education. Vocational education in Philadelphia is a part of the secondary school system.
To discuss the problems of big city schools will be somewhat less difficult here than I found it recently when I testified before a ways and means committee in Harrisburg. There they either could not or would not understand.
Philadelphia presently has an enrollment of 257,000 pupils. In September we will have 11,000 more. Our increase will be greater than the total enrollment of more than 65 percent of the school districts in the Nation.
The presiding fact in the Nation is change, moving at an unprecedented rate. There was a time when a man expected to stay in one place and hold to his job for a lifetime. Today, in 1 month 11⁄2 million will work for another man, 600,000 will do a different kind of work, 400,000 will be in a different geographic area. These are the changes that create the problems for our schools everywhere, and more particularly in the big city. And these are the conditions that prove that education is not a local or even a State problem, but a national problem that could turn into a massive dilemma. Hardheaded businessmen understand tax deductions for new and improved machines for material production, but fail to understand that similar investments are a must to improve our educational system.
Billions of dollars are invested in research for development of machinery that will speed up automation. Even medical and scientific research has been materially aided by grants from Government and business. But the minutest contribution to education must be camouflaged as "national defense." When research in the field of education does show better ways to teach, most school districts cannot afford to make use of the knowledge.
In an era when more and better education is essential to prepare the next generations for a more complex society, for technical skills hitherto undreamed of, we are unable to attract highly trained, well-qualified teachers in sufficient numbers. And we are unable to retain those we attract. The results are that in one large city, Philadelphia, there are not enough classrooms to house our children and not enough teachers to man the classrooms.
We have in the neighborhood of 1,000 vacancies in the Philadelphia schools. With the estimated increase in enrollment and the high rate of retirements and resignations the 1,000 may rise to 2,000 in September. This would mean that 20 percent of our classrooms would be unmanned or covered by substitutes not fully certificated or qualified. Highly skilled industries could not function under such a handicap. Yet the most sensitive relationship, that of a teacher to a pupil, is expected to operate under these substandard conditions. No one would accept a substitute doctor or lawyer or plumber. But millions of children are forced to accept substitute teachers.
A big city school system is so complicated as to be incomprehensible. Among 270,000 children we find everything from mentally and emotionally disturbed up through every conceivable step to the near genius. We must train thousands who will contribute little to the national interest but whom we are morally bound to care for. We train hundreds of thousands of normal children whom we equip for jobs as well as good citizenship.
A recent proposal to extend vocational education to parochial school pupils on a shared-time basis is being explored and hopefully will be in effect in September. This is one of the most expensive areas of training since the cost, because of shops and equipment, is $500, $200 per pupil higher than that in other schools. We presently have 6,000 students in 3 vocational schools and enrolling the hundreds from the parochial schools will bring costs up considerably.
Devising and carrying on programs for the academically talented is another area of a large school system that requires vision, imagination, and money. Hundreds of students from Philadelphia are granted scholarships to some of the best colleges in the country. They are accepted by those colleges for advanced standing. Even though we are forced to spend less per pupil than other cities, and very much less than wealthy suburban communities, the personal devotion of teachers to the talented pupils brings high-level achievement to Philadelphia's talent for which others might well envy us. But it is unfair to expect individual teachers to subsidize the schools and the great accrual to the national interest.
SPECIAL NEEDS OF BIG CITIES
Paraphrasing Gertrude Stein, you may say, "that a school is a school is a school." But in Philadelphia you might better say, "a school is a home, is a city, is a nation." Whether you like so much responsibility or not, those are the conditions under which we live and work.
In an article in the Federationist, the official magazine of the AFL-CIO, appears the statement, “The teacher in a metropolitan community is harassed by all the elements of urban life that worry mayors. In addition to dealing with hositility, anger, and despair in areas marked with horrible blemish as deprived communities, the teacher must necessarily become involved in the social complexities inherent in changes and blighted neighborhoods."
Too often the teacher is unprepared to meet the challenge of these problems and flees the very real difficulties that confront him. Yet this country received 40 million immigrants, who were not only permitted to function, but were absorbed into the totality of the Nation. America and the world is the better for it.
Today's problem is that the growth or change of the urban population is more rapid than the rate of national population growth. In Philadelphia the problem is caused not by growth but by change, change resulting from inmigration brought on by unemployment, automation, and by a desire to avoid discrimination.
The newcomers discover the jobs they came seeking are not available and that they are untrained to fill those that exist. The education their children require is not available, nor have they completely avoided the discrimination from which they fled.
Within the 1950-60 decade, Philadelphia witnessed an exodus of 340.000 whites and an increase of 160,000 Negroes. Our public school population now is 53 percent Negro. These newcomers to Philadelphia have added to our problems and have decreased the relative tax resources of the city. This group of new city dwellers uses up 45 percent of the city's tax dollar and contributes only 6 percent of its tax income. The schools have had to share the burden, and in many instances, the major share of the decline in human and financial resources. But it is at this period in time when schools must meet the needs of about 100,000 pupils. Negro and white, who constitute the culturally deprived. They come with built-in deficits accumulated over many generations of neglect. And the best we offer them are overcrowded classes, undereducated, unqualified teachers who often have neither sympathy for nor understanding of the problems. Lack of pupil motivation and academic achievement brings failure which in turn results in dropouts who are totally unprepared to meet the demands of today's labor market. In Philadelphia today 50 percent of our 16-to-21 age group that is out of school is also out of work, and in neighborhoods largely Negro the number unemployed is 70 percent. And we have no assurance that our youth, insufficiently educated to become productive members of society, can be contained in an area of good citizenship. Will a vigorous 18-year-old, unemployed and unemployable, remain conforming while the grudging leftovers from our affluence trickle down to him? Will he be satisfied to watch others' cars whiz by on expressways and turnpikes or will he decide to steal one for himself? Mr. Milton Shapp, a fellow Philadelphian, testifying on the Youth Employment Act labeled our national attitude toward this segment of our population as one of "Let Them Drink Coke." I respectfully submit that much of this youth is
even now not satisfied with cokes and certainly the national interest will not best be served this way, even if the Coca-Cola Co. should profit.
We are convinced that the passport to middle-class status is a job and the only preparation for jobs now-and even more in the next decade-is an education. Yet Walter Lippmann said recently, and we entirely agree, that we are now not adequately educating a third generation.
We recommended to our board of education that massive retaliation to existing conditions be instituted in the form of compensatory education. We quoted Dr. Lester Nelson from the Ford Foundation:
1. Reading can be significantly improved if
(a) More, better, and more diverse reading materials are available and accessible to children.
(b) Enriching experiences which motivate and stimulate children, both in and out of school are provided.
(c) Family interest and family support for learning to read can be developed and maintained.
(d) Teachers are well prepared, sincerely interested, and supported in their efforts by wise leadership and the services of consultant specialists. We suggested other approaches to the problem, but everything we recommended costs more than we are presently spending and our board already has a $6 million deficit.
THE MUNICIPAL OVERBURDEN AND THE COMPETITION FOR THE TAX DOLLAR The total tax dollar collected in Philadelphia and four nearby counties was divided in this manner:
When Senator Clark and later Mayor Dilworth served Philadelphia as the two outstanding mayors in the city's history, they introduced and carried through programs that revitalized the city almost beyond recognition. Their achievements were remarkable. Our board of education, less inspired and less imaginative, did not fight for its share of the city's tax dollar. But even if the board had, there was not enough to meet all our needs. And while I would have opted for education, there would have been less improvement of municipal services.
You know better than I the story of State legislatures and the overrepresentation of upstate or downstate rural communities. Dr. Philip Hauser of the University of Chicago said recently, "This 'rotten borough' system has undermined the governmental system of the United States as visualized by the Founding Fathers; and has undoubtedly kept each of the governments of the 50 States as well as that of the Nation as a whole, more conservative than the people."
Like others, the Pennsylvania Legislature has ignored the problems of urban populations. And presently a drama is being played in Harrisburg where the dramatis personae are the Philadelphia Board of Education, the Governor of Pennsylvania, the State legislators, political leaders of both parties, multimilliondollar corporations, and the children of Philadelphia. The plot is an attempt to get permission from the State legislature for Philadelphia to levy on itself additional taxes totaling $25 million a year. This money would be used to cover a $6-million deficit, raise salaries to get enough qualified teachers, and introduce some minimal improvements in school programs. It would scarcely make a dent in our real needs, but it would at least keep us from sliding further downhill.
A bipartisan citizens committee worked out what has come to be called the Philadelphia tax package. Mr. Louis Stein, president of Food Fair Stores was chairman of the committee comprised of business leaders.
The package was relegated to the House Ways and Means Committee to lie dormant until the new Governor achieved a 5-percent sales tax, the highest in the Nation, then he plucked the most productive taxes from the "Philadelphia package" for State use. At an unusual public hearing, multimillion-dollar cor
porations appeared to testify on the ruin that faced them if any kind of tax would be levied on them. While all this was proceeding, sympathy for the children and the teachers dripped everywhere.
The federation, along with 200,000 parents, pointed out to the Governor that, "Our children must not be victimized by a political football game." The press forthrightly stated that all this was political buckpassing. And in the last quarter of the game, with the target date set for the session's end, no bill is out of committee and little or nothing is in sight.
Those are the reasons, gentlemen, that big cities must come to you for help in solving their problems.
I consider this committee friendly, aware, informed, and concerned about Federal aid to education. For that reason I wish there were time to indulge Walls have been set up through the ages to hem They do the same for ideas. How many of them
in a discussion on walls. people in or keep people out. have been scaled?
When I thought about coming here, even before I prepared my testimony, I found that walls got in my way. Then I remembered that the wall of Jericho was brought down, with divine help. Could men of good will, divinely inspired, devoted to the principles of the Constitution, as well as the welfare of all our children, scale walls, walls emotionally constructed against Federal aid to education, ugly twin walls of religious and racial pressures? I know no better group of whom to ask this question.
Senator CLARK. I am going to ask you, in view of the time factor, if you will do your best to summarize your statement.
Miss PINCUS. Right. I will try.
You were kind enough to listen to me in March of 1961, and I wish I did not have to come back here 2 years later. I would rather see you in Philadelphia anyhow. I wish I could speak on a high note of optimism.
PHILADELPHIA SITUATION IS NOT IMPROVING
Unfortunately I can report that things in Philadelphia are worse than they were in 1961, and I am very much afraid that if something is not done on the Federal level, on the national level, I might come back in 1965, and they will be worse yet.
Senator CLARK. I am afraid you may be right.
Now I know that in your statement you have some very interesting and helpful statistics about the situation in the Philadelphia schools and then some very useful comments on the special needs of the big
find myself in complete accord with all of that. You quote our al friend, Milton Shapp, who has made a very real contribution hinking about education in our Commonwealth, and I wonder ould feel badly if we were to turn to the recommendations make and which come toward the end of your statement. I will be glad to skip that, except for the one point make on the first page.
The point I wanted to make, not that it has to be cation is a national problem, is that the change, in big cities, is going on at such an unpreceTays growth, it is often change, the change in big cities are confronted with unsurmount
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you will find that our counties surCounty, Chester, Delaware, Mont