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SCHOOL SUPPORT ACT OF 1959
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1959
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.O. The subcommittee met at 10 a.m., pursuant to notice, in room 429, House Office Building, Hon. Cleveland M. Bailey (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Representatives Bailey, Thompson, Udall, Brademas, O'Hara, Kearns, Frelinghuysen, and' Lafore.
Also present: Fred G. Hussey, clerk, full committee; Melvin W. Sneed, minority clerk; Russell C. Derrickson, investigator, full committee; and Robert E. McCord, clerk, subcommittee.
Mr. BAILEY. The subcommittee will be in order.
Mr. BAILEY. The subcommittee has been convened this morning for the purpose of hearing witnesses who are already in Washington appearing before the Senate committee on similar legislation, as a matter of courtesy, to avoid these people having to return to Washington later on to be heard by our subcommittee.
The committee today and tomorrow is hearing a series of, I believe, three separate witnesses.
Before taking up the matter before the committee this morning, we are going to have quite a number of requests for hearings on school legislation. I think it would be in the interests of the committee to be able to determine in advance whether we want the parties to come in in person or whether we want them to file a brief.
So the Chair at this time desires to appoint Mr. Thompson of the majority, and Mr. Frelinghuysen of the minority as a screening committee to consider these requests and decide which one of them should be invited to come in in person and testify or file a brief.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. If we do have that responsibility, I wonder if we could get some indication to the members of the committee as to what kind of standards we should apply. Presumably, anybody who wants to petition us and state his views should have that opportunity, I should think.
I don't know whether we are under real pressure and we do not have the time to afford everybody the opportunity to come or how we would go about screening out anybody, if that is the intention.
Mr. BAILEY. The Chair is depending pretty much on the good judgment of the two gentlemen to use their best discretion in this matter.
Mr. UDALL. Mr. Chairman, if I could give my two colleagues burdened with this heavy responsibility any thought of my own, it would be simply that we want to avoid cumulative testimony whenever possible. We want to hear anybody that has something new. Hearing the same old thing in the same old words is not going to help.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I do not know what is new and what is old. The fact that we may have gone through some of this question about what the role of the Federal Government should be and so on before might not mean that we shouldn't have to listen to some of it again.
It is also hard before you see the testimony—and, if you see the testimony, perhaps you do not need to have it presented orally at all by the witness.
Until you have seen the testimony it is hard to know whether it is going to be new, old, or a mixture of new and old.
Mr. BAILEY. The Chair is sure that the gentlemen who have been named to this screening committee can work out with the chairman the necessary standards if any have to be set in this matter.
We will proceed with the formal hearings. At this time H.R. 22 has been formally referred to the subcommittee. (H.R. 22 follows:)
[H.R. 22, 86th Cong., 1st sess.). A BILL To provide financial assistance for the support of public schools by appropriating
funds to the States to be used for constructing school facilities and for teachers
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. This Act may be cited as the “School Support Act of 1959".
FINDINGS AND PURPOSE OF ACT
SEC. 2. The Congress finds that despite sustained and vigorous efforts by the States and local communities, which have increased current school construction to unprecedented levels and which have increased expenditures for teachers' salaries, there is still a serious shortage of classrooms and of qualified teachers which requires immediate action on the part of the Federal Government. The financial resources available to many communities are inadequate to support construction programs sufficient to eliminate classroom shortages, and practically all communities face the problem of providing compensation to teachers commensurate with the salaries received by persons with comparable education, experience, and responsibilities. These inadequacies are seriously restricting the quality of the Nation's educational program.
The Congress strongly affirms that the control of the personnel, program of instruction, formulation of policy, and the administration of the Nation's public elementary and secondary schools resides in the States and local communities. The Congress also affirms that a major portion of the responsibility for financing the costs of these schools resides in the States and local communities.
However, the Congress recognizes that without sufficient financial resources at their disposal to provide necessary educational facilities and to employ competent teaching personnel, the control of our Nation's schools is not directed by State and local school boards but is dictated by the harsh demands of privation. Without the means to pay for alternatives, school boards have no freedom of choice.
In order to provide State and local school boards with actual, as well as nominal, control of schools, the Congress has the responsibility for appropriately sharing in their financial support. The purpose of this Act, therefore, is to provide Federal financial support to help meet both the immediate and continuing problems of financing adequate school facilities and teacher's salaries and thereby to strengthen our Nation's educational system.
AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS
SEC. 3. There are hereby authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1959, and for succeeding fiscal years, amounts equal to the product of the estimated number of the school-age population of all the States as of such year and the following amounts: For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1959, $25; for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1960, $50; for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1961, $75; and for each fiscal year thereafter, $100.
ALLOTMENTS TO STATES
SEC. 4. (a) The Commissioner shall allot for each fiscal year to each State, from the total amount appropriated for such year pursuant to section 3, an amount which bears the same ratio to such total as such State's estimated schoolage population bears to the total estimated school-age population of all such States, subject to such adjustments, if any, as result from the application of section 8.
(b) The State education agency of each State which desires to receive an allotment under the visions of this Act shall specify annually to the Commissioner the proportion of its State's allotment that will be expended for each of the two purposes : (1) school construction and (2) teachers' salaries.
SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION PORTION
SEC. 5. The State education agency of each State which desires to use a portion of its allotment under this Act for the construction of school facilities shall certify to the Commissioner that such funds allocated within the State for this purpose will be
(1) expended solely for the construction of school facilities in school districts in accordance with this Act; and
(2) so distributed that priority is given to local educational agencies which have the greatest need for additional school facilities and which in terms of the economic resources available to them are least able to finance the cost of needed school facilities.
TEACHERS' SALARIES PORTION
Sec. 6. The State education agency of each State which desires to use a portion of its allotment under this Act for teachers' salaries shall certify to the Commissioner that such funds allocated wihin the State for this purpose will be
(1) distributed among its school districts to be used solely for teachers' salaries;
and (2) so distributed that each school district in the State will receive at least three-fourths of the amount which bears the same ratio to the total portion of its allotment specified for teachers' salaries as the number of its teachers bears to the number of teachers of all the State's school districts.
VERIFICATION OF EXPENDITURES
SEC. 7. The State education agency shall verify annually to the Commissioner that funds received under this Act were distributed and expended in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
MAINTENANCE OF STATE AND LOCAL FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF SCHOOLS
Sec. 8. (a) The amount allotted to any State under section 4 for any year shall be reduced by the percentage (if any) by which its State school effort index for such year is less than the national school effort index for such year, with the exception that during the first three years that allotments are made this provision shall not be applicable. The total of such reductions shall be reallotted among the remaining States by proportionately increasing the amounts allotted to them under section 4 for such year. (b) For purposes of subsection (a)
(1) the “State school effort index" for any State for a fiscal year is the quotient obtained by dividing (A) the revenue for schools per public-school child for the State by (B) the personal income per child of school age for the State; except that the State school effort index shall be deemed to be equal to the national school effort index in the case of Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, Wake Island, American Samoa, and the District of Columbia ;
(2) the “national school effort index" for any fiscal year is the quotient obtained by dividing (A) the revenue for schools per public-school child for the total States of the Union by (B) the personal income per child of school age for the total States of the Union. (c) (1) The revenue for schools per public-school child for any State for purposes of determining its State school effort index for any fiscal year means the quotient obtained by dividing (A) the total current revenue receipts derived from State and local sources in the State for support of elementary and secondary education, as determined by the Commissioner on the basis of data for the most recent school year for which satisfactory data for the several States are available to him, by (B) the number of children in average daily attendance in public elementary and secondary schools in such State, as determined by the Commissioner for such most recent school year.
(2) The revenue for schools per public-school child for the total States of the Union for purposes of determining the national school effort index for any fiscal year means the quotient obtained by dividing (A) the total current revenue receipts derived from State and local sources for support of elementary and secondary education in the total States of the Union, as determined by the Commissioner for the same school year as is used under paragraph (1), by (B) the number of children in average daily attendance for such year in public elementary and secondary schools in the total States of the Union, determined as provided in paragraph (1).
(3) The income per child of school age for the several States and for the total States of the Union shall, for purposes of subsection (b), be determined by the Commissioner on the basis of the personal income per child of school age for the most recent year for which satisfactory data are available from the Department of Commerce.
Sec. 9. (a) The State education agency shall give adequate assurance to the Commissioner that all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors or subcontractors in the performance of work on school construction financed in whole or in part under this Act will be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on similar construction in the locality as determined by the Davis-Bacon Act, is amended (40 U.S.C. 2762—276a-5).
(b) With respect to the labor standards specified in subsection (a) of this section the Secretary of Labor shall act in accordance with Reorganization Plan Numbered 14 of 1950 (15 F.R. 3176; 64 Stat. 1267), and section 2 of the Act of June 13, 1934, as amended (40 U.S.C. 276c).
APPROPRIATION FOR ADMINISTRATION SEC. 10. There are hereby authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare such sums as may be necessary for the administration of this Act.
ASSURANCE AGAINST FEDERAL INTERFERENCE IN SCHOOLS Sec. 11. In the administration of this Act, no department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States shall exercise any direction, supervision, or control over policy determination, personnel, curriculum, program of instruction, or the administration of any school or school system.
SEC. 12. For purposes of this Act,
(a) The term “Commissioner" means the United States Commissioner of Education.
(b) The term “State" means a State, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, Wake Island, American Samoa, and the District of Columbia.
(c) The term "State education agency" means the State board of education or other agency or officer primarily responsible for the State supervision of public elementary and secondary schools, or, if there is no such officer or agency, an officer or agency designated by the Governor or by State law.
(d) The term "school district” means any public-school administrative unit in a city; county, township, school district or other political subdivision in a State that is under the direction of a board of education or other legally constituted local school authority having administrative control and direction over tax-supported public education.
(e) The term "school facilities” means classrooms and related facilities (including furniture, equipment, machinery, and utilities necessary or appropriate for school purposes) for education which is provided by a school district for elementary or secondary education, in the applicable State, at public expense and under public supervision and direction; and interests in land (including site, grading, and improvement) on which such facilities are constructed.
(f) The terms "constructing” and “construction" mean the preparation of drawings and specifications for school facilities; erecting, building, acquiring, altering, remodeling, improving, or extending school facilities; and the inspection and supervision of the construction of school facilities.
(g) The term “child of school age” means a child who is between the ages of five and seventeen, both inclusive.
(h) The term "school-age population" means that part of the population which is between the ages of five and seventeen, both inclusive, as determined on the basis of either the actual or estimated population between such ages for the most recent year for which satisfactory data are available from the Department of Commerce.
(i) The term “teacher” means any member of the instructional staff of a public school district as defined by the education agency of each State.
(j) The term “teachers' salaries” means the monetary compensation paid to teachers for services rendered in connection with their employment.
Mr. BAILEY. It is the information of the Chair that H.R. 96, H.R. 965, H.R. 1178, H.R. 2351, H.R. 2514, H.R. 2542, H.R. 3220, H.R. 3468, and H.R. 3864 are identical bills with what is commonly known as the Metcalf-Murray bill.
In addition to that, we have other educational bills that will come under the category of the general committee on education having to do with the elementary and secondary schools, and we will list those bills that have already been introduced.
There is H.R. 263, H.R. 385, H.R. 406, H.R. 699, H.R. 747, H.R. 909, H.R. 993, H.R. 1159, H.R. 1978, H.R. 2365, H.R. 2744, H.R. 2761, and H.R. 3904.
There will from time to time be other bills introduced that will come to this committee.
The Chair would like to announce at this time that we are going to give consideration to all of this legislation. We want each of the Members of the Congress who have introduced legislation to know that they will be given an opportunity to appear in support of their legislation at the proper time during the course of the hearing.
Since we have with us a former member of the subcommittee who is the author of H.R. 22, at this time we would be glad to hear from Mr. Metcalf in support of his House bill 22.
Mr. UDALL. Mr. Chairman, I am curious this morning as to the credentials of the witness. Is he appearing as an expert on educational matters or matters of high finance and revenue?