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Mr. BAILEY. Three days of this week's hearings have been set aside for the express purpose of hearing members of Congress. These individuals represent Members of Congress who have introduced legislation or who are vitally interested in the legislation now pending before the committee.
Today's schedule includes the Honorable John R. Foley, of Maryland; the Honorable John F. Baldwin, of California; the Honorable George P. Miller, of California; the Honorable Charles E. Bennett, of Florida; the Honorable Clement J. Zablocki, of Wisconsin.
I note in the committee room the gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Foley.
Will you please come forward and identify yourself to the reporter and proceed with your testimony, Mr. Foley.
STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN R. FOLEY, A REPRESENTATIVE IN THE
U.S. CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MARYLAND
Mr. FOLEY. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am John R. Foley, Congressman from the Sixth District of Maryland.
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I am privileged to appear before you today in support of H.R. 22 and the companion bills 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 teacher salaries.
As an indication of my strong support for the Murray-Metcalf bill, I introduced a companion measure which bears the number H.R. 2761.
Though I am privileged to appear before this committee today, I cannot say that I am happy to appear before the committee in support of this measure. I am not happy because I feel that it should not be at this late date essential for this committee, for the House of Representatives, nor the Congress, to be still acquiring evidence to demonstrate the urgent, pressing need for Federal assistance to our public schools, both from the standpoint of construction of needed classrooms and for assistance to increasing teachers' salaries.
The pressing need has been evidence for many years past.
It is my profound hope that the 86th Congress in this session will enact this long overdue legislation.
The need for Federal assistance to the States in the construction of classrooms has been apparent for a number of years. The recognition antedates the White House Conference on Education held in 1955.
For the sole purpose of updating the facts on the classroom needs in the State of Maryland, I wish to invite the committee's attention to page 145 of the Congressional Quarterly for the week ending January 30, 1959.
The committee will find set out there that during the period 1958 to 1959, there will be a total shortage of 3,421 classrooms in the State of Maryland.
Last year the shortage was 3,218 and the previous year, 3,150.
Thus, in the State of Maryland, the classroom shortage has continued to increase in each of the past 3 years, and the increased need
has been in both categories, replacing old classrooms and building new classrooms for excess enrollment.
One of the most dynamic counties in the whole State of Maryland, in fact, the whole country, is my home county, Montgomery County. The 1959–60 budget requests of the Board of Education of Montgomery County reveal on pages 505 and following, the additional elementary classrooms needed in the current and subsequent fiscal years are as follows: 1959–60, 119; 1960–61, 123, 1961–62, 92; 1962–63, 80; 1963– 64, 79.
The total cost for these classrooms for the 5 years is estimated at $27,855,680.
Also in Montgomery County it is estimated that secondary classrooms will be needed as follows: 1959–60, 128; 1960–61, 136; 1961–62, 160; 1962–63, 120; 1963-64, 80.
The total estimated cost for these secondary classrooms is $40,752,840, or a total of all classrooms of $68,608,520.
Other anticipated capital school needs in Montgomery County, including a new administration building and expansion of the junior college facilities costing $6,459,550, for a grand total estimated cost for the next 5 years of $75,068,070.
Montgomery County is one of the foremost counties in the whole United States where the citizens have an aggressive, highly education conscious attitude and a willingness to tax themselves the additional amounts necessary to insure basic school facilities for the children of the county. They are bending and expending every effort to meet the anticipated public school needs.
This attitude is not a provincial one on behalf of the Montgomery County citizens. They are as much interested in the educational facilities and standards of the whole State of Maryland and of the whole of the United States as they are in Montgomery County.
The same attitude is true of the citizens of Frederick, Washington County, Allegany and Garrett Counties. These five counties make up
the Sixth District of Maryland, which I am honored to represent in the United States House of Representatives.
Washington County has been a pioneer, through the generations, in new approaches and new techniques in public school education. The most recent example is in the use of television in classrooms. The first county in the United States to do so.
Thus, I can safely say that I represent a congressional district made up of citizens who demand the best in educational facilities and desire the highest standards in school instruction as well as school construction.
I am happy to report that in my judgment, most of the citizens of the Sixth District of Maryland strongly support the measures set forth in the Murray-Metcalf bill. Thus, I can speak with conviction today when I say that this forward-looking program, long overdue, has a great base of public support in the Sixth District of Maryland.
What has just come into prominence in recent years is the recognition that the States also need assistance in increasing the salaries to public schoolteachers.
I would like to invite the committee's attention for a few moments to a revealing report contained in the April 19, 1958, issue of Business Week. This report is entitled “The Real Trouble With U.S. Education."
On page 159 of this report appears this statement:
Nothing is too irretrievable as time lost in education. Each year a new class shows up at the school gate, whether the school is ready or not. And each year a senior class marches out with a stack of diplomas that say it has been educated. If those diplomas are a lie, the schools never get another chance to make it good. And society has to live with the results for 40 or 50 years.
This statement summarizes the values at stake in this Federal aid to public education controversy. It demonstrates the pointless, useless, scandalous gamble we have been taking with the public schools, and only one thing is certain in the gamble, the country loses every time one of its citizens does not have a proper opportunity for a thorough education.
With reference to the matter of teacher salaries, this Business Week report states:
The main reason for the low pay scales is that the school boards all over the country have dragged their feet in a desperate effort to hold down taxes. Low pay in turn, has made it hard to keep good teachers or to be very fussy about the qualifications of new ones. More and more for the past 15 years, the liberal arts or science graduates with anything on the ball have gone to work for industry, leaving teaching to the graduates of the schools of education. And while the schools of education have been trying to upgrade, they have found it harder and harder to sell teaching as a career for a man who thinks he has some real abilities.
The reason for this choice of careers is clear. It is driven home by harsh economic facts, set out in the Business Week report.
Beardsley Ruml and Sidney G. Tickton found that if you allow for the effects of inflation, teachers now are getting just about what they were in 1904. The high schoolteacher in a big city-over 500,000_averaged $1,597 a year then. In 1953, his money income was up to $5,526, but deflated for rising costs that's worth only $1,577 in 1904 dollars. Ruml and Tickton calculate that in 1953, it would have taken ninety-four hundred dollars a year to give the big city schoolteacher the same position with relation to other groups that he had in 1904.
I am calling the attention of this committee to the fact that this report is taken from Business Week, a very impartial reporter of facts, as we well know.
If the youth of today are to be induced to teach the children of tomorrow fundamental decisions, basic governmental action on all levels must be taken today.
The Murray-Metcalf bill points the way and provides the means for Federal action. Its provision for aiding in increasing teachers' salaries finds the following support in the Business Week report:
The United States will have to raise its scale of teaching salaries to keep them (the youth) coming and to keep them (qualified teachers) from drifting out of teaching once they have started. But you can't expect higher salaries to end the teacher shortage overnight by attracting droves of smart young people. There aren't many potential good teachers coming out of the universities or working their way through the undergraduate pipeline. Even with adequate salaries, it will take a generation or so to recruit the faculty that we need.
That prediction comes from Business Week and does not come from me.
The foregoing words are not mine. They represent the finding of impartial persons who made an effort to determine what the real trouble with the U.S. education is.
But what this report means to me is this: If we were to start in the Congress today and double the salaries of the schoolteachers in our public school systems today, the instructional needs of our school systems could not be met today. It will take us another generation, even with immediate action, to enlist the trained teachers that our school system needs. If it will take us a generation to meet these needs with dedicated action today can we afford as responsible representatives of the citizens of the United States to wait any longer to take the necessary first step to start to meet these needs of our educational system?
I firmly believe we cannot afford to wait. What we are trying to do this year should have been done many years ago.
It is hoped that this committee and this 86th Congress in this first session will settle this public problem now and for the foreseeable future.
In conclusion, I wish to bring to the subcommittee's attention a statement made here in Washington just last Tuesday, February 10, 1959, by the distinguished Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare at the dedication ceremonies of the new office building of the National Education Association.
The Honorable Arthur Flemming on that occasion said 1 day after he had sent to the Congress the administration's public school program to begin in 1961:
If I could double the teachers' salaries tomorrow, I would do it.
I regret that he and the administration leaders did not see fit to include in their deferred school construction program introduced just the previous day, provision for increasing teacher salaries.
The school needs, instructional and constructional, exist now; they will not be met by halfway Federal measures that are not to start until 1961. This formula of deferment and delay has contributed to public school decay.
Thank you, gentlemen, for your courtesy in permitting me to appear
Mr. BAILEY. Mr. Foley, the Chair is interested in knowing the status of the 5-year program of construction entailing $75 million as you have outlined. Just what is the situation in Montgomery County ?
You were speaking at that time of Montgomery County. What position are they in to meet it? What is their existing bonded indebtedness? What part of the constitutional limitation has been tied up in existing bonds? What kind of position would they be in, going on their own and whether they get any contributions from the State of Maryland or not, just what position would they be in to meet that situation?
Mr. FOLEY. Mr. Chairman, I did not have immediately with me, I did not bring the budget figures, but I will place in the record answers to these questions which you have put to me.
The data I quoted to you have come from a letter to me from the Montgomery Citizens Association on Education. I do have that in my office. I will place that before you by way of supplemental report.
I would like to state for the record, Mr. Chairman, that Montgomery County is one of the counties that qualifies for impacted school-aid assistance both on construction and operating expenses.
The assistance that they received in the past year 1958 approximated about a million and a half dollars.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. While we are on that topic, Mr. Foley, I would assume that you would favor the abolition of specialized programs such as Public Laws 815 and 874, if we go on across-the-board approach.
Mr. FOLEY. I would not make a hasty decision about abolishing that program because quite frankly I am going to take the steps necessary to induce this Congress to continue these two laws referred to by you; namely, the impacted school programs, until such time as this matter is resolved.
It is a little early for me to make a judgment and besides it is this committee's judgment which I would follow as to how to dovetail these two particular programs.
I would say this, in such cases where there is overlapping, necessarily such overlapping must be cut out and I would be in favor of that.
It is the timing of the curtailment that impacted school program with the inauguration of this overdue general public school assistance program that is important and would govern what in my judgment the committee and the Congress would do.
I am not in favor, in answer to your question, of duplicating the Federal assistance.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. From what I know of your reputation, I am sure you would not take a parochial view about the needs of your own congressional district, but it is quite possible, so far as your own district is concerned, that that district might get substantially less under a general aid program than it would under a specialized program of assistance to the impacted school district.
Mr. FOLEY. That is a very interesting statement. I have not made any calculation, but I will say for the record that I am not in favor of overlapping of coverage from these two.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Thank you.
Mr. BAILEY. Did I understand you to say that you have certain data beyond your formal presentation?
Mr. FOLEY. Yes; in answer to your question, Mr. Chairman–I do not have it with me, but I do have it in my office, and I will get the particular information you want from the budget information I have and send it over to you.
I shall be very happy to send it to you at a later date.
Mr. BAILEY. Send it to the staff member here, and we will accept it for inclusion following your testimony today in the record.
Mr. FOLEY. Fine.
Mr. Foley, you stated at the outset that you were not happy to have the necessity of appearing at this late date to help us acquire evidence as to the pressing need. I am sure you recognize that one of the reasons there has been no Federal program of aid to our educational system of a broad nature, either construction and/or teachers' subsidy, is because there has been a failure to agree on a program which has been acceptable to Congress. It is not so much the fact that we don't have need the Federal Government might help with, as the fact we have been unable to agree on a program which Congress will accept.