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SCHOOL SUPPORT ACT OF 1959

FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 1959

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON GENERAL EDUCATION
OF THE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND LABOR,

Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10 a.m., pursuant to recess, in room 429, House Office Building, Hon. Cleveland M. Bailey, chairman of the subcommittee, presiding:

Present: Representatives Bailey, Thompson, Udall, Brademas, Kearns, Holt, and Griffin.

Staff member present: Robert E. McCord, clerk of the subcommittee.

PROCEEDINGS

Mr. BAILEY. The committee will come to order.

At this time on behalf of our colleague, a member of the committee, I desire to offer for inclusion in the record an endorsement of the Metcalf-Murray bill by the Arizona Teachers Association, and ask that it be included in the record at this time. (The telegram referred to follows:)

PHOENIX, ARIZ., March 5, 1959. Hon. CLEVELAND M. BAILEY, Chairman, House Subcommittee on Education, House Offices, Washington, D.C.:

Nine thousand members of Arizona Education Association respectfully urge passage of Murray-Metcalf bill for Federal sharing of cost of public education. Studies show States cannot adequately keep up with increasing financial responsibility of education. Matter of Federal funds for salaries to insure capable education personnel is of the utmost importance as well as some assistance in providing needed classrooms to avoid diluting education with double or extended session. Some reasonable Federal sharing with express provisions prohibiting Federal control direly needed. Please include this telegram in printed hearings. Sincerely,

Dix PRICE, Executive Secretary, Arizona Educational Association. Mr. BAILEY. At this time the Chair will recognize the member of the staff for the purpose of offering materials for inclusion in the record.

Mr. McCORD. The other material that has been submitted for the record is a letter from Phi Delta Kappa, Rho Chapter, New York University.

A letter from the superintendent of public instruction of the State of Oregon.

A letter from the Massachusetts Teachers Association.

A letter from the superintendent of public instruction of the State of New Mexico.

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A statement submitted by the Investment Bankers Association of America.

A statement submitted by the National Consumers League. Mr. BAILEY. If there is no objection, the material submitted will be offered for inclusion in the record and printed in the record at this point. (The letters and statements referred to follow :) PHI DELTA KAPPA, RHO CHAPTER, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY,

New York, N.Y., March 4, 1959. The Honorable CLEVELAND M. BAILEY, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. BAILEY: I have been instructed by the membership of Rho Chapter, Phi Delta Kappa, to write you on behalf of this fraternity, urging you to support fully the Murray-Metcalf bill H.R. 22, which proposes Federal grants to States for school construction and teacher salaries.

Phi Delta Kappa is an honor fraternity for men in education, with a nationwide membership of many thousands. Its members include teachers in public and private schools on all levels of education, administrators, professors, writers, publishers, and clergymen. Very truly yours,

GEORGE G. DAWSON, Secretary.

STATE OF OREGON, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION,

Salem, Oreg., March 4, 1959. Hon. CLEVELAND BAILEY, Chairman, Subcommittee on Education, old House Office Building, Washington,

D.C. DEAR MR. BAILEY: I wish to solicit your vigorous support of the Murray and Metcalf bills which include certain amendments proposed jointly by representatives of the National Education Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the American Association of School Administrators.

It seems to me this legislation is a must if we hope to strengthen our public elementary and secondary educational programs nationwide to meet the needs of our Nation in the immediate crisis and to prepare our young people to adequately grapple with the problems with which they will be faced in the future when they must assume the responsibilities of government. Sincerely yours,

REX PUTNAM, Superintendent of Public Instruction.

MASSACHUSETTS TEACHERS ASSOCIATION,

Boston, March 3, 1959. Representative CLEVELAND M. BAILEY, Chairman, Subcommittee on General Education, House Education and Labor

Committee, Washington, D.C. DEAR REPRESENTATIVE BAILEY: We understand that the Subcommittee on General Education of the House Education and Labor Committee, of which you are chairman, is now in the process of hearings on the subject of Federal aid to schools, including the Murray-Metcalf bill, H.R. 22 and S. 2.

The purpose of this letter is to say that the Massachusetts Teachers Associatión supports the Murray-Metcalf bill and has for many years favored Federal aid to schools in accordance with the terms of various bills which have been before Congress.

Therefore, we would like to be recorded in the records of your committee as favoring this legislation and as hoping for favorable action by the committee. Of course, Massachusetts is one of the more fortunate States in respect to financial ability to support good schools, but even so, we feel the need of Federal aid and believe that it would help to stimulate an improvement in the quality of public education in the State. Sincerely yours,

Hugh Nixon, Executive Secretary.

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, STATE OF NEW MEXICO,

Santa Fe, March 3, 1959. Hon. CLEVELAND BAILEY, Chairman, Subcommittee on Education, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR CONGRESSMAN BAILEY: I am writing in behalf of H.R. 22, which would authorize funds for educational purposes to the various States.

In my opinion, this is a fine piece of legislation and it would be of untold assistance to us in meeting our emergencies.

I believe that Dr. Edgar Fuller has recommended some slight changes in the bill, which would be entirely satisfactory.

I do want you to know that we are vitally interested in the passage of H.R. 22, and hope that you will do everything possible for its advancement. Respectfully yours,

TOM WILEY, Superintendent of Public Instruction.

STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY THE INVESTMENT BANKERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

RE FEDERAL AID FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS

INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS The Investment Bakers Association of America is a voluntary unincorporated trade association of investment banking firms and security dealers who underwrite and deal in all types of securities. Our association has over 800 member firms engaged in one phase or another of the securities business in the United States and Canada, including about 100 commercial banks. Our members have, in addition to their main offices, over 1,300 registered branch offices. Many of these firms underwrite and deal in school bonds and in the aggregate do a large percentage of the underwriting distribution, and trading of school bonds.

(1) RECORD CLASSROOM CONSTRUCTION PROGRAMS ARE CONTINUING

(a) Record amount of school bonds sold In 1957 over $2,360,690,000 of school bonds were sold in 2,898 issues by States and local educational agencies to finance construction of public elementary and secondary schools, which was greater than the amount of such bonds sold in any prior year.

In 1958 over $2,314,458,000 of such school bonds were sold, less than 2 percent below the amount sold in 1957. Appendix A lists the total amount and number of issues of school bonds sold in each State and Hawaii in 1958.

The proceeds from the sale of these bonds will obviously be supplemented by additional funds from other sources in the construction of classrooms.

Since school bonds are ordinarily sold before construction contracts are awarded and around 1 year is required for actual construction, the classrooms financed by the bond sales in 1958 will, in most cases, be reported in the classrooms completed in 1959 and 1960. (0) Approval of school bonds at bond elections continues at high level

Some concern was expressed last year in educational circles that voters were unreceptive to school bond proposals. Testimony was presented to the Subcommitte on Education of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare tbat an examination of trends in tủe value of school bonds voted upon in bond referendums showed trends to disapprove a larger percentage of proposed school bond issues. That is not true.

During 1958, voters approved about 78.2 percent by value of the elementary and secondary school bond proposals submitted to them, which compares with about 74 percent by value approval of the school bonds voted upon in 1957. Furthermore, the dollar amount of school bonds approved at bond elections in 1958 was about 28 percent higher than the amount approved in 1957.

(2) THE RATE OF GROWTH IN PUBLIC SCHOOL ENROLLMENTS IS DECREASING

It is also encouraging to note that the number of additional classrooms required to meet increased enrollment will be smaller during the coming years, because the school-age population will not be increasing as rapidly as it has been

in recent years. The statistics on enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools in past years and the forecast of enrollment in future years, which have been made by the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, clearly show that the rate of growth in school enrollments is declining and will continue to decline through 1970. Looking at the picture in 2-year intervals we find that enrollments increased by 8.6 percent during the 1953–54 school years, 8.1 percent during the school years 1955–56, and 7.5 percent during the school years ending 1957–58. The Department forecasts that the increase during the school years 1959–60 will be 7.4 percent, during 1961-62 will be 5.7 percent, and that the declining trend will continue through 1970. During the school years ending 1969-70 the rate of increase is expected to be only 3.1 percent.

This means that the number of additional classrooms required to meet the growth in enrollments will be smaller than in recent years. These figures leave no doubt that the peak period of need for additional elementary and secondary school classroom capacity is already behind us and that the need for additional classrooms will be declining in the future, at least through 1970.

(3) THE NUMBER OF ADDITIONAL CLASSROOMS NEEDED IN PUBLIC ELEMENTARY AND

SECONDARY SCHOOLS HAS BEEN DECREASING STEADILY DURING THE PAST 6 YEARS

The U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare has prepared tabulations showing the number of additional classrooms reported to be needed in each State. These tabulations, which are the most reliable estimates available, demonstrate clearly that the number of additional classrooms needed in public elementary and secondary schools has been decreasing steadily during the past 6 years :

In 1952 it was estimated that 312,000 additional classrooms were needed.

In 1956 it was estimated that 159,000 additional classrooms were needed, 80,000 to accommodate excess enrollment and 79,000 to replace unsatisfactory facilities.

In 1957 it was estimated that only 140,400 additional classrooms were needed, 63,200 to accommodate excess enrollment and 77,200 to replace un

satisfactory facilities. Thus, in the 5-year period from 1952 to 1957 the estimated number of needed classrooms, to accommodate excess enrollment and to replace unsatisfactory facilities, was cut from 312,000 to 140,400. Particularly important is the fact that the estimated number of classrooms needed to accommodate excess enrollment was reduced to 63,200 in the fall of 1957.

The U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare estimated, based on State reports, that 68,600 classrooms were completed during the school year 1956–57 ; that 71,600 classrooms were completed during the school year 1957–58 (this exceeded the advance estimate of the number that would be completed during that school year); and that over 68,000 additional classrooms are scheduled for completion during the 1958–59 school year. Some of these additional classrooms are necessary to keep abreast of increased enrollment, but many of these additional classrooms are rapidly reducing the shortage of needed classrooms.

The tabulation by the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare for the fall of 1958 estimated that 140,500 additional classrooms were still needed at that time (65,300 to accommodate excess enrollment, 75,200 to replace unsatisfactory facilities) ; but some rather strange figures in these estimates suggest the possibility that some estimates of the number of classrooms needed may have been exaggerated to create an apparent need for Federal aid.

Comparing the figures reported for one State in 1956 and 1958, the total number of pupils enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools increased 148,190; but the number of classrooms available increased 9,375, so that during the 2-year period a new classroom was built for about every 15 pupils in increased enrollment. However, in 1956 the report estimated that the State needed only 3,300 additional classrooms (2,250 to accommodate excess enrollment and 1,050 to replace unsatisfactory facilities), while in 1958 the report estimated that the State needed over 11,100 additional classrooms (over 6,000 to accommodate excess enrollment and over 5,100 to replace unsatisfactory, facilities). Some thing is inconsistent when, despite the construction of classrooms at a rate exceeding the increased pupil enrollment, the reported additional classrooms needed increased from 3,300 in 1956 to over 11,100 in 1958, even after observing that over 4,000 classrooms apparently suddenly became unsatisfactory during the period from 1956 to 1958.

Similarly, in another State the number of additional classrooms needed to replace unsatisfactory facilities, reportedly increased from 1,760 in 1956 to 10,037 in 1958, so that over 8,000 classrooms apparently suddenly became 'unsatisfactory during the period between 1956 and 1958.

The needed classrooms are rapidly being provided without Federal aid. Furthermore, the continued high volume of sales of school bonds (summarized above) during 1958 assures that large numbers of additional classrooms will be constructed during the next several years.

CONCLUSION

The great success with which the needed classrooms rapidly are being provided without Federal aid, the decreasing rate of growth in public school enrollment, and the large classroom construction programs presently underway and financed for the next several years (demonstrated by record sales of school bonds and approval of a high percentage of school bonds at recent bond elections) lead us to conclude that State and local educational agencies can and will provide the needed classrooms without Federal aid.

APPENDIX A.-School bonds sold during 1958 to finance construction of

public elementary and secondary schools

(Dollar amounts in thousands]

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1 71 15 1

116
34
80
33
32

Total

2, 314, 458

2,813

STATEMENT BY LOUISE STITT, VICE CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF DIRECTORS, NATIONAL

CONSUMERS LEAGUE, IN SUPPORT OF THE METCALF BILL, H.R. 22 Your committee has heard much expert testimony showing that the phenomenal rate of advancement in public education in Russia provides a serious threat to our national security and a challenge to us all to take immediate steps to raise the standard of education for every child and youth in America.

We in the National Consumers League agree that the need to meet Russian competition in education is urgent, but we also believe that, were there no Russia, the fate of our democracy would still depend on the quality and extent of education we provide our young people, and we are convinced that the educational system of the United States today is inferior to that which the Nation needs and can afford. The success of self-government is determined by the character of decisions made by the majority of the people day by day. We all suffer from the ignorance and indifference of the few. If we are to produce adults capable and willing to bear their share of the responsibility necessary to build and maintain a free society, training to that end must begin the first day a child enters school. He must receive the education and guidance that will develop to the full his potential capabilities and talents. We as a Nation can be satisfied with nothing less.

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