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and on the other hand I find that the people are those of the higher tax base are prone not to accept that and oftentimes they have schools over and above their needs, meaning that they put out a lot of gingerbread, and so forth. That is not necessary.
Then I have in my district Garden City, where they are crying out for more classrooms and they have no industry. They are the people who are really trying, and trying desperately and very hard, to give their schoolchildren what they need. That is why I am pleading today, for those people in those areas that have gone out on a limb as far as they possibly can and they need additional help.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I would like to say I concur with you completely on the need for equalization within the State of Michigan. Probably our own difference would be that, I think, to the extent possible it should be done on a State level, and I think a program of Federal help which would stimulate the State to do that, in my own personal opinion, I think would be preferable to a program which takes the responsibility which the State should be assuming, but I agree with you that equalization is a big problem. There is no excuse why the people of Michigan shouldn't be solving it.
Mr. LESINSKI. My proposal still places it in the hands of the State to control, but I believe on the administration's program the State has to match it. There is one danger in that, though, and that is the fact as I see it that the school district, if they default in 10 years, they won't have to pay the Federal Government back anything at all. In my proposal, they have to pay the full amount back in a 20- to 30-year program.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Once again I would like to thank my colleague for his very interesting testimony.
Mr. THOMPSON. The gentleman from Indiana.
Mr. BRADEMAS. I would like to thank Mr. Lesinski for his most interesting proposal.
Mr. LESINSKI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am glad to be down here, and if there are any further questions I would be glad to answer them at a future date.
Mr. THOMPSON. Thank you.
Our next witness will be our colleague from California, the distinguished Representative Clement Miller.
STATEMENT OF HON. CLEMENT W. MILLER, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. MILLER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity to appear before you this morning. I fully realize the devotion this committee has shown in hearing testimony on the various education bills of recent years. The record is replete with figures and arguments in great detail.
The only assistance that I can be to this committee must be to hold up to the committee a mirror of my own Congressional District and my own experience.
A week ago a gentleman from Reader's Digest phoned me to ask whether or not I had been pressured into introducing a companion bill to the Murray-Metcalf bill. This was the word that he used. I said that I had not. He was quite insistent, so I told him that my interest in education had antedated my coming to Congress. I said that what had sparked my interest had been the President's Conference on Education in 1955. It had seemed to me that this conference basically altered the country's orientation toward our schools. It has occasioned a realinement of forces as a substantial group of educators swung over to favor of Federal support for education. It was the action of this conference that caused me to support the Kelley bill in 1956 with great vigor. The reaction that I got in that campaign was good.
The response was that our north coast California towns and counties were making prodigious efforts to keep up with the school population, but found themselves falling further and further behind. The declining per capita revenues of these counties due to a variety of causes gave grim confirmation to the national statistics of educational needs.
I say that the reaction was good, and it was. The major criticism, while it looked like good politics, was not really relevant at all to the need for Federal support.
The major criticism was that Californa Federal income tax dollars would go to support aid to education someplace else. In other words, as I remembre the figures at that time, it was said that California taxes, income taxes, would be about $30 million under the Kelley bill, and we would only get about $16 million back in the form of Kelley bill support.
I answered this question head on, and I said
Supposing this is true. We in California pay for ignorance in the United States wherever it exists, and educated citizenry on the other hand is money in the bank. Right now we pay out $4 in one area of our country for every $3 we get back from that area. Raising the educational levels of this area will change that ratio and be of benefit to the entire country.
There are other answers to this question, but this is the one I used, and it was accepted, was accepted by the teachers in the First District. They were willing to settle for less in California to advance the cause of education over the entire United States, and this was an inspiration to me.
During 1957 I watched the school districts of our First District counties wrestling with their school problems. I read most of the papers in our district and a week does not go by without at least three or four or five articles on a new bond issue or tax proposal or a crisis. I have here in my hand a sheaf of articles of a random sample of just 1 week from the papers of my district. I attended conferences, teacher recruitment conferences, and bond meetings, and so on.
The agitation throughout the district was constant and consistent.
When one sifted through all of the millions of words and thousands of meetings, the core that remained was the insufficiency of funds to do the work. As a result of this, I vigorously supported MurrayMetcalf in my 1958 campaign, and again the response was good.
There was much questioning about it at my meetings, coffee hours, and so forth, and still the acceptance was excellent.
These are the reasons that I determined to introduce a MurrayMetcalf bill as soon as I got to Washington.
I observed in the district the strenuous and unrelenting efforts made by our local schools, the teachers, and the administrators, and PTA's, and bond committees. Then I noted the reaction of local people to my strong campaign for support to education, and by the way, one of my principal campaign planks was the reactivation of the CCC, which I was later surprised to see had already been thought of by somebody else other than myself, and by the way, my bill is quite different from that of Senator Humphrey's, and I hope it will receive attention from this committee because it places emphasis on relieving our educational crisis rather than relieving unemployment.
Finally, there was my own personal experience.
Four of my five children were in school in Corte Madera. Two of these were on double sessions, and all four were in classrooms where pupil attendance exceeded 40 students per class.
How, it may be asked, does this relate to the proceedings of this committee? How does this help the committee to form its legislative program? It seems that it can help, because it is pretty generally empirical.
I have sifted through this committee's transcripts and found the conflict of statistics bewildering. I have read the U.S. Chamber figures that indicate our needs will be taken care of locally. I have seen the articles in Fortune circulated among all of us. I have read it and the analysis of the American Enterprise Association.
Gentlemen, our empirical observation in the First California Congressional District does not confirm their thesis. I have here telegrams from superintendents of all seven counties of my district, and their conclusion unanimously is that we are falling behind. In our district we are going to follow this up with more grassroots figuring. People tell me that since teachers will benefit, they make poor witnesses in this instance. The fact is as everyone knows, or at least as I know from the First Congressional District of California, teachers have only come to Federal support reluctantly, unwillingly, and as a last resort. Their reputation as a group for impartiality and objectivity is well known. Of all of the special pleaders, their evidence is most convincing to me. It is much more persuasive to me than the chamber which began with a thesis and hews to that thesis and has constructed a building to house that thesis.
At any rate, the teachers have changed their mind. Private citizens who have been working on the bond issues in the counties of the First District of California have changed their minds under the impact of their own empirical observations.
I am hopeful that this brief glimpse into the reactions of our First California District will help this committee as it battles the mountains of impersonal data which descends on it daily.
The conclusion from my district is that Federal support is necessary and inevitable.
I hope that you will report out H.R. 22 favorably.
I would like permission to follow up this testimony with the insertion of these telegrams and supporting data if I may, and permission of the chairman to enter other evidence of our First District involvement should it arrive in time.
Mr. THOMPSON. Without objection, it is so ordered.
(The documents referred to follow:)
H.R. 2192 TESTIMONY
DEL NORTE COUNTY
“One high school district and five elementary districts in Del Norte County. Two have voted substantial increased tax to pay cost of increasing salaries. High school lost special tax election. All hard pressed to meet financial needs. All but one have building needs. All bonded near the limit Appreciate your support H.R. 22."-Harland McDonald, county superintendent of schools, Del Norte County.
"Despite building $2 million high school last year we are still short eight classrooms, a gym and much basic equipment. Unable to set salaries high enough to attract and hold fully credentialed staff. Election called this May to raise legal bond limit. Still will be short of needs."—Robert Seligman, teacher, Crescent City schools.
“May we express our sincere appreciation for your support and sponsorship of the Murray-Metcalf bill."-Clyde A. Patenaude, district superintendent, Blue Lake Union Elementary School District.
“We feel we need the Murray-Metcalf School Support Act in Humboldt County, and urge you to do anything you can for it. Local tax rates for schools have reached their limits and we now are losing tax-increase and bonding elections rather consistently. These include schools like Fortuna High School which need new buildings desperately.
“Most of our 49 districts have raised taxes substantially during the last 5 years. Of the larger 20 of the districts all are bonded to capacity. Six districts are trying for tax increases above existing legal limits in May and two districts have bonding elections in May. None are given much of a chance.
"Enrollment leveled off for a year during the recession but is now climbing at the rate of 7 percent a year. Enrollment doubled between 1948 and 1954. The next doubling is due in 1964.”—Glen W. Paul, superintendent of schools, Humboldt County.
MENDOCINO COUNTY “School districts representing over 75 percent of the pupils enrolled in this county are operating on tax rates beyond the statutory limit by special election.
"In spite of this, reserve funds have become depleted over the past 5 years, and these districts are faced with the necessity of calling special elections to further increase the tax rate simply to meet the present operating costs.
"If these elections fais, the only alternative is to reduce teacher salaries and increase the already too large number of pupils per teacher.
"Last year the Ukiah elementary schools eliminated a class for mentally retarded children, its two supervisor teaching positions, and a principalship in order to balance the budget.”—John W. Taylor, Mendocino County superintendent of schools.
"Evidence of need for Federal aid for Fort Bragg School district:
"(1) Enrollment doubled in last 10 years, (2) classes in elementary and junior high near 40, (3) districts need $1,300,000 for buildings, (4) bonding capacity near limit, (5) teacher situation more critical each year, (6) people balking at further local taxes, (7) maintenance and capital outlay neglected, (8) 1959–60 budget will be balanced at expense of children.”—R. V. Lawson, district superintendent, Fort Bragg School District.
"Eight of twelve school districts have building programs underway or in planning stages. Eight of twelve districts have had to exceed statutory tax limit to operate. Median high school teacher's salary more than $800 below State average; elementary more than $300 below.
"Direct local support cannot meet the need for construction and salary adjustments without excessive hardship. We urge, therefore, your support of the Murray-Metcalf bill, H.R. 22."—W. Rolland Hanson, superintendent of schools, Lake County.
"Napa schools in serious financial condition. Recent tax rate election defeated. Valuable school programs to be eliminated. Enrollments bulging in secondary schools. More buildings needed. Appreciate your efforts behalf Federal aid to schools.”—James Gibbnay, president, Napa Teachers Association.
"Our district has one of the highest school rates in State and lowest salary schedule. Bonded to limit, and children on double session. Federal aid only solution in sight.”—H. M. McPherson, superintendent of Napa City schools.
"School population Santa Rosa High School increasing rapidly. Have been building with local bonds and State aid which certainly cannot continue forever in view of present financial condition of State.
"In process one new school, need another soon. Even difficult to keep up necessary repairs on present building. Two schools need new roofs which cannot afford to replace. Must patch, makeshift until more funds available. Other repairs desperately needed at 30-year-old high school. Only examples of many problems.
"Since 1956 classroom supply expenditures have been reduced from $13 to $9 per unit of A.D.A. Since 1956 maintenance of school plant expenditures have been reduced from $8 to $4 per unit of A.D.A.
"School custodians have starting salary of $300 per month, take-home pay often as little as $250 per month. Some reductions in city of Santa Rosa High School District.
“The teacher supply and teachers' salary situation needs no comment as you are fully aware of conditions.”—Lloyd K. Wood, superintendent of Santa Rosa City schools.
"Santa Rosa teachers would appreciate efforts to secure financial support for public schools. We are now paid $300 annually less than schedule guarantees because local taxes (though high) and State appropriations are insufficient to cover costs. One good teacher left midterm to sell Pepsi-Cola because of higher financial return.”—James King, president, Santa Rosa Teachers Association.
“Recommend support Murray-Metcalf school support bill. Frankly, in view impending North Bay rapid population and enrollment growth, it's our only salvation.”—DeForest Hamilton, county superintendent of schools, Sonoma County.
“We have long since reached saturation point for local taxes for school. All our 28 school districts have had recent increases. Better than 56 percent of local taxes are now going for local schools. Twelve of the twenty-eight districts are bonded to legal capacity and five more will be by next year. Districts bonded to capacity are receiving State construction aid.
“We have no heavy industry and very little light industry due to the hilly topography. Therefore, ours are essentially bedroom and agricultural communities with relatively low assessed valuations.
"Enrollments have increased from 23,000 3 years ago to 33,000 today. Projections of present school population indicate that today's enrollment will be doubled within 5 to 7 years, to say nothing of anticipated growth of new, incoming population as indicated by subdivision plans and other data.
“Marin County will have to raise teacher salaries by next year.
"I strongly recommend and urge you to support the Murray-Metcalf School Support Act bill.”— Virgil S. Hollis, county superintendent of schools, Marin County.
CALIFORNIA TEACHERS ASSOCIATION (NORTHERN SECTION)
"Whereas increasing population in northern section, due to migration from other States and the high birth rate, have caused the school population to increase more rapidly than proper classrooms can be constructed, resulting in double sessions and overcrowded classrooms, both of which are robbing our children of their rightful educational opportunity; and
“Whereas most school districts in the northern section have already voted override taxes beyond the legal tax limits in order to operate their schools and these school districts have already exhausted their bonding capacity for school construction; and