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Mr. THOMPSON. Does the gentleman from Pennsylvania vote for Public Law 874 ?
Mr. KEARNS. Oh, yes; and I want to ask you about that.
Mr. THOMPSON. But the question of socialism arises, and now is one just a little bit of socialism?
Mr. KEARNS. Here is the old 875, and I think we have been weak on our maintenance phase of it, and really I do, and I think that we should have put more money in there. After you have a charter, I think I should be obligated to the charter. But when you go back to education, now, Mr. Bailey is sitting beside me, and if they had taken H.R. 14 and H.R. 15 in the 84th Congress, we would have had schools built today.
I sat here as well as Mr. Bailey, and Mr. Thompson the chairman wasn't on the committee then, on the subcommittee, and we sat over at that table, and I saw it destroyed. I saw the Bailey bill and the Kearns bill destroyed by a committee.
Mr. Kelley, God bless his soul, he is in heaven today, he was chair
They took title 1 of the Bailey bill and the Kearns bill, H.R. 14 and 15, and destroyed them. That is what they did. And I want to say this, that I have told the President and I have told everyone, if they want to go back-and I even told Drew Pearson-if they want to build schools they will build them under the proposals that Mr. Bailey and I had in H.R. 14 and H.R. 15. If you want to revert back to it, and my dear friend Lee Metcalf is sitting over there, and he was with us on that committee, and it was a sound approach.
Now what you have done is you have tried to get the thing so muddled up. "Did you ever realize that in a Rotary Club in a little town the guy that is elected is vice president and never gets to be president. It is a nice way of paying him an honor, but he never gets to be president. That is the same thing that you are doing in this school program. You are trying to befuddle the thing, and not find a solution. If you want to go back to the brick and mortar approach, my dear boy, we will have enough money to take care of the teachers. And I wouldn't worry about running for Congress or getting elected again, with my philosophy, because it is solid, and it is sound.
But the day the Federal Government ever pays one dollar for a teacher's salary, then I just cross off the republic of the United States of America, or the democracy or whatever you want to call it. Remember that.
That is what Hitler tried to do. He took over education, and where is Hitler today?
Mr. BRADEMAS. Will the gentleman yield?
I would like the record to show that I respect the integrity of motive of my fellow American, the distinguished representative from California, and I would not so demean myself, although I, too, am a freshman Member of Congress, as to raise the suggestion of Hitlerism behind this legislative program.
Mr. KEARNS. I don't think that there is anything different with it. That is what it is. When Hitler moved in, he took over education first. That is how he controlled the thing, and the smartest teachers he had were in the first six grades, and he didn't care about the high school, and he wanted to indoctrinate that child down in the first six grades.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Is the gentleman suggesting that the proponents of this legislation are pro-Hitler?
Mr. KEARNS. You can be pro anything, but it is no good.
Mr. MILLER. Well, as the gentleman indicated before he came in, I testified that the seven superintendents of schools in the seven counties which I represent have supported this bill.
Mr. KEARNS. Who brainwashed them?
Mr. MILLER. I came from an area which has only recently elected a Democrat.
Mr. KEARNS. Who brainwashed your superintendents of schools? Mr. BRADEMAS. Will the gentleman yield ?
Does the gentleman suggest that our distinguished Republican colleague, our friend from California, Mr. Baldwin, has also been brainwashed and is pro-Hitler? He, too, supports the MurrayMetcalf bill.
Mr. KEARNS. I was brainwashed on reciprocal trades and I voted against it and I got everybody out of work and the business has gone over to England now through your TVA. I have been here long enough, and I don't think that there is a fairer member of this committee than myself. I really mean that.
Mr. BRADEMAS. I hope that is the case.
Mr. KEARNS. I think Mr. Bailey would support me. He voted against reciprocal trade.
Mr. THOMPSON. Everyone respects the right of the individual, the gentleman from West Virginia, and the gentleman from Pennsylvania, on the question of reciprocal trade. I don't think it is relevant to this discussion.
Mr. KEARNS. All right, I don't want it crossed off the record, though.
Mr. THOMPSON. Let the record show that the gentleman voted against reciprocal trade.
Mr. KEARNS. You want to do one thing on one subject, and be sound, and then take a trip to the moon on the other subject.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Can't we discuss this important problem on its merits, and get back to that?
Mr. KEARNS. I didn't have to yield to you.
Mr. UDALL. Would the gentleman yield to me? Maybe this is a matter of semantics, and maybe we should ask the gentleman from Montana to change the language in his bill.
Now, we have in Public Law 874, we talk about maintenance and operation funds, and those funds go to pay schoolteachers, and I am surprised to hear the gentleman say that the moment we pay $1 to a schoolteacher we are in trouble.
Mr. Kearns. That is in a federally impacted area. That bill passed the House without practically any objection for the reason that we inflicted an overdue burden on a community, isn't that right, Mr. Bailey?
Mr. BAILEY. It was an impact bill.
Mr. UDALL. The question is that Federal money goes directly to pay téachers' salaries.
Mr. KEARNS. On the base.
For the purpose of the record, the gentleman asked if we would produce the record, the record of the committee, and the minutes of the committee show that on May 21, 1958, the gentleman from Montana moved, and the gentleman from New York seconded, and the committee reported favorably H.R. 12058, which was the administration's school bill.
Mr. KEARNS. I never agreed with the administration's school bill.
Mr. THOMPSON. The record further shows that the gentleman from Pennsylvania voted in the negative.
Mr. KEARNS. That is right, and I would today, too.
Are there any more questions of our "battered" colleague from California ?
Mr. MILLER. I don't feel battered at all, and I would like to enter a general dissent.
Mr. THOMPSON. Well, the gentleman's testimony was excellent, and I think that he has shown a remarkable knowledge of the subject and he is a great credit for having learned so much about it in so short a time. I am sure that all of us have much to learn as was suggested by the gentleman from Pennsylvania, but that the gentleman from California has much less to learn than the average person of his time and service.
Mr. MILLER. Thank you very kindly.
Mr. THOMPSON. Our next witness will be our distinguished colleague from Maine, Representative Frank Coffin.
STATEMENT OF HON. FRANK M. COFFIN, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MAINE
Mr. COFFIN. Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, I am here today to register my vigorous support for H.R. 22, 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' salaries. I have introduced an identical bill, H.R. 2514, as an indication of my support for the principle of Federal aid for public schools. I have one specific suggestion to be made regarding the distribution of funds under this bill, which I shall note later in my testimony, but I do not wish this one difference of opinion with the drafters to detract from my endorsement of the underlying objectives of this legislation.
In the 85th Congress we recognized our obligation to provide for more adequate educational opportunities for our youth by enacting the National Defense Education Act. This step was essential, but it will not be sufficient unless we provide adequate school facilities and teachers in the primary and secondary schools.
We all recognize that school buildings do not educate children, and that salary levels do not automatically determine the quality of teaching. However, without adequate teaching facilities, with over
crowded, poorly lighted, unsafe classrooms, children do not have surroundings conducive to study. Substandard salaries drive good teachers out of teaching in too many cases, and shatter the morale of those who remain in the profession.
There are those who will insist that this is purely a local problem, and that Federal aid will mean Federal interference with the education of our children in the several States. The answer to both these contentions is a resounding "No."
The quality of education given a child in the most remote hamlet is as important to the national security and the growth of our Nation as the quality of instruction given a child in the most sophisticated urban community. Experience has taught us, in such programs as the Hill-Burton Hospital Construction Act, that Federal aid does not have to mean and does not mean Federal interference with local decisions. Indeed, this has been the record for over a century of our land-grant colleges. The Murray-Metcalf bill has been most carefully drawn to exclude any opportunity for unnecessary or undesirable interference with local control of public schools.
The principle of Federal responsibility for financial assistance to public schools has the wholehearted support of educational leaders in the State of Maine. I should like to quote from a letter which I have received from our very able commissioner of education, Warren G. Hill:
With reference to the question of the propriety of Federal assistance for public education, there can be, in my opinion, no more defensible expenditure of Federal funds. The National Defense Act, passed in the last Congress, clearly recognizes that education is vital to our country's welfare. Jefferson recognized this when he indicated that our strength as a nation depends upon the enlightenment of the people. Our Nation is one of vast contrasts, with wealthy areas and poor areas, with people who are well educated and those who are not, with greater opportunities in some places than in others. Measures that strengthen the whole, and increased educational opportunity most certainly does that, are to be supported.
The State board of education has administered, through this department, the Federal funds that have come to Maine under the laws affecting defense impacted areas, the school-lunch program, vocational education, vocational re habilitation, and currently the National Defense Act. All of these programs have assisted this State. The board voted unanimously, at the time of the School Construction Act in the last congressional session, to support Federal assistance in this respect. State plans under the Hill-Elliot bill have been approved by the board with a clear support for the principles involved.
There is no question but what the improvements needed in education will be more costly than can be borne on the local level in this State. State assistance has to be weighted against all the other demands that are being made, and yet our legislature is doing all that it can to provide increased subsidies for education. In a State such as ours, because we are not economically favored, Federal assistance for education cannot help but be of assistance to us and, as a result, to the Nation as a whole.
Statistics on our Maine educational situation confirm the eloquent testimony given by Dr. Hill. A recent survey of elassroom needs within the State of Maine disclosed an actual need for 654 classrooms to take care of increased enrollments. This is a conservative figure, taken from reports signed by the chairmen of school boards or superintending school committees in communities throughout the State. It does not include estimates for replacement of rooms which are scheduled for abandonment.
Our main classroom problem at the present time is in our high schools, where school enrollment for grades 9 through 12 jumped from 39,981 in 1956–57 to 51,406 in 1958–59. This is a 28-percent increase in 2 years. School construction is being undertaken in many communities throughout the State, with 146 classrooms being built in the last year. Thirty communities are taking advantage of a new school consolidation program by forming six school districts and planning new school facilities to provide better opportunities for education in areas which have been served by scattered and inadequate schools. Some 114 classrooms, supplemented by related facilities such as cafeteria, auditoriums, gymnasiums, clinic rooms, and offices, are planned in these six districts alone. The cost of this construction is estimated at $450 million.
In spite of the heroic effort being made to cope with the explosion in school enrollments and to provide improved facilities for our young people, we are finding it increasingly difficult to do the job we want to do.' One of the most telling statistics, illustrating our problem, is the fact that the 42 classrooms which had been previously closed because they were considered inadequate were reopened this year to accommodate increased enrollment. There are 19 classrooms presently in use for double sessions, and two of our larger communities are planning double sessions in high schools next year. Unless we receive help, and receive it soon, our own efforts will be totally inadequate.
The Murray-Metcalf bill represents a great improvement over last year's bill. It is simpler; it recognizes the need for aid for teachers salaries, and it has softened the impact of the so-called effort index on States which are in a weaker economic position than the national average. When I testified for the school construction bill in the last Congress, I recommended a change in the formula for matching funds to ease the burden on these States. While the present bill will not work as severe a hardship on States such as my own, there is still the danger that we will be falling farther and farther behind in spite of our best efforts because we do not have economic legs as strong as some of our wealthier States.
Maine is not only below the national average in per capita income, it has some unusual problems which affect its ability to compete with other States in its relative allocation of funds for educational purposes. Maine ranks 33d in the Nation in per capita income. In 1957, our per capita earnings were $1,663. The national average was $2,027. Our State expenditures for all purposes, on a per capita basis, ranked us in 33d place, indicating that we are certainly making an effort to meet our general obligations in proportion to our ability to pay. When we examine our ranking in specific areas, we find that Maine ranks 41st in per capita expenditure for education, 15th in expenditures for highways, 19th in spending for public welfare, and 37th in expenditures for health and hospitals. In short, Maine's overall effort to meet the needs of its citizens is not lacking.
The most difficult problem in State financing in Máine is that of highways. We have a relatively sparse population scattered over a wide area, with severe weather problems which increase maintenance costs on our highways. Maine has 22.3 miles of road for every 100 people, as compared with a national average of 20.5 miles. The New England average is 9.6 miles. Because of harsh winters, a much larger