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SCHOOL SUPPORT ACT OF 1959
MONDAY, MARCH 9, 1959
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.O. The subcommittee met at 10 o'clock a.m., pursuant to recess, in room G-53, the Capitol, Hon. Cleveland M. Bailey (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Representatives Bailey (presiding) and Brademas.
Mr. BAILEY (presiding). The committee will be in order.
The Chair at this time recognizes the member of the staff for inclusion in the printed record any material germane to the question.
Mr. McCORD. Mr. Chairman, we have a letter from the Missouri State Teachers Association, one from the Tennessee Education Association, together with a resolution adopted by the association, and a letter from the State of Iowa Department of Public Instruction, Superintendent J. C. Wright. (The letters referred to follow:)
MISSOURI STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION,
Columbia, Mo., March 6, 1959. Representative CLEVELAND M. BAILEY, Chairman, Subcommittee on General Education, House Education and Labor
Committee, Washington, D.O. DEAR CONGRESSMAN BAILEY: This statement in support of H.R. 22 is submitted by the Missouri State Teachers Association, a professional organization of more ithan 33,000 members.
The association believes that the additional funds urgently needed for teachers' salaries and for school construction can be secured best, and perhaps only, through the Federal Government. The manner in which the funds would be made available to the States, leaving control with the States and local communities, is consistent with the policy of the association, as will be indicated later.
A critical factor in meeting the present and future educational needs in Missouri is securing the required number of qualified teachers. The effective ness of the educational program is determined by the competence of those who teach.
Teachers must be provided to replace those who leave teaching in Missouri and to provide for the increasing enrollment. Our need for additional teachers has been projected on the basis of the number required for replacement in recent years and for increasing enrollments. On these bases, 25,731 additional teachers will be needed for Missouri schools during the next 6 years, an average yearly need of 4,288 additional teachers.
Only a small part of the teachers needed can be secured from those currently completing preparation for teaching. In all the colleges and universities in Missouri 2,887 will complete preparation for teaching this year. On the basis of past experience, approximately 60 percent of these will teach in Missouri next year.
With the number of teachers coming from our colleges and universities so inadequate to meet our need, teaching positions are filled in many cases by bringing older women back into the classrooms. This is reflected in the age of Missouri teachers. Outside of St. Louis and Kansas City, 54 percent of women teachers in Missouri were 45 years of age or older in 1958 compared with less than 10 percent in 1937.
The problem of teachers leaving teaching positions in Missouri has been examined in two statewide studies. All of the teachers who quit teaching in Missouri at the end of the 1945–47 and 1953–54 school years indicate that the problem of retaining teachers in Missouri schools is largely a matter of economics. The highly competent and professionally qualified individual is in demand in positions in business and industry as well as in teaching.
The salaries paid in Missouri are not high enough to attract to and retain in teaching the number of qualified teachers needed in Missouri classrooms. For the calendar year 1957, while the average salary of Missouri teachers, principals, supervisors, and superintendents was $4,014, the average salary of 949,833 Missouri employees covered by unemployment compensation was $4,187. The tremendous difference in the educational level of the two groups should be considered. While Missouri teachers had an average of 443 years of education beyond high school, the average preparation of the nonteaching groups could be assumed to be near that of all Missourians 25 years or more of age which in 1950 was 8.8 years of schooling.
In addition to funds for teachers' salaries, Missouri has an acute shortage of school buildings, especially in the suburban areas and in communities of low assessed valuations. While Missouri increased the bonding capacity of school districts from 5 to 10 percent of assessed valuation in 1952, 41.7 percent of high school districts in the State reported building needs of $52,759,802 above their bonding capacity in April 1958. The total additional school facilities needed by Missouri public schools on July 1, 1958 was reported by school districts to the State Department of Education as $129,732,899.
The 1,000 members of the Assembly of Delegates of the Missouri State Teachers Association on November 5, 1958, unanimously adopted the following resolutions relative to the Murray-Metcalf bill:
"We reaffirm that the rights of the individual and the national interest and security place upon the Federal Government a joint responsibility with the State and the local community to provide adequate education for all. Federal funds should be channeled through the regularly constituted educational agencies in the several States.
"We believe that the national responsibility for the financial support of public education should be met by a massive infusion of Federal funds as proposed in the NEA-sponsored Murray-Metcalf bill. The enactment of such legislation is urged.”
The following statement from the Committee on Sources of School Revenue of the Missouri State Teachers Association was likewise unanimously approved by the assembly of delegates :
“For years the Missouri State Teachers Association has been committed to Federal particiaption in the support of education.
“To the historic precedent and justification for the assumption of Federal responsibility in educational matters has been added increased urgency during the past year. Education is truly a function of survival. National interest demands that the Federal Government assume a joint responsibility with the States and local governments in providing a minimum educational program for all the children in the country.
"Many reasons argue for a significant participation of the Federal Government in financing eduaction. The great difference in wealth among the States means that left to their own resources, many States will have very inadequate schools. This inferior education, neither the Nation as a whole nor the more wealthy States, who will have many of the poorly educated as citizens, can afford.
“Competition among the States makes it difficult for the States to increase taxes for fear of loss in appeal to new industries. The severity of Federal taxes as well as Federal grants to the States for other functions of government demanding matching State funds, increase the difficulty of securing State funds for education. It can be noted with encouragement that for the first time there was before Congress the Murray-Metcalf bill, a' measure that would affect education tremendously through a massive infusion of Federal funds.
"Our schools must continue to receive funds from local sources. In some cases these can and should be increased. Increased State funds should be provided for schools because of the wide taxing power of the State, the relatively low level of State support in Missouri and because education is a primary responsibility of the State. Finally the national interest demands that the schools share in superior revenue raising powers of the Federal Government, primarily because that is the only way to provide for all children the level of education needed.
“As an addendum to this report the following brief historical review of the sources of school revenue in Missouri seems appropriate in the light of those who today question the concern and responsibility of the Federal Government for education.
"Historical review of sources of school revenue in Missouri
1812–1819-Federal (land grants) (Territory)-1820–1852—Federal (land grants—surplus revenue 1836) 1853–1863— Federal
State ( 14 of State revenue) 1864–1886-Federal
Local (local levy for current operations) 1887–1947—Federal (vocational aid initiated 1917)
State (13 of State revenue)
Local (greatly increased) 1948-1956Federal
State ( 13 and additional appropriations)
Local (greatly increased) 1957- -Federal.
State (total appropriation in dollars).
3 34 63"
TENNESSEE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION,
Nashville, March 5, 1959. Representative CLEVELAND M. BAILEY, Chairman, Subcommittee on General Education, House Education and Labor
Committee, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. BAILEY: I am enclosing a copy of a resolution which was adopted by the Tennessee Education Association at its meeting on January 10. We would like this statement included in the printed hearings if it can be arranged. A copy of this statement has been sent to all of the Members of Congress from Tennessee.
I hope things are going well with you and that you have success in the fight which you have waged so long for aid to schools. With kindest regards, I am Sincerely yours,
F. E. Bass, Executive Secretary-Treasurer.
Passed by the Representative Assembly of the Tennessee Education Association,
January 10, 1959
Whereas it is becoming more difficult to attract and hold outstanding people in the teaching profession because of the fact that we have the lowest salary schedule in the Nation of all States that maintain salary schedules; and
Whereas it is apparent that emergency action on the part of the Federal Government can, and will, help the situation ; and
Whereas the revised Murray-Metcalf bill would provide substantial funds for the benefit of school buildings and teachers' salaries; and
Whereas these funds would be provided to the States entirely free of Federar controls under the provisions of this bill; and
Whereas the bill would provide $25 annually per school-age child in Tennessee for the school year 1959, increasing by $25 per year to a maximum of $100 per year for a school-age child by 1962, and each year thereafter: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Tennessee Education Association supports this legislation and urges the Members of Congress from Tennessee to give this bill their careful study and support.
STATE OF IOWA,
Des Moines, March 5, 1959.
DEAR REPRESENTATIVE BAILEY: We are pleased to endorse H.R. 22, with appropriate amendments if needed, to insure State and local control of education.
As you well know, many States have about reached the saturation point in their attempts to provide an adequate educational program for our children in this space age.
We need relief from burdensome property taxes and I feel that the Federal Government can provide funds for such relief. Sincerely yours,
J. C. WRIGHT,
State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Mr. McCORD. I will advise the Chair that the American Jewish Congress, that was going to testify this morning, advised the subcommittee that they would be unable to be here, and the delegation from the West Virginia Education Association will be unable to be here today.
Mr. BAILEY. The Chair will instruct the staff member to accept for inclusion in the record any brief that the American Jewish Congress and the school officials of West Virginia might offer, and I might also include in that instruct, Mr. McCord, that you accept for inclusion in the record the statement from Mr. Harry Stansbury of the West Virginia State Chamber of Commerce. I am sure there will be one here. He has advised me that he would supply a statement.
We have as our first witness this morning Miss Christine Heinig, associate in elementary and secondary education, of the American Association of University Women.
Will you be seated and further identify yourself to the reporter and proceed with your testimony?
STATEMENT OF MISS CHRISTINE HEINIG, ASSOCIATE IN ELEMEN
TARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN
Miss HEINIG. Thank you. My name is Christine Heinig, and I am the elementary and secondary education associate on the staff of the American Association of University Women. I am here to represent the association's two national committees on elementary and secondary education and legislation. The association has a membership of approximately 145,000 college graduates organized in 1,415 branches in the 49 States and Territories.
As many of the members of this subcommittee know from the frequent appearances of representatives of this association before you, the American Association of University Women has advocated for several decades that the condition and progress of education must be á matter of Federal concern in the interest of the Nation's economic and cultural growth and more recently in terms of national defense. For three decades our représentatives have been urging financial support for establishing and maintaining adequate machinery in the Office of Education for the collection of accurate, consistent, and up-to-date facts about education just as such statistics are collected and analyzed about agriculture, industry, labor, and commerce.
Recent increases in the appropriations for the Office of Education have made a degree of achievement in this direction possible. Therefore, in the light of current data prepared for your use and already presented to you by the representatives of the Health, Education, and Welfare Department and by professional organizations working exclusively in the field of education, we shall not attempt to define in terms of numbers the major problems in education today: those of classroom and teacher shortages.
For the benefit of the newer members of this subcommittee, we shall take the liberty to point out that the association, which is now over three-quarters of a century old, was founded and continues solely for the purpose of uniting college educated women in stimulating their own intellectual growth and for furthering education in all fields.
Because of this continuing study of the needs of education, we are in position to say to this subcommittee that we know from firsthand experience that even with great effort made by local school districts and State legislatures to provide more classrooms and to improve teachers' salaries these two major problems have been growing more serious annually.
An opinion poll, conducted and analyzed in the latter part of 1958 through our over 1,400 branches in the 49 States, reveals that our members believe the Federal Government should provide Federal assistance to tax-supported elementary and secondary schools under conditions which will safeguard State and local control of the educational program:
Our membership, many of whom serve on school boards or are working professionally as educators, is in complete agreement that elementary and secondary schools are the bedrock upon which sound education in the Nation rests.
Therefore, we believe that Federal assistance in any form to the States and/or local districts will be helpful. We hasten to say that those titles in the National Defense Education Act of 1958 (whose passage we supported) that benefit elementary and secondary schools are very constructive steps toward strengthening these schools. But we believe this legislation cannot alleviate to any appreciable degree the problems of faculty and teaching staff shortages which remain the basic problems to be solved.
We know that this subcommittee does not need to be told by representatives of our association that local real estate taxes are no longer a realistic base for the support of schools. This subcommittee is also well informed about the length of time it would take to enact the necessary constitutional and legislative revisions in the States to revise educational support structures in order to secure for all the Nation's children more nearly equal educational opportunities.
It is our belief that no geographical area in the United States, now or in the future, should be permitted to become a liability to