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istrators with the higher salaries to offer systematically hire the best qualified teachers in adjoining States. We believe that the School Support Act will alleviate this problem, attract young people to teaching as a career, and provide the means for holding present qualified teachers.
Mr. JOYCE. Yes.
Mr. BAILEY. What percent of your North Dakota trained teachers end up in some other school system other than North Dakota! Do you have those figures ?
Mr. JOYCE. I don't, Mr. Chairman. I am sorry. It is just some observations of our own denominational college in Jamestown where I live, the number of girls that we have had, for instance for babysitters who were taking training 2 years or more and have gone elsewhere. Minnesota, Montana, Alaska, particularly those three.
Mr. BAILEY. I cannot help but comment on your statement in the last paragraph at the bottom of page 2, speaking about the White House Conference in 1954. Have you folks realized that from 1954 on, the President up until the current year has been advocating some kind of school legislation? This time his state of the Union message was silent on the matter. So far he has not indicated any intention of sending up a statement on the school situation. They do have a so-called administration bill which provides a series of loans, or not exactly loans but joint action on the part of the Federal Government and the States to underwrite the interest and retirement charges on bond issuance in districts that have exhausted their levying authority. Most of the witnesses who have appeared before the subcommittee say that the proposal is not satisfactory, and that it is more in the nature of a banker's benefit bill than it is one that would benefit the schoolchildren. Mr. JOYCE. I would like to join that group, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BAILEY. What his attitude would be on school legislation in view of the position he has taken on a $77 billion budget is questionable. We have lost some school legislation in the past through failure of the administration to use its influence on behalf of the legislation.
I am just mentioning this to let you know that there are some handicaps in passing school legislation.
Do you have any questions, Mr. Brademas?
Mr. BRADEMAS. I only want, Mr. Chairman, to thank Mr. Joyce for his very interesting statement and to commend him and his organization for support of effective legislation to assist education.
Mr. BAILEY. I want to commend you, too, because you are one of the farm groups that deeply appreciate the fact that the farm folks have been the recipients of more Government subsidies than any other group. That is one of the reasons why I talked pretty plainly to the Farm Bureau representatives when they testified here. I found it necessary a year ago to remind one of the gentlemen who fying for the Farm Bureau that in view of the tremendous cost of our farm support program, the billions of dollars we have invested in that and the favorable legislation we have given the farm groups, his position there in appearing in opposition to the school legislation reminded me of an overstuffed pig that was feeding at the public trough and wanted to slap the wrist of anyone else that wanted to join him at the trough.
We are deeply appreciative to know that some of the farm groups can see the need for meeting this problem.
The Farm Bureaus sort of restate and emphasize the arguments of the National Chamber of Commerce. I do not believe they have testified but I believe they are scheduled to testify.
Mr. McCORD. Tomorrow, yes, sir.
Mr. BAILEY. It is really a problem, Mr. Joyce, and we deeply appreciate anything that at least an active sector of the Farm groups are supporting our legislation. We appreciate your appearance here to let you know that you are with us in this fight.
Mr. JOYCE. Thank you very much.
Mr. BAILEY. The committee will now have the pleasure of listening to Dr. Forrest Conner, superintendent of schools of St. Paul, Minn., and the president-elect of the American Association of School Administrators.
Dr. Conner, if you care to identify yourself further to the reporters, you may do so, and then proceed to let us have your views on this pending legislation.
STATEMENT OF FORREST E. CONNER, SUPERINTENDENT OF
SCHOOLS, ST. PAUL, MINN., PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
Mr. CONNER. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, ladies and gentlemen, I am appearing here before you as a representative of the American Association of School Administrators, to present the views of our organization, as expressed by resolution and platform, on the role of the Federal Government in the support of public education.
The membership of our association numbers some over 11,000 and is drawn from the administrators of the public and private schools, colleges and universities of the Nation.
We regard the matter of proper financing of education as one of the most critical and immediate of the many problems facing public education today. Literally, it is closely and intimately related to the whole future of our country. There is no tomorrow for those whom the years of learning opportunity have passed by because of inadequate program or facilities. We cannot postpone until tomorrow the resources which are needed right now for the children who are ripe for learning today. What we do or fail to do right now will be felt for at least another 25 years. In a sense our problem today is like the final game of the State tournament—there's no såving of the star player or the carefully conceived strategy for tomorrow or for the next game. In our humble judgment, we have got to shoot the works right now.
Our problem in this country with regard to the financing of education is basically this: If quality education is what we are after; if the shortages of developed brainpower are to be met; if we are going to keep up with the explosive rate of technological change and the increasing complexity of our social organization; if we are going to meet the challenge of Russia's sensational advances in education; if we are going to continue to keep education's contributions to the cultural, economic, and military strength in the forefront, if we are going to carry out the commitment of the White House Conference of 2 years ago that “the talent of each child—be sought out and developed to the fullest”; if we are going to do these things, then only the ostriches
will say that costs of education can be held at present levels—to say nothing about providing cheaper education.
As of now, we as a Nation face absolutely certain and marked increases in the costs of education. Just in the matter of volume alone, costs will increase. I will not take the time here to review the figures on our enrollment growth since the end of World War II, nor the projection of the enormous increases which we must be prepared to handle in the next 10 years. I am sure that the members of this committee are familiar with this situation.
We have more children to educate each year. A majority of us are in agreement that they must go to school longer than did their parents and grandparents, and we are fully aware that our future world leaders must know more than we did.
There are other items which point to sizable increases in the cost of education:
(a) That there is a serious and chronic shortage of qualified teachers is no news to you. Even with low standards of employment, hundreds of communities throughout our country are finding it possible to complete their school staffs only by accepting substandard training or by employing teachers who cannot qualify for regular teaching certificates. This being the case, good teachers are on a seller's market and their salaries, a principal item of from 55 percent to 70 percent in every school budget, are going to increase markedly-possibly even to the equal of those of minor league ballplayers. And they should, because it is a fact that standards for teachers have been held down to match tragically low salary levels. Without gifted, well-trained and dedicated teachers at every level of the school system, our children cannot be properly prepared for the challenges they must meet. Without adequate salary schedules we cannot compete with our professions, with other vocations, for the high quality personnel which we need to staff our classrooms.
(6) If the recommendations of the Conant report, "The American High School Today," and similar recommendations by the thinking people in our field are to be met, the bill is going to be high. Our stepped-up mathematics and science programs, our programs for the exceptional child, for more counselors, for more individualized teaching, developmental reading, and a host of other improvements, are all going to carry a higher price tag.
(c) Inflation, which has hit State, local, and school units disproportionately hard, is still a factor in pushing up the price index on quality education.
The question then becomes one of how best to tap America's great wealth so as to channel the needed amount of money into education.
Traditionally, local school districts have depended upon the local property tax for the backbone of school support. At a time when local units of government comprised the largest tax-collecting agencies in the Nation and when real property constituted our principal wealth, this made sense and it was economically sound to look to the local unit of administration and the property tax for the lion's share of financial support of education.
But times have changed. Today there are three factors which operate to constrict the local real property tax base:
(a) In the early days of our country, real property constituted 95 percent of our wealth. Today it accounts for only about 25 percent of our national resources. So we have narrowed the base by almost three-fourths.
(6) There is an attitude on the part of the so-called taxpayer's organizations in a sizable portion of our communities which is expressed somewhat like this. “We can't do anything about Federal taxes; we can't do very much about State taxes, but, by gosh, we can do something about these local taxes--and we will." So you have taxpayer's organizations and lobbyists chiseling away to further narrow the local tax base for public schools.
(c) Federal and State matching programs for highways, hospitals, mental health programs, and the like-praiseworthy and desirable as they may be serve to drain off sizable amounts of local tax revenues, and further reduce the amount available for school programs and facilities.
Putting these four factors together-(a) the increases in enrollments; (b) the relative shrinkage of the tax base to approximately one-fourth what it once was; (c) the local pressures to keep taxes low; and (d) the draining off of funds for matching programs--we must conclude that the worst enemies of public education today are those who insist upon limiting the financial support of schools to local property taxes.
Some types of wealth can be equitably and efficiently taxed by the State. Most of our States, we find, are assuming increasing responsibility for producing financial support for education. But State services—highways, public works backlogs, and welfare institutions, to name only a few-limited tax jurisdiction, fears of interstate migration of taxable wealth, and competition and—here again-group pressures to cut rather than to increase budgets—are common to all States and limit their fiscal powers to support schools.
Today, four out of every five dollars of taxes are collected by the Federal Government. It is only the Federal Government which can tax all our present-day wealth, unhampered by the restrictions of 49 State boundaries and 100,000 local jurisdications and unrestricted by fears of interstate competition and migration of upper-income individuals or industrial plants. We submit, gentlemen, that it is time to rethink the roles of local, State, and Federal governments in school support.
To us it seems perfectly clear that if we are to meet, as a nation, the bill for adequate education, we must have available to us the financial resources and tax collecting potentials of the entire Nation at all levels of government.
Certainly it makes good sense to assign to the Federal Government a substantial role as a participant in the financing of public schools. In the first place, education is no longer, if it ever was, a matter of purely local concern. With the mobility of our population today and the sharply unequal abilities of communities to support educational programs, no community, no State, is immune to the effects of substandard education. Secondly, with the presently efficient means and methods of communications and transportation, our economy is no longer a matter of comunity boundaries or State lines. Ours is a national economy. A third consideration is that education is an es
sential tool for carrying out functions which are a direct Federal responsibility. Education, by every measure which can be supplied, is an investment in human resources, from which we except to reap dividends in the form of higher national income, higher standards of living, more rapid advances in technology and a high caliber of personnel to increase our military potential.
These are things which involve our national economic strength, our prestige, our security, even our survival as a nation. It is perfectly logical, in our view, to assign a significant share of the cost of education to the Federal Government as the best available means of discharging certain national obligations.
It is our considered belief that State and local governments have, by and large, made definite, determined, and valiant efforts to step up their taxing capacities to do the job for the schools. Substantial advances have been made in building schools, advancing teachers' salaries, and expanding the school programs.
In the community in which I serve, our citizens have seen their total expenditures for school operation increase by 130 percent over the past 10 years. In order to provide these funds they have watched their tax bill increase by 60 percent for school purposes, in spite of a 50-percent increase in assessed valuation and a 100-percent increase in State aids.
In my State, over the past 10 years, the legislature has increased the amount of money for State aids to education from $95 million to $342 million, an approximate 250-percent increase. Yet in spite of that effort, we have watched the percentage of State aids to school costs decrease from 29.7 percent to 25.2 percent. I submit that our local communities and our States cannot
much further and should not be forced to the limit of their fiscal capacities to carry out an educational function in which there is a strong Federal interest.
Federal assistance in financing education does not and need not change our traditional philosophies of public education. These philosophies spring from the hopes, the desires, the aspirations of school boards, of parents, or communities. Federal assistance does not and need not change our traditional policy of State assistance and primarily local control of building and operating public schools. Federal assistance for education does, however, continue and extend more widely our national policy of sharing financial burdens among the resources of all of us.
Our association is on record, by resolution, on the matter of Federal support for education, as follows: * * * the American Association of School Administrators reiterates its belief that financial resources available to the Federal Government should be made available for the support of public schools. *
The platform of our association has as one of its planks: Federal aid for operating and providing facilities for publicly supported and controlled schools, administered without Federal control, through the U.S. Office of Education and State departments of education.
Members of the subcommittee, we believe that the provisions of H.R. 22 (S. 2)-familiarly known as the Murray-Metcalf bill-meet these specifications of our association. We earnestly solicit your favorable action on this bill and its recommendation to the Congress.