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Mr. HELLER. As far as the classroom backlog is concerned, it is 140,000 classrooms now.

You are quite right as far as that particular element is concerned. One would hope that this problem could be practically eliminated with a fairly short-run program, maybe a 10-year program.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. To continue that: If we should try to set up a program which would eliminate the shortage in a 5-year period or a 4-year period, would you propose that we should then curtail our assistance very sharply, because that would be the function for which the Federal aid was provided ?

Should our program, our legislation, be designed specifically to eliminate the backlog and to accelerate that elimination?

Mr. HELLER. I want to say two things to that: One, that the backlog itself may grow very rapidly if we change our standards of school buildings. For example, if in the course of urban redevelopment, and I am sure all of you know the pattern of the urban centers versus the suburban areas- we changed our standards as to the kind of school buildings required in the core cities, I am sure this backlog would jump very substantially.

Secondly, if Dr. Conant's proposals for eliminating thousands of small high schools were to be adopted, again the backlog would grow.

But that is only part of the answer. The second part is this: That the overall problem is so huge in terms of getting adequate teachers' salaries, interms of this doubling of educational expenses from $15 billion to $30 billion, that a one-shot program aimed only at eliminating the shortage of classrooms only heals a part, and I might say the smaller part of the problem.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I was leaving aside at the moment all considerations of teachers' salaries. I think there is no likelihood that Congress is going to enact legislation along those lines, in my own mind.

Leaving aside that problem at the moment, considering just the classroom problem, what is it that the Federal Government, in your opinion, should be tackling? The elimination of the shortage?

If it was eliminated and if, as you say, we are building without any Federal assistance at a rate of 70,000 classrooms a year, would we not at the end of a 5-year period, if we could design a Federal program to that end, eliminate the shortage and remove ourselves from the construction field altogether?

Granting, of course, that standards may change and that the obsolescence may increase and so on, it is not conceivable that you could design a program that would have sharply reduced if not eliminated Federal participation at the end of a few years?

Mr. HELLER. I should say this, Mr. Frelinghuysen, that if we had a program that was limited just to the construction side of the problem—and please understand that I am totally out of sympathy with a program so limited—but if we had a program of that kind, it is certainly conceivable that it could be handled in a relatively short period of time under our present standards of classrooms and other facilities for schoolchildren.

But it seems to me that as we have an increasing affluance and abundance in this country, we are going to see a continuation of the trend that has occurred thus far, namely, that we will constantly raise our standards as to the kind of school buildings and facilities that we want for our children.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Putting it another way, the more we have to spend the more we will spend. And I will agree with you 100 percent that I would like to see a lot more spent on our education than we presently do. But we still are faced with some practical problems. În other words, the Federal Treasury has to get it from somewhere, and if it can be sold on a reasonably temporary basis instead of an ever-increasing participation by the Federal Government, I think it is a more practical point of view and perhaps a more reasonable role for the Federal Government to play than for an increasing share of the financial responsibility of constructing schools.

Mr. HELLER. As the statement later develops, this is the position that I do not agree with. But I want to say just one final thing on this point, if I may. That is that I think there is too much of a penchant for us to invest money in brick and mortar and not enough in human beings. It always seems to be easier to sell a program to spend money on highways or spend money on buildings, or something that seems to be tangible-rivers and harbor development, dams, and so on.

It seems to me that this is a bias that, in terms of development in human beings, we should move away from.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Dr. Heller, in my opinion there is too much penchant to talk in terms of cliches also.

To invest in human beings is not an easy thing to do. If it involves subsidies at the Federal level of teachers' salaries, it may well arouse quite reasonable fears that we will be investigating the adequacy of the teachers whom we are paying for, and it will mean a transformation of a traditional and pretty good educational system.

So I do think we have got to explore these things and not assume that the money will be spent well and it will not result in basic changes because we know there are needs.

Mr. HELLER. I surely agree with you that we shouldn't deal in cliches, but in the issues themselves.

I also agree that we do not want to transform our locally based educational system. Later in the statement I address myself to that.

Mr. UDALL. Dr. Heller, if I may get in on this colloquy, too, such an unlikely person—although perhaps not—as Admiral Rickover told our committee last year, for example, that he thought in terms of our ability on down the line, 10 and 20 and 30 years from now, to measure all of our national tasks, both military and otherwise, that was so important that, as far as he was concerned, it might be wiser not to spend some of the money we are presently spending on military programs and spend it on upgrading our educational system.

This, of course, is the type of thing that I think you are trying to present to the committee here today, which is basically, as I gather it, that increasing billions of dollars in missiles that are going to be outmoded in perhaps a year, 2 years, 3 years from now, and which probably will not be used, that if we address ourselves and perhaps use as a national development some of that money in terms of developing our capacity to do both military and other tasks better in 10, 15, or 20 years from now, from an economic standpoint this is sound economics.

Is this your point of view ?

Mr. HELLER. I think that the basic philosophy reflected in your comment and question is precisely my point of view.

The only thing I should like to add is that if an increased investment in education would, under this concept, have to come at the expense of Federal programs that are essential to our national security in terms not of 5 or 10 years from now but tomorrow, I should be very doubtful indeed. But I do not see that that is where it has to come from.

It seems to me that we are spending enough on tail fins and chrome and comic books and cokes and whatnot and that we could give that up to invest more in our education rather than giving up some of the missiles program. It is a question of choices.

Mr. UDALL. I was not presenting, nor do I consider that it is a matter of “either/or," but I think that we have got to undertake and accomplish whatever is necessary to produce the strength from the standpoint of brainpower and military power and whatnot to do the task that is ahead. But I would certainly agree with you that we have shown a tendency in recent years to be looking at today rather than at tomorrow, and I think this is where the whole educational problem impinges on our national task in what we are undertaking to do with the people.

What we do or do not do in the educational field in the next 5 years may be decisive 25 years from now. Is that contrary to your thinking?

Mr. HELLER. Not at all. That is absolutely right.

The bias I spoke of a moment ago on this brick and mortar versus the investment in human beings—and, granted, it is a cliche, but I think it is one that carries a good deal of content—that bias has been apparent in our programs for national security.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Dr. Heller, I meant it as no criticism of you. What I really think we are talking about is that you are saying indirectly that what we are worried about is the basic quality of our education as it is provided to our young people today.

If we at the Federal level should be seriously determined to do something about the quality of our education, we might not be bothering at all

about the amount of money that is used to build the schools or the amount of money that is used to pay teachers. We might be very much interested in how adequate is the curriculum and what can we do to strengthen certain areas that are weak, in what areas affecting the national security should there be immediate improvement, in what areas should there be an immediate consolidation of school districts. But we are faced with the problem of trying to overcome the traditional way of doing things.

There is a tendency, to say the least, that Congress should not participate directly in matters affecting the curriculum and, basically, the quality of teaching. We have no alternative but to go at it indirectly and by what you may consider too slow a method to affect appreciably our chances of national survival if the educational system today is inadequate to defend us in our contest with the Soviet Union.

Mr. UDALL. Would my colleague yield to me for an exchange on that point ?

Of course, he and I have thrashed around in this whole problem for the last 4 years, and I think we are in agreement on this question

of not wanting any type of Federal control or domination of schools. Yet the National Defense Education Act, which he and I and this committee had a great deal to do with framing, is basically an attempt by the Federal Government to say that we are weak in certain areas, and to galvanize action in those particular areas.

In one sense there are many who would feel this is an intrusion of the Federal judgment or the national judgment into our educational system. Yet I am sure my colleague would agree with me that this was a sound and constructive piece of legislation and that our approach was sound.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. We will have to exclude the witness altogether in this colloquy, I can see.

I would agree that the National Defense Education Act will have a more direct impact and will be more valuable so far as the quality of our education is concerned than the shotgun approach of this bill that we are considering today, in my opinion.

I think it is ridiculous for us to say we are only interested—and we had the Governor of my State, Governor Minor, tell us at breakfast that his subordinates are in favor of a program of Federal assistance with a minimum of Federal control. That is the only kind of description he gave of a program.

I do not think that is really what we are concerned with. I do not honestly think that any kind of Federal participation is not going to generate some kind of increased Federal interest in how the money is going to be spent. I do not think that if we think it through sensibly we are going to have undue Federal control. But it may well sharpen up, as I hope the National Defense Education Act does, what the responsibility is in providing specific areas that need improvement.

Mr. HELLER. I certainly would be the last one to argue that quality of education and advance in terms of improvement in efficiency, utilization of the forces that are already devoted to education, should not have high priority as a basic part of this whole picture. But, at the same time, I should agree with the Rockefeller report on education when it says:

All of the problems of the schools lead us back sooner or later to one basic problem.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Of course, no one is arguing with that. But there still is the problem of what is the role of the Federal Government. Of course, a lot of these problems can be solved, or at least eased by money. But money is not the only answer.

Mr. BAILEY. Doctor, before you proceed, the Chair finds it necessary that he accompany a colleague to a conference with the Secretary of Commerce on some serious economic situations in West Virginia.

We are calling to the Chair the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Thompson, and I am instructing him that when he recesses the committee today, we recess until Tuesday, February 17, at which time there will be a joint meeting of this subcommittee and the subcommittee presided over by Congressman Elliott. At that time we would like to have the Department of Education here for a survey of how far they have implemented the Defense Education Act passed at the last session of Congress. That will mean the regular sessions of this committee will continue on Wednesday on matters bearing on this particular subject.

(Discussion off the record.)
Mr. THOMPSON (presiding). Proceed, Dr. Heller.

Mr. BAILEY. Dr. Heller, may I apologize for leaving under the circumstances, but it is a matter beyond my control. I am sure the members of the subcommittee will not rough you up too much.

Mr. HELLER. I understand, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. THOMPSON. You may proceed, doctor.

Mr. HELLER. One other comment referring to the material on pages 7 and 8 of the statement, and that is the shocking fact that in this school year of 1958 over 200,000 teachers are still being paid annual teaching salaries of less than $3,500.


An appraisal of the Nation's economic capacity to finance the required quantity and quality of education calls for a comparison of educational expenditures with the gross national product, GNP, the Nation's total output of goods and services each year. An inspection of the 1948–57 record and the Rockefeller Fund projections for 1957–67, revised for recent changes in GNP, makes it undeniably clear that the United States has ample economic resources to overcome past deficiencies and to meet the huge new demands in public education. The underlying capacity exists provided the American people have the will to allot somewhat more of their growing income to educating their children and somewhat less to frivolities, indulgences and luxuries.

If you will give your attention to the material which follows, I might point up just a few things in that brief compilation.

(The material referred to follows:)

Gross national product

in 1957 dollars

Public education



Per capita

in 1957

Percent of GNP

1948. 1957 1967 1967. 1967.


651. 7



$2. 159
2, 572
2, 915
3, 533

_3-percent growth rate 1.-
-4-percent growth rate 1
-5-percent growth rate 1..

2. 2 3.4 5. 1 4.6 4. 2

1 These growth rates are taken from the Rockefeller report on the U.S. economy: Rockefeller Bros. Fund. "The Challenge to America: Its Economic and Social Aspects.” Special Studies Project IV, America at Mid-Century Series. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1958. Rockefeller projections are revised for recent revisions in gross national product.

Several points about this brief compilation of key figures are worth noting. While our investment in education as a percentage of GNP has risen 55 percent from 1948 to 1957 (from 2.2 to 3.4 percent of our total output), the Rockefeller projections indicate a slower rate of increase in the coming decade if our rate of growth in GNP matches or exceeds its postwar pace. That is, although the 3-percent projection represents the long-term rate of growth of the economy in roughly the 20th century, the 4-percent rate has characterized the economy since World War II and is, therefore, a more current and probably more reasonable basis for projection. The 5-percent growth rate, which the Rockefeller group posits as a target, would enable us to increase public education expenditures to $30 billion by 1967–100 percent in absolute terms, with an increase of only


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