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(The prepared statement of James E. Allen, Jr., together with attachment, is as follows:)
PREPARED STATEMENT OF JAMES E. ALLEN, JR., COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION, AND PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, my name is James E. Allen, Jr. I am commissioner of education and president of the University of the State of New York. I appreciate this opportunity to appear before you and to express my views with respect to S. 580.
The University of the State of New York is the oldest continuous State educacational agency in America and consists of all of the elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities of the State-public and private. It includes also the museums, libraries, historical societies, and other educational and cultural institutions chartered by the State. The head of this university is the constitutionally created body, the regents of the University of the State of New York, of which I am the executive officer.
This year there are nearly 3 million students enrolled in the public schools of New York State, and approximately 750,000 in the nonpublicly controlled schools. The 200 colleges and universities in the State presently enroll approximately 480,000 students.
New York State has long been a leader in education. The people believe in and want good education. Governors of both major parties have usually been advocates and strong supporters of education. The legislature too has seldom failed to give top priority to the welfare of our schools and colleges.
In my opinion, New York State is particularly fortunate in the soundness of its legal and administrative structure for education wherein all of education in the State from the kindergarten to the graduate schools is under the general supervision and control of the State board of regents. This system facilitates sound planning and coordination, provides protection against partisan political control, and makes it possible to maintain a unity of educational purpose in the State while at the same time fostering a wide diversity of opportunity and of institutional growth and development.
I make special mention of this unique structure for the government of education in New York State because I earnestly believe it is one of our greatest assets and I am concerned to see that the development and administration of Federal policies result in strengthening, not weakening, this structure. Hence, I am pleased when I read the repeated statements of the U.S. Commissioner of Education, Francis Keppel, that "The policy of the Federal Government, in planning its part in the effort we must make as a nation, must be such that, at the end of any program the institutions are stronger and freer than they were at the
New York State has made significant progress in education in recent years. You may be interested in a few facts:
Expenditures for the public schools have increased from $1.3 billion in 1957-58 to an estimated $2.2 billion in 1962–63, an increase of nearly 70 percent. For the same period, State aid for the public schools increased from $514 to $960 lion, an increase of nearly 88 percent. State aid for education is expected to reach $1 billion in the next school year.
In higher education, we have embarked on a billion-dollar construction program to provide for a doubling of enrollment in our State university units by 1970. We lead the Nation, I believe, in the field of financial assistance for college students, with nearly 100,000 students receiving scholarship or scholar incentive grants and over 40,000 students utilizing the liberal loan policies of the New York State Higher Education Assistance Corp.
With respect to quality we can boast of leadership on several points.
In the Westinghouse science talent search, a nationwide competitive scholarship program, New York State pupils won 35 percent of the scholarship winner awards and 32 percent of the honorable mention awards in 1962, while New York State has only 10 percent of the secondary pupils in the Nation.
In the National Merit Scholarship program, another national program, awards are allocated among States in proportion to a population measure. In this test the index of quality in a State program is not the number of scholarships won, tut the qualifying score a pupil must attain to win a scholarship in his State. In 1960 only two States had qualifying scores higher than New York. If the
qualifying score had been the same in New York State as in the average State the number of New York State winners would have more than doubled.
The number of students in our high schools studying the more advanced courses in mathematics increased by more than 70 percent from 1945 to 1960. In science a similar increase has taken place. These gains are nearly three times the in crease in total high school enrollment.
In the advanced placement program, a nationwide program that provide bright high school students with opportunities to take college level courses dur ing the upper years of their high school work, 20 percent of all high school offering such courses and 25 percent of all pupils in the Nation taking suci courses are in New York State.
I could go on with instances of achievement of which we in New York State can be proud. But I am not here for that purpose. I cite these facts simp to show the scope of education in New York State, the great investment in edu cation that has been made by the citizens, and to emphasize how much is a stake, and how much of the future welfare and hopes of the people rests upor the development and progress of our education system.
Our pride of accomplishment is exceeded only by our feeling of concern for the vast array of unmet educational needs in our State. Let me turn now to a brief enumeration of some of the more serious of these needs.
Enrollments in our public schools are continuing to rise at the rate of more than 60,000 pupils per year, creating a continuing shortage of teachers and class rooms which we have thus far not been able to overcome. Last year 72,000 boy: and girls were forced to attend curtailed daily sessions. Thousands are in classes too large for proper individual attention; far too many are in schools badly needing renovation and repairs.
Despite local, State, and National programs for updating teachers in service these programs are too meager to make the impact so urgently needed. I know of nothing more urgent in education today than the need to provide for teachers in service the opportunities for raising the quality of their preparation made necessary by the demands of the changing times.
Teaching materials are rapidly being improved but the pace is painfully slow. Up-to-date, first-rate teaching and learning materials in all areas of the cur riculum are essential if learning opportunities are to be equal to the needs and abilities of the students. Large sums of money are required not only to produce such materials but to place them at the disposal of teachers and students.
The educational problems in our cities are especially critical. A recent report of a study of New York City schools by State and National educational specialists credited the city's schools with many fine achievements, but pointed to the "staggering problems" they face, and to their struggle against incredible odds to provide education of high caliber. One competent observer has called the educational problems of New York City "so tremendous that they almost defy description"; another has referred to them as “social dynamite." The president of the board of education, in an address before the board of estimate and the city council in New York on May 2, 1963, stated that the funds allocated by the city for education were not sufficient to make even a modest dent in the accumulated school problems of the city. The funds necessary for making a massive dent in the city's school problems must be forthcoming-and soon.
The educational problems of our large cities, such as New York City, are no longer solely the responsibility of local government, nor of State and local gov ernments. They are a national responsibility created, in part, by national conditions. The results of neglect of education in these cities reach far beyond local or State boundaries, and their problems must receive the increased attention of the Federal Government as well as that of State and local governments. Of special concern to New York State, and to the Nation, is the problem of unemployed youth. Our statistics show that unless something is done to change present trends, we shall have, by 1970, in New York State, an estimated 786,000 more young non-high-school graduates than the number of jobs available for them. At the same time, we shall have an estimated shortage of 243,000 in the numbers of college-educated persons for the jobs requiring that level of education.
To help solve these serious problems of imbalance between education and jobs, the schools will have to upgrade instruction all along the line and provide the kind and quality of programs that will keep more students in school through
at least high school graduation. In New York State, our successful STEP program (school to employment) is making a significant contribution in this direction. But the funds presently available for it are woefully inadequate. There is a serious need for modernizing and expanding opportunities in vocatiotal education, particularly for industrial-technical training at the secondary school level. Efforts to secure the funds necessary to implement our State plan for vocational education have thus far failed.
New York State ranks 12th among the States in percent of population 25 years and older having completed at least 4 years of college. The median school years completed by this age group in New York State is only 10.7. On this score, we rank 28th. It is reported that the number of adults in this State with less than 5 years of school is nearly 800,000. A massive effort is needed
to raise the education level of these members of our society.
While New York State citizens have made, as I have pointed out, a relatively strong effort to support their schools, that effort will have to be substantially Increased in the years immediately ahead. Estimates indicate that expenditures for public schools will continue to increase by approximately 10 percent annally over the next few years.
The State and the localities have done much in the past to provide the needed revenues. They can and will do more in the future. I am convinced, however, that the size of the task in education in New York State, and in the Nation, demands that the role of the Federal Government be substantially enlarged. Federal financial assistance for vocational education and for the support of the National Defense Education Act have been of great value to New York State. Their continuance and expansion as proposed in S. 580 would be of even greater Vade in the solution of our educational problems.
There is much in S. 580 that appeals to me. I like the fact that it is comprehensive and interrelated-that it recognizes the indivisibility of education, the interdependence of all levels and programs from the kindergarten to the graduate school level. I hope that it will be treated as a whole by the Congress and that some progress will be made with respect to all of its parts.
Before commenting briefly on titles III and IV of S. 580, Mr. Chairman, I uld like to refer to a statement of principle which guides my views in general wh respect to programs and proposals for Federal aid to education.
As a matter of principle, I strongly favor the policy of leaving as much disretion as possible to the States for determining where the needs are within the State and how best to use the Federal funds for meeting these needs. In Lort, I favor the noncategorical approach to Federal aid for education, as set forth here by Mr. Ford. My position on this, with respect to aid for eletary and secondary education, is set forth in a statement of policy adopted st year by the New York State Board of Regents. A copy of that statement is attached.
At the same time, I believe we must identify the most critical of our educatonal needs and make special efforts to meet them. Until such time as we have developed more experience and sophistication in dealing with the financial res and relationships of our three levels of Government, the categorical approach may be the proper one for the Federal Government. It is my hope, Lever, that the trend would be toward strengthening State and local leaderhip and control, and leaving to the States the widest possible degree of discretion in the use of all funds available to them for education.
Now for a few words about titles III and IV of Senate bill 580. I strongly #upport that title.
The quality of education is determined primarily by the quality of the teacher. Ite III of the bill is addressed to this very subject.
Title III of National Defense Education Act has helped to strengthen instruction in science, mathematics and modern foreign languages. For instance, With the help of National Defense Education Act funds, foreign language teachers in New York State participation in 120 conferences and workshops in 1959-60, with the aim of improving foreign language instruction. Four universities in New York State were designated as language and area centers. They offered languages in 1960. In addition, 97 teachers attended summer language Institutes under title VI of National Defense Education Act.
1. the area of guidance, 213 New York State guidance counselors or teachers attended institutes at seven colleges or universities for 6- to 8-week sessions in 95-466-63-vol. 39
the summer of 1960. National Defense Education Act funds were of significance in increasing the number of guidance counselors in New York State from 1,400 in 1958 to 1,775 in 1960.
Title III of the new bill would expand the teacher institute program (now limited to teachers of foreign languages and guidance and counseling per sonnel) to include teachers of English, humanities, social sciences, and library personnel. New York State is presently making efforts to stimulate and produce substantial improvement in the quality of instruction in these areas. Federal support would be of great consequence in furthering our efforts.
I would like, in particular, to lend strong endorsement to part D of title III. authorizing the support of educational research and demonstration centers involving colleges and universities and State and local education agencies. We have never had enough money for research. Also important is part E, which extends for 2 years the grants to State education agencies to finance the collection and analysis of statistics about the character, quality, and quantity of educational programs in the States. This is a matter vital to the better understanding of education's needs and progress.
Title IV of Senate bill 580 would provide a Federal program for support in such areas as teacher salary improvement, classroom construction and special projects for improving educational quality particularly in disadvantaged rural and urban areas. I am pleased that the bill appears to leave room for the States with their varying needs to vary in the percentage of funds allocated to each purpose.
I could go into greater detail in giving support to S. 580, but I think I have made sufficiently clear my reasons for believing it to be good and necessary legislation.
I have been speaking primarily from my position as Commissioner of Education in New York State, but as an educator and as a citizen of the United States, my interest in education cannot be confined to the limits of State boundaries.
While State responsibility for education is firmly embedded in American tradition and legal structure, practical matters of operation and need have evolved a three-way partnership-local-State-Federal-for the carrying out of this responsibility for education.
Experience has shown that each of these levels has special resources and opportunities and that the most effective operation of education requires that each be assigned those areas of responsibility and those functions for which each is best suited.
This sharing of powers among the three levels of government has served us well in education and provides, I believe, the best framework for education in a country so vast in dimension and so diverse in needs.
In considering the role of the Federal Government in education, or in any other endeavor, it must never be forgotten that the Federal Government is not remote nor impersonal--it is merely the people of the United States operating in a broader sphere of action. Therefor, it is the duty of the representatives of the people at that level to make certain that they provide the framework and the support necessary for the most effective and the most productive exercise of the share of responsibility for education which falls to the Federal Government. With the responsibility for education distributed over the whole sweep of localState-Federal organization, there exists the broad scope of action and the variety of approach suitable to education in a country soon to have a population of 200 million. With the proper balance of strengths achieved among the three, there can be the vitality, strength, and responsiveness which give to education the adaptability requisite for eras of unprecedented change.
Carved in the stone of the State Education Building in Albany are these words of Gov. DeWitt Clinton: "The first duty of government, and the surest evidence of good government, is the encouragement of education."
This applies to all government-local, State, or National-and education can be strong only if there is evidence in full measure at each level of this exercise of good government.
A STATEMENT OF POSITION BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK RELATING TO FEDERAL-STATE RELATIONSHIPS IN THE FINANCING OF PUBLIC ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
(Adopted by the board of regents, May 25, 1962)
The regents of the University of the State of New York have the responsibility for the general control and supervision of education in the State and for extending to the people at large increased educational opportunities.
The regents believe that the provision of adequate opportunities for a firstrate education for every boy and girl in America is among the most urgentif not the most urgent-needs of our time. Such provision requires the continuous improvement of all our schools and colleges, wherever in the Nation they may be located, and the extension of further opportunities for quality education wherever needed.
The regents believe that the primary responsibility for the support of quality education in the public elementary and secondary schools of America rests upon the State and local governments. In this regard, we are proud of the record of
the people of the State of New York.
The regents believe, furthermore, that the preservation of State and local control of our schools is essential for the production of quality education in America and that vigorous efforts must be made to strengthen the legal and fiscal structare for education in the States and localities in order to make possible the continuance of control at those levels.
At the same time, we are aware that the States vary in their financial ability to support education, and that this variation accounts in part for the relative differences among the States in the educational opportunities provided and in the level of education achieved by the Nation's citizenry.
The regents are also aware of the many contributions to education made by the Federal Government through grants-in-aid for numerous special programs and activities. They recognize, too, that the continuance and growth of Federal financial support of education are essential to the defense and general welfare of the Nation. The needs and problems of our schools and colleges are indisputably of national concern.
The regents believe, however, that the form and direction of Federal financial assistance in education are of utmost importance, not only for preserving and enhancing State and local control, but also for deriving maximum educational value from the Federal funds. The regents believe that the present policy of Federal aids for federally defined special purposes is not in the best interest of American public education at the elementary and secondary levels. special aids inevitably involve a degree of Federal control, excessive administrative expenses, and the substitution of Federal educational judgments for those of State and local educational authorities. We believe that the interest of public elementary and secondary education in America will be best served by permanent, broad-purpose Federal financial support rather than by limited, emergency Federal aid for special purposes.
Therefore, as a guide for determining their position with respect to proposals for the extension and continuance of Federal financial aid for public education, the regents have adopted the following principles or criteria.
1. Federal funds for the support of public elementary and secondary education should be apportioned to the States for general rather than categorical purposes so that the responsible educational authorities within the State may apply such funds for purposes consistent with State and local needs and obJectives. Federal legislation for the allocation of such funds to the States should be sufficiently flexible to permit the State and local authorities to determine the purposes and needs for which such aid should be used and to spend accordingly.
2 Federal funds for the support of public elementary and secondary educa-tion should be apportioned to, and administered by, the States through the gally constituted State education agency, and not to educational entities within The United States.
3. Federal funds for such public educational purposes should be apportioned among the States on an equalization basis, with relatively more funds being portioned to the poorer States than to the wealthier ones.
4 Federal funds for public educational purposes should be used to suppleent and augment State and local funds, not as a substitute for them, and