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district, would not temporarily or at this time qualify under the particular program passing the House of Representatives, that does not mean that I will vote against that program because I am for Federal action now to meet a Federal need now.
I am very much interested in what the Chairman brought to my attention, however, from the standpoint of what adequate provision there will be in the program to meet the need.
Mr. BAILEY The Chair will say to the gentleman from Maryland that your testimony has been wholesome in that it is in direct contrast with previous representations from that Maryland district on this matter of Federal grants in aid
Your predecessor has appeared before this subcommittee previously. He was favorable to Public Laws 815 and 874, but opposed to any
Federal assistance of any kind. Mr. FOLEY. I am in favor of all.
Mr. BAILEY. Let me say again that your appearance here is encouraging to the committee. We have gained at least one more vote in the Congress for the Federal Government, indicating that the Federal Government should step into this picture at this time on the basis of a national question.
Mr. Brademas, do you have any questions for the gentleman?
Mr. BRADEMAS. I have no questions, Mr. Chairman, but I do want to thank Mr. Foley for his stimulating and thoughtful testimony and to congratulate him on his obviously deep concern that we should attack this problem of shortages in the field of education.
Mr. BAILEY. Mr. Udall ?
Mr. UDALL. I have no questions. I would like to comment, however, Mr. Chairman, I think the gentleman from Maryland typifies the type of new Congressmen we have, who is forthright in his views and a real champion of American schools.
I think we should, as far as I am concerned, especially welcome him and his type to our committee.
We are very happy to have you with us, sir.
Mr. FOLEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.
(Material referred to will be found in appendix, p. 580.) Nr. Bailey. The next witness will be the distinguished gentleman from California, Mr. Baldwin.
Will you identify yourself and proceed with your testimony?
STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN F. BALDWIN, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. BALDWIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am John F. Baldwin, Representative of the California Sixth District.
Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before this committee this morning and I am here to testify in favor of the Murray-Metcalf bill, H.R. 22.
I have introduced a bill of my own, H.R. 699, which is an identical bill to the Murray-Metcalf bill, as was introduced in the 85th Congress, but there are only slight differences between the two versions and I would like to say that I wholeheartedly support H.R. 22 and I am here to testify in its behalf.
It seems to me that the most important asset that we have in the United States is our children. It seems to me that the basic problem that we have today is that we are making the education of the children limited by conditions in each individual school district throughout the country under our present educational system.
If a school district is a poor district from the standpoint of assessed valuation that means that the youngster, through no fault of his own in that district, is going to have a more difficult time getting properly educated from the standpoint of the caliber of teachers that he has, from the standpoint of the type of instruction materials and type of instruction equipment that he has.
It does not seem to me that we can keep on making that the measurement of the basis of education of our children.
Now, it has been shown by statistics during World War II that in the States where the amount spent on education per youngster were low that the number of draftees that were rejected for educational limitations were much higher than in other States.
So I think that fact alone proves that the States that may have an educational standard higher than others still suffer when there are any school districts of any States which are below the average since the States with an above-average educational system had to contribute more draftees during World War II because the States that were below average in educational standards had more draftees rejected because of inadequate educational training.
That proves that it is a national problem.
Certainly, everything we know today about the defense problem that we have against the Iron Curtain countries that are concentrating on education indicates that this is a national problem; and I don't believe that we can continue to afford causing our youngsters education to hinge purely upon whether or not they come from an impoverished school district or a wealthy school district from the standpoint of assessed valuation.
I think we have to assess this as a national problem. I think we have to take steps to meet it as a national problem.
That is why I am here to testify in favor of the Murray-Metcalf bill. I think that the youngsters from impoverished school districts should have a more adequate chance to have proper facilities and proper teachers than they now have. I think it is important to the good school district, good from the standpoint of assessed valuation, that this step be taken because we now have such a transient population in the sense of the people moving from one portion of the country to the other that even the portions of the country that have the most wealthy school districts are going to suffer if there are other parts of the country who are going to provide inadequate training and inadequate education for youngsters because some of those youngsters as they grow up will migrate to those parts of the country and all parts of the country will be affected.
I do not believe that we can continue to hinge our education upon such a limiting factor as the local assessed valuation.
Basically that is the whole purpose of this bill. The purpose of this bill is to switch from the measurement of how good a student's education is, based upon local property assessed valuation, to measuring it on what is the national need for an adequate education.
For that reason I would like to join with others who have testified in favor of this measure.
Mr. BAILEY. Mr. Udall?
Mr. UDALL. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman from California is another of those Members of the Congress who fortunately we find on both sides of the aisle, who have been very stanch champions of aid to education.
I would like to ask you this question : You are using interesting language talking about impoverished school districts.
It seems to me that one might say with some accuracy that school districts that have a poor school administration, that have a school board that is not responsive to the needs of the community or is unwilling to levy such taxes at the local level or ask for sacrifices, that these school districts are equally impoverished with those who lack physical assets.
I wonder if you will agree with me on that.
Mr. BALDWIN. If I understand the gentleman's point, I do not think the answer is in the local school district because the local school district in an impoverished area can levy a school tax rate which is just as severe on a $100 valuation as a school board in a more wealthy district, but that will produce half as much for each youngster.
They may be taking just as adequate steps from the standpoint of tax rate, but have only half the amount of revenue per youngster. I do not think we can continue to make this the basis of measure of education.
Mr. UDALL. The gentleman makes the point too, it seems to me, that there are overriding national purposes with regard to education that concern national security.
I wonder if he would agree with what some of us are suggesting now, that whereas 50 years ago education was regarded purely as a local problem and that all the taxes were levied and collected in each community to operate the schools, subsequently this came to be regarded as a State problem and the entire wealth of the State then was used as a tax base to collect part of the tax, and that some of us now are suggesting that because of the overriding national security interest that the entire tax base of the Nation be used to make contribution to the schools.
Does he agree with that philosophy?
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I too, know of Mr. Baldwin's long interest in the field of education and what an appropriate role for the Federal Government is, and I am appreciative of his testimony.
I should like to ask him, however, what I was asking from Maryland with respect to the teachers' subsidies.
Do you agree with the quotation that we were referred to from Business Week that the main reason for the low pay scales throughout the country is that school boards all over the country have dragged their feet in a desperate effort to hold down taxes?
Mr. BALDWIN. No; I would not agree with that. I think that school boards throughout the districts have done a great deal toward trying to solve this problem.
In my own district in California, school boards time and again have taken steps to put on the ballot for the people measures to go beyond the State limitation, the bond limitation, or the State tax limitation, to try to meet this problem.
Time and again people have done that, but even with all those steps, in the State of California, which is an above average State from the standpoint of teachers' salaries, today there are many school districts that cannot obtain enough teachers that are fully accredited.
They have to take teachers that are not fully accredited because there are not sufficient teachers available. The reason that there are not sufficient teachers available is that the teachers' salaries even in California, an above average State on teachers' salaries, are not appealing compared to what the people with the same training can get in industry.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Your State has an equalization program, a State program of some kind, does it not, which does tend to equalize the opportunities of school districts regardless of the tax resources in those districts?
Mr. BALDWIN. In part.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. So to a considerable extent there is an equalization without any Federal aid.
Mr. BALDWIN. In part.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Your point is that it is not sufficient; is that right?
Mr. BALDWIN. My point is that although there is a State contribution and so a poor district, poor from the standpoint of assessed valuation, will get State assistance, that State assistance will not be adequate to completely offset the fact that it is an impoverished district from the standpoint of property assessed valuation.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I am trying to get, trying to see where you create a Federal obligation to subsidize teachers' salaries out of the situation in your own district, or in your own State. Where is there any Federal obligation?
Mr. BALDWIN. I think there is a Federal obligation because of the proper training of our youngsters is a matter of tremendous Federal importance in the future.
It seems to me that the future of this country internationally is going to depend on whether we can continue to compete with other countries in improving our educational training and standards. For that reason I think the Federal Government has to take an interest in this problem.
We admit that defense of this Nation is a Federal problem, and the defense of this Nation today depends on which country can move most rapidly forward in science, mathematics and other things.
By admitting that defense is a Federal problem we have to admit that the training which will produce proper defense is of interest to the Federal Government.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. If we hinge this whole thing on the national interest and say that there is, because of the kind of contest we are in, a necessity of the Federal Government to improve our standards, we are going to be directly intervening in what has up until now been either a local or at least a State responsibility.
There should be, as I understand it, a responsibility of the Federal Government to improve the quality of our teachers and perhaps even what they teach.
The gentleman from Arizona said earlier that an impoverished school district can mean not only those with inadequate tax resources, but those with an unresponsive school board or poor administration.
Is it your feeling again that the Federal Government has the responsibility to interest itself directly, both in the quality of the school board, the quality of the teachers, and do you not feel that if we help subsidize the teachers' we will have a responsibility to see that they subsidize more qualified teachers and does that not worry you that there will be a kind of direct responsibility which up until now we have not had and which has whipped us pretty well?
Mr. BALDWIN. First of all, let me say I am testifying in favor of H.R. 22 which has a specific section saying that there will not be Federal control over the administration of the school districts, in my belief if additional funds are made available to each State and in turn to each school district for teachers' salaries so that by the natural course of events with more funds being available, that a higher level of salaries can be paid.
In my opinion that automatically will mean that you will attract more qualified people into the teaching profession.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. You are saying, then, that whether or not it does result in more qualified teachers the Federal Government does not have a responsibility to worry about quality, it is just purely a question of money in the hope that quality follows the money?
Mr. BALDWIN. I don't think we have to rely upon hope. The States have established certain standards through which teachers have to proceed to get accreditation.
Therefore, we don't have to rely on hope; we can actually look at the facts that now exist in each State as to the procedure for accrediting of teachers.
My point is that if we provide additional funds applicable to teachers' salaries so that the level of salaries is higher, I am convinced in my own mind that we are going to attract more qualified people into the teaching profession.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. You are saying very definitely that the Federal Government does not have responsibility directly to worry about the quality of teachers, even though they do have a responsibility to help pay them?
Mr. Baldwin. I am saying that I agree with the provisions of the Murray-Metcalf bill. I believe that the Federal Government does have an interest in improving the educational standards of this Nation.
I believe that if we provide additional funds, particularly to those districts that are impoverished from the standpoint of asessed valuation, that the improvement in educational standards will follow because of the rules and regulations already in existence in the States and in the individual school districts.