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The General Federation of Women's Clubs, which was chartered by the U.S. Government in 1901, defined its purpose as an organization dedicated to unite the women's clubs and like organizations throughout the world for the purpose of mutual benefit, and for the promotion of their common interest in education, philanthropy, public welfare, moral values, civics, and fine arts.
During the 68 years of the organization's existence the women have worked for better education, among other things, as set out in the purpose. As evidence of the interest and work of these women I submit resolutions, which are passed by the delegate body consisting of members from all of the 15,000 clubs belonging to the General Federation from every State in the Union and the Territories, by convention action.
I might say that the resolutions of the General Federation are our authority to take legislative action or to do anything about that. We often say they are our bible.
These resolutions become the policy for action by the General Federation of Women's Clubs and we support or oppose legislation, as the case may be, in accordance with these resolutions.
In the case of Federal aid for school construction, I submit first a resolution called "Crisis in Education.” Incidentally, it might be interesting to note that it was passed first by convention action in 1908. It was reaffirmed in 1956, and is still an active policy.
CRISIS IN EDUCATION
(Convention 1908; reafirmed 1953) "Resowed, That the General Federation of Women's Clubs declares its belief that:
1. Education of the people is the most important function of gorernment if democracy shall survive and should be dignified by a place in the public esteem commensurate with its importance;
2. A minimum average standard salary for teachers should be adopted which is consistent with a proper standard of living and in line with prerailing costs of Living;
3. An improvement in standards of selection and training of teachers should be sought;
4. Opportunities for more and better in-service training for teachers should be provided and the advantage which teachers take of these opportunities should be made a basis for (1) salary, (2) promotion, and (3) tenure;
5. Teachers should be assured an opportunity to assume the satisfying part in community life and affairs which is open to any other citizens in any other profession;
6. Final responsibility for securing remedial measures for problems of personnel and facilities for their schools rests upon the community, its individual citizens and organized groups; and further
Resolved, That the General Federation of Women's Clubs urges member clubs in their local communities to :
1. Assist in securing and maintaining equitable salary schedules ;
2. Cooperate in an analysis and solution of factors which contribute to the reluctance of many desirable persons to enter the teaching profession:
3. Participate in a nationwide recruitment program which will hare as its objective a sufficient nuniber of properly qualified and prepared teachers for the schools of the United States.
This resolution sets out the important function of government if democracy is to survive in education, and particularly stresses wellqualified and well-paid teachers.
In 1924, and reaffirmed in 1956, a resolution was passed called “Training Scientists” in order to have proper personnel demanded by government and industry if we are to meet world competition. Under this resolution it is interesting that the women of this country in 1924 seemed to be thinking of the welfare of this country and said:
(Convention 1924; reaffirmed 1956) Whereas it is evident that there exists a critical shortage of scientists and qualified science teachers in the United States and that present facilities will not provide the trained personnel demanded by government and industry if we are to meet world competition; and
Whereas the inability of many students to meet the requirements of courses in advanced science and mathematics when offered in high schools and colleges demonstrates the need for teaching the fundamentals of mathematics and elementary science at the grade school level: Therefore
Resolved, That the General Federation of Women's Clubs advocates, supports and urges member groups to participate in a concerted effort to:
1. Discover special scientific aptitudes at an elementary school age through the use of testing programs;
2. Strengthen the teaching of mathematics and science in the schools of the United States at all scholastic levels;
3. Recruit science teachers and encourage students to major in science through the establishment of scholarships, fellowships, and other incentives ;
4. Seek auxiliary teachers from the ranks of industry and from among retired scientists;
5. Secure for local schools adequate laboratory and other necessary facilities.
Incidentally, we feel that “other necessary facilities” certainly means additional schoolrooms and classrooms.
Then, again, in 1900 we were talking about the conservation of youth:
CONSERVATION OF YOUTH
(Convention 1900; reaffirmed 1956) Whereas the American philosophy of living is to give to every one of its people the opportunity to develop the best of which he is capable; and
Whereas the future of America is dependent on the fullest development of the capabilities of the youth of our Nation, including those of superior ability, those of normal gifts and talents, and those who are socially, physically, or mentally handicapped; and
Whereas, appropriate education, remedial treatment, and rehabilitation where indicated are the most valuable and most economical methods of developing the capacities of youth with lifelong institutional care and support utilized only when the above methods have failed: Therefore
Resolved, That the General Federation of Women's Clubs urges members to initiate, promote and support programs to :
1. Impress upon parents the fact that the home is irreplaceable in supplying the basic needs for development of well-adjusted children ;
2. Develop to the fullest extent the child with special talents and abilities,
3. Educate, treat, and rehabilitate the physically and mentally handicapped and those with behavior problems;
4. Educate the youth in our schools as to their total responsibilities; 5. Accept the migrant child as part of the community responsibility.
These resolutions specifically set out that the General Federation of Women's Clubs advocated, supports and urges member groups to participate in a concerted effort to secure for local schools adequate laboratory and other necessary facilities. This we believe includes adequate number of classrooms and housing for students, in cases of colleges and universities, as well as laboratories.
In 1933 at convention, and again in 1953, the General Federation of Women's Clubs passed a resolution, "Economy in Government,” but pointed out that it would be false economy to jeopardize such services as are being rendered by the agencies of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. It is now 1959 and those agencies are pointing out that most States are short of adequate classrooms and qualified teachers.
Now I will quote the resolution of economy in government:
ECONOMY IN GOVERNMENT
(Convention 1933; reaffirmed 1953). Whereas the General Federation of Women's Clubs has urged a program of economy for the Government of the United States which is consistent with good government and adequate services; and
Whereas the General Federation of Women's Clubs has long advocated programs of the Government of the United States which foster and support services necessary to the education, health and welfare of the people: Therefore
Resolved, That the General Federation of Women's Clubs again commends the elimination of waste in governmental spending, but also urges that it is false economy to jeopardize such services as now are being rendered by the agencies of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
The developments in scientific fields since 1933–53 surely make it more urgent that we do not longer neglect the educational opportunities for all the children of our country. I need not spell out these requirements to you gentlemen. You know them.
In 1951 under the title of "National Economy" the General Federation of Women's Clubs set out the need for government expenditures in order of vital importance. This resolution states:
1. Defense for self and for our allies.
Under "National Economy,” this is what the women in 1951 said, incidentally, all resolutions remain active until legislation has accomplished it or' they have been withdrawn for reasons the women desired:
(Convention, 1951) Whereas the United States must meet the costly task of financing its own defense objectives and assisting other nations in joint resistance to a common enemy, a necessary task which may continue for a period of years; and
Whereas we must make every effort to prevent change in the pattern of living resulting from defense activities from affecting disastrously the moral welfare education, health and economic welfare of our people, particularly our children: Therefore
Resolved, That the General Federation of Women's Clubs urges the Government of the United States to pursue a program of realistic economic stabilization, including reduced consumption where necessary, with a pay-as-you-go plan of taxation; sound monetary controls; an end to the vicious spiral resulting from the contest between rising wages and rising prices; rigid scrutiny of every proposed expenditure in both nondefense and defense programs; and the utmost economy in administration; and further
Resolved, That priorities in government expenditures be given in the following order:
1. Defense for self and for our allies. 2. Education.
3. Normal functions of government. 4. Necessary social welfare services.
This it seems to the women of the General Federation of Women's Clubs to still be the necessary order of importance if the United States is to compete in this present-day world.
I'll call your attention to one more resolution which passed first in 1922 in essence, was reaffirmed in 1952, and is today a motivating policy of the General Federation of Women's Clubs.
STATEMENT ON SYSTEM OF FEDERAL DEVELOPMENT OF PROJECTS AND FEDERAL ADD
(Convention 1922; reaffirmed 1955) Whereas the General Federation of Women's Clubs is deeply concerned with the serious economic, educational, and social problems facing our people and is equally concerned with some problems created by the system of Federal development, aid, and assistance which has been established as part of the solution adopted for economic, educational, and social difficulties : Therefore
Resolved, That the General Federation of Women's Clubs declares its conviction that:
A. FEDERAL DEVELOPMENT OF PROJECTS
1. In general, the Federal Government should not be in business, particularly in competition with private enterprise, and should retire from those businesses already established as quickly as is possible without jeopardizing the public interest and without entailing unjustified sacrifice of public property and investments.
2. It must be recognized that conditions exist, and could continue to exist, which may necessitate Federal expenditures, and that there are desirable projects which private enterprise cannot develop effectively nor economically.
3. Federal development should include, and aid should be extended to those projects only whose beneficial results are widely distributed among the people.
B. FEDERAL AID AND ASSISTANCE
1. In making allocations of Federal aid, the formula used should take into account:
(a) Established need.
(b) Demonstrated effort to reach a solution with private or State and local resources.
(c) Ability of area in question to pay (per capita wealth). (d) The number of people affected. 2. After a project has been approved, allocation made, and funds provided, administration and control of projects using Federal aid and having local and State application should be by local and State officials; and Federal controls should be confined to financial accounting and compliance with the terms of the contract;
3. In order to increase local and State self-sufficiency and decrease need for supplementary Federal aid, táxing power in certain suitable fields should be left to, or returned to, the several States.
We believe that part B2 of the resolution spells out in plain language what is needed so far as aid to school construction is concerned. Everyone admits we need more and better schools. The question appears to be how to get them. All seem to agree that the United States must train the youth of today to the extent of his capacity so he can best serve his country, if democracy is to survive. We believe this means to have enough classrooms properly equipped for every child in the country. We believe it also means a sufficient number of truly qualified teachers.
We believe that local and State governments should carry the burden of education, if and when they can. But when it is impossible for local and/or States to provide what is necessary for top standard in education it becomes the duty and, indeed, the responsibility of the Federal Government to supply what is needed.
We have read the proposal as suggested by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and we think it is in line with the thinking and wishes of the membership of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. They require that States do all they can do and when and where needed the Federal Government will help.
We think this proposed legislation sets out proper safeguards to keep control of education in the State, but also safeguards the States against any catastrophic disaster when unable to pay in the manner prescribed by forgiving them at the end of a 10-year period, if such States had in good faith carried out their agreements with regard to matching Federal funds for school construction. We believe it will not place into the hands of the Federal Government the control of schools, as some have suggested.
We urge you to favorably recommend this legislation to Congress and to work for the enactment of a law carrying out the full intent of this proposal, and that word “this” does not mean any specific bill, but legislation which will give us school construction and qualified teachers.
Senator MURRAY. Thank you very much for your statement.
STATEMENT OF MRS. CHARLES HYMES, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF
JEWISH WOMEN, INC., NEW YORK, N.Y. Mrs. HYMES. Mr. Chairman, I am Mrs. Charles Hymes, the president of the National Council of Jewish Women. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you in support of legislation to improve the educational facilities available to the young people of America.
The National Council of Jewish Women, which has just celebrated its 65th birthday, has over 100,000 members in 240 communities throughout the country. Our organization helps to meet human needs, and stimulates the individual and community to advance the democratic way of life through a program of service, of education, and social action.
Through community service projects and social action programs, the National Council of Jewish Women has helped to support and strengthen public education in the United States for more than 50 years. Our recent national convention held in Los Angeles only last month reiterated our position in support of education by adopting the following resolution:
The National Council of Jewish Women believes that the future of American democracy depends in large measure upon a system of public education that provides the highest possible standard of education for all: It therefore
Resolves, To support measures that will insure expanded and improved educational opportunities for all, through the construction of sufficient schools, the provision of better equipment, the adequate increase in teachers' salaries, and modern techniques of teacher training and recruitment.
It is my intention here today to speak briefly about the reasons why the National Council of Jewish Women supports legislation which will provide for Federal financial assistance to the States for school construction and for teachers' salaries. Before doing that, however, I