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It just happened that the school board of that little town had the same idea about teachers, too, because when we tried to place teachers there from the university we found we couldn't get money enough from that school board to attract the better people that we graduated.
Senator AIKEN. I might say, Dr. Kennan, after we reported the bill out in the last session of Congress, even though it was defeated in the Senate finally, that a special session of the Legislature of Vermont was called and did increase the State aid to schools quite materially-not enough, but quite materially.
Dr. KENNAN. That is quite true.
Senator AIKEN. I am sure it was as a result, a direct result, of legislation pending in the Congress.
Dr. KEXXAN. That is true, there have been advances in Vermont, and I am proud of the fact that northern New England is advancing, but there are still conditions that exist that aren't what we wish for.
Senator AIKEN. I think we still pay them a little more than Maine does, that is our teachers. [Laughter.]
Dr. KENNAN. Perhaps the clearest way of getting across the situation that exists in Maine is to recite a circumstance that occurred in my work in that State when I was discussing the subject of tenure. I visited a League of Women Voters' meeting in Waterville, Maine, and there discussed tenure and the fact that under it teachers could be dismissed only for immorality, conduct unbecoming a teacher, or failure to obey the reasonable rules of the school board.
Then one of the women present asked me what the teachers in Maine were paid, and I told her what was a fact, that that morning I had picked up a handful of cards at random, and in it were the names of three teachers who were being paid I didn't call it a salary-$467 a year. One of the ladies said that she knew of a teacher within 10 miles of that city who was being paid $450 a year and was expected to go to summer school every third year.
One old lady in the back corner of the room said, "Huh, in a case like that they ought to expect a little immorality." (Laughter.]
Now, gentlemen, in all seriousness, I think that was one of the most. cogent comments that could have been made.
But I do want to bring out one point that happened just this last fall in the third largest city in Maine where 1,500 children were fingerprinted, and each child was asked whether he was interested in going into the teaching profession. Not one of them wanted to go into teaching.
The principal of the high school in that city was very much disturbed about the situation, and he called in about 40 of the better girls, better types, the ones who were making the best record in the school, and talked to them and tried to show them what a wonderful profession the teaching profession is, how great a service they could render to the State by becoming teachers, and so forth. Then he said:
Now you can go to normal school here in Maine, and it won't cost you quite as much as to go to collegearen't there some of you who would be interested ?
There was a dead silence. Finally one of the brighter girls said:
Mr. Chaplin, I want to tell you why I am not interested. I have an aunt who is living in my home. She is 72 years old. She gave her whole life to teaching. She never made more than $20 a week for a short school year. Now she has retired, and she is paid less than $10 a week as a pension by the State of Maine.
I don't want to devote my life to any cause that means that when I reach old age I have got to live on the charity of my friends or my relatives.
And, gentlemen, that isn't a single instance; it is characteristic of what happens to a great many of our teachers in Maine.
It isn't so much a matter of the Northeast; it isn't so much a matter of one State as compared to another. In the State of Massachusetts you could go to Melrose and find fine schools, or you could go down on Cape Cod, where I first did my teaching, and find some very unhappy situations existing. It is a case of concentrated wealth
a in few small communities or centers, rather than one State as compared to another, or one region as compared to another.
Most of the antagonism that I have heard toward the bill has come from two principal sources—and I want to say just one word on that
I can understand why certain private groups, private school groups, and those do not include academies such as exist in Vermont and Maine, such as the one at St. Albans, Vt., for example, which is really more of a public school than a private one. I am referring to those of special interest groups and those that deal with wealth, or any other social division-as I say, I can understand why such private groups would oppose this bill. They want to grow strong at the expense of the public schools.
But if I never make another statement in my life I believe that this is an important one, that to the extent that public education is held back to the benefit of private education, to that extent intolerance will grow and disunity will grow in this country, and I think that it is critical to the future of our Nation that public education, the melting pot of the people of this country, shall be strengthened.
I have looked at educational conditions in Europe. I was recently told by a prominent cleric that Russia is the only country in the Old World today that is spending more money on education than it is on the war effort. I can't prove that fact. I know the gentleman, and I don't think he would tell me something without being pretty sure of his facts. Be that as it may, we do know that there are 10,000,000 more children in school in Russia today than there were a year and a
We also know that the school population of China has doubled since the beginning of the war. We know that in all the friendly countries of the world there have been greatly increased services to youth.
Yet, in this country we also know that there are at least a million children who either have no teachers, or have unqualified teachers working with them today.
And I personally believe that to that extent our leadership, relative to the other countries of the world, is falling off, and I don't think there is a State in this Union today that doesn't need help in taking care of its teachers and in taking care of its boys and girls. If we are to maintain our position of world leadership, then we must maintain a strong program for the training of our future leaders, and they are the boys and girls of America.
Gentlemen, I thank you.
The committee will stand in recess until 11 o'clock tomorrow morning
(Whereupon, at 4:25 p. m., the committee recessed until Thursday morning, February 1, 1944, at 11 a. m.)
FEDERAL AID FOR EDUCATION
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1945
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The committee met, pursuant to the recess, at 11 a. m., in room 357, Senate Office Building, Senator George D. Aiken presiding.
Present: Senators Aiken and Morse.
Most of the members of the committee are tied up in a conference at the present time. We are not going to hear witnesses that are going to require a great deal of time this morning or witnesses where there would be a likelihood of a great deal of questioning, without more members of the committee being here.
I understand, however, that there are some witnesses present who have rather short statements to make and who would not be likely to be subjected to extensive questioning. The committee will have to recess promptly at 12 o'clock, because we are having a very important session of the Senate today.
We will call on Mr. Charles J. Hendley. STATEMENT OF CHARLES J. HENDLEY, PRESIDENT, TEACHERS
UNION, LOCAL 555, STATE, COUNTY, AND MUNICIPAL WORKERS, CIO
Senator Aiken. Will you identify yourself for the record, please, Mr. Hendley?
Mr. HENDLEY. My name is Charles J. Hendley. I am president of the Teachers Union, Local 555, State, County, and Municipal Workers, CIO.
Senator AIKEN. All right, you may go ahead.
Mr. HENDLEY. Mr. Chairman, the maintenance of the free public schools has become a national question of the greatest importance because of certain historical developments in the Nation. I wish to discuss briefly two of these developments.
First, public education has become vastly more important in the life of the Nation than ever before. The founders of the Nation recognized that the education of the people was vital to the maintenance of our democratic system. Thomas Jefferson's efforts to establish public schools in Virginia are well known. The ordinance of 1787, which was adopted before the Constitution, contained a provision for land grants for public schools. But in the early days of the country the promotion of education could wisely be left almost entirely to the States.
We are now living in a different world. In the modern world of science and technology education is a factor of increasing importance in the defense of the Nation in time of war and the threats of war, in the maintenance of its prosperity and power in the time of peace, and in promoting the welfare of its people at all times. It is the very essence of democracy that free, publíc education be provided for the largest possible number of our citizens, and that educational opportunities be made as nearly equal as possible for all the children regardless of race or of social or economic status or of geographical location within the Nation. This is more than an ideal of demoracy; it is the sine
qua non of our existence as a free democratic Nation. It now seems to be accepted by every one that the future prosperity and power of the Nation requires that we conserve our natural resources, the forests, the soil, water, minerals, and all that mother earth yields. In a far greater degree does our future depend upon the human resources of the Nation, and their conservation depends greatly upon education. A first charge upon any modern democratic Nation should be the education and the nurture of its children and youth.
Our experiences in the present war prove beyond all doubt that education is necessary in the development of the best soldiers. Wars are decided not by those powers that have the greatest resources but iby those who can make the wisest use of their resources. And when we contemplate the problem of establishing an enduring peace, a democratic peace, if you please, we must admit that the future depends upon the understanding of the millions of citizens who make up our democracy.
The children and youth of today are faced with the necessity of preparing themselves to live in a world quite different from the world of our generation. Not only must they know science and technology in order to make a living, they also have to know history and geography and must understand the people and the cultures of all nations.
The Africans and Asiatics have become our neighbors. Our children must learn to understand them and to live with them in peace, if democracy is to win the peace as it is winning the war. No other nation can be a greater factor in determining the kind of world our children must live in than our own Nation. But for America to play its great role in history, its people must have education and understanding
Intellectual isolation is as impossible as physical isolation in this world in which space is constantly reduced and time accelerated. If we are to meet the responsibility that we assumed at Teheran and Dumbarton Oaks, if the Atlantic Charter is to be realized, we must educate all the children.
For this Nation to hold its own in the arts of peace, in industry, in commerce, in agriculture, its people must be educated. For our children to become good citizens in a society in which every citizen's activity affects all other citizens and in which the activity of all affects the life of each one, they must be educated.
It is no exaggeration to say that the very destiny of this Nation depends upon the education, the culture, the understanding of all its citizens. I think we must all be in agreement on this fundamentalcertainly all of us who believe in democracy believe it.
I do not think anyone will deny that the maintenance of public education is absolutely necessary in our democratic system or deny that the free public school is one of the greatest and most American of our institutions. But we may differ honestly as to how the schools may best be maintained and developed to greater efficiency.
We of the Teachers Union and the rest of the State, county, and municipal workers believe that the Federal Government must come to the aid of the States in the maintenance of the schools because the economic development of the country has been such that the States cannot, by themselves, properly develop the schools or establish equality of opportunity for all the children throughout the Nation. This is the second historical development that I wish to discuss briefly.
Abundant evidence has been submitted to you that the taxable resources of the various States and of the various regions are extremely uneven. Often the resources vary in inverse proportion to the school population. Certain regions that have relatively the greatest number of children to educate have the least taxable resources.
The President's Advisory Committee on Education that submitted an exhaustive report on this subject in 1938 gave conclusive evidence as to the uneven distribution of the taxable resources of the various States and regions. It showed, too, that the poorer States and regions are making a greater effort, relatively, to educate their children than are the richer States. My State, New York, while it stands at the top of the list of the States as to the amount of money it spends on the schools per pupil, could double or perhaps treble its expenditures on the schools without its taxpayers feeling the burden relatively as much as the taxpayers in poorer regions of the Nation now feel their burden of school tax.
We have to face the fact that the people wth the most property and highest incomes are in the metropolitan areas, in the industrial and commercial regions of the Nation. This is a condition of the Nation, not a theory as to what is or what ought to be. We have to adjust our schools to this condition. We cannot continue as a democratic nation if the accident of birth is going to be allowed wholly to determine the amount of educational opportunity we give to any child. We do not stop to consider whether the enlisted men who are bearing the brunt of this war came from one State or another, or whether they come from an unfavored region or a rich region. They are all Americans. They are giving the best they have. They all deserve the best we have got. All their children deserve the best we can provide for them. And one thing this rich country can provide for the children of the returning soldiers and sailors is a better and a more equal educational opportunity.
Years ago the various States found that in order to obtain some measure of equalization of educational opportunity among the children within their respective borders, the local school funds had to be supplemented by State aid. New York City receives approximately 40 percent of its current school funds from the State treasury.
The Nation, as a whole, has now reached a stage of economic development and education has become so vital a factor in the life of the Nation that the Federal Government must undertake to effect some measure of equalization of the school funds for the States and communities.
I quote Grover Cleveland: “This is a condition, not a theory, which we must reckon with.” The education of all the children is as neces