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sary to the general welfare of the people of the Nation as national defense. The Federal Government must meet its obligation in this respect.
As for the cost, whatever it may be, it will be a sounder investment than whatever the Federal Government has invested in the conservation of the Nation's natural resources. And who can doubt the wisdom of that investment? What can be more valuable to a nation than its human resources? What greater investment can it make than to invest in its children?
I heard the discussion here yesterday afternoon. I think it went off on tangents at a couple of points.
I heard the suggestion that since this bill, S. 181, does not undertake to change completely the long-established habit of certain Southern States in dividing school funds unequally between white and Negroes, the bill is too inadequate for its adoption of Congress.
While I deplore the injustice mentioned, I think the argument is not relevant to the main issue, of whether Federal funds should be used to secure some degree of equalization of educational opportunity for the children of the Nation. Federal aid for schools is one question. The correction of the evils of racial discrimination is another question.
There is discrimination against Negroes, not only in the division of school funds but in a hundred other ways. They meet discrimination on every hand, and not only in the South but elsewhere in the Nation. And there are discriminations against other races, too, in this Nation. Jim Crow must go; but we cannot undertake too much in one bill. The enforcement of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments may require numerous measures by Congress, but they cannot all be tied up with this education bill.
This bill does provide for an equitable distribution of any Federal funds it appropriates that the States may use. That is a significant step forward. Its effect is bound to be salutary, not only in making a little more money available for Negro schools but also in breaking down the long-established practice of discrimination in the distribution of the States' own school funds.
The bill certainly does not provide for equal educational opportunity for all of the white children, but it is a sound step in the right direction.
I think that Mr. Elmer Rogers, who appeared before you yesterday afternoon, took the argument off on a tangent, too. He sees in the bill a danger that private sectarian schools will receive some of the funds as subsidies and that, thereby, the principle of separation of church and state will be violated.
I do not think there is a substantial basis for such a fear. The principle of separation of church and state is thoroughly established by both the Federal and the State Constitutions and by 300 years of our history. There is no other policy of government more firmly established in our country.
I have had occasion to examine all the State constitutions on the subject of religious freedom. I find that every one of the 48 States has a bill of rights in its constitution, and that every bill of rights has a provision guaranteeing religious freedom. The clauses are very definite and in most instances very eloquent on the subject.
Not only do these State bills of rights have a positive guaranty that citizens may worship as their consciences may dictate, but most of them specifically provide that no one shall be required to maintain or support any religious establishment against his will.
Most of the States have specific constitutional provisions against the appropriation of any public funds for the maintenance of sectarian schools or other sectarian institutions.
Religious freedom has two aspects: Freedom to worship or not to worship as one pleases. In our American system no one shall be compelled to confess to a creed or to help propagate a creed that he does not believe. I see nothing in this bill that in any way undermines that principle.
Senator AIKEN. Are there any questions?
STATEMENT OF MISS ELIZABETH A. SMART, LEGISLATIVE DIREC
TOR, NATIONAL WOMAN'S CHRISTIAN TEMPERANCE UNION,
Miss SMART. I am Miss Elizabeth A. Smart. My address is 100 Maryland Avenue NE., Washington, D. C. I am representing the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union.
The National Woman's Christian Temperance Union favors the passage of S. 181. When our fathers founded this Nation, they were well aware that the foundations of liberty rest on general public enlightenment, and alongside the meeting house and the English Bible, they placed the little red schoolhouse.
It is because of this far-sighted wisdom on their part that this Nation has been able to survive the vicissitudes of its early beginnings and its later trials by fire and still survive as a bulwark of individual liberty in a world of varying forms of imperialism.
There is nothing in the horizon of the future, so far as we are able to scan it, that would indicate that this Nation or the doctrine of individual liberty is to face any less drastic tests than those to which they have been hitherto subjected. The surest weapon against the ideologies which have destroyed Europe is the intelligence of the average individual citizen. And it must be trained intelligence.
The same is true if our children are to be survivors in the battle of life. Every neglected child revenges himself terribly upon the society that neglects him. Every illiterate, underprivileged man or woman, bound by his own limitations to a very restricted field of endeavor, becomes a clog on the wheels of society. His very existence is threatened by each new depression.
Our migrant problem will grow and multiply itself, just as the families of the migrants increase, if no educational opportunities are brought to the children. It can spread to more fortunate families if the children of these families are deprived of opportunities to fit themselves for trades and professions which require degrees of skill and intelligence.
A teacher shortage is a tragedy, not for the teacher, but for the children and for tomorrow's society and citizenship. Many teachers
have been attracted away from the profession by the more glittering rewards of service in the armed forces and the higher pay offered by defense or other industry. To coax these back, school boards must be enabled to compete with today's commercial pay scale. Those teachers who through devotion to duty have sacrificed these chances of personal advancement ought not to be penalized. They, too, have personal problems and most of them have some one or more persons dependent on them.
The objection that the passage of this bill could possibly bring about Federal dictation in State public school systems has been obviated by writing into the bill even stronger prohibitions against the possibility of such interference taken from the McClellan-Maybank amendment
of last year.
Federal grants have in the past been used to strengthen State educational systems without any interference from Washington in the State's management of its affairs. Many States are spending now to the limit of their ability and beyond on education, but, because they have more children of school age in proportion to their per capita wealth, they are not able to give all of their children an education comparable to that afforded children in wealthier States with a smaller proportion of child population.
It is manifestly in contradiction of the spirit of our own Declaration of Independence to deny to any child within the borders of America the same educational opportunities within the limits of public education that other American children have in other States. The Federal Government has stepped in in order to assure opportunities of access to markets to construct transcontinental highways at the general public expense because the general public benefits from them.
A child is going to become a very important asset in the post war world. Mounting casualties on our western front emphasize that fact. Every child belongs in some measure to the Nation. It is, therefore, a matter of general public interest that he should be given the basic elements of an education, enabling him to become a fully developed human being with the ability to do his part in the world and stand up favorably alongside his fellow Americans.
The money which will be spent if this bill becomes a law will be the best investment Congress has ever made of public funds. It will yield a full crop of self-sustaining future taxpayers to help shoulder the country's burdens in place of a lot of underprivileged potential migrants having to lean on the taxpayer for public charity at a very possibly much greater expense.
Senator Aiken. Thank you, Miss Smart.
STATEMENT OF VERY REV. MSGR. FREDERICK G. HOCHWALT,
DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, NATIONAL CATHOLIC WELFARE CONFERENCE
Reverend HOCHWALD. Mr. Chairman, since the subject of Federal aid is again a current one, the department of education of the National Catholic Welfare Conference wishes to express its opposition to S. 181, which is entitled “A bill to authorize the appropriation of funds to assist the States and Territories in more adequately financing their system of public education during emergency, and in reducing the inequalities of educational opportunities through public elementary and secondary schools."
In defining the assistance to be extended by Federal funds S. 181 discriminates in the type of school to be aided. In section 5D it provides : that funds paid to a State under this Act shall be expended only by public agencies under public control,
Throughout the bill there are other similar references. In effect, this means a prohibition on the part of the Federal Government that would prevent the States, if they so pleased, from using Federal funds for the aid of private schools.
However, at the recent White House Conference on Rural Education, the President, speaking on Government financial aid, said:
It must purely and simply provide the guarantee that this country is big enough to give all of its children the right to a free education.
All right-thinking Americans would agree with the President's declaration. But the legislation proposed in Senate bill 181 seems to take issue with the inclusiveness of the President's position, since private schools have been excluded from participating in the proposed distribution of funds. It seems difficult to understand how the proposed legislation should fail to consider general welfare in the most democratic sense of the word.
There are groups of citizens within our country who maintain their own schools because their conscience requires that they bring their children up according to the tenets and in the spirit of the religion that they profess. Their right to maintain schools is protected by the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion.
Freedom of religion involves more than the opportunity to participate in public worship in a church of one's choice. It means, too, that citizens should enjoy the full freedom to live their religion and to enable their children to do likewise. For many of our citizens this means freedom to provide schools and means of education that accord with the dictates of their conscience. It is not enough for government to refrain from legislation that they would prohibit the existence of nonpublic schools. If the program of education within the United States is to be aided, then the real spirit of democracy and the true conception of general welfare should direct that this aid be extended to all children in all schools.
Catholic citizens of the United States are maintaining 2,119 secondary schools, 8,017 elementary schools, enrolling 2,399,908 children. They are supporting these schools out of their own resources and at the same time paying their share of the taxes which support public education.
The Department of Education of the National Catholic Welfare Conference maintains that aid given by the Federal Government for education should be distributed according to a law or plan that will bring this aid only to areas in which it is needed and where such need can be demonstrated; moreover, this distribution should be equitable to all children in that area without regard to color, origin, or creed; finally, this distribution should be extended to the children in attendance at any school that meets the requirements of compulsory education.
The Department of Education holds that, when Federal funds are distributed, they should supplement State, local, or private funds and never supplant them. These State, local, and private funds should be used to the utmost before invoking Federal assistance.
Federal aid should never impose in our country Federal control of education either in law or in practice. The American tradition of local control of education is more responsibe to the parent or to the family that has the primary and imprescriptable right in the education of children.
The department of education, National Catholic Welfare Conference, has in the past opposed educational legislation which was undemocratic, discriminatory, and wasteful of public funds. It has opposed measures so worded as to defeat the purpose of equalizing educational opportunity for all children in those areas where such equalization was really needed. It is un-American to offer as an argument for Federal aid to education the poverty and need of many children, and at the same time to exclude millions of other children, equally poor and in need, because of religious or racial considerations.
All fair-minded citizens, if not misinformed by propaganda, will oppose any bill advocating Federal aid which is not fair to all American children, regardless of color, origin, or creed.
In stating its official position, the department of education is opposed to
1. Senate bill 181 in its present form.
4. Any form of Federal aid which cannot be demonstrated as needed to meet the minimum educational requirements in areas where resources are inadequate.
5. Any distribution of Federal funds which shall not be equitable to all children in the area of need without regard to color, origin, or creed, as long as they are in attendance at any school that meets the requirements of compulsory education.
Senator AIKEN. There appear to be two other witnesses in the room who will wish to testify, Maj. Gen. Amos A. Fries and Mrs. Worrell. However, I expect that some of the other members of the committee who are necessarily absent this morning will wish to interrogate these witnesses, as I understand they are to present different views, or at least, some are to present different views than those that have already been expressed in regard to this bill.
Therefore, it does not seem best to have any more witnesses testify this morning.
The chairman of the committee has asked me to announce that hearings will be resumed at 10:30 tomorrow morning, when the witnesses whom we have not been able to hear today will be given an opportunity to testify.
(Whereupon, at 11:35 a. m., the committee recessed to 10:30 a. m. Friday, February 2, 1945.)