« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
Carolina every Negro teacher in North Carolina has the right to have an equal salary with a white teacher of equal training and experience and competence.
Senator PEPPER. The next question then is, do you know of any other State which, assuming the ability to give those white and Negro children minimum educational opportunities, would object to giving the Negro children their minimum educational opportunities in the public schools? In other words, as you have stated in your former statement, isn't it a fact that what has happened is not that anyone had any animosity toward the Negro children or any desire to see they get less than what they should, but having only a certain amount of money to distribute it was probably only natural for a number of reasons that they gave the major portion of it to white children?
Dr. GRAHAM. Mr. Chairman, I would say to the Senator from Florida that a great deal of the injustice from which the Negro suffers is due to economic inability to provide a decent minimum for the white children. Now, we are all human. Under the Christian religion and the American dream they should receive equal treatment. They do not receive equal treatment as a matter of fact, but there are people all over the South struggling toward that equal treatment, and this bill, Senator Pepper, will be a great lift in the struggle to give them equality
а in these fundamental, elementary rights of equal opportunity in the schoolroom.
Senator PEPPER. Now, many of us will remember that the amendment which actually defeated this bill on the floor last time in the Senate was an amendment by a Senator from North Dakota, which required that there should be not only no discrimination in the distribution of the Federal funds, but no discrimination in the distribution of the State funds.
Dr. GRAHAM. As I understand it, Senator Pepper, nobody in all the 48 States wants Federal control of the State and local schools. Let me say this on that point, and this is the reason for what happened in the Senate, it is a matter of taking a stand for perfection or for the next step toward perfection. Perfectionism to me becomes a form of isolationism. If you see this has got to be 100 percent now and you do not take the next step toward perfection then we are never going to take any step at all, we will never get anywhere at all.
It seems to me those who want more equal apportionment of school funds, I am talking about the States now, should be for this bill. If you are against this bill, if you are against Federal aid to the States, then the way to defeat it is to require that it be 100 percent perfect now. But, if you are for this bill and see it as a step forward, then you will not, in our frail human society, demand perfection now.
I would like to say to the Senator from Arkansas that I think you gentlemen as Members of the United States Senate confront the same issue with regard to the organization of peace in the world. There are those who want the perfect peace now. There are those who want the perfect peace, but they realize to get a perfect human society in which we will outlaw war and stop war, you must take one step forward.
As human beings, with all the things that the human race carries on its back from its path out of the jungle, you must take the most decisive step away from the jungle that you can, but if you say we will not come out of the jungle, we will stay back with our claws and rule not through law and order but through power and force and cruelty, if you will not take that decisive step, that first step out of the jungle, we just will stay in the jungle.
I think the teachings of Jesus Himself, who was for the perfect society, recognized that His followers in His steps would not reach the perfect society before He died. In fact, His death was a challenge to men everywhere to follow in His steps, one step at a time.
This bill is one step toward not only more equal opportunity for school children all over America, but more equal opportunity for Negro children in the Southern States.
Do I make my point clear?
I would like to clarify this point. In the first place, the Southern States are opposed to any Federal requirements which would demand the absence of segregation. In other words, for reasons that are deemed adequate, the southern sentiment opposes any Federal demand that segregation be abolished. That is the first thing.
Secondly, if the Federal Government in this bill or through such enactment as this, should lay down the principles governing the distribution of local funds, isn't there a fear on the part of some of the southern people that the next step will be to demand that the Federal Government shall determine how the children shall sit, whether they shall demand that both races go to the same school?
Now, if the Federal Government would stay out of the question of social relationships between the two races, and if the Federal Government would provide enough money by Federal aid so that the sum of the States' contribution and Federal contribution would give a minimum and equal educational opportunity to the white and to the Negro, would you, out of your great experience, say there would be any southern objection to the equal distribution of State funds?
Dr. GRAHAM. I would not say, Senator, there would be no objection. I know of some people who would object to that equal distribution for Negroes whatever the situation. But there are very few and they are getting
fewer and this is a step forward, away from them. Senator FULBRIGHT. There is another question that comes to mind.
This requirement that is being developed as to equal treatment, such as the case in Missouri, it seems to me that it carries some justification as they are assuming the obligation to make it possible. It seems to me if we demand it from a Federal point of view it is perfectly, justifiable that we make some provision to carry it out. To step in one side and say you must do that is interference under our Constitution.
Dr. GRAHAM. I think, Senator Fulbright, the Federal Government has a very clear responsibility in the light of the four propositions I tried to suggest here this morning and reinforced by the national emergency brought about by the war, which is a national responsibility.
Senator MORSE. I would think-I would like to say for the record, as a legal proposition your conclusion is debatable, Senator Fulbright, as to that.
Senator FULBRIGHT. Well, we will debate that later.
Senator MORSE. I did not want my silence to be accepted as an assent.
Senator FULBRIGHT. For the purposes of the record, there is something else that might be important later on. You, yourself, are not in either secondary or elementary education?
Dr. Graham. Mr. Chairman, the University of North Carolina will not get $1 from this bill.
Senator FULBRIGHT. But you do have a great interest in the students that come to your institution, that they be properly prepared!
Dr. GRAHAM. I. have an interest in the equality of opportunity to those children, of the quality of the education they get, as to the extent of the salaries that teachers get, and as a simple American I have a great interest in more equal opportunity for all our children all over the United States.
Senator FULBRIGHT. As a university administrator you have in your experience come upon many people who have come from public schools who are very poorly equipped to take a college education; is that not true?
Dr. GRAHAM. Yes; you knew that in Arkansas and I know that in North Carolina.
Senator PEPPER. I want to comment on the word "simple.” It should be stricken out before the word "American" and the word "great" inserted there. Senator FULBRIGHT. Thank you very much, Dr. Graham. Is Dr. Russell Smith present?
STATEMENT OF H. M. IVY, CHAIRMAN, LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION,
NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION Mr. Ivy. May I ask the privilege of inserting in the record a statement from the Governor of Mississippi in favor of this legislation?
Senator FULBRIGHT. You have such a statement? It may be entered.
Mr. Ivy. I do not have it now, but it will arrive later.
Jackson, February 6, 1945.
Wushington, D. O. DEAR SENATOR MURRAY: As Governor of Mississippi and as a citizen interested in public education, I commend the effort to secure legislation providing Federal aid to the States where needed for public schools. It is my understanding that the proposed legislation provides for Federal contribution to the cause of public education in States where needed without Federal control.
I unqualifiedly endorse legislation providing Federal aid through the regular educational channels already set up on a national, State, and local basis without having any additional bureaus or divisions for the disbursement of funds as such special bureaus tend to administrative control. Furthermore, you may give assurance to the Senate committee at the hearing that the funds allotted to Mississippi will be used on a fair basis and in such a way as to give better educational opportunity and privilege to all of Mississippi's educable children. With best wishes, I am, Very sincerely yours,
Thos. L. BAILEY, Governor. Senator FULBRIGHT. Is Maj. Gen. Amos A. Fries present? General Fries. Yes, sir.
FEDERAL AID FOR EDUCATION
Senator FULBRIGHT. How long will your statement take?
General Fries. It will take me 40 minutes to present my statement, as a minimum, and whatever time it takes for questions.
Senator FULBRIGHT. We had better let that go until this afternoon.
STATEMENT OF MRS. THOMASINA WALKER JOHNSON, LEGISLA
TIVE REPRESENTATIVE, NATIONAL NON-PARTISAN COUNCIL
Mrs. JOHNSON. Yes, I am here.
Senator MORSE. I wonder if we may have it understood that General Fries will go on the first thing this afternoon because we have postponed his testimony now three times, to my knowledge, and I think in fairness to him he ought to have a definite time fixed.
Senator FULBRIGHT. Yes; at 2:30 he will be our first witness.
Mrs. Johnson. Mr. Chairman, my name is Mrs. Thomasina Walker Johnson, legislative representative of the National Non-Partisan Council on Public Affairs of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, with offices at 961 Florida Avenue NW., Washington, D. C.
. This is an organization composed of 163 chapters in 46 States with a total membership of some 6,000. Our membership is significant because most of the women might well be considered leaders; they are all college, university, or above in training. Most of them are professional women, such as teachers, physicians, lawyers, social workers,
, musicians, nurses, and so forth.
Our organization maintains and supports the National NonPartisan Council on Public Affairs for the sole purpose of presenting our collective thinking and that of our communities on legislation, administration of public agencies, and public affairs of all kinds.
We should like to go on record in support of this bill, which is a bill to authorize the appropriation of funds to assist the States and Territories in more adequately financing their systems of public education during emergency, and in reducing the inequalities of educational opportunities through public elementary and secondary schools.
We believe that this bill is not in the interest of aid for schools or aid for teachers but of fundamental interest to America itself. The saving of American democracy today, only to lose it tomorrow through ignorance, is an American problem.
Senator Lee said before this committee in the Senate some years ago that, “It looks like the kids is where the money ain't.” Federal aid to education is absolutely essential if there is to be any degree of educational equality.
Testimony to this effect amounting to thousands of words has been presented to this committee in Congress after Congress. After spending two or three hundred thousand dollars on a study, the Advisory Committee on Education appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt reported there will be no semblance of educational opportunity without Federal aid, and that no system of State or local taxation can possibly be devised that will guarantee to all communities a standard of educational opportunity for all children that ought to be considered their birthright.
No nation can go higher than the productivity of its citizens either in war or in peace. The productivity of citizens is governed to a very great degree by educational opportunity. It is indeed a sad commentary upon our country that we have lost the services of approximately a million men because of educational deficiencies or illiteracy.
If our armed forces require a certain number of men who have a stipulated amount of education, if they cannot be gotten in Mississippi, they must come from Maine; if they cannot be gotten from Louisiana, they must come from New York, and so the lack of educational opportunity immediately becomes a national problem instead of a local
I should like to introduce into the record a study called “The Black and White of Rejections for Military Service," written under the chairmanship of Dr. Martin D. Jenkins, for the American Teachers Association. He was assisted by Mr. Francis A. Gregory, principal. Armstrong High School, Washington, D. C.; Dr. Howard H. Long, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Washington, D. C.; Dr. Jane E. McAllister, professor of education, Miner Teachers College; and Dr. Charles H. Thompson, dean of the Graduate School, Howard University.
This is a study of rejections of selective service registrants, by race, on account of education and mental deficiencies. This is a comprehensive document. Even though this study is based on the rejection of selective service registrants, it does not take into consideration the rejections from gainful maximum employment throughout the country, nor does it take into consideration the number of persons who are underemployed because of lack of educational opportunities.
It is our opinion that there is a very close analogy between the rejections of selective-service registrants because of educational and mental deficiencies and the production quotient of these same persons in peacetime production as well as the productivity of countless thousands of others who were not examined by selective service. If these persons are unfit for military service, they are also unfit for many other types of services.
There is a very close analogy, as this study will show, between the rejection rates and the per capita expenditure per child, and the average daily attendance.
We believe that the controls in this bill, which are aimed to achieve equality of treatment, especially so far as the public elementary and secondary schools are concerned, do not amount to control of education. It is simply a matter of seeing that the sources of education are open to all citizens of the States.
We also believe that it is well that this bill be limited in substance to the levels of elementary and secondary education.
We believe that the fundamental obligation of the Government is to give its children a chance and that the State should provide its own education in higher levels.
We are faced at the present time with a condition and not a theory. That condition, I think is a matter of national survival, in this time of war. It has been demonstrated that strength without skill is insufficient.