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We believe that all these appropriations should be effectively safeguarded against control for political purposes and recommend that the Office of Education bave national responsibility for allocation to States and that a State agency be responsible for allocation within the State.
A system of reporting and auditing should be provided which would disclose any misuse of funds and for any such fund an equal amount should be deducted from the current appropriation.
The welfare of children is a primary concern of the Nation which should be exercised without discrimination. But unless the health and morale of the children is maintained expenditures on educational opportunities will not return full value.
Any permanent plan for Federal aid must seek a way to assure equal educational opportunities for every boy and girl regardless of those handicaps due to circumstances of birth, family, race, religion, or other personal and individual differences. Since low-income areas are a factor in reaching this goal, greater proportional aid must be allowed these areas. Federal aid must be given without control or dictation. Local control over education is the basis of democratic home rule.
STATEMENT OF SELMA BORCHARDT, VICE PRESIDENT AND WASHINGTON REPRE
SENTATIVE OF THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS
The American Federation of Teachers wishes to record its continued support of a movement to grant Federal aid to the States to enable them to conduct schools for America's children. We should like to have the members of this committee know that the American Federation of Teachers, in cooperation with the American Federation of Labor, has long fought for this principle. We should like the record to show something of the nature of the fight we have been making for this principle.
In 1917 the American Federation of Teachers, with the active help of our parent body, the American Federation of Labor, led the fight for Federal aid to the States for a program of vocational education. This was the first Nation-wide, all-States program of cooperative educational financing. It was a great step not only in recognizing the need of Federal support for popular education, but also in recognizing the importance of nonacademic training as an integral and important part of every citizen's education.
In the 1920's, the National Education Association led the fight for the establishment of a United States Department of Education with a Secretary of Education in the President's Cabinet. The campaign for Federal aid was made a part of this fight.
The movement made little headway until the depression of the late twenties and the early thirties gave rise to a new and very urgent demand for emergency Federal aid to help keep the public schools of America open. Poor States became even poorer; rich States lost much of their usual State revenue by the reduction of possible taxable wealth within a State. The welfare of every American child was challenged.
In 1930 the American Federation of Teachers opened the fight for emergency Federal aid. A little relief money was finally given to some schools in 1934. In 1935 the American Federation of Teachers again led the way. On March 20, 1935, Senator Bronson Cutting offered an amendment on the floor of the Senate at the request of the American Federation of Teachers, to earmark relief funds for the schools. He announced on the floor that he was offering this amendment at the request of the American Federation of Teachers. (See the Congressional Record, March 20, 1935, p. 4062.) The amendment was adopted.
During this period the educational and civic organizations interested in keeping the public schools open were all eager to have some form of substantive legislation enacted, providing Federal aid to the States for their schools. Many bills were introduced setting forth programs for Federal aid. The methods of allocating funds and the plans for administering them differed from bill to bill. In 1934 the American Federation of Teachers announced the principles which it believed should be embodied in any Federal-aid legislation.
1. Separation of an emergency aid program from the program for permanent relief.
2. Allocation of funds among the States on the basis of relative need of the States.
3. Distribution of funds within the State, in keeping with State law, and safe. guarded by stipulations in the law which would assure:
(a) Equitable distribution within the State, geographically and among the several levels of education.
(b) Equitable educational opportunities for all students in the State.
In 1935, after the joint study of the Children's Bureau and the United States Office of Education had made a report on the manner in which Federal funds for vocational education were bein spent, President William Green sent a letter of protest to President Roosevelt, and appealed the President for "corrective action." The President named a committee “to study the use of Federal funds in education."
In the meantime the need continued, and in fact grew more acute, for a general program of Federal aid to the States. Shortly after the President had appointed this committee, he enlarged its membership and instructed it to study the entire field of Federal participation in education. The chairman of this committee was Dr. Floyd Reeves, a member of the American Federation of Teachers.
The recommendations of the Reeves committee were in complete harmony with principles which the American Federation of Teachers had enunciated in 1934. The legislation which was subsequently introduced, which purported to implement the Reeves Report, deviated in many ways from the principles of the report enunicated. No legislative action has been taken on these bills. The fight for Federal aid has continued.
The present war has intensified the need for Federal aid. States' incomes have been cut because of the reduction of tax sources within the States. The States therefore have not been able to increase the already too low teachers' salaries and teachers have found it utterly impossible to continue on the job with the salaries which were already far too low, before the cost of living became so high. As a result, thousands of teachers have left their jobs, not bceause they wish to change their vocation, but simply because they have to earn a living.
The American Federation of Teachers recognizes that in this country, there must be a permanent program of Federal aid for education and our organization will continue to support a program for permanent Federal aid to the States for education, to be allocated among the States on the basis of relative need for such aid by the several States, and to be distributed within the States in such a manner as to assure to each child his equitable right to an education; to afford to the States the full opportunity to develop and enrich educational opportunities for all persons of every age, in every walk of life, without any discrimination because of race, creed, color, or nationality.
The American Federation of Teachers, while supporting this long-range program, is cognizant of the relation of the long-range program to the present emergency in school finance. We would respectfully submit that a long-range program should take into consideration such excellent studies as the one prepared under the direction of Dr. Harold Groves on fiscal relations of Federal, State, and municipal governments. The American Federation of Teachers further urges (1) recognition of the necessity of setting forth now the principle of adequate Federal aid for education in any postwar planning program; (2) the difficulty of planning now the form of Federal aid which will be needed after the war; the necessity of having any program of permanent Federal aid not only to safeguard States' rights, but also to demand the exercise of the States' duties in education,
However, the American Federation of Teachers would at this moment direct your attention to the immediate emergency in education and would plead with you for legislation which would immediately make available funds to enable the States to continue and conduct educational programs in the interest of America's school children. In this connection, we would respectfully submit the following points in regard to emergency aid.
I. Federal funds should be distributed among the States by an objective standard, based upon a recognition of the relative need for such funds, among and within the several States, in such a manner, as shall assure that the funds will
A. Be administered in keeping with State law, and in such a manner as to · assure equitable distribution thereof within the State.
B. Be separated from a permanent aid program-both as a matter of principle and as a matter of expediency.
C. Give immediate, adequate, emergency aid to keep schools open by providing funds for
1. Maintenance of minimum wages for teachers in the States, with Federal aid. We believe that no teacher should be paid less than $1,500, in the United States.
2. Teacher placement in cooperation with the United States Employment Service and the State educational authorities.
3. Teacher transportation from places where surplus teachers are available to places where they are needed.
4. Teacher training in special subjects in which a teacher shortage exists.
II. Federal funds should be available immediately to afford every child in every State the necessary protection of his well-being, particularly at this time. These funds to be administered by the State with basic Federal safeguards should be used to protect and to promote the health and welfare of the children and should enable their schools to provide them with the necessary means and materials to afford this social protection.
III. Provision should be made in the law authorizing these funds for the publication of the program of distribution of funds within a State, before the funds are actually distributed; such publication to afford the people of the State the opportunity to press their views in regard to the plan of distribution before the plan is put into effect.
IV. Federal funds should be made immediately available to establish a Nation-wide program to combat illiteracy.
(a) To train as teachers qualified persons in the technique of educating adult illiterates.
(b) To assist any and all public and private agencies employing properly trained personnel in arranging classes for the teaching of adult illiterates, in accordance with standards to be set up by the United States Office of Education and State educational authorities.
In summary, our position is
1. We urge Federal aid to the States to enable the States to maintain their schools.
2. We ask that in the program granting aid that provision for permanent aid be in a bill separate from the bill granting emergency aid.
3. We ask that the fund be distributed among the several States on the basis of an objective standard which will be predicated upon the recognition of the relative need among the several states for such aid.
4. We ask that the funds for the benefit of the schools be distributed within the States in keeping with State law.
5. We ask that funds be made available to the States to enable them to care for the well-being of all the children in every State.
6. We ask that the following minimum essentials be written into the law granting such aid to the States :
A. That all funds be distributed in such a manner as to protect minority groups or minority races.
B. That the plan of distribution adopted within each State be made public before the funds are actually disbursed.
C. That each State be asked to work toward a minimum entrance salary of $1,500 per year for every professionally trained, properly certified teacher in that State.
In conclusion, the American Federation of Teachers would submit to you the fact that unless steps are taken immediately to keep the schools open, at this time, not only will the children of today suffer today, but the America of the postwar period will be greatly handicapped. We shall not present further statistics to you. The statistical data presented by the National Educational Association Research Department at this hearing points out to you the need for this aid, immediately.
We continue the plea which we have made for many years, that the Federal Government aid the States in keeping open schools for America's children, and we should be very happy to work closely with the other organizations interested in this program, and with you gentlemen on this committee in seeking to reduce to formal terms and a functional program, the practical means whereby the ideals and principles we have here expressed will be actually implemented for immediate use by and for our people.
RAILWAY LABOR EXECUTIVES' ASSOCIATION,
Washington, D, C., May 4, 1943. Hon. ELBERT D. THOMAS,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR THOMAS: The Railway Labor Executives' Association herewith informs you that our association endorses Senate bill 637, 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.
Our association has on previous occasions endorsed similar legislation and it is our firm conviction that the more we improve our educational system the more such added intelligence will aid to a better citizenship and enhance the general welfare of our Nation.
We hope that favorable consideration will be given to this all-important legislation. Very sincerely yours,
J. G. LUARSEN, Bæecutive Secretary. Senator JOHNSTON. Is there anyone who has any paper or statement that he would like to present here' at this time and file for the record ?
If so, we would be glad to have it. We do not want to cut you off. We will be glad to put it in the record.
We have here a letter from the National Council, Junior Order United American Mechanics, dated May 3, 1945, which we will be glad to insert in the record. (The letter referred to is as follows:) NATIONAL COUNCIL, JUNIOR ORDER UNITED AMERICAN MECHANICS,
Philadelphia, Pa., May 3, 1945. Hon. JAMES E. MURRAY, Chairman, Committee on Education and Labor,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR MURRAY: Your committee has before it for consideration S. 717 and S. 181. The preamble to S. 717 states its objects and purposes to be:
"To authorize the appropriation of funds to assist the States in more adequately financing education and in removing substandard conditions in education; to aid in establishing and maintaining education services; to eradicate illiteracy; to preserve and promote the national security in peace and in war; to raise the educational level of the Nation; and to promote the general welfare."
This brief or statement is submitted by authority of the National Board of the Junior Order United American Mechanics of the United States of North America, an old, patriotic fraternity organized in 1853, and with a continuous existence, now with 2,000 councils or lodges which have been established in the various States of the Nation. The original charter of the National Council Junior Order United American Mechanics sets forth certain objects of the order, No. 5 of which is as follows:
"To maintain the public-school system of the United States of America, and to prevent sectarian interferences therewith, and to uphold the reading of the Holy Bible therein."
What we shall have to say herein is not only authorized by our board of officers of the National Council, and the State boards of officers of 26 States in the Union, but by the 2,000 councils which are pledged and dedicated to the enforcement and perpetuation of the above cardinal principle of our fraternity. For a period of 92 years our old, patriotic fraternity has observed, practiced, followed, and supported the principle of education of the American youth in the public free schools of our various States.
The outline of the purposes of this legislation as set forth above meets with our approval. We object to the inclusion of any nonpublic schools and submit that taxpayers' money should not be applied under this bill, or any other system of Federal support of education, to any but the American public free schools. We note many references in this bill to nonpublic schools. This is rather an allembracing phrase and under the terms of the bill any school which meets the regulations of the various States as to schools, could qualify for assistance. We submit that sectarian and private schools should be supported by the people who establish and sponsor them. Such sectarian and private schools have no place in free school economy of this Nation and, therefore, should not come in for financial support.
We doubt the soundness and workability of the administrative organization proposed in this measure such as a National Board of Apportionment to be appointed by the President. It is our view that a minimum of regulation and control through an administrative board or the Bureau of Education in Washington, would be the best plan. We are in favor of the States being given the fullest power and control consistent with the proper apportionment and allocation of the funds proposed to be appropriated for school purposes. You will find that if you confine this appropriation to the use of public free schools only it will minimize much of the trouble which would arise if sectarian and private schools, designated as nonpublic schools, are permitted any participation whatever for the support of their schools. It will simplify the matter and will require less in the way of regulation. We note that the Commissioner of Education in Washington, under the terms of this bill, will serve as Secretary of the proposed National Board and be its administrative officer, and through the Office of Education shall administer the programs authorized in the bill.
We seriously object to the power delegated to the National Board to appoint a trustee to receive and disburse funds allocable to States which have laws prohibiting the use of tax money for sectarian and private schools. This power is entirely too broad and the section, in our judgment, should be eliminated. This trustee would thus have power to override the laws of the State so far as the distribution of funds to nonpublic schools are concerned. It would create interminable trouble and, in our opinion, would be unpopular and unworkable. We recommend that this bill be changed to eliminate the delegation of any such power if a National Board is to administer the provisions of the act. We reiterate our statement that support for nonpublic schools should be completely stricken from the bill, and the reasons for our statement are:
1. That sponsors of nonpublic schools should pay for them.
2. That the tax money of citizens should not be diverted for the use and support of nonpublic schools.
3. It will follow that many of these nonpublic schools will disappear and the children and youth will be sent to public schools when it is ascertained that they are not permitted to share in Government appropriation.
It goes without saying that one general nonsectarian free school system would be manifestly better and in the interest of education generally than to have our school system split up into sectarian, private (nonpublic schools), and public, schools. We cannot too strongly urge this point.
We are opposed to that portion of section 5 of the bill which would authorize the Commissioner of Education with certain information in hand from the various States to compile educational data and to prepare plans for the location and construction of school buildings. We submit that this is a State matter and that it could be better administered by the various States under a system of general information furnished by the Commissioner of Education than to permit the actual preparation of plans, location, and construction of buildings. The executive departments of the Government furnish precise and definite information on many subjects essential to the work of farmers and other lines of work and industry without actually going in and telling the farmer where he shall clear his land or plant his field and what he shall put in them. To go beyond the pale of sound advice by the Department of Education would lead to confusion and frustration,
We submit that under “Section 6. Buildings for educational purposes,” the reference under (2) nonpublic educational agency be stricken from the bill.
Under “Definitions," section 7 (d), we respectfully submit that the reference to "nonpublic school" be eliminated for reasons hereinbefore stated.
Section 203. Availability of appropriations : Eliminate all reference to “trustee" and "nonpublic schools."
Under section 303 of the bill we recommend the elimination of all reference to “trustee" and "nonpublic schools."
Section 403: Eliminate authority of the trustee to disburse any part of the appropriation.
We note that under the availability of appropriations as set forth in the bill it is provided that none of the funds to be paid by a trustee to nonpublic schools