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lation only. The little States had a caucus and said in effect as Gunning Bedford on the floor of the Convention said right into the teeth of what appeared to be a majority, Delaware will confederate with a foreign power rather than go into a union based entirely on population, with its consolidated powers.
At the moment, Benjamin, skeptic though he was, addressed the Chair, Gen. George Washington, and moved that the convention pause for prayer, and after that prayer a committee was appointed and that committee brought in a report which was adopted by the majority, and became the foundation of our present United States of America, providing that the Senate should be based on the States and the House of Representatives on the people.
Since that time we have been both a Federal Union of States and a national democracy of people.
Mr. Chairman, this bill, then, after more than 150 years, is in fulfillment of the structure of this Republic. The States have carried the load for public education, yet by the very structure of this Republic there is a responsibility on the part of our dual Republic to carry part of that load.
This dual government of people and States has resulted in Federal aid to the States for roads, land-grant colleges, agricultural research, public health, social security. Therefore, if it is a part of our true Americanism, as evidenced in the record for 150 years, to have Federal aid for concrete highways, it certainly is not out of line with our best Americanism to have Federal aid for something far more precious than concrete highways or even agricultural research, fundamental as that is to the productive powers of the American people. I submit, Mr. Chairman, that this bill is in line with the principles laid down in the Philadelphia convention and is in line wth the traditions of this Republic for 150 years.
Now, the amount proposed here, $300,000,000, is a recognition of the national responsibility in this Union of States and a Nation of people only to the extent of $300,000,000. The States are putting up for the public schools something over $2,000,000,000. They carry the heaviest load. They recognize that schools are mainly a local responsibility, but since the child in the school is going to be a citizen, not only of the State, but also a citizen of the United States, it seems to me that this proposal is both reasonable and moderate, that is, that the Federal Government should add $300,000,000 to the State's $2,000,000,000, in recognition of the fact that these citizens, educated by the States, become citizens of the United States.
I would like to point out the fact that during the great depression, during another great national emergency, the United States of America spent $300,000,000 for 300,000 boys in the Civilian Conservation Corps. Now, if 300,000 boys can become a responsibility of the Nation with no aid from the States, then surely 26,000,000 school children can become at least to that extent part of the responsibility of the Nation so that the Nation would be willing to add $300,000,000 to the $2,000,000,000 carried by the States.
Now, with regard to control, we see the picture here that we have a Federal Republic of States and people. It is written in this bill, partly because the States pay practically the total bill, there shall be no Federal control. That is not only because the States pay $2,000,
000,000 and the Federal Government is to pay only $300,000,000, but this bill explicitly prohibits Federal control in the matter of textbooks, curricula, teachers, ideas, administration, or supervision, because these schools are in the areas of ideas, and ideas should be as free as the air.
Commerce of ideas is the great dynamic of human progress, and ideas should be free and that freedom is guaranteed against any bureaucratic Federal control in this bill, because the autonomy of the school and the State administration is protected in this bill. That is so because of two reasons, one because the States carry the load and the other because it is in the area of ideas, and there should be individual freedom, local autonomy, and no control by the Federal Government of the administration of the State and local school systems.
This bill comes now because of a great national emergency. The States did not bring on the war. I am all-out for the war. in favor of going into the war with everything we have, but the war, which is a national responsibility, has damaged the schools in its indirect consequences. Therefore the Nation, which has the warmaking power and the military responsibility, should acknowledge the fact that because of a rightful action of the Nation the schools suffer in the States and localities.
The Nation should step forward and repair the losses to the schools in the localities and the States, at least to the extent of the moderate proposal in this bill.
Now, I know you have been loaded with statistics. I am sorry I do not have a manuscript, Mr. Chairman, but I did not know I was to come before you until the night before last, and so I am speaking here out of my heart with whatever will come to mind. However, I think, if you will recall the fact that 280,000 teachers have left the public schools during this emergency, that this emergency becomes national in its scope, and in order to help meet that national emergency the States and localities have had to issue to teachers not up to established standards, but in order to fill the gap, 78,000 teacher certificates. Seventy-eight thousand is the latest figure, and that is 20,000 more emergency teaching certificates than in the previous year.
We can see from that that this is a cumulative emergency and needs emergency action now.
Let me say this: Half the teachers in the public schools in the United States get less than $2,000 annually, which is the Federal minimum for professional workers in the Federal Government. I do not think there is any more important person in America than the school teacher, and certainly that teacher is just as important as any worker in the Federal Government of the same training and caliber. If the Federal Government has a minimum annual salary of $2,000 for its professional workers and over half the teachers in the public schools in the United States get less than $2,000 a year, I think it is time that the Federal Government give a little lift to the States and localities in view of the tremendous burden that they are carrying
Over half the teachers get a salary of less than $2,000 annually, 197,000 get less than $1,200, and 28,000 teachers get less than $600 a year.
Now, these figures constitute a dark picture. They tell their own story, and I hope, Mr. Chairman, and gentlemen of the committee, when you see figures and statistics, that you see human beings, that you see school teachers, and that back of those school teachers you see some 26,000,000 school children. Some 280,000 teachers have left the schools. Of course, there are always teachers leaving—they die and marry and go into other work—but in this particular emergency one-fourth of them have left to go into the armed services, and onefourth have left because of greater opportunity afforded by war production.
I hope that you will not forget that back of all these figures, which, as I say, constitute a terrific national emergency to the present and future quality of this Republic, are things which have to do with over 26,000,000 school children.
Now, as we look at the recent teachers entering the profession and emergency certificates issued and as we look at the generation coming on, we find that our best young men and women are not now going into the teaching profession because of this situation. They do not go into the teaching profession to make a lot of money, but they are human beings, and they at least want a chance to a decent standard: of living so that they can be efficient in their work.
When you look at the enrollments in teacher-training institutions what do you find? You find those enrollments have dropped during this emergency—that is, the number of young men and women going into training colleges to be teachers in public schools has decreased. Enrollments in teacher-training institutions have dropped from 50 to 60 percent.
Now, that is a terrible fact, and it needs action now. I take it all of us, whatever may be our differences in opinion, are deeply concerned as to the quality of our American democracy. Not only is quality of opportunity, which is the heart of democracy, involved in this bill but the very quality of our American education, and, therefore, the quality of our democracy is deeply involved in this bill—that is to say, not only equality but quality.
The teacher's salary has an influence on the teacher's performance in the classroom because of its relationship to his or her caliber, his or her efficiency, his or her ability, through a decent minimum salary to keep strong and healthy, to pay her bills, to attend professional institutions and buy books, and keep up with the best in her profession. It is not because somebody is trying to grab some more money, but because we want to see the teacher fortified in her own physical and spiritual resources so that she can give the best to those children whom she meets every day and because the way she meets them determines a good deal of what we call the American way.
Therefore, these things have a lot to do with the sort of democracy we have in America.
Now, we see that, according to the Federal structure of the neople and the States, that this bill is rooted in the very depths of this Republic. It is not only a State question in nature but it is also of a national character-that is, $2,000,000,000 from the States and $300,000,000 from the Federal Government-a procedure that is in line with our best traditions in providing Federal aid for everything under the sun except public schools.
How long is this democracy going to continue to fail to provide Federal aid for the most fundamental institution we have? I am all for highways. Nobody even objects to providing Federal aid for highways through the States or for agricultural research or for landgrant colleges or for public health or for social security. The public school is the most fundamental of our institutions. Of course, in rating institutions-human and divine-I would take time here to acknowledge the place of the church, but in our American system church and state are separate, and we are talking here about public institutions, and the most fundamental such institution is the public school.
We started giving Federal aid for public education in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, and there is nothing historically more fundamentally American than the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. For Heaven's sake, let's go back and catch up with 1787.
I am for Federal aid for health and roads and agricultural research. It is, therefore, logical and under a democracy a necessity that we provide Federal aid to the public schools not in contravention of or in violation of but in fulfillment of the very nature and purpose of what we call America.
Mr. Chairman, $200,000,000, which is a part of the $300,000,000 provided in the bill, is because of the national emergency. The $100,000,000 provision is for equalization and the democratic logic there is, I think clear and imperative.
First, let us take the rural situation, and it will take just two or three sentences to emphasize that situation.
The rural people of America receive 9 percent of the national income and yet those rural people who receive 9 percent of the national income educate 31 percent of the Nation's children. If you go into the rural South this case becomes even more intensified. The southern people, and when I say southern people here I speak not only of the Southeast but the Southwest, the southern people constitute 28 percent of the population of this country and receive about 8 percent of the national income and educate 32 percent of the Nation's children.
As long as I have an additional 2 or 3 minutes here I would like to emphasize the fact that the South, particularly the rural South, is under a great handicap. The southern people through a great struggle have, in my opinion, risen heroically from the ruins of the War Between the States and from the tragedies of reconstruction. Yet, with all that heroic struggle to carry a tremendous load in spite of that poverty, they are under a great economic handicap which has caused the President of the United States to say, "The South is the Nation's economic problem No. 1.".
Now, the southerners got furious about that, as well you know, Mr. Chairman, but that was said not by way of depreciation of the South, but by way of an appreciation of the great handicaps, economic handicaps, under which the southern people were carrying on their great struggle to provide equal opportunity for their children.
Let us acknowledge four things here. I do not bring any documents in support of this, in fact, I have not brought any documents at all. The tariff structure of commercial America lifts wealth out of the South, out of the rural America, as a matter of fact, but I say now particularly out of the South.
The freight-rate discrimination keeps wealth away from the South, some of which rightfully should be there.
Our great financial structure is one of the wonders of the modern world and has been brought about through the cooperation of management and labor, mainly patriotic. The Senator from Oregon has so eloquently said many times when he castigated the pattern makers of disunity and the disrupters of production, even in his fierce and fearless words of denunciation, that management and labor overwhelmingly have been patriotic in this war.
What I am saying here is in no way in depreciation of management or business enterprise or finance. I am just pointing out the fact that the financial structure of this country which draws forth its strength and power and wealth from the great resources, the raw materials, and raw labor of all America, that these great peaks, mountain peaks of financial power rise far beyond the southern regions. The West and South and rural America as a whole and the mining fields contribute to those great peaks of power. However, that wealth fundamentally comes from the West and the South and the farms and mines of America, but it gathers up in the great centers of finance and industry.
I say that the tariff structure takes wealth out of the South, the freight discrimination keeps wealth away from the South, and our great financial and industrial structures draw wealth from the South.
The southern people produce more children than any other people in the United States of America. They not only give birth to those children, but they educate those children, they feed them, and they clothe them at a time of life of these children and young people of the South when they are in their nonproductive years. They carry the load in training these children of the South who, when they become producers, go to the East and Middle West in the great migration from the South,
You know, the great net migration figures of America come from the southern rural areas. After the children have been educated and clothed and fed during a period in life when they do not produce and are an economic load, they go away and become producers in other areas.
It is only a matter, Mr. Chairman, of simple justice that there should be a little aid given to the southern rural areas, and not by way of charity, Mr. Chairman. Insofar as I have any voice for the southern people, and I can speak for rural America, they come here not for any hand-out, but as a matter of simple justice. And I might say justice is not our plea altogether, because if that were so these figures would be much bigger than they are. It is just simple justice that some of this wealth which is drawn off in the four ways I have enumerated should come back to these areas to help carry the load.
Not only in the interest of the South, not only in the interest of the West, not only in the interest of rural America, but in the interest of the great eastern industrial or financial centers themselves is this necessary, because it is very important to these great centers of finance and industry that the youths that come to them from rural America should be well trained. Some of that wealth which is created partly by this fund of raw material should come back to rural America, and I stand here and say to come back to the rural South.
It is a simple matter of justice and a matter of value to the great metropolitan, industrial, financial centers.