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Mr. Eby. As I go along, Senator, I have something on that point. Senator CHAVEZ. You will develop that?
Mr. Eby. Yes. According to the National Education Association 19,940,097 of our voting population has less than a sixth grade education. The undereducated—those with sixth-grade educations or lessexceed the total populations of 29 of our States.
One-fourth of our adults over 25 have no education above the sixth grade, and over 60 percent have not completed the first year of high school. This means they lack the training in civics, economics, history, and social understanding which comes in the upper grades. Less than 5 percent of Americans are college graduates.
These statistics, implying general lack of broad social understanding, appall me the most. The radio, the press, all of the agents of public opinion are constantly drumming arguments into the minds of American people. Daily we are asked to decide questions of taxation, government, international organization-matters which affect the security of our lives and the lives of our cl dren and of our children's children.
Yesterday, when Dr. Norton was testifying, I practically wanted to say “Amen," because I spent a year in Japan some years ago and have gone through 200 of their schools in order to get a contrast between the American system of democratic discussion and democratic understanding with the regimentation that we experienced over there. It was very, very marked, and I know exactly how he felt. It seems to me if we wish to get an antidote for this we are certainly going to have to make it possible for our children to go to school. I also might say, being in school work all my life I am quite convinced what this means in relation to this bill, cutting the classroom enrollment down so the teacher will have a chance to do the job and develop this type of education.
So the complexity of American civilization makes it absolutely mandatory for us to develop a citizenry which is capable of making the decisions of modern life on the basis of knowledge and evidence, not prejudice.
Of course there is a positive correlation between the income of the parent and the educational opportunity given to the child. Naturally, it is the children of parents in the lower income brackets who drop out of school to go to work because they must, who do not finish high school, who do not go on to college.
President Conant, of Harvard University, once said Harvard could dismiss all its students and recruit a student body equally capable from the ranks of the youth of America who could not afford to go on. He was right.
Emphasis of the fact that the children of the poor cannot avail themselves of educational opportunities does not mean that the States are solely responsible. We know the efforts most of them are making. The National Education Association has shown that if we take 100 as the norm for the effort made by the United States to finance education—the ratio of expenditures for public education to income received by the people—on this basis, California's effort was 103; New York's, 102; Mississippi's, 133; North Dakota's, 135.
We recognize the imperative necessity of taxing wealth where it is to educate children where they are, of eliminating conditions such as the following:
During 1938–42 there was an increase in State taxation of about 36 percent. South Carolina increased 67 percent; Mississippi, 68 persent; Arkansas, 52 percent; whereas New York increased only 4.3 percent and Delaware .03 percent.
The National Education Association has further shown that the State making the greatest effort spends for education over four times as large a proportion of its tax-paying ability as the State making the least effort. Each of the three States highest in effort spends for schools twice as large a proportion of its estimated tax resources as do any of the six lowest States. Yet each of these 3 States ranking highest in effort is among the 12 lowest with respect to tax-paying ability per child; while 3 of the 6 States ranking lowest in effort are among the 12 highest with respect to tax-paying ability per child. Of the 12 States making the greatest efforts, not one is among the 12 making the largest current expenditures per pupil.
Continuing our argument for equalizing educational opportunity by taxing wealth where it is to educate children where they are, it is pertinent to know that 61.8 percent of the war contracts went to 10 States-California, Michigan, New York, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Connecticut, Indiana, Texas; while only 16 percent went to the South which has 30 percent of the Nation's population. The corporations which take the wealth from the States should be taxed to educate the children of the workers.
Some of the conditions which the passage of S. 181 would tend to correct are
Mississippi in 1941-42 spent an annual average of $32 per pupil on education. This is less than one-fifth of the amount spent by New York.
Fifty percent of Mississippi school teachers, today, are paid under $600 per year.
There is a range of expense for education in the United States of 60 to 1; that is, 1,674 classroom units involving 38,253 children cost $100 a year; and 740 classroom units involving 19,497 children cost $6.000 a year.
The median for the classroom unit expenditure in New York is $4,100; California, $3,500; Mississippi, $400; Arkansas, $500.
In 1940, Mississippi had 392 high-school students enrolled for each 1.000 persons of 14 to 17 years of age. The State of Washington had 952 students enrolled for each 1,000, and the 12 wealthiest States had over 800. The nine States with the lowest enrollment were in the South.
A projection of these figures makes the outlook for the present year even more gloomy.
The National Education Association estimates that in a total of 868.890 teachers, 20 in every 100 will be paid less than $1,200 and 3 in every 100 will be paid less than $600.
For the year of 1944-45, about 15 percent, or 127,000 teachers, are new to their positions. There is, of course, the greatest shifting in the lowest salaried positions. In five States we had a 40-percent turn-over; in 27 States, a 25-percent turn-over.
Whereas in 1941–42, 1 teacher in 200 had a temporary certificate, in 1944-45, nearly 1 in 10 has a substandard, emergency certificate.
The outlook is not brightened by an analysis of the enrollment in teachers' colleges. In October 1944 there was a 53-percent decrease
below the 1942 level of enrollment, which was 60 percent below the 1940–41 level.
There are some 500,000 Negro members of the CIO. These workers have been even more victimized by lack of educational opportunity than their white brothers.
In Louisiana, for example, 35.9 percent of the population is Negro. In this State, in 1940, Negroes received 13.75 percent of the State and local money for education. In 1942, 11 percent of the southern Negroes of high-school age were in school whereas 24 percent of the southern whites of similar
age were in school. Average annual salaries for Negro teachers in the 14 Southern States in 1941-42 ranged from $226 in Mississippi, to $1,593 in Maryland, compared to $712 in Mississippi for white teachers and $1,796 for white teachers in Delaware. In 6 of the 14 reporting Southern States, the average annual salary for Negro teachers is less than $600.
Altogether, says the CIO News, Negro teachers lose $25,000,000 a year because of salary discriminations.
The results of this situation have been made very obvious by the war, and the total community is the loser. When America needed the maximum of its manpower for service in the Army, we lost 750,000 men because of functional illiteracy. Of these one-half million were white and one-quarter million were Negro. Negroes, however, are only about 10 percent of our adult population.
A State which in 1920 paid its teachers an average wage of $1,196 had 23 men out of a thousand rejected by the Army in 1940 for educational reasons; whereas a State which in 1920 paid $481 had 110 men out of a thousand rejected in 1940 for educational reasons.
Sociologists can prove that we pay not only in times of national emergency for lack of adequate education but we pay for it in normal times.
In a study made by Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck of 500 criminal careers in 1930, it was shown that in 85.6 percent of the cases one or both of the parents had no formal education. In only 12.9 percent of the cases one or both parents had attended grade school.
Another study by the Gluecks of 1,000 juvenile delinquents of Boston found that 11.1 percent left school at the fifth grade or lower, compared to 1.4 percent of the rest of the children of Boston. Seventy-one percent of the delinquents left school by the eighth grade, compared to 5.3 percent of nondelinquents. Only 17 percent entered the ninth grade or high school, compared to 93.3 percent of the nondelinquents. Over 60 percent of the delinquents were found to have educatable intelligence, 41.6 percent being ranked as “normal or supernormal."
We in the CIO, as I stated in the beginning of this testimony, are interested in the boys and girls of America. We believe that they, not raw materials, are our greatest national resource. We believe it is our responsibility adequately to prepare them to meet the complicated problems of our modern world. Because we so believe, we strongly urge the Education and Labor Committee to give S. 181 favorable consideration.
Senator CHAVEZ. The figures that you have outlined are most significant and very appealing to those who really understand the provisions of the proposed legislation, but what the proponents of the legislation have to contend with is the argument by those who are opposed to it, as to the responsibility of the Federal Government, Have you any views as to why there should be responsibility in the Federal Government?
Mr. Ebr. I left out some of the arguments on the basis of the fact that wealth is concentrated, as described yesterday, in certain areas of this country, and I left out all these figures. Our belief, in a simple sentence, is that you should educate where the children are.
Senator CHAVEZ. Of course, some of the opponents will possibly disagree and say: "Should New York pay for educating children in some other State?” I want your views as to why the Federal Government should contribute.
Mr. Eby. New York is one situation; Mississippi and Alabama is another situation. I mean the very basic facts are, again as described yesterday, that it is impossible for certain of the States, even if they were taxed to their fullest capacity, to do this job.
Senator CHAVEZ. Do you feel that the Federal Government as such has the responsibility, together with the States, to provide education for the children?
Mr. Eby. Certainly. I believe every youngster in America should have as nearly equal an opportunity as is humanly possible.
Senator CHAVEZ. That is basic, and I believe in that, too, but I will restate my question. The opposition always come back to us and say: “Now, why does not the State do it?” The question I would like to develop at this hearing is: Have you some concrete evidence to the effect that there is a responsibility in the Federal Government to help educate the children of the country?
Mr. Eby. Yes. That is why, I will say, frankly, I used pretty much the argument of mobility. I tried to develop the fact that a citizen who happens to be born in one State becomes a citizen of the United States by the very nature of this mobility, not only in time of war but, as I tried to describe, in time of peace there is mobility from one State to another. Consequently, that being the case and also being the case from a sociological point of view, our cities could not survive without that mobility. I remember when I was executive secretary of the Chicago Teachers Union we became very much interested in this problem, because our normal birth rate was getting less and less.
From 1930 to 1933 the Chicago school population dropped 32,000. It was dropping at the rate of 10,000 a year. Chicago, as a city, could not survive on the basis of that birth rate. If it would not be for people coming from the outside, it could not survive. These children that we export to the cities keep our cities alive; they are a resource.
Senator CHAVEZ. Let us get to the present situation, the World War.
Mr. Eby. Yes.
Senator Chavez. It also needs the personnel for the Army and Navy.
Mr. EBY. That is right.
Senator CHAVEZ. Do you not feel it is the responsibility of the Federal Government, which determines whether or not they should go to work or be inducted into the armed forces, to prepare that manpower for its best utilization by the country as a whole, and even to make sacrifices, if necessary ?
Mr. Eby. Certainly. I am not sure of this figure, but somewhere I read that the Federal Government spends something like $349 on every person in the armed services that they must make literate before they can use them. That cost is an added burden on this whole problem of national defense. If this education had taken place at a proper time, we would not have had the problem of developing literacy, and we would not have had this added expense as people are drafted.
Senator CHAVEZ. I have seen figures throughout the war period wherein they say that thousands and thousands of American boys, patriotic boys anxious to do their duty, had to be turned down because they did not have the equivalent of even a third-grade education. Do you believe there is some responsibility in that respect on the part of the Federal Government !
Mr. Eby. That is correct. I used the figure of 750,000 that were turned down. It would be more than that.
Senator AIKEN. Is not one of the principal reasons, if not the principal reason, speaking in behalf of Federal aid to education, due to the fact that the wealth of this country is created in all the States, but some gravitates to a few States? The financial interests are located in a few States of the country, and unless there is some means provided for redistributing that wealth for the purposes of education, as we do for highways, in the States where the wealth was created, that those States soon find themselves at a very grievous disadvantage as compared to the States where the money becomes concentrated! I almost said consecrated. Sometimes I believe it is almost "consecrated."
Senator CHAVEZ. Senator Aiken, I agree with your statement, but I still know that passing this bill is going to be a practical proposition,
Mr. Eby. That is right.
Senator CHAVEZ. We will have to show them that there is some responsibility on the part of the Federal Government. I would like for us to make as fine a showing as we possibly can, demonstrating that there is a responsibility on the part of the Federal Government. I am satisfied in my own mind, but I am only 1 of 96. There are a few other Senators who also vote.
Mr. Eby. That is right. I, of course, could give out of my experience, many, many reasons which I did not mention here. I think Federal aid to education is extremely important.
I remember visiting many Chicago classrooms with boys and girls who had migrated from the South. I went out with the teachers, and I saw the terrible adjustment that teachers in these classrooms had to go through. You see Chicago youngsters who are 8 or 9 years of age, and then you would see in these same classrooms boys and girls of 15, 16, and 17 years of age, in the second- and third-grade level.
Incidentally, a certain social deterioration is developed by the very nature of the educational problem. I am one who thinks it is an educational tragedy to mix age groups. Apropos of that, you may