« ZurückWeiter »
Senator Tart. What is the sum spent on primary- and secondaryschool education in Alabama?
Dr. NORTON. About $32,000,000. About $11,000,000 of that is put up by the State for equalization purposes and is distributed in direct proportion to the number of children in average daily attendance and in direct proportion to the wealth of the local area.
Senator TAFT. What is the population of Alabama?
Senator TAFT. I have had to attend meetings of other committees yesterday and the day before, and I have to leave in a moment. I suppose there have been some figures presented on the relative income of the different States!
Dr. NORTON. Yes, sir.
Senator HILL. I will say, Dr. John K. Norton, of Columbia University, presented figures and had many graphs and charts with reference to the relative wealth and income of the different States. I want Senator Taft to finish, if he has got to go to another meeting, but I want to say this—and I want to ask you if this is not true, while you are speaking of conditions in Alabama--that Alabama stands near the top among the States in effort made ?
Dr. NORTON. Yes.
Senator HILL. To support schools, with relation to the comparative wealth.
Dr. Norton. That is right. Thirty-two cents out of the entire State tax dollar goes to education, and out of our current school money we are paying 78 percent directly into instruction. Alabama has 2.7 percent of the Nation's children between the ages of 5 and 17 and 1.07 percent of the Nation's taxable wealth. Now, that 2.7 percent of the Nation's children between the ages of 5 and 17 and that low wealth constitutes one of our problems. But another serious problem there is the ratio of children to working-age people. Although Alabama has 2.7 percent of the Nation's children between the ages of 5 and 17, we have only 1.9 percent of the Nation's population between the ages of 20 and 64, who are the ones who must earn the wages, who create the wealth and pay the taxes to support the educational program. Therefore, it is perfectly apparent that a State like Alabama and most of the Southern States will have a disproportionately heavy load upon the relatively very few taxpaying individuals between those ages in order to provide for the greater number of children and the higher number of aged people. The commercial life of the Nation has drawn out of our State many of the people in these actually productive ages. There are approximately 500,000 people or more who have been brought up in Alabama and are at work now creating wealth, paying taxes, and contributing to the economic stability of other sections of the country than there are people who have been brought up somewhere else in the Nation and are now working in Alabama.
Senator Tart. I just wanted to know if the figures would be available. I understand this $200,000,000 is to be distributed without any relation whatever to the wealth or poverty of the different States. What bothers me is that it applies to Ohio just the same as it does to Alabama. Ohio, I guess, is a State of comparatively greater wealth, at least we spend about eight times as much on education, and we have about three times the population of Alabama. I don't know, I haven't compared the figures, but roughly I expect it is something like that. Under this bill, we could allocate $9,000,000 or $10,000,000 of this first fund for Ohio, and it has nothing to do with equalization. Since this bill was up the last time the Ohio Legislature met. Ohio has $70,000,000 in the treasury. They have increased the teachers' salaries by passing a bill allotting about $9,000,000 for that purpose. That, of course, has gone into effect on the assumption that the Federal Government was not going to do anything. Now, we come along with this bill, which will be in addition to what the teachers have received from the State and which, apparently, was an adequate provision and generally accepted, and the teachers were all, I think, well satisfied with what was done by that extra session. Now, this bill comes along and proceeds to give them $10,000,000 more for that same purpose, which has already been taken care of by the State legislature.
Dr. NORTON. I see your point, and I can certainly say if Ohio does not need the money, Alabama needs that much more.
Senator Taft. That, however, is no answer to my question.
Dr. Norton. No. We have been facing both the need for equalization and the need to take care of the emergency. Since I started to school in the first grade I have been connected with the school emergency.
Senator Taft. The equalization provision is a discussion I did not want to go into, but in regard to this $200,000,000 distributed evenly for a specific purpose prescribed by Congress, at a time when we have a big deficit and most States have a big surplus, it seems to me it is questionable whether there is justification for it.
Dr. NORTON. Of course, the theory of that emergency program is that all of the States have an unusual and temporary emergency because of this war situation. The only difference between our State and some of the others is that our emergency is not temporary, ours seems to be a permanent emergency. The only feature about the emergency part of the bill that worries me considerably is that it expires when the war is over.
Senator Tart. I hope something may be done on equalization, but at the same time if the money is divided so it will go where it should,
would go much further. This would just move a very small way in the direction of equalization, largely because so much money is distributed to States that do not need it.
Senator MORSE. Mr. Chairman, does the record show the salary schedules of the teachers in the State of Ohio?
Senator ELLENDER. I think on the first day of the hearing the schedules of all States were put in the record, but if they have not been put in, we can have that done.
Senator MORSE. I think it is important, because the argument is going to be stressed that there are some States that are not in need of aid to education, and because I know of no State that confesses it had no need for aid to education.
Dr. NORTON. As far as the National Council of Chief State School Officers is concerned, we are convinced that an emergency does exist. Even in the States that are more liberally supporting education, they certainly have an immediate emergency because of the war situation which might be met from this source and expire when the war is over.
Senator Hill. I think the charts that Dr. John K. Norton presented on the first day show that even in the States where they have the highest salaries, where they are doing the most for education, there are still unmet educational needs this sustains exactly what Senator Morse said, that there is not any State in the Union which is really doing all that should be done for education.
Dr. NORTON. That is one reason I wanted to remind this committee that the National Council of Chief State School Officers, in recommending this action on the part of the Federal Government, is also vigorously recommending the same type of action within each State, that is, as to the extent of the equalization there.
Senator MORSE. I raised the point because the other day I specifically asked the question of the witness whether or not, if $200,000,000 is appropriated, it would constitute a waste in any State, whether or not it was his testimony that the amount that any State would get is needed. Now, if the argument is going to be that the $200,000,000 should not be voted by Congress because there are some states that have a surplus and are thereby able to meet their own educational needs, I think we ought to have a very clearly presented record on that argument. My mind is open on it, but my judgment, on the basis of what I know about education is that I shall be very much surprised if Ohio or Pennsylvania or New York or any other State has yet reached an adequate program for the support of their teachers.
Dr. NORTON. I think the charts presented by Dr. John K. Norton of Columbia University very definitely bring that out for each State.
Senator Hill. Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I might say that there is no more devoted or finer public servant within the State of Alabama than the superintendent of schools of Alabama. Alabama is very fortunate in having Dr. E. B. Norton handling educational matters in the State of Alabama.
Dr. NORTON. I thank you, Senator. I might say to the committee that while Alabama cannot brag a great deal about what we have done for public education in Alabama, we can do a great deal of bragging about the caliber of our statesmen that we send to Washington.
Senator ELLENDER. The next witness will be Mrs. Mervyn H. Sterne.
Senator HILL. Mr. Chairman, Mrs. Sterne is one of our finest women in Alabama and one of our leading citizens. I want to apologize that I have got to leave at this time. As you know we have a funeral this morning, of Colonel Halsey, the late Secretary of the Senate.
STATEMENT OF MRS. MERVYN H. STERNE, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL
AID TO EDUCATION COMMITTEE OF THE WOMEN'S JOINT CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE
Mrs. STERNE. Mr. Chairman, I am serving, first, in the capacity of chairman of the Federal aid to education committee of the Women's Joint Congressional Committee, and I want to make a few brief remarks, and then present the representatives of other organizations who will speak.
Senator ELLENDER. Will you give your name in full for the record and your present position?
Mrs. STERNE. Mrs. Mervyn H. Sterne.
Mrs. STERNE. This committee represents 11 national organizations. Four, the Association for Childhood Education, the American Home Economics Association, the National Education Association, the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, represent strictly professional groups; two, the American Association of University Women and the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, represent professional and lay groups; five, the National Board of the YWCA, the National Council of Jewish Women, the National Women's Trade Union League, the Service Star Legion, the National Federation of Women's Clubs, represent lay groups.
We know that it is rash to claim to speak for thousands and millions of women. We do, however, feel that we can speak for the majorities in our respective organizations. Each of us submits to its own sections or branches detailed tentative legislative programs. The branches register approval or disapproval of each item. At national conventions duly elected delegates vote for or against legislative proposals.
Year in and year out the majority vote in our 11 organizations has squarely supported the principle of Federal aid to education, and, today, we wish to present reasons for this continuous support.
Several of the groups are going to file statements, and I will call on them first if that is all right.
Mrs. James W. Irwin, representing the national board of the YWCA.
STATEMENT OF MRS. JAMES W. IRWIN, NATIONAL BOARD, YOUNG
WOMEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION
Mrs. Irwin. We know that you are aware of the deep interest of the Young Women's Christian Association in securing equal educational opportunities for all children in the United States of America. We worked with you for the passage of S. 637 in the Seventy-eighth Congress and shared with you in your distress when the bill was sent back to committee. We are delighted that you have again introduced legislation in the form of S. 181 which will authorize the appropriation of funds during the emergency to assist the States and Territories in more adequately financing their systems of public education and in reducing inequalities of educational opportunities.
Not long ago the national board again expressed its belief in the right to equality of opportunity of education for all groups of people and pledged support of legislation to bring this about and to work for the improvement of educational standards in relation to teacher training and salaries and curricula.
As you know, much of our work is concerned with thousands of younger girls in elementary and secondary schools. We have opportunity to observe the discrepancies in expenditures between different States, the great teacher shortages which exist in some States, the lowness of salaries in many, and the unevenness in curricula. Wo cannot but be aware, moreover, of the tragic evidence, which we know has already been brought to your attention of the 3,000,000 adults revealed in the 1940 Federal census as never having attended any school and the more than four and a half million men who have been rejected by selective service boards for educational, physical, and mental deficiencies. We understand that the rejections were highest in the States where the educational expenditures were the lowest.
We do not need to tell you of our concern that the children of today, who will become the citizens of tomorrow, must have the best possible education if they are to meet the many problems of the postwar world. We believe that it is neither fair nor ethical that a considerable percentage of the Nation's children should be receiving educational services below any level that should be tolerated in a civilized country, which was the opinion of the President's Advisory Committee on Education in 1938.
We hope that S. 181 will be quickly and favorably reported out of the committee and receive prompt passage on the floor of the Senate.
Mrs. STERNE. The next witness is Mrs. Marion H. Britt, National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs.
STATEMENT OF MRS. MARION H. BRITT, NATIONAL FEDERATION
OF BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL WOMEN'S CLUBS
Mrs. Britt. I wish to file this statement for Mrs. Margaret A. Hickey, the president of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs. Mrs. Hickey was unable to be present today, and we should like this to be incorporated in the record. It is in support of the legislation under consideration.
Senator ELLENDER. It may be incorporated in the record. (The statement referred to is as follows:)
STATEMENT ON FEDERAL AID FOR EDUCATION
(By Margaret A. Hickey, national president, the National Federation of Business
and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc., New York, N. Y.) The National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc., representing 80,000 women in 1,700 communities, endorses the principle of Federal aid to education and asks for Senate approval of S. 181.
Our members are convinced that maintenance of a vigorous democracy demands a high standard of education throughout the country, for the school children of today become the voters of tomorrow. We know that State boundaries are no bars to ignorance. With the mobility of our population, the educational welfare of its citizens is the concern of the whole Nation and not merely of the State where the children temporarily reside. Citizens of tomorrow must be educated today.
For years we have known that our entire educational system has many weak spots. The rejection by our armed services of over 750,000 men because of educational deficiencies has dramatically focused the attention of the Nation on the shortcomings of our educational facilities. After careful study of the variations in educational standards throughout the Nation, we have concluded that the only way we shall achieve equality of educational opportunity throughout all of our States is to tax wealth where it is found and to educate children where they live. A check on varieties of educational expenditures shows that some States average figures for the most recent year available range from $30 to $170 per pupil in annual current expenditures, from $517 to $2,618 in average salary of teachers, from $103 to $670 in value of school property, and from 157 to 188 days in average length of school term.
It is our belief that the $100,000,000 authorized by S. 181, which would be spent on equalizing educational opportunities, is a sound investment in democracy and a modest appropriation in relation to the present need for increased educa. tional opportunity.
We also recognize that the wartime emergency has brought manifold new educational problems, among them the alarming decrease in teaching staffs. To keep the schools open and to keep able teachers in the classrooms we endorse the provisions of S. 181 for a special emergency appropriation for financial assistance for salaries of teachers and other school employees. We cannot blame members of the teaching profession for leaving positions which are notoriously