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Senator ELLENDER. You may submit it to the committee and it will be placed in the record following your remarks.
Mr. PERRY. Thank you. On behalf of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, we endorse S. 181, the Educational Finance Act of 1945, and urge that favorable and speedy action be taken on it. That concludes my statement.
(The tables referred to by Mr. Perry during the course of this statement, together with the proposed amendment to be submitted by him, are as follows:)
TABLE I.-Pupil cost based on average daily attendance'
TABLE II.-Average salary per member of instructional staff 1
TABLE III.-Average salary per member of instructional staff (1939–40)
FEDERAL AID FOR EDUCATION
TABLE IV.—Current expense per pupil in average daily attendance (1939–40)'
I Less interest.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE
New York, N. Y.
Washington, D. C., February 9, 1945.
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR THOMAS: In accordance with permission granted me by the acting chairman of the committee on January 31, 1945, I am submitting here with a proposed amendment to S. 181, the Educational Finance Act of 1945. Sincerely yours,
LESLIE S. PERRY,
ADDITION TO TESTIMONY OF LESLIE S. PERRY, RE S. 181
I should like to have section 7 amended to read as follows:
"Sec. 7. The Commission shall cause an audit to be made of the expenditures of funds under the Act by each State educational authority. Such audits shali at all times be available for public inspection. If either before or after an audit has been made any person shall complain to the Commissioner that he has reason to believe that any portion of the funds appropriated under this Act have been expended by any State in a manner contrary to the provisions of this Act, or have otherwise been lost or unlawfully used, the Commissioner shall afford such person a hearing on his complaint. If the Commissioner, after notice and hearing to the State charged with the improper expenditure or loss, upon either complaint filed by any person or upon the Commissioner's own complaint, finds that any portion of the funds appropriated under this Act have been expended by any State in a manner contrary to the provisions of this Act, or have otherwise been lost or unlawfully used, an equal amount sball, after reasonable notice, be withheld from subsequent payments to any such State unless such amount is replaced by such State and expended for the purposes originally intended : Provided, That the State educational authority shall have the right to appeal, within thirty days, from the decision of the Commissioner to withhold funds to a United States district court and such court shall have jurisdiction as to both fact and law. Any person who has filed a complaint before the Commissioner pursuant to this section shall likewise have the right to appeal, within thirty days from the decision of the Commissioner not to withhold funds, to a United States district court. If the Commissioner fails to provide a hearing on a complaint within three months after it has been filed with him or fails to issue a decision within six months after the close of the hearing on such complaint, the person who filed the complaint may file a suit in a United States district court which shall then try the case de novo. In either an appeal from a decision of the Commissioner not to withhold funds or a trial de novo of a suit filed after the Commission has failed to proceed to a decision within the time specified, if the court finds that any portion of the funds appropriated under this Act have been expended by any State in a manner contrary to the provisions of this Act or have otherwise been lost or unlawfully used, the court shall direct the Commissioner to withhold an equal amount from subsequent payments unless such amount is replaced by such State and expended for the purposes originally intended.”
Senator MORSE. I would like to ask another question or two, because I don't quite follow the witness in his reply to my question.
First, may I ask whether you have sat through all of the hearings of this committee, or is this the first session that you have attended ?
Mr. PERRY. This is my first.
Senator MORSE. Then you haven't heard the evidence that has already gone into the record ?
Mr. PERRY. No; I haven't. I am familiar with the hearings that were conducted on S. 1305 in 1939, and on S. 637 in 1943.
Senator MORSE. I have two or three questions for my own clarification. I understand that you do not know of any Southern State in which you believe that the standards of education now provided to the colored children reach a decent minimum standard?
Mr. Perry. If we include Oklahoma and Missouri, and now Maryland, I would say that these States provide decent minimum standards of education for colored children. As a matter of fact, I would say that in the main--I don't have the figures before me—but I believe that in the main they are about equal to that provided to the whites in those States.
Senator MORSE. And if this bill is passed, then, in those States the returns from the bill to the States would provide funds that would give the colored children in those States a standard of education above a decent minimum standard ?
Mr. PERRY. I don't know how much Missouri or Oklahoma will receive under this bill.
Senator MORSE. Whatever they receive
Mr. PERRY (interposing). I don't know, where you have a high standard--for example, New York or California, these States do not receive anything under the equalization provisions of the bill, and Wyoming doesn't receive anything I would assume that where you have a reasonable minimum standard of education, that the State in question would receive practically nothing. It is only where you have a low standard, and it happens that where you have an abysmally low standard, as in Mississippi, you also have an abysmally low standard for Negroes.
Senator MORSE. Making that assumption as to the administration of the bill for the sake of argument, then, you reduce the States that will profit from the bill to only those States that will receive something under the equalization provisions of the bill, and those States will be only those States that do not have a decent minimum standard of education ?
Mr. Perry. I think the bill so provides.
Senator Morse. I will take you on that major premise, although I disagree with your interpretation as to how it will be administered. But let's start with that as the major premise; your point is that for the benefit of any State in which colored children do not now receive a decent minimum standard of education, you favor the passage of this bill because it at least will give something to those colored children to improve their education?
Mr. PERRY. That is right.
Now in those same States, however, if the colored children get anything under the bill, the white children are also going to get something under the bill?
Mr. PERRY. Yes.
Senator Morse. And you think that it may be that in some of those States the white children already get a standard above a decent minimum standard of education!
Mr. Perry. Once again we get into questions of standards of education, upon which I am not competent to testify, but I do say this, that if the annual expenditure for education for a white child in Mississippi is $190, he is only getting the education of all of the children in the State of New York, and I certainly have no desirespeaking for the association, we have no desire-to depress or suppress any group of people on the basis of race or color. The more they get the better.
Senator Morse. I understand the witness' position, Mr. Chairman, but to keep the record perfectly clear as to my position in this discussion, I have heard no evidence yet that would lead me to believe that any State provides in this country today a decent minimum standard of education that is necessary if we are going to keep democracy as strong and vital as we are going to have to keep it in order to meet the future problems of this country.
Senator ELLENDER. Are there any questions? Is Mr. Rackliffe present?
Mr. RACKLIFFE. Yes, sir.
Senator ELLENDER. Come forward, please, and give your full name to the committee reporter.
Mr. RACKLIFFE. My name is John Rackliffe, and I represent the National Teachers Division of the State, County and Municipal Workers of America, CIO.
Senator ELLENDER. Has not the CIO already made a statement? Mr. RACKLIFFE. That is correct.
Senator ELLENDER. Is this a duplication of the statement previ ously made?
Mr. RACKLIFFE. No; it is not, sir. The department of education and research of the national CIO made a statement on Tuesday morning when Mr. Kermit Eby testified for the national CIO, whereas what I have to submit is testimony by the State, County, and Municipal Workers of America.
Senator ELLENDER. You have a prepared statement?
STATEMENT OF JOHN RACKLIFFE, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF
THE NATIONAL TEACHERS DIVISION, STATE, COUNTY, AND MUNICIPAL WORKERS OF AMERICA, CIO
Mr. RACKLIFFE. The problem of Federal aid to education is closely linked with the entire future prospects of a prosperous and secure America. The postwar perspective of full production, 60,000,000 jobs, and a fuller life for all, will be seriously endangered if our national program of education suffers from either cultural or economic inadequacies.
President Roosevelt, in his message to Congress in January 1944 outlining the economic bill of rights included among them the right to a good education. If the majority of American citizens can agree on what a good education is, then we can unitedly determine to achieve such an education for all our people.
The State, County, and Municipal Workers of America, the CIO union concerned with the welfare of teachers, would define a good education as one which can produce adult Americans capable of dealing successfully with the problems of an expanding democracy, trained in cooperation and in the art of rational living, free from racial and religious prejudices.
We are convinced that only through Federal aid can all our people be assured this good education.
American production for war has shown what this Nation can be expected to achieve with an expanded peacetime economy. But the realization of 60,000,000 jobs will depend on full cooperation among business, labor, agriculture, and government. In government, a prominent place will be taken by States, counties, and cities. They will not be able to play their full part, however, if they are restricted to the resources which they can derive from State and local taxation.
The Federal Government must come to the aid of the lesser units of government and must back up their programs with the resources derived from its greater taxing power. The principle of Federal aid has been widely accepted in the field of public works, as in the construction of public highways. Federal aid is accepted with little question in the realms of public housing, public welfare, and social security. Since the early days of the Republic, the State land-grant colleges have brought Federal aid into our form of education. Federal aid has been given to promote the establishment of agricultural schools, the teaching of home economics, vocational training, and to provide nursery schools and adult education. The time has now come for considerable expansion of Federal aid in education.
The postwar United States will need an alert, well-trained and well-informed body of citizens. Veterans returning from the war will want to continue their interrupted educations and will want new types of vocational and technical training. The varied experience of our men and women in the armed services has opened up to many of them new educational possibilities. Adequate retraining programs must be devised to fill the needs of the wounded and disabled. In addition, as full production and full employment give to our adult population a more secure life, free from the terrors of unemployment, many Americans will, for the first time, find a leisure and tranquility which will enable them to feel free to learn new skills and to devote themselves to enlarging their cultural lives.
Above all, the public school system must be raised to much higher levels. It is in school that most children receive their first broad knowledge of the world and the men and women who live in it. In school they gain their first insight into geography, history, economics, and the whole story of mankind. The attitudes which children develop in school toward the lessons of the past and the problems of the present and future will in large part determine the contribution which they will be able to make as adult citizens to our country's welfare.
Federal aid to social services is quite generally accepted. The Federal Government, in the interest of the public welfare, helps to maintain the victims of ill-advised economic policies, the human products of poor social and educational backgrounds. Surely Federal aid for education, the one public service most capable of averting these evils, is more than justified. It is now imperative.