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to the introduction of orientation programs designed to eliminate this potential drag upon the war effort and the morale of the armed services. Our fighting men would have been more adequately prepared if they had all brought with them from our schools at least some of the information which the Army has included in its orientation courses.
Previous witnesses before this committee have spoken of the ingenuity and thoroughness of educational practices in Fascist countries like Germany and Japan. I am referring particularly to the witnesses on Monday and Tuesday speaking for the National Education Association. Such education, based on lies, distortions, and calculated brutalization of the human mind and spirit, can attain a certain temporary efficiency but can never equal the solidity, strength, and fruitfulness of genuinely
. democratic education. The American, British, and Russian soldiers who have defeated Fascist troops at Bastogne, El Alamein, and Stalingrad have owed part of their power to the respect for the human spirit which, however imperfectly practiced, forms an integral part of the thinking of this country, of Britain, and of the Soviet Union.
The army of men and women who will wage the peace and their children who will benefit from it, deserve the finest and most complete education which a democratic America can provide. President Philip Murray of the CIO has stated thatthe CIO is vitally concerned with education
The CIO is just as interested in this rightreferring to the President's economic Bill of Rightsas we are in full employment, an economy of plenty, and a standard of living higher than we have ever attained before. The education our children get must prepare them for this bright American future.
Mr. Murray's statement, and the educational program of the CIO, are simply the culmination of a long series of steps in the history of American labor. The first free public schools were established only through the efforts of delegations of organized "artisans and mechanics” in the early nineteenth century. Succeeding generations of organized labor, throughout the last hundred years, have carried on consistently the demand of the American common men and women that their children and all American children be afforded a good free public education. The CIO today is continuing that tradition.
The general need to provide equality of opportunity for a good education to all our children and to all adult Americans is the principal purpose of the Federal aid bill S. 181. This cannot be done without expanding all our educational facilities. Above all, the economic interests of our teachers must be safeguarded, their social welfare secured, and their cultural development assured. This is one major interest of the national teachers division of the State, County, and Municipal Workers of America, CIO. Any discussion of the problem of education which neglects the central role of the teachers themselves is inevitably misleading.
I think that is of interest, in view of the fact that the section of S. 181 on the emergency appropriation of $200,000,000 deals exclusively with salaries as being the most urgent emergency in the present situation.
Previous witnesses testifying before this committee have presented evidence showing the dangerously low salaries which are generally paid to teachers. Charts and statistics have been furnished to the committee which provide irrefutable proof of the fact that many of our teachers are living under substandard economic conditions. Teachers themselves appearing before this committee have stated clearly that during the current period of increased job opportunities at increased wages, the teacher continues in his post frequently only due to an intense devotion to the profession, and a deeply felt desire to continue to contribute to the education of America's growing generation. The statistics presented to this committee on the question of increased turn-over and the number of inexperienced teachers indicate with startling clarity how little inducement there is today for a person of some education and ambition to enter the teaching profession.
This situation is unquestionably disheartening and discouraging to teachers as people. It implies a weakening, even in some areas a potential break-down, in our whole educational system. Moreover, it threatens the future economic prosperity of the Nation itself.
Our goal of full production after the war can be obtained only if we succeed in maintaining the production level of approximately $200,000,000,000 achieved in 1944. The maintenance of this level depends, in highly practical terms, upon our making sure that the American people have enough money in their pockets to buy the goods produced.
Today some 900,000 teachers are in the employ of public education and thousands of other persons are involved in maintaining and organizing the $12,000,000,000 worth of public educational buildings. If any group of American workers of this size is allowed, or rather forced, to remain at substandard or mere subsistence levels, our entire economic structure will be jeopardized.
The National Education Association has pointed out that the average purchasing power of teachers' salaries in 1942 worked out to a sum of only $1,260 in prewar dollars. In the year 1913–44, some 5 percent of all teachers received less than $600 a year. In Mississippi, one of the poorer States, more than half of all public teachers received salaries of less than $600 in the school year 1943-44. Various cost-of-living and budget surveys made both by private and Government agencies during the last few years furnish convincing evidence that such salary levels cannot provide an adequate standard of living, even for a single person. And other studies have shown that nearly half of all American teachers are responsible for the full support of at least one other person.
Teachers have acquired an increase in annual wages since the beginning of the war of approximately 10 percent. An increase as small as this, is, according to all authorities, insufficient to match the increase in living costs since the beginning of the war. Even industrial workers and farmers, though their annual income has not kept pace with wartime inflation, have been in a less unfavorable position than the teachers and their fellow workers in other divisions of State and local government.
Two logical consequences flow from this state of affairs. In the first place, unless this shocking underpayment of teachers is corrected, there will be a group of almost a million wage earners unable to contribute enough to the income stream to support full postwar production. Aside from their own personal discomfort, insecurity, and suffering, the teachers can become a dangerous menace to a healthy postwar American economy.
Secondly, the low level of teachers' pay is reflected in shortages of teachers, overcrowded classrooms, lowered quality of instruction, higher turn-over, and larger numbers of inexperienced teachers.
Last summer the National Education Association warned that the United States faced the greatest teacher shortage in its history. These warnings have been fulfilled. Experienced teachers have left their jobs, inexperienced teachers have been appointed, enrollment in teacher training and normal schools has dropped drastically.
On the other hand, the changes brought about by the war have contributed toward reversing a 40-year trend and have brought about a sharp increase in child labor and a sharp decrease in school attendance. High-school attendance, which reached a peak of 7,244,000 in 1940, has since declined by more than 1,000,000. It is difficulty to say to what extent this decline can be attributed to crowded classrooms, overworked teachers, and lower quality of instruction. The immediate connection between the teacher's economic status and the effectiveness of our school system can be seen, at any rate, in the number of teachers who have left their classrooms to go into jobs which would more adequately support them and their families.
The American labor movement, which has consistently interested itself in good, free public education, sees clearly the intimate connection between the quality of education and the economic well-being of the teachers themselves. The national teachers division of my union maintains that good education on equal terms for all Americans is inseparable from the attainment of good salaries, good working conditions, and a happy and full life for American teachers. It is for this reason that this division is interested in bringing teachers into the organized labor movement. It is for this reason that the State, county, and municipal workers of the CIO support the principle of Federal aid, and in particular the bill now before this committee, S. 181.
Senator ELLENDER. Are there any questions?
Senator ELLENDER. Doctor, step forward, please. I understand that Mrs. Mary Bethune was to be present also ?
Dr. LONG. She is here.
Senator ELLENDER. Let her come forward also. Dr. Long, please give your full name to the reporter, and your representation.
Dr. Long. Howard H. Long, chairman, Legislative Committee of the American Teachers Association, and chairman, Committee on Public Policy, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
Senator ÉLLENDER. Have you a prepared statement, Dr. Long?
STATEMENT OF DR. HOWARD H. LONG, CHAIRMAN, LEGISLATIVE
COMMITTEE, AMERICAN TEACHERS ASSOCIATION, AND CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC POLICY, ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY
Dr. LONG. Mr. Chairman and members of the Senate Committee on Education and Labor, I speak specifically on behalf of the American Teachers Association with a membership and affiliation of approximately 20,000 and for the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, a fraternity of college and professional Negro men with a membership of 7,500 in practically all the States in the Union. In addition, I wish to submit for the record statements from other organizations expressing their approval of this bill. These organizations are national in character and command the respect of a very large following. The statements are appended hereto. The attitude of the American Teachers Association and
the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity upon this legislation is well known. For several years these organizations have given their approval to bills substantially the same as this one. They are again indicating their approval of Senate 181 as it now stands. We are interested in this measure because it favorably affects all the people in areas where reasonably adequate education is not provided and apparently cannot be provided otherwise. The members of these organizations, as members of a minority group, however, are especially interested in the safeguards providing for “just and equitable” distribution of the Federal funds which it attempts to provide for education, where separate schools are maintained by law for minorities. We are especially requesting, therefore, that these guarantees be not weakened in any way by amendment or revision. The reasons for our solicitude in respect to these guarantees are on record with this committee and it would seem unnecessary to repeat them at this time.
We wish to express our thanks to this committee for favorably reporting out Senate bill 637 last year, and for the statesmanship shown in its provisions. We hope that you will report similarly Senate 181 to the floor of the Senate this year.
The following statements from national organizations are submitted for the record. These organizations are:
1. Conference of Presidents of Negro Land Grand Colleges.
2. National Association of Collegiate Deans and Registrars in Negro Schools.
3. The National Medical Association. 4. The Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools for Negroes. 5. The Improved, Benevolent, and Protective Order of Elks of the World.
6. The National Bar Association.
Fort Valley, Ga., January 27, 1945. Dr. HOWARD H. LONG,
Washington, D. C. DEAR DR. LONG : As president of the Conference of Presidents of Negro Land Grant Colleges, permit me to express in this letter my hope that Senate bill 181 will become the law of this land.
I could write you an extensive statement in behalf of thiş bill; but the facts are so well known that I desist, apart from the merest summary:
I think all of the members of the conference of which I have the honor of being president favor Senate 181 for the following reasons:
1. We believe that the right to an equal education is the natural right of every American citizen.
2. We know that existing inequalities in the distribution of the national income so effect taxable resources that it is an impossibility to achieve the ideal of equal educational opportunity within the present framework of local and State support.
3. We know that the present situation is producing uneducated citizens who will as adults people every State of this Federal Union; and we know that their educational inadequacies will for generations continue to be a reproach to a Nation conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
4. We know that with the best of good will, apparent everywhere in our section, it is not to be expected that areas of the Nation unequally favored by the concentration of industrial wealth, or by the presence of taxable wealth in the form of natural resources, will soon be able to provide for children of whatever race that which is their natural right-a decent, standard, American education.
We therefore favor Federal aid to education, as embodied in Senate 181.
HORACE MANN BOND.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGIATE DEANS AND
REGISTRARS IN NEGRO SCHOOLS,
Charlotte, N. C., January 25, 1945. Dr. HOWARD H. LONG,
Washington, D. O. DEAR DR. LONG: In reply to your letter of January 22 regarding Senate bill 181, Federal aid to education, I am writing to advise as follows:
The National Association of Collegiate Deans and Registrars in Negro Schools joins other organizations in endorsing and approving Senate bill 181 (formerly Senate bill 637), Federal aid to education. The association some time ago went on record as approving the bill, and is in agreement with the provisions as con. tained in the original bill, which would provide full and fair educational opportunities for Negroes. The association urges the Senate Committee on Labor and Education to report this bill out favorably. Sincerely yours,
S. HERBERT ADAMS, President.
NATIONAL MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, INC.,
Washington, D. O., January 30, 1945. SENATE COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND EDUCATION,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: The National Medical Association, an organization of the colored physicians in this country, wishes to go on record as approving Senate 181, a bill providing for Federal aid to education. We believe that this measure, if enacted into law, will be very helpful in those parts of the country which now are unable financially to provide adequate education for their citizens. We wish to urge, however, that the provisions for "just and equitable” distribution of the funds be not weakened in any way. Respectfully submitted.
C. HERBERT MARSHALL, M. D.,
Chairman, Board of Trustees.
Scotlandville, La., January 26, 1945. Dr. HOWARD H. LONG, Chairman, Legislative Committee, American Teachers Association,
Washington, D. O. DEAR DR. LONG: The Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools for Negroes is tremendously interested in and desirous of passage of the Federal-aid bill on education, formerly Senate 637, now Senate 181.
We hereby designate you to represent us in any manner to make possible the enactment of this legislation. Sincerely yours,
F. G. CLARK, President, A88ociation of Colleges and Secondary Schools for Negroes.