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Federal department of education of the United States, a discussion of the needs particularly as set forth in this bill.
I want to introduce to you now Dr. J. A. H. Keith, president of Indiana State Normal School, Indiana, Pa.
Mr. TUCKER. He is not the author of this book?
Miss WILLIAMS. Yes; he is one of the authors of the book, jointly with Doctor Bagley, who will appear later.
STATEMENT OF DR. J. A. H. KEITH, PRESIDENT STATE NORMAL
SCHOOL, INDIANA, PA.
Doctor KEITH. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I believe it is only about 25 years ago, Mr. Chairman, at this time, that you had charge of three young men, telling them how to make speeches. I was one of those young men and I am sorry that I shall not have the advantage of having rehearsed my speech with you beforehand.
The CHAIRMAN. I can vouch for the fact that even 25 years ago Doctor Keith was an excellent speaker and debater.
Doctor KEITH. Miss Williams has asked me to talk to you about 15 minutes on the matter of the history of Federal aid to education in the United States. There is always a lurking feeling back in the corners of the minds of people who are responsible for the expenditure of money, as you and your associates are, that somebody else ought to do it; and with this proposition contained in this bill, setting these upper limits of $100,000,000 here, which the Federal Government may appropriate through the action of Congress from year to year for the improvement of education along the lines mentioned in this bill, that it is an unusual and a new, radical principle of action for the Federal Government.
I want to try to show you in 15 minutes, and what I do not get in in that time you will find in this book, I think-I want to prove conclusively to you that the Federal Government has the right to appropriate money and land and other valuable things in support of education, and that out of the long line of history of such acts by Congress there has never been one adverse court decision, and that the right of Congress to do it stands unquestioned to-day. It therefore becomes a question of practicability or feasibility:
In order to understand this thing we have got to go back a little bit, because we have a rather short and complicated history.
When the Revolutionary War came to an end and the treaty of peace was signed, Great Britain in that treaty named the Thirteen Colonies and recognized each as a free, sovereign, and independent State or Nation. We had been loosely held together under the Articles of Confederation. The need for a stronger government was felt everywhere. We had our parties in the several colonies and only a loose union under the Articles of Confederation.
Then came the Constitution, as you know, to provide for a more perfect union. In the deliberations of that Constitutional Convention-and I have recently gone through every line of Madison's account-education was very seldom mentioned, and when it was mentioned it was turned aside on the ground that the Central Government would proceed at once to establish proper systems of education. But that was a difficult thing. You remember in 1791 we came
along with the 10 amendments to the Constitution. The tenth of those is the one that settled the whole question on the control of education, because you gentlemen are all conversant with the fact that the control of education within a State or Nation is a power of sovereignty. It is the way in which the State or Nation provides for its own future; because every statesman must recognize that he soon will pass away and that somebody else will take his place, and the destiny of his nation lies in the ideals and the knowledge and skill of those who come after him; and therefore the control of education and the provision for education is a part of the sovereign power of every State or Nation.
In 1791, when the 10 amendments to the Constitution were passed, the tenth amendment provided that the powers not delegated by the Constitution to the United States of America, nor by the Constitution denied to the several States, should remain with the States respectively or with the people. Therefore, since education was not mentioned in the Constitution, the power to control education rested as a sovereign function with the several States, and every State that has been admitted to the Union from that day to this has had as a part of its endowment on its admission by compact or acts of Congress, into the Union, the sovereign power to control education within its borders.
The question has been asked here about whether or not this bill aims at parochial schools. The Federal Government has no power in this matter. Parochial school interests, if they have any fear at all, need to look elsewhere for that fear; to the State legislatures, who could do many things to control private and parochial schools, if they saw fit. The Federal Government, without an amendment to the Constitution, is powerless to take any action with regard to these schools.
With the adoption of the Constitution we were fairly started on our way; but we have to go back a little further to see the Government authority. Anticipating the outcome, the Continental Congress in 1785 provided in a land act for the survey of certain land in the Northwest Territory, and it had provided that that should be surveyed in townships 6 miles square, and it had provided that lot No. 16 in every township should be set aside for the support and maintenance of public education.
Then came 1787, when a Massachusetts gentlemen in charge of the Ohio company sought colonization privileges and went to Congress, at the same time that the Constitutional Convention was in session, and asked for a grant of 3,000,000 acres in Ohio, in the vicinity of Marietta, and insisted that the sixteenth section of every township should be set aside for schools and two townships for the founding of a national university should be set aside by the National Government, and the Federal Government in 1787 granted what he asked, setting aside the sixteenth section in every township and two townships for the founding of a university, and on that grant Ohio University at Olena, Ohio, was founded.
A little bit later in the same year Judge Symmes, of New Jersey, sought a grant of 1,000,000 acres of land from the Federal Government lying north of what is now Cincinnati, in Hamilton County, and adjacent thereto. Under that grant every sixteenth section in each township was set aside for public-school purposes and one township was set aside for the founding of a university.
Mr. FENN. Those were public lands?
Mr. FENN. They could have been set aside for the purposes of public works?
Doctor KEITH. Yes; the Federal Government had a right to dispose of those lands. The question is sometimes raised, why did not the Federal Government set aside more land in the States and in those original colonies? The fact is that the Federal Government did not have a foot of land in the State of Pennsylvania or in the State of New York or in the State of Massachusetts. The control of those lands within those States was in the States themselves, and some of those States did set aside land for the encouragement of academies, and so on.
Mr. FENN. Connecticut had land in Ohio?
Doctor KEITH. Yes; and it sold that land in the western reserve and made a permanent school fund out of it and began distributing the interest on that school fund to the several districts.
Mr. FENN. Yes; and they do that to-day. It has about $3,000,000 now.
Doctor KEITH. Yes. These new States began to build up school funds with the proceeds of the sale of these lands, and this gave the States funds for the support of common schools, and with it the necessity of distributing the income from these lands to the separate districts and counties of the several States, and that process has been going on; and it has been a complicated one, too.
This policy continued until 1848, after Wisconsin had been admitted, when two townships, lots 18 and 36, were set aside for school purposes in all States that were admitted after that.
Then four townships were set aside in 1889; and then there are grants, and you will find the totals of all those grants in the several States here in this volume.
Very early the Federal Government began to make allotments of salt lands and swamp lands to these States as they were admitted to the Union; and disposal of these salt lands in most cases is left to the States, and in some cases it was specified that they should go for the support of education.
Then the swamp lands were also put in. The normal schools of Wisconsin were founded, one half on the product of the sale of swamp lands in that State. You will find in this book the total of swamp lands allotted to the States, and their disposal. Most of them went for the support of education.
Then another thing was that the Federal Government used the State as its agent for the disposal of its own lands within the borders of the State, and it gave to the State a certain per cent on the sale of these lands and made the condition that the lands when sold should not be taxed for five years. This percentage granted to the several States, as you can readily see, amounted to vast sums of money. In some cases the Federal Government required that a
certain percentage of these percentage funds should be used for educational purposes. Therefore, you have a clear setting aside of a certain sum which otherwise would belong to a State, which should belong to the Federal Government for educational purposes, practicalls.
Then in 1806 and 1807 the United States was, for once, prosperous and they had a lot of surplus money in the Treasury, and that surplus money was distributed. I call your attention to it, because it was loaned to the States on call, and those loans have never been called from that day to this. That money still remains a call loan; and most of the States used that money coming from the surplus revenue distribution for education. You will find a table in this volume showing how they used their funds in the different States.
Then there was the distributive act of 1841. We had prospered and had more money than we knew what to do with, so, for one year at least, the Federal Government distributed its surplus revenue back to the several States, and some of those States used that money directly for education. The District of Columbia used the little that it got in that way under the direction of Congress, and the pattern set by Congress in that matter was followed by many of the States.
Then there are the forest reserve funds. I need not tell you what those funds are. The proceeds go into the educational fund. Then there are the mineral royalty acts, with which you are dealing more or less down here at the present time. I think, on the whole, it would be a pretty good plan to get education a little bit separated from oil.
The next really significant thing after this matter of the Federal grants for the support of public schools all over this new domain, was an agitation on the part of people who believed that education ought to be made more practical and brought to the people more closely. There had been, of course, a State university established in every State on the basis of the Federal Land Grant, but they still thought that education was not quite practical enough, and in the fifties, led by Jonathan Turner, of Illinois, and other people, a bill was introduced in Congress providing for the distribution of each State of public lands or scrip for public lands on the basis of their representation in Congress, and with the idea of building, with the proceeds of the sale of this scrip, colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts. That bill was vetoed by President Buchanan on two grounds, the second of which was that it was unconstitutional.
When Abraham Lincoln became President the bill was promptly passed again, and on July 2, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed that bill. Pennsylvania got 780,000 acres of land, or scrip for that amount of land, and sold it for 62 cents an acre, and with the proceeds built what is now the State College. They had had formerly a high school there, and on that foundation they elaborated, and the old main building still stands there that was put up with money derived from the sale of this land.
In every other State of the Union the same thing went on, and they now have colleges of agriculture and the mechanic arts dating from the first Morrill Act of 1862.
Now, see what was involved in that. The States were given amounts in proportion to their representation in Congress, so much for each Representative in Congress. New York was fortunate.
Under Ezra Cornell's influence, who was himself a lumberman, those lands were located to great advantage, white pine lands in Wisconsin, and while many of the States realized very little from the sale of their lands, Ezra Cornell so managed this matter that a fund of more than $5,000,000 was created for the Commonwealth of New York, and in gratitude to him for his labors in that connection, the college of agriculture and mechanic arts in the State of New York is known as Cornell University.
Now, it was the bounty of the Federal Government that made that type of education possible.
That still was not practical enough, and there came the Hatch Act of 1887, establishing experimental stations in agriculture in every one of these States, and Congress gave money directly to the States for support of these agricultural experiment stations. That sum now has reached $30,000 for each State for agricultural experiment purposes.
Then came the second Morrill Act of 1890, which gave $25,000 from the Federal Government annually to each college of agriculture and mechanic arts; and then that was modified by the Nelson Act, which increased from $25,000 to $50,000 annually the appropriation for each college of agriculture and mechanic arts; and then the Adams Act of 1906 increased the appropriation for each experiment station to $30,000 a year.
So that now the Federal Government is giving to each State for the purposes of maintaining a college of agriculture and mechanic arts and for maintaining an agricultural experiment station a minimum of $80,000 a year. Under certain conditions this may be increased, so that the annual appropriation of Congress for this purpose is $2,550,000.
Now, certainly the Federal Government has gone further than the mere giving of public lands in support of education in the States.
Then came the Smith-Hughes law of 1914 for agricultural extension and farmers' institutes, giving more money directly to the States for carrying forward agricultural extension and for conducting farmers' institutes in every one of those States.
Then came the act of 1917, the vocational education act, under which Congress is now spending more than $3,000,000 annually, under the authorization of which it may spend $7,000,000 for this purpose.
Then came the act of 1917 for the vocational rehabilitation of soldiers and sailors, and the act for the rehabilitation of persons injured in industry, giving under these acts money directly to the States for educational purposes. Rehabilitation is a matter of education, you understand. The Federal Government is therefore committed, by the acts that are on the statute books now, to the principle of Federal aid for education. The right of the Federal Government to give money in support and aid of education stands unquestioned by any adverse court decision. You have a long line of it. Some people are bothered by this, because the control can not go with the aid.' The control of education is the power that makes it conform or do what people want it to do. Unfortunately in this country-or fortunately, depending entirely upon your point of view—the tenth amendment and the accidents of the birth of this country have placed the supreme power to control and direct education and to administer