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that this bill makes this a Federal function and creates a fund; that it is to be developed from Federal money instead of State money, which, in the long run, means that the Federal Government is absolutely taxing the State for a Federal function.
Mr. EICHELBERGER. The Federal Government, of course, gets all its money, as do the State governments, from the people of the States. Now, to demonstrate that I have not been terribly cruel or prejudiced in this matter, I would like to ask that there be printed in the proceedings of the committee an extract from a speech delivered by Hon. Champ. Clark in the House of Representatives October 11, 1919, in which he said that “the milk in this coconut is to create a lot of new, fat jobs.
Mr. REED. What was he speaking of?
Mr. EICHELBERGER. He was speaking about the Smith-Towner education bill, and also the vocational education bill. This excerpt from the speech of Mr. Clark is as follows:
“THE MILK IN THIS COCONUT."
Former Speaker Champ Clark, speaking in the House, October 11, 1919, in part on the vocational education act and in part on what was then the SmithTowner educational bill, declared:
“It is said by the proponents of this bill (vocational education act) that the United States Government gives only a dollar where the State gives another dollar. Where does the United States get its dollar? Out of the taxpayers. Where does the State get its dollar? Out of the taxpayers, and the taxes are high enough now, and every man in the House who has three ideas above a Hottentot is devoting his thoughts to how to cut down these tax bills and if we do not cut them down, these places that know us now will know us no more forever.
“I have seen several of these bureaus created since I have been here. I have seen three departments created, and I will tell you how they worked. They will have a little tiny bureau with 5 or 10 or 15 people in it, and the first thing you know it has grown like Jonah's gourd vine until they have hundreds of them, and it gets to be a great big thing. Then they clamor to be made a department, and there is a bill coming up here some time that proposes to make a Cabinet member of the Commissioner of Education, a Secretary of Education, and I am against it. The first thing you know they will have as many employees down there in the Bureau of Education as they have in the War Risk Bureau, with its 14,000 employees jostling each other around in each other's way.
“I am as much in favor of education as any man who ever lived. I plowed corn and mauled rails and broke rock and cut corn and wormed tobacco in order to get money enough to go to college. "I began to teach school before I was 15.
I was president of a college when I was 23 years old, down in West Virginia, so I have a right to talk about educational matters.
“But whenever that bill comes in here to make a useless department out of the Bureau of Education, I am against it, and I will use every parliamentary means at my command to beat it. The United States Government can not do everything; it is utterly impossible. The best thing for Congress to do would be to pass a resolution here directed to the States advising them to resume their governmental functions (applause) and let us alone.
If it were not for Congress, these departments up here would gobble up everything betwixt the two
It got so bad, as Mr. Speaker Cannon knows, that we absolutely had to pass a law here making it a criminal offense for the head of a department or bureau to spend more money than Congress appropriated.
“The milk in this coconut is to create a lot of new fat jobs!"
Mr. REED. Is your organization against the rehabilitation bill, which provides for vocational education?
Mr. EICHELBERGER. The vocational educational bill? Our organization is opposed to the entire principle of Federal aid and 50-50 legislation. We believe that that is wrong and unconstitutional, that it is demoralizing in addition to being unconstitutional.
Mr. REED. To make it come out square footed, you are opposed to the rehabilitation bill?
Mr. EICHELBERGER. Vocational education?
Mr. EICHELBERGER. Of course we recognize that there is a very different principle involved when you consider the roads bill and the rehabilitation bill, or the maternity act and this bill, because the Federal Government has, of course, ample power to care for veterans and to build post roads. I dare say Congress could tax the people to build a concrete pavement on every rural road if they were foolish enough to do it. But I think this: That it would have been better, better practice, for the Federal Government at the time that the roads bill—which is in a way the mother of all these Federal-aid bills--if the Federal Government at that time had appropriated its own funds and built the interstate roads and military roads that it needed and let the States build their own roads; and if it had done so, we would not have had such trouble as we have had in Arkansas and Maryland and some other States by reason of this 50-50 scheme.
By reason of the roads bill these other 50-50 schemes have been developed and they all have this prohibition of buildings and equipment" provision, which is in all these bills. They took that from the roads bill, where, of course, it was a legitimate proposition. When they were building roads, they did not want to build schoolhouses; but when you are talking about an education bill, an education bill with no schoolhouses, with no equipment, no books, they talk about equalizing educational opportunities in some of these rural districts —
Mr. ROBSION (interposing). If you are going to help the States ought they to be required to furnish the plants? Your proposition is for them to furnish it all ?
Mr. EICHELBERGER. If the gentleman will permit me, I would exactly reverse that feature of the bill. I think the most dangerous point in the bill is that Federal payment of salary to the State teachers, and instead of providing that the Federal funds should not be used for any buildings or equipment, I would provide that it should not be used for the payment or partial payment of any teachers' salaries, so that this central chief could not control.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you aware that in the original vocational education bill there was an express provision prohibiting the use of any of the Federal money for the payment of teachers' salaries.
Mr. EICHELBERGER. I do not recall that, but if that was in there, I would say it was a good thing, because if the Federal Government can pay State officers for doing what the Federal Government wants, it would be as bad as taxing them, and the Supreme Court says that the power to tax is the power to destroy, and we say that the power to bribe is the power to destroy.
Mr. REED. Would you be in favor of an educational bill for Federal aid, providing that none of this money should go for the salaries of teachers ?
Mr. EICHELBERGER. I would not be in favor of Federal aid 50-50 division of authority under any circumstances; but in that connec
tion I want to invite the attention of the committee to the so-called Rosenwald rural schools in the South. That is a 50-50 proposition. It was particularly intended for the benefit of colored people. Mr. Rosenwald is a philanthropist, I think th ehead of Sears, Roebuck & Co., and the only thing I want to mention about that is that in this Rosenwald fund their money is principally devoted to what? Buildings and equipment. Mr. Rosenwald does not say that if you furnish all the buildings and equipment we will help to pay the salaries of the teachers. No, that fund is raised on the other idea. There is a good description of that Rosenwald fund and how it is used at page 186 of the current World Almanac. So I feel this is not a school bill, it is not to help build schools, and yet before all these hearings the proponents have set forth that there are certain common standards of schools, that they have not good architects in those districts and so on, as though the Federal Government should come in and tell them how much better they could build these schools.
Mr. BLACK. Do you not think that the Federal Government might some day tell them that they might consolidate their schools?
Mr. EICHELBERGER. I think so. Consolidation, of course, is a great problem. Right on that point, in Iowa and some of these other States, they have provided automobiles and motor trucks to bring the children to the schools from long distances. Of course, those automobiles and so on would be a part of the equipment. You can not use a nickel of this Federal fund for
such purpose as that. But after the States have done all this then you say, “We will help pay the salaries of your teachers, providing you qualify under this bill.”
Mr. BLACK. There was great objection in New York State when they tried to consolidate the schools, and there is a pending consolidation measure at the present time that has created a lot of objection from the rural districts.
Mr. EICHELBERGER. I have a clipping relating to that right here and I would like to include it in my statement. It might be possible to get some better extracts rather than to use the entire clipping.
(The clipping referred to is as follows:)
WOMEN CHAMPION RURAL SCHOOL BIL-MRS. VANDERLIP AND MRS. MITCHELL
LEAD GROUP IN ALBANY TO STEM ASSEMBLY OPPOSITION
Albany, March 31.-A delegation of women, headed by Mrs. Frank A. Vanderlip and Mrs. Willis Mitchell, came to the capitol to-night in an eleventhhour endeavor to bring about the passage of the rural education bill, now before the assembly rules committee. The bill, sponsored by Senator Bernard Downing, of New York, has already received favorable action in the upper house.
There is considerable opposition to the bill among the farmers up-State, although educators are aware that it will afford the only opportunity available to insure children in the poorer rural communities the same school advantages that are enjoyed by the richer school districts of the State. This opposition, voiced at a recent public hearing, is expected to be sharply reflected in the assembly should the bill be reported.
The delegation will present their plea to-morrow before Governor Smith, who is known to favor the measure. Later in the day they will call upon the assembly leaders.
Most of the women on the delegation have made a study of the educational disadvantages of children in many rural districts under the present system. Mrs. Vanderlip and Mrs. Mitchell, both graduates of the "little red schoolhouse," expressed themselves to-night as confident that the bill would pass the assembly. "This bill is the result of the combined labor of the Committee of Twenty-one, which comprises representatives of the Grange, the Dairymen's League, and the Home and Farm Bureaus,” said Mrs. Vanderlip to-night.
“Hearings were held in all parts of the State, at which representative citizens of the farming districts made known their views, which are now incorporated in the Downing-Porter bill. Unless this measure is enacted into law, the present deplorable conditions in the country schools, which in many instances are veritable apologies for institutions of learning, will continue.
“One of the big drawbacks in our rural life is the lack of proper school facilities for our children and as a result, they have to start out in life handicapped by the city child who is blessed with superior educational opportunities."
Mr. EICHELBERGER. Now, in the statistics of education we have here from the Bureau of Education we find that 78 per cent of all the money that is spent for education in this country is spent by the localities. Why should not the localities control?
The National Education Association in its charts declares that the total amount of money spent for education each year in this country is a billion five hundred million dollars. The money that the Federal Government is to put up under this proposition is one hundred million dollars out of the Treasury, to be matched by the States. Yet they are going to control with this payment, subsidy, and so on, the administration of a sixteen hundred million dollar enterprise with $100,000,000,000.
In other words, it makes it a 16 to 1 proposition. The States are putting up sixteen times as much as the Federal Government, when the whole educational system is considered, and yet the Federal Government is the one to control.
Doctor O'Donovan has shown how that National Council on Education is packed. Forty-eight men from the States, and if they meant to have State control why were not the 48 enough? Why did they have to allow the secretary of education to pack that National Council on Education with 50 more of his appointees? He has 50 votes and is chairman. All the States together have 48. That is what you might call the policy board of this entire enterprise.
Mr. BLACK. Do you think under this bill the secretary of education might go so far as to shift a teacher from one State to another?
Mr. EICHELBERGER. I have not considered that particular point, but I imagine that there would be things done under it which would arouse intense opposition in all the States, and I think that as localities are putting up 78 per cent of all this money that it should be left to them in justice on the financial basis, and also it should be left to local communities because that is the only system under which we can preserve the freedom of this country—to have local self-government.
We can not have one man's ideas in Washington promulgated in this thing and standardized without making the people become what the Germans became under their system. As Doctor Strayer said, if one believed in the German philosophy, the German system is perfect: but our philosophy is different. We believe in the freedom of the individual and the development of the individual and individual initiative, whereas they glorify the State merely as an entity toward which all individuals are merely cogs or microbes or something of the sort-cannon fodder.
Now, they say that efficiency would be promoted by w proposition. I say that if they do not mean control, if they do uut mean to actually force the schemes of the central office upon the States by subsidy payments, by making it to their interest to go into it, that they can do everything that they can possibly do under this bill by supplying this central data that is really needed, by supplying that to the State the same as the census supplies its data to every citizen and every State, and let them take it or leave it as they see fit.
I do not believe that the Bureau of Education should be made an administrative organ in any way. It should remain a research and a statistical proposition, having absolutely no interest in the outcome or the conclusion drawn from the statistics and figures which it gathers, whereas under this bill we find that this department which is administering a sixteen hundred million dollar outfit also gathers its own figures. It bases the States' allotments on the figures which the department itself gathers. I do not think that that is fair.
Mr. BLACK. How do you feel about a department of education without the other feature?
Mr. EICHELBERGER. I would take the present Commissioner of Education and make him, say, an independent and a very dignified official. We will say that he ought to be entirely free from all political influence. Well, we have in one office here--the office of the Comptroller General—that situation. The Comptroller General, I believe, is appointed for 15 years and not eligible for reappointment. He is practically free of all pressure and can only rule on one thing.
Mr. ROBSION. And that is to see that nobody else is free.
Mr. EICHELBERGER. I do not want to go into the merits of that office, but I give it as an illustration that if we had a free commissioner general of education here, to do research work and gather statistics only, who had no power to regulate the school systems in the States-had no power over education in the States- I say that would be a good thing, but not otherwise; not if he goes into some 50–50 scheme. If he is allowed a half dozen 50–50 schemes to start with, they will grow, and we will have the same thing in embryo under that plan as we would have to start off with in this plan. And I think that those features really should be eliminated from H. R. 6582, and it should aim to make this bureau a real research and statistical bureau and not an administrative department.
Give them more money if necessary, but so far as efficiency is concerned we really can not in fairness brag an awful lot about the Federal Government. For example, the bureau which I think is one of the finest bureaus in this Government is the Bureau of the Census. I do not want to be put in the position of criticizing in any way the Bureau of the Census. They have no administrative duties, no Federal-aid schemes. If they had, probably they could get more appropriations to do the work faster; but it is a fact that we usually get the census returns about three years after the date they are gathered. We are getting now occupation statistics taken in 1920 by the Census Bureau. And yet, on the other hand, to make a local comparison, compare your election figures, and that is all handled by these local politicians-plain, common, ordinary ward heelers, as they call them, and so on--and yet 28,000,000 people can vote in the United States one day and the next day you know practically how they voted; and I say if we had a Federal department of elections we might not know the result in five years after the vote is taken. (Laughter.] That is all. I thank you.