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been stressed during my attendance on your committee hearings, and that is, that the State departments of education have their State boards of education and these State boards of education are the governing and controlling body in the various States. The power of the State board of education is far above the power of Congress with reference to educational matters inside the State. I make the point, therefore, respectfully, that it is inappropriate to enact legislation for the establishment of Federal arrangements for participation on the part of the Federal Government in the work of the States without having had consolidation with these various State boards of education. I have brought just a few papers here which show the organization of these State boards of education. Here is Virginia just below us here, which has a very fine man as State superintendent. He is president of the State board of education. The next member of the State board of education is secretary, the third member is the governor of the State, and the fourth member is the attorney general of the State. I need not read all the other members, the president of the university, etc. It stands to reason that in the State of Virginia, inasmuch as the State board of education has superior power over anything that Congress' may create, that that State board of education in Virginia will not wish to be consolidated or wish to be party to the arrangements made for the Federal Government in the field of education. Turn to the States of Delaware and Maryland. For instance, in Maryland, the president is Mr. Fitzhugh, the secretary, the State superintendent, Mr. Cook, one of the most brilliant and far-sighted of our State superintendents; Mr. Channing, who is an old friend of mine, one of the leading lawyers of the State, and Dr. J. M. T. Finney. I presume every one of you know Doctor Finney, as he was a leader in our great medical service during the war, one of the finest men there. It
does not stand to reason that Doctor Finney will wish to have legislation arranged for and passed creating an arrangement by which the Federal Government will cooperate with Maryland in Maryland education without consultation with him, with reference to what those arrangements are.
Therefore, my earnest and sincere request to the committee is that arrangements be made for consultation throughout the United States with State boards of education. There are 48 States. It is proposed to have a council of 15 members here by the Federal Government, when there are 48 States, and when each State in some way or other has arrangements for the leadership of education within its borders. And here is a hand-picked council of 15 members representing the Federal Government in its participation with those States. Let the council meet, in accordance with the Sterling-Reed bill, with 48 State representatives. That is the basis for a council, and add to them representatives from the other interests, like the Catholic interests and the general public, so that such gentlemen as we have had here may gain the ground floor in the national council relative to education, but I beg of you not to move forward, because it will fail in the end if you do, without consultation with the State boards of education.
Mr. BLACK. Do you think we should invite them here?
Mr. FAIRCHILD. I think it could be done by correspondence through State superintendents and State commissioners. When you have it framed, the next step will be to refer it to the State superintendente
and State commissioners and submitted by them to their State boards of education for report by letter.
Mr. TUCKER. This bill provides that it shall not apply to any State until accepted by the legislature of the State. Is it your idea that it should be submitted to the legislature or the State board?
Mr. FAIRCHILD. Not the legislature, but the State board of education, a mall body created by law, by the legislature, which heads the educational system in the State.
The CHAIRMAN. Your idea is that before we draft a bill, or if we make a tentative draft of a bill, it should be submitted to the State boards before we take final action.
Mr. FAIRCHILD. That is what I would advise. After you have made a tentative draft by correspondence, submit it to the State superintendents and commissioners and ask them to submit it to the State boards of education for consideration and report.
Mr. TUCKER. I think that is a very good suggestion.
Mr. FAIRCHILD. For report to the committees of Congress. I make the point that is necessary, obligatory, proper, and in every way wise, because no matter the legislative basis it can not create any organization or any person, even though he be a Secretary of the President's Cabinet, that is superior in authority and leadership in the States to the State board of education and its employees, the State superintendent, or State commissioner. As to having superior power, the superior power lies with the State, and if the bill itself recognizes superior power lies with the State, how can it be proper for Congress to pass legislation and establish machinery for Federal cooperation with the States without first consulting with the States?
Mr. BLACK. Do you think the bill in its present form evidences any danger of Federal control?
Mr. FAIRCHILD. I want to say most emphatically, and I can not put it too strongly in words, that these features of the bill which constitute the appropriation riders are a vital control over States and should not by any manner of means be passed, under any circumstances whatever. They do not belong in the bill.
Mr. TUCKER. The appropriations ?
Mr. FAIRCHILD. The appropriations are hooked up in one paragraph with four provisos, which constitute control riders. That policy is wrong:
Mr. BLACK. What do you think of the investigating features in the bill giving the Department of Education and the Secretary power to make certain investigations?
Mr. FAIRCHILD. These investigations in the bill have nothing to do with investigations looking to control or busybody work, but the word “investigation” is used as a term equivalent to research, which means fundamental investigations, fundamental studies, with a view to enlightenment and assistance. If any change of wording is necessary in order to prevent any such misunderstanding, it should be made.
Mr. BLACK. That is not the idea; the idea is not along the busybody line.
Mr. FAIRCHILD. If there are any necessary changes in wording to overcome that misinterpretation, the changes should be made.
Mr. BLACK. Do you think this bill is very badly needed?
Mr. FAIRCHILD. I think so. I think the bill is very badly needed in its research features and in its council. We have 48 States, and my relationships are straight with the State departments of education, everywhere--California, the South, etc. I know the situation very well with recent information. They are going alone. The different States are going alone, the State superintendents and the State commissioners with their independent organizations. I think that fact has never been brought before the committee. The State superintendents and State commissioners have their independent organization. They meet at the same time the National Educational Association meets but meet independently. Their proposition now is, and they will probably realize that next year, an independent meeting of three days by themselves at some central point, and as State superintendents and State commissioners they will consider the welfare of the whole Nation and work that is to be done as a whole for the Nation. The fact that an organization exists including nobody but the State superintendents and State commissioners will facilitate your consultation with these gentlemen.
Mr. BLACK. They can do that now with the Bureau of Education without any legislation.
Mr. FAIRCHILD. They can do that. When they do it, it will not be done with reference to the Bureau of Education; it will be done independently, on their own money, etc. The thing to do is to form a Federal council, creating the machinery by which the State superintendents and State commissioners can act as a Federal council, and may invite to associate with themselves their leading educators and representatives of the different interests in education, like the Catholic interests, and then associate also representatives from the general public. Of course, there are representatives from the general public on the boards of education, so it is a fact that the general public is now included. The general public is included in the boards of education. And then put in education at large, which includes the Catholic and Lutheran interests, and private schools; and with the State commissioners and superintendents you would have a perfectly logical and fundamental council through which important problems can be threshed out and questions and plans for Federal aid can be thoroughly digested and finally put into shape for practical use.
I thank you very much, gentlemen.
The CHAIRMAN. We will adjourn to next Wednesday, when the vocational board desires to be heard.
(Thereupon, at 12.15 o'clock p. m., the committee adjourned to meet again at 10 o'clock a. m., Wednesday, May 14, 1924.)
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION,
Wednesday, May 14, 1924.
This morning we are giving a hearing to Mr. Wright, Director of the Federal
Board for Vocational Education. He desires to present certain facts in regard to the position of that board in reference to this whole matter of the relation of the Federal Government to education. We shall be glad to hear what Mr. Wright or any of the witnesses who are present may have to say.
STATEMENT OF MR. J. C. WRIGHT, DIRECTOR FEDERAL
BOARD FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
Mr. WRIGHT. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the Committee on Education, I shall submit a very brief introductory statement to you, and then call upon those who have come here to-day for the purpose of making known to you their viewpoint on the question to be discussed. I shall then submit to you, with your permission, a number of telegrams, letters, and statements which have been received from a number of persons who found it impossible to attend the hearing.
These statements were prepared in response to the request contained in the following letter from the chairman of the committee. (The letter referred to is as follows:)
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION,
Washington, D. C., May 3, 1924. DEAR MR. WRIGHT: As you are probably aware, the Committee on Education has been considering for some time past the bills known as H. R. 3923, H. R. 5795, and H. R. 6582. All of these measures affect, in one way or another, the Federal Board for Vocational Education, of which you are director.
Before reaching any conclusion as to the best course to adopt the committee has deemed it advisable to hear the views of all available persons qualified to testify as to the merits of the measure in hand, and also the persons whose boards or departments are affected by the measures.
Therefore the committee would be glad if you and such other persons as you may designate would find it convenient to appear before the committee on May 14, at 10 o'clock in the morning, for the purpose of giving the committee your views as to the advisability of incorporating the work of the Federal Board for Vocational Education within the Bureau or Department of Education in the foregoing bills. Very sincerely yours,
FRED W. DALLINGER, Chairman. Mr. WRIGHT. It will be noted in the last paragraph of the above letter that no questions are raised as to the desirability of vocational education or civilian rehabilitation, of Federal aid for both purposes, of the establishment of a department of education and welfare, or a department of education, or of the providing of additional funds for the use of the Bureau of Education, or other changes or modifications which are proposed in the bills referred to in the letter. It has been understood that the request of the committee, as stated in the letter, refers solely to the question as to whether the work of vocational education and civilian rehabilitation could be carried on in ways which could be of greater service to the country under tho present organization of an independent representative board, or through the abolishment of such a board and the incorporation of its activities into some Government department, or through some other plan which would change the present organization.
In accordance with the invitation contained in the last paragraph of the letter from the chairman that "the committee would be glad if you and such other persons as you may designate would find it
convenient to appear before the committee on May 14 for the purpose of giving the committee your views as to the advisability of incorporating the work of the Federal Board for Vocational Education within the bureau or department of education provided in the foregoing bills,” copies of the chairman's letter were sent to all directors of State boards of vocational education and to a limited number of other people who, by virtue of their contact with vocational education or with the work of the Federal Board for Vocational Education, would be particularly interested in the subject of the hearing and would be particularly well qualified to give the committee suggestions and information.
Since it seems probable that the time of the committee will be fully occupied with those who desire to express their views in person, and especially since some of them have come a long distance and have limited time at their disposal, with the permission of the chairman a more formal statement will be filled for the records of the committee instead of being read at this hearing.
In the preparation of this statement it has been assumed that the Committee would be essentially interested in securing suggestions and expressions of opinion with regard to (1) the validity of the reasons which led Congress to establish the present organization as incorporated in the vocational education act, (2) the degree to which the functioning of that organization has shown that the principles on which the action of Congress was based have been shown to be correct in actual practice since the date of the passage of the vocational education act, and (3) the degree to which, at the present time, those reasons still exist, and the further development of vocational education would be retarded (or promoted) by the abolishment of the present independent representative board and the transfer of the responsibilities discharged by that board to a Government department.
I will read to you one statement received from one who could not be present, as indicating the character of the responses which, with your permission, will be inserted in the record. This statement was submitted by Mr. George W. Reavis, State director for vocational education, Jefferson City, Mo.
(The statement referred to is as follows:)
STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY GEORGE W. REAVIS, STATE DIRECTOR FOR VOCA
TIONAL EDUCATION, JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. I am not one of those who believe the interest of vocational education and civilian vocational rehabilitation would be better served by abolishing the present Federal Board for Vocational Education and transferring the administration of these to the Bureau of Education or a department of education as contemplated in House bills 3923, 5796, and 6582. My reasons for assuming this position are as follows:
1. The Federal board as at present organized has as its members men representing the different groups served by the Federal subsidy.
2. This fact, it seems to me, places the work in a close and intimate relation with the people served.
3. Agriculture, labor, manufacture, and commerce, and education are each represented on the board and it is natural to presume that each member holds a vital relation with the group he represents and can plan, devise, and execute policies looking to the practical expansion of the big program much more effectively than could an organization not so composed.
4. The work is still new and the program should be allowed to continue as at present, in my opinion, until it has been more firmly fixed and grounded in the