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believe that there ought to emanate from Washington and from the Department of Education, ideals and standards and expert supervision and expert help, and financial help where that is called for, that would bring the general level of education throughout the country up toward that height which we believe to be necessary for our very existence as a democracy.
Now, I think that that can be worked out beautifully and harmoniously without bringing up what I have incidentally brought up because I happen to be an American by achievement rather than by birth, and because to me the Nation is the supreme thing. But I think the problem of State's rights and State authority and ultimate individual responsibility is not involved in this at all. It can all be worked out beautifully and harmoniously. I am concerned, however, with the Americanization of all of the elements of the future American, and by that I do not mean simply dealing with the foreigner so-called.
If I may serve as a horrible example, I might say that the foreigner more easily assimilates America than the native does. You need only go to the border States to see how little the American has availed himself of becoming an American through education, and how little the old States have done to make Americans of these old Americans. I am using the word Americanization in that big way, in the sense of making intelligent, responsible men and women, capable of self-direction and self-government, and therefore dependable members of a democracy, and in that sense I believe that a Federal Department of Education could carry forward the work of Americanization which is not only desirable but absolutely essential for the perpetuation of a worth-while democracy.
Miss WILLIAMS. I will call upon at this time Dr. J. A. C. Chandler, president of the College of William and Mary, at Williamsburg, Va.
STATEMENT OF DR. J. A. C. CHANDLER, PRESIDENT OF WIL
LIAM AND MARY COLLEGE, VIRGINIA.
Mr. CHANDLER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I hardly know what to say on this occasion, having come into a meeting where there is so much discussion of constitutional matters. I believe I come from a college that had the first professor of law, George Wythe, who was the first man to determine whether a law was constitutional or unconstitutional, the man who taught John Marshall, who interpreted the laws of America and made the Supreme Court the supreme body in the land in so far as determining whether a law is constitutional or unconstitutional.
I am perfectly willing to leave every law to the Supreme Court of the United States on matters of constitutionality.
Mr. TUCKER. Let me say, Doctor, that you are capable of addressing the Supreme Court, but you are only addressing a committee of Congress now, and we have to determine that question before it gets to the Supreme Court. We would like to have any views, therefore, that you have. We have that to determine before we vote on this bill.
Mr. CHANDLER. I desire to say that the gentleman's ancestor was the successor of George Wythe at the College of William and Mary.
Mr. TUCKER. And studied law under him.
Mr. CHANDLER. And was of a family that was educated at the College.
I want to address myself this morning to two or three things, and I desire to say that I shall be very glad for any questions to be asked and, Mr. Tucker, I will answer them to the best of my ability, although I know I cannot cope with you.
In the first place I look upon the National Government as a union of States. I am a States' rights man.
Mr. TUCKER. Good!
Mr. CHANDLER. And I was born in that faith, and expect to die in that faith. So that I belong to the category of those who believe in States' rights. In my own State we believe that the schools belong primarily to the locality, and that locality must determine in a great measure the extent of the work of the schools.
We do not even make the schools uniform throughout our State; we do not even standardize them throughout our State, and I have
ver favored absolute uniformity in education anywhere, not within my own State, not even within the city where I lived, at least I did not do so when I was superintendent of schools there, because there were certain types of elementary schools in the city in which I was superintendent and in those schools I wanted certain types of instruction given, whereas in other elementary schools in the same city I desired other types of instruction given; but because I did not believe in having uniformity in that city it did not mean for a minute that those schools were not a part of the State system, for the schools of the city of Richmond were a part of the State system.
This bill proposes that we have as many different systems as we have States. In our State we have varying systems as the locality demands. In certain schools we make use of State aid, and in other schools we make no use of State aid. We are not compelled to accept State aid. We can reject State aid when we desire so to do in certain schools, and in other schools we may accept State aid. That is the problem that has confronted us in education everywhere.
Now, addressing myself, first, to the question raised by Mr. Tucker, as I interpret this
bill, I am going to say that I do not consider that this bill established Federal control, but that it proposes to encourage education throughout the United States, it proposes to exercise a persuasive power in certain respects, but never control. Neither do I consider that it interferes with States' rights. A State has a right not to accept one single penny of any money that may be appropriated under Federal aid as proposed by this bill
, and can absolutely reject it. Moreover, I will go so far as to say-I so not know who asked the question-I might say it has a right to abolish the public-school system without interference from the Federal Government.
Mr. TUCKER. Well, you have to make that up with the gentleman who just spoke.
Mr. CHANDLER. Yes; I know; but I am speaking as an individual, just as he was. We are all speaking here as individuals. But I believe my State has a right to abolish the public school system without interference from the Federal Government; that that State can use Federal aid if it should be granted under a bill, or reject it, as it might wish to do.
However, I believe that if any State of the Union were to abolish the public-school system, it would see itself falling so far behind the other States that the mere influence of the other States upon it would compel it to continue the public-school system.
I furthermore believe that if certain States are using Federal aid and certain others are not, that those that do not will eventually come to use it; I will concede that. But that does not grant Federal control.
Now, I am going to make a statement with reference to the first bill that was presented in the Senate of the United States, by Senator Hoke Smith. It was a more centralized bill than this, and I feel that I was responsible for the form of that bill.
Now, the question was raised as to whether that first bill that was introduced did not tend to Federal control, and it might possibly have been so construed, because it was modeled upon the Smith-Hughes bill.
I do not think that the Smith-Hughes bill established Federal control. It did, after a State accepted the provisions of that bill, allow the Federal Board for Vocational Education to say exactly what should be taught and how much time should be given to the various subjects; but, on the other hand, a State was permitted not to use that fund if it so desired, and when that fund was first established and that board was first established only 40 States out of the 48 took advantage of the fund.
That board afterwards found that certain proposals which it made seemed a little too drastic and modified some of those proposals, and, as I understand it, now all 48 States are cooperating in the work with the Federal board. I think that is a proper statement. In other words, this matter of encouraging but not interfering with State rights makes it so that the Federal Government and the State government get together on the proposition of education.
I believe that for our State rights to be interfered with we must be coerced, and I do not see any coercion in this bill or the SmithHughes bill.
That is my position with reference to State rights. But now, to return to the question, is there any need for this bill to be enacted into law? That is the real problem before us. Is there any need for it?
In the first place, we have certain departments of government, such as the Department of State, which deals with foreign affairs, and the departments which deal with national defense, and the departments which deal with communications in various parts of the country, and the Department of Justice, and the department which deals with land questions of all sorts, and many other things, the Department of the Interior. After having established these departments, our Government branches out into departments that would deal with public welfare-agriculture, commerce, and labor.
We are claiming that education is one of the most important of the public welfare movements. We are also claiming that public health is one of the most important of the public welfare movements. We consider education to be the very foundation stone in the development of the citizens of this country, making it possible for them to accomplish in this country and for their States the things that they should, and we believe that something should be done to dignify
education, something should be done to help promote education, and we believe that nothing will help so much as the establishment of a department of education.
Mr. TUCKER. Doctor, that matter has been referred to so often, dignifying education," I do not understand just what you mean
Mr. CHANDLER. Well, take the Bureau of Education. At present the Commissioner of Education reports are to the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, and the Assistant Secretary of the Interior reports to the Secretary of the Interior. Now, what time has the Secretary of the Interior to give to education? He has other matters of importance to attend to.
Mr. TUCKER. I am thinking of the boys and girls; how is their education dignified by putting in a man here as secretary of education?
Mr. CHANDLER. It is dignifying the system of education all over this country, that is what we are thinking about.
I will give you an illustration of what I mean. You ought to have a secretary of education that will deal with the big problems of education when they are presented. Some years ago I had introduced in the General Assembly of Virginia a bill to have a study made of the public school system of the State of Virginia. Well, that bill was defeated, because it carried an appropriation of $10,000. I came back two years afterwards and had that same bill reintroduced, and it was again defeated. I came two years after that and had the same bill reintroduced, cut out the $10,000 and substituted $5,000, and the bill passed. Then I thought I could get Doctor Claxton and the Bureau of Education to furnish me some workers to come to Virginia and help out. But he could not do it; he had no appropriation, although he wanted to do it. Finally, we went out and begged some money and made a study of the school system in Virginia.
That study did a tremendous amount of good. That took place six years ago, and within six years time the schools of Virginia have almost come up to what that study recommended. Our people took that and worked to it as a basis.
Now, it is not Federal interference for a department of education to make a study of types of schools in this country and report on them. That is not Federal interference, it is merely setting before the people of the country the facts of their educational systems so that they may work forward and not go back.
Mr. TUCKER. Does not the Federal Bureau of Education do that now?
Mr. CHANDLER. To a very limited extent.
Mr. CHANDLER. Yes; I will concede that point. They could do a great deal of it if they were given a larger appropriation; but they are so restricted, they are so buried under a great department.
Do you know what I really believe, gentlemen? I believe we have too much centralization, and I am
Mr. TUCKER. Amen.
Mr. CHANDLER. I am looking for a little decentralization. You know a great many things that are being done by the Department of Justice ought to be referred to the States to do it.
It is the same way in education. If we had the Bureau of Education from under the Secretary of the Interior and had a secretary of education who could make his investigations and researches, he could deal directly with the States and talk with them and advise them and use his persuasive power. Now, we have no standing on educational matters because we have no department of education.
So I believe that we need, first of all, to establish a department of education; but I also want to say that I am a great believer in Federal aid.
I do not know that I would have believed in Federal aid a hundred years ago if I had been living at that time, because we had not gone into Federal aid. We had not interfered with the State's right of taxation. We had a clause in the Constitution of the United States that permitted direct taxes to be raised by the Federal Government and to be apportioned among the several States according to the census of the various States. Then, some 20 years ago, I don't know just when it was, we passed a bill to tax incomes, and the Supreme Court very properly declared the bill unconstitutional, and thereupon we proposed an amendment to the Constitution of the United States providing for the taxing of incomes, making a tax on incomes by the Federal Government constitutional, and that amendment was adopted.
Now, the revenues of States are being greatly interfered with by the Federal Government. You place your high income tax-weli, you are not satisfied with that. You are levying a great many commodity taxes still which tend to preclude States from levying commodity taxes. A great many States would levy a tax on moving pictures, except for the fact that the Federal Government is taxing moving pictures.
Mr. FENN. My State has a moving-picture tax.
Mr. CHANDLER. The point I am making is this: The Federal Government has invaded-constitutionally, I do not say unconstitutionally—the field of the States in the matter of taxation, and having done that, raising great sums of money, they have gradually come to say “We are going to help agriculture and they passed the SmithLever bill; and they make large appropriations under the SmithLever bill. They passed the Morrell Act and other bills, and we have Federal aid for roads now, they might be construed as post roads, I don't know whether that would be the construction under the Constitution or not.
At the same time we have the Federal aid for roads and other things, and the proposition is that we are asking for a consideration for education in the same way. We do not ask for it simply to be asking for it, but we ask for it because we need it. We ask for it for five purposes.
We ask for this first of all for Americanization. Fifteen years ago, when I went to the city of Richmond as superintendent of the schools of Richmond, there was no night school system in the State of Virginia. There was no chance to deal with the problem of Americanization of people at work, or with illiterates. The first thing that I proposed to the board of education was that we must have a night school, and the first proposition was to get the illiterate adults into the night school. One of the most interesting things