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enumerated in the two divisions relating to education and health. Teaching children the fundamentals of health, how to take care of their bodies, how to exercise, what to eat, etc., are matters of education, and it seems to me that all essential subjects could be covered in this bill under the broad subject, education. Furthermore, if the Dallinger bill should be reported, in my judgment, you should eliminate the Veterans' Bureau. The main activities of that bureau are not educational. The educational features of that bureau could very well be provided for in the department of education. It could be administered upon a cooperative basis between the department charged with the function of providing for the needs of the veterans and the department of education.
On the other hand, if this bill, or the Towner-Sterling bill, is reported, then, in my judgment, you should incorporate in it a provision that would turn over to the education department at once the powers and functions of the Federal Board for Vocational Education. That board has direct administrative and regulatory powers, and that board has, during the years in which this
measure has been in operation, been setting standards in all of the States of the country.
Mr. TUCKER. I thought that this bill embraced pretty much all of that.
Doctor FINEGAN. It gives Congress the power to transfer that board, but, in my judgment, it ought to be transferred at once and in the bill.
I thank you gentlemen for your attention.
Mr. TUCKER. Before you sit down, let me say that I have been very much interested in your statement, and I would like to ask you a few questions. You said that from your experience as a State officer you thought that education should be kept under the control of the State government.
Doctor FINEGAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. TUCKER. This bill prescribes, as one of the conditions under which a State can come in under it, that the State must make provision for a 24-week school term.
Doctor FINEGAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. TUCKER. That, you say, and I agree with you entirely, is a very proper term, and it certainly ought not to be any less than that, but all of the States do not have that provision.
Doctor FINEGAN. Do you mean that they do not have compulsory attendance laws?
Mr. TUCKER. No; all of them do not have a 24-week term for public schools. Now, you say that that is a reasonable condition, because everybody recognizes that a 24-week term is a very limited term, to say the least, but if we put that condition in the bill, do we not to that extent, or does not the Federal Government to that extent, control education in the States?
Doctor FINEGAN. Technically, Mr. Tucker, you are right. You are right to that extent, but it is perfectly obvious that the act does not control the State in this respect. The State would not receive funds unless it does maintain school for 24 weeks. To that extent your proposition is sound.
Mr. TÜCKER. I mention that for this reason: This bill is predicated upon the right of the Federal Government in giving money to prescribe conditions with the gift. If this bill should be passed, it would last for two years, and after two years another bill would come up, and the same power of the Federal Government to prescribe conditions would exist then. Of course, we do not know what the conditions then would be or what conditions would be then prescribed.
Doctor FINEGAN. That would be true whether you put such a provision in the bill or not There is nothing to bar citizens from coming in two years from now and asking for the enactment of a bill
; but, of course, you Members of Congress would then have the right to exercise your judgment on such policy in voting upon the enactment of a law of that character.
Mr. TUCKER. But what I am after is this: If we start with this principle and certainly it is a correct one that when a man gives money he has the right to make the conditions on which it is givenif the Federal Government claims that right, could they not make any other conditions after this system starts, and in that way could they not practically control it? For instance, we have in our southern country a serious question about schools, because we can not have mixed schools in the South; but suppose the next bill that comes up says that any State that accepts these conditions for the sake of economy must have mixed schools.
Doctor FINEGAN. I think that in that event this is what you would find: That the educational leaders throughout the country would come here and ask that that bill be killed, because it would be such a direct interference with the State's prerogatives in education that the educational leaders in the States would not stand for it.
Mr. TUCKER. I wish I thought that; but with only 17 States in the Union with laws against mixed schools and 31 States allowing. mixed schools, I should greatly fear it.
Doctor FINEGAN. I should not. I should be willing to put my, self on record as saying that I would be one man to come here and ask Congress not to enact legislation of that kind. That would be an interference with State prerogatives and should be left absolutely to the States.
Mr. LOWREY. I am frank to say that I find that there are expressions of fear that there will be a tendency and a very great tendency to interfere with church schools, or with the various denominations in their educational plans. I am not expressing my own feeling upon that, but I am expressing a suggestion that has come to me from several men in whom I have great confidence and for whom I have great respect, and who are deeply interested in denominational schools or the church schools of the different denominations.
Doctor FINEGAN, My thought upon that question is just this: The history of the development of the State departments of education in the several States shows that there has not been the effort in the States by the State authorities to reach out and interfere in any way whatever with church schools, and I think you will find among fair minded men everywhere that general feeling.
Mr. BLACK. You except Oregon from that statement, do you not?
Doctor FINEGAN. No, sir; as I understand the situation in Oregon, the State department of education was not a party to that controversy.
I am talking about the legal State authorities in charge of education, and the history of the country shows that they have never interfered with the rights of those parents who have a conscientious belief that they want church schools and who want their children to attend them. I do not think there is any man of sense or experience in administration of schools who would attempt it. I think that is an anticipated fear that would never crystallize and that would never be raised.
Mr. BLACK. Do you not think that the crying need is adequate appropriations for the development of education, rather than this suggested department of bureau?
Doctor FINEGAN. My thought upon that is that if we can have but one thing to-day, it would be better to create the department. I think that is of more importance than the appropriations.
The CHAIRMAN. In your opinion, is there any State in the Union that is financially unable to give its children proper education, and, if so, please state to the committee what States are financially unable to do that.
Doctor FINEGAN. That is a rather difficult as well as a delicate question. It involves an analysis of several factors of each of the 48 States. I am quite willing to go on record as saying from the knowledge I have of public education over the country, that there is not a State in the Union which does not have a school system that is adequate to present demands or that is according to all of the children of such State their inherent right to an equal opportunity in education facilities.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that because the States are unable to do it?
Doctor FINEGAN. I think that you will find that some of the States are not financially able to provide such schools. On that question there is another fact that you have got to bear in mind, and that is that Congress has been reaching out in the last 10 years and taxing the resources of the States. Congress has been taking from the States taxes which were never contemplated for Federal purposes except to meet emergencies, and these taxes run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. If the State of Pennsylvania could have all of the money which she has paid in taxes to the Federal Government in the last eight years, and could fund that amount at 4 per cent, she would have a sufficient income to maintain perpetually the school system of the State under present expenditures. The States had all of those sources to draw from in maintaining their school system previous to the time when Congress reached out and taxed such sources for Federal purposes.
Mr. BLACK. Is this proposition upon the theory of the State contributing funds to the Federal Government for these purposes, or is it upon the theory of the contribution of Federal funds to the States? In other words, is this bill another system of taxing the States for what would be a Federal function?
Doctor FINEGAN. No, sir; I think it is quite the reverse.
The CHAIRMAN. Your State would be contributing a greater amount than it would receive.
Doctor FINEGAN. Yes, sir; and that would apply to New York.
Mr. TUCKER. You stated that there were 5,000,000 children last year who did not go to school.
Doctor FINEGAN. What I meant by that was that if you should take the school registers and ascertain the number who were out every day, the number would be 5,000,000. I did not mean that there were 5,000,000 children who were not enrolled.
Mr. TUCKER. What I wanted to ask you was whether you anticipated that situation would be remedied by this bill?
Doctor FINEGAN. I do not expect a remedy for that through this bill further than this, that I think this bill would create a wholesome atmosphere in every State in the Union that would be productive of educational results. I think that it would stimulate the State authorities in their educational activities and interests including the enforcement of the compulsory attendance statutes, which of course, rests very largely upon the public sentiment in every community.
Mr. TUCKER. Of course, with that great number of children out of school—and you have already expressed the view that Congress would be perfectly justified in providing in this bill for a 24-week school term-in view of the importance of that question, might not Congress in another session say that we will make it a condition of this bill that the States must keep those 5,000,000 children in school?
Doctor FINEGAN. I think you do not quite get my point on that. The impression I wanted to get over to this committee was that here was a great social problem and a great educational problem, and one in which citizens everywhere have an interest. It is one in which the National Government itself may very well be concerned, and anything that the National Government might do for the purpose of stimulating action in the States, and which it could legitimately do, I think should be done. I should oppose vigorously the definite proposition that the Congress should enact a law, even if it had the constitutional right, requiring a school term of 24 weeks or a compulsory attendance law. It seems entirely proper for the Federal Government to aid those tes which will maintain a 24-week term.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand that the original plan of this bill was that the States should be asked to do more than they are now doing, and that the Federal Government would then match them to that extent, but under the bill as now drawn the State can be credited with what they are now doing. Now, where does the stimulus come under that arrangement?
Doctor FINEGAN. I have been wholly conversant with the measure from the beginning, and there have been some modifications and changes in the bill, which will always be made in any proposition of this kind, before you. For instance, take a group of school men who sit down to discuss this measure, or for that matter, we might come here a year from now and go over this measure, and
would find that some of us would desire slight modifications here and there. Now, the stimulus under this bill would be that here is a department of the Federal Government operating in the interest of the entire country. That department is interested in aiding the States to develop the highest type of public school systems that can be maintained. The State departments of education are constantly going to their legislatures and asking for increased funds. They want to develop various phases of their systems of education, and it is essential to have increased funds. The representatives of these departments are confronted with the fact, that everything is costing more, and that the Federal Government has absorbed and taken from the States sources of State taxation. The Federal Government is, however, making appropriations for public education. The State education department would say we shall need $200,000 increase to develop the State's program but we shall get $100,000 from the Fed
eral Government. This has been the result in the case of increased funds from the Federal Government for vocational education. The result would be the same for all educational enterprises.
The CHAIRMAX. If the bill provided that if the States would raise an additional sum over and above what they are now expending for education, then the Federal Government would match that amount, there would be some stimulus afforded the States, but I do not see where there would be any stimulus if we are not asking them to do any more than they are now doing.
Doctor FINEGAN. It would be more than they are now doing.
The CHAIRMAN. Then why not provide that it shall be more before they can get any Federal funds." That was done in the case of the Federal Board for Vocational Education.
Doctor FINEGAN. I have no objection to that plan if you desire to incorporate it in the bill, but I am not asking you to do that. Let me make myself clear on that point. I represent a State, and I go before the legislature and say to the finance committee, "We need an increase of $500,000 to develop our program next year, but we are going to get an increase from the Federal Government of $200,000. We shall need but $300,000 from the State." The mere fact that there is a substantial contribution coming from the Federal Government would give the committee a more liberal viewpoint than the committee would possess were it called upon for the full $500,000.
The CHAIRMAN. If you had a certain amount last year for educational purposes, and went before the legislature and said, "If you will give me $100,000 or $200,000 more than you gave me last year, the Federal Government will give you an equal amount,” that would be a stimulus to action.
Doctor FINEGAN. Yes; and it would be a stimulus if I could go in and say to the committee, “What we are going to get from the Federal Government will enable us to carry out our program on a smaller appropriation from the State than would be required if the State were required to make the entire appropriation.
The CHAIRMAN. I should think it would be just the other way. I think they would be more likely to say that the Federal Government will give so much, and therefore we will cut your appropriation down.
Doctor FINEGAN. That has not been the history of appropriations by States for public education since the vocational education law was enacted.
The CHAIRMAN. But you have never had anything like this.
Doctor FINEGAN. We have had it for several years under the vocational education law.
The CHAIRMAN. I am talking about the Federal Government now. The other funds for educational purposes were appropriated upon the 50–50 basis. That was true in the case of the Federal Board for Vocational Education, which was a new proposition. There the Federal Government said to the States, “If you will appropriate so much money for this purpose, we will match you.” In this case, where you have an existing system of public schools the situation is different. I have served in both branches of the Massachusetts legislative body myself, and I think I know something about the psychology of members of the legislature. I fail to see where any stimulus would come under a bill drawn like this one.