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No. 72a "Federal Encroachment Upon The Field of Education in Texas," October 14, 1935. American Liberty League. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images Digital Library Services, University of Kentucky Libraries Lexington, Kentucky Am_Lib_Leag_72a These pages may freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. No. 72a "Federal Encroachment Upon The Field of Education in Texas," October 14, 1935. American Liberty League. American Liberty League. Washington, D.C. 1935. This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. â˜… â˜… FEDERAL ENCROACHMENT UPON THE FIELD OF EDUCATION IN TEXAS â˜… â˜… â˜… By J. O. GULEKE AMARILLO, TEXAS Member The Texas State Board of Education (Reprinted by the American Liberty League, T^ational Press Building, Washington, D. C.) â˜… 72.$ [The resolution and statement herein contained were presented to the Board of Education by one of its members at the meeting of_October 14, 1935. Though the Board declined to adopt it, its importance seems to demand publicity. It is privately printed and circulated by a small group of citizens who profoundly realize the danger to free speech, freedom of teaching, and independent thought in the apparent tendency of the Federal Government to parallel our State systems of education and to control State systems through subsidy and propaganda. The resolution and argument are a public record (see Minutes of the Texas State Board of Education) and are privileged matter. The widest use of the documents is invited.] Resolution Whereas it has been officially communicated to the State Boavd of Education by the Director of Federal Emergency Education in Texas that a system of education has been set up through twenty administrative districts encompassing the State of Texas, wherein the Federal Administration is giving or contemplates giving elementary, grade, high school, and college courses to citizens of this State, independent of any administrative control by the State or its educational subdivisions, and, Whereas Federal agencies are carrying on a complete system of vocational education, now in process of enlargement, in the fields of rural rehabilitation, arts and industries, home economics, agriculture, and nursery schools, and is contemplating schools for farmers, and Whereas the creation, maintenance, and administration of a system of public education is peculiarly the function of the State in the exercise of its traditional sovereignty, guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States, vouchsafed in the Constitution of the State of Texas and especially in the annexation compact between the Republic of Texas and the United States, with particular safeguards as to the exclusive sovereignty over its soil and the mineral and landed interests of the Permanent School Fund, and Whereas this sovereignty is impinged upon, transgressed, and jeopardized by this action of the Federal Government, now therefore Be it resolved that the State Board of Education deplores and questions the entry by the Federal Government into the educational field of the State of Texas, and recommends the early conclusion of these emergency measures. 2 The Background of Education in Texas Since the beginning of a policy of public education in America, the field has been the rightful province of the sovereign States instead of the Federal Government, specifically reserved to the States in 1791 by ratification of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which stated, unequivocally, that "powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people." Since there is no mention of education in the Constitution, and since this language is direct and clear, the States developed their own system of education individually. In Texas the idea of public education germinated in her colonial soil. The men who gathered on the Brazos a hundred years ago wrote into our Declaration of Independence against Mexico, as one cause of the revolt, the latter's failure "to establish any public system of education, although it is an axiom in political science," the Declaration reads, "that unless a people are educated and enlightened, it is idle to expect the continuance of civil liberty, or the capacity for self-government. . . ." The Constitution of the Republic of Texas, drafted in March, 1836, provided that Congress should establish "a general system of education." President Mirabeau B. Lamar, in accord with his famous dictum that "cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy," initiated the movement in the law of 1839, which established, for Texas, the principle of school land endowments. The principle was enlarged by the county school land act of 1840, setting aside four leagues for each county. Upon the admission of Texas to the Federal Union, the Constitution of 1845 established the principle of tax-supported schools, and charged the Legislature to "set apart no less than one-tenth of the annual revenue of the State, derivable from taxation, as a perpetual fund," thus providing, ninety years ago, the precedent for the Permanent Fund now held in trust for Texas by the State Board of Education. Furthermore, by terms of the treaty of annexation, Texas, jealous of her sovereignty and rights, retained her public lands intact. In 1876 one-half of the unappropriated public domain was set apart, by a provision in the new Constitu-3 tion, for the Permanent School Fund of the State, with other provisions relating to University and asylum lands. Since that time these funds have accumulated until, at the end of the fiscal year, August 31, 1935, they total $70,549,756.48 in bonds and cash, besides lands which are of great potential value. Of this fund, $47,975,595.88 are in the Permanent School Fund, $21,983,487.50 in the University Fund, while the balance accrues to the State hospitals and asylums. The maintenance of these funds is necessary for the proper and continued support of the educational system of Texas. The continued drain upon the Federal treasury and the wanton expenditures and attendant unbalanced budget have brought us to the brink of monetary inflation, thus threatening the existence of these public trusts held by the State of Texas. Development of Federal Policies As Dr. John J. Tigert, President of the University of Florida and past United States Commissioner of Education has pointed out, there is no constitutional authority for Federal participation in education, and such participation "can be done only under a very specious appeal to the general welfare clause in the preamble." Yet there has been a gradual intrusion of Federal power into this field, beginning with the Ordinance of 1785, which allocated a section of land from each township carved from the Western Territory for the purpose of education. Seventy years later the Federal Government stepped into the picture again. During the Civil War, while the States Rights' men were absent from Congress, the first Morrill Act was passed, July 2, 1862, establishing the policy of land grant endowments to the States for agricultural and mechanical colleges. In 1867 the Federal Department of Education, later called the Bureau of Education, was provided for, and since that time Federal participation has been gradually expanded. In 1914 the Smith-Lever Act was passed to provide for cooperative extension work "in order to aid in diffusing among the people . . ." it was said, "useful and practical information on subjects relating to agriculture and home economics, and to encourage application of the same." Like the original Morrill Act, this, too, was passed under the pressure of war psychology. It established the very objectionable principle of "matching" of Federal funds by State and local funds, which practice has since been widely condemned by the leading educators of the country. This Act not only extended the principle of Federal aid but established a measure of Federal control, in that the entire educational plan, as set up in the various participating States, had to be approved by the Federal agency. In 1917 the Smith-Hughes Act was passed, also under pressure of war-time emergency, carrying on the policies established by the Smith-Lever Act, and expanding them, even to the extent of prescribing the actual months, days and minutes which should be devoted to the subject matter, and prescribing Federal regulation in the training of teachers and provision of equipment. Furthermore, this Act provided for special State boards for vocational education, apart from existing State agencies, and, significantly, carried the principle of Federal participation into the public school systems of the States. And thus the gentle intrusion of the Federal Government into the educational field, beginning in 1862 as an "emergency" measure, has grown to such proportions that it reaches down from the State universities (the land grant colleges) to the public school system, prescribing advances of money that we must make, conditions under which it may be spent, qualifications of the teachers employed, subjects taught under the subsidy, and parallel boards for the direction of State work. Emergency Measures in Education And now today, under guise of emergency in every field, the present National administration has baited the States and local divisions with its billions, until the wide ramifications can hardly be sketched, nor their ultimate effects upon support and determination of policies estimated. By the last of August, 1934, $122,910,358 had been allocated to the educational field by the PWA; beginning in December, 1933, Harry Hopkins set aside $2,000,000 monthly for hiring of teachers under the CWA; in February, 1934, the same bureau was extending aid to 80,000 students, which aid was continued under the FERA, and, this year, under the National Youth Administration, to the extent of $69,705 monthly for Texas. The CWA advanced a total of $60,000,000 to its varied and questionable educational activities, and the FERA $24,415,613 by the end of the 5 fiscal year, 1934, alone. Besides this outpouring of funds, the RFC was authorized by Act of Congress, to lend as much as $75,000,000 to public schools for the payment of salaries due prior to June 1, 1934. Federal subsidy continues to encourage construction of school buildings through the PWA and the WPA. This wholly artificial stimulation will, in some cases, tax the local units alluded to as the beneficiaries beyond ability to pay, thus not only hazarding the future stability of their educational systems through diminished revenues available for salaries and maintenance, but imperiling the security of their bond issues, and, by virtue of the investment of the Permanent Fund of Texas therein, annual per capita apportionment, and hence the entire educational structure of the State. That this is poor economy and really questionable fiscal policy is becoming evident to the educational subdivisions of Texas. Mr. R. S. Menefee, president of the San Antonio Board of Education, is quoted in the public press of October 4 as feeling little concern over the threatened cancellation of PWA grants for buildings, "because," he said, "the PWA grants are so expensive to obtain and so much delay is occasioned in getting them they are not justified. . . ." The recent defeat of the bond issues in Houston is another striking case in point. This is a reassuring sign, though already the Federal Government has enticed some of our districts to build beyond their means, and often beyond their needs, under the spurious reasoning that it was economy to build through a "public gift," when it is a well-known fact that the NRA and other Federal inflationary factors were raising the cost of construction to absorb the grant, in the first place, and the so-called Federal gift is nothing but added indebtedness for the taxpayers, in the second. Another hazard is the purchase of lands for reforestation and other Federal purposes by the National government, which already threatens the support of the schools in eleven East Texas counties, as well as the bonded securities of the areas and the Permanent School Fund; which subject has recently been a matter for legislation by Congress in H. R. 6776, in amendment to the Emergency Farm Mortgage Act of 1933, to enable affected counties to borrow from the Federal Government to meet their obligations; and which provision was vetoed by the President. This veto throws the problem back to the State, the county, the district, and finally the individual citizen, to impress the recipient of Federal largess with the fact that after all public bounty is paid with private fortune. But in other measures, directly affecting the field of education and the right of the State to determine and direct its policies, the Federal Government has ventured, and still ventures, in a way designed to menace State support and control. In other words, under the appeal to â€¢j. "emergency," what was once the timid intrusion I of Federal power has grown to outright uncon- Jstitutional aggression. Various other emergency measures illustrate its spread. Ignoring the United States Office of Education, its administrative avenue, the Federal Government has dumped its so-called educational measures into the laps of political bureaus. We have the National Youth program with its fifty million, spending two and a quarter million for a political, administrative agency, when the U. S. office might have handled it for $50,000. The WPA continues the doubtful measures initiated by CWA and FERA in the field of education, and, upon July 25, announced that the State Administrator is to "consult with the State Superintendent of Instruction" in outlining a program, but that "The full responsibility for the successful State administration of Emergency Education is placed with the State Works Progress Administrator." Furthermore, this order ] makes known, ". . . the Works Progress Adminis-J tration at Washington will prescribe the qualifi-1 cations for and authorize the designation of J certain State Supervisors of Emergency Education to have charge." Anyone may be selected, as teaching certificates are not required. Thus the Federal Government preempts the function of Texas and proceeds to set up its own system of schools designed to give courses in adult education embracing transient education, rural rehabilitation, parent education, nursery education, Civilian Conservation education, and, as well, the several fields of vocational education, consisting of arts and industries, agriculture, and home economics. Teachers are not selected on the basis of qualification and character, but strictly "on the basis of need" to train parents in "understanding of child growth and development," and, it may be, to indoctrinate them through such subjects as labor problems, NRA code, parliamentary law, government economics, worker and government, and so on, with a view to shaping votes for Federal policies. The National Youth Administration is planning a census of unemployed youth, the subsidization of their education, and direction of their apprenticeships. In addition it has, according to Mr. Charles Taussig, the national administrator, the further purpose of maintaining "a direct contact with the electorate of ten years from now. . . ." There are growing doubts as to the wisdom of its proposals. Out of a quota of 444 for Dallas County, only 46 students had been given aid a week ago, and likewise there seems a disinclination to use the funds in San Antonio. But the administrative bureaucracy grows. A year ago only one additional auditor and an assistant handled this work for the entire State, but today there is a State director, a bureau, and a large staff working in office and in the field. Camps for "underprivileged" girls, widely publicized with pictures of the girls, have been established in Texas, where young ladies from relief rolls are given what appears to be an eight weeks' vacation, and taught the niceties of proper table service, outdoor play, and so forth. The administration of this educational program is not lodged with the United States Office of Education, but with a political bureau, which is a complete departure from the administrative standards of education in Texas. The National Youth Administration now proposes to set up college classes in twenty administrative districts covering the State of Texas, where teachers, drawn from the relief rolls on the basis of need, and students drawn from the same source, are to be given work leading to college degrees. For years the colleges and universities of Texas have been trying to develop extension work with carefully outlined courses and selected personnel. To throw the field into the lap of a political agency whose principal purpose is to make "contacts" and dispense Federal funds, would destroy its dignity and its standards. The greatest danger in Federal control is that of indoctrination and subversion. Even today, almost every department of government has its public service divisions, its "contact" men, its field advisors, its highly paid publicity writers, as well as mimeograph, news, mail, and radio services for the purpose of explaining and selling its "program" to the voter. These are simply agencies of propaganda. Their continued existence stands in the way of deliberative judgment upon matters of public concern, and presents a very real threat against the constitutional form of government under which we live. Members of this board will recall the statement of the Director of Federal Emergency Education in this State made at this meeting that farmers' schools were to be organized and conducted. In large measure this duplicates legitimate work of the A. & M. College of Texas and undoubtedly concerns the political policies of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. The Division of Program Planning of the Department of Agriculture is outlining a course of study for farmers' groups and for county agents, through which it intends to carry to the farmers a "social outlook on agriculture," sponsoring cooperatives, and enlisting their support for the government's farm program. The whole plan is apparently conceived upon the categorical assumption that farming, industry, and thought must be regimented, and the Division declares, to quote its original outline: "Cooperation with the government is necessary if agriculture is to engage in social planning and in order to effect a social balance among all groups, economic and other." The "social organization" of this plan aims at "economic democracy," and "adequate social philosophy." The curriculum outline of this proposed course is now in mimeograph form and Federal agents are soliciting the support of teachers employed by this State and its subdivisions. This philosophy is propagated further through the educational programs in Civilian Conservation Camps, where study bulletins are designed to show what the National administration is doing to "help the farmer." Lessons list these aids and suggest as reference material the free publications available from these various bureaus. Apparently this is direct indoctrination in the alleged benefits of these political policies. In order to realize the possibilities for the development of subversive agencies, programs, and plans, reference must be made to Public Resolution No. 11, Seventy-fourth Congress the $4,880,000,000 bill which appropriates $300,-000,000 for "assistance for educational, professional and clerical persons." Besides this vast fund, the President may authorize other expenditures in large amount for alleged educational services. This Administration, acting under the guise of relief, is making educational proposals which are clearly those of indoctrination and subversion. It is coming into our State and setting up a Federal system without standards, which has been here admitted by Mr. A. A. Bullock, the Federal director for Texas, who stated that this program is in no way subject to State or local control. At the same time it is attempting to commandeer State-owned school facilities, State-paid agents and instructors, and even requesting State textbooks. It is an axiom in political science that decentralization is proof against indoctrination, and many educational authorities have warned that subversion is a very real danger of Federal participation. It is also a well established fact that money collected by taxation will be expended more wisely and economically near its source. It follows, too, that Federal subsidy means loss of local interest and eventual destruction of local financial support. The educational world, in bargaining local support against Federal subsidy, is courting regimentation and economic suicide. . . . Mr. Bullock's official statement before this Board as director of Federal Emergency Education and a staff member of the Works Progress Administration in Texas, in my opinion, requires that the State Board of Education should assert that it does not look with favor upon this unwarranted and illegal aggression into the field of education, expressly reserved unto the people of this State by the Constitution of the United States. The future existence of this Board; the proper discharge of its functions under the Constitution of Texas; the preservation of its educational autonomy; the safeguarding of the assets of the Permanent School Fund and the landed and mineral resources incident thereto; and the protection of our young citizens against subversion from the ideals of the men, who, in their zeal for constitutional liberty, founded this Republic, prompts me to make this statement. 10