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In regard to the general policy that apparently guided the drafting is S. 1940, the American Federation of Labor feels that it is neither justifiable nor equitable to deny veterans serving on or after June 27, 1950, the same benefits that were granted to World War II veterans. Many of the veterans who will be covered by the proposed legislation will have served in Korea. The sacrifices made and the hardships endured by our servicemen battling the Communists in open warfare have been equal, if not greater in many instances, to those in World War II. Many of the veterans that will be covered by S. 1940 are now serving in Europe, within the shadow of Soviet militarism. We see no valid reason for discrimination against these veterans.
It is extremely doubtful that by making the veteran pay one-half of his tuition the GI bill will tend to become “self-policing.” The expenditure of Government funds entails the responsibility by the Government rather than the recipient to see that the funds are applied in accordance with the intent of the authorizing legislation. We feel that economy can be attained by eliminating the graft and corruption, $2,625,232 being discovered in audits made by the General Accounting Office in the schools of one State, and not by cutting the tuition payments and shortening the length of training available to the veteran.
The administrative difficulties and the possibility of unfair decisions involved in the “interruption of training" clause in S. 1940 causes us to recommend its elmination from the bill. Experience in the early days of Public Law 346 prompted similar action. The only qualifying considerations for benefits should be the desire of the veteran to acquire education or training and the attainment of satisfactory progress toward his objective.
There are provisions in S. 1940 that tend to discriminate against veterans enrolled in apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs.
Paragraph 6, section (a), lines 18-19 on page 11, provide a lower level of subsistence payments for enrollees in part-time institutional training, on-the-job training, and apprenticeship training. We believe that the provisions regulating subsistence payments should be uniform for all veterans, regardless of the type of training or program in which they are enrolled. The maximum income that a veteran may derive from subsistence plus productive labor, as set forth in paragraph 6, section (a) lines 18–20 on page 12, should be the only guide for decreasing subsistence payments below a uniform minimum level. The formula set forth in paragraph 6, section (a) beginning on line 21 of page 11, which reduces the subsistence paid to veterans in institutional on-farm training, apprenticeship training, and on-the-job training every 4 months appears to be unnecessary, and its operation would cause undue complications. Apprentices in bona fide training programs have their wage rates raised every 6 months (rather than 4 months), depending on their progress. In addition, section (a) of paragraph 6 sets a maximum income that any veteran may receive from subsistence plus wages.
Paragraph 6, section (b) of S. 1940 sets a minimum of 36 hours per week for full-time training in trade schools, on-the-job training, and apprenticeship training. In many industries a work week of less than 36 hours has been set through collective bargaining. In fact, several collective bargaining agreements provide for workweeks of 30 hours and less, to a minimum of 2312 hours. Veterans training in establishments under such collective bargaining agreements have been unable to secure full-time subsistence allowances due to the 36 hour minimum, which is also contained in the present law. The American Federation of Labor strongly urges that paragraph 6, section (b) be changed to read as follows:
“For the purpose of this part, a trade or technical course, offered on a clockhour basis below college level, shall be considered a full-time course when a minimum of thirty-six hours per week of attendance is required. For training in those occupations which are customarily learned through apprenticeship or other training on-the-job, full-time training will consist of the standard workweek of the establishment at which training is pursued, but not less than thirty-six hours per week, except where a standard workweek of less than thirtysix hours has been established as a result of bona fide collective bargaining between employers and employees.”.
We hope that the committee, in its sincere attempt to extend education and training benefits to veterans serving on or after June 27, 1950, on a sound basis, will favorably consider the recommendations of the American Federation of Labor-an organization long devoted to the advancement of public education and vocational training.
LETTER FROM MILITARY ORDER OF THE PURPLE HEART, WASHINGTON, D. C.
SEPTEMBER 18, 1951. The Honorable JAMES E. MURRAY,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. SIR: The National Organization of the Military Order of the Purple Heart at its last convention has gone on record as approving S. 1940, reopening education and training benefits for those who served in naval or air service after June 1950. We feel that this will give the boys who were taken out of school a chance to finish their schooling, and that this is a most worthy cause. Respectfully yours,
MILITARY ORDER OF THE PURPLE HEART,
LETTER FROM NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHIEF STATE SCHOOL OFFICERS ENCLOSING
THREE LETTERS FROM SUPERINTENDENTS OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION IN NORTH CAROLINA, CALIFORNIA, AND OHIO
OCTOBER 11, 1951. Mr. PHILIP RODGERS, Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. RODGERS : In accordance with our telephone conversation this afternoon with Mr. Heerlein, we are enclosing for the record letters on S. 1940 from the superintendents of public instruction from the States of North Carolina, California, and Ohio.
We appreciate this opportunity to submit these letters for the record of the hearings on S. 1940. Sincerely yours,
EDGAR FULLER, Executive Secretary.
OCTOBER 4, 1951. Dr. EDGAR FULLER, Executive Secretary, National Council of Chief State School Officers,
Washington 6, D. C. DEAR DR. FULLER: I have read very carefully your testimony in connection with S. 1940, and I am writing to say that I am in hearty agreement with the position which you have taken. I do believe that a GI scholarship program administered through the United States Office of Education and coordinated with other scholarship programs as suggested in your letter would be the most effective way to handle what I believe to be a national responsibility. It is unthinkable that any matter relating to any phase of the administration of education within the several States should not provide responsibility and discretion for proper administrative officials within the States. This is a principle the preservation of which we must watch carefully in all educational legislation at the Federal level if we are to maintain that democratic organization through which educational progress has been fostered in the several States of the Union since the inception of our Federal Government. With best wishes and kindest personal regards, I am Very truly yours,
CLYDE A. ERWIN,
State of North Carolina.
OCTOBER 1, 1951. Dr. EDGAR FULLER, Executive Secretary, National Council of Chief State School Officers,
Washington 6, D. C. DEAR DR. FULLER: This is in reply to your letter dated September 20, 1951, in which you enclosed a copy of your testimony on Senate bill 1940 presented September 19, 1951, before the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare.
After having carefully analyzed s. 1940, and conferred with staff members engaged in the veterans' education program, I wholeheartedly concur with the comments you have so well presented in opposition to the bill and recommend the substitution of a more desirable bill for consideration. Staff members have advised me that the National Association of State Approval Agencies in cooperation with the Teague Congressional Committee are preparing a bill which will more nearly reflect the wishes of those who are most concerned with providing an adequate educational program for veterans, and thus eliminate the many objectionable features to be found in the present bill. I am concerned with any proposed measure which carries provisions for possible Federal control over education in general, and the veterans' education in particular. I am in favor of educational benfits or scholarships to veterans of the present conflict; but opposed to any legislation which would attempt to restrict the veterans' education to the extent that it would deny educational opportunities to many deserving veterans.
We in California have had our share of the problems with the Veterans' Administration in the administration of the current law, both in the capacity of a State approval agency, and in the capacity of negotiating contracts and agreements with the Veterans' Administration for and on behalf of the public schools of California. We have seen many arbitrary decisions imposed by the Veterans' Administration in the administration of the program. Public and private schools have been besieged with instructions and regulations making it almost impossible to keep abreast of the many changes. We have noted with some apprehension the gradual trend of the Veterans' Administration to impose through its many instructions and regulations greater control over the educational program. The Veterans' Administration has placed numerous interpretations on Public Law 346, which I am sure were never intended by the framers of the Act. It appears that such restrictions and interpretations have been dictated by Veterans' Administration officials without regard to educational soundness or the veterans' welfare. It therefore seems that in the consideration of an educational bill for those who are in the present emergency, it should be made certain that there shall be no duplication of the mistakes or abuses of the past.
Our strongest opposition to S. 1940 is in the authority given to the Veterans' Administration in areas of educational activities which should be the sole responsibility of the State approval agency. We have prepared some comments on the various provisions of the bill which are indicated below:
1. We favor the deletion of a limiting age for entitlement and any provision which stipulates that the education or training was interrupted by reason of entrance into the service. We feel that the best interest of the country and the individual are served by placing no requirements for benefits on the basis of age, actual interruption of study, or need.
2. We do not see any particular justification for the change in the period of time allowed for initiating training. The requirement applicable to World War II veterans of 4 years after discharge or a certain date (July 25, 1951), whichever is later, seems to be a more reasonable period for initiating training than the proposed period of 2 years under S. 1940.
3. We note with concern the provision of the bill which states, “From time to time the Administrator shall secure from the appropriate agency of each State a list of the educational and training institutions (including industrial establishments) within such jurisdiction which are qualified and equipped to furnish education or training, with such additional ones as may be recognized and approved by the Administrator, shall be deemed qualified and approved to furnish education or training to such persons
We see in this provision of the bill limitations placed upon the State approval agencies' responsibilities, even to the extent that they may become meaningless by the very fact that their authority can be supplemented or overruled by the decision of the Veterans' Administration Administrator. We suggest that the recommendations proposed by the National Association of State Approval Agencies be substituted for the abovementioned section of the bill. Their recommendation provides that “The chief executive of each of the several States or Territories shall designate some agency or agencies of the State or Territorial governments to act as approval and supervising agency or agencies for all institutions or establishments seeking to qualify to offer training to veterans within the purview of this act. In approving institutions, such agencies shall not be limited to the minimum requirements set forth in this act, but may add further requirements or restrictions in keeping with the educational policies of the individual States or Territories. The findings of the State approval agencies as to such requirements shall be final.”
4. Repeatedly throughout the bill we find statements to the effect that when the Administrator finds certain conditions existing or certain requirements being met he may take appropriate action which in numerous instances calls for the judgment of those closer to the educational program. For example, the decision as to whether the conduct or progress of a veteran is satisfactory according to the regularly prescribed standards and practices of the institution is left to the judgment of the Administrator rather than to the judgment of the institution. Likewise, it is stated in the bill that no school or course shall be approved unless the Administrator finds that it was in operation for a period of 1 year immediately prior to the date of approval. It should be the State approval agencies' responsibility to determine as to whether the school or the course meets the above requirements. We also feel that the State approval agency should have the sole responsibility of approving any new or existing institution if it is essential to meet the requirements of the veterans in the particular State rather than leaving the approval to the discretion of the Administrator after the institution has been certified by the State approval agency on the basis of essentiality. On page 24, line 20 of S. 1940 we again note the authority being given to the Administrator to refuse the awarding of benefits under the act if he finds that the institution is not meeting the educational requirements.
5. We are of the opinion that the trade or technical courses offered on a clockhour basis below the college level, for training in those occupations which are customarily learned through apprenticeship or other training of the on-the-job type, should be considered full-time courses when a minimum of 30 hours per week of attendance is required rather than the 36 hours minimum as prescribed in S. 1940.
We could enumerate further objections to the bill but we feel, as you do, that there are certain fundamental principles which must be clarified before considering other particulars of the bill.
We in California are quite proud of the manner in which we have supervised the veterans' educational program in the State. The State board of education has developed a well-defined and an extensive set of regulations pertaining to the approval of institutions for the training of veterans under Public Law 346, as amended. The regulations are continuously under the scrutiny of the staff members for possible improvement and recommendations for changes. We are enclosing a copy of title 5, subchapter 6, of the California Administrative Code, which pertains to the approval of institutions for the education and training of veterans under Public Law 346, as amended.
May I again commend you for the excellent presentation you made before the Senate committee on the objectionable features of S. 1940. I would appreciate being advised of any further developments and, if I can be of any particular assistance, please feel free to avail yourself of the services of my office. Sincerely,
Roy E. SIMPSON, Superintendent of Public Instruction, State of California.
SEPTEMBER 27, 1951. Dr. EDGAR FULLER, Executive Secretary, National Council of Chief State School Officers,
1201 Sixteenth Street NW., Washington, D. C. DEAR DR. FULLER: Your letter of September 20, 1951, with enclosed testimony on S. 1940 which you gave before the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare September 19, 1951, has been received and studied with great interest.
May I state that the State Department of Education, State of Ohio, fully concurs in your testimony as given before the Senate committee. It seems that again, as in 1944, the Federal agency which is sponsoring this veterans' bill does not find it feasible to consult with the professional associations of educators concerned with veterans education in the various States or with the State commissioners and Superintendents of schools in the 48 States and in the Territories and island dependencies in order that the sponsors of the bill might receive the advice and counsel of the afore-mentioned departments and associations.
Certainly the State of Ohio favors benefits for veterans of Korea and other veterans who serve their country. However, we are of the opinion that the benefits should be in the form of scholarships for education and prefer that the legislation should be administered from the education agency of the Federal Government, which is the United States Office of Education. As you state in
your testimony, education is a State and local function and the Federal Government should rely heavily upon the regular State and local school systems and the colleges and universities to assume substantial responsibilities under this bill.
We have found, through our past experience with this Federal controlling agency, that the State approval agencies are given limited responsibilities, but in no important instance are they given authority which cannot be supplemented or overruled by the decision of the Veterans’ Administrator. This one point alone creates a very undesirable situation insofar as the administration of an educational program, such as the GI bill, is concerned.
May the State Department of Education, State of Ohio, affirm the sound and logical reasoning as offered in your report and especially the five points you listed as the fundamental principles of the new bill; namely, “(1) that the new legislation be regarded as educational legislation and its benefits for veterans as educational benefits; (2) that the scholarships be administered with a minimum of Federal control of and interference with school systems, institutions, and other educational establishments in the States; (3) that the scholarship system for veterans be coordinated with the State and local administration of school systems, institutions, and other educational establishments in ways to encourage State and local autonomy in education; (4) that final accreditation of school systems, institutions, and other educational establishments eligible to honor veterans' scholarships be determined by the States; (5) that final judgment of the success or failure of a veteran in his educational work be determined by the accredited school system, institution, or other educational establishment in which he is enrolled or, in exceptional cases, by a State agency established for this purpose.”
Please advise if you feel this office can be of assistance in this vital educational matter. Very truly yours,
CLYDE HISSONG, Superintendent of Public Instruction, State of Ohio.
LETTER FROM RESERVE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
SEPTEMBER 19, 1951.
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR MURRAY: The Reserve Officers Association has been following with great interest your hearings on S. 1940, which would extend to veterans called subsequent to June 27, 1950, some of the privileges of the so-called GI Bill of Rights.
The Reserve Officers Association feels quite strongly that fair and equitable treatment insofar as educational privileges and other benefits should be extended by this legislation to individuals in the Reserve and National Guard who have been recalled to serve their country for a second time.
An equitable solution might be to set a maximum period in which an individual might be entitled to receive educational benefits, and to prorate that if necessary between the educational benefits accrued by World War II service and that accrued by those who are serving in the present crisis.
There is no doubt in the minds of any of our association that your committee will come up with a fair and equitable plan for these particular reservists and National Guard men who have been called ; so, we address our remarks only to the general principle with no suggestion as to the details of the legislation. We do feel most emphatically that the veterans of this expansion of the armed services, including those who are serving a second time, should receive benefits identical to those give to veterans of World War II. Sincerely yours,
E. A. EVANS, Executive Director.
(Following statement authorized on behalf of general executive board and President Sal B. Hoffmann, as prepared by Arthur G. McDowell, administrative assistant to the president, Upholsterers' International Union of North AmericaAFL:)