Caudill committee report
deserves serious study
by entire public
There's no question now but what the 1900 session of the
Kentucky General Assembly will go down In history as one
In its actions of almost any other
of the most
similar session. Those who have strong feelings about the
sales tax, the terms of the veterans' bonus, or the dangers of
the proposed constitutional convention might say these Issues
alone make the 1060 session one not soon to be forgotten;
but we feel that the single most Important action of the session was the brief Investigation into public education by the
iCaudlll Committee, the "findings" of that Committee, and
tho setting up of the Citizens Committee on Public Education
by the Assembly.
No organized group In Kentucky outsido the immediate
educational lobby groups has given more moral or political
support to the cause of good public education than has Farm
Bureau. We were the first major organization in the state to
come out for the three percent sales tax for the purpose of
improving public education. But at the same time, our leaders and members have long insisted that Increased funds a
lone will not solve our educational ills.
Charges Are Serious
The Caudill Committee was made up of serious minded
and sincere members of the Legislature. They are personally
concerned about conditions that have'been allowed to develop
within our public education system; but most Important of
all, they are reflecting the views and fears of the people that
elected them to office; and this indicates a widespread trend
towards a lack of confidence in the administration of our
public schools on the part of the general public.
These charges by the Committee are not new. They are
topics of ordinary conversation In all walks of life. Everyone
knows how much political maneuvering has become a governing consideration in the running of local school systems.
Many of us have become concerned about the "soft" nature
of educational requirements in the schools. In short, most
students are not fully challenged, their minds are not on
the processes of learning. Instead, too much of their time
and effort is taken up with sports, band practice, or other
forms of play.
Most of us have known for some time that the quality
of teachers has been on the decline. We have witnessed the
development of a public attitude where teachers are no longer considered leaders in the community and no longer command the wholehearted respect of the public.
AIL of us can see and hear with our own eyes and ears
the products of our public school Why is it that students
go to 12 years of school and stillfdo not speak correct English or cannot basically communicate in their native language? Why is it that students are allowed to shy around the
"tough" courses such as mathematics, foreign languages, and basic sciences?
Committee Report Helpful
We believe the General Assembly was wise in setting
up the Citizens Committe to study the whole public school
system; and we believe the Caudill Committe was wise in recommending that a similar citizens committee be set up within each school district to study these problems at the local
A few months ago, we established an Education Committee as one of the standing committee's of Farm Bureau
at the state level; and we have recommended that such a
committee be set up by each county Farm Bureau. These
committees should cooperate fully with the citizens committees, and we hope that agricultural repsesentatives will be
appointed to these citizens' committees at both the state and
local district levels.
We are sure that the members of the Caudill Committee
do not claim their findings to be absolute. That Is why they
have called for an extensive study, and even recommended a
special session of the General Assembly to take up this problem. But if the report of the Caudill Committee serves no
other good purpose than to arouse the general public on this
serious problem, it will have been quite worthwhile. Public
apathy has been the root cause of most of the educational
Attitude of Educational Leaders
We hope that the rash statements made by some of the
leaders of educational organizations immediately following
release of the Committee report will give away to more sober and thoughtful statements and attitudes as time goes on.
If the educational leaders are sincerely concerned about tho
state of education in Kentucky; and if they really want a
public interest in education, they will cooperate fully in the
work of the citizens' committee, and not be a hindrance.
The people of Kentucky have agreed, through their elected representatives, to put a hundrd million more dollars a
biennium into public education mostly for increases in salaries of teachers. They have a right to assurance that these
funds will not be wasted through poor leadership, corruption,
petty politics, or lack of direction.
For too long, the professional educators have blamed
the public for whatever happens in education. They have
top often failed to exercise the kind of leadership such a profession should exercise. Some way or other, we will have to
restore public confidence in the administration of public
education. Merely increasing funds will not be enough.
In My Opinion
PINE TREES PERISH
To tho Editor:
A sad sight my eyes bheld as
I came Into Whltesburg tho other day and saw those brown,
burned, and twisted pine trees
vision of Forestry $5,000. per
day to fight forest fires. This,
of course, was taxpayers' mon-
ffllje JWumtiam IE agu? THE
Entered m secern! clM mail matter Aufett M, 1907, at Um
The damage caused by forest Pectofftee at Whttesbwrg, Kj., under the act ef Congress la
fires goes on for generations In Afuft t, 1173.
The week's events:
at tho mouth of Graveyard Hol- the form of soil erosion, dlMM
PuMbfc4 Ivery ThurWay
low. Only a few days ago these and Insect attacks, production
Tho Whltesburg Parent-TeacTHOMAS GKH, Kilter and FuMisaer
trees word swaying gaily to and of cull timber, etc. SIR from
cr meeting will be held In the
fro as the wind caressed their eroded areas washes into the
grado school auditorium Tuesscented boughs. Not so any- stream to aggravate flood conta Lttefcer County,
day, April 10, at 3:30 p. m.
more. They aro a charred mass, ditions. Plato said, "to control
eutsMe Letcfeer County, $5 a year
a dead monument to careless- the mountain is to control the
Stafle cep?: It cents
A meeting of Letcher Counness. Before they were a living, river."
ty Republicans wil be held SatPAGE 8
THURSDAY, APRIL 14, I960
The three greatest causes of
green monument to one of our
urday, April 16, at 1 p. m. at
fine and noble deceased citi- forest fires are men, women,
the courthouso to elect deleWhitcsburg, and a great-granand children. One troo will
zens, Mr. Gordon Lewis.
gates to the party's district con
rlllM .Tamna Wlnrtiie ITIltmnl
burning of these trees, mako a million matches, but one
Mrs. Cora DcLilllan Williams,
Tho body lay In state at tho . mm a
of course, was accidental, but match may destroy a million 85, died April 0 at
the residence Craft Funeral Homo ehnnnl tn.
we as a general populace must trees. Tho "head" behind most
at Whitcsburg. A native of lowed by the funeral service
alert, aroused, and forest fires which best serves
alarmed public in order to stop the purpose for which it was Letcher County, she was the thorn Anrii ii
Tuesdays at noon in the
widow nf William "Billy" Wil- the Rev. Charles Carter.
this gross misuse and wanton created can usually be found on
room 01 U1 uuy wie'
waste of our forest resources. the end of the match stem. Let liams, who died In 1040. She f' Burial was, in the Williams , a,n,"s
was the daughter of Joseph cemetery, with Craft Funeral
Forest fire prevention is my us rise up and take positive acWhitcsburg Lions Club meets
business, your business, good tion before we become labeled Dick and Martha Polly Williams. Homo In charge.
Thursdays at 7 p. m. at the
business. Every time timber and known far and wide as the She was a member of the First
burns we are hurting our coun- "Land of The Woods Burners." Baptist Church.
She is survived by three sons,
When Mr. Lewis
try economically thereby makWhitcsburg Junior Homcmak-cr- s
(Continued from Page 1)
ing it a less desirable place in trees he fully realized that he Hiram. Windus and Lovcli Wil- Club will meet Monday,
bar and tho people concerned,
which to live. One billion dol- would never reap benefits from Iiams, all of Whltesburg; a
Let us the living not be J brother, Howard Williams, of we have cleared out the dead-wo- April 18, at 7:30 p. m. at the
lars went up In smoke In
We settled a lot of law- homo of Mrs. Walter Owens.
tucky last year. Enough timber ungrateful toward those who la-- ! Mayking; a sister, Minnie Bell
suits without long litigation."
was burned In one year to make bored with forethought for on-- 1 Williams,
Whitcsburg Junior Chamber
On tho criminal docket In
grandchildren, Peggy Hidvegl
homes. At coming generations.
1952 there were about 300 cases, of Commerce
and Julia Faye Williams, of
times it costs the Kentucky Di
Judgo Wells noted. "But eight April 18, at 7 p. m. at tho City
of them wero murder cases Cafe.
(there were 12 murder cases In
Mayking Homcmakcrs Club
Perry County at the same time).
will meet Tuesday, April 19 at
"There is not a murder case
school term not be extended until such time as on this docket today."
7:30 p. m. at tho home of Mrs.
term is fully utilixed for
arc 58 cases on the Myrtle Kinccr.
14 The Committee recommends that each
The foundation program has had the effect docket of Circuit Clerk W. L.
district be audited annually by State Auditor
Whltesburg Woman's Club
Stalard, Jr. Oft these, there aro
that such audit be published with the auditor's of equalizing the length of the school term
20 cases Involvnlg tho welfare meets Saturday, April 23, at
districts. Nearly all districts now provide
comments, and that the costs of such audits be
7:30 p. m. at tho homo of Mrs.
term. It has been brought to of children. There are 20
provided from the Common School Fund.
the attention of the Committee, however, that ors, Judge and 18 misdemeanThe evidence presented was sufficient to conWells noted.
vince the Committee that the audits conducted optimum use is not made of the school term.
Blackcy Missionary Baptist
Tho jurist took occasion to
In the words of one witness, teachers "think fh."nV thn nnnnln nf 1 rttuhnT Church will hold its Sabbath
by the State Department of Education have failthey have too many extracurricular activities
ed to disclose illegal and improper expenditures
and W0"nP scrv,.c" at
going on in school, and what they needed was County for first electing him to,?001 - . on Sundays, starting
which were made by local districts. The Com!l:39 Pthe bench nine years aV
mittee noted the practice of employing a super- more time to teach school."
"My opponent In Perry de Easter, Instead of In the morn
intendent In one county to audit a neighboring
A survey by the National Education Associa- feated me by 10 votes," he said, ing.
school system during the summer months. Such tion found that the average teacher spends a "but Letcher gave me a margin
an audit can hardly be expected to be either total of thirty-fivWhitcsburg Chamber of Comhours a week in school, and of 475 votes. I have ever since
completely objective or technically sound.
merce meets tho second Thursthat ten hours of this time is spent in
been very grateful to you."
The Committee believes that school districts
work other than teaching. (National
In his charge to tho grand day of each month at 8:15 pjn.
should be subjected to audits of the same typo Education Association, The Status of the Ameri- Jury, Judge Wells Instructed the at city Hall.
as other agencies of government. Annual audits can Public School Teacher, 1957). With the great panel to look into all the
Thornton Homcmakers Club
of all school districts by the State Auditor would
shortage of qualified teachers, the Committee categories of crime, and laid
Comcost approximately $150,000 a year. The
personnel could special stress on the problem of moots Thursday at 0 p.m. at tho
mittee believes that regular savings would far perform such duties as clerical work, monitor- traffico in Intaxicating bever- homo of Mrs. N. H. Webb.
exceed this amount. Such audits would be pering playgrounds and lunchrooms, sponsoring so- ages in Letcher, a dry county.
formed by trained personnel, would reveal any cial clubs, and similar
'The county's condition Is meets tonight at 6 p. m. atClub
irregularities, and would create a basis for pub- enabling teachers to devote more time to classes. good, may
say, In this regard. home of Mrs. F. C.
lic confidence in local school administration. The Committee also believes that the number
It Is not perfect, of course, but
The cost of such audits should be paid from the of days during the school term set aside for
has been kept under comparaTwo
Common School Fund.
attendance at professional meetings and confer- tively firm control," he said.
(Continued from Page 1)
15. The Committee recommends that the Deences be kept to a minimum, and that such
"May I urge upon you steady tied a blanket rope to
partment of Education attempt to reduce the practices as dismissing school on election days and continuing
control of the themselves from the second-floo- r
cost of school construction as much as possible.
be be abandoned.
whiskey traffic. It is a continuwindow.
As one step in this direction, the Department
17. The Committee
recommends that the ing menace. If the traffic Is al
Tho break was discovered by
could develop standard plans that could be made
Department of Education purchase transporta- lowed too free rein, it leads to Mrs. Sexton
available to districts and be used for more than tion equipment for local districts.
power and influence In the Gibson, who wore in Mary Sextho
The 195G General Assembly directed tho hands of bootleg bosses.
ton living quarters on the first
Rapidly increasing enrollments, a backlog of Superintendent of Public Instruction to secure
"This leads, of course, to floor of the jail. Jailer
unmet needs, plus normal replacements will re- price contract agreements for the purchase of other evils also, which wo could was attending a
gathering at tho
quire a tremendous amount of school construcschool busses by all districts. The Division of not tolerate."
tion in the future. The state now grants dis- Purchases in the Department of Finance was re- After swearing In the grand Tho Jailer was to present tho
tricts $400 per classroom unit each year to help quired to make price contract agreements estab- - jurors and turning them over to escape case to the grand
finance capital outlay; House Bill 437 would In- lishing sources of supply, maximum prices, and (Jailer Bob Sexton to serve them, which Is currently sitting jury,
crease this amount to $600. The School Buildthe length of time for which the contracts would Judge Wells excused the petit the April term of Letcher Ciring Authority will involve the state even more be valid. The term "school bus" was defined Jurors until tho July term.
closely In local school construction, by issuing to include "accessory equipment and supplies
bonds for districts. In light of this increased and replacement equipment considered to be
state participation In school building programs, reasonably adaptable for purchase from price
the Committee recommends that the Depart- contract agreements." The law further providment of Education assume leadership In planed that any district board of education may
take its own bids and purchase busses, if the
built at the lowest possible cost.
district purchase price is lower than that set
An unpublished study by a consultant to tho forth in the state contract. (KRS 150.152 - 150.
Legislative Research Commission analyzed tho 154).
cost of Kentucky school building in the 1958-5This law has not achieved the intended effect
school year, and found that the total average of reducing bus prices. The Department of Educonstruction cost was approximately $22,000 per cation Report for the biennium ending June
classroom. This amount is well below estimates
1959 explained the situation as follows: "Due
of the average classroom construction cost for largely to the lack of a firm commitment to
the nation as a whole, partly because construcpurchase a specified number of vehicles and the
tion costs are lower in Kentucky than in many fact that the law was not designed to encourage
states. However, Kentucky could, through probidders to submit realistic bids, they were much
gressive planning, reduce this cost considerably.
higher than the bid prices received for the same
Georgia, for examp'e, has a State School Build-ingequipment by local boards of education. As a
Authority, which participates directly In result of the unfavorable bid prices received
planning schools and has been building schools in 1950, no attempt was made to secure bids in
at a cost of from $13,000 to $14,000 per class1957." In 1958, the Superintendent of Public
room. Prefabricated schools have been conInstruction called a meeting of fifty district sustructed in other states for less than $18,000 perintendents, who agreed to purchase a least
per classroom. There are Innumerable examp139 busses.
The Division of Purchases took
les of states and communities constructing adebids, and an estimated $130,000 was saved on
quate, functional and
schools at purchasnig 217 bus chassis. The bus body bids
well below the usual cost. (See; Roger A. Freeagain wero unrealistic and wero rejected. The
man, School Needs In the Decade Ahead, the same situation occurred In 1959.
Institute for Social Science Research, 1958, ApA 1955 study by tho Legislative
Commission found that a number of states had
In Kentucky, the Department of Education re- sucssful plans for state bids or state purchase
views school building plans to see that they cJ school busses which effocted substantial savmeet state specifications and inspects the school ings. There is no apparent reason why such a
after It Is constructed. The Department's
plan cannot work equally well Is Kentucky,
plus optional equipment, transportation, state and local taxes.
In plannnig schools Is limited to seeunles the permissive feature of the Kentucky
ing that they meet certain minimum specificaplan leads bus manufacturers to tray and sub'572 less
tions. It has no program for studying methods vert the state bid plan directly with districts.
of any Ford, Plymouth or Chevrolet wagon
of reducing costs through Investigation of more Tho Committee, therefore, recommends that tho
modern and less costly techniques. This limit- Kentucky law be carefully
Seats six Hauls y ton of cargo
ed ro'e may have been necessary when districts
strengthened, probably by requiring that all
White side-wa- ll
largely financed tholr own buildings; now. when school busses be purchased through the state.'
and choice of two-ton- e
finishes, at no extra cost,
the state pays the largest share of the cost of This would ensure a sufficient number of busies
education, the Depaiimont should take a moro to justify discounts for quantity, and would
posltivo rok in planning to of feet oconomlos.
Vehicles by Willys Motors
vondors making lower bids to districts
The Committee recommends that the Depart'
than to the state. The Committoc also recom.
Sea it! Drive it!
ment of Education Increase Its architectural
mends that the Superintendent of PubBq In.
staff, ami assume leadership in helping districts structlon. In cqmnllance with KRS 150.153, take
bids on bus equipment and suppUos, as weU g
16. Tho Com miff 00 recommends that tho
on bus chassis and bodies.
Private school audits wanted
The Rural Situation
The rural and farm people of Kentucky have more at
stake in this whole Issue than any other group.
of our people still live in rural areas and a large percentage
of children are born and educated in "rural" areas. And yet
all agree that it is in the rural school districts that education
Is the poorest and administration of education is the most
Somo will reason that such facts of life call for centralization of control over our educational system. Some will take
this to the extreme and argue more forcefully than ever for
federal aid to education and the federal control that will
naturally follow such aid.
If centralization is tho answer to all of our social, political,
and economic problems, then dictatorship should be substituted for our republican form of government. Tho answer
lios not in centralization of support or control; but in a better Informed and more active cltlzonry at the local lovel;
and the proper exercise of loadorship on the part of professional educators.
(Kentucky Farm Bureau Nows)