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Page 3 of Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal v.21 n.1

Part of Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal

Editorial Comment . d . THE CONVENTION THEME The theme of this year's convention, "Exploring New Frontiers in Vocational Training and Vocational Opportunities," is in harmony with the K. N. E. A. slogan, "'An Equal Educational Opportunity for Every Kentucky Child." The slogan has had various interpretations during the seventy-four years of the history of the organization. For a long time it merely represented an ideal. The early Minutes, written a few years after the close of the Civil War, show the meetings were teachers' institutes, concerned principally with improving pedagogy, and with a strong overtone of qualifying pupils for self and racial advancement in spite of severe obstacles. The past score of years has seen the organization struggling militantly for equal salaries and for equality in terms of physical plants and academic offerings. The Day Law, requiring that education of the races be carried on separately, has been under constant attack, because separate education is almost never equal education. Rapidly now, even more rapidly than many dared hope, an attitude i inter-racial good will is developing, and permissive legislation, enabling schools an the graduate and professional levels to accept Negro students, is being passed. The growing emphasis on brotherhood, international pressures to the same end, successful suits for the constitutional rights of the Negro, are factors work- ing for an integrated educational system in Kentucky, as well as elsewhere in the nation. Although some barriers must be removed before general integration may occur, the K. N. E. A. may well look ahead. The granting of admission to tax supported institutions, even complete integration in all educational insti- tutions throughout the state, would not guarantee economic security to the Negroes involved, or even maintenance of their present economic status. Many "Negro jobs" and other incidental advantages enjoyed because of segregation would disappear. This is as it should be. Every Negro youth should be prepared to compete for employment as an individual. He should also be taught to seek employment in terms of ability, and to develop his ability to the highest level. Training to expect full citizen- ship rights should be accompanied by training to make the civic and vocational contribution expected of the good citizen. And, too, there need be opportunities for the gainful employment of all qualified individuals. It is out of this back- ground that there has emerged the slogan for the 1950 convention, "Exploring New Frontiers in Vocational Training and Vocational Opportunities." DIRECTORS AND DISTRICT PRESIDENTS XIEET Our Association is vitally interested in the K. E. A. program to secure better schools and shares concern for the success of the present effort to find more funds for education in the State. The Board of Directors and the District Presidents of the K. N. E. A., at a special meeting, discussed the issues arising with the legis- lature and school districts as a result of the K. E. A. request. Although it was recognized that the Governor had recommended an increased appropriation for each of the State Schools, there was no question that more funds are needed, particularly for elementary and high schools in the smaller districts. They noted that the general condition of schools in these areas is poor, and that many of those attended by our pupils are among the poorest physically, and as to loca- tion and equipment. * They favored active participation in all democratic movements that will improve conditions. The question of how funds should be raised, they felt, should be left to the taxing authorities of the State. Also, they regarded as a 3

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