Federal Grants for Education

September 3, 1937

Report Outline
Future Action on School Aid Measures
Status of Education in the States
Development of Federal Aid for Schools
Proposed Expansion of Subsidy System
Special Focus

Future Action on School Aid Measures

Shelving of Federal Education Bill at 1937 Session

Congress will be called upon at its next regular session to consider legislation setting up a system of federal grants for the support of public schools. A bill authorizing ultimate appropriation of $300,000,000 annually for distribution to the states for educational purposes was sponsored at the last session by Senators Harrison (D., Miss.) and Black (D., Ala.) and by Rep. Fletcher (D., Ohio). Hearings were held by committees of both houses, and the bill was unanimously reported from the Senate Committee on Education and Labor in March. Floor consideration was forestalled by the late Senator Robinson (D., Ark.), majority leader of the Senate, who expressed the administration's desire to avoid new undertakings unless Congress were willing to impose new taxes to finance them. Objecting on April 12, to a request by Senator Harrison that the bill be made a special order for early consideration, Robinson said:

If we authorize an appropriation … commencing with $100,000,000 for the next, fiscal year and adding to the amount $50,000,000 each year thereafter for five years, the aggregate amount authorized would be 51,000,000,00. Under the state of the revenues, as indicated by the estimates and by the receipts, we would have an enormously increased deficit … Insofar as I am informed, we have about exhausted the sources of taxation to which Congress is willing and able to report.

A week after action on the education bill had been postponed as a result of Robinson's objection, President Roosevelt addressed a letter to Floyd W. Reeves, chairman of an advisory committee he had had appointed six months earlier to study federal aid to vocational education, in which he asked that the committee give more extended consideration to the whole subject of federal relations to the state and local conduct of education. The President directed that the committee make its report to him in December, in time for early consideration as a basis for recommendations to Congress.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Education and Funding
Aug. 31, 2018  Education Funding
Jun. 27, 2016  Student Debt
Dec. 06, 2013  Humanities Education
Apr. 19, 2013  Law Schools
Nov. 20, 2009  The Value of a College Education
Dec. 10, 1999  Reforming School Funding
Aug. 27, 1993  School Funding
Dec. 24, 1948  Federal Aid to Education
May 05, 1948  Financial Support for Higher Education
Sep. 03, 1937  Federal Grants for Education
Aug. 20, 1934  Federal Aid to Education
Budget Process
Education Policy