Name Address 0 $4 Enclosed Bill the Subscriber Get a Friend to Subscribe to Subscribe to The Texas Observer The Texas Observer City State 0 Bill the Subscriber 0 $4 Enclosed Mail to The Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St., Austin Name Address State Mail to The Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St., Austin City Houston Teachers Organize Business Groups Work on lieve, and this is not a special case I’m taking either,” said Wells, “that the reason for it lies in the fact that of the 35 students in one of her classes, 17 are Jews and 12 are Negroes. That is where these ideologies that are not in keeping with our American heritage are coming from.” Wells emphasized the importance of putting the Freedom Foundation credo in every classroom. “What are we talking about? The four freedoms, the United Nations? No!”, he said emphatically. “We’re talking about the constitution. We have beautiful four-color posters that provide specific answers to socialistic thinking.” On the platform with the speaker were Lawrence, Ballew, Supt. L. C. McKamie of Gatesville, Supt. Eloe Stringer of Hamilton, and Supt. J. C. Petty of Burnet. Ballew said “I am so happy for a lot of things that have been said tonight. Dr. Wells has been a real inspiration.” The superintendent promised renewed efforts to improve the Cen-Tex study group’s program. `We’re Getting In’ The Cen-Tex study of America’s Heritage which Wells addressed was organized under the ‘sponsorship of The Texas Bureau of Economic Understanding of Dallas and the Fort Worth Educational Assn. Lawrence said the program had been functioning for ten years. Lawrence’s bureau organized in 1954 “The Heart of Texas Study Group” in seven central Texas counties in cooperation with Baylor University. Last year the two business organizations broadened the program to include Brown and Coleman county schools in cooperation with Howard-Payne University. “We are getting ministerial students,” Lawrence said, “to help us win converts to freedom. As soon as we get 25 organized, we set out to capture another group of 25. Not capture, convert to freedom is a better way to phrase it. We’ve got a brand new study group at Abilene Christian College, seven counties. It’s an extension of a summer workshop for teachers called ‘American Studies Program’.” Lawrence said the only statewide program currently being sponsored by the Bureau of Economic Understanding is a Statewide Freedom Conference of 19 selected school superintendents in cooperation with S.M.U. But he added that the program was growing, “Reed Morgan down in Corpus Christi is getting 13 counties organized.” Lawrence said the purpose of the Texas Bureau of Economic Understanding, in providing funds for the program, is “to fight the world-wide socialist conspiracy. Our program at the start was extra-curricular in the schools, but now we are getting in the curriculum.” He said the biggest problem was getting money to finance speakers, pamphlets, and the free dinners given teachers who attend the study programs. `Suitable Form if On display in the lobby of the Lampasas high school auditorium were pamphlets bearing the Texas Bureau of Economic Understanding imprint and entitled “Freedometer, For Measuring Devotion to Freedom,” “Foundations of an THE TEXAS OBSERVER . Page 6 Nov. 28, 1958 Teachers Economic Structure,” and a foucolor booklet entitled “Encroaching Socialism.” The pamphlet o n economic structures says in part: “The business-education Partnership that developed this particular study of economic fundamentals … has been active for years in programs that build an intelligent, rather than emotional, loyalty to the free enterprise system. A group of Texas businessmen realized in 1948 that present day trends may be weakening America’s foundations. Understanding the danger involved, they organized what is now the Texas Bureau of Economic Understanding. Representing Education in the Partnership, at present, are hundreds of public school superintendents, principals, and teachers; presidents, deans and professors of six state and private Texas universities; the State Commissioner of Education, his assistants and members of his staff; and many local school board members … The TBEU is a nonprofit, non-political, business-supported Texas corporation which has been designated by the Internal Revenue Service as ‘operated exclusively for educational purposes’ … The Partnership is vigilant in discovering and eliminating attacks in the form of fallacious preachments and badly slanted or unbalanced teaching materials. It has a good record of removing and preventing such material from entering the educational processes … the TBEUsponsored Hill Country Project in Economic Understanding, embracing 15 school districts in five counties, devised the ‘suitable titled it ‘Teachers’ Inventory and Diary of Education for Efficient, Productive, and Rewarding Citizenship.’ The Texas Education Agency printed a supply, and teachers in every subject matter area and at every grade level will be using this inventory-diary to keep a record of what they teach about the foundations, how they teach it, and the students’ reactions.” The eight foundation principles are listed as: “Trust in God, as we understand Him; The individual person is of great importance; The individual is free to make his own choices and decisions; Dignity of work; Private ownership of property; The profit motive; Free and open competition; Government as referee and protector, not competitor and pro-, vider.” DOUGLAS RESPONDS TO ENDORSEMENT AUSTIN Justice William 0. Douglas of the U. S. Supreme Court has indicated, in a letter to the Observer, that he is responsive to the suggestion that he receive the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 1960. An editor’S column in the Observer Nov. 7 supported Douglas for the nomination. On Nov. 11 the editor sent the column and a brief covering letter to Douglas. The letter alluded to the enclosed column “advocating you for the Democratic nomination for President in 1960” and closed, “Should you see fit to reply I would be honored to hear from you.” On. Nov. 17 Douglas sent the Observer this letter: “I have received your letter of November 11 and thank you for it. It was just about the nicest compliment I have ever received.” of the teachers. ,At any rate, Parx said, there was nothing to hide. Park warned the teachers there would be opposition to the idea of a union and there was. Teachers said they were forbidden to discuss the union even on their lunch time. When news about the union organizing effort became public, Park said, his telephone began ringing, teachers calling for information about the AFT and ‘how to go about joining. On November 21, a general meeting was held at the Local 66 hall, with Henry Clarke, AFT western representative, in charge. Also attending was Regional AFLCIO Director Graham, N. E. Coward, secretary of the Houston Labor and Trades Council, F. L. Kirtley, president of the Houston Area Industrial Union Council, M. A. Graham, business representative of the Houston Building and Construction Trades Council, and a number of local union leaders. About 160 persons were present. Clarke told the teachers that the school board’s assertion that there was no money available for a pay increase was a “gimmick.” He said his experience was that school administration always had a fund available, that it was a basic part of their training to have such funds and that they were known by various names. He predicted the ‘school administration would find the money for a pay increase when it decided it had to do so to try to stem the growing union movement. The day before, the board and McFarland, meeting with representatives of several teachers’ groups and representatives of other employees, had stated there was no hope of a pay increase this year or next year before at least September, 19 5 9. \(This week school board member W. W. Kemmerer said money was, indeed, available for a raise but was imAfter the organization meeting of AFT, the board started talking more seriously about the possibility of getting a pay increase with the aid of legislation which they suggested the Harris County delegation introduce in the session starting in January. Eckhardt Speaks Four newly elected legislators were on hand as observers at the union organization meeting on November 21. They were Robert C. Eckhardt, Dean F. Johnston \(who has taught at the University Charles Whitfield. Eckhardt, asked to make some remarks, said he was there to listen and learn how the legislators could help the teachers. Eckhardt also said he had been disturbed by reports that threats of retaliation and an effort to prevent teachers from discussing the union had been made. This, he said, amounted to interference with freedom of speech, and if free speech ought to be protected anywhere it ought to be protected by a government agency, such as the school district. Graham pledged all the legal resources of the AFL-CIO, nationally, in the state, and locally to helping the teachers form their own union and resist retaliation or discrimination. He said organized labor has consistently favored higher pay for teachers but that it would be much easier to accomplish if the teachers themselves took action by organizing and joining with other union’s. Coward told how he had called McFarland and obtained assurances from the superintendent that he would accord the teachers’ union the same. kind of recognition he gave the Houston Teachers’ Association or any other group. Clarke predicted that if the organization began with at least 100 members it soon would have several hundred and at least 1,000 members by the end of a year. He said it was almost sure that it would achieve a pay increase and that improvements would be made i n working conditions. There are about 6,000 teachers in the Houston ‘school system. The Houston Teachers Assn. reports a membership of about 2,700. The AFT was established by the American Federation of Labor in 1916 and now has 425 local chapters and about 61,000 members throughout the nation, Clarke said. When teachers organize, he said, almost immediately the attitudes of the school board, the citizens, and the teachers change. Stop ‘Begging He urged the teachers to get together and “stop collective begging and start collective bargaining.” Teachers in the audience responded “Amen,” “Amen.” Clarke remarked that the first teachers’ union charter ever granted by the AFL, long before the AFT was formed, was issued to a Texas group of teachers, in San Antonio, in 1898. He said AFT locals have full local autonomy, adopting their own constitutions, their own schedule of dues, and their own policies within the framework of the national organization. Presentation of the charter of the new organization and election of the first permanent officers is expected to take place in about a week. Carl J. Megel, national president of the AFT, is expected to come to Houston early in December to meet with the members of the new organization. Although the teachers are forbidden by state law to strike, they have other avenues of achieving their collective bargaining goals, Clarke said. The school board is a political body and the employer of the teachers is a political employer, he explained, and so the teachers, with the help of fellow union members, of whom there are about 60,000 organized into various unions in the Houston area, could expect to be effective in presenting their case to the board. `Bad PR’ When first news of the organization effort was revealed, not only McFarland but John Sanders, president of the HTA, voiced opposition. McFarland said he thought the teachers already had sufficient representation through the HTA, the Congress of Houston Teachers, and the Houston Council on Education. Park told the 15 teachers at the initial meeting that they would be “sticking your necks out” but that they could expect the support not only of some 60,000 union members of organized labor in the Houston area but of the full resources of the AFT and of the AFL-CIO nationally. Sanders said that he felt something eventually would be worked out on a pay raise if the teachers would have patience. He said: “I feel ,anions are fine in our society and that they fit into it, but I don’t feel they fit in the teaching profession. Teaching is not the same as other occupgtions. There is a great deal of creativity in teaching, and we look on it as being a profession like that of a doctor or a lawyer.” Sanders said he hoped the teachers would not organize a union. He asserted that if the effort to form a union local got “a foothold” it would result in “bad public relations for the teaching profession” and that it “actually would hurt as far as a pay raise for teachers is concerned.” AN ADAPTATION \(In this Thanksgiving week issue the Observer, with a heavy schedule of important news features, dispenses with the usual weekly news reviews. Next week’s issue will review essential items thus omitted.