`First Class Schoolin’? Let ’em Buy If AUSTIN This week the first legislative search parties began exploring the domain for revenue sources to finance the state’s higher education program, and their economy lanterns quickly illuminated the dim outlines of a Machiavellian path. The trail runs right through the pocketbooks of the students themselves, and if a long distance appraisal of the signpost is correct, it reads “finance salary boosts by increasing student tuition.” It’s a rickety, shopworn sign to be sure, refurbished no longer ago than 1957 when the legislature raised annual tuitions from $50 to $100. The new pathfinder is Dr. Ralph Green, executive director, the Commission on Higher Education, who suggested in a. helpful voice at the end of a long Senate committee hearing this week that perhaps the “$100” can be painted through and a new price tag substituted, reading “$200.” It was all very casual and the reaction of the gathered senators was hardly one of startled alarm. Perhaps their sensibilities were dulled by listening to several hours of budget requests they knew they never would approve. Or perhaps the tuition increase suggestion had little impact because they had already thought of it themselves. In any event, the requests by the colleges for more money and The suggestion of higher tuition fees now repose side by side in ironic partnership in the minutes of the Senate finance committee. AS BEFITS his station as head of a businessman-dominated commission, Dr. Green exercised a certain amount of savoir faire in depositing his little time bomb for future detonation among the ranks of students. Appearing before Senators Fly, Aikin, et al, he sat silently through a long afternoon of hearing while his budget chief, Dr. D. W. Walker, explained the colleges’ general revenue needs. When Walker finished his detailed b ,attiget analysis, Green rose to make a “few final suggestions.” “I hope,” he told the senators, “that you won’t find it necessary to come down on this budget. But I just want to say that if you do, please consult us on how to come down. We think we can be of real assistance in helping you come down in such a manner that you won’t wreck the formulas that we have applied.” That, said the Higher Education thief, was his first suggestion. He had one more. “Only two states have lower tuitions than TexasArizona and California. West Virginia has the same. The Texas tuition is $100 a year per student. I don’t want to debate the advantages and disadvantages of raising this tuition another $100, but if the committee is looking in that direction, I just wanted to lay this ranking of Texas’s comparative position with other states before the committee.” Senator Fly of Victoria replied that he felt certain “in view of the state’s substantial revenue problem” that the legislature “would come down” on the budgets for the colleges and universities. Senator Aikin of Paris responded to Green’s tuition suggestion by saying the committee “would certainly consider what he said.” And with that, the hearing, the first of many on the state’s mounting educational needs, adjourned. UPON REFLECTION, Green’s attitude represents one of two sharply divided reactions the business community is apparently experiencing to the state’s education needs. The first, held by businessmen concerned with both, education and taxes, is to face the realities of what University of Texas President Logan Wilson calls the “crisis in higher education.” This group recognizes the need for prompt blood transfusions for the sick patient and demonstrates its business bias only when it comes to financing the operation. Those in the Green camp suggest the students pay the added freight. The other approach to the problem is that taken by businessmen concerned purely with taxes. They want to hold all expenditures down, in all phases of state government, regardless of relative need or relative deterioration. This group seems to react almost automatically against government as such, at least that part of government that can be summed up in the phrase “increased state spending.” They simply want no part of “universities of the first class” if they cost more money than the ones we have. Dead of Winter, 1959 Piney Woods, East Texas Dear Ronny & The Boys: This is writ in desperation ! Could you find out from somebody that knows, and answer this question quick : Which one is really and trully livin at the White House these days, Ike or Lindin Johnson ? Granpa Willis and Cousin Leeroy is feudin an disputin an’ it’s reached the point there could be bloodshed in the family, less we git the real truth to that question. Granpa Willis swears straight up and sideways that Lindin Johnson has done got title to the premises and moved in. Cousin Leeroy declares it ain’t so. Says Ike is still holdin title to the property, even if he don’t live AUSTIN There is no reason why a precinct which goes Republican should have a heavy voice in determining what delegates are to be sent to a Democratic national convention. Rep. Jamie Clements’s party registration measure and Rep. Dean F. Johnston’s bill which would determine representation in the conventions in presidential years are designed to give genuine Democrats unquestioned control of their own party. As things stand now, convention representation is based on the vote in the precincts in the last general election cast for a party’s candidate for governor. This means that people who voted for Price Daniel last November thereby determined how many votes their precincts will cast in May, 1960, in the county conventions which elect delegates to the state convention, which sends the Texas delegation to the national Democratic convention. In 1956 this law meant that a large number of those people who voted for the Republican candidate for president still retained the right to say who was to be the Democratic Party’s standard bearer in 1960. They reduced the weight of the votes of those Democrats who supported Adlai Stevenson. In 1952, it meant that those who voted for Allan Shiversalmost all the Republicans didand who voted against Adlai Stevenson determined how many votes were to be cast in conventions that sent the Texas delegation to Chicago where Stevenson was nominated. If there is anything fair about that, then the world is upside down. In Texas, as many have noted before, political matters are upside down. Republicans often play a deciding part in naming “Democratic” candidates for state office and seek to control a delegation which is to help choose the opponent for the nominee of the G.O.P. for president. PERHAPS it ought to be explained that there are two sets of conventions in presidential years. The first set, which leads to the great nominating national \( conventions of the Democratic and Republican parties, is held beginning with precinct conventions the first Saturday in May. At these precinct conventions delegates are chosen to go to the county conventions. The county conventions send delegates to the state Democratic covention, which names the delegation to represent the state at the national affair. It is instructive to note that of the three business-oriented governmental bodies producing budgets for higher educationthe Governor’s of fice, the Legislative Budget Board, and the Higher Education Commission the one closest to the problem exercised the most care in slashing money requests. Green’s commission cut the recommendations of the colleges and universities from $160 million to $135 million for the biennium, carefully preserving some areas of “enrich there much no more, by Squatter’s Rights. Granpa Willis and Cousin Leeroy is bout to catch the woods round here on fire, cussin and railin at each other over who’s right and who’s wrong. They ain’t been gittin along too good since last summer, jest before the Primaries. Granpa Willis shot Cousin LeeRoy in the foot and claimed it was a accidint. Cousin Leeroy claimed he done it deliberate, to keep Cousin LeeRoy from goin to the polls to vote for Ralph Yarberr. THIS HERE FRACAS they’re havin now started four days ago, an keeps gittin worse by the hour. Me and mama and Cousin Lee The second set of conventions in a presidential year begins with the precinct meetings held immediately after the polls close in the Democratic primary, the last Saturday in July. Again, these send delegates to the county convention, the county meetings to the state convention, where this time the matter ends with the election of a state Democratic executive committee. It is this latter convention which has come to be known as the “Governor’s Convention.” In fact, in the past, it has been the Governor’s convention, with the nominee running it pretty much his own way. Remember Fort Worth and San Antonio? In nonpresidential years, only the conventions leading to the state “Governor’s Convention” are held. For these it may be logical that the basis of representation shall be as it is now, on how many votes were cast for the Democratic nominee for governor at the preceding general election. \(There ought still to be some way to subtract those votes cast by Republicans, but nobody has figured that one out yet, though the party registration or affiliation bill by Clements BUT JOHNSTON’S proposed formula . for making the vote for president in the previous presidential election the basis of determining representation of precincts and counties in the county and state conventions makes good sense. It is simple to amend the law to that end, merely by changing one word. It is so logical and simple to achieve, in fact, it is unlikely to be attractive to the devious minds of double-dealing mugwump politicians. Johnston has said : “There are those who call themselves Democrats who will readily admit that they have not voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in many years. I certainly believe that they have every right to ‘make that decision and cast their votes accordingly. But I also believe that in the presidential round of conventions the only logical basis for delegate strength is the vote for president in the last preceding presidential general election.” Democrats or Republicans who want to do something about making Texas a two-party state instead of a “no-party” state, as the late Paul Holcomb, editor of the old .State Observer once called it, will recognize the logic A as sound. L HIEKEN ment” which it felt could be bypassed no longer. In general revenue expen ditures the Governor’s budget calls for $125 million and the budget board $114 million, both figures penurious. So at this early stage of the great educational debate of 1959, it appears we shall either have better schools fi nanced by the students or second rate schools underfinanced in every re spect. L.G. Roy was sittin in the kitchen where its warm, playin dominoes. All the sudden, here comes Granpa Willis, stormin in, whoopin like a Comanche, an roars, “Glory Be ! Praise the Lord! Texas has put a Saddle Light in the Heavins ! Hooray fer Lindin Johnson! The Greates Livin Human Bein on Earth !” Then he cuts a pigeon wing and goes cavortin round the kitchen. “What in the name of Goodniss has Lindin did now, Granpa, flew into outter space?” Cousin LeeRoy asts. Granpa stops and stares at Cousin LeeRoy real steady for a minnit. Then he says, like he’s unnerstandin Cousin LeeRoy for the first time, “Great Goddamighty, boy, you must not of heered the news ! Lindin Johnson’s Saved the Filly Buster and steered the communists off of school desegregation !” Cousin LeeRoy never even blinked. “So what?” he says, “Filly Busters ain’t so hard to save. The innerstin thing is, Granpa, you changing yore tune. Fer the last five year, you been takin Lindin’s hide off. Been claimin he ain’t no bettern any them other New Dealin Roosevelt fellers in Washinton.” “No sich of thing ! I always trusted Lindin to do right in a pinch.” “You said you ‘spected him of havin Roosevelt principles.” “That’s a blame lie ! I never accused Lindin of havin no kind of principles.” “Oh yes you did ! An you was plumb disgusted with him when he argued with Allen Shivers a couple of year ago.” “I was jist misled fer a while, that’s all ! I thought Lindin was goin to jive up with that Liberal crowd in Texas. But soonever as I heered bout his stompin the daylights out of them in Fort Worth at that convention, I was easy agin.” “You jist bein hippycritical, Granpa, now that Lindin’s did somethin you like. You was cussin him jist this past summer fer not givin strong enough support to Bill Blakley in that Senate race.” “I was misled there too. But after Lindin got done with that DOT bunch down there in Santone in September, I seen he was runnin true to form agin. Said so too. You know I did.” I RECKIN you’ll be wantin to put him in the White House next,” says LeeRoy. Granpa looked ‘stonished. He barks, “Why you air ignernt ! Lindin’s done in the White House !” “Granpa, you losin your mind! Lindin ain’t in no White House. Not yit, at any rate. Ike’s still there.” Granpa Willis started losin his temper. “You’re jist a lyin an you know it. Tryin to make me uneasy ! Jist when I was celebratin Texas’s victry over the rest of the world. Now you take that back. Do it quick, fore I brain you.” If you know, or if there is anyway of tellin for sure, whether Ike or Lindin’s runnin the country, for goodniss sakes telegram us the answer. CLAUDIE 0 u r Washington correspondent says all he can get out of Lyndon’s office is “Come Let Us Reason Together.” RONNY & TIIE BOYS THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 5 Feb. 7. 1959 THE DEMOCRATS’ BILLS A Saddle Light in the Heavins
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