courses, and six focus on vocational training. In short, almost the total effort of the Migrant Division in Texas is directed toward giving migrants new job skills. Only a pre-school educational project in San Antonio and a day-care project in Tahoka break this otherwise total orientation to jobs. And you are right if you suspect that this job training implies, for the most part, taking the migrants out of the fields, only to put them in the factories. They are offered such vocational opportunities as in auto body and fender repair, diesel mechanics, construction, machine tool operation, small appliance repair, and welding. This is not to say that these vocations are dishonorable, nor is it to say that skills have no place in a migrant program. But it does suggest that the Migrant Division in Texas, by putting virtually all of its resources into manual job-oriented projects, has given a narrow, unimaginative, and basically unresponsive interpretation to its mandate. Quite a few millions have been spent on these job programs, with the money nearly always granted by the Migrant Division to the Governor’s OEO liaison for transmittal to the Texas Education Agency, which ran the local-level programs through the school districts. In 1966, according to reports issued by OEO in Washington, the Texas OEO received from the migrant division $6.6 million; $5.2 million in 1967; $3.9 million in 1968; and, in the just-ended fiscal year, $1,350,000 in new money plus additional “reprogrammed” funds. While Connally was governor, virtually all OEO programs had to have support from his office to qualify for funding. This was true even of migrant programs, although the Migrant Division legally can, and does in other states, make grants to local groups directly. When they tried to skip the middleman in Texas, Connally raised hell with Sargent Shriver, then the OEO director. Shriver knuckled under and passed the word down: get along with Connally. Politics is politics, and the fact that Shriver wanted to placate the president’s Texas crony was no big deal. But the Texas migrant training programs conducted through the school districts were mostly of a very dubious value, and the Texas Education Agency’s administration of OEO funds was a disaster. The millions filtered down through the TEA framework to the local school superintendents, who were able to strengthen their patronage by spreading the wealth among their favorite teachers, and providing stipends to the trainees a normal part of the program as a means of winning friends. “They were very bad programs,” said a former OEO functionary who watched them closely. In 1967 programs were being run in 25 to 30 school districts, with the adult Migrant trudging to school nightly, sitting six hours at a desk designed to fit his children, listening to his lessons, and picking up $30 to $40 a week for the chore. Evaluations by OEO were worse than disappointing. In 1967, out of 4,200 enrollees in remedial classes for high school dropouts, only ten were able to qualify for a graduate equivalency degree, according to OEO sources. WORSE THAN the ineffectiveness of the local training schools, however, was the Texas Education Agency’s cavalier handling of federal money. An audit of TEA migrant programs by OEO a year ago uncovered more than a million dollars which had been mislaid and “lost.” Under Treasury rules, federal grants which are not spent the first year can be “reprogrammed” to the grantee for a second year. But if the money still is not used it goes back to Washington at the close of the second year. That was in 1967, when the Vietnam war had cut deeply into domestic programs. OED’s Legal Services division was, at that time, searching high and low for cash to fund a South Texas legal aid program. The idea died for lack of money. TEA, meanwhile, had a million dollars it couldn’t manage to spend. Although nothing was ever said officially, there were rumors after an audit of TEA migrant money in Austin that a sum in the range of $100,000 was lost, strayed, or stolen. Ruth Graves at OEO in Washington says there was confusion, “but I think at this point all the money has been accounted for.” No malfeasance; just good, old-fashioned bureaucratic sloppiness at the TEA. Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the State Week and Austin Forum-Advocate. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will , take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Editor, ‘Greg Olds. Associate Editor, Kaye Northcott. Editor-at-large, Ronnie Dugger. Editorial intern, Mary Callaway. Business Manager, C. R. Olofson. Business Manager Emeritus, Sarah Payne. Contributing Editors, Elroy Bode, Winston Bode, Bill Brammer, Lee Clark, Larry Goodwyn, Harris Green, Bill Hamilton, Bill Helmer, Dave Hickey, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Larry Lee, Dave McNeely, Al Melinger, Robert L. Montgomery, Willie Morris, James Presley, Charles Ramsdell, John Rogers, Mary Beth Rogers, Roger Shattuck, Robert Sherrill, Dan Strawn, Tom Sutherland, Charles Alan Wright. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with him.. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that he After the money difficulties and critical evaluations, OEO finally cut back on its dealings with the Texas Education Agency. Even so, it gave the state agency $1,350,000 for pre-vocational and vocational programs at Laredo Junior college and Connally Technical Institute at Harlingen in fiscal 1969. Most of the reprogrammed money is still in the grasp of the OEO advisers of the new governor, Preston Smith. Even now that Connally is gone and direct-funding for migrant programs has come to Texas \(El Paso, Corpus Christi, Edinburg, and one or two other places are now funded directly from the Washington about 72% of the $5.4 million being spent on Texas migrants by the division this year. The programs at Laredo and Harlingen, as others before them, mainly offer courses in job skills that cater to the needs of the economic interests. If LTV needs welders, welding it will be. If Ford Motor Company wants body men, then migrants will be taught body work. In its summary of the Migrant Division’s activities in Beaumont, the Educational Systems Corporation reports that “courses taught in the program are geared to the needs of area industry.” No one gives much thought to what the migrants themselves might want. Grassroots organizations, which are considerably closer to the farm workers, have found it mighty hard to compete for funds against the Texas Education Agency. BUT, OF COURSE, to pitch right in on the side of the farm workers is an agrees with them, because this is a journal of free voices. The Observer is published by Texas Observer Publishing Co., biweekly from Austin, Texas. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Single copy, 25c. One year, $6.00; two years, $11.00; three years, $15.00; plus, for Texas addressees, 4% state sales tax. Foreign, except APO/FPO, 50c additional per year. Air-mail, bulk orders, and group rates on request. Editorial and Business Offices: The Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas 78705. Telephone 477-0746. Editor’s residence phone, 472-3631. Change of Address: Please give old and new address and allow three weeks. Form -3579 regarding undelivered copies: Send to Texas Observer, 504 W. 24th, Austin, Texas 78705. Subscription Representatives: Arlington, George N. Green, 300 E. South College St., 277-0080; Austin, Mrs. Helen C. Spear, 2615 Pecos, 465-1805; Beaumont, Betty Brink, 2255 Harrison, 835-5278; Corpus Christi, Penny Dudley, 1224 1/2 Second St., 884-1460; Dallas, Mrs. Cordye Hall, 5835 Ellsworth, 821-1205; El Paso, Philip Himelstein, 331 Rainbow Circle, 584-3238; Ft. Worth, Dolores Jacobsen, 3025 Greene Ave., 924-9655; Houston, Mrs. Kitty Peacock, PO Box 13059, 523-0685; Lubbock, Doris Blaisdell, 2515 24th St.; Midland, Eva Dennis, 3523 Seaboard, 694-2825; Snyder, Enid Turner, 2210 30th St., 443-9497 or 443-6061; San Antonio, Mrs. Mae B. Tuggle, 204 Terrell Road, 826-3583; Wichita Falls, Jerry Lewis, 2910 Speedway, 766-0409. Washington, D.C., Mrs. Martha J. Ross, 6008 Grosvenor Lane, 530-0884. THE TEXAS OBSERVER The Texas Observer Publishing Co. 1969 A Journal of Free Voices 63rd YEARESTABLISHED 1906 A Window to the South Vol. LXI, No. 13 7a 4W July 4, 1969
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