Articles and Speeches by N. C. Newbold, 1945-1946






Not long after these facts became known, Governor J. Melville Broughton appeared before the State Board of Education, December 9, 1943, and recommended that the Board authorize and appoint a Committee on Negro Education from its membership. He suggested that the Committee formulate plans for a complete and thorough study of the seven items included in catagory III shown above. These being the points in the public education program in which, there are still differentials between white and Negro education. The Governor stressed the urgent need for consolidation which will provide better school opportunities to Negro children in every way, particularly in high schools, including vocational education; and he emphasized equality of opportunity as the principal goad.

The state Board of Education immediately accepted the Governor's suggestions. Seven Committees were organized, one for each topic to be investigated. These include

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38 outstanding county and city superintendents of schools, 38 scholarly Negro teachers, principals, college personnel, and 32 members of the combined staffs of the State Department of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education. The seven study groups proceeded with their tasks promptly and with enthusiasm. Several joint meetings of these groups were held in Raleigh. On November 2, 1944 a final meeting was held when completed reports and recommendations were presented. Each of the study committees included representatives of both races. Their work, therefore, was both educational and interracial.

The final reports and recommendations were formally presented to the Governor and the State Board of Education December 14, 1944. In the report of the Committee on Negro Education on this study to their collegues of the State Board of Education and the following forthright statements of fact indicating need:

"1. Reorganization and Consolidation of Schools. In the 100 county administrative units in the State there are 1,693 Negro schools with a total enrollment of 187,458 pupils. Only 231 of these schools employ more than four teachers. Of the 162,000 pupils enrolled in the elementary grades, more than 125,000 are in schools having fewer than seven teachers. There are 1,357 children enrolled in one and two teacher high schools.

It is indicated from the study that larger schools with modern school plant facilities and with a teacher per grade are superior in every way to the small schools; in no instance were accomplishments and achievements of the children in the small county schools adjudged to be equal to those of the children in the larger schools. The progress already made in consolidation has therefore proved the wisdom of consolidating schools and providing transportation. The 1,693 Negro schools now being operated in the State can be reduced to 471. with only 188 having fewer than eight teachers because of geographical or other physical conditions. It is estimated that a program envisaging the completion of consolidations to this extent will cost approximately $15,000,000, plus an additional $1,600,000 for transportation equipment."

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"2. High Schools. In order to equalize the educational opportunity for all of the citizens of North Carolina, an accredited, comprehensive high school should be available to every person of high school age. Along with the reorganization and consolidation of schools, the Committee is of the opinion that high school facilities should be provided for every child wherever these facilities are not already available."

The Committee recommendations were equally as definite and positive as this statement of need.

"a. That the administrative units prepare plans showing proposed consolidations, including transportation equipment necessary, and giving facts as to present school indebtedness and the financial ability of the unit to provide further school facilities.

b. That such plans be submitted to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction for approval.

c. That a method of financing be devised for the completion of the proposed approved consolidation plans for all races within six years following the end of the war. Some of the units may be able to finance their programs from reserves or from other local sources.

d. That this Legislature (1945) investigate the possibility of providing aid in some manner, probably,

(1) As a loan at a low rate of interest

(2) As a loan with interest

(3) As part loan and grant

(4) As a direct grant

Such funds could be applied uniformly to all units alike regardless of ability, present indebtness,and need; or they could be distributed in the form of an equalization fund. The Committee is of the opinion that the time has come when some such basis should be used, and recommends that careful consideration be given to this plan."

Committee statements and recommendations on all the seven points of the study were quite as cogent and emphatic as are those quoted above. The State Board of Education approved the reports and recommendations of its Committee on Negro Education on January 23.

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1945. Most of the report and recommendations of the Committee were carried in the daily newspapers of the state the next day, January 24, 1945

The Legislature of North Carolina is in session at the present time. The appropriations committees of that body have approved one of major recommendations of the State Board Study Committees of 1944, viz: increased support for Negro colleges. If it is finally approved by the whole Legislative body, the appropriation for Negro colleges will be as indicated below:

1. Appropriated 1941-43 $621,000

2. Appropriated 1943-45 825,000

3. Appropriated 1945-47 1,100,000

As another result of the findings and recommendations of the State Board of Education Study a Bill is being considered by the Legislature, which, if enacted into law will provide funds for building and equipping consolidated school plants. The Bill provides that the State establish a loan fund for local county - city administrative units in the amount of ten million dollars. It will, if established, be loaned for thirty years at two per cent interest. This project, consolidation, is the most significant of all the items included in this study. When completed the Consolidation program will afffect about 125,000 Negro children in addition to a considerable number of white children. It will make possible an expansion of high school facilities, vocational education, and raise the level of instructional service for nearly one half of all Negro children, besides several thousand white and Indian children.

The chief aim and hope of those concerned with this study is that it may stimulate and hasten the elimination of differentials in all seven of the items being studied. The members of the Committee on Negro Education, and the entire membership of the State Board seem to anticipate achievement of that goal in six years. The Board now has power under present public school law to eliminate differentials in four of the items

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listed above - all of the seven except consolidation, support of higher education discussed previously, and supervision of instruction. This last item may receive some attention in the form of an appropriation, or other authorization from the Legislature of 1945.

The other matters remain for discussion:

I. Progress, statistical and financial data.

1. Statistical data

a. Number and Training of Teachers and Principals

High School College

Year 2 yrs. 3 yrs 4 yrs 1 yr. 2 yrs. 3 yrs. 4 yrs. 5 yrs. Total

1921-22 1,567 739 1,510 68 519 38 113 * 4,554 1926-27 864 1,053 1,616 719 573 644 274 * 5,743 1927-28 748 900 1,584 850 636 830 411 * 5,959 1931-32 391 424 660 1,246 815 1,583 1,003 * 6,122 1937-38 271 32 185 593 2,866 3,019 * 6,966 1942-43 67 7 10 97 570 6,663 56 7,470

Note: For average training of Negro and white teachers see p-14 - IV

b. Negro High Schools 1923-24 1930-31 1940-41 1941-42 1943-44 1. Enrollment in Negro High Schools 4,715 16,817 42,789 43,208 29,041

2. Percentage of Students in High Schools to total Enrollment 2.3% 6.7% 14% 14% 15%

3. No. Standard Negro schools 11 80 176 180 186

4. No. High School Graduates 380 1906 4902 4717 5272

5. Non-standard high schools 45

6. No. School libraries 149 197 159** 474

7. No. Volumes in libraries 90,223 173,981 183,076 408,208

8. Total circulation in libraries 82,584 448,907 450,883 1,204,75

9. No. part-time librarians 25 102 95 208

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