Articles and Speeches by N. C. Newbold, 1946-1948

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SR_DPI_DNE_ArticlesSpeeches_Newbold_Box2_1946-1948_01
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SR_DPI_DNE_ArticlesSpeeches_Newbold_Box2_1946-1948_01

CONFERENCE OF STATE SUPERINTENDENTS AND STATE AGENTS OF NEGRO SCHOOLS EDGEWATER PARK, MISSISSPPI - DECEMBER 15, 16, 17, 1946 III Major Problems in Negro Education A. Graduate instruction; Junior College development (see data from Dr. Shepard and President Bluford) B. Progress in race relation (see statement to presidents of Duke and University of North Carolina, and Dr. Erwin) C. Jeanes work and supervision of rural schools. In 1933, in the heart of the 1929-1938 depression, the Legislature of North Carolina made several drastic changes in the public school system of North Carolina. One of these changes was the elimination of supervision in local administrative units so far as support from state funds was concerned. Since that time, supervision by Jeanes Teachers as we have known it and been mostly on a part-time basis, that is, the Jeanes worker was a full-time teacher or principal, with only very limited time given to supervision. This has been true since 1933, except in some counties, from ten to fifteen, where the totaly salary and expense of travel were paid from county funds. To this was added a small token allotment by the Southern Education Foundation. Prospects in this field of service seem brighter now. The State Board of Education, now a very potent agency in public education, has recommended to the Budget Commission and the Legislature that funds be provided sufficient to employ 125 supervisors whose salaries would be about $2,750 per year. The recommendation is that two thirds of these salaries be paid from state funds; with one-third of salaries and travel allowance to be provided by the counties.

If this recommendation is approved by the Legislature, it will mean that instruction in the public schools should be very greatly improved. It is also reasonable to assume that a fair proportion of this service will be used in Negro schools.

The part-time Jeanes supervisor in one county reports an item of progress as follows: “Rockingham County votes £1,500,000 to build and repair all county schools. The completion of this program will mean every Negro boy and girl will attend a modern consolidated grammar and high school with access to school bus transportation.”

D. Distribution of school funds. In a centralized system of public education such as obtains in North Carolina, a very small percentage is distributed, as that term is generally understood. All salaries of teachers, principals and superintendents are drawn by the city or county superintendent upon the State Treasurer. The same is true of all other school personnel. Likewise, all kinds of supplies, furniture, equipment, fuel and the like are paid for in the same way. After the checks are used and cancelled, they are, so far as school personnel are concerned, returned to the files of the State Board of Education where they became a permanent record. There is no distribution of state school funds to local units except in such cases if special funds such as Jeanes money and other similar funds, and they are drawn payable direct to whom they are due.

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E. School Buildings and facilities. Heretofore the local school district or the county or city were required to provide the school building, the equipment and the first bus, if one is needed. Since 1933, the State had paid directly from state funds all salaries of public school personel. This is true now -- Superintendents are paid for twelve months, principals for ten months, and teachers for nine months.

As to possible changes in our law for responsibility for school buildings, see statement under II. Highlights of State Projects, etc.

F. Needed Legislation.

1. To provide equalizing fund of $25,000,000 for new school buildings and buses.

2. To provide funds for employment of 125 supervisors (of instruction mainly) at salaries of $2,750 per year.

3. To provide funds for employment of 133 attendance officers at salaries of approximately $2,250 a year.

NOTE: In 2 and 3 above, the state is expected to pay two-thirds of the salaries; the local administrative units would pay one-third of salary and travel expense.

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SR_DPI_DNE_ArticlesSpeeches_Newbold_Box2_1946-1948_03

GREENSBORO NEWS COMPANY GREENSBORO NORTH CAROLINA

January 13, 1948

Dr. N.C. Newbold Department of Public Instruction Raleigh, N.C.

Dear Dr. Newbold:

We are assembling data on one and two-room public schools with the idea of preparing an article on the subject. I have obtained considerable information on the subject from school officials in Raleigh, and I am writing this to ask if you can send us a brief statement dealing with the situation as it pertains to Negro children. We have lots of figures on the number of such schools. What we would like to have from you is a statement as to your observation of health and safety conditions and the handicap of instructing children in these small schools with their limited teaching and instructional facilities.

It will be greatly appreciated if you can let us have this at your earliest convenience. Thanking you, I am,

Yours very truly, Colvin T. Leonard Colvin T. Leonard

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SR_DPI_DNE_ArticlesSpeeches_Newbold_Box2_1946-1948_04

ONE AND TWO-TEACHER NEGRO SCHOOLS IN NORTH CAROLINA

The Weakest spot in North Carolina's program of public education for Negroes from the first grade through University training is the small school unit. In 1944-1945 there were 619 one-teacher and 502 two-teacher schools, making a total of 1,121 such small schools. This is more than one-half the total number of Negro schools in the State. In these two types of the smallest school units there are 1,623 of the total 7,437 teachers, which is nearly 22 per cent of all the Negro teachers in North Carolina.

A study of Negro schools in North Carolina a few years ago revealed: "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 school. The progress already made in consolidation has therefore proved the wisom of consolidating schools and providing transportation. The 1,693 Negro rural 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 now generally conceded by informed leaders in education that large school units do provide opportunities and facilities for superior instruction as compared with one and two-teacher schools. This includes health and physical education, safety training, and all the subjects in vocational education. The one or the two-teacher school is not only inefficient, unsatisfactory school unit for traing childred as compared with larger units, but many such schools for Negroes in North Carolina, according to an official report published a few year ago: "Are unfit for human habitation, and are a menace to life and limb." The same report stated that 845 such schools are "bad."(This number probably included three and four-teacher schools.)

For two reasons, then, it appears that such small schools are not the type of unit a progressive state in modern times can be willing to require children to attend. These reasons are:

1. They are inefficient and unsatisfactory. 2. Many of these now are in use are unfit for children and teachers to live in five days a week.

Not many years ago, one county still had 49 or these small schools for Negroes, another had 45, others 44, 42, 40, 39, and still others more than 30. An officer of the State Board of Health declared it was impossible for the personnel of that great agency of the State to make even one visit to all these hundreds of small schools each year.

Our office prepared a statement for the Governor a few years ago in which an appeal was made that an official factual study of the small Negro schools be undertaken by the legislature or some other state body. The aim was to secure consolodation of these schools and the necessary transportation. Two paragraphs from the statement are quoted here:

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While no complete social welfare surveys have been made in the areas served by many of these small dilapidated schools, so far as I know, I am reliably informed that their very dreariness and forbidding general atmosphere, lack of vocational opportunities and encouraging stimulus, have resulted, either positively or negatively, in delinquency among boy boys and girls, child or youth marriages, many desertions, seperations, thier offsprings thrown upon the care of their already overburdened fathers and mothers, and of course, ultimate crime of a more or less serious character. Many stories of a sadistic nature come out of these situations which our counties and the state are permitting to exist in the midst of the really great ccomplishments we have made in other ways. There is nothing to interest and hold hundereds of the boys and girls supposed to attend these little uncomfortale and inefficient schools; they quit, get married, and settle down to reproduce their kind, or leave for towns and cities where the vicious cycle of delinquency and more or less incipient crimes are the result.

The attempted description of the situation which exists in many of the areas served by small Negro schools, which serve almost half the children of the state's Negro population, is weak and totally inadequate to give you a comprehensive realistic picture of the actual existing conditions. What is happening is that human beings, most of whom if properly trained and given a real lift toward good citizenship would prove an asset to the State and the communities in which they live, are, under present unfortunate conditions, becoming pure human waste-derelicts and a constant liability to State and local communities. Authoritative welfare surveys would probably show that the largest percentage of crime among Negroes in rural areas of the State comes out of such conditions as those under discussion. The remedy: Decent, respectable, adequate, modern schools which can offer these children a varied worthwhile program of studies and activities. The cost would not be great nor burdensome for a State like North Carolina."

The writer of the statement, fearing he was venturing into the province of State Welfare work, about whcih he had very limited information, took it to the head of the State Department of Welfare, requesting that the paragraphs quoted above be read carefully, and the writer advised if he had exaggerated actual existing conditions. The reply came back saying there had been no exaggeration, that the description was in keeping with the facts in possesion of the Welfare Department.

Perhaps a good word ought to be said, briefly, for the substantial progress the State and local administrative units have made in behalf of Negro public schools. Equality of opportunity has been achieved in the following public school areas:

1. Length of school term. 2. Teacher-pupil allotment in elementary schools 3. Teacher-pupil allotment in high schools 4. Courses of study, grades 1-12. 5. Regulation for accreditment of elementary and high schools. 6. Program of training and certification of teachers 7. Salaries of teachers and principals 8. Evaluation of high schools.

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