Published August 1962 — Download PDF of the original newspaper column
From the Office of UNITED STATES SENATOR ROBERT C. BYRD Room 342, Old Senate Office Building, Washington 25, D. C. VOLUME II -- Number 36 3-31-62 BYRD' EYE VIEW A Public Service Column by U. S. SENATOR ROBERT C. BYRD PUTTING MONEY INTO EDUCATION IS SOUND INVESMENT School bells will be ringing again very soon for approximately 436,000 West Virginia primary and secondary public school children. Some of this number will be newcomers to the educational process. Host of these young people, however, will be classroom veterans refreshed after a summer of play and sunshine, and ready to tackle textbooks. The opening of the school year makes us conscious once again of the need for exerting every effort to give our children the best possible education. The problems we face today in West Virginia, in the Nation, and internationally, may be those with which our children will have to deal tomorrow. But only through a soundly-funded system of education can we prepare the youngsters of today for the responsibilities of tomorrow. Putting money into education has proved to be a good investment for America. It has been the means by which this Nation has achieved the capacity to produce and distribute a greater volume of goods and services than that produced by any other nation. Education has also been the means by which science has opened new doors of discovery -- the Telstar Communications Satellite being the latest example of scientific achievement. In America, too, education has been the process by which people of differing cultural backgrounds, origins, and creeds, have become united as a nation a nation which has been able to maintain stability in the face of every challenge and every danger. As a whole, educational attainment in our country has been increasing. Today, nearly four out of five persons, 25 years of age and over, have bad eight or more years of schooling. However, of every 10 youths in our population, two do not reach the senior year in high school; and one other, who does become a senior, fails to graduate, according to a recent census Bureau survey. But the educational attainments of today are not sufficiently impressive when viewed against the growing magnitude of our domestic and foreign problems. Out of a population of more than 102 million persons, only 7.6 million Americans have four or more years of college to their credit. In effect, on the shoulders of his small number of Americans rests the burden of keeping our Nation in the forefront of scientific achievement, and the leader of the free nations of the world. The need for enriching our educational systems with sufficient funds to enable our teachers to do a better job in educating our children makes good financial sense. We could not provide our children w1ith a better inheritance than a soundly-based and well-rounded education.