Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Extending and Enlarging the Teacher Corps.

June 29, 1967

THIS MORNING we celebrate the success of a revolution.

This quiet revolution has gone on this past year in 275 schools throughout the United States. It is based on a simple idea: that the wisdom, the dedication, and the plain goodness of young Americans could be harnessed to help America's underprivileged children.

This idea was so sound that it has withstood the fiercest buffeting and the strongest challenge.

There were times in the past year when the fate of the Teacher Corps looked gloomy indeed. The fact that the Teacher Corps will live is only partly due to the legislators of both parties who reasoned together to enact a meaningful bill. It is only partly due to the tireless energy of Richard Graham and the Teacher Corps staff in Washington.

The lion's share of the credit goes to the 1,200 Teacher Corps members all across America who devoted this year to teaching and to learning how to teach. They won their battle in the classrooms. The idea spread, it grew, and it conquered.

There are those who say that the Teacher Corps is a small program, so far reaching only 275 out of 100,000 schools in America. They are right. The Teacher Corps is a small program--just as the Peace Corps was a small program to begin with. But that small program has left the mark of America's idealism all over the world.

I am signing the bill this morning, be. cause time is short. Before tomorrow night, when the supplemental appropriations expire, contracts must be let, payrolls met, and commitments made. I am asking Commissioner Howe and Director Graham to work round the clock. And I am calling on young dedicated Americans to come forward and apply for this great adventure. By fall, we hope to double the size of the Corps.

This act I sign--the Education Professions Development Act of 1967--is a basic building block for our schools and for our Nation. For no school--no matter how fine the building or how fancy its equipment--means as much as the men and women who work in it. Not just the teacher, but the principal, the librarian, the school nurse, and the social worker are vital to our children's education. We need to attract our most talented college graduates and train them for the most challenging work they could possibly undertake--to light the spark of learning in a young child.

This act will help us to do that.

Note: As enacted, the bill (H.R. 10943) is Public Law 90-35 (81 Stat. 81).

In his statement the President referred to Richard Graham, Director of the Teacher Corps, and Harold Howe II, Commissioner of Education.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Extending and Enlarging the Teacher Corps. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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