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Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Providing Aid to Local School Agencies in Federally Affected Areas.

September 10, 1949

I HAVE today approved H.R. 3829, "To provide assistance for local school agencies in providing educational opportunities for children on Federal reservations or in defense areas, and for other purposes."

This is emergency, stopgap legislation to continue for one more year, and to expand somewhat, a program that has been operating on this same emergency, stopgap basis for the last eight years. I am glad to note that both the Senate and the House of Representatives recognized, in the reports of their committees which considered this bill, that it does not offer a permanent or satisfactory solution to the important problems presented by the impact of Federal activities and Federal land ownership upon nearby local school districts. The reports of these congressional committees make it clear that this bill is intended merely to provide authorization for needed funds during the fiscal year 1950 while the Congress gives further study to legislation which will meet these problems on a fair, uniform, and economical basis.

I share with Members of the Congress the belief that there is an urgent need to establish a comprehensive Federal policy and plan with respect to the education of all children living on Federal property not subject to State and local taxation, and the education of children living in communities which are adversely affected by Federal activities. With my approval the Federal Security Administrator on April 6, 1949, submitted to both Houses of the Congress a legislative proposal designed to establish such a permanent program administered by the Office of Education, and I recommend this proposal (subsequently introduced as S. 1724 and H.R. 4115) to the consideration of the congressional committees concerned. It is my hope that the Congress will see fit to enact permanent legislation along the lines of these bills and thus obviate any occasion for more stopgap legislation such as H.R. 3829.

The need for permanent Federal legislation to assist in the financing of the education of children living on Federal property and in communities adversely affected by Federal activities must not, of course, be confused with the need for broad and comprehensive Federal assistance to States for the education of elementary and secondary schoolchildren which I have repeatedly called to the attention of Congress with requests for appropriate enabling legislation.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 3829 is Public Law 306 (63 Stat. 697).

Harry S Truman, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Providing Aid to Local School Agencies in Federally Affected Areas. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230063

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