Date of Award
Doctor of Education
John W. Gilliland
Galen N. Drewry, Orin B. Graff, Dale Wantling, Charles P. White
The Problem: The common uplifting, integrating force of public schools, educational opportunities for all who are desirous can capable, is at least a partial fulfillment of the American dream of freedom.
From the first individually hired tutor in Virginia, and the first community-church sponsored school in the Plymouth Colony to the present time, there have been Americans who have believed in and demanded public schools. Local community responsibility for support of and the desire for local control of education were early recognized in New England and spread across the Midwest to the West Coast as the country was settled. Class distinctions, however, caused the development of private schools for the upper and upper-middle classes of the southeastern states. Some two hundred odd years passed after the settlement at Jamestown, Virginia, before public education supported by government began to make any headway. It is not strange that today in this same southeastern region, where local support is not traditional, one finds the greatest swing toward state support of education while the old attitude of local responsibility still prevails in the northeast, midwest, and western regions of the country.
Americans today are spending twice as much for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products as they are spending for education. It does not follow that they cannot afford better schools. Localities can afford and will have the kind of schools they want, for they are willing to pay for what they want.
It is assumed that there is a need for greater local support of education in Tennessee. Two facts support this assumption. First, in 1956-57, Tennessee ranked sixth in the percentage of school funds furnished by the state when compared with all the states of the nation. Second, the same year found Tennessee ranked in a tie with Kentucky for forty-fourth and forty-fifth place in total current expenditures per pupil when compared with all the states in the total support of education. While this does not exclude the need for greater support on the state level, it does seem to indicate that Tennessee lags behind in support of education at the local level. This opens up the need for a look at the whole area of local support for all local governmental agencies, including education.
Stradley, William Bascom, "A Study of Local Sources of Support of Local Governmental Agencies in Twenty-Three Selected Tennessee Counties. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 1958.