70 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK CITY
January 31st, 1917.
Dear Mr. Carnegie:
We take the liberty of addressing you again because, through inadvertence, this letter was sent you last week in a printed form which we fear was consigned to the waste basket without being read.
There is at present in process of formation a Committee on National Aid to Education. The purpose of the Committee, as provisionally formulated, is "to promote federal aid to education with a view to eliminating illiteracy, to improving rural schools, to Americanizing the immigrant, and to furthering like objects of national scope." This Committee will cooperate with other agencies covering any part of this field. It will also foster discussion and legislation in behalf of federal aid to those aspects of elementary and adult education not cared for by existing agencies.
We are confident we shall be able to convert the country within a few years to the necessity of a liberal national subsidy for the public schools.
The policy of federal aid to vocational education has just been established on a modest scale by the passage of the Vocational Education Bill. But its benefits will be restricted to children over fourteen who have laid the foundation of a general [page 2] education in the elementary school.
We therefore believe the time opportune to begin a determined agitation for federal aid to the common school as the only effective means to remove illiteracy, Americanize the immigrant, raise the level of backward rural schools to the best American standard, and provide the indispensable basis for industrial and agricultural education.
We confidently count upon the public support of America's eminent and representative -- and therefore busiest -- citizens. We are fully aware of the extraordinary public demands already made upon you. But we are certain that the briefest reflection will convince you that there is no public movement that more imperatively demands your support. We ask only an intelligent understanding and a readiness for occasional cooperation by correspondence. An executive committee will undertake the active direction of the movement subject to your approval.
This letter has been sent to the enclosed list of persons, who are invited to constitute the National Council.
May we hope to have your acceptance as a member of the Committee at an early date?
Very truly yours,
John H. Finley [signed by secretary]
Edmund J James [signed by secretary]
The invitation to accept membership on the National Council of this COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL AID TO EDUCATION, just organizing, is being sent to the following:
' These have already accepted membership.