Never in history has any nation invested as much in education and depended as much on it as the United States. At the beginning of 1957, 41 million Americans—one in every four—were in school. The cost of their schooling amounted to $15,544,000,000, or almost $400 per pupil. Our investment in school property was over 16 billion dollars in 1953 and today would probably reach 20 billion. Truly, education is Big Business with us.
Public And Private Education
In our early history education was almost entirely a private enterprise, provided by parents, churches and other private agencies. Now it is very largely a public enterprise, provided by institutions under state control.
In our public (state-controlled) schools in 1955–1956, 33 million pupils were enrolled at a cost of 10.5 billion dollars; in private schools, 5 million were enrolled at an expenditure of 1.5 billion dollars. Thus, there were 86–1/3 per cent in public and 13–2/3 per cent in private schools.
In higher education the enrollment was 3 million and the cost 3.4 billion dollars—divided into 2 billion dollars (56.3 per cent) in public and 1.4 billion dollars (43.7 per cent) in private schools.
Notwithstanding this vast expenditure of effort and money on education, we are confronted with an appalling crisis in morals, youth delinquency and crime. With reference to the latter J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI informs us that last year a total of 2,563,150 major crimes were committed in the United States, a 13.3 per cent increase over the preceding year; that since 1950 the increase in crime has been 43 per cent, while that of population has been 11 per cent. This is a worse criminal record than that of any other civilized nation. Hoover also ...1
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