Speeches delivered by Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas, discussing certain phases of contemplated legislation Page: 12 of 61
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school building, whether that school building be at the
forks of the road or on University Hill, with its doors, wherever these
institutions stand, swinging wide to the boys and girls of Texas nine
months in the year.
THE URAL SCHOOLS.
In working out an adequate school system the rural schools of the
State should not be overlooked. Under the present system only a
small per cent of rural children ever enter a high school. Our country
schools are the colleges for the masses. We must build up our
common schools; this is urgent and imperative. One-third of the
teachers of Texas have only a second grade certificate, and most of
these second grade teachers are in the country schools. Our institutions
of higher learning should be adequately equipped for the benefit
of the fortunate few, but our rural schools should be generously supported
for the democratic many. The country child should have as
good school as the city youth. It has been wisely said: "If the rural
schools fail, rural civilization fails; if rural civilization fails, American
TEXAS SHOULD PURCHASE THE BEST SCHOOL SYSTEM THERE IS ON
Texas should buy the best school system there is on the market. We
should have the best. The best is not too good. It is to our everlasting
shame that the average boy and girl in Texas does not have an
equal educational opportunity with the boys and girls of other States.
If this statement is true, and no one questions it, then to every man's
good right hand his sword should leap, to fight for these equal rights.
In this conflict for equal rights for the children of Texas, I am ready
to lead or follow the vanguard of battle. No State in the Unipn is
richer in actual or potential wealth. Our property valuation aggregates
ten billion dollars. First in territory, first in stock, first in agriculture,
first in oil, first in cotton, and thirty-fourth in education.
Wealth untold is here at our command. If as citizens of a State so
full and so furnished, following pursuits so pleasant and so profitable,
circumstanced with incentives so inspiring and so invigorating, we falter
and fail in providing an adequate educational system for the boys and
girls of the State, then we prove ourselves the unworthy descendants of
illustrious sires. Let us balance our bounty with our boys, and lay
our gold by the side of our girls, and challenge the wide world to produce
a higher, nobler, or better educated citizenship than is found where
falls the light of the Lone Star.
FIND NEW SOURCES OF REVENUE.
I am not in favor, however, of buying any kind of a school system
for Texas, in fact, I am not in favor of buying anything, at any time,
from anybody, unless the money can be had with which to pay for it.
If we are to have an adequate educational system in Texas, provision
must be made for its support. In this connection candor prompts me
to say that I am opposed at this time under present conditions, to rais
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Neff, Pat M. Speeches delivered by Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas, discussing certain phases of contemplated legislation, book, 1923; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5835/m1/12/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .