The prediction was correct. An exceedingly generousnprogram of educational benefits for the veterans was enactednand a postwar campaign was mounted to have the federalngovernment provide general funding for education. PresidentnTruman became increasingly forceful in his advocacynof the educational subsidy bills introduced in 1948 andn1949, but he met his match in that legislative contest. Dr.nDonald Cowling, the president emeritus of Cadeton College,nmobilized and coordinated a team of professors andnuniversity administrators, lawyers, clergy, and other prominentncitizens who patiently and relentlessly explained to thenCongress the damage which federal funding would do to theneducational process. Their views prevailed.nIt is instructive to review the arguments they offered. Anparticularly potent statement used in their campaign wasntaken from the annual report President Nicholas MurraynButler of Columbia University made in 1921 to his Board ofnTrustees.nIt is now proposed to bureaucratize and to bringninto conformity the educational system of the wholenUnited States, while making the most solemnnassurance that nothing of the kind is intended. Thenglory and successes of education in the UnitednStates are due to its freedom, to its unevenness, tonits reflection of the needs and ambitions andncapacities of local communities, and to its beingnkept in close and constant touch with the peoplenthemselves. …nA school system that grows naturally in responsento the needs and ambitions of a hundred thousandndifferent localities, will be a better school systemnthan any which can be imposed upon thosenlocalities by the aid of grants of public money fromnthe federal treasury, accompanied by federalnregulations, federal inspectors, federal reports, andnfederal uniformities.nThis concern that the local community retain its sense ofnprimary responsibility for the performance of the educationalnprogram was repeatedly stressed by the anti-federal aidnspokesmen of the 1940’s. Dr. W.C. CofFey, presidentnemeritus of the University of Minnesota, wrote, “More thannany other activity education calls for adaptation to localnneeds, and a sense of local responsibility for its successfulnprosecution. If the responsibility is placed elsewhere, democracynis unavoidably weakened at the grass roots.”nBrown University’s President Wriston wrote of the balefulnimpact which existing federal subsidies had already hadnupon vocational education-under the Smith-Hughes Act.n”The Hoover Commission showed one effect of subsidiesnhad been to distort the structure of State departments ofneducation and strongly to overbalance them in the matter ofnvocational education. It reported that ‘Federal activities havendiscouraged rather than encouraged the assumption ofneducational leadership and initiative by State educationalnagencies.’ … Of all the aspects of our education, the onenwhich by common consent is in the least satisfactory reputenis vocational education. The net adverse effect of Federalnsubsidy upon State and local responsibility did not appearnimmediately, but Federal dominance is an indirect andnlong-term consequence.”nThe Nobel laureate in physics, Robert A. Millikan, notednthat federal funding not only undermines local control, itnalso corrupts the central government. “Local self-governmentnin education is one of our most priceless Americannheritages. … It is the great safeguard against the malignantndisease politely called patronage, better called politicalncorruption, which is the chief device through which thenparty in power in Washington can, and to no small extentnalready does, seek to indoctrinate the public in the interestsnof the maintenance of its own power.”nThe principle of avoiding federal aid survived the Trumannyears and held firm until Sputnik was sent aloft onnOctober 4, 1957. It is hard for people who did not live in thenpre-satellite era to imagine the astonishment, awe, and fearnwhich that first Russian orbiter inspired. The general publicnwas easily persuaded that the Soviet Union was light-yearsnahead of the United States in technical and militarynknowledge. The solid resistance to federal involvement inneducational funding was shattered by the advent of the spacenage. The clamor for federal action gave rise to crashnprograms in science, research, and foreign languages packagednwith the highly palatable designation of the NationalnDefense Education Act. The Act was passed; the oldnwisdom was jettisoned.nBy 1961, the large outpouring of federal dollars wasngenerally held to be so beneficial that further expansionnof the federal role in educational support didn’t need thenjustification of national defense. The Kennedy administrationnintroduced bills to provide construction funds forncollege campuses and scholarship monies for students. Mostnof the testimony in the hearings on this legislation wasnfavorable, but a corporal’s guard of 29 private collegenpresidents, hoping to repeat the success of the Cowlingngroup, urged the Congress to vote down H.R. 8900 andnS. 1241.nAlthough their effort received little more than politeninattention from the legislators, the arguments that werenpresented then, and in further statements of concern overnthe next two years, were based on observations of thendamaging impact the prodigious infusion of Washingtonndollars was already having upon the educational system.nThe following are passages from the initial statementnfrom the 29 presidents to the Congress.nnnNow the federal government proposes to advancenfrom the provision of assistance in particular fieldsnto a general outlay for all institutions of higherneducation in their building programs and in theirnscholarship funds. This transition from thenparticular to the general is a drastic change ofnnational policy, and should not be undertakennwithout the most thorough evaluation of thenconsequences. We believe the destructive results,nwill far outweigh the benefits. . . .nAt the present time the variety of sources ofnfunds for colleges and universities reenforce thendiversity of educational programs and educationalnphilosophies among the various institutions. … It isngenerally agreed that the diversity of our educationalninstitutions is a principal cause not only ofnSEPTEMBER 1989/21n