Decisions concerning education today as always will be based upon facts–or what pass for facts. Educators know that. And tax-paying parents have a right to the facts. After all, they pay the bills. As individuals and as members of chambers of commerce, parent-teachers associations, service clubs, women’s clubs, veterans’ organizations, civic agencies, or pressure groups, they have a right to know about the dividends of their investment. True, there are Shylocks who will huff and puff and shyster patriots who will run a temperature, but the majority of patrons have as good intentionsas any other back-seat drivers.
Private schools as well as public schools must establish and maintain the good will of their patrons. Parents who send their,A children to private schools, whether day or boarding, military or parochial, finishing or preparatory, usually can afford to change schools if they are displeased. Realizing that parents will demand their money’s worth, headmasters know that the continued existence of their schools is based upon sustained support of a specialized and often highly critical “public.”
Two-year colleges, four-year colleges, and universities likewise depend upon public approval and support. Private institutions require contributions and endowment funds to supplement high tuition fees, Public institutions must have money raised by taxation. That means that they are at the mercy not only of taxpayers but also of legislators who in the interest of “economy” cut university budgets in order to lavish funds in spheres of influence in which there is greater opportunity for patronage or even graft. Often they are aided and abetted by governors who are more interested in arithmetical economy than in social economy. All institutions of higher education, of course, foster cordial relations with their alumni, most of whom seem to cheer or jeer their Alma Mater in exact proportion to the number of games its football team wins or loses.