APRIL 18, 1960
NEW YORK—The more one reads about the South African situation the more depressed one becomes. The outlawed African National Congress has again ordered a sitdown strike and refusal to work on the part of Negroes as an answer to the savage attack made upon their leaders and upon many of their people.
It seems especially sad that these tactics should be followed at the Easter season by Christian people. Easter gives the promise of rebirth. It accepts the tragedy brought about by the rigidity of certain leaders and the refusal of the people in the early days of Christianity to acknowledge the leadership of a man called Christ as being Divine, and then to prove that goodwill triumph there came the Resurrection of Easter and the happiness of this season.
In our country Easter is also the season of spring, when everything is coming back to life. I missed seeing my snowdrops at Hyde Park this year because I was not there when they came up through the snow. But now there are daffodils—not in bloom, but coming up all through the field by the brook—and even the tulips are showing green shoots above the ground. Everyone is taking a keen interest in getting things planted to take advantage of these first sunny days of real spring.
I always love the Easter Day service in our church, with all the flowers in the chancel and the triumphant music. And every plant that comes to me is a joy, not only for the moment but because I will most certainly plant it so that another year it may flower again in my garden. In this season of new bloom, one would like to feel that all over the world hope was entering into the hearts of people and making them face the future with dreams of greater happiness for tomorrow.
It is good news that Governor Rockefeller has signed the bill increasing school aid. New York City will receive $19 million of the $69 million which will be distributed throughout the state. In the meantime there will be a legislative study of the financing of education in the state.
The Governor has warned that new ways of raising money will have to be found. His recently defeated plan would have allowed local districts to band together on a county-wide basis and enact non-property taxes to share the burden of rising costs. This is of course based on the idea that local districts wish to continue complete independence and do not want to accept state or Federal aid. The Governor points out that if they do not have new ways of raising money for education they will have to accept more and more money from the state and Federal government. This, he says, will affect the "concept of local control of education."
I think in many cases it may be necessary to have more state and Federal aid. How much this will be allowed to interfere with local control of the kind of education to be given remains to be seen.