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RONALD  REAGAN
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RONALD REAGAN, AS HE IS TRANSFORMING POLITICALLY, WRITES ABOUT HIS PHILOSOPHY: “WE ARE MEETING OUR EDUCATIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND DO NOT NEED FED. AID… WE HAVEN’T RAISED TEACHER SALARYS [SIC] AS FAST OR AS MUCH AS WE SHOULD BUT THAT AT LEAST WE ARE TRYING…MY TALK IS AIMED WHOLLY AT REDUCING THE TREND TOWARD MORE CENTRAL GOVT”

 

RONALD REAGAN (1911-2004). Reagan was the Fortieth President of the United States.

 

ALS. 1pg. 8 ½” x 11”. April 24 [1963]. Pacific Palisades.  A lengthy autograph letter signed Ronald Reagan to Ralph H. Parks, a New York state architect.  Parks wrote to Reagan after reading Reagan’s article “A Time For Choosing” in the March 1963 edition of Monitor.  Reagan handwrote: “Dear Frater Parks, Just a hasty line to correct the record.  First, there are no ‘ghost writers or researchers’ – only me.  I have always researched & written my own talks.  Now to the point in question – the quote on schools.  Unfortunately, your columnist did give a wrong impression.  He quotes my figures correctly but I use them not as an example of extravagance but to indicate we are meeting our educational responsibilities and do not need Fed. Aid.  As a matter of fact in the ‘spoken version’ (because I speak from notes) I usually say that perhaps we haven’t raised teacher salarys [sic] as fast or as much as we should but that at least we are trying.  You will find the paragraphs on schools (page 8) in the enclosed copy.  I think you’ll find we are in agreement because my talk is aimed wholly at reducing the trend toward more central govt.  As a matter of fact I think we have already gone too far in our tendency to make education a ‘state’ function at the expense of the local school board.  Y.I.T.B. [Yours In The Bond] Ronald Reagan.  The Reagan letter is accompanied by a copy of Parks’s missive to the actor and it states in part: “I am disappointed in the quality of the research job your P.R. men and ghost writers appear to have done in the article ‘A Time For Choosing’ as quoted by our local writer Bruce Mann in his column ‘Business of Living’…I refer specifically to their unfortunate choice of schools as an example of ‘waste’ in government spending.  Why pick on schools, when the most casual observer can see at a glance the mushrooming growth of bureaucracy, especially at state and national levels?...With this one exception, I heartily applaud your efforts to point out the dangers of an ever increasing tax burden and urge the elimination of ‘waste’ in government.  I urge that your researcher dig a bit deeper and avoid the ridiculous position of using school costs and teachers’ salaries as the ‘whipping boy’ when so many bonafide examples of colossal waste such as certain aspects of the foreign aid programs, to say nothing of the agricultural subsidies and the like, have been published.  I do urge that education remain at the state level; and even here we must be ever vigilant as free spending governors become ‘staff happy.’…”. The copy of the Monitor that Reagan mailed accompanies the letter, and Reagan used pen to highlight his section on education funding.  Of course, “A Time For Choosing” was later the title of Reagan’s 1964 speech supporting Barry Goldwater in the Presidential campaign against Lyndon Johnson.  Reagan wrote this as he was vocally moving from a Democrat to a much more conservative position.  The Reagan letter has a staple mark at the top margin and a received stamp on the verso; it is in fine condition.