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7.33. The foregoing have cost scores of millions to install and operate and will cost scores of millions more. Before we embark on yet a fourth network of new buildings and independent agencies, we should consider how far the concept of community centers, and their utilization to benefit the city's youth, could be attained by intelligent use of what we already have. A more intensive use of school buildings, the designing of future buildings to serve multiple uses, and some permanent machinery by which Education, Recreation, and Libraries will work together on the problem, are important possibilities.
7.34. These possibilities should be studied in the coming months in the preparation of the final plan.
Mr. CORNING. In this report are listed school building needs based upon existing conditions which a year ago were estimated to cost approximately $40,000,000, but which today would cost much more.
May I say in that connection that General Young presented that report, after personal visitation to all of the centers which were under discussion, and he himself personally inspected them and verified the claim which we made in the report to him of the needs existing for those schools.
Senator Cain. And his testimony will fit properly with yours, because he will shortly follow you to the stand.
Mr. CORNING. I think there will be no disagreement with him whatsoever, because we concurred with him in the preparation of that report.
These are basic needs. The plan as presented by General Young which, of course, was a preliminary study subject to review and revision by him and by the commissioners, was referred to as a 6-year plan. Quite obviously these basic needs cannot be met in 6 years and it is a question whether they can ever be met with annual appropriations for capital outlay averaging around $2,000,000 a year. The welfare of the children themselves and certainly our common interest in their basic education would require increased appropriations for capital outlay in order that these very serious conditions above refered to be corrected. •
I would like to pause at this point, if I may, to comment upon the fact that we have this big backlog of building needs in the District. That is attributable, as I see it, to several conditions.
In the first place, there has been a mushrooming of population in the District, as you readily know.
Furthermore, we have a situation in the District where the shifting of population is greater than in any community that I have been connected with heretofore.
Senator Cain. Meaning turn-over!
Mr. CORNING. Shifting from one section of the city to another; new areas developing, and others with declining population, as far as the schools are concerned.
Very definitely it emphasizes shifts in Washington-pretty rapidly. At times, there have been wartime restrictions on building. Even if money had been available during the war years, not much building could have been done, and there is added to all of that the fact that, in our estimation, appropriations for capital outlay have been inadequate to take care of the needs and, therefore, because of all those conditions there has been a piling up or a great backlog of need, which I think should be studied irrespective of the current needs because, at the rate of $2,000,000 a year, in our estimation, that would do little more in a plant the size of ours, than take care of the current needs as they go along, and would never take care of this big backlog of building needs we have.
In this connection, the question of sites is very serious. In the 1948 budget estimates now before Congress, only one site is provided for. It would seem in the interest of good business that sites should be provided sufficiently in advance of contemplated construction so that the sites may be secured at as reasonable a figure as possible. If the authorization for the purchase of sites is deferred until construction is about to start, probable improvements made upon such property would add materially to the cost of such sites.
If we examine the schools themselves without reference to the buildings, the conclusion must be drawn that here again appropriations have been insufficient to assure a satisfactory program of education. Teacher shortage, which is serious throughout the country, also is acute here in the District of Columbia. We have at the present time approxi. mately 450 temporary teachers working regularly in the schools on substandard qualifications.
Furthermore, we have some positions not filled at all because we are unable to secure qualified people for them. We have lost an alarming number of experienced and well-qualified teachers who have gone to Government service and into private employment. The most serions phase of this situation is that the teacher-training institutions throughout the country have been practically depopulated during the war years and there is little increase in enrollments at the present time. Capable young people graduating from our high schools are not interested in submitting to the rigors of 4 years of college training in order to prepare themselves for the teaching profession so long as the remuneration that they would receive as teachers is less than would be available to them, without costly and extensive training, in other lines of work. The schools of the District of Columbia cannot be expected to function satisfactorily until the compensation of teachers is commensurate with pay of professional workers in the Federal Government, our biggest competitor, and is on the level which will assure the ability of the schools to attract and hold in service capable young people and experienced teachers from other school districts.
I would like to submit for your information and also for the record two additional tables, one of which I think answers a question which you have been asking of other departments; namely, "What has happened to salaries in the District of Columbia in the last 10 years?" and the other, the ranking of Washington in the question of salaries.
The two tables that I am handing you at this moment are stapled together.
In this first table you will find that in 1937, for elementary teachers with a bachelor's degree the minimum was $1,400.
I should like to call your attention to the fact that in 1937 that was extraordinarily low, even for that year, for cities of our size.
Senator Cain. You were below the national average?
Salaries in 1946 increased to a $1,900 minimum, and a $2,900 maximum for elementary teachers with a bachelor's degree.
There was no change in salary status in those intervening years from 1937 to 1946, which I think is very significant.
In other words, Washington was not keeping up with the trend which did exist in the country of rather gradually increasing salaries, but there was a 1937 plateau maintained until 1946 without any change.
Salaries for the current year in the remaining columns are before you.
The basic permanent salary for 1947 is exactly the same as it was for 1946, but by action of the last Congress $450 additional compensation was given to all educational employees for this year only. That is temporary and expires June 30, 1947.
Senator Cain. May I ask, how did that come about? Does that represent some sort of a war bonus?
Mr. CORNING. It was not termed a bonus at all. It was termed additional compensation for this year only.
• To refresh your memory about it, at the time that additional compensation was granted for this year only, the Board of Education of the District of Columbia was directed to make a study of those salaries and submit its findings to the Congress. That is, to the two District Committees in the House and Senate.
That study is completed. The report is in the hands of the committees. The legislation reporting that is being drafted, ready for submission to you.
As of this year, then, for an elementary teacher with a bachelor's degree, the minimum was increased, for this year only, to $2,350, and the maximum to $3,350, and it is not necessary, of course, to go across the other categories because they all received similar treatment.
Senator Cain. Yes, sir.
Mr. Corning. Now, your attention is invited to this next table, which I think contains information which will be very important and of interest to you. This is based upon a national study under date of February 21, 1947, so it is as current of national practice as anything could be.
The rankings here indicated include all bonuses and temporary additional compensation. That is, they include this $150 in Washington. They also include more bonuses or additional compensations of temporary nature in the other cities.
I want to make this comment on these, because this feature is nor included. What is known as the B & D classification—that is, a superior rating classification of salaries—is not included for the purpose of this comparison because there is nothing comparable with of Education, it cannot apply to more than 10 percent of the teachers, it in the other cities and in Washington, by regulation of the Board so it is not in any sense representative of the salaries that are being paid.
With that explanation, then, the minimum and maximum salaries of the different classifications of the school officials are indicated here as among the 20 cities.
In minimum salaries, going across, with the assistant and associate superintendents, Washington is fifteenth among the 20 cities, and in the maximum is ninth among the 20 cities.
On senior high-school principals, it is tenth and sixteenth.
As to senior high-school teachers with master's degrees, Washington ranked fifth among the 20 cities in the minimum, and tied for fifteenth place on the maximum.
Junior high-school teachers with a bachelor's degree ranked sixth and thirteenth.
The elementary school teachers in Washington ranked fourth in the minimum and fourteenth in the maximum salaries.
Those tables are submitted for your additional information. (The tables referred to are as follows:)
Public schools of the District of Columbia-Comparison of minimum and marimum salaries paid to public school teachers during the 10-year period from 1937 to 1947
I Salary increases received under the provisions of the Teachers' Salary Act of 1945, as amended (Public LATS 158 and 160-A). ? Teinporary $450 additional compensation, provided for 1947 fiscal year only, expires on June 30, 1947 (Public Law 568). Mar. 19, 1947.
Public schools of the District of Columbia-Ranking of salaries paid to teachers
and officers in Washington, D. C., as compared with ranking of salaries paid in 19 other large cities, based upon information furnished by the National Education Association, February 1947
Mr. CORNING. I think it would be very interesting to refer, if I may for just a moment, to a study which recently came out of Norwalk, Conn. After a careful analysis of the situation there, they have issued this statement that, taking into consideration the present buying power of the dollar, a salary of $3,797 in 1940 would need to be increased to $6,000 to produce the same purchasing power today. I think that brings before us quite graphically just what this whole problem of salaries is here.
On a salary of $1,266, which is slightly below our minimum in 1940, $2,000 would be necessary to produce the same purchasing power.
The need for increased teachers' salaries has been dramatically presented to the public by the press and by various lay and professional organizations. Already in great numbers of communities the need has been squarely faced and significant increases have been provided.
I am sure you gentlemen of the committees would be interested, if you have not already seen it, in a recent release, and in fact this is under date of January 25, 1947, from the United States Chamber of Commerce, to its education committee.
This is a release which was sent out to chambers of commerce all over the country.
I would like, if I may have your indulgence, to read two or three statements from this. Coming from an organization like that, I think it demands our attention and respect.
It is under the caption Community action to meet the immediate needs of our schools."
The first statement set off by itself says:
During the war years at least 350,000 teachers quit the profession and of the remaining 850,000 more than 110,000 are unqualified on the basis of State standards for certification.
Costs of living have materially advanced but teacher income has not kept pace and many teachers are faced with the necessity of either drawing upon their meager savings or seeking employment in other fields. It
goes on to refer to extreme crises which have arisen in teacher strikes, and that sort of thing, as being indicative of the fact that the situation is quite desperate, and gives the advice to chambers of commerce the country over that they fortify their education committees with all information on this very pressing and important subject, and assume a leadership in their communities in trying to correct the situation.
That, coming from the United States Chamber of Commerce, it seems to me, is very significant.
In addition to the problem of salaries we need more teachers in order that the size of classes in many of the schools may be reduced. It is not consistent with good education to have 40, 45, or children under the tutelage of 1 teacher in a class. Furthermore, some phases of education need to be expanded and developed in the District of Columbia.
We should have, for example, an expanded and well-developed department of visual education. We need, also, a continuing development of a rich health program which is already well begun but which must be expanded if the health deficiencies revealed by the draft are not to be repeated. Although some service is available at the present time for handicapped children, we need extended services for them. These extensions are not possible without additional teachers.
A review of the increases in school costs reveals that there have been insufficient increases in capital outlay to provide an adequate plant for the school children of the District of Columbia. It is further revealed that in the operation of the schools the increases have been