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ever, I can say there are approximately 50 people who are in agreement with the purposes of this committee, which was to foster the passing of this bill.
I am also here on behalf of the Federation of Businessmen's Association, an association consisting of approximately 5,000 constituent members, people who are residents and do business in the District of Columbia.
I was here when these hearings started on Thursday, and I have been here ever since they have been going on. I have been quite aware of all statistics that have been presented here by the Board of Education, by the District Commissioners, and even by the hearers, you gentlemen.
Mr. BATES. Where did you get my statistics? Mr. KATIMS. Sitting here and listening to you. I do not have any statistics. If you will bear with me and try to dismiss these confusing numbers from your minds and look at this problem from the point of view which I want to discuss it, you will agree with me that statistics are not important.
I want to discuss it from the point of view of schools and their effect on children.
My primary interest, even though I am chairman of one committee and representative of another organization, is the fact that I am a parent and I have a child in school.
The first contact that an infant has, or a child has, with our complicated system of living in this culture, is the public school. Until a child is 5 years old, it is usually looked after by its parents and only has been confronted with the problems of the home and the neighborhood. But when a child goes to school, it is becoming a part of a very complicated social system.
The child has problems when it gets into school. It has to adjust to a social system which is strange to it. The child is only approximately, on the average, 5 years old.
, . No doubt there are many people today 25 years or 50 years old who have not been very well adapted to our tremendously complicated culture that we have in this country.
My point is that when a child gets into a public school, it has to have proper supervision; it has to have competent teachers, teachers who can understand the position of the child in relation to its home life and to its social life. If we have a school system which is not able to retain its teachers because of failure to pay these teachers a decent living salary, then as parents we are sending our children to schools that are not going to be able to equip that child for adjusting to our complicated culture.
The Board of Education by its bill is endeavoring, as I see it, to supply our schools with teachers who are well trained and who will be satisfied in their jobs and stay in school and become acquainted with the children and help them grow up to face our culture as it is today. That is a part of the game, bringing these children up and teaching
a them in the school.
There is something else to consider, what these children are like when they get out of school. I have heard so much about juvenile delinquency in the last 3 or 4 years that I hesitate to say that it is due to the impact of the war alone. I think it is due to the fact that the
children have not had proper supervision in school. I agree that juvenile problems probably do arise in the home. But, fortunately, the schools have been able to help children to adjust to our culture where the homes have failed to do so.
I was surprised that the Commissioners did not go on record as being in favor of this bill. I am a resident of the District of Columbia. I have lived here since 1927. I have gone through the schools here.
Senator Cain. I can tell you the difference, Mr. Witness. Before they can go in favor of this bill, they have to do something that time has permitted you to do; they have to know what its effect is going to be on all other services in demand. You are speaking in theory, which we can all understand and sympathize with and appreciate, but you are not prepared to bear any responsibility for the cost of this legislation. Mr. Bates and I will not expect an answer from a responsible witness such as the Commissioner until they are prepared to prove what they are talking about.
Mr. KATIMS. I will take issue with you, sir. I am prepared to pay any tax you levy against me, to provide the schools here with competent teachers.
Senator Cain. That is your single tax, Mr. Witness, and we are not going to labor the point. The Commissioners are responsible for the taxes to be imposed to provide all services, and what a tremendous difference there is in that.
Mr. KATIMS. As I understand it, primarily this is a bill to set a scale of wages for the teachers in the schools; is it not? It is not a bill for an appropriation to pay those teachers ?
Mr. BATES. One follows the other.
Mr. KATIMS. This is one bill that sets a scale, sets a standard; is that not correct?
Senator Cain. Entirely correct.
Mr. KaTiMs. As far as this bill is concerned, you would be going ahead of yourself if you appropriated money now to pay that standard.
Senator Cain. I think we are getting into the realm of finance now, and we had better stay right with the bill.
Mr. KATIMs. Unless this bill is considered an appropriation bill, too, I do not think I should have to explain how you are going to get the money. But I do have the answer.
The Federation of Businessmen's Associations went on record here with reference to the appropriation bills for the District of Columbia. In their report to the Appropriations Committee they recommended the income tax plan known as the Philadelphia plan.
There is nothing wrong with that Philadelphia plan. The only objection I can see to it, from the point of view of Congress passing it, is the fact that a lot of States might lose a lot of income-tax payers. As a resident of the District of Columbia, who cannot vote, I am at a disadvantage to come to Congress and ask them to excuse their residents from paying taxes in the District of Columbia, because their States want the taxes.
Mr. Bates. That is a wage tax, of course, the Philadelphia tax. You have heard the testimony here this afternoon relative to the sales tax, which is somewhat treating the problem in reverse-you tax at the source instead of taxing after you get the money, and then attempt
Mr. KATIMs. I understood the Philadelphia plan was to withhold the tax where it is paid.
Senator Cain. It is not quite as simple an answer as I know you sincerely think it is, because if it could not pass the Congress it is no answer at all.
Mr. BATES. That is the pay-roll tax.
Mr. Katims. That is correct. But if it cannot pass the Congress, I am in the unenviable position of being a resident of the District of Columbia in that I am not responsible for that situation. But it would be fair, as far as the residents of the District of Columbia and the taxpayers of the District of Columbia are concerned, to supply us with proper schools for our children. I cannot speak for the or ganizations I represent in relation to sales tax, but if I were permitted to express my own personal view I would say this: If you would put a sales tax on some objects which are not necessities of life, and mark that fund for the purpose of education, I would be in favor of it. favor of it.
Senator Cain. Thank you, sir.
Mr. KATIMS. I just hope you gentlemen will not lose track of the fact that the more important thing here is not the question of getting the money, it is the effect on the school system, on the school children that are going to be the citizens of this community in the future.
Mr. BATEs. You may rest assured that both of us, who have had this problem down through many years, have that viewpoint that you have expressed very much in mind.
Senator Cain. I would just make one comment to you, that however important the school systems are, we think they are a whole lot more important than a lot of people think, and we are all jointly trying to help, but they never can replace the origin from which one starts. If we were to argue about juvenile delinquency, I have never known yet an American school which is much worse than the schools that you have, which are very good, that added very much to the delinquency of a boy or girl who had been properly trained by the time he got to that school.
Thank you very much.
In trying to be fair to everybody, it sometimes takes a little more time than we assumed. Mr. Bates has gone through 20 witnesses this afternoon. This leaves us 7 more, I think. There just will not be time this afternoon to hear their conclusions. We will make arrangements to do so before we are through.
The Superintendent has requested, and we have very happily agreed, to have his comments that he cares to make in the next 10 minutes, which will permit us all to go home at 4:30.
FURTHER STATEMENT OF DR. HOBART M. CORNING, SUPER
INTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Dr. CORNING. I would like to make several comments, if I may, in summarization.
First, I would like to draw to your attention the fact that the drawing of a salary schedule for a large group of people in a complicated organization is an extremely difficult task. I have been through it many, many times and I know how difficult it is.
I would like to say to you what I said to the Joint Legislative Council when I first assigned to them the task of studying this problem, that try however hard we may, it is impossible to build a salary schedule in which every individual will be entirely satisfied. If you did meet all of the requests that are before you today, immediately other inequities would be created because of those decisions. It is not possible to make a salary schedule that is acceptable to everybody alike.
However, we are very happy that in this proposal before you now the great majority and the most important of the inequities which had existed in the 1945 Salary Act are corrected. The single salary schedule, the liberalizing of the promotion to master's degree classifications, and the liberalizing of the promotion to B and D classifications, were to eliminate very acute inequities which caused a great deal of dissatisfaction.
I think, too, in setting the salary schedule, we ought not to be aiming only at a cost-of-living adjustment. If we do, then the argument follows necessarily that as costs of living go up, salaries go up, and correspondingly, as costs of living go down, salaries go down.
It has been the history in the past nationally that the salaries of teachers have been the last, practically, to respond to the uprising of costs, and they have been among the first to be cut when costs go down.
I think we should aim in this matter toward equitable scale of pay that can remain constant.
I say to you that when there is the uncertainty and the insecurity and an almost annual appeal for better salaries, the service in the schools is impaired. We are all unhappy and dissatisfied and, as a result, less efficient.
I hope that we are headed toward a solution which can be reasonably permanent and not responsive to the changing indices of the dollar from time to time.
Attention has been called to the fact that several requests which have been made were not included. I do not wish to argue these points at all. But I should like to give you a summarization of the reasoning of my office and of the Board of Education in not including these requests.
Some of the requests are so limited to the interests of specific groups that additional inequities would be created if they were to be granted.
Secondly, requests of individual groups are not always compatible with requests of other groups and with the good of the service.
Third, some are prohibitive in cost, so much so as to jeopardize the entire schedule, and would result in diverting funds for one group in amount disproportionate to the needs of other groups.
Those reasons were given when I presented our proposal to all of the teachers in general session.
I want to speak just briefly of three or four of the items that were not included. The $200 increment has been mentioned as being desirable rather than the $100 increment. I am not arguing against that point of view particularly, but our reasoning in not including it with these, first, was that the costs of the increment would mount so rapidly that we felt it would jeopardize the entire schedule.
In the second place, a teacher right out of training, on the $200increment basis, would in 6 years be at the maximum, probably before she is 30 years of age, or if that teacher should enter on placement in 2 or 3 years she would be at maximum. We felt that that was too soon to arrive at maximum.
If you study the salary schedules of cities over the country, you will find that some grant larger increments. On the other hand, in every instance of a high increment, there is a much wider span between the beginning and the maximum salaries than is true here in Wash. ington.
I do not know of any that would in so few years reach maximum as would be true here on the $200 increment.
There has been some reference to the beginning salary being $2,500 instead of $2,600. The point that is overlooked, I think, in that is that in addition to the $2,500, people coming in have the advantage of placement credit, so that we can place them up to $3,000. If a teacher has had 1 year of experience before coming here, she can enter at $2,600; 2 years, $2,700, on up to $3,000.
Furthermore, the beginning-salary change that has been referred to does not affect anybody in the system now, and it is the considered opinion of all the officers who have employment of teachers in charge that we will be able to attract teachers at this salary level of $2,500 to $3,000.
I am very much interested in the points raised by the attendance officers. I would suggest a comparison of the salaries now being paid attendance officers in Washington with the salaries being paid attendance officers in other cities. I think there is a bit of confusion between the function of counseling, which is the function of counselors attached to educational offices in the schools and the function of attendance workers, which is set forth in law very definitely as the enforcement of the public school attendance law.
We do need additional counseling in the schools, there is no doubt of that. We need visiting teachers attached to the educational offices as liaison officers between the schools themselves and the homes.
I think there is just a little bit of confusion of thinking as to the function of the attendance office. But our contention is and was, in omitting the request of the attendance workers, that the function of counseling and the function of the visiting teacher belongs in the schools themselves and not in a separate department.
I am not arguing against the requests of the coaches necessarily. but I would like to make this observation in that connection: If we tabulate the time of all other teachers--and I say "all" advisedlywe would find that great numbers of them have constant responsibilities after school hours in addition to correcting papers and preparing their lessons for the next day. I could enumerate for you great numbers of activities, such as cadets, the musical organizations, dramaties, the clubs, the school paper, all of which require teachers supervision. These are important and definitely a part of the educational program, just as we consider athletics a part of education.
The only conflict I can see in that whole matter is that if one group is to be paid for extra time, certainly the others should. It would not be fair to other teachers who spend long and repeated periods of time, day in and day out, week in and week out, on these other activities, if only the coaches are to be paid for extra time.