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money. I am convinced we have to have more money, but there is no use in throwing it away.

Mr. Bates. You mentioned about the Police Department and the prowl cars. If they reduce the prowl cars to one man instead of two, you say we could save probably a hundred police officers. Have they 100 patrol cars in the District ?

Mr. Lusk. No; but you see, there are two men on each car, and there are three shifts. They have to have days off and vacations. We fig. ured it out that it would be pretty nearly a hundred officers. Maybe I am exaggerating a little there.

I am a member of a subcommittee of General Young's Planning Committee. It had to do with police and fire. We, on that com. mittee, made several recommendations as to where money could be saved, and that is one of them.

That will not work, Mr. Bates, unless you have two-way radio.

Mr. Bates. Most of the prowl cars now have two-way radio; do they not?

Mr. LUSK. A lot of the police cars have, but the fire cars do not. The fact is, they do not have enough radio.

Mr. Bates. Have you any thoughts with respect to the operating costs of the District insofar as any criticism you have to offer is concerned as to the cost of doing the city work in public works, waterworks, sewers, and expenditures of that type?

On highways is the competition, in your opinion, keen enough?

Mr. Lusk. "Do you mean that the bids are rigged, or something of that sort ?

Mr. BATES. Anything could happen. I just wanted your point of view for the committee, whatever thoughts you have with regard to how the work is being done here, and 90 percent of your work is under contract, I understand.

It has been testified that only two or three bidders bid on the various projects, year after year. In your opinion, is that enough bids? Is there an opportunity for collusion there?

Do you think that the prices you pay under that type of competition are comparable to what other communities pay?

Mr. LUSK. I really do not know. All of that is quite technical, and there are not very many contractors in it.

The reason there are not more bids is that there are either no more people to bid on them or no more that want that kind of work. I watched through a period of years how the people who are doing the work on streets are not the same ones who were doing it 5, 10, 15, and 20 years ago, such as Brenizer, George B. Mullin, and Schroff Bros. Now I notice the biggest contractor is Leo Butler.

I do not think there is anything wrong. The competition among that kind of men is pretty keen when things are normal. They are not normal now. They have had bids on schools, and they would not

Mr. BATËs. That is so all over the country with respect to heavy construction. That does not apply, generally speaking, to repair work. You ought to be able to get plenty of contractors to go into repair work. On heavy construction such as brand-new highways, foundations have to be laid, and underground installations; you have to have quite a large construction outfit to do that type of work.

get a bid.

But I am inquiring as to whether or not the competition here is keen enough, in your opinion, and whether or not the District is getting prices comparable with the prices paid in other communities on this other work.

Mr. Lusk. I think the competition is keen enough, as keen as it could be anywhere. Whether they are getting the right prices, or not, I frankly do not know.

Mr. Bates. Have you any other suggestions to offer, Mr. Lusk, as to where the Commissioners may tighten up, or where expenditures may be lessened—money saved ?

Nr. LUSK. I just gave two or three. Each one of those in each department and each subdepartment requires a very, very careful study of each individual job, what that person does, whether the job classification is correct.

Frankly, the Washington Taxpayers' Association does not have the facilities to do it. It is pretty hard to get the department heads to do it themselves.

Mr. BATES. There is one suggestion made in the local paper here a few days ago that attracted my attention with respect to those who are retired from the Fire and Police Departments for physical disabilities who are immediately employed somewhere else. Do you know of any cases in the District where a municipal employee has been discharged for physical disability and then employed in some other branch of the District government?

Mr. LUSK. I do not know about the District government, but other jobs.

Mr. Bates. What employment?

Mr. Lusk. This particular police sergeant became a sergeant on the White House Police force.

Another retired inspector became chief of police some place in Massachusetts.

And another retired fireman became the chief of the Bethesda fire department.

Here is something they do which is dead wrong: They promote a man and then retire him. That happens quite frequently.

Mr. Bates. I recall some few years ago where the retirement age for firemen, and maybe the policemen also, was 55 years. A man may retire at 55, provided he worked 25 years.

I was very much opposed to that bill myself when it went through Congress. Of course, they retire at that age if they want to, and if they can get another job they can draw the pension and the salary of a full-fledged workman, perhaps even as a fireman or a policeman in some other activity, whether it is outside the District, the Federal Government, or somewhere else, and at the same time draw that compensation in the form of a pension from the District government.

Is there anything in the statute so far as you know that would give, say, the Commissioners the right to call a man back if he is discharged or pensioned for physical disability and. it perhaps occurred to the Commissioners that the physical disability no longer existed ?

Is there any power?

Mr. Lusk. I think they can call them back in the case of an emergency, but not just call them back. I am sure they cannot do that. I

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elieve it is like the Army; in the case of an emergency, they can. You ever heard of it happening, however.

Mr. Bates. There is no question, from my long experience in dealng with a very similar condition, that that is done. We find it in Il communities, where, for the purpose of retirement, they are able o trump up a physical disability, only to find out later they are ceuying another position that requires as much physical, and pernaps mental, activity as the job from which they were retired on the grounds of physical disability.

I do not know how you are going to get around that unless it is macie a part of the law to call back a man. I do not think these doctors are too careful about a complete examination of the man who applies for retirement on the basis of physical incapacity.

Mr. Lusk. It should be tightened up. You recall what happened in New York recently.

Either the platoon system was going into effect, or something, and a hundred firemen applied for retirement almost the next day.

Mr. Bates. Do you have any further testimony, Mr. Lusk?

Mr. LUSK. Yes, sir. In connection with fire and police we have, as you know, a contributory pension system which is not sound. The cost of that has gone up and up and up until now the taxpayers are paying more than $2,000,000 a year to supply that fund—to make up the deficit between what the men contribute and the amount that is needed.

We have urged for years that there should be a study made of the policemen and firemen's revenue funds, and I believe some work has been done on it by the Bureau of the Budget. Nothing yet has come of it. It costs two or three times as much to pension a fireman or a policeman as it does for either a school teacher or one of the other employees of the District of Columbia. If it keeps on, it will be only a matter of years until it costs four or five million dollars a year to supply the pension money for our policemen and firemen, who number only about twenty-six or twenty-seven hundred people, and we have all told about fifteen or sixteen thousand.

Mr. Bates. That is all the more reason we should tighten up the character of examination we give these men who are applying for disability pension.

Mr. Lusk. Yes; that is right.

That would not touch the money that might be saved if this pension of policemen and firemen was the same as for any other employee. There is no reason it should not be.

Of course, they get such big pensions that retirement is quite attractive. The chief of police can retire on $5,000 a year, whereas there is no other employee in the District of Columbia--such as in the auditor's office—who retires on more than two or three thousand dollars. Each has contributed just as much to the fund.

Mr. BATES. Anything else?
Mr. Lusk. No, sir.

Mr. Bates. Thank you very much. If you have anything further to say with regard to the tax bills, I would suggest that you come back at a later date.

Mr. LUSK. Yes, sir. I understood what you wanted this afternoon, and I did not intend to go into the tax bill at all.

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Mr. Bates. We have Gordon M. Atherholt, who is vice president of the Northwest Council of Citizens Association.

(No response.)

Mr. BATEs. Donald Murray, representative of the teachers' local union.



Mr. MURRAY. We asked for an opportunity to appear in relation to this testimony, not to complain about the administration of the school system but to put before the committee some of the problems of both pupils and teachers which would be something that should be considered in the budget picture. I do not know whether you want to hear that kind of testimony this afternoon or not.

Mr. Bates. You are not in support of any tax bill or in opposition, but you want to talk, generally speaking, about the administration of the District's business.

Mr. MURRAY. Yes; and the school system particularly.
Mr. BATES. That is all right; I shall be glad to hear you.

Mr. MURRAY. My name is Donald Murray. I am legislative representative for the United Public Workers, CIO. This afternoon I am representing the local union in Washington, covering the city schools.

Mr. Bates. You are a resident of the District, Mr. Murray, I take it!

Mr. MURRAY. Yes, sir. I have been here since the beginning of 1942. I am a home owner, and I am interested in the District as a citizen as well as spokesman for the organization.

Iam interested in the schools not only in my capacity representing the organization here, but as a parent with a daughter in junior high school and another about to enter school, so I have a personal interest as well.

I do not want to burden the committee record with a lot of detailed testimony about the problems. that we face. I hope that the District committees will, before this school term is out, take up the matter itself in connection with some legislation to remedy this situation and that there will then be an opportunity to present full testimony. But I think if we are considering the whole budgetary problem, it is important to know what some of these needs are and what we need to do to meet them.

I would like to give you just a few facts in relation to what I call the problems of children that are now in effect here in the District. We have a situation in which the District has lost about a quarter, during the war years, of its competent teachers who were previously in the school system. We had great difficulty in replacing those positions and in filling new positions.

Of course, the population of the District increased a great deal, so that it has been necessary to fill new positions, if you are going to maintain an adequate school system, an adequate education.

At the present time there are, roughly, 6,600 children in the District who have no teachers. I mean by that that they are assigned to classes which a teacher cannot regularly be assigned to and which, therefore, is divided up, perhaps, occupying itself with some activity which is not in teaching.


There are the 6,000 children who do not have teachers for their classes, and get divided up with other classes or get moved around. They are what they call floating classes. There are thirteen and a half thousand children who are getting a poor education because the teachers that are teaching them are substandard teachers; that is, they are teachers that do not meet the legal requirements to obtain the teaching position in the District of Columbia, but they have had to be appointed to temporary service because no qualified teachers were available who were willing to take the jobs.

In addition to that problem, in addition to those, we have 23 schools in the District which are on a double shift. That means that children get a fourth to a fifth less education. There are periods of 40 minutes instead of 55 minutes, and some periods are cut out altogether during the middle of the winter because it gets dark earlier and you cannot keep the children after school, so there is not time after school to give to the children.

The system is recognized as bad. The District Board of Education recognizes that it is bad, but there is nothing that can be done.

Mr. Bates. Mr. Murray, were you present at the hearing last week when the Superintendent of Schools appeared before this committee?

Mr. MURRAY. I am sorry I missed the testimony. I heard about it afterward.

Mr. B. TES. I brought out that this year the latest reports show that the school population was about 2,000 less than it was 10 years ago and the teachers, I think, are around 230 or 240 more than they had at that tinie, 10 years ago.

Mr. MURRAY. Ten years ago would be 1937.

Mr. BATEs. This is a 10-year study we are making. And last week I asked the Superintendent of Schools to send to me a complete schedule of every school in the District, every schoolroom in those schools and the number of pupils in each classroom, and the number of pupils assigned to each teacher. I have made over the week end a very thorough study of all those factors. That is fundamental information.

Mr. MURRAY. Yes, that is correct.

Mr. BATES. And I find there are a number of classrooms that have 40 or 45 pupils in them in the elementary schools, but the greater number by far is less than 25. I find that in the senior high and the junior high classes that they have 35 and 45 in a great many schoolrooms, but the great majority under 35 in those schools. We find a great doubling up, as you say, in the platoon system.

Apparently, from the record I received, a teacher was teaching two platoons, both in the morning and in the afternoon, but in every case teaching a sum total of less than 35 pupils in the classroom a day.

Mr. MURRAY. In the junior-high classes where this happens, as well as in the elementary schools, the teacher teaches a series of classes.

Mr. Bates. That is right. We call them home rooms. It is all set up in that fashion, not the study rooms. Everything is broken down into so-called home rooms.

Mr. MURRAY. Of course, the study rooms are the place where the children get their education. The home room is where they meet and have their elections of their class officers and study hall, and so forth.

Mr. BATEs. They set it up for the purpose of determining the size of the class itself.

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