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Mr. FOWLER. The Commissioner can.
Commissioner Mason. I certainly can. In the first place, the bill did not get to us until within the last week or 10 days.
Mr. FOWLER. The Corporation Counsel is here, and he knows when they prepared it.
Commissioner Mason. It was prepared and sent back to the school people.
Dr. CORNING. May I just say in that connection that everything went simultaneously to the Commissioners when it went to the Hill. We sent it directly to the Hill, but simultaneously it went to the Commissioners.
Mr. BATEs. You would like to have more time to study the bill?
Commissioner Mason. We have got to have more time to study the details.
Mr. BATES. And then you will be able to answer the committee's inquiry as to how the Commission feels about it.
Commissioner Mason. Because the bill involves classifications into the teaching structure, and we are not familiar with it at the present time, and there was an effort made to compromise our own differences in that field; and that is what held up the bill.
Mrs. DOYLE. When we called upon you, Mr. Mason, you will recall, as soon as it was finished, the hearings had been held, and from our point of view it was finished.
Commissioner Mason. That was in the latter part of March just before the bill was sent up.
Mrs. DoYLE. No; that was not the date; it was much earlier than that, to acquaint the Commissioners with the situation, and you were then good enough to tell us that Mr. West
Commissioner Mason. But you had not drafted the bill; it had not been drafted.
Mrs. DOYLE. But all the provisions were ready for it; we realized this peculiar situation where we were reporting directly to Congress, and we wanted you to know everything that we had done, so we made an early appointment with you, and if you recall, I explained it to you, and we felt that the drafting of it, while very important, was, however, merely the instrument to carry forward the report that we brought to you, and Mr. West worked on that, which has taken some time, of course.
Mr. BATES. Of course, Mr. Chairman, this is a matter of very farreaching importance, in my opinion, and it very seriously affects the fiscal affairs of this District. It is nothing new to me; I have been through this before in other communities.
Mrs. DOYLE. So I understand.
Mr. Bates. I think it is a matter that needs a good deal of explanation and study. I have quite a good deal of material myself that we have to collect within a very few hours, because we only received that bill ourselves last week; and after all, we have a Commission here that is set up by statute to administer the affairs of the District, and that includes the financial administration of all departments, trying to correlate all the available revenue, and then to disburse it or to spend it along the many lines of municipal activities. I have been just long enough in this business to know that the amount that we can give to any department is a relative question, and it all simmers down
to what is a reasonable load to put upon the taxpayers of this or any other community. I have not any preconceived idea as to my position on this bill. I want that clear at the outset. I am approaching it as I have all other matters in respect to the study of the fiscal problems of this District over the past ten years that we have been carrying on in this committee for the last month or so, trying to find out what is the best way by which we can find additional revenue through new sources that have been recommended to us, in order to see if we cannot operate all of the activities of the District that the Commissioners and the Congress feel ought to be operated in an efficient manner.
So, it is a relative question, Mrs. Doyle; that is what I am coming to, and in the consideration of that relative question, relative conditions must be considered, not only the cost of living, the rate of wages, the salaries here, but also everywhere, and the general approach to the question of education and the loss of teachers that you are speaking about; those are the things that we want to hear from the witnesses who appear before us today.
Mrs. DƏYLE. Well, Mr. Chairman, I do understand your reference that it must be relative; but, of course, as the Chairman of the Board, I think that consideration must be taken of the human element, of whether the citizens in this voteless community, and we have to lean upon you, of course, to get our wishes interpreted into law, want things for their children or do they want them for something else; and my answer is that relative though it may be, that the citizens of Washington want things for their children first.
Mr. BATES. Well, that may be applied to the education of the children, the health of the children, the protection of the children. Mrs. Doyle. That is right. Mr. Bates. There are so many activities in this community that are for the interest of children, as well as for the interest of adults, that it is pretty hard to draw the line of where to stop, partially diminish or go on; it is a relative question.
Mrs. DOYLE. I suppose, working on the Board for 20 years, as I have, because I am a real old-timer, as I pass among the citizens of the community and hear them talk, 'I have never, I can say, found anyone who did not deplore the situation of our schools part time going on year after year; and my own children, the youngest of whom is 26, never went full time in the District of Columbia until they reached the fourth grade.
Mr. Bates. And that is another one of the relative questions that we are considering here.
Mrs. DoYLE. And now we have 7,000 children on part time. Mr. BATES. That is right. Mrs. DOYLE. And we have just got to plan for the future, as I am sure, that that is what is in your mind, to see that we are going to plan it year after year
in the future so that the children will once and for alltime get it on a good basis.
Mr. Bates. Of course, the matter of 7,000 children being on a twoplatoon system has nothing to do with this bill; this is a salary proposition.
Mrs. Doyle. Yes, sir; and all that type of planning and planning is the one thing that I hope the District of Columbia will give attention to, the planning of a living salary, which is just as basic as any.
thing else for any kind of planning; security for teachers and decent homes and conditions, and decent living scales, which are just as basic.
We have 4,000 employees, 4,000 people in the District who must have a basic living wage, and a wage that will grant them some security in life as they deal with these young people. Now, we are getting off into a philosophical discussion.
Mr. BATEs. I think you are right, because if you have 4,680 employees with about 600 more than you had 10 years ago with 2,000 sess pupils enrolled on the average, now, that is something that I would like to have explained to the committee also.
I want to say this, Mrs. Doyle, that I appreciate the responsibility that you have as Chairman of the Board. I happened to be chairman of the board myself 14 years, of a school board, and I know what it is.
Mrs. DOYLE. Where was that?
Mr. BATES. In my home city. It just so happens that about 25 years ago—this is not a new problem to me—I was chairman of the committee that considered the salary increase bill for the Boston school teachers, and handled that matter.
Mrs. DOYLE. Well, I am from Cambridge, Mr. Bates.
Mr. Bates. So I am like yourself. I am not a newcomer to this field, and that is why I would like to go into every phase of it to see what ought to be done, and what should be done in the light of every question.
Mrs. DOYLE. Yes; I remember that all my people were teachers and officers of the Boston school system, and I am from Cambridge, and taught in Ridge Technical High School.
Mr. BATEs. Then you are acquainted with the previous school superintendent here who was the spokesman for the school teachers in Boston ?
Mrs. DOYLE. Yes: I remember.
Mr. BATEs. Pardon the interruption, Mr. Chairman, but I think we cught to have the background, and we have the responsibility, right or wrong, Mrs. Doyle, to determine the
Mrs. DOYLE. As one person from Massachusetts to another person from Massachusetts.
Mr. Bates. We need help from all those in authority in the District. I am sure that the Commissioners will give us that as soon as they have a chance. I hope they will get at it and give us their viewpoint. We want to know where the officials of this community stand in respect to the matter of such importance as this.
Senator Cain. I think, Mrs. Doyle, you suggested that Mr. Lee carry on.
Mrs. DOYLE. Yes, Mr. Lee is chairman of the legislative committee, and under the rules of the Board, has the responsibility to see legislation along the way, and Mr. Lee conducted the hearings. This is Mr. Lee.
Mr. BATES. Is Mr. Lee a member of the Board ?
Mrs. DOYLE. Yer; and chairman of the legislative committee of the Board.
STATEMENT OF ADELBERT W. LEE, MEMBER, BOARD OF EDUCA
TION, CHAIRMAN, LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. LEE. Mr. Chairman, I will make my remarks very brief. They are merely to show for the record that the salary schedule, as represented in this bill before you, represents a very careful study by the Board, the committee on legislation, and also the committee on personnel; a very diligent recognition of their responsibilities by them, and they have sought the opinions of everyone in the school system; and the bill, as presented to you, is a composite of those thoughts.
I would like to make for the record and for the benefit of the committee, a reference to the Superintendent's salary set up in the bill. When the report came from the officers to the Board, and to the committee on legislation, there was no provision for an increase in the Superintendent's salary. Tables that have been submitted to this committee, or will be submitted to this committee by other officers in the school system, will show comparatively that the present salary for the Superintendent is very much out of line.
The committee, therefore, on its own initiative, and in Board session, advocated an increase in the Superintendent's salary from $12,000 to $15,000.
I want particularly to make reference to the fact that the record will show that the officers themselves made no such recommendation.
Other than that, I think the other officers can pursue the questions of interest to this committee more carefully in detail than I, but I do want to have the record show that it has been carefully considered all the way through by this committee.
Senator Caix. Mr. Lee, let me ask you one or two questions. In your official capacity, you were a spokesman and one of the committee, and presumably had more to do with arriving at what was to be recommended to us than any other unit within your school Board and school system, is not that correct?
Mr. LEE. That is correct, sir. We screened the various interests that came before us. This does not represent the maximum request by any means. We found, as Mr. Bates mentioned a moment ago, the question of relativity was very necessary for us to keep in our minds at all times. One salary had to have a certain relationship to the others, recognizing the officer's position, the teachers, and principals, and so on down the scale.
Senator Cain. Well, without any inference of prejudice at all, I am interested in that chart which only indicates to me that your suggested minima and maxima are considerably higher for the most part, than most of the other cities used as a comparison.
Now, there may be a thousand-and-one reasons for that. Outside of New York, your school system, if this bill. were to be passed, would be considerably better off than most other school systems, and so would the teachers, and I wonder what your thinking was as you developed that program.
Mr. LEE. Well, Mr. Chairman, in preparing data tables, charts, or what-not, the sources from which the data were procured and the break-down of the data are always of great value. I think our school officers have some charts, and if they are placed before the committee, I am confident that you will find that perhaps the breakdown of these various items will show variations, and I think our Superintendent will give you more light on that, as the testimony progresses. In other words, we do not concede the comparisons in those tables.
Senator Cain. I see what you are getting at. This chart was prepared by somebody else.
Dr. CORNING. We have not seen it at all.
Commissioner Mason. It was prepared by the Commissioners in the Office of the Budget.
Senator Cain. I would say, Doctor, that as you go along a little bit later you will have occasion to and may want to refer to this.
Mrs. DOYLE. Mr. Chairman, I would like to remind you of this. Mr. LEE. I am through with my statement.
Mrs. Doyle. I would remind you that all over the country there is this Nation-wide drive for more salaries for teachers so that whatever chart is prepared
Senator Cain. We understand that fully. Mrs. Doyle. Whatever chart is prepared, Mr. Fowler and Mr. Mason, might be changed as of yesterday or today, because really teachers' salaries are rising all over the country.
Senator Cain. I think the entire committee recognizes that this problem nationally is not the easiest of a number of problems.
That, for the moment then, has concluded the testimony of Mrs. Doyle and Mr. Lee.
Mrs. DOYLE. Yes, sir.
Senator Cain. Dr. Corning, will you proceed in your own way, if you will, please?
STATEMENT OF DR. HOBART M. CORNING, SUPERINTENDENT OF
SCHOOLS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Dr. CORNING. If I may be facetious for half a moment, this is the first time that I have known teachers to be in competition with undertakers. I have known of certain other professions which were competitive, but not teachers with undertakers.
Senator Cain. No, sir; that thought occurred to a number of us. Go ahead, sir.
Dr. CORNING. I would like to review, if I may, in order to bring in a few new aspects of some of the things that have already been said, and remind you that 1 year ago, the Board of Education came before the commitiees of the Congress, with the approval of the Commissioners, and the unanimous approval of the Board of Education, requesting a $600 increase for teachers. That was based upon the fact that at that time the Government employees were receiving a 14 percent increase in wages.
The Board of Education and the officers of the school district
Senator Cain. Let me interrupt you, sir, for one moment, and make a comment to Commissioner Mason. Despite that fact, Mr. Comissioner, that your board has not yet given exhaustive study to this