Page images
[ocr errors]

Miss BRETT. That is correct.

That was the proposal of the joint legislative council. I think you are acquainted with the joint legislative council.

Senator Cain. In a cautious way. It is my understanding that serious consideration was given to such a proposal but for reasons sufficient to those who made the recommendation, it was cut out and they will probably have something to say on that before the hearings are concluded.

Miss BRETT. The joint legislative council, Mr. Senator, recommended that and it was left out after it left the joint legislative council. í think you have gathered the wrong impression about cutting it out.

The joint legislative council wanted that. That was an agreement among the division of classroom teachers who heretofore had been in some conflict about salaries.

The single salary scale being introduced on two levels previously, as it is now, whereas we had it before only on the junior-high-school level.

That will make the single salary level available to all elementary teachers and junior-high-school teachers but not senior-high-school teachers.

Of course there will only be one way in which single-salary benefits could be available to senior-high-school teachers and that would be the addition of another classification in which senior-high-school teachers could gain additional benefits for additional college preparation similar to those which are being added in the bill now for elementary teachers and which have been in the law for junior-highschool teachers over a period of years.

Senator Cain. I personally respected your statement, part of which, however, I think is based on some rather dangerous thinking.

You emphasized the fact that some of these increases are merely to maintain the status quo.

Miss Brett. I do not think this is the intention of those people. I point out that is what they actually do.

Senator Cain. What I was trying to find out and I think you have already satisfied me, that your school system is not teaching the economic theory that the best way to keep pace with the increase in prices is to increase wages, the reverse likewise being true that as this country drives prices down, if it is going to economically live, we do not want to approach your salary problem from the point of view that when prices go down, that your salaries are automatically going to follow.

We are trying to provide on a normal market, a suitable standard of living for the encouragement of the right sort of high-character teachers for this District.

I shudder every time somebody talks to me about getting more wages to keep pace with prices because I do not see what stops them, if we first start in that direction.

Miss BRETT. We would much prefer to stop the prices.

Senator Cain. If you have any essay contests in your schools, in which they can come out with some better ideas than appear in America so far, I wish you would let us reflect in the House and the Senate on that wisdom.

Miss BRETT. I wish we had some device.
Senator Cain. From my point of view, thank you very much.


Mr. BATES. Miss Brett, I am examining the salary schedule prior to 1945. I notice in class 3-B high-school teachers, there is a maximum of $3,700, is that right?

Miss BRETT. Yes, sir. In 1945 it was $3,700.

Mr. BATES. And this gives you a maximum of $4,700, or an increase of $1,000 over the 1937 schedule, which is an increase of 30 percent, and that is apparently the lowest percent of any of the teachers.

Are we going to have somebody appear as a witness to explain that end of it? I think after all, there is something to this gearing the salary schedule to the cost of living.

We see in one case here, perhaps a 70-percent increase and in another a 30-percent increase.

Is there not some way to level that off?

Miss BRETT. Mr. Congressman, of course the Superintendent can answer better than I, but I think I can give you a little idea with regard to it: The high increases in the elementary schools are coming about because of raising the general level to meet competition with the Government in the first place, and then the addition of the new C-D classification in the second place.

Add those two together and you get a great increase.

Now the senior high schools are not having the addition of a classification. That is our disappointment. We are the only teachers who have no additional classification which we may aspire to. no incentive classification.

Mr. BATES. How many senior-high-school teachers are there altogether in the District ?

Miss BRETT. There are about 700, I believe.

Mr. BATEs. Has that question of additional classification been given some thought by whoever made the study?

I do not think perhaps we have had full explanation as to why the additional classifications have not been included.

Senator Cain. May I interrupt there, in agreeing with Mr. Bates conclusively.

I would like to suggest, you probably know Mr. Fowler, who had jurisdiction over the decision that eliminated that from the proposals, and sometime before the hearings are over, I am satisfied Mr. Bates and I would like to hear from them.

Mr. FOWLER. We had no information at all on it. We made no study of it.

Dr. CORNING. You will recall that I explained the other day the processes through which this proposal has gone. When the legislative council made its recommendations to the Superintendent, those recommendations were carefully studied by the officers in terms of what we thought was best for the over-all interests of the teachers.

Then the Superintendent of Schools made a report to the Board of Education which did not include the feature that Miss Brett is asking for.

Senator Cain. That comes back into your division, Mr. Superintendent. We want to thoroughly understand this business. We have no prejudice one way or the other.

Mr. BATEs. Before a teacher is selected for one of the nine senior high schools she must have a master's degree. How many teachers have degrees over and above the master's degree?

Miss BRETT. There are 111 who do not have degrees above the master, but who have 1 year of additional study.

Mr. Bates. Would that make them eligible for an increment under the schedules here, classifications C and D?

Miss BRETT. Every teacher is eligible for an increment of $250 according to this bill for the coming year, and then there will be 3 years more of $100 increments that all high school teachers inay follow through to the maximum of $4.700.

Now if this new classification could be included, Mr. Congressman, it would seem that it would be 4 years before it would cost anything, because it would be 4 years before any teacher could qualify.

Mr. Bares. Even those who have degrees in addition to the master's degree, today?

Miss BRETT. They will have to be at their new maximum which is 4 years off, before they can qualify for any classification above that, so the cost of that classification would be nothing for the next 4 years, anyway, and then in the fifth year from now, there would be approximately 100 teachers, according to their status at present. I know in 5 years' time if such a classification were added there would be many teachers who would complete enough college credits to qualify for it.

At the present time, however, there would be approximately 100 teachers who would be ready to go into that classification at $100 for that fifth year.

That would be one hundred times a hundred for that year, and they would climb for five years, and of course others would be adding themselves.

Mr. Bates. Thank you.

Senator Cain. It has been suggested and agreed to between Mr. Bates and myself that this session will be recessed as of now, to take up its deliberations again this afternoon, beginning at 1:30, and the first witness to be heard from, if present, will be Mr. G. Henry Murray, president of the High School Teachers Association, divisions 10 to 13.

(Whereupon, at 12 noon, the committee recessed, to reconvene at 1:30 p. m., the same day.)


(The committee reconvened at 1:30 p. m., after completion of the recess.)

Mr. Bates (Cochairman of the joint subcommittee). The committee will kindly come to order.

The hearing will continue until 4:30 this afternoon.

We have 24 other witnesses on the schedule. I do not know how many are unlisted and whether we can complete the hearings this afternoon or not.

I hope those who testify will not repeat what has already been said and will try to conține their testimony to matters that have not already been discussed, other than perhaps an endorsement of the bill or any criticism they may have representing the organizations that they are here to represent.

The first witness this afternoon will be Mr. George H. Murray, President of the Association of High School Teachers, divisions ió to 13.



Mr. BATES. Senator Cain had another meeting and in order to expedite the action on this bill, we find that we must continue on this afternoon while other members of the committee are not here.

All of them will thoroughly analyze the testimony after it is in printed form.

Senator Cain will be back, I believe a little later on.

Mr. MURRAY. My name is George H. Murray; I am president of the Association of Senior High School Teachers of the District of Columbia, comprising 90 percent of the 172 high school teachers allocated to divisions 10 to 13.

I am a citizen of the State of Massachusetts and have been employed in the Washington school systems since 1902.

I am happy to say that the Board of Education's salary bill has been submitted to the teachers in the senior high schools of divisions 10 to 13 and was endorsed by them with only one dissenting voice, and that dissent was a qualified dissent.

My further remarks will be briefly directed to the colloquy which took place between the cochairman, Representative George Bates of Massachusetts, and Commissioner Guy Mason of the District of Columbia as it appeared in the Washington Post of Thursday, April 17, 1947.

The pertinent sentence attributed by the Post to Cochairman Bates is as follows:“The schools will take up about one-fifth of next year's budget."

Relevant to this alleged remark of Chairman Bates I wish to invite the committee's attention to Statistical Circular No. 6 of the United States Bureau of Education, 1927, and found as a footnote, page 515 of Englehardt's Public School Organization and Administration, 1931 edition, which reads as follows:

In 1924 the total annual expenditure for all public school purposes in the S5 largest cities in the United States, excluding New York and Chicago, varied from $399,000 to $33,137,000. In these cities, on the average, 28 percent of all the revenues available were expended for public school purposes.

And further in Cubberley's Public School Administration, 1929 edition, page 5381, the advancing cost trend of public school administration is shown to have a central tendency of 33 percent.

Obviously, then the cost of school administration in the District of Columbia in 1947 is 8 percent below the average of 1924 and 13 percent below the central tendency indicated for 1929, excluding the costs of the present salary increase.

If we include in the present bill the salary increases recommended by the School Board the maximum and the minimum costs of putting it into effect we would still in 1947 be well below the 1924 average.

Now I feel rather confident that if the committee and the Congress realize the position in which the Washington schools stand they will have no hesitation in giving their approval to the present salary bill.

Graven in enduring stone on the outer walls of the Boston Public Library is the sentence:

The Commonwealth required the education of all of its citizens as the safeguaril of our liberties.


[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

As the public school system of Massachusetts, recognized as one of the most efficient in the country, has long been the model for States, Washington, the Capital City of the richest and most powerful nation on earth, should set the pace for the Nation.

Up to 1943-44 the average percentage of total annual school costs to total city costs in the 43 largest cities in the United States was 32.8 percent. This is the latest figure from NEA Research Bureau, and leaves Washington in 1947, 12.8 percent behind the average trend.

Mr. BATEs. You and I should get along well together both being from the State of Massachusetts.

I note your reference to this discussion, but it was not any real colloquy, it was a question and an answer only. The facts, of course, are that according to the information we have from the Bureau of the Census, about 27 percent of the money coming into the District is spent for school and library purposes, and that averages up pretty well with the 14 cities.

I think the average was 26 percent.

I think you will find that they average pretty well among those 14 cities that we had the Census Bureau get for us.

Mr. MURRAY. It is far below the national average for all the 43 largest cities in the United States. In those cities, the allocation of school expenses for 1947 would be nearly 13 percent, as the present bill stands, and you have ample margin to include in the bill the salary bill recommended by the Board of Education, and you would still be way down below.

Mr. Bates. That is not according to the figures I got from the Bureau of the Census on the 14 cities of relative size.

Dr. Corning, what did you do with that table you had?

When you are getting into the smaller cities as I said, you will find the expenditures for school purposes run from 33 percent up to practically one-half.

Mr. MURRAY. Thirty-three is the central tendency of all the school statistics.

Mr. BATEs. Here is a schedule of 14 cities on the basis of 1945 expenditures that were examined by the Bureau of the Census, and the average percent distribution of the tax dollar in those 13 other cities is 26.1. That is the average.

The District of Columbia is 27.7. That is for schools and libraries.
Washington is fourth among that list.
That is the latest information we have.
Mr. MURRAY. This is in 1943–44?
Mr. BATES. That is 1945.

Thank you, Mr. Murray. Is there anyone else? Is Mrs. Emily T. F. Gosling, president of Teachers Advisory Council, present? STATEMENT OF MRS. EMILY T. F. GOSLING, PRESIDENT, TEACH

Mr. BATEs. You may proceed, Mrs. Gosling, in any way you desire.
Mrs. GOSLING. Thank you.

Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, on behalf of the Teachers Advisory Council, I submit the following brief in support of the teachers' salary bill now under your consideration.

« PreviousContinue »