Page images

mittee on the 25th of July to see if they will ratify that. North Hampton has already been approved for 7.4 percent. So we feel that those two towns certainly are up to their limit of approval. That is the extent that I have.

Senator UPTON. What towns are in your supervisory district?

Mr. GILLMORE. Beginning at the Massachusetts border, Seabrook, Hampton Falls, Hampton, North Hampton, Rye, New Castle, and at the moment they have shifted towns so that I am now having South Hampton in the place of Newington, which I had up to July 1. Senator UPTON. Is each of these towns a school district?

Mr. GILLMORE. Each of these towns is a separate school district; yes.

Senator UPTON. Separate for school purposes?

Mr. GILLMORE. That is right.

Senator UPTON. Thank you.

Mr. Rice.


Mr. RICE. Mr. Chairman, my name is J. R. Rice. I am assistant superintendent of schools, Fairfax County, Va.

I won't take but a few minutes of your time. I didn't have time to prepare a written statement, because I didn't hear about this committee meeting until yesterday afternoon, but I would just like to review a few things to show you how important it is to us for the Federal Government to continue to help out the areas that are terribly affected by the impact of Federal children.

We have about 24,000 children enrolled in Fairfax County schools, and approximately 4,000 unhoused; out of that 24,000, about 10,000 children are federally connected. Our county has passed $21%1⁄2 million in bond issues for schools since 1950, and we have received our proportionate share of the Public Law 815 funds, but we made a survey recently and we expect to have 54,000 children by 1960, 6 years from We will need $25 million more to house our schools.


Gentlemen, the only way we have to get money is by bond issue, and, unfortunately or fortunately, you do have to pay that back over a period of 20 to 30 years.

When we complete our present building program, which will be that $21 million, it will take care of our enrollment until September 1954, which is this September. That was built to house 28,900 children. Now we are using church basements, corridors, quonset huts, and double shifts to take care of the unhoused children, and we see no prospects of the condition letting up at all. In September we will have 165 temporary classroom spaces that we will have to provide to take care of the school population.

On behalf of Fairfax County School Board and the citizens there, the population of about 133,000, we urge you to give favorable consideration to Public Law 815.

As far as Public Law 874, very definitely the 3-percent absorption does affect the amount of money that we will receive. So the only way that we have to pay for schools, maintenance and operation is through real-estate tax, and the more money we can receive from

other sources, of course, the lighter the burden on the people that pay the real-estate tax.

Fairfax County is strictly a residential county. The only source of employment is the Federal Government and the allied services that go along to support a man who works for the Federal Government. We are within commuting distance of the Federal offices here in Washington, and that is where our people work.

Senator UPTON. Your county is the unit for school purposes, a political unit?

Mr. RICE. Four hundred and seven square miles.

Senator UPTON. Can you tell us the population approximately? Mr. RICE. It was estimated by the Hoyt committee as 133,000. That has grown from 98,000 in 1950. I don't know what is going to happen, since this last year they passed a $20 million bond issue to build sewers. One reason there hasn't been much building out there is because the ground won't absorb septic tanks. Now, when we put in that sewer system, I don't know what will happen to the homes. Senator UPTON. Thank you, Mr. Rice.

Mr. RICE. Thank you.

Senator UPTON. You may proceed, Mr. Maine.


Mr. MAINE. Mr. Chairman, my name is Leonard Maine. I am superintendent of schools, Portsmouth, R. I. I am the official representative of the Portsmouth school system and officially represent the superintendents of all of the federally impacted communities of Rhode Island.

I am a member of a 7-man committee appointed at Atlantic City after a meeting of 500 superintendents of schools that were studying problems in connection with federally impacted communities.

Mr. Rose, also a member of that seven-man committee, will speak later.

My responsibility has been in the New England area with unofficial contacts in each State as follows: S. B. Butler, Groton, Conn.; Lyman Bole, Springfield, Vt.; Hiram A. Davis, North Kingston, Ř. I.; Raymond Beale, Portsmouth, N. H.; George Beale, South Portland, Maine.

The Rhode Island school superintendents have designated me as their official spokesman in Federal legislation problems and I have acted for other groups in that capacity a number of times. This last year has been one of many conferences with individuals and groups in New England, Atlantic City, and Washington.

Portsmouth, R. I., is in the so-called Newport Naval Basea rea. Among Federal installations are the Deslantes Destroyer Base, Melville Fuel Depot, Prudence Island Munitions Storage, and Melville Net Depot. These installations are on extremely valuable property from the standpoint of private industrial development. Much of it was farm and residential property that was taken by condemnation, the total acreage 1,417%. To get an idea of the potential value of this property may I report that Pan-American Oil Co. obtained and still holds options on about 750 acres of adjacent territory upon which it proposed a development valued at $25 million. Although to the

present time resistance in the town has kept out an oil installation, this gives an idea of the value of this territory. By comparison the Navy property might be conservatively valued at $50 million. The Navy has removed much actual and potential source of tax revenue from the town.

In place of actual and potential revenue we have received responsibilities with regard to use of highways, policing, and education.~ The cost of services needed to care for these new problems cannot, and should not, be borne by local taxpayers.

Traditionally the relationship between the Navy and the town of Portsmouth has been splendid. In the early days when the officers stationed at the base had occasional children to attend school they were welcomed into our schools at no cost to anyone except local taxpayers. As the old chairman of the Portsmouth School Committee said many times, "Them Navy fellows down there are Americans, and are our people, ain't they? We'll take care of their kids."

However, since 1948, more and more children of Federal employees began to appear in the schools of my town. At first, numbers were negligible, no one was particularly concerned.

As more pupils appeared, the school population expanded beyond the capacity of our buildings, and it was necessary to construct an addition. Under Public Law No. 815, July 27, 1951, we established an entitlement and a project of about $78,000 toward helping to build an addition to a school. On the strength of this entitlement the school committee asked the townspeople to appropriate $125,000 to add to a school. In town meeting the citizens supported the school committee.

It is interesting to note that when this addition was opened, we had exactly the number of 3B pupils in our school system that were received in the classrooms of the new addition.

As yet the town of Portsmouth has received not 1 penny from this entitlement that was established in July 1951. However, it expects to eventually receive "not to exceed 70 percent" because of 2 actions taken by Congress. First action was taken at the close of 1953 session wherein Congress authorized an appropriation of $55 million to pay not to exceed 70 percent of entitlements established under title II of Public Law No. 815. Passed during the present session was an appropriation of $55 million to implement last year's authorization.

Meanwhile title III, Public Law No. 815, came into effect and has just expired June 30, 1954. My town qualified for a project under title III and has a schoolhouse under construction to take care of the children coming to our town as a result of Federal impact.

Our Federal impact is continuing and new school housing facilities will be needed. That is why I am among those appearing before this subcommittee to request extension of Public Law 815. Senator Upton's bill, in conjunction with Senators Margaret Smith, Payne and Bridges, carries a provision that Public Law 815 be extended indefinitely. May I respectfully urge that this provision be given favorable consideration. There is much experience with this law. It is well understood. No district can qualify unless it has an impact. The principles behind Public Law 815 and its companion law, Public Law 874 are well understood by school people. The principles involved are fair in all respects.

Basically, it is agreed that a school district is entitled to a tax revenue from two sources for each schoolchild. The first source is from the residence of the family and secondly from the place of employment of the parent. In general, such children break into two categories. A category A child is one whose parent lives and works on tax-free Government property. Under the present functioning of Public Law 815 such a child allows a full claim for school construction under minimum standards.

The B child has a parent that is either employed on or lives on taxfree property thus denying the school district one-half of the recognized source of tax revenue. For such a child a school district may claim one-half the cost of minimum standard construction on a per pupil base.

În my testimony I have tried to show why Public Law 815 is needed, how it has operated in my community, and why it should be extended. The experience of a community such as mine might be of value to approximate the problems in such areas as are now or are about to receive big new installations. Some of these areas are as follows: School districts in the vicinity of Newington Airbase in southeastern New Hampshire, the expansion of North American Aviation, United States Government Depot and Lackbourne Airbase that will affect the Truro Local School District, Columbus, Ohio, or the big new airbase under construction in Arkansas. My colleague, Oscar V. Rose, has much solid statistical evidence with regard to the needs of these or similar installations.

Public Law 874, has for a number of years provided maintenance and operation costs of schools for federally impacted children. This law was amended recently by Public Law 248, 83d Congress, or to quote directly from the act, "To amend Public Law 874 of the 81st Congress so as to make improvements in its provisions and extend its duration for a 2-year period, and for other purposes."

As far as I am concerned, this act mutilated rather than amended Public Law 874 and as to the part indicated "and for other purposes" this means to me only one thing; an attempt to unload the cost of Federal responsibilities on local taxpayers.

The worst of the provisions of the amended act is the so-called 3 percent absorption feature. Three percent sounds innocuous until the law is examined to find that each district is expected to absorb a number of federally connected pupils equal to 3 percent of its nonFederal pupils. Thus a community with 3,000 non-Federal pupils would need to absorb 90 pupils before receiving any payment under the new law. At $200 per pupil this would amount to $18,000 less each year than was paid during the current school year. The effect of this absorption feature is drastic as later testimony will show.

For the advocates of "absorption," I wish to point out that absorption already exists as part of the law. Payments from Public Law 874 are made on "local contribution rate." In Rhode Island, on the basis of 1952-53 ADA figures, the amount of absorption was $36.51 per pupil. I understand in other States the absorption from State funds is higher, but when the factor of absorption is being considered, please remember that all State funds are absorbed before any payment is made to local communities. I would also like to point out that under Public Law 874, to qualify for funds, 3 percent of the school population must be from Federal impact to qualify. With that 3 percent

comes along attendant personnel of a military nature for whom claims cannot be made. There is absorption in this connection. For example, we have a family named Weaver with two children, whose father is an inspector of aviation gasoline. We cannot claim payments for his children because he is inspecting gasoline in an installation on which taxes are paid in a nearby community.

This new absorption feature was incorporated by way of Public Law 248, contrary to the testimony of any superintendent that appeared before the House Subcommittee on Education in 1953. În fact, as the effect of the amended act becomes known, it is increasingly apparent that this amendment, hastily conceived by an inexperienced administration, is a mistake. I say this coming from a district that has never voted anything but Republican.

At present relatively few of the 2,660 federally impacted communities are aware of what this act means in the way of lost revenue as compared to what they received from Public Law 874 funds for the present school year. This realization on local levels will be manifest early during the coming school year, for the most part in September or October.

A number of Senators and several Congressmen have indicated appreciation for being informed ahead of time in this regard.

Senator Upton (in concurrence with Senator Bridges) has introduced a bill to stay the effect of the 3 percent absorption for next year. This is a move in the right direction and I am sure that I am extending the thanks of many school administrators that are attempting to make provision to educate the children of Federal employees when I express my appreciation to Senators Upton and Bridges for making this move. A study that has much solid and significant data with regard to the effects of absorption will be presented by Mr. Rose.

Public Law 874 as originally passed and wisely amended from time to time served well the purposes for which it was intended. Amendments needed were (1) to include children who lived across a State line (Public Law II) (2) an amendment as included in 248 to include children whose parents were employed in the District of Columbia. Attention is needed to provide for Indian education; also relief for districts left with problems because of diminishing impacts.

Since it appears necessary to operate from Public Law 248 amendments for the coming year, I respectfully urge approval of Senator Upton's bill to stay the effects of "absorption." Possibly by another year the law can be straightened out in order that the Federal Government will meet its responsibilities to federally impacted communities.

I will be glad to answer any questions.

Senator UPTON. Thank you, Mr. Maine, for your comprehensive


Senator Monroney, I am pleased to have you with us.
Senator MONRONEY. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.


Senator MONRONEY. Mr. Chairman, I merely wanted to introduce the superintendent of the Midwest City Schools, which is one of the largest federally impacted districts in Oklahoma. He is com

« PreviousContinue »