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pletely aware of the problem, is familiar with it, and I am sure that the testimony that he will present here today will adequately spell out the need for elimination of the detrimental features of this 3 percent absorption as provided in your bill.
Senator UPTON. Thank you, Senator Monroney, We are pleased to have you, Mr. Rose.
Mr. ROSE. Thank you, Mr. Monroney and Mr. Upton.
STATEMENT OF OSCAR V. ROSE, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, MIDWEST CITY, OKLA.
Mr. ROSE. I know the hour is getting late here, but if I may, I have put a lot of work on the preparation of this statement, and I think it is tremendously important, not because I wrote it, but because the details, the whole program, and I believe I will go over the whole thing if we may have that much time. I have a sufficient number of copies of my testimony for all of the committee members, as well as anyone else who cares to read this story.
Senator UPTON. You may read your statement or proceed in any way you choose.
Mr. ROSE. As superintendent of schools at Midwest City, Okla., for the past 11 years, I have been responsible for housing a school program which has grown in average daily attendance from 225 to 7,801 pupils during this period of time.
I would like to say here for the benefit of those who testified here this morning, if they think their problem is temporary, I have news for them. It is not as temporary as they think.
Midwest City is located approximately 9 miles from downtown Oklahoma City and 4 miles from the eastern boundary of that city. The growth in population and school enrollment has resulted directly and indirectly there again I want to emphasize the word "indirectly". from a location of one of the largest air installations, Tinker Field and Oklahoma City Air Materiel Area, wholly within the boundaries of the school district. In view of this unusual growth, I have of necessity been closely associated with other school superintendents throughout the Nation with a similar problem, and we have tried to honestly present our problem to the United States Congress either through personal contact or through offering testimony before any committee which might be considering legislation to help solve our problem.
I want to thank Senator Upton, and I might add there, as well as Senator Burke and Senator Clements, who introduced their bill, who joined in the introduction of S. 3628 and the members of this committee for their decision to take time during the closing days of this 2d session of the 83d Congress to give it consideration here today. In my testimony I wish to present the school superintendents' viewpoint in solving the problem due to unusual increases of school population in federally impacted areas.
While S. 3628 does not propose a termination date, I would like to suggest that this committee consider extending this legislation for only 2 years or until June 30, 1956. I make this recommendation not because I believe the problem will not continue beyond that date but because I understand that the United States Office of Education is giving consideration to permanent legislation to meet what we believe
to be a permanent problem. In connection with extending Public Law 815 as amended by Public Law 246 I would point out the inequity of rigid extension periods in connection with the qualifying requirements for each period.
Now, in this connection it hasn't affected my school individually, because we have always had much more than the qualifying require
Under such a procedure many schools will fail to meet the qualifying requirements for each 2-year period and yet have a very substantial Federal impact accumulated for the overall 6-year period. I think that is extremely important as we are proceeding on a 2-year-at-a-time basis with rigid qualifying requirements for each of the 2 periods.
This inequity should be given careful consideration and may be cared for through the addition of an overall qualifying requirement covering the 6-year period during which Federal assistance is available. Another problem might be accumulative impact. Again I want to emphasize the fact that a school district can finally have 10 percent of Federal impact over a 6-year period and not qualify on any one of them or almost a 10 percent, if you add up the various qualifying percentages.
While I am not in a position to know the general need for the extension of Public Law 246, I feel certain that the various defense establishments and the United States Office of Education can detail this need rather accurately. This morning the Commissioner of Education pointed to some of the work that they had already done in this connection.
During the school year which has just closed the United States Office of Education collected data from the various applicants under Public Law 874 which was designed to determine the anticipated growth during the 1954-55 and 1955-56 school years and that part of the growth directly resulting from Federal activity. From a tabulation of this data the continued need for this legislation can be determined. Certainly the need will not be as great as it has been in the past-this has been brought out-because much relief has been provided through previously enacted legislation. Some general facts, however, which justify an extension of this legislation are as follows:
1. New and reactivated installations in connection with the defense program: Certainly the one in New Hampshire has been a primary example of that. There are others.
2. The construction of additional Wherry housing units on bases through the United States: That hasn't been emphasized much this morning. I don't think we have had any testimony on the continuation of Wherry housing units on bases throughout the United States. 3. The change from commuter status to local resident status by Federal employees near large permanent installations: In a school population in the district where the installation is located, you don't have to have increased employment rolls as an individual may live 20 or 30 or 40 miles. We have them in our State 100 miles from an installation, and if he feels his job becomes permanent then he moves from that area into the area immediately adjacent to the installation, and that will cause continued growth, as data later shown in my statement will support.
Now, specific need for extension. In my testimony I shall use the Midwest City School District which I believe illustrates a specific
need for the extension of Public Law 815 as amended by Public Law 246, and I am certain that many other school districts throughout the United States are faced with a similar situation. In 1942 the 36square-mile area which now comprises the Midwest City School District was strictly rural, being located some 5 miles east of Oklahoma City. In connection with our defense effort at that time the Federal Government purchased four sections of land and established Tinker Field and the Oklahoma City Air Materiel Area thereon. This installation has become a permanent one and the employment rolls have grown to approximately 20,000 civilians and 5,000 military personnel.
I was told only yesterday morning, and I had already mimeographed the material, that there are over 23,000 civilian personnel employed there at the present time.
To provide housing for these Federal employees four municipalities have been developed within the boundaries of the school district. There has been no Federal public housing or Wherry housing constructed within the district, and thus, all housing is privately owned and financed by insured Federal Housing Authority loans. There have been no industries other than the Federal industry in the district, and the only revenue-producing property has been homes and a minimum number of business buildings which might be justified when the hazard of continuing the Federal installation as the only supporting industry is considered.
For instance, you are not going to have as large a business section in an area such as this. Someone will say well, maybe this installation will continue 20,000 for 50 years and maybe it will be closed in the next session of Congress. So you are not going to ever have business property in proportion to what you would expect in a normal situation. The actual increase in taxable wealth through this new property and the increased assessment on old property has been from $886,524 to $10,229,045, or 10 times the original value. However, due to the unusual increase in the number of pupils the taxable wealth per childand that is what the school administrator must consider has decreased from $3,940 to $1,311, whereas it would have been increased if the federally owned industry within the school district were taxable the same as other property.
I am not goint in complete detail for the growth that I have shown here, but I think maybe the committee might give it a little attention. The problem created in a local school district is in direct proportion to the degree of impact in both federally connected and non-federally connected pupils. To show this impact on the Midwest City School District data is given prior to the Federal impact and at four periods following that time:
1942-1943 FISCAL YEAR
Prior to the establishment of the Federal industry in this area there were 225 pupils and all were housed in adequate school facilities.
JULY 1, 1950 (EFFECTIVE DATE OF PUBLIC LAW 815)
At this time the total average daily attendance has reached 3,114 pupils or an increase of 2,889 pupils or 1,284 percent for the 7-year period. This was an average of 194 percent increase each year and
was largely considered a local responsibility until Public Law 815 was enacted.
JUNE 30, 1952 (EXPIRATION OF PUBLIC LAW 815)
At this time the total average daily attendance has reached 5,111 pupils for an overall increase of 4,886 pupils or 2,171 percent in the 9-year period. The increase for the 2 year period during the operation of Public Law 815 was 1,997 pupils or a 444-percent increase for each of the 2 years. Public Law 815 established a Federal responsibility for part of this growth as well as that experienced under the previous 7-year period, and under the terms of the law the Federal and local responsibility were as follows:
(The information referred to follows:)
Sec. 202b, Public Law 815: 70 percent of 2,992 pupils whose parents worked on Federal property..
Sec. 202c, Public Law 815: 45 percent of 1,770 pupils resulting indirectly from Federal activity.
Total Federal responsibility (9-year increase).
Sec. 202b, Public Law 815: 30 percent of 2,992 pupils whose parents worked on Federal property.
Sec. 202c, Public Law 815:
55 percent of 1,770 pupils resulting indirectly from Federal activity-100 percent of 124 nonfederally connected pupils.
Total local responsibility (9-year increase).
JUNE 30 1954 (EXPIRATION OF PUBLIC LAW 246)
At this time the total average daily attendance had reached 7,801 pupils for a total increase of 7,576 pupils or 3,367 percent in 11 years. The increase for this 2-year period was 2,690 pupils or a 600 percent increase over the original average daily attendance for each year of the 2-year period. During this 2-year period Public Law 246 was in operation with its reduction in the Federal responsibility and increase in local responsibility. These are respectively detailed below:
Public Law 815, total federally connected pupils (9-year increase) _ _ _.
Total Federal responsibility (11-year increase).
Public Law 815, total local responsibility (9-year increase).
50 percent of 1,414 pupils whose parents worked on Federal property.
Total local responsibility (11-year increase)
JUNE 30, 1956, ESTIMATED (EXPIRATION OF EXTENDED PUBLIC LAW 246)
During the 2-year period for which we recommend the extension of Public Law 246 it is estimated that the average daily attendance will reach 9,868 pupils for a total increase of 9,643 pupils or an overall increase of 4,285 percent for the 13-year period. During this 2-year period the increase would be 2,067 pupils for an annual
increase of 460 percent. Should Public Law 246 be extended with the same provisions for establishing Federal responsibility, the respective Federal and local responsibilities would be as follows:
Public Laws 815 and 246, total Federal responsibility (11-year increase) 3, 597 Sec. 305 (a) (2), Public Law 246 extended, 50 percent of 1,086 pupils whose parents work on Federal property.
Total Federal responsibility (13-year increase).
Public Laws 815 and 247, total local responsibility (11-year increase)
50 percent of 1,086 pupils whose parents work on Federal property. 100 percent of 981 nonfederally connected pupils
Total local responsibility (13-year increase)
Mr. ROSE. It is the indirectly connected children that come there whose parents do not work on the plant but service those that really make a tremendous problem in addition to those that actually are directly federally connected children.
At the present time, June 30, 1954, when Public Law 246 expired, we had increased to 7,801 children in average daily attendance or 7,500 plus for the 11-year period. The increase for this 2-year period was 2,690 children, and we didn't have any material increase in the employment rolls of the plant. It occurred for a number of reasons. Most of these installations give preference to veterans, which they certainly should, but they are young people. They have a lot of preschool age children. They come into the school every year in a higher percentage than the normal population would be.
Then, of course, as I said commuters change to resident status, and so we have the continued growth.
So then we have projected our attendance for 2 more years, during which we hope that the Congress will extend this law, and we at that time expect to have a total of 9,860 pupils and that is conservative. That will require less increase then we have had the last 2 years, or we will have, of course over a 4,000 percent increase in the 13 years. Then at that point the Federal Government will be responsible for 4,140 of that increase and the school district, 5,503.
A recap of the total pupil increase for the 13-year period shown herein places a Federal responsibility for 4,140 pupils and a local responsibility for 5,503 pupils. It is not reasonable to expect any district to adjust its local fiscal condition to meet such a phenomenal increase without Federal assistance even though no federally owned housing is involved.
Now, the question of federally owned housing and nonfederally owned housing is a very serious one, I think, for the Congress to consider, and even the bills which we have been operating under, I have always thought gave a little bit too much consideration to the people for whom the Federal Government was also furnishing homes to live in. I am rather positive about that fact, because I think that if a family will buy its home, it is certainly entitled to just as much consideration for educating its children as a family who also wants a home and then
the education of its children.