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Mr. COURTNEY. We have also had a request from the National Education Association to be allowed to submit a statement for the record. Mr. HÉBERT. Without objection, it is so ordered. (The statement is as follows:)
NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION,
Hon. F. EDWARD HÉBERT,
Chairman Subcommittee for Special Investigations, Committee on Armed Services, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. HÉBERT: Thank you for your letter of August 9 advising me that your hearings on contracting out practices began on August 8, 1961.
After receiving your letter, I requested to talk with counsel of the subcommittee and on August 10, Mr. William H. Sandweg, counsel, was able to confer with me and with Mr. Robert R. Shafer, president of the Far East Education
Association, in Mr. Sandweg's office. Mr. Shafer happened to be in the city at our request on matters pertaining to the oversea dependents' schools. He was familiar with the Kwajalein contracting-out practices and concurs with me in my views expressed on the Kwajalein situation as we understand them.
After conferring with Mr. Sandweg, it seems clear that I should submit to you some remarks with the suggestion that these might be included as part of the official record of your committee. However, because our information about conditions on Kwajalein is limited, I have not prepared a formal statement as I would ordinarily have done, and I am not requesting to appear before the subcommittee to present testimony. These remarks, and the attached statements from teachers on Kwajalein, concern conditions in the program and the administration of the school on Kwajalein operated for the dependents of military personnel and others stationed on the island. The school formerly was operated by the U.S. Navy, under the direction of the Department of Defense. Now all the military installations and those of the school on the tiny atoll are operated under contract from the Federal Government by the Texas Transport Co. of Corpus Christi, Tex.
Briefly the correspondence from the two former educators on Kwajalein maintains that the Texas Transport Co., after taking over the Kwajalein installation, markedly raised the rents and other living costs to the teachers and instituted unprofessional demands upon the teaching staff there, seriously lowering teacher morale. We first heard about these things in a letter from a teacher dated December 1, 1959; a copy of this letter is enclosed. We had some interim correspondence with the writer, and recently, following my letter to you of March 27, 1961, we sought to obtain more current information about the situation. I am enclosing a copy of a letter written in response to this request by another teacher from Kwajalein on June 12, 1961, while he was still on duty on Kwajalein. Names of the writers of these letters can, I believe, be made available to the committee. It would appear that while the educational program has been improved somewhat since we first heard in late 1959, the personnel program has, if anything, deteriorated.
The details of the changed conditions are contained in the two letters. We have no other direct information from Kwajalein itself about the situation. Yet, from informal discussions with officials in the Department of Defense, it is my feeling that the Navy Department desires to take back this school into their overseas dependents' schools system. From what I have been able to learn here in Washington, when the contract was written, costs of operating the school program were inadvertently omitted, and therefore the company apparently has felt it must institute practices which would conserve its expenditures. I also understand that the contract company has levied a tuition charge upon the service personnel and upon the civilian parents whose children go to school on Kwajalein in order to attempt to further recover the costs of operating the school on Kwajalein. Paradoxically, if the school had remained as part of the oversea dependents' school system, working conditions and salaries would have been improved by Public Law 86-91, a law passed in 1959 at our request to bring about needed beneficial changes in the personnel practices of the oversea dependents' schools.
When the contract was written, provisions should have been made for properly funding the school's operations. If this had been done, I feel that the alleged conditions which seemed to have occurred since the Texas Transport Co. took over the operation of the school would not have occurred at all. Despite the fact that the two teachers from Kwajalein believe that the educational program, from the evidence of the results of standardized tests, seems not to have been adversely affected, I cannot help but feel that the quality of the teaching continues to be limited because of the serious morale problems which apparently still exist, according to our latest information.
I feel that whenever the Federal Government proposes to contract out the operation of oversea installations on which children will be attending school, that the funding and operation of the schools should be carefully planned and adequately provided for so that the program for the children and the personnel policies for the teachers will be continuously maintained and strengthened, just as if the school had been kept under the wing of the Department of Defense. I hope that your committee can use this example as an indication of what might happen if contracting-out practices are not carefully instituted.
We are concerned with the quality of the education of American children and the professional welfare of American teachers wherever they are. We would not like to see the situation on Kwajalein, as we understand it, to continue. Nor do we want to see these practices instituted elsewhere. To me,
it seems clear that the best interests of the Federal Government and of the Nation are not being served when a situation such as apparently exists on Kwajalein is permitted to continue.
The continued interest of your committee in this matter, which I first brought to your attention on March 14, 1961, is sincerely appreciated by me and by the National Education Association. The Overseas Education Association also expresses its sincere appreciation for the continued interest of the committee in professional standards for the schools and the teachers responsible for providing education for our children on Kwajalein. Cordially,
NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION,
ROBERT W. MCLAIN, Staff Contact for Oversea Teachers.
GEORGE SELTZ SCHOOL,
San Francisco, Calif., December 1, 1959.
(Attention: William G. Carr, executive secretary.)
DEAR MR. CARR: We are a group of 10 teachers and 1 principal in need of some advice concerning the improvement of our professional standards here in Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. We hope that you might be able to offer some advice or sources where we could obtain this information.
Perhaps it would be better if I gave you some background information so that you might better understand what I mean when I say we are a contractoroperated school.
Until June of this year Kwajalein had been a naval base and as such the teachers were a part of the Navy oversea dependent school system. The mission of the island changed and now we have the Navy acting in the capacity of contract administrators for the Transport Co. of Texas who was hired by the Department of Navy to support and furnish housekeeping needs for the island and the people living here. The Army is in charge of installing and testing the equipment of the Nike-Zeus missile system which has become the primary activity for Kwajalein.
Due to the change here the teachers as of this year were hired by the Transport Co. of Texas. While we are not a part of the Navy oversea school system we are using the Navy oversea school guides to determine our academic standards. The principal is responsible to the resident manager of the Transport Co. of Texas.
With this information in mind I would like to present the following facts to you. The contract by which the teachers were hired is the standard contract by which all job classifications were hired, i.e., plumbers, truckdrivers, clerks, officeworkers, engineers, administrators, and the like. Our salary scale is $7,200 per 12-month year. During Christmas holidays and summer vacations we are expected to fill in as officeworkers, sales people in the company stores, and any manner of jobs where additional help is required. The salary for the teaching year is about $5,200 and this does not include pay during the school holidays unless the teacher works in any other jobs as mentioned above. We are expected to work a 48-hour week and remain on the job until 4:30 p.m. just as others are who are paid on an hourly wage scale. The only consideration given is that we do not have to work on Saturdays while we are doing our teaching jobs. Other than legal holidays we are required to be at school if it is not an extended period of nonteaching time. No provision is made for any salary schedule to take in consideration years in the profession or advanced degrees.
To say the least we here are not pleased with the terms and are hoping to improve our status. I might add that the cost of items have increased about 20 percent over the prices when the Navy ran what was then called the post exchange and the commissary. Also rents have gone up about $25 for the quarters furnished the teachers.
The working conditions from the standpoint of the teacher and from the learning point of view are far from ideal. Our school is housed in three wooden buildings which are a very definite fire hazard, one of which had been an auto