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EXTENSION OF SCHOOL TERM, ETC., NELSON SCHOOLS

IN ALASKA

MARCH 30, 1938.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the

state of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. DIMOND, from the Committee on the Territories, submitted the

following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 9722]

The Committee on the Territories, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 9722) to amend section 5 of an act entitled "An act to provide for the construction and maintenance of roads, the establishment and maintenance of schools, and the care and support of insane persons in the district of Alaska, and for other purposes," approved January 27, 1905 (33 Stat. 616), having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that the bill 'do pass without amendment.

Under an act of Congress, certain license taxes imposed upon business and trade carried on in the Territory, when collected are deposited in the Treasury of the United States. The law provides that 25 percent of the taxes so collected shall be used for the establishment and maintenance of public schools in the Territory. The greater part of the funds used for the support of Territorial schools is derived from taxes imposed and collected by the Territorial government. Thus, we have in Alaska two sources of public-school funds, one obtained from 25 percent of Federal license taxes collected in Alaska and the other from Territorial taxes. The schools supported by Federal license taxes deposited in the Treasury of the United States and then reappropriated are commonly known as Nelson schools. Under the law it is necessary for the United States Treasury to pay over the money for the support of the Nelson schools to the local school boards of the several schools so maintained. Owing to several factors, there is always considerable delay in payment of the salaries of teachers and other expenses of the Nelson schools. Sometimes teachers' salaries have been in arrears as much as 4 months or longer, and the same condition exists with respect to other school expenses. Under the bill it is proposed to transfer all such public-school funds from the Federal Treasury to the Territorial treasury so that the money may be disbursed by the Territorial officials for the support of schools. This will promote efficiency and permit prompt payment of teachers' salaries and other school expenses. No additional burden will be thereby imposed on the Federal Government and, in fact, the work of the Federal Treasury officials with respect to the funds mentioned will be much simplified.

In addition, the amendment proposes to authorize the extension of school terms from 5 to 9 months, and to permit the employment of more than one teacher in each school.

Enactment of the bill is requested by a letter addressed by the Secretary of the Interior to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, dated February 23, 1938, and reading as follows:

THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR,

Washington, February 23, 1938. The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

Sir: I enclose in duplicate a proposed amendment to section 5 of "An act to provide for the construction and maintenance of roads, the establishment and maintenance of schools, and the care and support of insane persons in the district of Alaska, and for other purposes," approved January 27, 1905 (33 Stat. 616), which I trust may receive the favorable action of Congress.

The act of January 27, 1905, providing in part for the establishment and maintenance of schools in Alaska, as stated, contains certain limitations which interfere with the efficient administration of these schools, and it is therefore desired to broaden the scope of this act.

Under the provisions of the present act, the treasurers of the various school districts disburse the funds for their respective schools, and it is desired to centralize this authority in the treasurer of the Territory. It is found that this change of procedure will not only expedite purchases and the settlement of claims, but that the procurement of supplies by a central office will result in a substantial saving of funds. The present act also provides that one teacher be employed for each school, but with the growth of these schools, it is necessary that this limitation of one teacher be removed to enable the employment of additional teachers if required. It is also desired to amend the present act by including therein authority to disburse funds for necessary supplies and janitor service for the schools, and to extend the school year from 5 months to 9 months in order to meet requirements.

The Acting Director of the Bureau of the Budget informs me there is no objection to the presentation of this proposed legislation. Sincerely yours,

HAROLD L. ICKES,

Secretary of the Interior. The proposed changes in existing law are hereinafter indicated (existing law is printed below in roman with matter proposed to be omitted enclosed in black brackets and new matter to be inserted printed in italic):

The Governor shall assign and set apart to each school district established and organized under the provisions of this section a sum, not less than three hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, in proportion to the number of pupils in the district, for the construction and equipment of a schoolhouse, which sum shall be paid by the Secretary of the Treasury to the treasurer of the (school district] Territory of Alaska upon the order and voucher of the Governor out of that portion of the said Alaska fund set apart for the establishment and maintenance of public schools. The residue of said portion of said fund, or so much thereof as may be necessary, shall by the Governor be apportioned among the several school districts established under the provisions of this section in amounts suflicient for each district to pay the wages of a teacher or teachers, together with the expense of fuel and light, [for five months' school in each year] supplies, and janitor service for nine months school in each year. And the amounts so apportioned to each school district shall be paid to the treasurer of the [district] Territory of Alaska by the Secretary of the Treasury upon the order and voucher of the Governor out of the said portion of said fund.

O

AMENDING THE ACT PROVIDING FOR THE DISPOSITION CONTROL, AND USE OF SURPLUS FEDERAL REAL PROPERTY

MARCH 31, 1938.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the

state of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. ELLIOTT, from the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds,

submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 9816)

The Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 9816) to amend the act entitled "An act to provide for the disposition, control, and use of surplus real property acquired by Federal agencies, and for other purposes," approved August 27, 1935, duly considered the same and hereby make a report on it to the House with the recommendation that the bill do pass without amendment. This bill (H. R. 9816) was introduced at the suggestion of the Committee which had under consideration H. R. 9223 pertaining to the same subject which did not comply in all respects with the purposes of the proposed legislation as outlined in a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury which is herein included and made a part of this report.

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF THE BILL

The Government has considerable money tied up in surplus real property. The Treasury Department, acting through the Procurement Division, has been handicapped in disposing of this property advantageously to the Government by the existing law. The law does not permit the Procurement Division to sell without public advertising, and it may sell by that method alone.

Considerable money has been lost by the Government due to the inability to deal in the customary manner of private business when acceptable bids have not been made under advertisement.

This bill, if enacted, will correct this situation by permitting private Degotiation after the property has been offered for sale by public

2

DISPOSITION, CONTROL, AND USE OF SURPLUS REAL PROPERTY

advertising without results, thereby extending the Treasury Department more latitude in dealing for the disposal of surplus real property in a way advantageous to the Government.

The proposed legislation embodied in this bill (H. R. 9816) meets with the approval of the Treasury Department, which suggested certain amendments with reference to H. R. 9223 pertaining to the same subject, as shown in the following letter from the Acting Secretary of the Treasury:

MARCH 8, 1938. Hon. FRITZ G. LANHAM, Chairman, Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds,

House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Further reference is made to your letter of January 29, 1938, requesting my recommendations with respect to bill H. R. 9223, to amend the act entitled “An Act to provide for the disposition, control, and use of surplus real property acquired by Federal agencies, and for other purposes, approved August 27, 1935 (Public, No. 351, 74th Cong.), and for other purposes.

With certain amendments, hereinafter set forth, the Department considers the proposed legislation to be meritorious.

The second paragraph of section 1 of the bill authorizes the negotiation of contracts for the sale of surplus properties in the event satisfactory bids are not received as the result of public advertisement. Such authority could be used to advantage in some cases. However, it is felt that certain limitations upon its exercise should be imposed. Accordingly, it is recommended that this paragraph be amended to read as follows:

“At the end of section 1 add to subsection (c) the following: ': Provided, That if no bids, or if bids which are not satisfactory as to price or responsibility of bidder, are received as a result of such public advertisement, the Director of Procurement, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, is authorized to sell such property by negotiation, upon such terms as may be deemed to be to the best interest of the Government, but at a price not less than that bid by the highest responsible bidder.'

In my opinion, such amount as may be necessary to provide for expenditures incident to the sale, lease, and proper maintenance of surplus properties should be provided, in the usual manner, by annual appropriations, rather than by the establishment of a working fund made up of a percentage of the proceeds of their sales and leases. It is accordingly recommended that section 2 of the bill be amended to read as follows:

"SEC. 2. At the end of the Act add sections 6 and 7, reading as follows:

“ 'Sec. 6. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated such amount as may be necessary to cover the costs incident to the sale, lease, or demolition, as hereinafter authorized, of buildings which have been or may hereafter be declared surplus to the needs of the Government in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and the care, maintenance, and protection thereof, including, but not limited to, pay of employees, travel of Government employees, auctioneers' and brokers' fees, appraisals, photographs, surveys, evidence of title and perfecting of defective titles, advertising, and telephone and telegraph charges: Provided, however, That a Federal agency shall remain responsible for the proper care, maintenance, and protection of the aforesaid property, notwithstanding any declaration that the same is in excess of its needs until such time as custody is assumed by the Treasury Department or other disposition is made thereof.'

“ 'Sec. 7. T'he Director of Procurement, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, is authorized, upon their determination that such action will be to the best interest of the Government, to demolish any building declared surplus to the needs of the Government in accordance with the provisions of this Act.'

It is also suggested that there be deleted, in lines 6, 7, and 8 on page 1 of the bill “(Public, Numbered 351, Seventy-fourth Congress;" “U. S. C., Supp. II, title 40, sec. 304 (a) to (s))”.

With the foregoing amendments, I am advised that the proposed bill is in accord with the program of the President. Very truly yours,

WAYNE C. TAYLOR, Acting Secretary of the Treasury.

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