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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, February 24, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 9

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-02-24/ed-1/seq-9/

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The board of education is facing a
"missing coal" -mystery. Figures
from the office of Parker H. Ser
combe, school board statistician,
show that schools are getting more
coal than they are burning. But they
may explain another mystery, the
$700,000 budget "deficit"
In the first place, according to
school board records, the 26 schools
which make up tlie first district were
given $27,447.70 worth of good coal
in 1915, paid for by the taxpayers of
And then another set of figures,
these coming from John Howatt,
chief engineer of the school, show
that in 1915 these same schools burn
ed only $24,287.50 worth of coal.
The mystery is, what became of
the extra $3,160.20 worth that was
not burned, according to these fig
ures. If this amount of coal is being
stored in the basements of the
schools of the first district, and sim
ilar conditions obtain in the other
nine school districts of the city, the
schools are carrying over $30,000
worth of coal from 1915 to 1916. And
the school board ig borrowing money
and giving 6 per cent interest to buy
the coal.
But the second mystery, that of
the budget deficit, is easy.
A certain clique on the school board
set about to cut down teachers' sal
aries which were raised by steady
work of the Chicago Teachers' Feder
ation. To find an excuse for cutting these
wages, this clique contended that the
schools were broke. They had to
borrow every year to support the
schools for the next They often
talked of shutting down schools if
they could not cut the teachers' sal
aries. The wage-cutting bunch did
not succeed, but they are expected to
try again this summers
The budget figures for 1916 show
that the board has set aside $30,
935 for the purchase of coal for
the first school district in 1916.
Howatt's figures show that these
schools used only $23,287.50 worth
of coal in 1915. And Sercombe's
figures show they had $3,160.20
worth over from 1915.
The board, therefore, if these fig
ures are correct, has appropriated
$6,300 worth of fuel more than they
used in 1915 and also has $3,160
worth left over. The jumble of fig
ures would seem to prove that they
have appropriated almost $10,000 too
much for coal in the first district
There are 10 districts. If the same
is true in the others, and figures have
not yet been completed to show this,
the Bchools will have appropriated
$100,000 too much for coal alone in
The people must pay interest at 6
per cent on this amount because the
schools borrowed the money.
The "deficit" is only $700,000. They
want to cut teachers' salaries to save
this. Yet they have apparently bor
rowed $100,000 too much for coal in
Lincoln, Neb., Feb. 24. An attempt
was made to blow up Nebraska state
capitol building early today. Bomb,
enclosed in steel casing, was explod
ed in trash-burning furnace in west
Force of explosion threw the bomb
from furnace against stone wall 6
feet distant, but it did not explode
further after being hurled from the
flames in incinerator.
o g
New York. Henry DehPs wife
tossed dozen loose objects at him in
his Jamaica cigar store to convince''
him he ought to have homely girl
clerks. Both were fined and pretty
clerks quit " "" J

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