State Funds for Public Schools

Gertrude Folks
1920 The Elementary school journal  
The educational system of a democracy must insure to all full, free, and equal opportunity for that kind and degree of education that will develop most completely the native ability of each and the highest degree of manhood of all, with the fullest possible measure of the sweetness and light which we call culture. For its support, therefore, it has first and indisputable claim on all the resources of the State and all the wealth of the people.' IAn Educational Study of Alabama. THE ELEMENTARY
more » ... HOOL JOURNAL [January Accordingly, expenditures for such purposes as industrial, agricultural and vocational work, evening and continuation schools, normal schools and teacher training, care of defectives, transportation, tuition, textbooks, and libraries are excluded. Special provisions arising from purely local conditions, such as compensation for counties containing large areas of nontaxable land, are not considered. It must be borne in mind, moreover, that this article deals only with the apportionment to counties of state funds and does not consider the apportionment to districts of county funds. These are seldom on the same basis, but a right distribution of county funds does not rectify a wrong distribution of state funds, for the latter determine in part the amount of county funds available. All use subject to University of Chicago Press Terms and Conditions ( 1920] STATE FUNDS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS 371 see, and Vermont, devote them to general equalization purposes rather than merely to maintaining the prescribed length of term. Four states, as a means of securing assistance 'or communities proportional to their need, apportion part of their funds on a valuation basis. In Massachusetts an annual grant of $75, $150, $300, or $500 is made to towns having a valuation of not more than $2,500,000, the amount being in inverse proportion to their total valuation. The New York system is similar, the amount varying from $125 to $200. In New Hampshire, however, the basis is not total valuation, but equalized valuation per pupil in average daily attendance during the preceding year, and the grant ranges from $0.75 to $1.50 per week. Connecticut divides towns having a valuation of $2,500,000 or less into five classes, and pays from 15 to 60 per cent of the expenditure for teachers' salaries, the percentage being inversely proportional to the valuation. Two other states, Maine and New Jersey, apportion part of the funds according to valuation, but in a direct, not an inverse, proportion; this is not intended to secure a distribution based on need, and it will be discussed under flat-rate systems. The attempt to stimulate effort has been approached from many angles and the different plans employed will be outlined briefly: Local taxation.-Many states require that the local unit shall levy a school tax of a specified minimum-usually very low-before being entitled to receive state funds. Four states, however, make a direct increase in the amount granted to counties with a high tax rate. Alabama gives $1,000, $2,000, or $3,000 to each county collecting a special school tax of one, two, or three mills, respectively. North Dakota doubles and triples its apportionment to rural, graded, and consolidated schools, if a specified high tax is levied. Minnesota contributes to a district levying a tax in excess of twenty mills one-third of the amount raised by such excess levy (within a maximum limit). Massachusetts, after the apportionment based on valuation is paid (see above), distributes the remainder of the school fund to towns of not more than $2,500,000 valuation, and whose annual tax for schools is not less than one-sixth of their whole tax, in proportion to the percentage which the school tax is of the whole tax in excess of one-sixth. Attendance and enrolment.-Eight states base the distribution of their funds in part, at least, upon enrolment or attendance, thus
doi:10.1086/454754 fatcat:4e33a4mjgzakznglqadju2mcly