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II. EXTENT OF RESTRICTION ATTACHED TO THE LOCAL EXPENDITURE OF STATE SCHOOL MONEYS.1
The preceding standard disclosed the fact that every State in the Union supports, to some extent at least, its free public schools. On the assumption that the distribution of State school moneys is in itself a centralizing process, the standard was analyzed as to the various bases upon which such moneys are distributed so as to ascertain the degree of centralization inherent in each method. The standard now to be considered carries the analysis in a somewhat different direction; irrespective of the basis or bases upon which State school moneys are distributed in each of the various States, the extent of restriction placed upon localities in the expenditure of such moneys also indicates the degree of centralization. If a State distributes the entire amount of its regular allotment of State school moneys to be expended for a specific purpose or for specific purposes and none other, restriction may be said to be complete and control central. If a State distributes a part of the State school moneys under certain restrictions as to expenditure and the remainder unrestrictedly, then restriction may be said to be partial and control divided. If a State distributes moneys without any restriction whatever as to their expenditure by a local unit, then we may say that the expenditure of State school moneys is unrestricted and control local.
In order that all children, no matter what their social or economic level, may receive at the public expense the foundations of education, 23 States designate in their school laws the specific purpose or purposes for which State school moneys are to be expended by localities.
In 13 of these 23 States-California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin 3—all State school moneys appropriated to the localities must be applied exclusively to the payment of teachers' salaries, an expense constituting a large portion of public school expenditures.
In the remaining 10 States, State school moneys must also be applied primarily to the payment of teachers' salaries, but not exclusively to this purpose, the following
1 The moneys referred to in this chapter include funds distributed in the regular apportionment to local units generally and not funds distributed under special conditions or for special purposes.
2 Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
3 Section 558, page 253, school laws of 1911, provides that the money received from the State (Wisconsin) by each district shall be devoted exclusively to the payment of teachers' wages; the constitution provides that the income of the school fund shall be applied to the support of schools and the purchase of suitable libraries and apparatus therefor. Whether these apparently conflicting provisions can be reconciled or not, it is certain that the legislature here requires that districts shall pay each year for teachers' wages an amount equal to that received from the income of the school fund.-(Interpretation of the State superintendent.)
additional purposes being included: In Arizona, for salaries of other employees and for other contingent expenses and, in Colorado, for necessary school expenses, provided, in both States, that if any balance remains after the expense of maintaining school for the prescribed term has actually been paid, such balance may be used for other purposes specified by law; in Delaware and Wyoming, for furnishing free texts; in Maine, for teachers' board, fuel, janitors' service, conveyance of pupils, and tuition and board of pupils; in Maryland, for free texts and stationery; in Michigan, for tuition and transportation of school children; in New Jersey, for fuel, transportation, and tuition of pupils; in Ohio, for salaries of superintendents; in Utah, for compensating county superintendents, including their actual and necessary traveling expenses, and for the expenses of county institutes.
The other form of restriction attached to the expenditure of State school moneys by localities may be termed partial. A State may require that State school moneys must first of all be expended for a specified purpose, permitting localities to expend the remainder, if any, for other purposes; or it may require localities to set aside a specified portion or percentage of State school moneys for a certain purpose, permitting localities to dispose of the remainder; or it may forbid the use of State school moneys for certain purposes, but permit localities to expend such moneys for any other purpose. Seven States adopt this form of restriction.
In Alabama, not more than 4 per cent of all moneys appropriated for the support of schools may be used or expended otherwise than for the payment of teachers employed;1 and no school moneys distributed to the various counties from State school revenue may be paid, either directly or indirectly, for the erection of schoolhouses, for schoolroom furniture, or for any other contingent expenses of schools. In Arkansas, the common-school fund apportioned by the State may not be used for building purposes; $25 of this sum, however, may be expended annually in each district for maps and other supplies, subject to the approval of the State superintendent and a majority of the qualified electors. In Massachusetts, not more than 25 per cent of the commonschool fund may be applied to the purchase of books of reference, maps, and apparatus. In New Hampshire, one-fifth of the portion of the literary fund (State school fund) may be applied to the purchase of blackboards, dictionaries, maps, charts, and school apparatus; the remainder must be used for the maintenance of schools. In Oregon, at least 85 per cent of the amount received from the irreducible school fund (State school fund) must be applied to the payment of teachers' salaries. In Texas, State school moneys must be used exclusively for paying the salaries of teachers and of superintendents, and for fees for taking the school census; provided that, if there should be any surplus after schools have been maintained for at least 8 months, such surplus may be expended at the discretion of the board of school trustees of the district concerned. In Washington, State funds must be applied exclusively to the current use of the common schools, and may not be applied to the building of schoolhouses or to permanent improvements thereon.
1 The legislature may, by a vote of two-thirds of each house, suspend the operation of this constitutional provision.
This examination of State school laws has shown that in 30 States 1 the expenditure of State school moneys by localities is restricted, in 23 of these States the form of restriction being complete and in 7 States partial. In 18 States State school moneys are distributed to the various localities without any restriction whatever as to expenditure. From these facts it may be concluded that in regard to the expenditure of State school moneys control is divided, with a tendency toward centralization.
In itself restriction of the expenditure of State school funds by localities indicates a marked form of centralization. Such restriction of State school funds has no doubt arisen because the several States adopting this restriction consider it their duty to see that school moneys are wisely and economically utilized. That is, they believe that when a State has received from the Federal Government a land grant for education purposes or when a State determines to collect a general State school tax or decides to utilize a portion of the wealth arising from natural resources for school purposes, it can not relieve itself of the responsibility of a wise and economical expenditure of such money.
Extent of restriction attached to the expenditure of State school moneys.
Distinct from the regular distribution of State school funds and the study of restrictions attached to their expenditure is the appropriation conditionally of State school moneys under the usual designation of "State aid."4 State aid, so defined, consists of funds supple
1 Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
2 Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont.
3 See note on p. 7.
4 At times legislation providing for State aid becomes practically inoperative because of the failure of legislatures to make the necessary appropriations.