Imagini ale paginilor
[blocks in formation]


9 In graded school districts in which there is a town, village, or densely populated neighborhood having two or more schools in the same building, 25 cents for the teachers' fund and 15 cents for the building fund; for extending the school term, 5 cents.

11 May be increased by any subdistrict for application to that particular subdistrict to not exceeding 15 mills.

[blocks in formation]


State regulation of the taxing duties and powers of localities affords central authority considerable opportunity for the exercise of control. The extent to which such opportunity has been utilized is shown by the facts, first, that 40 States have adopted legislation. directing the levying by localities of unspecified, minimum, or fixed rates or amounts; and, second, that 42 States have adopted legislation limiting taxes as to the maximum levy permissible.

In the simple requirement that localities raise a tax sufficient to support schools, central control is but little in evidence. When either a fixed or a minimum tax is required or maximum limitations are established, central control is increased; when both fixed or minimum and maximum restrictions are in force, central control in respect to local taxation reaches its highest point. This analysis is of course only generally true, because of the many other considerations that must be given weight. For instance, the presence in one State of both minimum and maximum limitations concerning relatively unimportant purposes may actually show less central control than a minimum limitation only in another State concerning an important purpose. Or, again, considering rates or amounts as well as frequency and purpose, the establishment of one minimum limitation only in reference to general support of schools, but that minimum limitation one of high rate or amount, may indicate greater central control than a number of minimum limitations of high rate or amount, or a number of maximum limitations of low rate or amount, or both, relating to less important purposes.

Granted that legislatures have exercised due care in establishing minimum or maximum limitations, it is fair to assume that when localities are fairly liberal in regard to their schools they do not feel central control as expressed in a required tax; nor are they concerned about maximum limitations as long as they are judicious and refrain from undue extravagance; it is only when they reach either extreme that central control is felt. Generally, therefore, in the financial administration of the public elementary schools, neither required taxes nor maximum limitations are regarded by local authorities as obtrusive control. Nevertheless, the power of control exists potentially at least, and its existence, as well as its exercise, indicates centralization.


In order to insure local compliance with State regulations, all States have adopted legislation providing for intervention when localities, by reason of neglect, parsimony, or insubordination, fail to comply with one or more laws,

State intervention as here considered operates in any one of three forms: (1) By transferring authority from one officer to another because of nonperformance of duty involving matters of finance; (2) by constituting localities or local officers liable because of the nonperformance of duty involving matters of finance; (3) by withholding from offending localities all or a portion of State school moneys because of the nonperformance of certain duties specified by law.


A transfer of authority by a State in case of nonperformance of duty involving finance deals with the levying of taxes, as is generally the case, or with duties involving the expenditure of school funds. Such transfers are generally made from one local officer to another local officer and more rarely from local to State officers. With the details of the transfer of authority from one local officer to another, this study is not directly concerned, since control remains local. Transfers of authority from local officers to State officers, however, involve central control and call for analysis.


Legislation pertaining to transfer of authority shows that in five States 2 authority for the levying of taxes for school purposes is directly transferred, in case of nonperformance of duty, from local officers to State officers. The purposes specified are limited to the maintenance of schools and the redemption of and payment of interest on bonds. The State officers to whom such duties are transferred are the State superintendent, the State controller, the State board of equalization, and the State auditor.

Maintain schools.-In Nevada, if county commissioners fail to levy' the regular county tax for the maintenance of schools, county auditors must add to the assessment roll such tax as the superintendent of public instruction may deem sufficient, between the limits of 20 and 50 cents on the $100 valuation of taxable property. Also, if school trustees fail to provide by district taxation the funds necessary to insure the completion of at least six months of school in any school year, when notified by the deputy State superintendent of public instruction in charge of the district that such action is necessary, the deputy State superintendent must then notify the county commissioners of the amount necessary to be raised, and the commissioners must assess, equalize, and collect this amount, as though the trustees themselves had made the levy.

Redeem and pay interest on bonds.—In California, if boards of supervisors fail to make the levy to pay for bonds or interest coupons and payment is refused, owners may file the bonds, together with all unpaid coupons, with the State controller; thereupon the State board of equalization adds to the State tax to be levied in the district a rate

1 The States in which transfers are made from local to State officers are California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia.

2 California, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma.

sufficient to realize the amount of the principal or interest past due. In Kansas, if the proper officers fail or neglect to make a levy sufficient in amount to pay the interest upon refunding bonds and coupons, county clerks must levy such tax; if county clerks fail to perform their duty, the auditor of State informs county treasurers of the amount due and such amount must be by them levied. In Louisiana, if school boards fail or refuse to levy a tax sufficient to pay the interest and principal on bonds issued, the auditor of public accounts must name the rate of such tax and order the same collected. In Oklahoma, if officers whose duty it is to levy taxes to pay bonds and coupons fail to act, the State auditor ascertains the amount necessary and certifies the fact to the county treasurer, who makes the levy.


A transfer of authority from local to State officers because of the nonperformance of duties involving the expenditure of school funds occurs in nine States. The duties designated include the repair and improvement of school buildings, the employment of officers, the maintenance of schools, the provision of flags, and the payment of interest or principal on money borrowed from the State. The State officers designated to perform such duties are the State superintendent, deputy State superintendents, the State board of education, the governor and council, the commissioner of health, and the State auditor.

Repair and improve schoolhouses.—In Connecticut, whenever it may be found by the State board of education or by the board of school visitors or by a member of the town school committee that further or different sanitary provisions or means of lighting and ventilating are required without unreasonable expense, either of said boards or such member of the town school committee may recommend the desired changes; in case such changes are not made substantially as recommended within two weeks from the date of notice thereof, such board or member of the committee may make complaint to the proper health authority of the community, which authority shall order such changes made as it may deem necessary and proper. In Nevada, if school trustees fail to provide outbuildings, the deputy State superintendent in charge of the district must cause the same to be built and paid for out of district funds. Also, if school trustees fail to keep school buildings in proper repair, the deputy State superintendent in charge of the district must cause such needed repairs to be made and paid for out of district funds, provided the cost does not exceed $50.

Employ officers.-In Iowa and Tennessee, when county superintendents fail to submit reports, the superintendent of public instruction may appoint and compensate some suitable person to perform such duties, the cost of which must be paid by the delinquent county superintendent. In Maine, when the State superintendent is of the opinion that the census has been inaccurately taken, he must make a statement thereof to the governor and council, who may require the census to be retaken, and if they think necessary, appoint and compensate persons to perform such service. In New Hampshire, the governor, with the advice and consent of the council, may require school boards to remove truant officers who are incompetent and to appoint competent successors, and upon the failure or neglect of school boards to do so, said State officers may appoint and compensate such truant officers. In Pennsylvania, if school districts which are required to provide medical inspection do not comply

1Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia. 90757°-15-5

« ÎnapoiContinuă »