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Classification of obligations incurred by the United States Geological Survey during the fiscal year ended June 30,1935
In addition to the above amounts, there was expended directly by cooparatlng agencies $49,242 42 for topogaphic surveys and $292,068.32 for stream gaging.
OFFICE OF EDUCATION
(Dr. J. W. Studebaker, Commissioner)
I. GENERAL OUTLOOK IN EDUCATION
ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES AND ADAPTATIONS GROWING OUT OF
Conditions resulting from the industrial depression have greatly influenced provisions for public-school finance during the last few years. In spite of the fact that public education has for years been regarded as a function and responsibility of the State government, public-school support has been left largely to local school districts. As a result, even before the present financial difficulties had developed, many school districts were having difficulty to raise sufficient revenue by local taxation to support schools; with assessed valuations greatly reduced and taxes made delinquent by the economic situation the burden could no longer be met.
State legislatures were obliged to give relief. The first step naturally was to reduce general property taxes. This was accomplished in a number of States by lowering the maximum rates which authorities might levy. Of course, without other revenue sources, such restrictions only made conditions for the schools worse. Greater State participation in school support was necessary.
During the past fiscal year legislative action affecting the administration and support of education occurred in many States. Complete reports of 1935 legislative action have not yet been received from all the States, and a few State legislatures were still in session on July 1.
It may be said that beginning with 1933 there has been a marked change in legislative policy with respect to the maintenance of public education. This policy consists in increasing the responsibility of the State for the financial support of public schools. Prior to 1933 and since the founding of statehood in practically all the States both legal and educational theory have regarded education as a State function. However, the idea that the State should assume a sizable or major amount of financial responsibility for the support of education has been of slow legislative development. It was reserved for the economic depression to give profound impetus and effect to this movement.
Reports at hand indicate that the most outstanding legislative changes in education during the past fiscal year consisted in the extension and development of the policy of placing increased responsibility upon the State for the financial support of education. Recent legislative action for increased responsibility of the State is characterized in a number of States by measures which increased or extended the minimum State-financed educational program. During the past fiscal year legislation was enacted in approximately onethird of the States which in some way resulted in the assumption on the part of the State of increased financial responsibility for education. For example, in 1935 the South Carolina legislature extended its 6-month State-supported school system to 7 months. West Virginia extended its 8-month State-supported system to 9 months. The legislature of Wyoming provided through the distribution of a school equalization fund the necessary financial assistance to enable all school districts to maintain a $1,000 minimum program. Other States in which legislative action provided for increasing the responsibility of the State for the financial support of public schools are: Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, and Washington.
The marked tendency of recent years to utilize nonproperty-tax systems for the support of education continued unabated during the fiscal year. For example, during the past year legislation occurred which provides school revenue from income-tax sources in the following States: Idaho, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington. Legislative action in Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming made provisions whereby revenue from sales taxes may be utilized for school purposes; and in Idaho, Michigan, Maryland, New Mexico, Nevada, and Wisconsin certain receipts from licenses or sales taxes on alcoholic drinks were allocated for school purposes.
Increased State responsibility for the financial support of education has often been accompanied by increased State control over State and local school moneys. During the past fiscal year legislation of this character occurred in a number of States. Outstanding examples of this type of legislation occurred in Louisiana and New Mexico. The legislature of Louisiana created a State bond and tax board which stipulated that thereafter no parish or municipality or school district shall have authority to borrow money, incur debt, or issue bonds or to levy taxes without the consent and approval of the State bond and tax board, and declared that all debts contracted or bonds issued by parishes, municipalities, and school boards without the consent of the said State board shall be null and void. Louisiana also prohibited the expenditure of public money or credit by cities and school districts without the regulation, supervision, and approval of the State advisory board. In New Mexico by legislative action the State board of finance was vested with supervision and control of the budget of all State offices, departments, and institutions, including the department of education and institutions of higher learning, subject to review by the Governor. The State board of finance was empowered to adopt standard office supplies and equipment and to regulate purchases. Among other States enacting legislation which effected increased State control over school expenditures are: Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
During the year a number of legislative changes occurred designed to promote efficiency and economy with respect to the administrative and supervisory functions of public education. For example, the legislature of Vermont "in the interest of convenience and efficiency" directed the State board of education through the commissioner of education, acting as the executive officer of the board, to combine as soon as possible the several school districts of the State into supervisory unions each approximating 50 teachers, subject to the following exceptions:
I. Towns or cities employing 40 or more teachers shall be allowed to remain as districts.
II. High-school principals shall be relieved of all supervisory responsibility for class work outside of the high school.
The Oregon Legislature prohibited the establishment of a school district with fewer than 20 pupils of school age. In Oklahoma the legislature stipulated that State aid may be withdrawn from any school where the average daily attendance falls below 18, or where the school district fails to meet standards established by the State board of education. Other measures designed to restrict the maintenance of small school districts were enacted in a few other States, among which are: Iowa, Montana, and Nevada.
The Office of Education has continued its earlier interest in the problems of unemployed out-of-school youth which have continued acute throughout the year. A special committee of staff members was organized in August 1934 to systematize as far as possible the efforts of the Office in this field. The General Education Board has made grants to assist the work of the committee. With these funds the committee has employed a staff to carry on two studies under the general jurisdiction of the committee. One is a survey of conditions, needs and desires of youth in 60 representative communities, rural and urban. In this survey the committee has the active cooperation of a committee of the American Sociological Society as well as the cooperation of the statistical divisions of the F. E. R. A. and the central statistical board. Voluntary services must be depended upon for leadership in the several communities while relief workers are assigned to carry out the detailed labor.
The other study deals with the activities being carried on throughout the country in the interest of unemployed out-of-school young people. About 13,000 inquiries were sent out to lists of persons most likely to know about these activities. The names of persons actually in charge of the activities were thus secured. These persons were then sent a special inquiry, asking that they describe briefly each activity, how it is sponsored, how many young people participate, and with what success the activity seems to be meeting. These reports are then abstracted and the materials classified as a basis for bulletins in process of preparation, 1 on guidance, 1 on education for out-of-school youth, 1 on leisure-time activities of out-ofschool youth, and 1 on the problem of employment among youth. These bulletins will be completed about November 1935.
One other activity of the committee has been a compilation of a handbook for community leaders. The materials for the handbook have been culled out of survey materials and accounts of community activities. The purpose of the handbook is to stimulate and guide communities which desire to improve and better coordinate their services for out-of-school unemployed youth. This bulletin will be ready for publication in August 1935.
A casual examination of the functions of the several Government departments made during the winter of 1933-34 revealed that no Government agency was giving particular attention to the problems peculiar to the generation which was just then coming into the age of employability. About two and one-quarter million young people reach the age of 18 each year. Of these probably a half million continue in some full-time school or college. The remainder are on the labor market.
The point of view which dominated the codes of fair competition with respect to the reemployment of former workers as well as the adoption of minimum wages made industry slow to employ youth. It appeared, therefore, that this rapid accumulation of young people by the addition of millions each year constituted a major problem worthy of governmental consideration.
While the problem was basically one of employment, it was quite clear that a large element in the situation was the need of these young