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a new salary schedule increasing the minimum salaries was provided by legislative action in 1922. Besides paying two-thirds of the salaries of supervisors, the State pays the entire salary up to $1,200 of one attendance officer in each county. These three provisions are all equalizing measures in their nature and effect.
The State school budget provided also a fund of $12,000 for training teachers in service in their home communities. State aid to approved high schools was increased 50 per cent, and State appropriations for free textbooks 3313 per cent at the same legislative session.
COURT DECISION AFFECTING EQUALIZATION FUND IN OKLAHOMA
An unusual and significant opinion was handed down by the Supreme Court of Oklahoma on September 9, 1924, upholding the validity of an act appropriating an equalization fund of $650,000 designed to aid in paying teachers' salaries in districts which, haying levied the constitutional limit of local school tax, could not maintain school for an eight months' term. The constitution of Oklahoma limits the local district tax for school purposes to 15 mills. Many districts with low assessed valuation are unable, with the maximum of levy and the apportionment from State sources, to support a term of eight or nine months of school. The appropriation was made to assist such districts. In handing down its decision the court held that the burden of education rests on the State, and that an appropriation of the kind indicated is part of the fulfillment of the State's obligation to maintain a system of public schools; that responsibility for a State system implies some degree of uniformity and equality of opportunity. A special session of the legislature in Oklahoma, held in 1923, provided for a State fund amounting to $15 per capita for children of school age. This act was, however, declared unconstitutional.
PROGRESS OF CERTAIN STATES IN SCHOOL SUPPORT
The following is a brief summary of achievements in the direction of more State support or better methods of distribution of State funds:
frkansas.-Trebled State support through income, severance, cigarette tax laws, and pistol regulation law, effective 1924.
Delaware.-Special State aid granted for paying all transportation charges; $100,000 for 1923, and $105,000 for 1924. Supplementary law permits all districts to bond themselves.
Florida.-Change in constitution which has l'esulted in substantial increase for a large number of rural schools through State, county, and local funds.
Illinois.-In 1923 eliminated apportionment of State school funds on census basis. Provided for apportionment which considers “ teacher-school-day"; pupil attendance; assessed valuation of property ; bonus for teachers in one-room schools. Also increased fund.
Indiana.—State tax, 7 cents on every $100 and 50 cents poll tax for common-school fund; 70 per cent of this fund for teachers' salaries; 30 per cent becomes a relief fund for maintaining elementary schools for term of eight months and for certified or commissioned high schools for minimum required term. This is apportioned to counties which levy a tax of $1 on $100 taxable property and 25 cents poll tax and still have not enough money to run the schools for the required length of term. It may be used either for payment of salaries of teachers or for current operating expenses necessary to lengthen the term.
Kentucky.-A number of counties increased their levy to reach the maximum, i. e., 50 cents on $100. Legislature authorized presentation of State bond issue of seventy-five millions, of which five millions were designed for rural schools. Defeated by popular vote.
Maine.-During the biennium a State school fund to aid rural schools has been placed in operation. Used at the discretion of the State superintendent as an equalizing fund to aid in teachers' salaries, buildings and equipment, and consolidation, as well as to stimulate special progressive educational movements.
Maryland. First distribution of State equalization fund to counties unable to meet standards, with county school tax levy of 67 cents. Amount was $234,733 in 1923 and $255,447 in 1924. State aid toward salaries of administrative and supervisory officers and high-school aid increased about 50 per cent over that of 1922. County superintendents' salaries increased materially during the biennium.
Massachusetts.—About $70,300 added to State fund distributed in biennium over that of 1921 and 1922. This amount to approximate 10 per cent of total expenditure distributed on inverse ratio to tax valuation.
Michigan.-State aid of $200 to each school maintaining nine months' term when cost of seven months' schools is $12 or more per thousand of assessed valuation.
Oklahoma-Equalizing fund provided to pay teachers in certain poor districts.
Pennsylvania.-Legislation of 1923 increased State aid for teachers' salaries to districts of low valuation, and for transportation.
Rhode Island.-Aid for high school increased $10 per pupil. Maximum State support for supervision increased from $750 to $1,000 per district. Equalizing fund apportioned at discretion of State board of education and State aid distributed on equalizing basis.
South Carolina. Increase in county and State support for schools, $2,000,000. Guarantees seven months' school by supplying State funds when deficiency occurs after fixed tax rate is reached by counties and districts.
T'ennessee.-State aid to standard and consolidated schools increased in amount.
Virginia.-In year ending 1923, one-third total number of counties assessed the maximum rate. Year ending 1924, one-half the counties assessed maximum rate. State aid to rural school libraries increased. One thousand aided.
Wyoming.-State oil royalty for schools. Distribution considers among other things length of term and aid to transportation.
Indiana, West Virginia, Mississippi, Texas, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Missouri are among the States whose State departments of education have promoted large State legislative programs involving State support in some measure during the biennial period. In a few of these States recent educational surveys are made the basis of the program. As an illustration of the type of activities or provisions promulgated in these programs the following from the educational program of Texas and from the State superintendent's program from Tennessee are presented :
The Texas educational program advocates 15 points, of which the most important are those providing for a nonpartisan State board of education which shall appoint the State superintendent, enacting a modified county unit law providing for the employment of the county superintendent by the county board, providing for a county tax, amending the teacher certification law, increasing State school funds, amending the attendance law, and providing for a minimum term of six months.
The Tennessee educational program includes 11 points, not all of which require legislative action. The most important are as follows: Improved county administration; a minimum eight months' school term; revision of the elementary course of study; changes in the requirements for licensing county superintendents and teachers, salary scale to be included; equality of educational opportunity for all children, including State equalization funds; and a State school architect.
AN IMPORTANT EQUALIZING TENDENCY_IMPROVEMENT OF
THE TEACHING STAFF
Progress toward improvement in rural teaching service during the biennium has been characterized chiefly by two definitely constructive achievements: (1) Substantial rise in minimum qualifications demanded for teaching certificates; and (2) increased and
improved facilities for training rural teachers through the establishment of departments of rural education or the offering of special courses for rural teachers in teacher-preparing institutions, particularly State normal schools and teachers colleges. This has been accompanied by the introduction of special courses for rural administrators and supervisors in these and other higher institutions of learning. There has been wider recognition of the necessity of setting up state-wide, reasonable minimum standards for certificates acceptable in any type of school, even the lowest as to salary and other standards, and of the fact that different standards for teachers in urban and rural schools are unjustifiable as a permanent policy and indefensible except as a temporary expedient to tide over an interval until equivalent standards can be put into operation.
LEGAL PROVISIONS FOR CERTIFICATING TEACHERS
The result of these measures is that certification laws are being revised or replaced by new and improved provisions. Among the replacing provisions, the following tendencies are noticeable: (a) Toward complete centralization of the certificating authority in the State department of education. (6) Raising standards gradually to prevent radical shortage of teachers, to give teachers in service the opportunity to prepare for higher certificates without abandoning their teaching positions, and to sound by a time limitation sufficient warning to prospective candidates for teaching certificates to make the necessary preparation. (c) Setting up minimum standards or prerequisites for the lowest grade certificate and requiring gradually increasing amounts of professional training-each year more nearly approximating the goal usually set forth in the law itself or State department regulations of graduation from a standard normal school as a minimum prerequisite. (d) Elimination of one or two classes of low-grade certificates. (e) Ultimate elimination of examination as a basis for issuing teaching certificates.
Leading the procession in the effort to establish minimum credentials equivalent to graduation from a State normal school are Washington and Connecticut which, during the biennial period just passed, enacted laws providing for the accomplishment of that goal in 1927; Pennsylvania, which had previously set the same year for the accomplishing of the same standard; and California which, according to reports from the State department, has established the requirement of two and one-half years beyond high-school graduation and has set the standard of three years to be reached gradually but at no definitely stated date.?
2 California stili issues county certificates on examination. examination is small.
Following the principle enunciated in the laws and practices in the foregoing States are the States in another group which have now attained a standard of one year (36 weeks) of professional training above high school, but have set no definite date for attainment of the higher standard, though the apparent hope of officials in charge is that they shall later do so. Indiana is an example. The law passed in 1923 raised qualifications for certificates of all kinds and set up as a minimum prerequisite for the lowest grade of certificate high-school graduation and 36 weeks of professional training in addition, the latter to be obtained in a standard or approved normal-school course. To procure the rural teachers' license a candidate must also have specialized in the work of the one-teacher school. Other States which report having reached an equivalent standard of attainment or have laws setting a definite date for attaining it are: Michigan, to be attained in September, 1925; New Hampshire, effective July, 1923; Oregon, effective January, 1925; Utah, effective July, 1924. In Utah the law also provides that the one year above high-school training required shall include specified educational subjects.
As a means of raising standards a few States abandoned the practice of issuing lower (usually third grade) certificates. Among these are New Mexico, which reports having raised requirements for all certificates, increased salaries, and abolished the third-grade certificate through the law passed in 1923; Kansas, Virginia, and Tennessee, all of which have abolished their lowest grade of certificate during the biennial period. Maryland is raising standards by a salary scale which offers increases in salaries of teachers holding a second-grade certificate (representing high-school graduation and six weeks of professional training in addition), and those of higher grades, but providing no increase for teachers with third-grade certificates. In addition, renewals are difficult to obtain. Thus, continuation of teaching on third-grade certificates is penalized.
Alabama reports the basis of certification changed from examination to professional training. Kentucky reports “a new certification law looking toward the issue of certificates on credentials only.” Several States report that the number of certificates issued on examination is decreasing. Washington, for example, reports a decrease in the number of such certificates of 44 per cent in 10 years. Several other States, notably New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, and Michigan, report decreases in the number of low-grade certificates issued.
Other States reporting increased requirements during the biennium are: Minnesota increased minimum prerequisite, effective Septem