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Any district may issue bonds for the purchase of school sites, or for erecting and equipping school buildings, if two thirds of the votes cast at an election called to determine the question are favorable ; but the amount of the debt that it may incur must not exceed five per cent of the assessed value of the taxable property within its borders. Such bonds may be issued in any city, under the control of the school board, as school district bonds; or, under the control of the city council, as city bonds.
191. State Normal Schools.1 - The state maintains seven normal schools. They are located at San José (es
. tablished 1862), Los Angeles (1882), Chico (1889), San Diego (1897), San Francisco (1899), Santa Barbara (1909), and Fresno (1911). Each is under the control of a board of trustees consisting of the governor, the superintendent of public instruction, and five other members appointed by the governor. The senate must approve these appointments, except in the case of the trustees of the Santa Barbara and the Fresno schools. These institutions exist for the purpose of preparing teachers for our elementary schools. The Santa Barbara state normal prepares its graduates to teach manual training and domestic science in the public schools. The legislature of 1913 provided for an eighth normal school to be located in Humboldt county. It is to be governed in the same manner as the other normal schools.
192. The State Polytechnic School. - There is a state polytechnic school at San Luis Obispo. Its board of trustees is constituted exactly as the board of any of the normal schools. It is open to any of the young people of the state who are able to meet its entrance requirements. Agricul
1 Political Code, $ 354; Statutes of 1899, page 177; Statutes of 1909, page 795. 2 Board of trustees need not be approved by the senate. 3 Statutes of 1901, page 115.
ture, engineering, manual training, domestic science, business methods, and mechanics are among the subjects taught.
193. The State University. - At the head of our public school system stands the State University. It has a governing board of twenty-three regents. Sixteen of these are appointed by the governor, with the approval of the senate, each for a term of sixteen years. The others are ex officio members. They are the governor, the lieutenant governor, the superintendent of public instruction, the speaker of the assembly, the president of the university, the president of the state board of agriculture, and the president of the Mechanics’ Institute of San Francisco. Berkeley is the home of the university ; but colleges of law, medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy, and an institute of art, all belonging to it, are located in San Francisco. A medical college in Los Angeles, Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton, the state farm at Davis, Yolo county, and a number of laboratories and agricultural experiment stations in different parts of the state also belong to the university.
The university is supported by appropriations from the state treasury, and by the interest on money derived from the sale of lands which Congress in 1853 and again in 1862 granted to the state for the support of a “seminary of learning.” The grant of 1862 was especially intended to provide for a college of agriculture, and this college has been established as one of the important departments of the university. The state farm at Davis, consisting of 780 acres, and the agricultural experiment stations above mentioned are under the supervision of this department.
194. Conclusion. - In addition to aiding our public schools, and maintaining the various state institutions of
1 Political Code, $$ 353, 1425, 1427.
learning, the state still further encourages education by exempting the property of Stanford University, and that of a number of other private institutions, from taxation. This is really giving state aid. Education will come to no one without hard work; but the wisdom and generosity of our taxpayers have placed the opportunity to work for an education within the reach of every boy and girl in the state.
How can it be said that every public school is a state institution ?
To what extent is the government of our state school system centralized, and to what extent is it founded on the principle of local self-government ?
3. What part has the national government had in the development of our school system ?
4. Should the compulsory education law be enforced ?
5. Why is the absence of any pupil from school a direct financial loss to the school district ? Is this true if the absence is for only one day?
1 See the state constitution, article IX, sections 10, 11, 12, and 13.
THE STATE JUDICIAL SYSTEM
195. The Purpose of the Courts. - Courts exist to interpret the law when disputes arise as to its meaning, and to apply it to special cases. They never offer their services, but hear only such cases as are brought before them. When a case is brought into court, the duty of the court is to ascertain the exact point of difference between the parties to the suit, and to decide the case by applying the general law to it. An example will make this clear. Some years ago the supervisors of San Francisco decided to purchase a piece of land on which to build a smallpox hospital. They entered into an agreement with the owner of the land and gave him a warrant on the auditor for the amount of the purchase price. The auditor gave him a warrant on the treasurer, but the latter refused to pay the money on the ground that the supervisors did not have the power to spend the money of the city for that purpose. The owner brought suit in the superior court to compel the treasurer to pay him the money. The law gave the supervisors power “ to make all regulations which may be necessary for the preservation of the public health and the prevention of contagious diseases." Did this give them power to spend the city's money to buy land on which to build a hospital for the treatment of one particular disease? The treasurer claimed that it did not, and the man who wished to sell
1 Von Schmidt vs. Widber, 105 Cal. 151.
the land to the city claimed that it did. The court decided the case in favor of the treasurer. The law did not clearly state that the supervisors could buy land for this special purpose, and it is an old principle of law that no public corporation may buy land for any purpose unless the law expressly gives it power. The duty of the court was to interpret the law and then to apply it as thus interpreted in the settlement of the particular dispute before it.
In many cases the meaning of the law is perfectly clear, and the only duty of the courts is to apply it to the cases brought before them. If a man is caught committing a crime, he may be detained in jail until the court can consider his case; but no punishment may be inflicted upon him, even though he confesses his guilt, until the court applies the law to his particular case by pronouncing judgment upon him.
196. The Difference between Civil and Criminal Cases. - Suits, or cases brought before the courts, are either civil or criminal. Civil suits grow out of disputes between people concerning such matters as property rights, contracts, debts, damages, nuisances, personal rights, and privileges. The one bringing the case into court is called the plaintiff, and the one against whom it is brought is called the defendant. If the defendant is accused of having committed fraud or some other crime, he may be under arrest, but this is usually not the case in civil suits. Both parties are often absent from court, being represented by their attorneys. In a civil suit, the dispute is between the plaintiff and the defendant, the people of the state as a whole having no interest in the matter beyond the fact that they want the courts to decide all such cases justly.
In deciding a civil suit, the court has no thought of pun