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Showing receipts and disbursements of contingent fund for the past seven years, including 1880.
Showing the number and average monthly compensation of teachers, together with the receipts and disbursements of the teachers'
fund for the seven years, including 1880.
On hand at last
Received from semi-annual apportionment.
Total debit and
Paid for other
21,598 $ 31.1618 26.28 $ 1,758,004.37$ 2,279, 110 9918
37.40 30.42 1,706,812.82 3,020,433.53
98,966.66 $ 4,841,872.56$ 2,901,948.43$
78,148.47 $ 1,861,775.66
These tables will reward a careful study. It should be remembered that thousands of boards of directors acting entirely independent of each other, contribute to these grand totals—that while they represent millions of dollars received and disbursed, they vary but a few thousands from year to year, and these variations usually represent an increase in the current expenses, consequent upon the growth of the system. There could be no more satisfactory showing that boards of directors as a rule are honest and regular in the transaction of business, and in disbursing the people's money, than is to be found in the regularity of these annual totals. It will be noticed that the amounts on hand at the close of the several years are approximately the same. They should agree with the amounts on hand at the beginning of the years which follow them. This is seldom the case, although the discrepancy is not often large. In changing treasurers there is usually more or less trouble. When the accounts of the treasurers do not balance, and a part of the money belonging to the district is unaccounted for, it is the duty of the president of the board to bring suit in the name of the district and recover from the treasurer or his bondsmen, the amount which may be unaccounted for. Boards are not always as strict with their treasurers and their bondsmen as they should be. In many cases we have informed the president of a district board of a discrepanoy or shortage in the accounts of their treasurer, but we have seldom if ever been able in this way to secure a correction of the report.
All treasurers' reports go to the county superintendent, and the law should be so amended as to require the county superintendent to audit these reports, and in case of shortages, he should be authorized, if necessary to direct the county attorney to begin proceedings for the recovery of missing funds.
On this and many other accounts the law should strengthen the office, and enlarge the powers of the
keeping, of course, within safe and prudent limitations.
The office is now greatly weakened by the political situation in many counties. However successful, competent and faithful a superintendent may be, if the control of the county passes from one political party to another the experienced and successful officer is displaced, and a new and inexperienced man or woman, as the case may be, succeeds to the administration of the office.
This is prejudicial to the interests of our schools and greatly retards progress.
The success of educational work depends very largely upon organization. A change in the system of organization and management of the schools of a county, is always attended with confusion, and not infrequently results in a relapse of several years.
It has been suggested from many sources that the county superintendency should be made a non-political office. Just how this may be done so as to improve upon our present method, is difficult to determine.
The proposition to make the office appointive, either by the board of supervisors or any other county authority, has not been favorably received. It is by no means certain that this would either take the office out of politics or secure more competent officers. The county superintendent should be elected by the people. If this could be done at a non partizan election, as for instance, at the school elections in March, it would be a great improvement over our present plan. The term of office, as I have heretofore suggested, should be four years instead of two. This would tend more to give the office strength and independence, than anything else that could now be done. Four years would allow sufficient time to develop and mature a plan of organization, and to test the fitness and ability of a superintendent. A system, if good and effective, would obtain a strong hold upon teachers and leave a lasting impression upon the schools of the county. Succeeding officers would find it more difficult to make radical changes in the work of the county, and in many cases they would adopt the system of their predecessors, and continue the work without material change or interruption. A term of four years would enable the superintendent to become well acquainted with school officers and the condition of schools throughout the county, as well as to become informed as to the character and teachingüability of teachers. He would become familiar with the school law, and his influence thus largely increased he would be able to settle amicably the petty troubles which are usually litigated to the great injury of the schools. The county superintendents are entitled to great credit for the general success which has attended our law, requiring that
in physiology having special reference to the influence of stimulants and narcotics upon the human system, should be taught in all public