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board with recommendations. For tables presenting information regarding standing committees in each city reporting, see pages 28-31. The facts presented in these tables are illustrated by graphs IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV.
Quorum. Should a majority vote of the board or a majority vote of a quorum be required to transact all business? If on a board of five members a majority vote of the broad is required, the vote of three members for or against a question is necessary, while if a
majority vote of a quorum is required, Number
two members may decide a question. For all important business, as the election of a superintendent and financial transactions, it is thought that a vote of a majority of the board should be required. In practice, however, 16 of 41 cities of 100,000 or more population and 69 of 136 cities having between 25,000 and 100,000 population require only a majority of a quorum to transact all business. For a list of cities requiring a majority of a quorum or a majority of the board to transact business, see pages 23–27.
Relation to city government.--It is the general and growing opinion among students of school administration that the school board should be independent of the city council, not simply because city government has been notoriously bad in some instances, but because education is something more than merely a municipal function; because the schools are important enough to demand the attention of
a board directly responsible to the peo2 3 4 5 6 7 X. Number of members of standing ple; and because experience has demoncommittees in 38 cities of 100,000 strated that an adequate public-school or more population.
system can best be developed by a school Median, 3; Mode, 3.
board not dependent upon a city council. If the schools are independent of the city council, the school issue may be presented squarely to the people as a separate issue and not be overshadowed by other issues of less importance. The trend of opinion is that city schools should be managed by a board in no way dependent upon the city council, by a board with large powers, with power to levy its own taxes or to prepare a budget within statutory limits the amount of which must be appropriated from the city funds, to expend its own funds for everything of an educational
nature both for children and adults, libraries, playgrounds, continuation schools, social centers, etc. The tendency in progressive communities is to place more and more responsibility in the hands of the school board.
Some city schools are still governed by special charter provision. The tendency is toward general State law, however, since it is now generally recognized that education is a State and not a municipal function. The opinion is often expressed that city officials should
1 Number of committees. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
15 16 XI. Number of standing committees of school boards in 132 cities from 25,000 to 100,000 population.
Median, 5; Mode, 4.
not be permitted to tinker with the schools every time a change is made in the city charter and that all provisions regarding the schools now carried in the city charter should be removed and the schools of all cities placed under a general State law, as in a number of States.
In 57.5 per cent of the cities of 100,000 or more population the schools are governed entirely by general State law; in 25 per cent, by both State law and city charter; and in 17.5 per cent largely or entirely by special charter.
Number of cities.
In 77 per cent of the cities of between 25,000 and 100,000 population the schools are governed by general State law; in 9.5 per cent, by both State law and city charter; and in 13.5 per cent largely or entirely by special charter.
In 35 per cent of the cities of 100,000 or more population the school board makes up its annual budget without referring it to any other body or officer; in 25 per cent the board refers it to the mayor, city council, commission, or board of aldermen; in 32 per cent, to a board of estimate; and in 8 per cent, to county commissioners.
In 52 per cent of the cities having between 25,000 and 100,000 population the school board makes up its annual budget without referring it to any other body or officer; in 21 per cent, the board refers it to the mayor, city council, commission, or board of aldermen; in 18 per cent, to a board of estimate; in 4 per cent, to the county board of supervisors; in 3 per cent, to the taxpayers; in 1 per cent, to the State tax commission; and in 1 per cent, to the comptroller.
Since 1902 1 the city council has lost ground in having authority to pass upon the estimates of the school board. This plan has been abandoned in 11 of the 52 cities reported by Rollins. In 5 of the 11 cities the school board may now make up its budget without having to submit it to any other body for revision; in 3 a board of estimate passes upon the school budget; in 2; the mayor; in 1, the county superintendent.
School boards in both groups of cities are usually permitted to purchase land and erect buildings after securing the consent of the city officials after the people have authorized a bond issue. In some instances, even after
appropriations have been made, city officials 2
must be consulted before land is purchased XII. Number of members or buildings erected. For tables showing these
in 94 cities from 25,000 to facts, see pages 32–41. Graphs XV, XVI illus100,000 population. Median, 3; Mode, 3. 1 Data obtained from “School Administration in Municipal Govern
ment." Frank Rollins.
XIII. STANDING COMMITTEES IN CITIES OF 100,000 POPULATION AND OVER.
Some or sometimes.