The total expenditures for all school purposes, including the expenses of school boards and the cost of collecting taxes, as well as the payments for teachers' salaries, and for building purposes, show marked increases during the period under consideration. The total for 1888 was 39.4 per cent greater than that for 1874. In view of the increases in the purchasing power of money during the period 1874 to 1888, it seems clear that expenditures for school purposes increased somewhat more rapidly than the average number of children attending the schools. This is best shown by the increase of the annual expenditure per school child from $14.62, in 1874, to $16.66 in 1888. But the progress was not continuous. In 1875 expenditures increased to $15.73 per pupil, remained nearly the same for 1876 and then declined to $11.76 in 1880. In 1882 the amount paid out for each pupil, as indicated by the table, had increased and was $12.82. The minor fluctuations in the total of expenditures may be accounted for by irregularities in reports or by outlays for permanent improvements in a large number of districts in certain years and the absence of such operations in other years. The downward trend from 1875 to 1880 can be explained only on the ground that the districts were economizing. But this does not necessarily mean that the schools were correspondingly less well officered and equipped, since throughout this period the purchasing power of money was increasing.

Turning now to the sources of revenue to meet increasing payments, we find that the state appropriation grew steadily until 1877, thereafter declined slightly until 1885, with the exception of 1881, and then again increased to nearly the level of the former year. The amounts paid in any given year do not, however, indicate accurately the state appropriations for that year, since lack of funds in the treasury or slowness of the districts in making proper reports, sometimes delayed the payment of the subvention due in any given year until the succeeding year.

The state appropriation constituted a slightly larger proportion of the total expenditures in 1888 than in 1874. It is evident, however, that it was not only larger absolutely in 1881 but also relatively more important as compared with the total expenditures, or with the local tax, than in any other year.

Moreover, the seven years 1876 to 1882 inclusive show a larger proportional contribution on the part of the state than any other similar period. The subvention, under the stimulus of the constitution of 1873, reached its greatest importance in 1881 and then declined, not because of an absolute reduction in amount but because of the steady growth of revenue from local taxation after 1880.

Beginning with 1889 the total appropriation for common schools shows substantial increases in every year but one until 1911. In 1889, 1894, and 1909 the amounts added were very large, and in no case before 1911 was the gain thus added lost in subsequent years. *15 The growth of expenditures for schools was not peculiar, since the same tendency is to be observed in other branches of public enterprise at about the same time. The year 1890 seems roughly to mark the beginning of a movement for a wider extension of state functions. The following table shows the progress of the school system for the years 1889 to 1916.16

15 There is obviously a falling off in the years 1911-1916 from the amount reached in 1910. But the decrease is due to the diversion of a part of the subvention to educational purposes other than the common schools.

16 Compare the data of the tables on pages 156 and 159 with the payments from the state treasury for common schools in Table III Appendix, which includes the amounts paid to Philadelphia. Note that the fiscal year of the state and of the school system are different.

The Average Number Of Pupils Attending The Schools, The Number Of Teachers Employed, And The Finances Of The Common School System, Philadelphia Excluded, 1889-191617

           

Propor-

           

Excess of

tion of

 

Average

Num-

     

total expen-

total ex-

 

number

ber of

State

Tax

Total

ditures over

pendi-

Year18

of pupils

teach-

appropria-

levied

expendi-

state appro-

tures

 

attending

ers em-

tion

locally

tures

priation

borne

 

school

ployed

       

by state appropriation

1889

583,292

21,393

$1,207,010

$ 7,869,506

$ 9,544,928

$ 8,337,918

12.6%

1890

574,817

21,886

1,206,205

7,923,622

10,226,634

9,020,429

11.8

1891

592,249

22,231

1,564,604

8,961,138

10,416,631

8,852,027

15.0

1892

590,316

22,556

1,560,267

8,187,894

10,785,582

9,225,315

14.5

1893

610,422

23,085

2,901,117

7,776,102

12,087,089

9,185,972

24.0

1894

610,201

23,253

4,039,766

8,677,583

13,466,153

9,426,387

30.0

1895

666,102

22,993

4,432,647

2,598,543

14,301,574

9,868,927

31.0

1896

683,918

23,603

4,439,753

9,926,163

14,774,773

10,335,020

30.1

1897

711,111

24,174

4,389,030

9,351,011

15,240,126

10,851,096

28.8

1898

736,334

24,716

4,391,574

9,275,230

15,050,057

10,658,483

29.2

1899

729,892

25,358

4,637,585

10,078,541

15,497,251

10,859,666

29.9

1900

728,493

26,878

4,622,823

10,500,963

16,548,224

11,925,401

27.9

1901

720,116

26,453

5,291,154

10,887,613

17,087,953

11,796,799

31.0

1902

738,573

26,990

4,355,601

12,687,416

17,672,118

13,316,517

24.6

1903

751,000

27,683

4,658,210

17,781,590

18,984,474

14,326,264

24.6

1904

764,119

28,372

4,597,617

13,085,708

20,096,719

15,499,102

22.9

1905

788,542

28,428

4,576,413

14,866,554

22,312,059

17,735,646

20.5

1906

784,144

29,193

4,483,154

15,981,971

22,763,789

18,280,635

19.7

1907

788,759

29,249

4,525,546

16,756,672

23,904,291

19,378,745

18.9

1908

803,794

29,703

4,532,540

19,114,955

26,121,640

21,589,100

17.4

1909

841,887

30,248

6,108,263

20,758,275

29,707,148

22,598,885

20.6

1910

846,749

30,887

6,254,507

21,019,917

30,146,591

23,892,084

20.7

1911

872,475

31,518

6,043,815

22,172,202

32,897,212

26,853,397

18.4

1912

901,943

32,378

6,097,747

22,537,752

35,327,217

29,229,470

17.3

1913

910,048

33,228

6,040,780

25,461,020

38,019,390

31,978,610

15.9

1914

955,746

34,686

6,034,355

28,360,779

41,958,386

35,924,031

14.4

1915

990,551

35,928

6,153,125

27,329,842

46,844,449

40,691,324

13.1

1916

1,028,682

37,110

6,227,963

30,275,411

49,463,634

43,235,671

12.6

17 From the Report (1916) of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, pp. 650-651.

18 The fiscal year of the school system ended the first Monday in June until changed by the act of 1911. Thereafter the year of the report began on the first Monday in July. The data for 1912 are therefore for thirteen months, but this does not interfere with the comparability of other years. See School Laws and Decisions (1913), sec. 2807.

The most striking fact brought out by this table is the tremendous increase in the total expenditure for common schools. In 1916 this figure was over five times as large as in 1889. Local taxes also increased but at a slightly slower rate. The subvention, on the other hand, grew somewhat more rapidly than the total of all expenditures. The average number of children attending the schools increased 76.3 per cent during this period and the number of teachers employed increased 73.4 per cent. This increase in the number of teachers was accompanied by an augmentation of the salary budget from $5,044,385 in 1889 to $21,173,791 in 1916. *19 In 1889 the expenditures per pupil were $16.36, or about the same as in 1888, but beginning 1890 the amount paid out increased irregularly until in 1916 it amounted to $48.08. During this period the progress of expenditures is in marked contrast with that of the period 1874 to 1888. Not only have the per capita payments been much greater, but the additions to the total have been much more regular. The subvention on the other hand has fluctuated slightly, and since 1909 has been practically stationary in amount.