The Akaroa Mail. FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 1914. SCHOOL COMMITTEE FUNDS.
■ "» — Ws notice that the North Canterbury Board of Education discussed a question at its last meeting which should ba of great interest to school commit-' ties within the whole of the Board's Urea, yty* the question of finance pl-ued || the disposal of school com;«f|jpjf*;for : ■; the maintenance of :g|piff»4school ground*, eto. Tbe
umctions of a school committee are certainly confined in a very small round of duties, and tbe money phiced at their disposal altogether inadequate. In this way school co mmittees are forced, when,any thing is required such as the supply of i:new furnish ings for a ECbool, to -apply to the Board, and in many cases their requests are refused although maps, appliances, etc., which •« ould aid in the education of the children ar< urgently required. Tt is gui te apparent that the school committees' usefulness jis hopelessly tfandicappe d tot the wanted increased spending piowers, and whereas they at pre«aßit receive enough money to supply'fisang for tjie schools, they should a lab have the control of money for i ,'ar_iishiDg3 ;as well. It is quite appan nat that school committees must knowt fee urgent local requirements of their -school much better than a Board, w bich covers the area that the North Cai mfcerbury Board of Education covers. STfaen there are the present hideous s urjrroundings of schools seen everywhe te, which might at a very moderate ex pa-nse be beautified by the children t feemselve<? if ihe school committees hac>: the finance to purchase the necessary -plants and the rougher labour. In t/,his way, the children would have tan eh more pleasant surroundings, besides acquiring s love of flowers and inestimable botanical knowledge. A few hundred pounds, if judiciously ex| oended, could convert the present ban > uncared for school grounds into flo 1 , sver gardens, experimental plots for grasses and grain and fodder, tbe pt ipils at the same time becoming famfl iar with ad vanced agricultural experi iments, and the knowledge of flowers and trees, which is so valuable in aftei .' life, The following extract from ;1 ;he report places the position vei, y clearly indeed:— .^
"Mr Andrews said that the B oaroT would have to come to the assistance of . the -school committees which were practioaUsf insolvent
Referring to statistics Mr Andrews said that in 1878 the attendance at the Board's schools was 9500 and the teachers' salaries £32,000, while Ihe grants for incidentals were £6270. The figures for different periods were as follow: —
Attendance Salaries luoidentals..
1680- 1898. 1913. 16.000 17,500 19,200 £51,000 £5?,000 £82,000 £0,400 £6000 £6,900
) There was no nerd to go further, Mr ! Andrews continued. The figures he had quoted showed that the committees had to provide warmth, school requisites and'clean ing for 19,200 children in 220 schools with practically the same amount that was. avail' able thirty five years aao for 9500 children in 106 schools. Even if commodities and labour were not more expensive than they were years ago, it was apparent that the committees were in a worse position. The attendance had increased by 100 per cent., the salaries by 250 per cent, but the grants for incidental ■■ by about 10 per cent. It was i obvious that the Government should pive more money for the purpose. Tbe Government had given money for increased salaries, technioal education, and should bo prepared to help tbe Boards, but Governments were slow to move, and the Board nhould do something in ihe meantHne. The Board might take the schools of the No, 1 grade, at which were about 18.000 children, at an increase of the capitation of 6d per head and that would inorease the Board's expenditure by £450 per annum, which the Beard ' could afford. The money could be obtained, Looking through the balance-sheet, he had discovered that the fund for the purpose was in credit to £250 and that with the economies whioh the Board was practising would, he thought, enable it to keep afloat until the Government came to its assistance. Mr Andrews added that he did not think the relief he proposed was by any means adequate, but it was urgently needed."
We hope the matter will be carried to a satisfactory issue, and that the Government i<j approached with a view to making a further grant to school committees, as their funds are alto gßther too small to more than cope with incidental expenuiture.