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PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Educational Finance By Maxwell… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly [1946]

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Full Text

 PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Report of the
Commission of Inquiry
into
Educational Finance
By Maxwell A. Cameron
1945
VICTORIA,  B.C.:
Printed by Charles P. Banfield, Printer to tiae King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1945.  To His Honour W. C. Woodward,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour:
By Order in Council approved by Your Honour on November 27th, 1944, I was
appointed sole Commissioner under the " Public Inquiries Act," with the following
order of reference:—
". . . to inquire into the existing distribution of powers and responsibilities
between the Provincial Government and the school districts and to appraise the present
fiscal position of the school districts in British Columbia, and, without restricting the
generality of the foregoing, to inquire into and report upon:—
"(a.)  The present responsibilities of the school districts;   the character and
extent of the services now provided by them;   and the present costs of
such services:
"(6.)  The present resources of the school districts;  the extent to which these
revenue sources are utilized;   the character and extent of any related
municipal indebtedness;   the character and extent of the Government
assistance now provided to the school districts by the Provincial Government :
"(c.)  The present method of administering the Public Schools System;   the
incidence of cost of education under the existing allocation of revenue
sources;—
and  to  make  such  recommendations   in  regard  to  the  premises  as  he  may  think
advisable."
In pursuance of this charge, twenty-seven public hearings were held at various
centres in the Province, and seventy-five briefs were received and examined.
I beg now to submit my report.
I should like to express my appreciation of the efforts and time of the many persons and organizations who have prepared and presented briefs.
I acknowledge with gratitude the courtesy and assistance of the Minister of Education, the Superintendent of Education, the Assistant Superintendent of Education,
and the Chief Clerk of the Department of Education, the Surveyor of Taxes, and the
Provincial Assessors.
I owe especial thanks to the Province's able and zealous corps of Inspectors of
Schools.
I am greatly indebted to Inspector T. G. Carter for painstaking and patient service
as Secretary;   to Dr. C. B. Conway for competent statistical aid;   and to Mr. D. J. S.
Smith for invaluable assistance in the final preparation of this report.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
M. A. CAMERON,
Commissioner.  TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Chapter. Page.
I. The Distribution of School Costs in British Columbia     7
II. The Municipalities  15
III. The Rural School Districts  28
IV. The Finance of Education in British Columbia:   General  36
V. Property Taxation and Assessment  40
VI. The Grant System  56
VII. The School Districts  83
Appendix.
A. List of Public Hearings and Briefs  98
B. Proposed School Districts '. 100
LIST OF TABLES.
Table.
I.  Enrolment in Schools of British Columbia, 1943-44     7
II.  School Expenditures in British Columbia     9
III. Distribution of School Expenditures, 1943-44     9
IV. Provincial Government Expenditure for Schools and other Purposes,
1920-44____-  12
V. Expenditure for Schools and other Purposes, 1920-43  13
VI. Total Public and School Expenditures in British Columbia  14
VII. Populations of British Columbia Municipalities, 1941 Census  15
VIII. Teachers' Salaries per Pupil in Average Attendance, Municipal School
Districts, 1943-44  16
IX.  Salaries of other Employees per Pupil in Average Attendance, Municipal School Districts, 1943-44  16
X. Miscellaneous Current Expenditures per Pupil in Average Attendance,
Municipal School Districts, 1943-44  17
XI. Total Current Expenditure other than Teachers' Salaries, Municipal
School Districts, 1943-44  17
XII. Total Current Expenditure per Pupil in Average Attendance, Municipal
School Districts, 1943-44  18
XIII. Transportation Costs per Pupil in Average Attendance, Municipal School
Districts, 1943-44  19
XIV. Percentage Total Grant is of Current Expenditure, Municipal School
Districts, 1943-44  19
XV. School Debt and Total Municipal Debt, 1943  20
XVI. Assessment of Land and of Improvements per Pupil in Average Daily
Attendance, Municipalities, 1943  22
XVII.  Total Assessment per Pupil in Average Daily Attendance, Municipalities, 1943-...  23
XVIII. School Tax Rates in Municipalities, 1943 and 1944  24
XIX. Expenditure for Schools and other Municipal Services, Cities, 1943  25
XX. Expenditure for Schools and other Municipal Services, Districts, 1943.. 26
5 P 6 TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Table. Page.
XXI. Average Attendance in Rural School Districts each operating a Single
One-room School  28
XXII.  Salaries per Class-room, Rural School Districts, 1943-44  29
XXIII. Miscellaneous Current Expenditures per Class-room, Rural School Dis
tricts, 1943-44  30
XXIV. Total Current Expenditures per Class-room, Rural School Districts,
1943-44  30
XXV. Per Cent, of Total Current Expenditure met by Government Grants,
Rural School Districts, 1943-44  31
XXVI. Net Transportation Expenditures per Class-room, Rural School Districts, 1943-44  32
XXVII. Assessment of Land and Improvements per Class-room, Rural School
Districts, 1943-44  32
XXVIII. Personal Property Assessment per Class-room, Rural School Districts,
1943-44 ...... 33
XXIX. Tax Rates, Rural School Districts, 1943-44  34
XXX. Comparison of Enrolments, 1943-44  35
XXXI. Assessment Ratios for Nine Assessment Districts in British Columbia _ 46
XXXII.  Assessment in British Columbia ..... 53
XXXIII. Salary Grants for Elementary School Teachers, 1943-44  59
XXXIV. Salary Grants for Junior High School Teachers, 1943-44  59
.XXXV.  Salary Grants for High School Teachers, 1943-44  60
XXXVI. Teachers' Salary Schedules in British Columbia, June, 1945  66
XXXVII. Experience of Teachers in British Columbia (Elementary Schools)  68
XXXVIII. Minimum Salaries in Municipal School District Schedules, 1944-45  69
XXXIX. Maximum Salaries in Municipal School District Schedules, 1944-45  70
XL. Range between Minimum and Maximum in Salary Schedules of Municipal School Districts  71
XLI. Number of Increments in Salary Schedules of Municipal School Districts 71
XLII. Library Grant per Teacher in Rural Schools, 1943-44  79 Commission of Inquiry into Educational Finance.
CHAPTER I.
THE DISTRIBUTION OF SCHOOL COSTS IN  BRITISH  COLUMBIA.
In the school-year 1943-44 the schools of British Columbia enrolled rather more
than 119,000 children. These were taught by about 4,160 teachers, about one for
every thirty children enrolled, at a cost of around eleven and three-quarter million
dollars, or a little less than a hundred dollars per pupil enrolled. This report investigates and makes recommendations concerning the raising and spending of this public
money. The report also gives much attention to such matters as the areas of local
administration and the relations of the Provincial Government to the local authorities
or School Boards. These are so closely related to school finance as to be at times almost
indistinguishable from it. The neglect of such matters would be unreal and would
cause the investigation to lose much of whatever value it possesses.
Table I. shows that about 80 per cent, of the children of the Province attend
schools in the thirty-three cities* and the twenty-eight district municipalities, although
these account for less than one-half of 1 per cent, of the area of the Province. The
great importance of Vancouver is also revealed.
Table I. Enrolment in Schools of British Columbia, 1943-44.+
Enrolment. Number. Per Cent.
Vancouver      34,536 29.0
Other city municipalities      31,219 26.2
District municipalities      28,634     m 24.1
Total, municipalities      94,389 79.3
Rural school districts:}:      24,654 20.7
Total, all school districts   119,043 100.0
The very difficult task of providing schools in the vast and sparsely populated part
of the Province which is not organized into municipalities is attacked through more
than eight hundred rural school districts.    These will be discussed in Chapter III.
The Province's school system is usually known as decentralized, although this
description is not very accurate, and the term is used only for want of a better. The
system is partly decentralized, partly centralized.
In general most of the administration of the system is in the hands of local Boards
of School Trustees, elected by popular vote for the one purpose of running the schools.
Thus the Boards appoint and discharge teachers, fix salaries, and erect, maintain, and
operate school buildings. In fact, however, the Boards have not as much freedom as
this. Economic conditions and a strong teachers' association reduce the Boards'
autonomy on salary matters; the " Public Schools Act" greatly restricts them in the
discharge of teachers, and two Departments of the Provincial Government supervise
them in erecting buildings. §
* This number does not include Kimberley, which was incorporated as a city in 1945.
t From the Seventy-third Annual Report of the Public Schools of the Province of British Columbia, 1943-44.
This annual report is hereafter cited merely as Schools Report.
t Including community school districts,
i No criticism is implied here.    It may be that the supervision of building should be made even more stringent.
7 P 8 DISTRIBUTION OF SCHOOL COSTS.
In decisions as to what the schools shall teach and how they shall teach it, the
Boards take little part. The Department of Education allows local variation, but not
much advantage has been taken of this.
The foregoing suggests that there is much centralization in our school system.
This centralization has been increasing. The Provincial Government, through its
Council of Public Instruction,* has the power to appoint an Official Trustee for any
school district to replace the School Board. It has been necessary to wield this power
to an increasing extent in the last few years. Further, two Educational Administrative Areas have been established in the Province. In these areas the two Inspectors
of Schools are called Directors of Education, and themselves administer the schools of
their areas. Associated with each of them is an Advisory Board, which, as the name
suggests, has no power.
It is clearly one of the duties of the report to come to decisions as to whether or
not this tendency towards centralization should proceed further, or should be arrested
or reversed.
DIVISION OF THE COST.
Table II. shows how the expenditures for the public schools of British Columbia
have been divided. Before commenting on this table, we should interject the remark
that strict accuracy cannot be expected of all the statistics of this report. Where data
relate to the Provincial Government, they can, of course, be used with confidence,
although even there opinions will rightly differ as to what figures should be included
under certain headings. Local expenditures, however, are not always reported with
accuracy, as many of the hundreds of persons concerned have no great competence in
accounting. Moreover, the fact that the financial years differ makes for error. However, many of the cities and district municipalities and some of the rural districts
employ skilled accountants, and the Department verifies local reports in all possible
ways.    It therefore seems likely that in most cases errors are not large.
Returning now to Table II. and its illustration in Figure I., we call attention to
some obvious conclusions.
In the early years of the Province's history the Provincial Government bore a very
large share of total school costs. In fact, before 1888, all costs were paid by the
Government, t
Since 1920 the Government contribution has hovered around one-third of the total
expenditure. We may note in passing the substantial decrease in total school costs in
the early thirties and hope that such reductions as are necessary in future periods of
hard times will be neither so great nor spread so unevenly.
In the school-year 1940-41 the Government grant was increased by approximately
the amount of the increased expenditure required of the localities by the new legislation regarding teachers' pensions. Since the expenditures on pensions lagged somewhat behind the grant, the Government share of the total increased. It has decreased
slightly since.
We note in passing that until the current year, the Government of British Columbia
bore in grants a much larger fraction of total school costs than that borne by the Government of any Province in Canada, except Prince Edward Island. It has recently
been announced that Ontario will hereafter give grants which, while varying from
place to place, will over the Province amount to one-half of school expenditures.
Table III. analyses in detail the expenditures made in the school-year 1943-44 by
or through the school districts. In this table the half-million dollars of general (i.e.,
non-grant) expenditures made by the Department is distributed among the districts
on the basis of $4.28 per pupil enrolled.
* The Executive Council or Cabinet, with the addition of the Superintendent of Education as secretary.
t For the relevant history, see H. B. King, School Finance in British Columbia, Chapter III. COMMISSION OP INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 9
Table II.  School Expenditures in British Columbia.*
Year.
Provincial Government.
Grants.
Other
School
Expenditures.t
Total.
School Districts.
Amount.
Per Cent.
Total.
Amounts.
1899-1900..
1904-05......
1909-10...
1914-15 _
1919-20-
1920-21...
1921-22
1922-23
1923-24.
1924-25 .
1925-26-
1926-27..
1927-28 ..
1928-29 .
1929-30.
1930-31-
1931-32 _
1932-33
1933-34 .
1934-35 .
1935-36 .
1936-37-
1937-38 .
1938-39.
1939-40.
1940-41.
1941-42-
1942-43..
1943-44 _
$280,434
435,041
739,031
1,371,485
1,707,246
2,156,749
2,290,633
2,304,965
2,30'5,946
2,371,730
2,380,668
2,568,326
2,692,382
2,926,763
2,719,103
2,856,364
3,089,206
2,302,048
2,052,294
2,174,106
2,268,969
2,455,497
2,612,281
2,721,128
2,661,123
3,027,677
3,059,078
2,976,016
3,173,325
$27,045
44,118
79,545
236,166
448,689
354,823
406,105
426,721
411,824
390,941
336,072
304,615
302,637
273,158
421,014
395,663
467,716
294,924
304,644
353,482
355,136
407,198
428,089
428,410
425,655
430,589
456,145
457,096
510,257
$307,479
479,159
818,576
1,607,651
2,155,935
2,511,572
2,696,738
2,731,686
2,717,770
2,762,671
2,716,740
2,872,941
2,995,019
3,199,921
3,140,217
3,252,027
3,556,922
2,596,972
2,356,938
2,527,588
2,624,105
2,862,695
3,040,370
3,149,538
3,086,778
3,458,266
3,515,223
3,433,112
3,683,582
65.7
39.4
37.2
36.4
38.0
35.1
35.1
34.8
33.2
34.3
31.7
33.4
34.3
38.4
29.9
29.6
31.0
31.1
31.2
28.4
31.0
33.0
33.1
31.2
31.6
$81,888
249,891
1,098,660
2,309,795
3,314,346
4,238,457
4,691,840
4,453,323
5,023,302
5,105,418
5,095,420
5,769,787
5,728,576
7,384,076
6,264,939
6,226,661
5,704,259
6,091,525
5,601,431
5,623,115
5,802,969
6,315,902
6,668,404
7,010',070
6,935,916
7,018,516
7,092,404
7,578,048
7,986,131
21.0
34.3
57.3
59.0
60.6
62.8
63.6
62.0
64.9
64.9
65.2
66.8
65.7
68.3
66.6
65.7
61.6
70.1
70.4
69.0
68.9
68.8
71.6
69.0
69.2
67.0
66.9
$389,367
729,050
1,917,236
3,917,446
5,470,181
6,750,029
7,398,578
7,185,009
7,741,072
7,868,089
7,812,160
8,642,768
8,723,595
10,583,997
9,405,156
9,478,688
9,261,181
8,688,497
7,958,369
8,150,703
8,427,074
9,178,597
10,708,774
10,159,608
10,022,694
10,476,782
10,607,627
11,011,160
11,669,713
* From School Reports.
f Does not include expenditures on Adult Education and on special grants to the University of British Columbia,
Fairbridge Farm School, and Victoria College.
Table III.  Distribution of School Expenditures, 1943-44.*
School
Districts.
Provincial Government.
Grants.
Other Expenditures.t
Total.
Local.
Total.
Cities	
Districts	
Rural.	
$1,366,808.67
731,986.38
1,074,530.12
$281,431.14
122,553.52
105,519.12
$1,648,239.81
854,539.90
1,180,049.24
%
23.0
38.4
51.4
$5,522,661.15
1,368,064.41
1,095,404.97
%
77.0
61.6
48.6
$7,170,900.96
2,222,604.31
2,275,454.21
%
100
100
100
Totals   -
$3,173,325.17
$509,503.78
$3,682,828.95
31.6
$7,986,130.53  |    68.4
i
$11,668,959.48
100
* Based on Schools Report, 1943-44, and a memorandum provided by the Department of Education.
f Distributed on the basis of $4.28 per child enrolled. P 10
DISTRIBUTION OP SCHOOL COSTS. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 11
This table shows a special concern of the Provincial Government for the rural
districts. This is typical of the Canadian Provinces, and is a reflection of the difficulties imposed by sparse settlement over vast areas. It is, of course, eminently proper
that school grants take account of the great hindrances created by this condition.
The sums shown in the table are lump sums and conceal wide variations. We must
expect to find grants well in excess of half of expenditure in many rural districts and
well under a fifth in some cities.
ESTIMATED DISTRIBUTION OF COSTS IN 1944-45 AND 1945-46.
At the time of writing complete information for school-years later than 1943-44
has not been submitted to the Department. However, enough data are available to
make estimates possible.
The grant for " Special Assistance in the Cost of Education " has made it necessary
for the Department to collect very carefully information as to the amounts actually
spent on teachers' salaries in a certain base month, usually February, of each school-
year from 1942 to 1945, inclusive. The salary bill for these years can therefore be
estimated with confidence, as follows :■—
School-year.
Estimated
Salaries.
Average
Daily
Attendance.
Salaries per
Pupil in
Average Daily
Attendance.
Total Cost of
Education.
Per Cent, for
Salaries.
1941-42                          	
$6,417,000
6,406,000
6,711,000
7,444,000
102,085                   $62.86
93,473                      68.53
102,999                    65.15
107.599                      69.18
$10,607,627
11,011,160
11,669,713
63.7
1942-43              	
58 2
1943-44  _	
1944-45 -  	
57.5
If we assume that salaries and attendance in 1945-46 will increase at about the
same rate as before, we arrive at the following:—■
School-year.
Average
Daily
Attendance.
Salaries per
Pupil.
Total
Salaries.
Per Cent.
Salaries is of
Total Cost.
Total Cost.
1944 45                               	
107,599
112,200*
$69.18
73.25*
$7,444,000
8,219,000*
57.0*                   $13,060,000*
1945 46                 	
57.0*                         14.410000*
1
* Estimated.
It  is  estimated  that  the  expenditures   of  the   Provincial   Government  will  be
approximately as follows:—
School-year.
Total Cost.
General.
Grants.
Total.
Per Cent.
1944 45                               	
$13,060,000
14,410,000
$700,000
800,000
$3,500,000
3,770,000
$4,200,000
4,570,000
32.2
]945 46
31.7
These are only estimates and may be quite wide of the mark. For example, the
estimates for the grants in 1945-46 rest on the assumption that because of the shortage
of labour and materials and because the larger cities do not receive building grants,
only one-quarter of the $800,000 set aside by the Government for school buildings in
the fiscal year 1945-46 will actually be expended.
All in all, however, even when ample allowance is made for the insecurity of the
grounds for these conjectures, it is safe to say that the Provincial Government's share
of school costs in 1944-45 and 1945-46 will not exceed by much, if any, one-third of P 12
DISTRIBUTION OF SCHOOL COSTS.
the total.    Government grants have been increasing, but total school expenditures and
the amount borne by the localities have been increasing just about as fast.
EXPENDITURES ON SCHOOLS BY THE PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT.
Table IV. shows the expenditure on schools by the Provincial Government since
1920. The school expenditures shown do not include grants for the University, Fair-
bridge Farm School, and the special grant for Victoria College. The salary grant for
Victoria College is included, as part of this small expenditure is in fact incurred for
classes on the Senior Matriculation level. Expenditures for Adult Education, for
Recreational and Physical Education for Adults, for the Provincial Library, Museum,
and Archives, and for the Post-war Rehabilitation Council have also been excluded,
not because these, as well as some other enterprises of the Government, are not of an
educational nature, but because they do not relate very directly to the financing of the
public school system. No hesitation is felt in including expenditures for such purposes
as normal schools, inspection, correspondence schools, the summer school, the text-book
branch, and the like.
Table IV.   Provincial Government Expenditure for Schools and
other Purposes, 1920-44.*
Fiscal Year.f
Expenditures
for Schools.
Total Provincial
Expenditure.
Percentage
for Schools.
1919-20..
1920-21-
1921-22..
1922-23 _
1923-24.
1924-25-
1925-26 _
1926-27 _
1927-28..
1928-29-
1929-30..
1930-31-
1931-32..
1932-33-
1933-34..
1934-35.
1935-36..
1936-37-
1937-38..
1938-39 .
1939-40..
1940-41..
1941-42-
1942-43 _
1943-44.
$1,996,501
2,391,481
2,647,754
2,616,347
2,697,649
2,747,184
2,650,473
2,767,972
2,939,881
3,232,628
3,047,427
3,078,785
3,599,691
2,677,595
2,319,984
2,479,762
2,557,358
2,772,992
2,962,448
3,042,859
3,126,096
3,173,983
3,389,807
3,450,334
3,673,492
$11,310,073
14,951,541
17,070,619
17,217,440
18,389,814
18,195,595
18,209,814
17,827,725
18,667,860
21,191,098
22,762,745
25,348,724
24,762,046
22,594,974
19,975,177
20,976,528
22,592,388
24,710,635
26,922,953
30,822,639
28,565,659
28,744,856
30,415,323
30,864,945
31,469,707
17.6
16.0
15.5
15.2
14.7
15.1
14.6
15.5
15.7
15.2
13.4
12.1
14.5
11.8
11.6
11.8
11.3
11.2
11.0
10.9
11.0
11.1
11.2
11.7
* Compiled from Public Accounts.
t The fiscal year of the Provincial Government is from April 1st to March 31st.
Advances for rural school district taxes and for delinquent school taxes in extra-
municipal areas are, of course, not included.
This table is presented largely for information and later reference. There is no
discoverable reason why the amount which the Government spends on a certain service COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 13
should be any particular fraction of its total expenditures.    The most we can say is
that some increase in expenditure on schools, if desirable, may also be possible.
MUNICIPAL EXPENDITURES FOR SCHOOLS AND OTHER
PURPOSES.
Table V. represents an attempt to discover what percentage of municipal expenditures was devoted to school support. The net totals shown for schools are the totals
less grants and other School Board receipts, where available. The net totals for all
expenditures are the total current revenue disbursements, less grants. A correction,
admittedly rough, has also been made on account of public utilities. How this correction should be made or whether it should be made at all is perhaps debatable. If it
were not made the percentage devoted to schools would be reduced by approximately
5 per cent, in most years. The figures shown are for all the municipalities combined.
The next chapter shows that some municipalities spent for schools a much higher
fraction than the quarter which seems characteristic of the municipalities as a whole
in recent years.
Table V.  Expenditure for Schools and other Purposes, Municipalities,
1920-43.*
Calendar Year.
Expenditures
for Schools.
Total Municipal
Expenditure.
Percentage
for Schools.
1920    _              	
$3,512,455
4,111,916
4,399,188
4,550,342
4,708,005
4,864,190
4,936,204
5,300,136
5,690,144
6,150,343
6,379,666
6,219,864
5,765,424
5,027,384
5,247,367
5,137,337
5,103,748
5,467,078
5,601,685
5,788,397
6.007,457
5,992,663
6,434,057
6,680,056
$17,233,179
18,314,097
17,419,019
16,321,886
16,112,122
16,990,564
17,941,145
18,540,609
19,904,080
21,516,361
22,529,902
23,890,207
24,500,364
23,840,948
23,647,094
22,825,328
22,309,172
22,683,999
23,096,417
23,171,821
23,685,244
24,173,679
24,990,366
26,046,945
1921             	
1922     —
22.5
1923     	
1924         	
1925             	
28.6
1926 -	
27.5
1927    __._._ 	
28.6
1928 — .... -	
28.6
1929 -  	
28.6
1930        	
28.3
1931  - -	
26.0
1932     	
23.5
1933	
1934	
22.2
1935           	
1936  	
22.5
22.9
1937    -	
24.2
1938	
24.3
1939     -       	
25.0
1940                             	
25.4
1941   _	
24.8
1942                   .    .    	
25.8
1943    	
25.7
* Based on Report of Inspector of Municipalities and on Report of the Department of Municipal Affairs for
years noted.    These are hereafter called Municipal Report.
SCHOOL EXPENDITURES AND TOTAL PUBLIC EXPENDITURES
IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.
We cannot leave this chapter without including, if only for its interest, a picture
of the part played by education in the total public expenditures of the Province.*    We
* Neglecting, of course, the expenditures of the Dominion Government. P 14
DISTRIBUTION OF SCHOOL COSTS.
may summarize this table and those preceding something like this: The municipalities
devote about a quarter of total expenditures and the Government about an eighth of
total expenditures to schools. These two and that of the rural school districts amount
to about a fifth of public expenditure in British Columbia. Of this fifth, the Government spends a little less than a third, the localities a little more than two-thirds.
Table VI. Total Public and School Expenditure in British Columbia.*
Year.
Provincial
Government.
..     . -     ,...                         Rural School                            m .  ,
Municipalities.                       Districts.                                Total.
1943.T
School expenditure	
$3,673,492
27,796,215
Per
Cent.
11.7
88.3
$6,680,056
19,366,889
Per
Cent.
25.6
74.4
$1,095,405
Per
j    Cent.
100.0
$11,448,953
47,163,104
Per
Cent.
19.9
80.1
Totals -	
$31,469,707
100.0
$26,046,945
100.0
$1,095,405   |     100.0
$58,612,057
100.0
1933.T
School expenditure ____
$2,319,984
17,655,193
11.6
88.4
$5,027,384
18.813.564
21.1
78.9
$639,515
100.0
$7,986,883
36,468,757
17.9
82.1
Totals	
$19,975,177
100.0
$23,840,948
100.0
$639,515
100.0
$44,455,640
100.0
1923.t
School expenditure —
Other expenditure	
$2,697,649   j       14.7
15,692,165  j      85.2
$4,550,342
11,771,544
27.9
72.1
$477,639
100.0
$7,725,630
27,463,709
22.0
78.0
Totals	
$18,389,814
100.0
$16,321,886
100.0
$477,639
100.0
$35,189,339
100.0
* Data from Tables IV. and V. and Schools Reports.
t The Provincial Government's fiscal year 1943-44, 1933-34, 1923-24;
the rural districts' school-year 1943-44, 1933-34, 1923-24.
the municipalities use the calendar year; CHAPTER II.
THE MUNICIPALITIES.
The populations of the thirty-three cities and twenty-eight district municipalities
in British Columbia in 1943 are shown in Table VII.* These populations are those
reported in the 1941 census; in a few instances the war has caused substantial changes.
Table VII. Populations of British Columbia Municipalities, 1941 Census.*
Population.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
Over 10,000......  	
3t
.     8
1
2
5
6
5
31
4t
8
3
1
3
4
3
2||
5,001-10,000               	
4,001-5,000               	
3,001-4,000               	
2,001-3,000......	
1,001-2,000  	
501-1,000  	
* From Municipal Report.
t Vancouver (275,353), Victoria  (44,068), New Westminster  (21,967).
X Burnaby  (30,328), Saanich  (20,535), Surrey  (14,840), Richmond   (10,370).
§ Kaslo (486), Greenwood  (363), Slocan  (183).
|| Peachland  (479), Glenmore  (404).
The table suggests that some of the cities are cities in name only, and a few of the
district municipalities are cities in all but name. Thus the cities include hamlets with
normal populations of less than five hundred, while among the municipalities, Oak Bay,
Esquimalt, West Vancouver, and Burnaby, at least, are urban rather than rural in
character, f
Most of the city and district municipalities are school districts of themselves, and
some of them have areas adjoining them—the extra-municipal areas—attached to them
for school purposes. The district municipalities of Glenmore and Fraser Mills, although
school districts, operate no schools, but contract with adjacent municipalities for the
education of their children. Five municipal school districts:): make such arrangements
for secondary-school pupils. A few are joined to other municipalities for school
purposes: the districts of Tadanac, Spallumcheen, and Salmon Arm are united to the
cities of Trail, Armstrong, and Salmon Arm respectively. Chilliwhack, district, and
Alberni, city, join with Chilliwack and Port Alberni, cities, for secondary education
only. Part of the district municipality of North Cowichan is in the Duncan Consolidated School District; the rest forms the two school districts of Chemainus and
North Cowichan. Finally, the district municipalities of Matsqui and Sumas, the village
of Abbotsford and some rural areas are combined under the monstrous title of the
Matsqui-Sumas-Abbotsford Educational Administrative Area.§
It will be seen that the vexing problem of establishing adequate school districts
or units of administration areas is not confined to unorganized territory. A goodly
number of the municipalities, as such, should not continue as individual school districts.
* Kimberley has since been added to the cities.    The villages are treated as rural areas for school purposes.
t The same is true of such " rural " areas as, for example, Powell River, Ocean Falls, and Michel-Natal.
t Coldstream, Chemainus, North Cowichan, North Vancouver, and Pitt Meadows.
§ We shall hereafter call it the " M.S.A. Area."
15 P 16
MUNICIPALITIES.
Table VIII. Teachers' Salaries per Pupil in Average Attendance,
Municipal School Districts, 1943-44.
Expenditure.
High.
Junior High.
Elementary.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
$125 and over	
4
3
7
120-$124	
2
1
3
115- 119—	
1
1
110- 114 	
4
1
5
105- 109- --	
2
1
3
100- 104 	
1
3
4
....
....
95-    99	
3
'.    3
6
2
2
90-    94	
4
3
7
1
1
85-    89         _   _ _
2
4
2
4
1
3
1
2
2
5
80-    84 	
75-    79_	
2
2
2
2
3
3
70-    74 	
65-    69-_	
2
1
3
1
1
60-    64	
1
1
1
2
1
3
2
5
1
1
1
2
55-    59 	
1
50-    54—	
2
1
3
6
2
8
45-    49	
1
1
2
5
5
10
40-    44	
1
1
7
4
11
35-    39	
6
4
10
30-    34   	
6
1
6
1
12
25-    29 - 	
2
Totals	
32
17
49
18
9
27
33
24
57
Medians	
96.3
100.8
70.0
67.5
42.5
41.3
Table IX. Salaries of other Employees per Pupil in Average Attendance,
Municipal School Districts, 1943-44.
Expenditure.
High.
Junior High.
Elementary.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
1
2
2
4
3
2
2
5
1
4
2
6
8
5
10
9
2
2
1
2
3
6
4
2
1
1
2
2
2
1
1
1
3
5
8
6
3
22-$23.9 -
20- 21.9         	
1
1
4
8
12
6
1
3
9
5
7
1
18- 19.9	
16- 17.9—	
14- 15.9.  	
12- 13.9 	
10- 11.9	
3
8
2
2
1
7
8-    9.9 _
6-    7.9 -	
6                   3
2
1         1           1
17
17
4-    5.9
13
2-    3.9	
1
Totals	
32
11.8
17
14.2
49
18
9.0
9
9.5
27
33
24
57
Medians
7.4
8.0 COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 17
Table X. Miscellaneous Current Expenses per Pupil in Average Attendance,
Municipal School Districts, 1943-44*
Expenditure.
High.
Ji
nior High.
Elementary.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
$45 and over	
1
1
1
1
42-$44.9...	
39- 41.9_____ 	
	
36- 38.9 	
1
1
2
33- 35.9	
1
2
1
2
2
4
1
1
30- 32.9	
27- 29.9..	
3
3
3
3
24- 26.9	
2
1
3
3
3
21- 23.9	
9
9
5
5      -
3
1
4
18^ 20.9  -
1
5
6
5
5
3
1
4
15- 17.9- -	
5
1
6
2
2
4
2
4
6
12- 14.9- -	
3
1
4
2
2
4
8
4
12
9- 11.9- —-
4
3
7
4
4
12
4
16
6-    8.9- 	
1
1
2
1
1
4
1
2
4
6
3-    5.9-	
5
Totals    _
32
21.7
17
19.5
49
18
18.6
9
17.3
27
33
11.9
24
13.5
57
Medians	
* Omitting transportation costs and debt charges.
Table XI. Total Current Expenditure other than Teachers' Salaries,
Municipal School Districts, 1943-44.*
High.
Junior High.
Elementary.
Expenditure.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
$70 and over „	
65-$69 ___.             	
1
2
3
3
4
4
2
7
3
3
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
4
3
1
1
1
2
3
4
3
6
6
10
3
4
2
2
3
5
3
3
2
2
2
3
:_:.
4
4
3
7
6
3
1
2
1
6
13
7
2
1
1
1
1
1
2
3
8
5
2
....
60- 64 	
55- 59	
50- 54	
1
45- 49 _ _
Z
40- 44. _	
35- 39 	
30- 34 --
1
3
3
25- 29 	
9
20- 24	
15- 19  	
10- 14_	
Under $10.            	
21
12
4
1
Totals	
32
17
49
18
9
27
33
24
57
Medians .
38.8
36.3
28.0
28.8
22.5
23.1
* Omitting transportation costs and debt charges. P 18
MUNICIPALITIES.
Table XII. Total Current Expenditures per Pupil in Average Attendance,
Municipal School Districts, 1943-44.*
Expenditure.
High.
Junior High.
Elementary.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
S150 and over  ....
145-$149 _
12
1
3
3
3
2
1
1
2
2
1
1
6
1
2
4
1
1
1
1
18
2
3
5
4
4
3
1
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
2
2
1
1
2
1
3
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
2
3
1
2
2
1
3
2
3
2
3
2
2
1
3
5
4
7
3
7
1
1
3
1
2
3
4
2
1
3
4
____    :
140- 144	
135- 139_             	
130- 134	
125- 129.  -	
120- 124	
115- 119              	
—
110- 114 -
185- 109 	
100- 104	
95-    99	
2
90-    94	
1
85-    89	
3
80-    84	
75-    79.  -	
70-    74 - -
65-    69 	
60-    64 '	
55-    59 	
50-   54. 	
Under $50          	
2
5
8
8
9
4
10
5
Totals	
Medians
32
140.0
17
136.3
49
18
97.5
9
97.5
27
33
64.2
24
67.5
57
* Omitting transportation costs and debt charges. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 19
Table XIII. Transportation Costs per Pupil in Average Attendance,
Municipal School Districts, 1943-44.
Expenditure.
High.
Junior High.
Elementary.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
$30 and over 	
1
1
28-$29.9	
1
26- 27.9	
1
1
....
.__.
....
24- 25.9	
22- 23.9..	
20- 21.9._.__	
1
1
1
i
2
18- 19.9  	
1
1
16- 17.9	
1
1
i
1
14- 15.9	
1
1
2
2
12- 13.9. _
1
1
2
2
___.
10- 11.9—	
2
2
1
1
2
8-    9.9	
1
2
3
2
2
1
1
2
6-    7.9 	
1
1
1
2
3
4
4
4-    5.9  	
1
2
3
1
1
1
5
6
2-    3.9	
1
1
2
*
4
0-    1.9 _
1
1
2
2
2
2
28
6
34
14
14
26
5
31
Totals _____
32
17
49
18
9
27
33
24
57
Medians*
11.0
10.5
7.0
7.5
9.0
6.3
* Omitting those municipalities with no transportation costs.
Table XIV.  Percentage Total Grant is of Current Expenditure,
Municipal School Districts, 1943-44.*
Percentage.
High.
Junior High.
Elementary.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
55-59  	
2
2
1
1
1
1
2
50-54 	
-
i
1
2
2
45-49-- 	
3
1
4
2
2
4
1
4
5
40-44.--—-	
3
2
5
4
1
5
7
3
10
35-39 	
11
2
13
3
3
6
7
3
10
30-34      	
3
5
5
5
8
10
4
2
1
1
5
3
9
6
6
2
15
25-29 	
8
20-24 	
3
3
.___
1
1
15-19 -	
1
1
2
3
1
2
::::
2
1
1
2
3
10-14.- 	
1
Totals	
32
17
49
18
9
27
33
24
57
Medians
36.4
31.5
_
35.8
39.8
34.7
36.3
* Omitting transportation costs and debt charges.
CURRENT EXPENDITURES.
Tables VIII. to XIV., inclusive, deal with the current expenditures per pupil of
the municipal school districts in the school-year 1943-44.
These tables paint a picture of great inequality. Of course, some of this inequality
is unavoidable, and would be found even if all the schools of the Province were under
one spending authority.    Where schools are small, costs per pupil tend to be high; P 20
MUNICIPALITIES.
where teachers are inexperienced, expenditures for salaries tend to be low; where the
schools are remote from the larger centres, costs are likely to be higher.
Nevertheless, some of the inequalities here shown cannot be accounted for in these
ways, and to them correspond inequalities in the type of school programme made
available. While few would be so optimistic as to suppose that any system of school
finance devised by man could, or even should, remove such inequalities altogether, all
would agree that a good system should aim at reducing them.
Let us note, too, a fact often neglected, the great importance of expenditures for
other purposes than teachers' salaries. Expenditures per pupil for employees other
than teachers amount to over $10 per year in most high schools, and are not greatly
less in most of the other schools. Miscellaneous expenditures (such as those for heat,
light, supplies, and general operations) bulk even larger than this. One valid criticism
of the present grant system is that it fails to take account of these necessary costs.
The grant from the Provincial Government runs around 30 to 40 per cent, of total
current expenditures in typical municipalities. This is, of course, quite consistent with
our earlier finding that grants are almost a fifth of the expenditures of municipalities
as a group, since the larger municipalities, where the enrolment is high, have higher
assessments per teacher or per pupil, and therefore lower grants relative to their
expenditures. The great variation in grant percentages is, of course, a natural and
intended result of any grant system framed, as is British Columbia's, with a view to
equalization.    This will be discussed further in a chapter on the subject.
SCHOOL DEBT.
The debenture debt incurred by the municipalities on account of schools does not
appear, on the whole, to be alarmingly great. Of the roughly $105,000,000 of municipal
debenture debt report in 1943, only about $12,270,000, or 11.7 per cent.,* was for
schools, and of this, 80 per cent, represented the school debt of the City of Vancouver.
If Vancouver be disregarded, only 6 per cent, of municipal debenture debt can be
charged to schools. Even Vancouver's large portion is only 15 per cent, of the city's
total debenture debt.
If we look at the individual municipalities as we do in Table XV., we find that in
about two-thirds of the municipalities of the Province the school debt is 10 per cent,
or less of the total. Indeed, over a third of the municipalities have no school debt
whatever.
Table XV.- School Debt and Total Municipal Debt, 1943.*
Per Cent. School Debt is of Total.
No. of
Cities.
No. of
Districts.
Total.
7
6
8
12
7
2
7
12
14
15
Totals               -	
33
28
61
* In compiling this table we have allocated school debt of municipalities having consolidated their debt through
refunding Acts on the basis of the last year in which debts were segregated.
Even in the fourteen municipalities in which the debt for schools is over 20 per
cent, of the total, the situation is by no means serious. Three of these are accounted
for by the fact that they have no debt except that for schools; all of them have unused
borrowing power many times their school debts.
* This percentage would be slightly increased by making an allowance for refunding Acts. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 21
The charges for carrying the school debt of the municipalities in the school-year
1943-44 Were as follows:— Amount. Per Cent.
Vancouver   $514,082 58.8
Other cities :    220,733 2"5.3
Total, cities   $734,815 84.1
District municipalities      138,411 15.9
Total, municipal  $873,326        100.0
It should be added, however, that this relatively low scale of payments will not continue indefinitely in all cases. It is the writer's opinion that the Province is entering
a period of extensive school building, affecting a large number of communities. While
sound policy dictates the paying for as much as possible of the costs out of current
revenue, a considerable increase in school debenture debt is inevitable.
ASSESSMENT AND TAX RATE.
We turn now to a consideration of the effort and ability to support schools of the
municipalities in the Province. Of necessity, this consideration is incomplete and
unsatisfactory, as we cannot avoid many practical and theoretical difficulties.
It is usual in investigations of this matter to take assessment per pupil or per
teacher as a measure of local ability to support schools. Indeed, we cannot do otherwise, because no other index is available, and because our interest must be in ability
to pay under the system of taxation in use. If a local income tax or a local sales tax
were used or contemplated, an appropriate procedure for their study would have to be
devised, and the findings might differ greatly from those herein reported. Assessment
per pupil is not a measure of a municipality's ability to pay taxes in general, but only
a measure, and not perhaps a very good one, of its ability to pay property taxes.
A full discussion of property taxation for school purposes is found in Chapter V.
This discussion may be foreshadowed by the statement that where assessing is concerned, each municipality in British Columbia is almost a law unto itself. It may
employ a full-time well-qualified assessing staff, consisting of several persons and ample
clerical assistance, or it may be content with one part-time man with no training. The
assessor may collect and make skilful use of many records or he may rely on rough
and rule-of-thumb procedures. He may examine and reassess many or most parcels
each year, or he may slavishly copy the preceding year's assessments, secure in the
knowledge that they are not likely to arouse much complaint. These are only a few
examples of the many ways in which assessing varies from municipality to municipality. Under such circumstances, we should be foolish if we viewed assessments and
the tax rates based on them with child-like confidence. They can hardly be more than
suggestive.
Nevertheless, to say that these data are quite useless is to go too far. Assessment
ratios* in the Province may have ranged from forty to, say, one hundred and twenty,
in 1943.    This variation is not large enough to account for the inequalities discovered.
With this lengthy and tedious preamble we present Tables XVI. and XVII. which
show the assessments per pupil enrolled in Grades I. to VI. in the municipalities of the
Province. That great variations (ten or fifteen to one) exist is obvious. These
inequalities cause corresponding inequalities in burden and in the quality of schooling
provided.
* The assessment ratio  is the ratio  of assessed  value to true value,  and  is usually  expressed  as a percentage.
If the assessment ratio is fifty, property is carried on the assessment rolls at one-half its " real " value. P 22
MUNICIPALITIES.
Table XVIII. shows the tax rates of the municipalities for schools in 1943 and in
1944, corrected, where necessary to bear on land and 50 per cent, of improvements,
which is the typical arrangement.* Even allowing for the many objections which may
properly be "made to this use of tax rates, there seems to be some reason to suppose
that the tax rate for schools is heavy in a considerable number of cases.
* An allowance is also made for the financing of debenture debt where necessary because of debt consolidation.
Table XVI. Assessment of Land and of Improvements per Pupil in Average
Daily Attendance, Municipalities, 1943.*
La
nd Assessment.
Improvement Assessment.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
$7,000 and over  	
6,500-$6,999 _	
6,000- 6,499 	
5,500- 5,999          	
1
1
1
2
2
2
5
7
4
5
3
1
1
1
1
2
1
3
3
6
4
1
2
2
2
1
2
3
5
2
8
13
8
6
3
2
1
1
1
3
2
1
3
5
5
4
3
2
3
2
1
1
2
4
3
4
4
5
1
3
2
5,000- 5,499	
4
4,500- 4,999
2
4,000- 4,499          	
1
3,500- 3,999              	
5
3,000- 3,499	
9
2,500- 2,999          	
8
2,000- 2,499          .                   	
8
1,500- 1,999                    	
7
1,000- 1,499 _ -.
2
500-     999
Totals   	
Medians__   - —
33
2,321
24t
2,667
57
33
3,250
24t
3,125
57
* Calculated from Schools Report and Municipal Report. Since some municipalities did not provide a complete
school programme, the table is based on pupils enrolled in Grades I. to VI.
t Fraser Mills is omitted; Chemainus is added; Glenmore, Tadanac, and Spallumcheen are combined with
Kelowna, Trail, and Armstrong respectively. Matsqui and Sumas are in the M.S.A. Area, which is included in the
district municipalities. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 23
Table XVII. Total Assessment per Pupil in Average Daily Attendance,
Municipalities, 1943.
Total Assessment (Land and
75% of Improvements ).
-
Cities.
Districts.
Total.
2
1
1
2
1
1
3
1
1
2
3
4
2
2
1
4
1
1
3
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
3
3
1
1
5
11,500 $11,999                      "       _ —	
11,000    11,499                                           — _ _	
1
10,500    10,999                                                    . ___                  - 	
3
10,000    10,499    -              -  	
1
9,500      9,999                           __ -                            .-    .:_	
2
9,000-    9,499                          ___	
8,500-    8,999  	
1
8,000-    8,499                      	
1
7,500-    7,999 —	
5
7,000-    7,499 _ _	
3
6,500      6,999   _.                _	
3
6,000-    6,499-  - - - -
5,500-    5,999    .                -	
4
5
5 000      5,499                      -	
4
4,500-    4,999 -	
5
4 000-    4,499                     - —-	
5
3 500-    3,999   ..               	
2
3 000      3,499                     - -                         __-
4
2 500-    2,999                        _ -	
2
2 000-    2,499 -                                                 	
1
33
5,750
24
6,500
B7
6,062 P 24
MUNICIPALITIES.
Table XVIII. School Tax Rates in Municipalities, 1943 and 1944.'
Tax Rate in Mills.
Cities.
Districts.
1943.
1944.
1943.
1944.
29-29.99    ...                                            .. _           ..-           	
1
1
1
2
1
1
2
1
6
2
1
4
1
2
1
3
2
1
1
1
4
1
1
3
1
3
3
1
3
3
3
5
1
1
1
4
2
3
1
3
4
3
3
1
28-28.99        ..
27-27.99  ._ -	
26-26.99     - - - -	
25-25.99 ..... ....  	
24-24.99     _   _ -  	
23-23.99	
22-22.99                      ...                               	
21-21.99                                                            	
1
20-20.99                                       	
19-19.99 —_    	
1
3 8-18.99      — — - -	
1
17-17.99                                  	
2
16-16.99                      ._                _	
1
15-15.99     	
3
14-14.99 _ -.._  — - - ...
3
13-13.99      _   _	
2
12-12.99                      .._              	
1
11-11.99       _ —-   — — _	
2
10-10.99 -    --. -_-	
6
9- 9.99     - 	
3
8- 8.99       : - -
1
7- 7.99                      -	
6- 6.99                                	
5- 5.99      -  	
4- 4.99              ~._  	
1
Totals   _ .-_
33
17.75
33
17.50
27f
11.83
27t
12.50
Medians ____   - _ 	
* On the basis of land and 50 per cent, of improvements. An allowance was made for the few municipalities
affected by refunding Acts.    This allowance has little effect on the table. ^
t Three districts are omitted because of data not being comparable. Tax rates are included for Chemainus and
for that part of North Cowichan not in the Duncan Consolidated District.
SCHOOL EXPENDITURES AND OTHER EXPENDITURES.
In an attempt to obtain some sort of picture of the relation of school expenditures
to the other expenditures of the Province's municipalities, Tables XIX. and XX. have
been compiled. The most interesting columns of these tables are, of course, those
expressing the percentages which school expenditures were of the total. We should
observe that these percentages are not to be accepted without question. A high percentage may mean that school costs eat up much of a community's tax resources, or it
may mean only that other expenditures are unusually small. This latter is no doubt
true of the districts in general as compared with the cities in general. Similarly, a low
percentage may mean that school expenditures are jeopardized by other heavy charges,
and therefore still represent a heavy burden. The City of North Vancouver is an
obvious example of this. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 25
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rtH§'sSE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 27
In the following observations those municipalities which have no schools are
ignored. However, Matsqui, Sumas, Spallumcheen, and Tadanac are included, as each
forms a part of a united school district. The following table shows the distribution
of the percentages:—
Cities.
Districts.
School Purposes.
1943.
1938.
1943.               1938.
1
SO-59  _    _	
2
7
22
2
1
8
19
5
1
6
13
6
40-49   _	
4
30-39	
6
20-29- -	
13
10-19 	
2
1
Totals :  -	
33
26.6
33
26.0
26
35.4
26
28.1
This table shows that there has been no essential change in the position of the
city school costs relative to total costs. However, in the districts where the figure was
two percentage points higher on the average in 1938, the ratio has climbed another
seven points.
The increases and decreases in percentage over the five-year period may be
summarized as follows:—
Increases— cities.
10 or more      2
5-9      2
Less than 5   17
No change or unreported      1
Decreases—
Less than 5     7
5-9      4
Districts.
7
7
3
1
6
2
10 or more      1
This summary shows that many of the district municipalities and some of the cities
were especially hard hit by rising school costs during the period. Over half the district municipalities showed substantial increases. Practically all the Fraser Valley
municipalities fall in this group.
It is important to remember that these data make no reference to years later than
1943. While data for a complete investigation are not available, information contained in many of the briefs presented to this Commission indicates that increases
since 1943 have been substantial in many municipalities.
Be he ever so cautious, one cannot avoid the conclusion that the large part played
by educational costs in most municipal budgets and the tendency of this part to
increase in many communities must result in the curtailment of expenditures on
other desirable municipal enterprises and an increase in the burden borne by property
taXGS- .        SUMMARY.
Much of the information used in this chapter is open to objection on one ground
or another. Particularly is this true of the data regarding assessment and tax rate,
concerning which no great confidence is felt. Even conclusions regarding municipal
expenditures must be arrived at cautiously. Nevertheless, we are justified in saying
that costs per pupil vary so widely as to indicate great differences in the quality of
the schooling provided, and that differences in ability to pay for education, and in the
burden of school taxes, are undoubtedly substantial. Further, educational costs
occupy a place which is large in all municipal budgets, and very large in some. In
most cases the part played by school costs is increasing. CHAPTER Ml.
THE RURAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
Approximately 25,000 children who live in the 99 per cent, of British Columbia
which is not organized into municipalities are educated through several hundred rural
school districts.    In the school-year 1943-44 these were distributed about as follows:—
Schools Closed  N°- °f Districts.
Not voting money     238
Voting money      63
 301
Schools open—
Providing a one-room elementary school   392*
Others   135
 ' 527
Total     828
* Districts with more than one one-room school are not included here.
It is not pretended that the total of 238 given for schools closed but not voting money
includes all school districts which have ever operated and are now discontinued. The
fruitless task of compiling a complete list of these is almost past the wit of man. It is
thought, however, that the number given includes practically all school districts which
have operated during the last ten years or so.
Sixty-three school districts (as nearly as could be ascertained) operated no schools
in 1944-45, but raised money for school purposes by taxation. Some of these schools
were closed only temporarily because of a reduction in enrolment or the inability to
obtain a teacher. A number were closed more or less permanently and paid tuition
for the education of their children in other districts.
It is obvious that the majority of rural school districts provide only one-room
schools. The average attendance in these schools is shown in Table XXI. Naturally,
the operation of very small schools is very expensive.    A school enrolling only a few
Table XXI. Average Attendance in Rural School Districts each operating
a Single One-room School.
Average Attendance. No. of Districts.
36-40  1   -
31-35  6
26-30 " .  13
21-25 1  32
16-20  57
11-15  118
6-10  160
0- 5  5
Total  392
Median     11.9
children may cost more per pupil than even a large city school. Nevertheless, geographical conditions in British Columbia make inevitable the continuance of many
small schools. It is hoped, however, that the plan for school administration proposed
in this report will make the elimination of some small schools possible where this can be
accomplished without loss to the children involved.
28 COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 29
CURRENT EXPENDITURES.
In order to give some sort of picture of expenditures in the rural schools, we
present Tables XXII., XXIII., and XXIV. In these tables the expenditures are in
terms of class-rooms, this basis being the most suitable for comparisons which involve
many small schools. Unfortunately, the records available did not allow a precise separation of high, junior high, and elementary school costs. Since only a relatively few
districts maintain secondary schools, this failure is unimportant. Further, since our
interest is in the typical rather than the exceptional, transportation costs, although
very heavy in some districts, are not included in these particular tables.
A dozen rural school districts do not lend themselves readily to the comparisons
made above. One operated no elementary schools; the others maintain secondary
schools—high and junior high—larger than is typical. Expenditures for these schools
were calculated on a pupil basis and were then converted to class-room figures by multiplying by twenty. Since this is a highly arbitrary device, open to many objections, it
is fortunate that the number of districts so treated is very small.
That the expenditures of a great number of districts are meagre is at once obvious.
Since the school-year under review the Provincial Government has continued to raise
rural teachers' salaries, so that present and future conditions should undoubtedly be
much better than those here depicted.    Further improvement is certainly desirable.
Table XXII.  Salaries per Class-room, Rural School Districts, 1943-44.
Number of Districts.
Salary per Class-room.
One-room
Elementary.
Larger
Elementary.
Superior.
Elementary and
One-room
High.
Elementary and
Two-room
High.
Other.
Total.
$1,500 and over __ _	
1,450-$1,499                  	
1
2
2
2
5
28
23
46
47
124
85
23
4
1
2
3
5
10
10
11
11
1
.-
1
1
1
2
6
1
4
2
1
4
2
2
3
1
....
3
2
4
1
2
1
1
....
1
2
10
3
1,400- 1,449      .'_	
5
1,350- 1,399    _   ...             	
7
1,300- 1,349  - 	
13
1,250- 1,299
8
....
17
1,200- 1,249        -.             	
4
2
1
2
1
1
-
.__.
2
2
1
3
1
1
1
44
1,150- 1,199
39
1,100- 1,149 - -
60
1,050- 1,099  _ _
67
138
950-     999 _ -	
86
900-     949.  - 	
850-     899 ___'_ _ .........
800-     849
25
9
4
Totals -   -
392
1,034
57
1,125
30
1,275
12
1,100
24
1,175
12
1,325
527
1,051
The miscellaneous expenditures shown in Table XXIII. are also in many cases
extremely modest. If we recall that these include such expenditures among others as
those for fuel, light, class-room supplies, and library books, a sum of less than $250
a year per room seems difficult to justify. A part of these low expenditures may be due
to ignorance or short-sighted parsimony, but a part is no doubt caused by the existing
system of school finance which throws the whole of these costs on local resources, often
very small.
The tables indicate great inequality in spending. Even if we concede that some
inequality is inevitable and not at all reprehensible, we cannot help thinking that
inequalities as great as here shown are undesirable in a service which is, in large part,
provincial. P 30
RURAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
Table XXIII.  Miscellaneous Current Expenses per Class-room,
Rural School Districts, 1943-44.
Number op Districts.
Miscellaneous Current Expenses
per Class-room.
One-room
Elementary.
Larger
Elementary.
Superior.
Elementary and
One-room
High.
Elementary and
Two-room
High.
Other.
Total.
¥800 and over.— _	
750-$799_	
8
1
2
1
3
4
7
10
11
20
32
36
59
81
56
44
17
3
2
1
2
3
3
3
12
5
7
3
4
5
2
2
1
2
2
2
3
3
6
3
4
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
4
2
1
4
1
1
3
4
3
2
3
2
1
--
....
1
1
3
1
1
2
1
1
1
__..
18
4
700- 749 	
4
650- 699 _ :.	
6
600- 649	
6
550- 599	
11
500- 549 _ __   __	
16
450- 499 	
400- 449- _ __ --
350- 399 -	
300- 349- - -	
250- 299.
23
35
36
46
46
200- 249	
64
150- 199 	
89
100- 149  _.__	
59
50-    99 ____  	
44
0-    49 _____ __ ____
17
3
Totals   -	
Medians     	
392
198.8
57
407.3
30
390.6
12
436.5
24
461.5
12
550.0
527
241.4
Table XXIV.  Total Current Expenses per Class-room,
Rural School Districts, 1943-44.
Number op
Districts.
Total Current Expenses
per Class-room.
One-room
Elementary.
Larger
Elementary.
Superior.
Elementary and
One-room
High.
Elementary and
Two-room
High.
Other.
Total.
$2,400 and over    	
2,300  $2,399
1
3
2
3
6
7
9
21
37
64
67
95
61
15
1
2
3
2
3
4
6
11
7
7
3
6
1
2
1
3
3
5
5
3
2
6
1
1
1
1
2
3
3
1
1
3
1
1
1
5
3
1
3
3
1
2
4
-.._
--
1
1
1
-..
2
-.
1
....
1
..._
1
.__.
....
8
2,200- 2,299
2,100- 2,199           	
2,000- 2,099
1,900- 1,999
13
1,800- 1,899  _ - -	
1,700- 1,799	
25
41
52
82
73
104
62
16
1
3
1,600- 1,699
1,500- 1,599 _	
1,400- 1,499 -	
1,300- 1,399._.
1,200- 1,299 _. _	
1,100- 1,199	
1,000- 1,099__ ___	
900-     999  _____ __	
Totals   -  	
392
1,334.8
57
1,541.9
30
1,799.0
12
1,632.3
24
1,766.7
12
2,000.0
527
1,408.5 COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 31
One of our most interesting compilations is presented in Table XXV., which shows
the fraction of total current expenditure* which Government grants represented in
rural school districts. The table indicates that in a considerable number of one-room
districts the grant has already reached a very high level. In nearly half of these districts the grant is now 70 per cent, of current expenditures; in over a third of them
the fraction is three-quarters; and in nearly a fifth grants look after four-fifths of
their current costs. While there is no doubt room for a modification of the grant
system even in these cases, the chief remedy for their financial troubles is to be found
in the creation, where possible, of school districts having larger financial resources.
Table XXV. Percentage of Total Current Expenditure met by Government
Grants, Rural School Districts, 1943-44.
Number of
Districts.
Percentage.
One-room
Elementary.
Larger
Elementary.
Superior.
Elementary and
One-room
High.
Elementary and
Two-room
High.
Other.
Total.
95-100 __ ___ _ ____
90- 94	
3
4
15
64
67
57
59
52
20
24
12
6
4
4
8
2
1
3
2
5
4
12
5
8
10
1
3
2
—
2
1
1
3
4
8
4
3
4
1
I
1
1
2
3
2
3
1
1
1
3
2
4
3
4
3
2
1
3
4
85- 89 _	
15
80- 84	
75- 79 _ '— -	
54
71
70- 74 - --_ 	
60
65- 69  	
68
60- 64 _.
2
1
4
1
1
1
....
2
62
55- 59— -	
43
50- 54    __ _	
45- 49   ._  -	
40- 44 —	
38
32
27
35- 39. 	
12
30- 34  — -
9
25- 29—	
14
20- 24  _ ...	
15- 19  - -	
8
4
10- 14    ___ _
3
Totals —	
Medians  	
392
69.1
57
53.0
30
55.3
12
44.0
24
37.3
12
46.2
527
65.9
Table XXVI. shows the transportation expenditures in rural districts after subtraction of the Government's grant of 50 per cent, of the cost. The great majority of
districts do not incur transportation charges, but of those that do, a number find these
costs very heavy. The expenditure of the Province under this heading has been
increasing and is bound to increase still further as more large districts are formed.
The proper handling of these costs is, from the Government point of view, extremely
perplexing.
While not forgetting the importance of debt service in determining final recommendations, we are justified in omitting a detailed discussion of them here, as only
twenty-two of the rural districts report any debenture debt whatever, and even in
some of these the amounts involved are so small as to be almost negligible. In 1943-44
the debt charges reported for all rural districts totalled only $37,680.
* Neglecting transportation costs and grants. P 32
RURAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
Table XXVI.  Net Transportation Expenditure per Class-room,
Eural School Districts, 1943-44.
Number of Districts.
Expenditure.
One-room
Elementary.
Larger
Elementary.
Superior.
Elementary and
One-room
High.
Elementary and
Two-room
High.
Other.
Total.
Schools
closed.*
Over $500  	
$401-$500	
9
3
1
3
10
366
2
3
2
9
3
38
1
2
1
1
25
1
2
2
7
3
3
4
14
1
1
5
5
9
3
6
10
19
25
455
4
2
301- 400 __	
201- 300
4
6
101- 200— — 	
1- 100	
7
3
None _	
Totals- 	
392
57
30
12
24
12
527
* The expenditures in this column are the total expenditure on transportation.
ASSESSMENT AND TAX RATE.
Let us now look at Tables XXVII., XXVIII., and XXIX., which refer to assessment
and tax rates, first prefacing our discussion with the obvious remark that he who
attaches great significance to tables of this sort is very short-sighted indeed.
Table XXVII.  Assessment of Land and Improvements per Class-room,
Rural School Districts, 1943-44.
Number of
Districts.
Assessment.
One-room
Elementary.
Larger
Elementary.
Superior.
Elementary and
One-room
High.
Elementary and
Two-room
High.
Other.
Total.
Over $200,000     —
18
1
1
1
4
6
5
6
7
10
11
10
19
26
26
43
47
48
54
31
9
9
5
4
1
2
1
1
3
1
3
3
7
3
1
3
3
3
5
3
3
....
2
1
1
1
3
1
2
1
2
6
5
4
1
-
2
..__
..__
....
1
2
4
1
1
1
2
3
1
1
1
1
2
1
4
2
4
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
._
2
1
2
2
1
1
25
180,000- 189,999 __ __
170,000- 179,999      	
160,000- 169,999 _____	
150,000- 159,999
8
11
8
12
13
21
16
26
33
42
56
63
55
57
35
10
14
140,000- 149,999        	
130,000- 139,999
120,000- 129,999
110,000- 119,999	
100,000- 109,999        	
90,000-    99,999	
80,000-    89,999	
70,000-    79,999       	
60,000-    69,999
50,000-    59,999	
40,000-    49,999,    ..
30,000-    39,999
20,000-    29,999 -	
10,000-    19,999 '..	
Less than $10,000	
Totals _ _ _	
Medians 	
392
50,581
57
105,000
30
65,000
12
45,000
24
85,000
12
52,500
527
56,518 COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 33
However, we can have perhaps somewhat more confidence in these tables than in
the corresponding tables dealing with municipalities, for the reason that all the assessing in rural areas is in the hands of Provincial Assessors. While there is little
doubt that the practices and efficiency of these officials vary greatly, some tendency
towards uniformity is to be expected. ,'
There are some differences between the bases of property taxation in municipalities
and unorganized areas. For example, improvements on farm land were exempt to the
extent of $1,500 in the year under review; they have since been entirely exempted.
Also land in Table XXVII. includes improvements, which are not reported separately.
The spread in assessed valuations is enormous. Forty-five districts, mostly one-
room, have less than $20,000 behind each teacher; twenty-five have more than ten times
as much. Obviously, too, most rural school districts of the Province cannot be called
wealthy, at least as far as property taxation is concerned. A mill will produce less
than $60 per teacher in the median district.
This paucity of taxable resources goes far in explaining why British Columbia
still clings to the personal property tax, which is levied only in rural areas, and there
only for school purposes. Table XXVIII. shows that while fifty-one districts (again
mostly one-room) have no assessable personal property, and in most districts the
personal property assessment is small, in a few cases this tax is very important indeed,
one which could not be forgone without much sacrifice.
Table XXVIII.  Personal Property Assessment per Class-room,
Rural School Districts, 1943-44.
Number of
Districts.
_.   .
Assessment.
One-room
Elementary.
Larger
Elementary.
Superior.
Elementary and
One-room
High.
Elementary and
Two-room
High.
Other.
Total.
20
1
2
2
1
1
2
2
2
6
6
6
11
20
28
32
45
51
96
49
9
5
1
1
1
2
3
1
1
1
4
4
6
8
7
10
1    '
2
1
2
1
6
2
5
5
1
1
1
1
3
3
1
2
2
1
....
2
1
1
2
3
7
4
1
2
"l
1
1
1
1
2
2
1
95,000  $99,900                       	
90,000- 94,900 	
85,000- 89,900 : 	
80,000- 84,900 __ _ 	
75,000- 79,900 	
3
2
'■    2
70 000    74 900
2
4
8
4
8
10
8
20
23
36
51
66
55,000- 59,900 	
50,000    54,900                       	
45,000- 49,900 _ _ 	
40,000    44,900                _     	
35,000    39,900                     _
30,000    34,900    	
25,000- 29,900	
20,000- 24,900 ...                 	
15,000    19,900                       	
10,000- 14,900	
5,000-    9,900                     	
Under $5,000    _           _           	
No report  	
13
Totals	
392
9,559
57
17,083
30
19,000
12
11,667
24
20,000
12
15,000
527
12,461
Medians   	 P 34
RURAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
To these wide variations correspond wide variations in tax rate as reported in
Table XXIX. Twenty-two rural school districts levy no taxes, usually because the
local industrial concern, itself, pays for the school; in many the school tax rate is very
low. Even in the median district the rate is only eight mills. At the other end of
the scale, however, appear many districts in which the local school tax cannot fail to
be oppressive.
Variations as great as these are regrettable. Where the rate must be high, the
opposition to even very desirable expenditure is great, and the children suffer. Further, inequality itself causes discontent, for many a taxpayer complains, not because
he pays too much, but because a neighbour pays less.
Table XXIX. Tax Rates, Rural School Districts, 1943-44.
Number of Districts.
Schools
Tax Rate in Mills.
One-room
Elementary.
Larger
Elementary.
Superior.
Elementary and
One-room
High.
Elementary and
Two-room
High.
Other.
Total.
closed,
but
voting
Money.
30 and over 	
29-29.9    	
6
1
1
1
2
1
1
2
1
3
5
1
4
9
8
8
12
7
17
13
25
21
26
34
42
38
38
31
17
5
12
1
1
1
1
2
1
2
4
2
4
2
1
8
7
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
1
3
3
3
3
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
1
1
2
1
1
2
1
5
3
2
2
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
8
1
3
1
3
1
2
2
2
3
8
5
6
11
11
15
19
14
22
26
34
28
39
43
51
46
41
34
19
5
1
22
1
3
24-24.9 -
1
1
1
20-20.9 _ -	
1
2
1
1
2
2
1
3
2
3
6
6                     2
5
4
1
3
1
3
1
6
4
5
4
7
2
5
Totals	
Medians -
392
7.4
57
8.2
30                  12
1
10.7              15.0
24
10.3
12
13.5
527
11.3
63
6.3 COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 35
THE ADMINISTRATIVE UNIT.
We have seen above that the expenditures, ability, and effort of rural school districts
are characterized by extreme inequality. Inequality of another kind, inequality of
opportunity also characterizes our school system, and to the educationalist is quite
as regrettable, if not more so. The rural child has a much slimmer chance of receiving
a good secondary education than the child residing in a municipality. The tables
above show that the great majority of rural districts operate elementary schools only.
Most of those which provide secondary education can do so only in superior schools or
one- or two-room high schools. The only large rural high schools are found in these
tables in the columns marked " other," and half of these schools serve communities
which are essentially urban in nature.
We can show this lack of secondary-school opportunity by comparing the enrolments in Grades I., II., and III. with those in Grades X., XL, and XII., as in Table
XXX.    Of course the situation is not quite as bad as is suggested in this table, as
Table XXX.  Comparison of Enrolments, 1943-44.*
Enrolment.
Grades I.-III. Grades X.-XII.
Cities   18,487 10,354
Index    •__ 100 56
Districts   9,755 3,054
Index  100 31
Rural Districts  9,497 1,553
Index  :  100 16
* Based on Schools Report.
some hundreds of rural children attend secondary schools in city or district municipalities. On the other hand, some of the large " rural " secondary schools are in communities which are really urban.
One of the greatest needs of our school system is that for good secondary-school
opportunities for rural youth. The writer holds no brief for the large school as such
and indeed contends that a school may become too large. In particular, the one-room
elementary school has much to commend it, and should often be left untouched.
A good secondary programme, however, cannot often be provided in a tiny school.
The difficulties in the way of providing secondary education in rural areas are not
all insuperable. Most of them can be overcome through the use of transportation and
the dormitories which have been so greatly successful in Alberta.
SUMMARY.
This chapter points to extreme and undesirable inequalities both financial and educational. These inequalities can be overcome in one of two ways: either the Provincial
Government can take over and operate the whole school system, or it can create large
school districts and support these by a carefully planned system of school finance. CHAPTER IV.
THE FINANCE OF  EDUCATION  IN  BRITISH COLUMBIA:   GENERAL.
The preceding three chapters have attempted to present a factual background of
the administration of education in our Province. It has been possible, so far, to avoid
making recommendations, but it is desirable that when the information remaining is
presented, proposals concerning it should be put forward. It is therefore necessary
that we now lay down the general principles, framework, or pattern which, in our
opinion, should govern the administration of the Province's school system.
EDUCATION A PROVINCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.
Section 93 of the " British North America Act " provides that, with certain qualifications not pertinent here, " In and for each Province, the Legislature may exclusively
make laws in relation to Education . . ." This section has been quoted in some of
the briefs presented to this Commission as an argument for considering education a
responsibility of the Provincial Government. Surely, the plea is not valid. Education
in British Columbia is a Provincial responsibility, but not for this reason. The section
quoted can mean only that education in British Columbia is not a matter upon which
the Dominion Government can legislate; it cannot lay upon the Provincial Government
any legal responsibility to legislate on or take any cognizance whatever of educational
affairs.
The conviction that education in British Columbia is a Provincial responsibility
rests on a far firmer footing than any statute. It is based on the belief that the people
of the Province have decided that it shall be so. They have made up their minds that
their Government shall see to it that, as far as Nature permits, every child shall have
a chance to obtain an adequate schooling, and that the cost of this schooling shall be
apportioned with reasonable fairness, all relevant factors being considered.
CENTRALIZED ADMINISTRATION.
If this equality of opportunity and equality of burden cannot be attained unless
the Provincial Government takes over the whole school system, then take it over it must,
for these are of paramount value. If, on the other hand, it is possible to achieve these
and still retain local control, the question of how much centralization we shall have
must be considered.
It must be said at the outset that Nature, with an irritating disregard of the
problems of school administration, has decreed that no system will produce perfect
equality in British Columbia. Good schools exist or can be placed within the reach of
the majority of our children, but the children in the vast and sparsely settled hinterland will continue to be at a disadvantage, no matter what system is adopted. The
equality possible must be rough, but it may be substantial and in many places so great
an improvement over present conditions that it may appear to be perfection.
There are some obvious advantages in complete centralization, or the placing of
the whole school system in the hands of the Provincial Government. In the eyes of the
Province the child in Telegraph Creek is as much entitled to a good schooling as the
child in Vancouver, and everything possible would be done to see that he got it. The
great merit of centralization is the equality it can produce.
Some improvement in efficiency might also be expected if complete centralization
were to be adopted in this Province. Economies in purchasing would become possible,
and accounting might be better handled; professional leadership might be made more
widely available, and teachers might be more wisely placed.
36 COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 37
Against these advantages of centralization—and it is admitted that the case may
have been understated—must be placed some dangers. After the first few years there
would be a danger of rigidity. It is almost inevitable that many promotions would be
made primarily on the basis of seniority. Where mere length of service was not
decisive, the opinion of the Inspector or other superior officer would be enormously
important, so that conformity would be placed at a premium. Further, any employee
of a large organization is forced to seek protection from criticism by hedging himself
about with rules and regulations and the slavish adherence to precedent. Thus, the
larger the organization, the more important is its machinery and the less important
are the human beings who run it.
Now this mechanical, static, routine administration may not be regrettable, may
even be desirable, in some public services. But in the delicate, sensitive affair which is
a school system, human relationships are immensely important, and machinery must
be kept to a minimum; and uniformity is almost the same as lack of progress. Especially is flexibility essential in the school system of this enormous Province, where
distances are so great and conditions so varied that no central office, no matter how
enlightened and well intentioned, could adjust its policies to them.
Moreover, complete centralization is almost certain to result in some loss of local
interest in schools. Experience has demonstrated that the most strenuous efforts to
enlist local interest by means of local advisory boards are futile. Many citizens will
not serve on a board which is merely advisory. They must be given the power to do
something for their community. It would be a great tragedy if our school system
were to lose the services and support of our school trustees, who for the most part
have done excellent work, often in spite of very irritating obstacles.
The administration of schools by local boards has other merits. For example, the
present wish of schoolmen is to make the school the centre of as many community
enterprises as possible. This laudable attempt to foster community schools would be
hindered if the schools were removed from local control. Again experimentation is
more likely in a system which is at least partially decentralized. The development of
junior high schools in British Columbia has been effected by local initiative, encouraged by the wise leadership and stimulation of the Department. Among the most
promising developments in British Columbia schools to-day are school lunch programmes and vocational agriculture courses. In these, both central authority and
local initiative have large parts to play.
It has often been contended that local control is the more democratic than central
control. In one sense this is surely not so, for in a centralized system the schools
would still be responsible to the representatives of the people. Indeed if centralization
brings about a much greater degree of equalization than decentralization can, it may
be said that it is the more democratic. However, because local control results in
greater public interest, because it enlists the voluntary services of an army of citizens,
and because the local people can feel that, in part, they possess the schools, that they
are doing things for themselves rather than having things done for them, it may be
proper to call decentralization more democratic.
In the informal discussions accompanying the public hearings of this Commission
it became clear that the majority of our citizens wish to retain local management of
schools, if this can be done while achieving a substantial degree of equality of opportunity for our children and equality of burden for our taxpayers. In other words, we
must have much more equality than we have; if we cannot have it without complete
centralization, we shall have to have that too; if we can have it and still preserve local
control, let us by all means do so, and let us do so even if equalization is not complete,
as long as it is substantial. p 38 FINANCE OF EDUCATION.
SUPPORT AND CONTROL.
One of the briefs submitted during this survey objected in principle to grants
from the Government in aid of locally administered services, and indeed the spending
by one agency of money not raised by it is bound to engender suspicion. This separation, however, is an argument for care in the use of grants, not for abolition. If local
control over education is to continue, grants cannot be avoided.
There is no very close correspondence between the amount of support which the
Government gives to education by way of grant and the amount of control it must
exercise. It is true that if the Government assumes the whole cost it would have to
exercise all or nearly all of the financial control, and that if it gave no grants it could
wield little control. But we are confident that a grant system can be devised which,
while achieving much equality, will rightly leave to local boards a great deal of freedom,
perhaps more freedom than they enjoy at present.
Specifically, we intend to recommend that a basic or Provincial programme or
standard of schooling be set up, this programme to be described in financial terms, and
to be made as nearly as possible available everywhere in the Province by means of a
grant system which will require that all property in the Province be taxed at rates
which are as nearly uniform as possible. The fact that the Provincial programme is
available to all should make for a substantial degree of equality of opportunity, and
the fact that the tax rates required are everywhere the same, or nearly the same,
should make for equality of burden.
Since any School Board which wishes to go beyond this programme will be perfectly free to do so at its own expense, and since expenditures within the programme
will not be a matter for local choice, there can be no question of local boards making
free with funds derived from the Provincial Treasury.
In the interests of equalization this basic or Provincial programme should be set
at a level typical of a considerable number of boards in the Province, so that many
boards will not find it necessary to go beyond it by a great deal. Some items of
expenditure—buildings, transportation of pupils, and the like—cannot be placed on this
equalization basis, and must continue to draw special grants. For this reason and for
the reason that some districts would wish to exceed the programme equalized, some
inequality would continue, but this inequality would be very much less than exists at
present.    Some inequality there must be if local authority is to be retained.
THE SIZE OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT.
It is hardly necessary to recite the many reasons why large school districts must
be created in much of this Province if education is to be financed at all satisfactorily.
Some of the present districts are quite acceptable and need not be disturbed. In others
only slight changes are necessary. In many, however, nothing less than a thorough
revision will suffice, if the equalization of opportunity and burden which so many of
our people clamour for is to be attained.
It has been argued above that decentralization is to be preferred to centralization,
but this position was taken only on the understanding that the school district or, as it
is often called, the local unit of administration, is as nearly adequate to its task as
distance and topography permit. Moreover, public opinion in the Province is now
strongly in favour of this sorely-needed reform. Only financial barriers obstruct the
way, and these will be of little importance if the financial scheme we advocate is implemented. It is therefore to be understood that all the recommendations of this report
are based on the assumption of a reform in school districts. In a later chapter, a more
detailed discussion of this matter will be undertaken, and a definite plan of reorganization will be proposed. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 39
RECOMMENDATIONS.
This chapter leads to the following recommendations, all to be elaborated by
detailed proposals later:—
1. That the administration of education through local School Boards be retained.
2. That a Provincial programme of education, defined in financial terms, be made
available throughout British Columbia by means of a grant system requiring equal
tax rates on all property.
3. That adequate local units or school districts be created wherever in the Province
they do not already exist. CHAPTER V.
PROPERTY TAXATION AND ASSESSMENT.
The major complaints regarding the present system of financing education in
British Columbia fall under two headings. One group objects to the system because so
much of the money required comes from sources which are local, and since local
resources vary greatly, serious inequalities in the schooling offered and in the burden
resting on taxpayers are inevitable. In earlier chapters it has been shown that these
inequalities exist, and it has been stated that though they are in part unavoidable they
should be greatly reduced.
The second group of objections, closely allied to but not identical with the first,
is based on the fact that a very large part of school revenue is raised by taxation on
real property, and contends that this form of taxation is not suited to the support of
education. This chapter will be devoted to a discussion of this highly contentious and
perplexing matter.
INCIDENCE OF PROPERTY TAXES.
An examination of property taxation for education in British Columbia requires
a preliminary survey of the theory of property taxation in general.
In the great majority of cases the impact of property taxes is on the owner; that
is, it is the owner who pays them in the first place. Later he may be able to shift part
or all of them to his tenant by charging rents which repay him for the taxes he has
paid. Even if he himself occupies the property, he is always potentially a tenant and
potentially a landlord, and is therefore, so to speak, his own tenant. If the tenant uses
the premises for business purposes, he in turn may be able to charge prices which will
pass on or shift to his customers the tax charges and other charges that he must pay.
The majority of economists have come to the conclusion that in the long run in
most cases taxes on improvements, which, of course, include buildings, are shifted or
passed on in this way, so that their incidence, or the place where they finally come to
rest, is on the consumer, or the tenant, who is a consumer of housing.
The reasoning on which this conclusion is based points out that if rents are not
high enough to cover all charges, including taxes, and yield besides a fair return on
the capital involved, the erection of buildings will cease to be a profitable investment,
and old buildings will not be replaced. Eventually the scarcity so caused will cause
rents to rise until they again cover taxes. On the other hand, if rents are more than
high enough to yield a fair return, capital will be attracted to the building field, and
the increase of accommodation resulting will cause rents to be lowered.
Clearly this is a long-run tendency only. Buildings wear out very slowly and if at
any one time rents do not cover charges, it may be several years before they rise.
Many building owners know that this was only too true in the nineteen-thirties. In a
locality where the population is steadily diminishing rents will decline, perhaps indefinitely, as in our " ghost " towns. However, " in the meantime, when rentals do not
cover all costs, there is no reason for saying that it is the tax portion of costs that
they are not covering. Why not say that rentals are so low as to pay taxes but to
leave depreciation uncovered, or repairs, or net return to the owner? "* On the other
hand, rents are sometimes so high as to yield the owner a handsome surplus after all
fixed charges have been covered. For example, if there were no rent control in Canada
at present, rents in some cases would have risen to fantastic levels.
Much the same reasoning leads to the conclusion that property taxes on premises
used for commercial or industrial purposes must eventually be shifted to the consumer.
If such charges were not covered, the concern could not indefinitely stay in business.
* Report of the Saskatchewan Urban Assessment Committee, p. 60.
40 COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 41
Taxes on land act differently from those on improvements. The supply of land is
fixed. If rents rise or fall, the amount of land available cannot be increased or
decreased correspondingly. Taxes on land, therefore, are not shiftable, since they
have no influence on its rent.
All this will seem slightly unreal to many taxpayers and indeed no one would
contend that these tendencies operate in a clearly recognizable fashion in all transactions.* A property-owner does not separate his taxes into taxes on land and taxes
on improvements, the first to be shifted to his tenant and the second to pay himself.
If he rents his property, he makes the best bargain he can. If rents are high, he is
glad he owns property, whether he rents it or occupies it himself. If they are low,
he is sorry. In the long run in most communities he is able to charge rents if he lets
his property (or save paying rent if he occupies it himself) which will reimburse him
for part but not all of his taxes. That he can shift part of his taxes in this way is
due to the fact that part of his tax is on improvements; that he cannot shift them all
is due to the fact that part is on land.
THE NON-PROPERTY-OWNER.
One of the reasons, but not the only reason, for this analysis is to expose the lack
of validity of the argument that the person who owns no property pays no taxes for
the support of the local school system. These taxes enter into most rents and to a
certain extent into the prices of many goods and services. This diffusion of property
taxes causes almost every one to help unwittingly in their payment. Indeed some
non-property-owners pay indirectly more property taxes than some property-owners.
That persons not owning property frequently do not know they are paying property
taxes and that their payments may not have any relationship to their taxpaying ability
are readily admitted.   But that they make the payments nevertheless is incontrovertible.
CAPITALIZATION.
A tax, such as that on land, which cannot be shifted tends to be capitalized. If,
for example, a parcel of untaxed land could reasonably be expected to yield an annual
revenue of $50, it might be considered to be worth $1,000, as 5 per cent, interest on
this is $50 per year. If now an annual tax of $10 is imposed on the property, its net
return would be reduced to $40 per year, and its selling price to $800.1 If the land
were then sold, the buyer would have bought himself free of the tax, since the
interest on the $200 saved would pay the tax. If the tax were then removed, the price
of the land would rise correspondingly. At a subsequent sale the owner would pocket
the increase and the purchaser would be no better off than if the tax had not been
removed or reduced.
Now of course considerations of this sort do not influence the thinking of many
taxpayers. After they have purchased a parcel of property, they forget, if they ever
knew, the reduction in price that the taxes have caused. They are annually reminded,
however, of the necessity of paying the tax, and the resulting discontent is just as real
as if it were completely justified. Moreover, the operation of capitalization offers little
comfort in a period of rising property taxes. The owner may then see the value of
his land slowly being taken away from him. Again taxes are a fixed charge and
therefore particularly onerous in times of depression or on farm land since the prices
of farm produce fluctuate widely. Of course this fact will be somewhat less important
in the future because of co-operative marketing and the possibility of permanent basic
prices for farm produce.    In some farming communities the discontent of many resi-
* A small but increasing number of leases guarantee the owner a rent which will cover all legitimate charges
including taxes.
t One of pur most interesting briefs argues that this property should continue to be assessed at $1,000. P 42 PROPERTY TAXATION AND ASSESSMENT.
dents appears to arise more through fear for the future revenue than through unrest
with present tax burdens.
In many municipalities the principle of capitalization of taxes does not appear to
be a very strong argument against the reduction of school taxes. In these communities, the councils do not propose that total local taxes be reduced by the whole amount
of the relief in school taxes hoped for. They plan, instead, to devote much or all of the
requested relief to other municipal services, many of which they insist now receive
grossly inadequate support. Under these circumstances the prices of land would not
rise by the capitalized value of the reduction in school taxes; that is, the land-owner
would not be presented with a bonus at the government's expense.
In the unorganized part of the Province the principle of tax capitalization should
not be lost sight of entirely. There the only property taxes except school taxes are
imposed by the Provincial Government and are levied at rather low rates fixed by
statute. Moreover, improvements on farm land are entirely exempt. Under the
circumstances there will be a tendency for reductions in school taxes on land to result
in free gifts to land-owners and no relief to future buyers. This fact should not be
allowed to be decisive; that is, it is not in itself sufficient reason for perpetuating
school taxes at their present rates in all cases. But if there is a case for continuing
some school taxation on land, that case is somewhat strengthened by the existence of
the tendency towards tax capitalization.
PROPERTY TAXES AND ABILITY TO PAY.
It is becoming more and more usual nowadays to judge a tax by its relation to the
taxpayer's ability to pay. Perhaps before going further we should explain some of
our terms, as these may not be familiar to all those to whom this report is addressed.
Let us think of two men, neither having dependents, one having an income of $1,000
per year, the other of ten times as much. Let us suppose that a certain tax takes $10
per year from the first. If the tax on the second man is $100 per year, or ten times as
much, it is said to be proportional, as the difference in the tax is proportional to the
difference in the incomes.. If it takes from the second only $50 a year, or less than
ten times as much, it is regressive.     If it takes two hundred, it is progressive.
Taxes according to ability to pay must usually be levied at progressive rates, since
ability increases faster than income. It is obvious that taxes on property are regressive, in this respect resembling sales taxes, excise taxes, and customs duties, to which
indeed in many ways they are not completely dissimilar. What a person pays depends
on the housing he occupies and on the prices he pays for the goods and services he
uses. Clearly a relationship of these to his ability to pay taxes exists, but is so
haphazard as to be almost accidental.
To say that a tax is regressive is to say that it should be viewed with great suspicion, but it is not necessarily to condemn it outright and at once. Many charges in our
society, interest, for example, are regressive and, as we shall argue presently, there may
be a small place for regressive taxes too.
It is not very helpful to consider property taxes as taxes on persons. It may be
better to think of them as charges on things, payments which a person must make to
enjoy the property taxed directly, or the object or service taxed indirectly.
THE PROPERTY TAX AND THE INCOME TAX.
We have been so bold as to say above that there may be a proper place for some
regressive taxes in our society. This unpopular view is based on the fact that even
the income tax, although the fairest of all taxes with the possible exception of succession duties, is not without its imperfections. Some income, not being recorded anywhere, is not reported on income tax returns.    Some goods and services, although valu- COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 43
able, do not result in a money payment and may not be taxed. The tax on small incomes
is difficult and expensive to administer and collect. Such considerations suggest that
some taxpaying ability is best reached through regressive taxes. Of course, it may
very well be that we already have more than enough regressive taxes for this purpose.
In any case, property taxes make our heavy income taxes somewhat less burdensome. Where the owner occupies his own home, he is not required to pay tax on the
income it represents. Where he rents his property to some one else, the law recognizes
the fact that the rent he receives is intended to cover taxes by allowing him to deduct
his property taxes when computing his taxable income. The net result is that the
Dominion Government pays a portion of his property taxes. It follows, too, that an
increased school tax on an income-taxpayer, such as a corporation, does not represent
a proportionate increase in the total tax burden, since some of the increase will be
passed on in a lowered income tax.
ONEROUS AND BENEFICIAL TAXES.
Much has been made, and rightly so, of the distinction between onerous and beneficial services. Onerous services are those of Province-wide importance and of no
special local benefit. Local taxation to support these services is burdensome or onerous.
Beneficial services are those which confer a special benefit on local property. Taxes
to support these services impose no real burden.
We think this distinction to be to a large extent useful and valid, and education is
an " onerous " service if any service is, as the term is used here. The Province will
not allow any community to fail to provide schooling, and the schooling so provided
benefits the whole Province, not just the local community.
But surely the distinction between the two is not much more than a matter of
emphasis. Few services are " onerous " only or " beneficial " only. For example, police
service is considered by many to be so clearly beneficial to local property as to be
properly supported by local taxes. Yet it would not be a matter of indifference to
a municipality if the police service in one near-by were such as to provide an easy
refuge for the criminal. For many years, England has considered policing an " onerous " service and the central government bears through grants one-half of its cost.
Many other services such as sewage, water-supply, and even garbage collection, though
more localized, are not only local.
Specifically, it cannot be admitted that schools have no relation to property values
and rents. Population is attracted to communities which maintain good schools. A great
deal of the money which is made in a community depends on the existence of schools
in the community, and property values must reflect this, although perhaps not in a very
precise fashion.
It surely is not correct to argue that if a home-owner has no children and therefore
does not use the schools, his property derives no financial benefit from their existence.
He may not use the sidewalks or the running water or any of the many amenities the
house possesses, but that is not to say that they are not valuable to him. The fact that
the schools are available and potentially usable is surely a benefit that makes his property more valuable.
Of course, this is not to say that present conditions are satisfactory or that substantial changes are not desirable. This part of the case for property taxes for school
support has been put as strongly as possible, perhaps more strongly than necessary,
for the reason that it is so often disregarded. There are sound reasons for the reduction of school taxes on property, and there is little danger of their being overlooked.
There are also sound arguments for continuing some of these taxes. P 44 PROPERTY TAXATION AND ASSESSMENT.
EDUCATIONAL COSTS AND PROVINCIAL AND MUNICIPAL FINANCE.
It has been shown in Chapter II. that educational costs bulk large in most municipal budgets and very large in some. Also, educational costs have risen since the relevant statistics were gathered. We are now going through a period of good times.
Tax collections are high and municipal finances are, with a few exceptions, in a fairly
healthy condition. This happy situation can hardly be expected to persist indefinitely,
however, and municipal councils are justified in worrying about the future. The support of education, being a heavy charge not easily controllable, gives municipal budgets
an undesirable inelasticity. It makes it difficult for a municipality to adjust its finances
to changing conditions, to cut a smaller suit when the supply of cloth is diminished.
It may thus easily be a major factor in creating a future crisis. This is one of the
most cogent reasons for a reduction of school taxes on local property.
However, it is not in the interests of the people of British Columbia that all of
this inelasticity be placed on the Provincial treasury either. The Provincial Government is enjoying at the moment a much-coveted surplus of over seven millions of dollars
annually. To transfer all school costs to the Province would gobble up all of this surplus, as it almost exactly equals the educational costs now borne locally.* Since the
Province faces large added expenditures in the post-war years, it would be forced to
seek other revenues, and would naturally consider levying a small uniform tax on all
the property in the Province. In other words, the Province is not now in a position
to provide completely for the financing of education without using property taxes or
other taxes probably quite as objectionable.
RECAPITULATION.
We may sum up this long discussion something like this: Because property taxes
are regressive, because they result in inequalities of opportunity and burden, and
because they impart to municipal finances an undesirable rigidity which in many cases
is very serious and threatens to become more so, their use for school support should
be reduced. However, Provincial revenues, although great, are not sufficient to allow
the Province to remove entirely the necessity of obtaining some school support from
these taxes, and besides some reliance on this source can be justified by the financial
benefit to property that the school system confers. Moreover, some local support for
education must continue if local control is to be retained.
It is therefore proposed that the Provincial Government's grants for schools be
increased substantially and be distributed in such a way as to make it possible for each
local school district to provide a standard or Provincial programme of education by
imposing on its property a fixed low tax rate. Its tax rate for schools would then
consist of this rate plus a rate to cover the amount by which it exceeded the Provincial
programme, debt charges locally incurred, a share of the cost of buildings, of transportation if any, and perhaps of the operation of dormitories in some areas.
ASSESSMENT.
The proposal implies that the assessment ratiof shall be made roughly uniform
throughout the Province, as it would be obviously unjust to grant larger sums to one
community than to another only because it appeared poorer because it assessed at a
lower rate or ratio. A municipality could knowingly or unknowingly increase its grants
merely by underassessing.
More than that, if the assessment ratios vary much within the municipality, that
is, if some properties are considerably underassessed or overassessed relative to others,
* See Table III.
t The ratio of assessed value to " true " value. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 45
local taxes including school taxes are unfairly apportioned, and dissatisfaction results.
The sense of justice of our taxpayers is so well developed that they can reconcile themselves to carrying a fairly heavy burden as long as they can be convinced that the
burden is justly distributed.
Now each municipality in British Columbia is practically a law unto itself in the
matter of assessing. Appeals to the Courts may be and are made but their number is
very small in relation to the total number of properties assessed. The result is a very
great variation in procedures and results. Some municipalities employ competent and
fairly large staffs, some only one part-time man, some provide all the paraphernalia
of a modern assessing office, others only very primitive and incomplete records. Some
assessors collect carefully and analyse thoroughly such data as sales values, rentals,
appraisals for mortgage and insurance, costs of replacement, costs of construction, and
allowances for depreciation and obsolescence, so that their final appraisals are based
on every measure of value obtainable. Most assessors cannot do this. Some assessors
reappraise each year a large fraction of their properties, so that the whole municipality
is continually being reassessed. Others have neither the time nor the resources for
such a continuous reattack so that reassessments must be done, if done at all, by some
outside agency. Assessments at values fixed during the real-estate boom which preceded World War I. are not unknown.
So far we have been talking about assessing in municipalities, but the assessments
of the Provincial Assessors cannot be viewed without suspicion. We hasten to say that
our casual observation provides no indication that these officials are not careful and
conscientious. They were uniformly courteous and helpful in this investigation. Moreover, their problems are very great, for they are responsible for territories which are
always large and sometimes enormous, territories in which conditions vary widely.
However, most of them would agree that supervision and guidance would be beneficial.
As they do not have access to building permits, new buildings sometimes escape assessment for two or three years. They have little in the way of training-in-service; they
are very rarely brought together for instruction and discussion of common problems;
the assessments they fix even for very valuable properties are hardly ever reviewed or
called in question by their supervisors.
Although this survey did not make a thorough investigation of assessing, the subject is so closely related to school finance that it could not be entirely neglected. The
most important information gathered is reported in Table XXXI., which is a collection
of the ratios of assessed to declared value of the properties which changed hands in
nine assessment areas in the years noted. Except for two areas, the ratios refer to
the year 1940. The declared value is that reported to the Land Registry offices in order
to fix the registration fee. In most cases the declared value is the selling price. Where
the value declared was obviously the assessed value, or where for any reason it clearly
did not represent the actual selling price, it was excluded. The areas were chosen
mostly on the basis of convenience. Some of them are municipalities and some are
Provincial Assessment Districts, and they are not all in one part of the Province. P 46
PROPERTY TAXATION AND ASSESSMENT.
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Now it is not intended to claim for these data a validity they do not possess. The
ytar 1940 may not have been chosen wisely, as by that time property prices in many
parts of the Province had hardly begun to recover from the Great Depression. Further,
sales prices are only one of many indices of value and cannot be accepted without
question. Often unwittingly the buyer pays more, or the seller gets less, than a property is worth in the market. Some " prices " are nominal only, as in transfers among
relatives, or when the sale is forced or only part of a larger transaction. These facts
and others make for inaccuracy in the attempt to discover the "true" value of the
property.
However, the table has the value of giving some kind of a picture, perhaps hazy,
of what happens.    From it four conclusions are drawn.
First of all, there is a considerable variation in the assessment ratios of the areas
here shown; over the whole Province it is likely that the discrepancies would be a good
deal greater.
Second, on the whole these areas appear to have been overassessed relative to the
sales prices of 1940.
Third, the spread within each area is enormous. Large numbers of properties
were greatly underassessed or overassessed.
Finally, the fact that the weighted averages, which give more weight to the higher
valued properties, are consistently smaller than the medians, which give equal weight
to all properties, points to regressivity in assessing. In other words, the higher priced
properties are assessed at a lower fraction of their value than the lower priced
properties.
To criticize assessing on the basis of this single, sketchy investigation might not
be justified, but the tabulation only confirms the findings of many hundreds of thorough
studies of similar conditions elsewhere.*
For these reasons we can hardly avoid the conclusion that assessing is not very
well done in many parts of the Province.
Data and inquiry also show that there exists in British Columbia a need of equalizing assessments wherever a school district falls in more than one assessment area.
Thus, where a municipality has attached to it a rural area for education purposes,
school taxes in the extra-municipal area are levied on assessments arrived at by a Provincial Assessor, although his assessments are sometimes on a quite different basis
from those within the municipality. Much the same state of affairs obtains when a
school district contains two municipalities or a rural area and a village. The problem
will become more acute as more large school districts are established.
One of the tests of a good tax is its productiveness, for if a tax does not contribute
large sums of money to public treasuries it is of little value even if theoretically sound.
Property taxes in British Columbia raise well over $20,000,000 a year, which is much
greater than the revenue of any other tax. It may be that we raise too much money by
taxes on property, but even if a substantial reduction is effected, we must still lean
heavily on it for many years to come. A healthy system of assessment is therefore a
matter of great importance to the governments of our Province.
We therefore plan to recommend that an agency for the supervision of property
taxation and assessment be created in the Province. We are strengthened in our
resolve to make this recommendation by the knowledge that it has also been made by
Dr. Haig in his Report in 1917, by the Harper Commission, and in the King Report,
and by the conviction that such an agency is needed regardless of school grants.
The proposed agency should study the whole matter of assessment, including the
possibility of increasing stability by using site value assessments.    It should collect and
* A great number of these are reported in -J. D. Silverherz, Assessment of Real Property in the United States,
Albany, N.Y., J. B. Lyon & Co.    1936. PROPERTY TAXATION AND ASSESSMENT.
analyse sales and rental data, and determine assessment ratios by inspection and the
use of sample evaluations. It should prescribe forms, field books, and records, and
determine in manuals or bulletins the procedures for their use. It might have the
power to make recommendations regarding appointments, and to arrange for conferences and short courses of instruction. It might well assess itself large or atypical
properties.
Finally, the agency would be a source of much-needed advice and leadership in
matters relating to the taxation of property in the Province.
The Provincial Assessors as well as the municipal assessors should come under the
supervision of this agency.
Regarding the composition of the agency, bureau, or commission, a recommendation would not be proper. It is suggested that it contain at least one full-time,
thoroughly competent official, with perhaps some municipal assessors and Provincial
Assessors.    Needless to say, it will also be necessary to provide an adequate staff.
THE PROPERTY TAX BASE.
Although there are many similarities between the bases upon which property taxes
are levied in the municipalities and unorganized areas of the Province, there are also
several differences. Among the most important of these appear to be the existence of
a personal property tax in the unorganized areas, the treatment of improvements, and
exemptions of mining and coal property under the " Taxation Act."
PERSONAL PROPERTY AND IMPROVEMENTS.
The personal property tax occupied at one time a fairly important place in the
financial structure of the Province. It was general in its application; that is, it was
levied on a wide range of property, both within and without the municipalities, and its
product went into Consolidated Revenue. Now, however, the tax is not imposed within
the municipalities and is imposed outside for school purposes only. Moreover, the
personal property taxed in British Columbia is tangible personal property only; it does
not include such intangible or representative personal property as stocks, bonds, and
mortgages.* Also much tangible personal property is exempt. Furniture, clothes, and
household effects, unless rented; farm produce, sawlogs and shingle-bolts on which the
royalties have been paid, motor-vehicles, unless part of the stock-in-trade of a dealer;
steamships, and personal property used for the working of coal mines, coke-ovens,
smelters, and works for the treatment of ore are all exempt from tax. However, live
stock, agricultural implements and machinery, and vehicles are taxable.t
Closely related to these provisions regarding personal property are the definitions
of improvements. In municipalities improvements include "... buildings, structures, storage-tanks for oil or gasoline . . . and all machinery and fixtures annexed
to any building or structure.":}: Outside the municipalities land includes "...
improvements, buildings, fixtures, machinery, or other things erected upon or affixed
to land or to any building thereon, but shall not include such improvements, fixtures,
machinery, or things other than buildings as, if so erected or affixed by a tenant, would,
as between landlord and tenant, be removable by the tenant as personal property."§
The effect of these two definitions is to make a great deal of machinery and fixtures
taxable as improvements for all purposes, if it is located in a municipality, but taxable
as personal property for school purposes only, if located in unorganized territory. If
improvements are taxed at all—and the balance of opinion is in favour—it is just that
* " Taxation Act," R.S.B.C. 1936, section 2.
t " Taxation Act," section 43 ;   " Public Schools Act," section 116.
t " Municipal Act," section 2.
§ " Taxation Act," section 2. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 49
this machinery and fixtures be treated in the same way wherever situated. The recommendation regarding the personal property tax will accordingly include the qualification
that fixtures and machinery outside municipalities continue to be taxed, at any rate
for school purposes.
Clearly, too, the whole matter of defining and assessing improvements both within
and without municipalities would provide a suitable subject for study by the agency
for the supervision of property taxation suggested earlier.
It is evident that personal property, even although much watered down by exemptions, includes property other than the more or less immovable machinery so far discussed. The chief classes of this other property are live stock, agricultural implements,
and stock-in-trade.
One of the chief objections to the taxation of live stock and agricultural implements
is the very great difficulty of assessing them. It is physically impossible for the
assessor to pay to each farm in his district a long enough visit to count and value each
head of stock and each implement. He is forced to rely on returns or reports from
the taxpayers for most of his information. "The taxpayer knows that many of his
neighbours make no pretence of providing accurate or complete information. Indeed,
many of the reports are not even returned to the assessor. He knows that in most
cases no check is likely. Under such circumstances, it is not surprising that the tax
on agricultural personal property is a very inefficient means of obtaining school revenue.
It should be added that this inefficiency is due not so much to the inefficiency of
the assessor as to the incongruity of attempting to tax live stock and implements, which
can be assessed only with great difficulty, while freeing from tax farm buildings, which
can be assessed with relative ease.
The tax on live stock has about it an added injustice. The cattle owned by a cattleman are his crop, so to speak, and this crop may be taxed two or three times before it
reaches market, while farm produce and fruit-trees are exempt. This injustice is
heightened where, as sometimes happens, a school district contains both stock-ranches
and fruit-ranches. One cannot help agreeing that the personal property tax throws
on the stockmen a disproportionate share of the local school burden.
The tax on stock-in-trade is not easy to evade, as most merchants make an inventory which the assessor can use in making his assessment. However, a merchant's
stock tends to be small when his business is prosperous and vice versa, so that the tax
hits him hardest when he is least able to bear it. It hits merchants such as those
selling jewellery or hardware who have large stocks which turn over slowly, harder
than those such as grocers or butchers who have small stocks turning over rapidly.
These merchants must compete with others in municipalities who, while probably paying a licence, need pay no tax on their stocks.
Enough has been said to indicate some of the reasons for advocating the abolition
of the tax on personal property except that which would be included under a more
comprehensive definition of improvements.
PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS.
Section 116 of the " Public Schools Act" provides that the exemptions allowed
under the " Taxation Act" shall also apply to taxation for school purposes with the
exception of land exempt by reason of some other tax being imposed in substitution for
land taxes. Taxes on mines and minerals illustrate the operation of this section, for
these are taxed either on their output or on their income, and the " Taxation Act"
states* that these taxes are in substitution for land taxes. Land, which here includes
improvements, used for mining is therefore taxable for school purposes.
* Section 61.
4 P 50 PROPERTY TAXATION AND ASSESSMENT.
Property used for coal-mining is not treated in this way. Section 24 (/) of the
" Taxation Act" exempts " buildings, structures, machinery and other permanent
improvements upon the land necessarily and actually used for the purpose of operating
coal-mines or coke-ovens," and section 43 (g) of the same Act exempts personal property similarly used. As these exemptions are not made by reason of some other tax
being imposed in place of property taxes, they apply to school taxation. The school
district may tax the houses provided by coal-mining companies to their employees, but
these taxes are ordinarily shifted or passed on to the employees in rent. It may not
tax the offices and other structures, the machinery, or even, it has been claimed, the
company's lumber mill, since these are used in connection with the mining of coal.
The consequence is that coal-mining areas are often greatly handicapped in their
attempt to provide adequate schools.
Now surely it must be admitted that in so far as property taxes are justified at
all, a company has a responsibility for the children of its employees and other residents
of the community in which it operates. The fact that it engages in one pursuit rather
than another or that it operates in unorganized territory rather than in a municipality
should not be allowed to determine its treatment. If some such principle is not adopted,
inconsistencies are inevitable. If coal-mining property is to be exempt, why not other
mining property? Or canneries? Or pulp-mills? Or power plants? It may be that
the mining of coal is not a specially lucrative enterprise at present, but property taxes
for school support cannot be gauged by the income of the moment. If. in the long run,
a property can produce little or no income, it should have little or no assessed value,
but that is not to say that it should be exempt by statute.
The same considerations suggest that the treatment of exemptions within and
without the municipalities should be as nearly alike as possible. For example, some
machinery in a concentrator or smelter is, as personal property, exempted in unorganized territory by section 43 (p) of the " Taxation Act," but is, as improvements,
taxable in municipalities. The difference would, of course, disappear if the recommendation regarding the personal property tax were adopted.
No doubt a proposal for change will arouse great opposition, but there is no escaping the conviction that it is the duty of this Commission to recommend the removal of
such discrepancies, or failing this, special grants to the school districts affected. This
conviction is somewhat strengthened by the knowledge that in many cases property
taxes for school purposes should not be greatly burdensome if the other recommendations of this report are adopted, and can be treated as an expense of operation in the
calculation of income tax.
To all of this discussion should be appended the qualification that it is meant to
apply to school taxes only. This Commission has no power to express opinions regarding taxes for other purposes.
THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE SCHOOL TAX.
As was stated above, the grant system recommended will have the effect of levying
a certain standard tax on local property. Of course the Provincial Government will
not impose this tax, but since its grants will be framed in such a way as to require the
locality to impose it, the result will be the same as if the Government itself imposed it.
Consequently a method of calculation which will treat all localities alike must be devised.
The preceding section has taken the position that land should not, in general, be
accorded special treatment because of the purpose for which it is used. Unfortunately,
the adoption of this principle does not completely clarify the situation. Land, as defined
in the " Taxation Act," includes improvements, and the treatment of these varies
greatly both within and without the municipalities. In unorganized territory on farm
land all improvements are exempt, but on other land they are taxed on 100 per cent. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 51
of their assessed value. Municipalities may exempt improvements entirely or may tax
them on any fraction of their value up to 75 per cent.* In practice thirty-one out of
the sixty-one municipalities tax improvements at 50 per cent., four at over 50 per cent.,
five exempt improvements entirely, and the remaining twenty-one use various percentages below 50.
It is not proposed to tackle here the thorny problem of to what extent, if any,
improvements should be taxed in municipalities. The question which concerns the
Provincial Government at this point is one of distribution among municipalities rather
than taxation policy within a given municipality, which has traditionally been a matter
of local choice.
Where the Provincial Government levies a tax at a certain rate, it is to the advantage of the taxpayers to seek exemptions. For example, the " Taxation Act " sets a
rate of 5 mills on farm land in unorganized areas. Naturally the owners of farm land
will seek to have part or all of their improvements exempted, for the result will be a
decrease in the tax they pay. For that matter they would be glad to have part or all
of their land exempted from the operation of the tax. In other words, when the amount
of the tax can vary, but the rate of the tax is fixed, exemptions are to no one's
disadvantage.
It is quite otherwise when the total tax is fixed and the rate can vary. Let us
illustrate by a specific example, purposely over-simplified. Assume a rural school
district, entirely agricultural, consisting of one large farm and twenty small ones.
The large farm is assessed at $50,000, two-fifths of this representing land and three-
fifths being improvements. Each of the small farms has $2,000 of land and $500 of
improvements. The total assessment of the district is then $100,000, and if it is
desired to raise $600 for the school the rate required is 6 mills.    Thus:—
Land. Improvements. Total.
One large farm  $20,000 $30,000 $50,000
Twenty small farms     40,000 10,000 50,000
Total   $60,000 $40,000        $100,000
Tax rate = 6 mills.    Payments:   Large farm, $300;   small farms
(each), $15.
If improvements were exempt, the rate necessary on the $60,000 of land assessment
would be 10 mills. The tax payments would then be $200 for the large farm and $20
for each of the small farms. In other words, when the amount to be raised is fixed
($600 in this case), the complete or partial exemption of improvements favours taxpayers whose assessment of improvements is large relative to their assessment
for land, and works to the disadvantage of those whose land is high relative to
improvements.
The example given illustrates the result of section 2 of the " Taxation Act Amendment Act, 1944," which exempted all improvements on farm land outside the municipalities rather than the $1,500 only which had been exempted before the passing of this
statute. The amount by which the Provincial revenue suffers is not great—about
$25,000 annually—but the effect in any school district containing farms with improvements valued at more than $1,500 is to throw some of the burden of school costs from
those farms on to those of lower value, as in our example. The large farm profits in
two ways: it pays less Provincial tax—almost $150 annually in the illustration;f it also
pays less of the total local school tax. About the first there is some resentment, for
many of the more valuable " farms " are not really farms at all, being country estates
run by city dwellers.    These estates qualify as farm land under the Act as they contain
* The legal limit in Vancouver is 50 per cent.
t Five mills on the amount by which $30,000 exceeds the previous exemption of $1,500, or $142.50. P 52 PROPERTY TAXATION AND ASSESSMENT.
2 acres under cultivation. About the second there is even more resentment; the great
majority of farmers gain little or nothing in relief from Provincial taxes, as their
improvements are worth little, if any, more than $1,500, but their local school tax is
increased by the complete exemption of improvements.
It is therefore no more than common sense to recommend that an attempt be made
to frame a more realistic definition of farm land, one which will exclude those who are
not bona-fide farmers, and that improvements on farm land in unorganized areas be
made taxable, at least in part, for school purposes.
THE UNIVERSITY HILL SCHOOL DISTRICT.
A special case of exemption is found in the University Hill School District.
Improvements (in this case largely residences) are not taxed on the University
Endowment Lands, although they are estimated to be worth nearly three times as
much as the land now taxed for local school purposes. The assessment per teacher,
being based on land only, is low and the district receives high per-teacher grants.
Also, the district receives the other special aid given to rural school districts. Partly
as a result, this area is undertaxed for school purposes relative to similar districts
elsewhere. Although the district pays teachers' salaries on the Vancouver scale, its
tax rate for schools is only 12 mills on land alone, or about 5% mills on land and
50 per cent, of improvements.
It is therefore strongly recommended that grants for this district be calculated
in the same manner as those for other districts in the Province; that is, on land and
75 per cent, of improvements.
This exhausts the list of discrepancies which have come to the attention of this
Commission. If there are other, the principle of uniform treatment should be applied
to them also.
TAX RATE FOR THE PROPOSED BASIC OR
PROVINCIAL PROGRAMME.
The proposed Provincial programme will cost in the neighbourhood of $8,000,000
per year, and towards its support local taxes should contribute about $3,250,000
annually. The base for the raising of this tax is the total assessment of the Province,
as estimated in Table XXXII. The table is based on 1943 statistics for the municipalities* and 1944 figures for the unorganized territories^ these being the latest
available at time of writing. In any case, assessments change but little from one year
to the next. The assessments given would obviously be changed by the supervision of
assessments suggested earlier. It is the writer's opinion, for what it is worth, that
the total assessment in the Province would not be revised downward by the supervision.
Two other considerations prompt the belief that the totals given are probably conservative. For one thing, personal property is not here included, and while the personal
property tax as such should be abolished, some of the assessment should be included
under a new definition of improvements for school purposes. The other is that it may
be possible to adopt the suggestion that some exemptions from school taxation now
extended be removed.
* As in Municipal Report, 1943.
t Information furnished by the Surveyor of Taxes, Department of Finance. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 53
Table XXXII. Assessment in British Columbia.
Municipalities— Land. Improvements.
Cities  (except Vancouver)—,     $48,112,000 $93,600,000
Vancouver      111,205,000 200,266,000
District municipalities  :___      52,375,000 112,842,000
Total municipal assessment  $211,692,000        $406,708,000
Unorganized territory—
Extra-municipal areas—
Cities       $3,213,000 $3,797,000
Districts   541,000 988,000
Total, extra-municipal        $3,754,000 $4,785,000
In school districts—
Farm land  $34,039,000 $16,470,000
Improved land   12,050,000 33,200,000
Wild land  1,086,000        	
Timber land  4,525,000        	
Coal land " A "  1,193,000        	
Coal land " B "  116,000        	
$53,009,000 $49,670,000
Outside school districts—
Farm land  $10,782,000 $4,800,000
Improved land   2,800,000 7,800,000
Wild land   1,690,000       	
Timber land  9,320,000        	
Coal land " A "  714,000       	
Coal land " B "  548,000        	
$25,854,000 $12,600,000
Total, unorganized territory     $82,617,000 $67,055,000
Total assessment for the Province $294,309,000        $473,763,000
If land only were to be the measure of local resources, the local tax required would
be at the rate of something like 11 mills. If 100 per cent, of improvements were to be
included the local rate would be less than 4% mills. Let us look at the farm land in
school districts in unorganized territory. If improvements were exempt, this land
would represent 34 out of 294 millions of dollars or a little over one-ninth of the total
assessment in the Province. To the Provincial programme it would therefore contribute, in taxes on itself, about $360,000 annually. If all improvements were included,
it would constitute about 50 of the total of 768 millions, about one-fifteenth, and hence
would be responsible for only about $220,000 per year.
The fraction of improvements to be taxed is a matter of opinion. However, since
municipalities (except Vancouver) are now allowed to tax any fraction of the value of
improvements up to 75 per cent., since over one-half of them now tax 50 per cent, or P 54 PROPERTY TAXATION AND ASSESSMENT.
more of improvements, since improved land in unorganized territory is now taxed at
100 per cent, of its value, and since the inclusion of improvements in this case would
benefit farm land, it is assumed for the remainder of this report, that grants are to be
arrived at on the basis of a local tax on land and 75 per cent, of improvements. On this
basis, a rate of 5 mills would produce a little less than $3,250,000 a year.
All this does not mean that a municipality, for instance, must use land plus 75 per
cent, of improvements as a base for its local school taxes. The amount of the local
contribution to the Provincial programme will be determined on this basis, but it may
raise this amount on any basis it pleases.
MINIMUM TAXES.
Section 63 (3) of the " Public Schools Act" gives to a municipal council the power
to fix a minimum property tax for school purposes. It may also direct parents who own
no property to pay taxes of at least this amount and up to one-half as much again.
Further, it may order that every adult male or female or both who owns no property be
similarly treated.
Section 122 (1) gives the same powers to the Board of School Trustees of a rural
school district, provided the voters approve, but limits the amount of the minimum
property tax to $5 and the amount of the tax payable by non-property-owners to $7.50.
These minimum taxes do not appear to be widely used. Many districts consider
them impracticable. However, they do appear to have been imposed with success in
some cases.
To the objection that they make the adult son or daughter living at home pay,
although his parents may be already heavily taxed for school purposes, the rejoinder
may be made that the amount is not likely to be greatly burdensome and, in any case,
the statute does not require non-parents to be taxed in this way. The same answer
applies to the argument that it is undesirable to tax needy old persons such as
pensioners.
Of course, non-property-owners do tend to pay property taxes in rent. But the
process of shifting which has this result is not as certain in rural areas, where the
minimum taxes are most likely to be imposed, as in urban areas. Moreover, there are
some persons, often parents, who live on property not reached by taxes. House-boats,
fishing-boats, and Government Experimental Farms are examples. For these reasons,
and for the reason that the imposition of minimum taxes is entirely a matter of local
option, these sections of the Act are commended to the attention of local bodies.
In rural areas school taxes other than those on property must be collected by
local persons. Since this may lead to friction, it has been suggested that they be
collected by the Provincial Collectors. As there are many difficulties in the way of
such an arrangement, particularly where the Provincial Collector has a large area to
cover, no more can be done here than call the suggestion to the attention of the
Government.
There does not seem to be any very good reason why rural districts should be
limited to a minimum property tax of $5 or a minimum school tax for non-property-
owners of $7.50. The amounts may be safely left to local decision, and the Government
will therefore be requested to consider the possibility of removing these limits.
RECOMMENDATIONS.
1. That an agency for the supervision and equalization of assessments both within
and without the municipalities be established in the Province.
2. That the personal property tax as such be discontinued, but that some of the
property concerned remain taxable under a more comprehensive definition of improvements in the " Taxation Act." COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 55
3. That the exemptions now extended to coal-mining and other mining property
be removed, or, failing this, that special grants be made to the school districts adversely
affected by these exemptions.
4. That an attempt be made to frame a more realistic definition of farm land, and
that improvements be made taxable, at least in part, for school purposes.
5. That grants to the University Hill School District be calculated on the basis of
land plus 75 per cent, of improvements.
6. That grants be such as to require a property tax throughout the Province of
5 mills on land and 75 per cent, of improvements.
7. That consideration be given to the possibility of removing the limits of $5 and
$7.50 to the minimum taxes provided for in section 122 (1) of the " Public Schools Act." CHAPTER VI.
THE GRANT SYSTEM.
THE SALARY GRANT.
Of the $3,173,000 distributed in grants in the school-year 1943-44, over $2,300,000,
or about 72 per cent., represented the so-called salary grant, provided for in sections
18 and 19 of the " Public Schools Act." The grant is based on " schedules of standard
basic salaries " prepared and authorized by the Council of Public Instruction. The
number of teachers in respect of which grant is paid is as prescribed in section 145 of
the Act and will receive attention later. When the schedule was first proposed, a fairly
comprehensive salary schedule was contemplated. However, the committee appointed
to prepare such a schedule failed to agree, and the Government prescribed only these
minima:—
For teachers in elementary schools    $780
For teachers  in junior high  schools,  principals  of superior
schools, nurses, and dentists*  1,100
For teachers in high schools  1,200
In  1933  when  these minima  came  into force,  they had  some  relation  to  existing
conditions.
The grant is also related to local taxable resources, these being defined as the
assessed value of land and 75 per cent, of taxable improvements in cities and district
municipalities,! and the assessed value of " property " in rural districts. This includes
taxable land (including improvements) and personal property. From the time of the
institution of this grant until 1944 the 1935 assessments were used. At present salary
grants are based on 1943 assessments.
To illustrate the operation of the salary grant let us take the grant for elementary
school teachers in a rural district or district municipality. The grant per teacher is
the amount of the basic salary less an amount equalling the yield of a tax rate of 1 mill,r(:
divided by the number of teachers, thus:—
Grant per teacher = $780— 1 mill X assessment
number of teachers
or
Total elementary grant = $780 X number of teachers — product of 1 mill.
Similarly,  high  school  teachers,  for whom the basic salary  is  $1,200  and the
required rate is 1% mills, draw grant as follows:—
Total high school grant = $1,200 X number of high school teachers
— product of 1% mills.
Also:
Total junior high school grant = $1,100 X number of junior high
school teachers — product of 1 mill.
Hence:
Total salary grant = Elementary teachers   X $780
Junior high teachers X 1,100
Senior high teachers X 1,200
minus product of 3% mills.
* Grants for  nurses and dentists  are now paid by the  Health  Branch of the Department of the  Provincial
Secretary.
t Including extra-municipal areas.
t In cities the rate is lVi mills.
56 COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 57
The grant cannot exceed $680, $800, or $900 for elementary, junior high, and high
school teacher respectively. The grant for a high school teacher must be at least $25
and $75 more than for a junior high and elementary teacher, respectively, in the same
district. The grant for a junior high school teacher must exceed that for an elementary
school teacher in the same district by $50.
These provisions may be summarized thus:—
Teacher.
Basic
Salary.
Tax Rate
deducted.
Maximum
Grant.
Minimum Grant.
High school ___._   	
Junior high   —  ]
Superior school principal _ _______ (
Elementary school (cities) _ _._.
Elementary school (non-city) 	
$1,200
1,100
780
780
Mills.
1%
1%
1
$900
Must exceed elementary by $75 ;
junior high by $25.
Must exceed elementary by $50.
$305.
Before pointing out the many defects of this grant scheme, we should emphasize
that the principle behind it is sound and should be retained. This principle is to make
available everywhere in the Province a standard or fixed or basic school programme
at a uniform local tax rate. Every district levies a tax of 1 mill* for its elementary
school. The Government grants to each district the difference between the yield of
this 1 mill and $780. Thus, every district is guaranteed $780 per teacher by imposing
on itself a tax of 1 mill. The $780 is therefore equalized or made everywhere available
on the basis of a uniform tax rate.
There are, of course, few details of the scheme which can not be criticized, and
criticized severely, but the fundamental idea or principle is sound.
The local tax required is the exact equivalent of a Provincial tax on property for
school purposes. The Government might grant to a district $780 for each of its
elementary school teachers. For a number of reasons, the chief of which is the limited
sum of money it has available, it does not do so, but grants instead the difference
between $780 and the local yield of a 1-mill tax. The result is the same as if the
Government granted the $780 and itself levied the tax.+
An examination of this method of apportioning grants shows that it is decidedly
more beneficial to the poor than to the wealthy school district if the total Government
funds for grants are limited. Suppose that the Government has $1,000,000 to be used
for the support of 1,000 class-rooms, and that circumstances are such that an adequate
schooling cannot be provided for less than $1,500 per class-room. Let us compare
a district with an assessment of $25,000 per teacher with another of assessment of
$250,000 per teacher.
One method of distributing the $1,000,000 would be to allow $1,000 to each of the
1,000 teachers. The poor district in this case would have to levy 20 mills to raise the
extra $500 necessary, while the rich one would need to levy only 2 mills.
If the grant were $1,500 per room less the product of 4 mills, the poor district
would receive $1,400 and the rich one $500. Each upon levying 4 mills would be able
to spend $1,500 per room.
Of course, if there were no limit to the Government's money for grants, it could
give each district $1,500, and no local tax would be necessary. But if it cannot do this,
a grant based on the subtraction of a local tax can distribute the total grant money
so as to obtain the maximum equalization possible.
* 1^4 mills in cities.
t Except that in a few rural districts the 1 mill would raise more than $780 per teacher. P 58
GRANT SYSTEM.
DEFECTS OF THE SALARY GRANT.
SALARY COSTS.
One of the most serious criticisms of the salary grants is the fact that the basic
salaries prescribed are very far below the salaries actually paid in recent years.
Most large school districts pay their teachers according to schedules which allot to
even the beginning teacher salaries well in excess of those prescribed, and which
frequently provide for maxima for experienced teachers twice as high as these salaries
fixed for grant. Indeed the Government has itself fixed new minimum salaries for
rural districts* at a much higher level than these, and has provided " Supplementary
Aid " to enable these districts to pay them. Now except for the assistance of the
Supplementary Aid and the Supplementary Salary Grants, both described below, local
resources must bear the whole cost of salaries beyond the minima. This burden is
spread so unevenly and has been increasing so steadily that it has become one of the
major causes of the present intense dissatisfaction.
OTHER CURRENT EXPENSES.
The bulk of the expense of a school system arises in the payment of teachers and
the necessity of making other expenditures closely connected with the provision of
instruction. Some millions of dollars must be spent each year in the schools of our
Province on heating, lighting, cleaning, supplies, etc. There are only few qualifications
necessary to the statement that these items of costs receive no consideration in the
grant system. They are quite unequalized, bearing with greatly differing weights on
local resources, so that some localities must impose high tax rates in order to provide
even the most meagre of services, while others have little difficulty in making a fairly
rich provision. Equalization can hardly be hoped for from a grant system which takes
no account of these unavoidable expenditures.
MAXIMUM GRANTS.
It will be  recalled that the yearly grant for  an  elementary  school  teacher  in
a non-city school is $780 minus the product of a 1-mill tax, the maximum grant being
For example:—
(1)
Assessment per Teacher.
(2)
Standard
Salary.
(3)
Product per
Teacher of
One-mill Tax.
Difference
(2)-(3).
Grant.
$780
780
780
780
780
780
$300
200
100
90
50
10
$480
580
680
690
730
770
$480
200 000                             _~ 	
100 000                                                                     	
90 000                              	
50 000                                         	
10,000         ._                --	
In other words, all districts with assessment below $100,000 per elementary school
teacher are treated alike for grant purposes.f When we couple this with the fact that
four-fifths of rural one-room districts have assessments below $100,000,t it is easily
seen why these grants fail to equalize even the impossibly low sum of $780 per elementary school teacher. The high school maximum of $900 and the junior high school
maximum of $800 have the result of treating alike all districts with assessments below
* To go into effect September, 1945.
t Or $80,000 per teacher in cities.
t See Table XXVII., Chapter III. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 59
$240,000 per high school teacher and $300,000 per junior high school teacher. Tables
XXXIIL, XXXIV., and XXXV. show the distribution of the salary grants in 1943-44.
The Supplementary Aid and Supplementary Salary Grants have the effect of raising
the maxima, particularly in rural districts, where they are most oppressive. However,
the tables indicate that maxima, unless very generous, cannot fail to affect many poor
districts adversely.
From the foregoing discussion the conclusion emerges that there is no room for
maxima in a system of equalization grants.
MINIMUM GRANTS.
The minimum grant for an elementary school teacher is $305. The minimum
grants for the high school teachers and for junior high school teachers or principals
of superior schools are respectively $75 and $50 more than the elementary grants in the
same district. That is, if the grant for an elementary school teacher is the minimum
of $305, the high and junior high minima are $355 and $380.    If the elementary grant
Table XXXIIL   Salary Grants for Elementary School Teachers, 1943-44.
Grants.
Number of Districts.
Rural.
Cities.
Districts.
331
64
45
39
10
10
8
3
2
15
6
1
6
8
7
3
1
1
1
650-$679                                                    -	
4
600- 649         _ _ - -	
7
4
500- 549                                __   -   	
6
450    499                                                                                    -                   	
400- 449                             - -    - -   	
350- 399           :   -  	
1
306- 349                                                               - - —-
1
305   (minimum)   —_   - .....
527
680
33
578
24
Medians   _ _ _     	
600
Table XXXIV.
Salary Grants for Junior High School Teachers, 1943-44.
Grants.
Number op Districts.
Rural.
Cities.
Districts.
4
1
1
1
2
4
1
2
3
3
2
1
1
2
750  $799      	
2
1
600    649                                                         	
1
550    549           —    _	
3
500    549 _ -  - -
450    499                                          —- -  	
400    449                  - - -  	
360- 399                                      	
9
17*
625
9
625
* One city in which the junior high school was not established until July, 1943, was omitted. P 60
GRANT SYSTEM.
Table XXXV.   Salary Grants for High School Teachers, 1943-44.
Number of districts.
Grants.
Rural.
Cities.
Districts.
22
6
6
2
1
3
2
2
1
5
5
5
5
2
6
2
4
1
1
1
4
1
3
650- 699                               _	
4
3
550- 599 ___ - 	
1
500- 549  	
450    499                                                                                   	
400- 449                          —   	
1
381- 399 _  -	
380   (minimum) - -   	
	
Totals    -	
50
875
32
775
17
Medians  - -     -	
694
is some larger sum (for example, $500) the high and junior high minima are correspondingly increased ($550 and $575). The minima are thus of two kinds: one absolute or irrespective of local wealth, and one relative or tied up with the elementary
grant.    Let us deal with these separately.
Reference to Tables XXXIIL, XXXIV., and XXXV. shows that there are not very
many districts in the Province earning only the minimum grants, but surely it is unjust
to subsidize unnecessarily even these few. There are school districts in British Columbia with large enough assessments to support their schools on a local tax of only 1, 2, or
3 mills.    Such districts should receive no school aid whatever.
RELATIVE MINIMA AND MULTIPLE DEDUCTIONS.
The relative minima are made necessary by what may be called for convenience
the " multiple deductions." The elementary grant is based on the yield of a 1-mill tax.
The junior high grant is based on the yield of an additional mill, and that for high
school teachers on the yield of a further 1% mills. One result is that as the assessment per high or junior high school class-room is usually much more than that per
elementary school class-room, the high or junior high grant per teacher would often
be less than that per elementary teacher, unless some kind of check were imposed.
If a district with $600,000 employs three elementary school teachers and one
superior school principal, its grant for each elementary teacher will be $780 less $200
or $580. Its grant for the superior school principal would be $1,100 less $600 or only
$500, in spite of the fact that the superior school principal draws a high salary. The
statute therefore lays down that the superior school principal grant shall be $50 more
than the elementary grant, or $630 in this case.
The result of these rules for relative minima is to tie the high, junior high, and
superior grants to the elementary grants in about half the localities which operate
more than one type of school. Such provisions are certainly necessary in the present
grant system.
The fact that a separate tax deduction must be made for each type of school may
also result in an actual decrease of grant in certain cases. If the school district taken
as an example above operated four elementary class-rooms, grants per teacher would
be $780 less $150 which is $630, or $2,520 all told.    If it operated three elementary and COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 61
one superior room, it would receive $630 and 3 X $580, or a total of $2,370. Thus it
would receive less grant although it was put to more expense and had the same tax
resources.
The problem raised by this double or triple deduction is fundamental. The deduction of the product of a local tax is exactly equivalent to the imposition of a Provincial
tax on local property. Should the Province, through its grant system, impose an extra
tax on communities which maintain high schools or junior and senior high schools or
superior schools in addition to that imposed for elementary schools?
There is something to be said for this extra deduction of local tax. The provision
of extra facilities does confer an extra benefit on the local community, and it may be
said that it is proper that the Province should require an extra local contribution to
help pay for them.
The logical implications of this proposition are, however, quite unacceptable. It
would imply that there should be no Provincial grants whatever for secondary schools.
It would imply that there should be no school taxation of property outside a school
district. Further it should be pointed out that localities maintaining secondary schools
already bear a local tax, sometimes heavy, for these schools.
For such reasons as these the grant arrangements proposed in this report provide
for only one local tax to help support the Provincial programme. All property in the
Province will pay this tax. The Government through its grants will supplement the
yield of this tax to an extent sufficient to provide a common programme of schooling,
freely available to all. If, for one of a number of reasons, a pupil attends school in a
community in which he does not reside or in which his parents do not own property, no
tuition fees will be payable on his account so long as his schooling is at the level of the
common programme. If it is above the level, he will be liable only for his share of
the excess.
TREATMENT OF JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLS.
When the salary grant was first established, it discriminated against communities
operating junior high schools. Since these schools include two grades which are taught
in the elementary schools of the traditional system, their introduction reduces the
number of elementary school teachers, and therefore usually the grant per teacher.
Of course, the grant per junior high school teacher is greater than that per elementary
school teacher, but since the number of junior high school teachers is less than the
number of elementary school teachers, the gain falls short of offsetting the loss. As a
result of a recommendation in the King Report* the " Public Schools Act " was amended
to allow the number of elementary teachers for grant purposes to include two-thirds of
the junior high school teachers of the same district.
The effect of this amendment cannot be foreseen in general as it depends on the
distribution of teachers among the grades, the application of the minima and maxima,
and the amount of the extra tax deduction for junior high schools. However, a study
of particular cases indicates that the amendment has achieved the purpose for which
it was intended; that is, that the total grant for a district operating junior high schools
is roughly the same as what it would receive if it maintained only elementary and
high schools.
The distinction between junior and senior high schools is in many cases quite
artificial anyhow. The two are frequently under one roof and one administration.
Their time-tables and staffs are often merged, so that some teachers work now in one,
now in the other. It is not uncommon for a teacher whose work is entirely in the
upper grades to be designated as a junior high teacher for grant purposes.
It might be wise to regard the two institutions if combined as one, avoiding the
cumbersome title of junior-senior high school by using " secondary school."
* H. B. King, School Finance in British Columbia, pp. 23-24. P 62
GRANT  SYSTEM.
NUMBER OF TEACHERS ALLOWED.
A system which apportions grants on the number of teachers employed or classrooms operated must regulate the number of teachers to be allowed for certain numbers
of students, else some districts will employ more teachers than others for a given number of students, and will therefore receive unfairly large grants. Section 145 of the
" Public  Schools  Act" prescribes  the  numbers  of teachers  for grant purposes  as
follOWS:  Pupils in Regular Teachers allowed for
Attendance. Grant Purposes.
Elementary schools       1-35 1
36-80 2
Over 80 One for each 40
or fraction of 40
Other schools (superior, junior high,
high)       1-25 1
26-50 2
51-80 3
80-120 4
Over 120 One for each 30
or fraction of 30
Teachers of home economics and industrial arts are added to those allowed under
the above scheme, and the Department also adds the principals of large schools.
In practice many classes are larger than those here laid down, because of the
shortage of teachers, limited accommodation, small classes in optional subjects, and
inadequate financial resources. There can be no question that the Department is on
solid ground in favouring a reduction in class size. At present, however, neither buildings nor the supply of teachers available is sufficient to enable the school system of the
Province to embark on an extensive programme of this nature. The present regulations do embarrass some small elementary schools, particularly those in isolated places.
It is very difficult to obtain a teacher to handle all eight grades for thirty-five pupils, or
two teachers to teach between them all the grades in a school of eighty youngsters.
It will therefore be recommended that, as a first step preliminary to a later programme
for the reduction of class size, the number of teachers allowed for grant purposes in
elementary schools be as follows:—
Pupils- Teachers.
1- 25   1
26- 75  2
76-120  3
Over 120  One for each 40 pupils
or fraction of that number
NON-RESIDENT PUPILS AND THE AMOUNT OF LOCAL ASSESSMENT.
There are a few places in the Province where a school district operates no schools
or no secondary schools of its own, but sends all of its pupils or all of its senior pupils
to a neighbouring district and pays fees for their tuition. This very sensible arrangement sometimes causes an unfair apportionment of grants. The district which receives
the pupils may require extra staff to handle them. Hence its assessment per teacher
is less and its grant per teacher is more than it would be if it handled only its own
children. In other words, it may appear for grant purposes to be poorer than in fact
it is.
There is no convenient way out of the problem thus presented. If we consider
combining the assessments of the two districts for grant calculation, we are at once COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 63
faced with facts that some districts send their pupils to more than one outside district,
and that some send only their senior pupils away for tuition. Again the receiving
district cannot say what its assessment per teacher really is, for it cannot determine
with any exactness which of its teachers are employed for the teaching of non-resident
pupils.
The difficulty will be aggravated if the idea of a standard Provincial programme
is accepted, and is one of the reasons—although not of course by any means the only
or most important one—why all parts of the Province should as far as possible belong
to a school district with schools in operation.
ASSESSMENT.
It is not necessary here to elaborate further on the statement of Chapter V. that
any system of equalization grants cannot be permanently satisfactory without a Provincial equalization of assessments.
SUPPLEMENTARY AID RE TEACHERS' SALARIES IN RURAL
SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
In the fiscal year 1943-44 the sum of $180,000 was appropriated to enable rural
school districts to pay increased salaries. The Province prescribed a scale for rural
teachers which commenced at $840 and increased by $60 per year to a maximum of
$1,140.    The grant was apportioned as follows:—
On assessment:
Assessment per Teacher. Grant per Teacher.
$40,000 or less   $195
40,001-$80,000            " 175
80,000-120,000 _,        "" 155
120,001-160,000  : ~_ 135
160,001-200,000   115
200,001-240,000  "_"" 95
240,001-280,000     _ 75
280,001-320,000  .S...1 55
Over $320,000  "" . ^u
On tax rate:
Tax Rate for School Purposes (Mills). Grant per Teacher.
8- 9.99   10
10-11.99   20
12-13.99   30
14-15.99   40
16-17.99   50
18-19.99  ~~ 60
And on each addition of 2 mills, a further grant of $10 per teacher.
The maximum supplementary aid was set at $225 per teacher.
Under these provisions well over one-half the rural schools receive grants per
teacher of $175 or more, and about three-quarters draw grants per teacher of over $150.
An additional $45,000 is to be apportioned in 1945-46 to enable rural school boards
to pay at least the following salaries:—
Elementary school teachers not holding permanent first-class
certificates     $1,100
Elementary school teachers holding permanent first-class certificates          1200
Junior high school teachers and principals of superior schools    1,400
High school teachers      1,500 GRANT SYSTEM.
This supplementary aid has been of great benefit to our rural schools. It has
helped where help was most needed, and has done much to mitigate the oppressiveness
of the maxima in the salary grant. It is, of course, a temporary measure only, and
should be unnecessary in a reorganized system of school finance.
SUPPLEMENTARY SALARY GRANTS.
For the fiscal year 1944-45 the amount of $344,000 was appropriated for supplementary salary grants. This appropriation was distributed to the districts on the
basis of 13.5 per cent, of the regular salary grants for the year. The grant is to be
repeated during 1945-46.
This aid, while undoubtedly beneficial, suffers from the same defects as the salary
grants upon which it is based, and hence it is to be regarded as an important temporary
measure.
SPECIAL ASSISTANCE IN THE COST OF EDUCATION.
In each of the fiscal years 1942-43 to 1945-46 the sum of $450,000 has been set
aside as a " Special Assistance in the Cost of Education." This has been distributed
as a fraction of the salaries paid in a chosen base month as follows:—
1942-43:   70 per cent, of the salaries paid in January, 1942, or approximately
7 per cent, of the salary cost in the school-year 1941-42.
1943-44:  70 per cent, of the salaries paid in February, 1943, or approximately
7 per cent, of the salary cost in the school-year 1942-43.
1944-45:  66% per cent, of the salaries paid in February, 1944, or approximately 6% per cent, of the salary cost in the school-year 1943-44.
1945-46:  60 per cent, of the salaries paid in February, 1945, or approximately
6 per cent, of the salary costs in the school-year 1944-45.
The opinion is widespread that this special assistance was intended to compensate
the school districts for the 7 per cent, of teachers' salaries which they were required to
pay towards pensions by the revision which became operative about the time these
grants were introduced.    However, there is no point in dwelling at length on a subject
which can arouse so much undesirable acrimony.    The simple fact is that this payment
towards pensions is exactly the kind of payment which the Provincial Government
itself should bear.    It is in no way controllable locally, being fixed by statute, and there
is no reason why it should be a charge on local revenues.    It will therefore be recommended that special assistance as such disappear and that the Government assume the
pension payments now borne by the local school districts.
Two points should be made here. The first is that the grants recommended in
this report are based on a standard local tax. If the grant were increased the local
rate could be lowered. The fact that the Government carries the load of pension payments means that it will pay a smaller amount in grants and that the tax rate required
is slightly higher than would otherwise have been necessary.
The second is that much time, effort, and confusion will be saved if the pension
payments are transferred from the school districts to the Provincial Government.
Instead of the Government calculating hundreds of payments and issuing hundreds of
cheques to local boards, and these boards calculating in turn other hundreds of payments and sending hundreds of cheques to the Superannuation Commission, the Government will merely transfer from time to time to the credit of the Commission
amounts to cover the required payments.
THE PLAN PROPOSED FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF GENERAL AID.
The Salary Grants, Supplementary Salary Grants, Supplementary Aid re Teachers'
Salaries in Rural School Districts, and the Special Assistance in the Cost of Education COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 65
are, so to speak, " general " grants. They absorb the great bulk of the Government's
grant money and are given for the general day-to-day costs of operating schools. It is,
therefore, appropriate here to discuss the arrangements which it is recommended
should replace them.
THE IMPERFECTIONS OF PERCENTAGE GRANTS.
A fairly common suggestion to this Commission was that the Province bear some
fraction over half of the total cost, but that the percentage chosen should vary from
district to district, according to local resources. It has already been demonstrated
that even the present grants amount to 80 or 90 per cent, of total expenditure in some
cases, and if the recommendations of this Commission are adopted, the grants received
by very poor districts will be increased rather than decreased. But that is a very
different thing from granting to poor districts .80 and 90 per cent, of local expenditures, however great these may be. If the residents knew that for every dollar they
raised the Government would contribute nine, all constraints leading to the prudent
handling of public money would be removed. Even if the percentage granted were
smaller, say 30 or 40 per cent., the temptation to increase expenditure would be indefensibly great in wealthy districts. Even without this spur, some districts now spend
on a level much higher than is possible for the Province as a whole. It is quite possible
that these districts should receive 30 or 40 per cent, of the expenditure which they now
make or even of those they are likely to make in future, but that is not to say that the
Province should be asked to underwrite expenditures incurred by a district, whatever
these may be.
The Government could, of course, fix standards of cost and rule that expenditure
to draw grant must not exceed certain amounts per pupil or per teacher. However, if
it is possible to arrive at cost standards which the Province considers fair and reasonable, they might better be supported by equalization grants, thus making them generally
available regardless of local wealth.
For these reasons this survey rejects the idea that all or even most Provincial aid
should be given through percentage grants. Nevertheless, this kind of grant should
have a place in our grant system. When an expenditure is made by some districts but
not all, when it is made not regularly but infrequently, or when the circumstances
which govern it vary so widely that cost standards cannot be arrived at, grants must
be on a percentage-of-expenditure basis. Even then the percentage granted should be
not unduly high, and the expenditures should be carefully scrutinized before being
accepted for grant.
MAIN ITEMS OF EXPENDITURE.
The main items of cost in our school system are as follows:—
(a.)  General administration of the system—Minister's
and General Office;   Text-book Branch;   Correspondence Schools;  Industrial Education Office;
Approximate
Inspection;    Normal  Schools;    School  for the Expenditure in
Deaf and the Blind;   Examination, curriculum 1943-44.
revision, summer school, etc  $510,000
(b.)  Contribution to Teachers' Pensions Fund  470,000
(c.)  Teachers' salaries  6,710,000
(d.)  Other current expenditures   (by School Boards),
including night-schools  2,733,000
(e.)  Debt charges (by districts)  ,  911,000
(/.)   School buildings (grants)   40,000
(g.)  Transportation   296,000
Total  $11,670,000 P 66
GRANT SYSTEM.
The Provincial Government now carries (a) and should carry (&).* Items (e)
and (/) are reserved for later reference. The continuous heavy expenditures occur
under (c) and (d), and to these let us now direct our attention.
A PROVINCIAL OR BASIC PROGRAMME OR ALLOWANCE.
The grant system should equalize, or make possible at a fixed tax rate, a large
proportion of the expenditures under these two headings. In other words, a basic or
Provincial programme which includes an allowance for salaries and one for other
current expenditures should be established, and the grant to each school district should
be the cost of this basic programme in the district less the amount which would be
raised by a tax of 5 mills on its land and 75 per cent, of its improvements.
NECESSITY OF A PROVINCIAL SALARY SCHEDULE.
Table XXXVI. shows that twenty-sixf of the thirty-three cities and seventeen of
the twenty-four district municipalities operating schools in 1944-45 paid their teachers
according to salary schedules. Moreover, most of those which did not were very small,
so that they employed a total of only 100 teachers. Since these figures were compiled
schedules have been agreed to by one city and two district municipalities (as well as
the newly consolidated district of Salmon Arm). This will leave only the cities of
Enderby, Greenwood, Merritt, Port Moody, and Slocan, and the district municipalities
of Coldstream, North Cowichan, Peachland, and Pitt Meadows, employing a total of
forty-five school teachers, without salary schedules for the forthcoming school-year.
It is clear, therefore, that the principle of salary schedules is accepted in the
municipalities.
Table XXXVI. Teachers' Salary Schedules in British Columbia,
June, 1945.
(Municipal Districts only.)
Having Schedules.
Not having Schedules.
Total.
No. of
Districts.
No. of
Teachers.
No. of
Districts.
No. of
Teachers.
No. of
Districts.
No. of
Teachers.
Cities -	
26
17
2,234
870
7
7
49
57
33
24
2,283
927
Totals	
43
3,104
14
106
57
3,210
Schedules are in operation in many of the larger rural school districts. However,
by far the larger number of these districts are too small for an adequate schedule.
Under the existing circumstances it requires even in the average district about 1 mill
on the tax rate to provide $50-increments for its staff. In many districts a much
higher rate would be required. The median difference between minimum and maximum
salaries on schedules in operation in municipalities is $675 in the elementary schools.
It is obvious, therefore, that it is completely beyond the financial ability of the small
rural district to pay increments to its teachers in the same amounts as do municipal
districts. The same condition is noted in some of the smaller municipalities. Surely
one effect of our recommendations should be to make it possible for these districts to
offer teachers something like the inducements now offered by municipal school districts.
* If the Special Assistance grants are considered as applicable to these payments, it already carries almost
all of (5).
t Port Coquitlam has no schedule for its two high school teachers. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 67
In short, grants for salaries should take account of the fact that salaries do vary
with experience and qualifications, and we can hardly quarrel with this, as it is in
harmony with all modern tendencies in the remuneration of public servants.
Nevertheless, let it be admitted frankly that this Commission would gladly avoid
a Provincial salary schedule if it could conscientiously do so. In its opinion, however,
such a schedule must be recommended, not necessarily because it is desirable in itself,
but because a sound system of school finance for the Province cannot be constructed
otherwise.
If the typical school district in British Columbia could employ a large number of
teachers, a salary allowance on a per-pupil basis might be feasible. If, for example,
the Province were willing to accept for grant calculation a level of salaries which
would average, say, $40 per elementary pupil and $60 per secondary pupil, an allowance
of these amounts to a district employing 200 teachers would be sound enough for all
practical purposes. Such a district would ordinarily have on its staff teachers at
several different levels of experience, so that its teaching body was reasonably representative of that of the whole Province. Grants of the amounts stated would therefore
probably give the district about the amount which the Province would be willing to
allow for that particular group of teachers.
Consider now a district with only a few teachers. Grants of $40 and $60 per
pupil might easily produce salaries much more or much less than what would be fair
for the teachers concerned. And this is the typical case. Even the rather drastic
reorganization of school districts proposed in the next chapter will leave about three-
quarters of the districts employing fewer than fifty teachers each, and only one, Vancouver, with over 200. Where the number of teachers per district is smallish, the
salary allowance should vary with the experience of teachers, which is to say that
a Provincial salary scale is desirable.
PURPOSE OF THE SCALE PROPOSED.
The fundamental purpose of the schedule proposed must be to provide for an
equitable distribution of school costs. Its primary purpose is not to ensure that the
teachers of the Province are rewarded adequately. It can be argued with cogency
that even the highest scale in the Province to-day—that of Vancouver—is inadequate
from some points of view. It can also be argued with equal cogency that the payment
of salaries everywhere according to this scale is beyond the means of the Province.
Such arguments, although interesting and important, are not entered into here, because
they do not fall within the scope of this inquiry, which is empowered to make recommendations concerning the distribution of costs, rather than what the expenditures
should be.
Nevertheless, the distribution of costs cannot be completely dissociated from their
amount. Any increase in Government grants is likely to result in increased expenditures by the local districts. Moreover, if the Provincial salary scale were grossly
inadequate, many districts would have to supplement it greatly, so that inequality in
tax rates would be nearly as great and inequality in local resources nearly as important
as ever. Again, a Province-wide scale will obviously result in greater expenditure on
salaries, unless it is very low indeed.
It follows that the salary scales at present in use furnish an important source of
guidance in the formulation of a Provincial scale.
EQUAL PAY OF MEN AND WOMEN.
There is in the Province a heated controversy as to whether or not women should
receive the same pay as men for work on the same level. Since strong arguments
support both sides of this question, an answer satisfying to all has not yet been
formulated.    However, the controversy must be regarded as irrelevant as far as the P 68
GRANT SYSTEM.
construction of a Provincial salary schedule is concerned. Public opinion in favour
of equal pay for men and women is so strong that it would not be reasonable to ask
the Provincial Government to enter the arena against it.
The School Boards should, of course, continue to be perfectly free to adopt staffing
and salary policies which seem proper to them.
ZONING.
A number of the best briefs presented at the hearings, including the excellent
submission of the British Columbia School Trustees' Association, suggested a Provincial salary scale adjusted according to zones; that is, a scale which would pay different
salaries in different parts of the Province. It is suggested later that a modest bonus
might well be paid to the teachers in the very isolated portions of the Province. Beyond
that, it is regretted that it is not possible to follow this particular suggestion.
If equalization is to rule our system of school finance, it would be illogical for the
Province to subsidize higher salary scales in the larger cities than elsewhere. Indeed,
if zoning were adopted, a good case could be made out for placing these cities in the
lowest rather than the highest zone.
CREDIT FOR EXPERIENCE.
It is the view of this inquiry that a Province-wide schedule should allow full credit
for experience gained anywhere in the Province. The less desirable places in which
to work would be greatly handicapped if experience gained in these localities were not
allowed to count elsewhere. Table XXXVII. confirms the common belief of a flow of
experienced teachers towards the municipalities. In part this is for practical purposes
unavoidable, as it is part of the general movement of workers from country to city.
It is probable that even a high salary differential would not have arrested or reversed
this movement. Certainly, however, a Provincial salary scale should encourage
teachers to remain in rural districts by allowing them to carry their experience with
them when they move.
Table XXXVII. Experience of Teachers in British Columbia.
(On the basis of data available.)
Elementary School Teachers.
(No. of Years.)
City.
District.
Rural.
Total.
62
47
60
65
37
39
46
36
40
33
25
20
36
30
37
50
47
35
40
36
398
7-7
63
69
37
16
19
27
19
15
6
13
13
8
12
10
12
16
16
11
10
90
282
144
73
51
34
34
39
24
22
17
18
11
24
17
15
7
9
7
8
6
47
421
1                _	
254
2                  	
192
3                            _	
153
4                                 	
87
5                   	
92
6    __ .                  	
112
7             	
79
8                 	
77
9         _     -
56
10                       '	
11 :	
44
12 	
13                         	
59
14    	
15	
16 _	
17	
58
59
52
535
18	
19  	
20 or more 	
Totals.- ___ _	
1,219
14.9
549
6.1
889
3.9
2,657
7.2
Medians —	 COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 69
A REVIEW OF PRESENT PRACTICES.
As has been said earlier the construction of a schedule which has as its chief
purpose the equitable distribution of costs must pay great attention to the schedules
at present in use. Let us look at these here, for simplicity's sake confining our attention
to the municipalities, where most of the scales are found, and where the great bulk of
the salary cost is incurred. In calling attention to Table XXXVIIL, which deals with
minimum salaries, we must bear in mind that partly because of an effort to meet the
new minima fixed by the Government ($1,100*, $1,400, $1,500, for elementary, junior
high, and senior high school teachers respectively), many of the scales carrying
the lowest minima are either now being revised or promise to be revised within the
coming school-year. If it is remembered that one aim of a Provincial scale must be
to be characteristic of a fairly large number of districts and to provide for the bulk of
salary costs in many others, the conclusion that the Provincial minima might well be
$1,000, $1,200, and $1,300 seems reasonable.
Table XXXIX. deals with maxima. In spite of the great range, maxima round
$1,650, $2,000, and $2,150 seems defensible. The junior high maxima lose some of
their significance because many teachers in the systems affected are promoted to
senior high when they reach or approach the junior high maxima.f
Table XXXVIIL Minimum Salaries:): in Municipal School District
Schedules, 1944-45.
Elementary.
Junior High.
High.
Minimum Salary.
No. of
Districts.
No. of
Teachers. §
No. of
Districts.
No. of
Teachers. §
No. of
Districts.
No. of
Teachers. §
14
11
20
2
5
5
75
440
503
18
826
47
2
6
1
5
6
1
2
2
3
5
134
15
72
94
15
14
21
178
10
5
i
15
1
7
1
7
1
1
26
$1,000-$1,049                  	
1,050    1,099                   _'	
1,100- 1,149-                  - 	
1,150    1,199 .                	
1,200    1,249                              	
111
1,250- 1,299. —-  	
15
1,300- 1,349               - 	
158
1,350- 1,399                 .            -
3
1,400- 1,449   	
66
1,450- 1,499                            '
5
1,500- 1,549.. 	
348
1,560    1,599                                            	
12
1,700- 1,749             -
9
Totals                	
57
$1
1,909
026
28
SI
548
308
49
$1
753
345
* $1,200 for teachers with permanent first-class certificate.
f Many of the recently negotiated schedules make no distinction between junior and senior high school teachers.
% Where the minimum for women is below that for men, the former is taken.
§ These are, of course, not the number of teachers at the salaries stated, but the number on the schedules which
have these minima. P 70
GRANT SYSTEM.
Table XXXIX.
Maximum* Salaries in Municipal School District
Schedules, 1944-45.
Maximum Salary.
Elementary.
No. of
Districts.
No. of
Teachers.!
Junior High.
No. of
Districts.
No. of
Teachers.t
High.
No. of
Districts.
No. of
Teachers.!
No schedule ...
$1,300-$1,349 _
1,500- 1,549 _
1,550- 1,599 _
1,600- 1,649 _
1,650- 1,699 _
1,700- 1,749 -
1,750- 1,799-
1,800- 1,849.
1,850- 1,899 _
1,900- 1,949 .
1,950- 1,999-
2,000- 2,049-
2,050- 2,099-
2,100- 2,149 .
2,150- 2,199 _
2,200- 2,249-
2,250- 2,299.
2,300- 2,349.
2,350- 2,399 _
2,400- 2,449 -
2,450- 2,499-
2,500- 2,549-
2,550- 2,599 -
2,600- 2,649 -
2,650- 2,699-
2,700- 2,759-
2,800- 2,899 .
2,900- 2,999 -
3,000- 3,099 -
3,100- 3,199-
3,600- 3,699-
Totals._
Medians (by districts) _
1
2
19
2
2
2
2
2
6
1
57
490
26
30
21
58
30
88
109
59
763
1,909
$1,637
36
49
27
28
7
49
26
6
21
32
22
73
159
$2,166
I	
6
7
84
3
55
5
4
49
33
74
21
18
34
33
296
753
$2,196
* When all maximum salaries for men exceed those for women, only the former are recorded here. In the few
cases where extra allowances are made for married men or for teachers with dependents, the extra allowances are
neglected.    So too are payments for special qualifications and cost-of-living bonus.
f Not the number of teachers at this salary, but the number on schedules with these maxima. COMMISSION OP INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 71
Tables XL. and XLI. show the ranges and numbers of increments in the schedules
under review.
Table XL. Range between Minimum and Maximum in Salary Schedules of
Municipal School Districts.
Range.
Elementary.
Junior High.
High.
$400- $499  -   -
2
6
20
7
4
1
2
1
1
1
6
2
5
4
2
2
2
1
1
500-   599        	
600-   699                                 	
1
7
700-   799     __ _ _          _ _	
800-   899    	
900-   999 _.                                                	
4
10
3
1,000-1,099             	
7
1,100-1,199            	
1
1,200-1,299..                                      -     _	
1
1,300-1,399 _ _    	
1
1,400-1,499    _                          _             _ _           _ ._ .
1
1,500-1,599      _                                         	
1
1,600-1,699 - _ _	
2,100-2,199                _     	
1
Totals         	
43
$675
26
$860
39
Medians : 	
$865
Table XLI. Number of Increments in Salary Schedules of Municipal
School Districts.
No. of Increments.
Elementary.
Junior High.
High.
6   —   	
2
7
8
5
7
6
5
2
1
1
1
5
4
2
6
1
2
2
2
1
7         _____ _  	
8                .   ...                     	
5
9                                                    	
3
10
5
11
12    	
14
13      	
14
5
15
4
16    __
17     _     	
20            '    '	
1
21   ____  - 	
1
Totals         _     	
43
9.4
$71.81
26
11.5
$74.78
39
12.1
$71.48
* Range divided by number of increments. P 72
GRANT SYSTEM.
THE SCHEDULE PEOPOSED.
The following Provincial salary schedule is suggested :-
Summary.
Elementary.
Junior High.
High.
Minimum    -    	
$1,000
650
1,650*
9
72.22
IX  50
3X100
5X   60
$1,200
810
2,010
11
73.63
IX  50
4X100
6X  60
$1,300
870
2,170
12'
72.50
IX  50
4X100
7X  60
* Reached only by teachers holding first-class or higher certificates.
The Schedule.
Year of
Teaching.
Elementary.
Junior High.
High.
Years of Experience.
Second-class or
Higher
Certificate.
Academic A or
B Certificate
or Equivalent.
Academic A
Certificate or
Equivalent.
Interim certificate—
0_  	
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
9th
10th
11th
12th
13th
$1,000
1,050
1,150
1,250
1,350
1,410
1,470
$1,200
1,250
1,350
1,450
1,550
1,650
1,710
1,770
1,830
1,890
1,950
2,010
$1,300
1,350
1,450
1,550
1,650
1,750
1,810
1    	
Permanent certificate—■
2 _	
3
4                               	
5	
6 .   .   -          -              	
7  	
8  	
1st Class or
Higher.
1,530
1,590
1,650
1,870
1,930
1,990
2,050
2,110
2,170
9 —
10 _	
11  ___   _	
Notes.
1. Grants for teachers holding temporary or third-class certificates to be the
minima only.
2. Maximum grant for teachers holding second-class certificates in the elementary
school to be based on a salary of $1,470.
3. Teacher whose interim certificate is not made permanent after two years of
experience to proceed no further on the scale until a permanent certificate is isssued
to him. This should apply only to the first certificate; e.g., the holder of a permanent
first-class certificate should not necessarily start at the high school minimum if his
Academic A certificate is interim.
4. Specialist certificates and other qualifications to be equated to the general
certificates.
5. Inspectors to have the power to withhold increments. It is hoped that Inspectors will exercise this power unhesitatingly when the circumstances justify it. COMMISSION OP INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 73
6. Policies regarding teachers who transfer from one type of school to another
to be formulated.
7. Grants for principals of superior schools to be calculated on the elementary-
school scale plus a bonus.
8. For purposes of grant calculation, in the remainder of this chapter teachers
are to be assigned either to the salaries to which their experience, qualifications, and
positions entitle them, or to the salary next above that received during the preceding
school-year, whichever is lower. However, it is recognized that this procedure may
cause injustice where existing scales are low.
ALLOWANCE FOR PRINCIPALS AND OTHER POSTS OF
SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITY.
Another salary cost which all but the very smallest districts must meet is the
extra payment of principals and often vice-principals, counsellors, and coaches. The
extra payment for principals is usually at least $50 per room supervised. A small
allowance for these extra payments would not increase the cost of salaries a whit, but
would merely recognize the existence of a cost which all must meet. Hence it is
recommended that there be included in the scale an allowance for posts of special
responsibility of $1 per pupil in average attendance in all but one-room schools to be
distributed by the Boards in their discretion. It is recognized that this allowance is
very modest.
BONUS FOR ISOLATION.
The discussions at the public hearings, the examination of teachers' qualifications,
and the experience of Government officials all lead to the conclusion that School Boards
in the remote parts of the Province find it much more difficult and costly to obtain
teachers than do those in the more favoured localities. While it is not possible to take
account of this in a precise and unassailable fashion, the grant system should obviously
go some way in the direction of recognizing the condition. It is proposed that a bonus
of $100 per year be added to the scheduled salary of the teachers in these districts.
The areas concerned are best described in the chapter on school districts. Here let
us say that no municipal schools are included, and that most of the districts to be
specified lie in the northern part of the Province, although a very few others should
also qualify. Since the number of teachers in these districts totals 230, the annual
cost of the bonus would be $23,000.
NORMAL SCHOOL FACILITIES.
The difficulty of obtaining an adequate supply of trained teachers is in part caused
by the barriers which young people from the northern parts of the Province must overcome if they wish to attend normal schools. It has therefore been suggested that the
Government establish a normal school in the North. Since a further diffusion of
training facilities would not be in the interests of the good health of the school system,
and since prospective teachers from remote points benefit greatly from a few months
in a city, this suggestion cannot be accepted, and in fact should be strongly opposed.
It is suggested, however, that the Government might well give thought to a return
to the policy of paying the railway fares of normal-school students.
APPRAISAL OF THE SCALE.
It may be fairly claimed that this schedule falls somewhere around the middle of
the ground occupied by the many who have given thought to the problem of teachers'
salaries. Even the most parsimonious could hardly contend that this scale is too
generous, and it would not be difficult to find arguments to support the view that it is P 74
GRANT SYSTEM.
by no means generous enough, although the plan is to allow full credit for experience
wherever obtained.
However, such questions are to a large extent irrelevant. The primary purpose
of the Provincial salary scale is the equitable distribution of salary cost, and therefore
in so far as the two can be dissociated, the Provincial schedule should follow current
practice, not current practice the Provincial schedule.
ALLOWANCE FOR CURRENT EXPENDITURE.
The defect that the present grant system takes no account of salary expenditures
above the minima will be removed if the Provincial salary scale is inaugurated. The
defect that the system neglects other current expenditures* demands that an allowance
be made for these.
In order that School Boards will be encouraged to exercise reasonable prudence
in the spending of public money, the allowance should be at the amounts which
experience has demonstrated to be the minima for which schools can be operated,
leaving the districts to exceed these amounts at their own expense.
Let us now refer to Table X. on page 17, which details with these expenditures
in municipal school districts in 1943-44. We do not wish to cause embarrassment by
naming the municipalities concerned, and can only say that almost all the very low
expenditures are made in schools so small that expenditures per pupil have little
meaning.    If only schools with three or more class-rooms are considered, we have:—
Expenditure per Pupil in A.D.A. (to Nearest Dollar).
High.
Junior
High.
Elementary.
Under $10     	
1
1
1
1
$11	
9
12                     	
13                	
14       	
3
15               	
16
5
17                  -   _ _
5
18    ...        _    _	
19 	
2
20 _	
7
21     _  	
5
It is suggested that the allowance per pupil in average attendance for current
expense be $13, $17, and $20 a year in elementary, junior, and senior high schools
respectively.
It was said above that expenditures per pupil have little meaning in very small
schools. An allowance of $13 per pupil per year would give the typical one-room rural
school only about $150, but would give to the ordinary municipal school nearly $400
per class-room. In very small schools, expenditures depend to a large extent on the
number of class-rooms. Expenditures per pupil in these schools usually equal or exceed
those in the cities, but a school having ten pupils will be nearly as expensive as one
having twenty. A glance at Table XXIII., page 30, shows that current expenses per
class-room in rural schools are very much lower than in municipal schools. Since the
average attendance in municipal elementary schools is almost exactly thirty pupils per
room, an expenditure of $400 is practically the minimum, and this is reached by only
a relatively few rural schools.    It must follow that equalization demands an increase.
Nevertheless, it can hardly be advocated that the allowance per class-room in all
rural schools be raised to the amounts characteristic of municipal schools. For one
thing, in many small rural schools the amounts expended are small for very good
* Except for a small amount referred to later. COMMISSION OP INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 75
reasons. They can not have electric lighting and janitor service, and fuel is cheap.
For another, tax rates, although often higher, are usually lower than the school rates
of municipal districts. For a third, it would surely be unsound to present them suddenly with amounts several times what they have ever had before.
To do justice to our small schools and at the same time be properly solicitous of
the public purse is not easy. The suggestion is ventured that the minimum allowance
per class-room to any district for any type of school be $250.
SUPERIOR SCHOOLS.
Since the expenditures of superior schools are much more closely akin to those in
elementary than in junior high schools, it is assumed that the allowance for them will
be on the elementary school basis. A small bonus for the pupils above Grade VIII.
might be desirable.
THE COST OF THE BASIC PROGRAMME.
If in 1943-44 all teachers had been placed on the Provincial schedule proposed at
the salary suitable to their position, experience, and qualifications the cost would have
been very close to $6,600,000. However, some teachers would, at first, receive less
than their schedule salaries, as it is proposed that those below the stated salary should
start from where they are, so to speak; that is, should rise to it by the stated increments. The initial cost would probably have been but $6,200,000, but if the same
teachers had remained in the profession and no new ones had been added the expenditures under the schedule would after four or five years approximate $6,600,000. Since
1943-44, however, the school system has been expanding, so that the total cost of the
basic or Provincial programme can be estimated as follows:—
1944-45.
1945-46.
Number of pupils.
Salaries*  	
Other expensest	
Cost of basic programme..
102,999
$6,200,000
1,555,000
$7,755,000
107,599
$6,600,000
1,614,000
112,200
$7,000,000
1,685,000
$8,214,000
$8,685,000
* According to Provincial schedule and including allowances for posts of special responsibility and bonus
for  isolation.
t At $13, $17, and $20 per pupil in average attendance at elementary, junior and senior high school respectively ;   the minimum being $250 per class-room.
The grant for this programme would be decreased by about $3,100,000 annually,
this being the product of 5 mills on the land and 75 per cent, of the improvements now
in school districts. An additional $175,000 would be collected by taxing at the same
rate property not in school districts.
The net grants for the basic programme follow:—
1944-45.
1945-46.
Cost of the basic programme
Less.— - —
$7,755,000
3,100,000
$8,214,000
3,100,000
Basic grants _
$4,655,000
$5,114,000
$8,685,000
3,100,000
$5,585,000
METHOD OF PAYMENT OF BASIC GRANTS.
At present the salary grants, which correspond in a rough way to the projected
basic grants, are paid monthly to the School Boards in municipal school districts, but
direct to the teachers in rural school districts.    All other grants are paid to the Boards. P 76 GRANT SYSTEM.
The Department obtains from each of the Province's 4,000 teachers a monthly
report of attendance, enrolment, days school was in session, etc. On the basis of this
information the grants are calculated, vouchers made out, and several hundred cheques
issued.
It is recommended that with a view to simplicity and economy the following plan
be adopted:—
1. Normally all grants to be paid to the School Board, but the Superintendent of
Education may order that the portion which is on account of a teacher's salary be
paid direct to the teacher.
2. The grant for a given school-year to be paid in about four instalments, not
necessarily equal, the first to reach the Board before the end of September, the last
before the end of June.
3. The total grant for a school-year to be estimated, and each payment to be a
fraction of the estimated grant. In most cases the actual grant earned in a certain
year should become the estimated grant for the following year.
4. The payment made in September to contain a reconciliation or balancing addition or subtraction of the amount by which the actual grant earned during the
preceding year is less or greater than that estimated and already paid. In most cases
this difference would be very small.
TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL SCHOOLING.
It is unnecessary for this report to deal specifically and at length with the
financing of technical education. Most, perhaps all, technical education will be provided either in technical departments of composite high schools or in technical high
schools under local control. It will therefore draw support under the usual arrangements respecting school finance in the Province. To the extent that technical education
does not fit into the general scheme, special treatment may be accorded it under the
wide powers conferred by section 25 of the Act. It is, however, impossible at present
to make a specific recommendation regarding the use of these powers. The future
development of this enormously important branch of our school system is so intricate,
so much a matter on which even enlightened opinions vary, and so much a matter of
public policy not yet finally crystallized that even a cursory discussion of it would take
us far beyond our terms of reference.
The Province may receive grants from the Dominion Government in aid of technical and vocational education. Much of this money can be distributed to the school
districts through the usual channels and will therefore lighten slightly the burden
imposed on the Government if the recommendations of this report are accepted.
SPECIAL GRANTS.
In addition to grants for the general support of schools, there are numbers of
special grants in aid of certain classes of schools or certain specific services. Before
going into detail, a few general principles concerning them should be laid down.
In the first place almost all special grants must be on a percentage basis. The
services supported are undertaken either by only a relatively few districts (for example,
transportation of pupils), or, if by all or most districts, only irregularly or occasionally
(for example, buildings). Further, uniform cost standards are difficult or impossible
to arrive at. Road conditions, grades, means of travel, density of population, ana
other factors vary so greatly that uniform allowances per pupil or per pupil transported
or per pupil-mile cannot be set. Under such circumstances the actual expenditures
must be the basis of grant.
It follows, second, that these expenditures should be carefully scrutinized by the
Department, and that it should hold the power to disallow for grant expenditures
disapproved of, or to withhold grant for services deemed inadequate. COMMISSION OP INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 77
Finally, all school districts should be treated on the same basis for special grants.
For example, in the school system of British Columbia, the term " rural " does not
mean " agricultural," nor yet " non-urban," but merely " not municipally organized."
This meaning causes many inconsistencies. For example, Powell River, Ocean Falls,
and many other similar areas are, although " rural," more akin to the cities than to
most of the other rural school districts. Obviously, too, rural school districts are not
necessarily poor. Most of them are, but some of them are wealthier than any city.
Surely it follows that any arrangement, however well-intentioned, that treats rural
school districts more generously than municipal districts, or small districts more
generously than large districts, is sure to cause injustices. Some of the wealthiest
communities in the Province, being rural, receive school desks and grants toward lunch
equipment, while some of the poorest, being municipal, do not.
GRANTS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF PUPILS AND OTHER
SIMILAR SERVICES.
From what has been said above, it is concluded that no change can be recommended for the transportation grant, which is 50 per cent, of expenditure on this
service. Even this fraction, although no more than adequate, requires that the Department exercise scrutiny of expenditures lest it encourage carelessness in some districts in
this matter.
There may be established in the Province other services closely akin to transportation in that their purpose would be the making available of school facilities to
children who could not otherwise attend. The most obvious of these is the dormitory
or hostel for high school children in very sparsely-settled areas. Another is the railway school-car. These are to be discussed in the next chapter, and there it will be
made clear that an immediate extensive provision is not proposed. However, the grant
system should make these possible where they are clearly desirable.
Let us group transportation and other services of a similar nature under the
heading " special services " and recommend that they draw a grant of 50 per cent, of
approved net expenditure.
SCHOOL BUILDINGS.
The present policy of the Provincial Government is to grant for elementary
schools 20 per cent, and for secondary schools 40 per cent, of the approved cost of
constructing or altering buildings, except in the first-class cities of Vancouver, Victoria,
and New Westminster. This grant, at one time reasonably generous, is no longer
adequate. Increases and shifts in school population, the obsolescence of some existing
buildings, and high costs of construction combine to present the school districts of
the Province with the necessity of undertaking a formidable building programme in
the next few years. While precise calculations are of course not possible, it is not
very daring to prophesy that school buildings of the value of $3,000,000 will be erected
in each of the five or six years following the return of something like normal conditions
in the supply of labour and materials.
Moreover, it is not logical to vary the treatment of school districts according to
population or according to their municipal classification. For example, if Burnaby
were a city, it would receive no building grant. Again, one result of the amalgamation
of the district municipalities of South Vancouver and Point Grey with Vancouver was
that the new city lost the building grants formerly received by the two district municipalities. If a Greater Victoria school district is established, the district would, under
the present regulations, not draw the building grants now receivable by Oak Bay,
Esquimalt, and Saanich. Finally, there are some rural districts and district municipalities which, as far as assessment is concerned, do not deserve building grants any
more than, say, New Westminster. P 78 GRANT SYSTEM.
It is, consequently, urged that the building grant be one-half the approved expenditure for all types of schools and for all school districts, and that the cost of fundamental
new equipment be included. In this case also the supervision and leadership of the
Department is essential not only in refusing grant for exorbitant expenditures but
in calling attention to inadequacies and poor planning and in requiring that these
be corrected.
In distributing building grants the Government should exercise, if necessary,
a systerii of precedences or priorities, the more important projects receiving first attention, so that building can be spread more or less evenly over a period of years, or so
that school building can be synchronized with a programme of timed public works if
one is established.
It has been suggested that the Provincial Government make easier and less costly
the financing of the local share of building costs by guaranteeing debentures issued
for this purpose or by itself loaning at a low rate of interest the funds required. Since
the Government has already had wide experience, some of it not altogether happy, in
loaning money to local bodies, a definite recommendation in this matter would be
presumptuous, and we can only commend it to the Government's consideration. It
should be pointed out, however, that the fact that large amounts of money are distributed in school grants would provide an easy method of protection if local districts
neglected their obligations.
There would seem to be no reason why the Government should not raise part or all
of the large amounts required for school buildings by the issuing of debentures, or
why the Government, if it wishes, should not acquire joint ownership of the buildings
constructed with its aid.
NIGHT-SCHOOLS.
The existing regulations base grants for night-schools on salary expenditure, as
follows: For cities 25, 32, 37, or 42 per cent.; for district municipalities, 35, 42, and
52 per cent.; for rural school districts, 52, 62, and 75 per cent. In the Province's
fiscal year 1943-44, $9,687.18 was distributed in these grants. Vancouver received
nearly $6,000 or almost two-thirds of the total. No other district received as much
as $1,000, and about one-half the grants were of less than $100 each, the smallest
being $5.04. Altogether only twenty-nine districts earned grants, and only five of
these were rural.
Since the number of districts concerned and the amount involved are so small,
no logical principle can be formulated and no recommendation can be made.
SPECIAL AID.
Section 29 of the " Public Schools Act" allows the Council of Public Instruction
to grant such additional aid to any district as it deems necessary. In the Provincial
fiscal year 1943-44 some $40,000 was distributed under this section. This power
should be retained, as no system of school finance can ensure that every possible
unusual circumstance is dealt with. The granting of Special Aid is, however, dangerous; the grants tend to flow to the more aggressive and vociferous of the local
districts and once given can be discontinued only with great difficulty. It is hoped that
the need for Special Aid will be greatly reduced by the suggested changes, arid it is
recommended that all grants of this nature be carefully reviewed if the suggestions
are adopted.
GRANTS IN AID OF EQUIPMENT IN CERTAIN SPECIAL COURSES
OF INSTRUCTION.
In the fiscal year 1943-44 the sum of $3,139 was spent under section 23 (1) of the
" Public Schools Act."    The section provides for a grant of 50 per cent, (to a maximum
J COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 79
grant of $500 per course) of the expenditure for the equipment for instruction in
manual training, home economics, physics, chemistry, and agricultural, commercial,
technical, and vocational education. The other recommendations of the report should
have the result of making this grant no longer necessary and it is suggested that it
be discontinued.
Miscellaneous Grants.—Libraries; School Lunch Equipment in Rural Schools;
Tuition Fees for Rural Pupils attending Secondary School; Provision of Desks for
Rural Schools.
There remains for brief consideration a group of grants which might well be
discontinued.
There are three reasons for this suggestion. First is the now familiar one that
the preferred treatment of any particular class of school district is certain to cause
injustices, for the classification of school districts as rural, district municipal, and
city is to some extent, although not completely, irrelevant to the purposes of school
finance. Rural school districts and small school districts do tend to be poorer than
others, but there are too many exceptions for the rule to be useful. The treatment of
districts may properly vary with their assessment, but hardly with their classification.
The second is that the spreading of small amounts of money thinly over large
areas is almost bound to be futile. The grant in aid of school libraries is a good
example of this. Section 24 (1) of the "Public Schools Act" empowers the Council
of Public Instruction to grant to any school district 50 per cent, of its expenditure on
a school library, the maximum grant being $50 per year to a district operating only
one school and $25 per school to a total of $150 in other districts. The total amount
distributed in this way is between $9,000 and $10,000 per year.
Table XLII. indicates that this highly laudable attempt to stimulate interest in
school libraries has not been successful, as about one-half the rural school districts
earn no library grant whatever, and few earn more than $10 per teacher. The effect
of the grant on the policies of the really large rural schools and most of the municipal
schools is, of course, negligible.
Finally, such grants as these should be quite unnecessary in the revised system
proposed.
Table XLII. Library Grant per Teacher in Rural Schools,
1943-44.
No. op Districts.
Amount of Grant.
One-room
Elementary.
Larger
Elementary.
Superior.
Elementary and
One-room
High.
Elementary and
Two-room
High.
Total.
$50  - 	
1
21
2
7
3
18
1
2
3
1
5
__::
3
7
14
21
45-J49 - -  - — -	
40- 44                    	
1
4
1
4
35- 39  -	
6
6
13
21
10
1
2
4
■ 6
30- 34                  —
6
25    29                       	
14
20- 24
23
15- 19            	
15
10- 14             _	
17                     2
26
5-    9            '	
29
91
170
3
7
5
36
53
Under $5                     	
100
243
3
Totals   _    -
392
57
30
12
24
515 P 80 GRANT SYSTEM.
RECAPITULATION AND APPRAISAL.
This chapter recommends the following readjustments in the Provincial Government's grant system:—
Grants. Treatment.
1. Salary   Grants;    Supplementary   Salary     1. To  be  replaced  by  "basic"  grants  which
Grants;   Supplementary Aid re Teach- embody a Provincial Salary Schedule and
ers' Salaries in Rural School Districts. allowances for other current expenditures,
the whole to be based on a single tax rate
of 5 mills.
2. Special Assistance in the Cost of Edu-     2. To be replaced by the assuming by the Pro-
cation, vincial Government of teachers' pensions
payments now made by School Boards.
3. Transportation of Pupils. 3. To be unchanged, but " Special Services " to
be included.
4. School Buildings. 4. To be raised to 50 per cent, of the approved
cost of all school buildings in all school
districts, and the approved cost of fundamental new equipment to be included.
5. Special Aid. 5. To be unchanged, but a reduction in the
amount necessary is expected.
6. Night-schools. 6. To be unchanged.
7. Grants for equipment in special courses     7. To be discontinued.
of instruction; Libraries; School
desks; Tuition fees; School lunch
equipment.
In Chapter I. it was estimated that the school system would cost about $14,410,000
in 1945-46, although it was emphasized that because of the present unstable conditions
this may be quite wide of the mark. The estimate includes $200,000 for buildings
paid directly by Government grants.
In each of the next five or six years about $3,000,000 will be spent on school buildings, although it is unlikely that this programme will be much more than started by
the summer of 1946. In order to obtain a picture of the division of costs in the years
immediately ahead, let it be imagined that buildings of this cost are to be erected in
1945-46. Let it be assumed that the Government bears one-half of this by outright
grant, and that the school districts pay for the other half by issuing fifteen-year serial
bonds at 5 per cent. Let it be supposed that because of debt retirement, total local
carrying charges, now estimated at $900,000 annually, would increase only to $975,000.
The cost of education in the year would then be:—
Previous estimate  $14,410,000
Increase in grant for buildings       1,300,000
Increase in local debt charges 1  75,000
Total   $15,785,000
The Government's share of this expenditure would be:—
General administration  $800,000
Pension payments  575,000
Basic grants   5,585,000
Special services*  200,000
Special aid  10,000
Night-schools  10,000
Building grants  1,500,000
Total Government expenditure     $8,680,000
Total cost of education  $15,785,000
Fraction borne by Provincial Government  55%
* Including transportation. COMMISSION OP INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 81
This would represent an increase over the Government's contribution in 1943-44
of about $5,000,000. The increase over its estimated share in 1945-46 would be some
$4,100,000 if only $200,000 of the $800,000 appropriated for school buildings were
actually spent in that year.
It is of course obvious that actual conditions even in the near future may be quite
different from those here anticipated. However, calculations applied to other years
indicate that the Government's share under the system proposed would always be well
over half. This would be a larger Government contribution than that in any other
Province except Prince Edward Island.
The system would be equalizing, as it would allow all districts to provide a basic
or core programme at a cost to itself of 5 mills on land and 75 per cent, of improvements. If buildings and such special services as transportation are disregarded, 80
per cent, of school expenditures would be either placed on this equalization basis or
borne directly by the Provincial Government. In addition 50 per cent, of approved
expenditure on building and special services would be granted.
The system would have the merit of simplicity. Only three really important
grants would remain: basic grants, transportation grants, and building grants. Most
other grants would disappear.
The system would be flexible. The actual amounts to be chosen are, after all,
matters of opinion and policy. If circumstances made it desirable, the grants could
be increased in amount by making the salary scale more generous, by increasing the
allowance for other expenditures, or by decreasing the standard tax rate. If an economic catastrophe hit the Province, the system could be easily adjusted to distribute
fairly the sacrifices required.
The system would provide for the expansion of the school system with increasing
population. As enrolment increased, the Provincial Government's financial contribution would be increased through increased pension payments and increased grants on
account of salaries and other expenditures.
Dominion aid for vocational or technical schooling could be fitted smoothly into
the system.
WARDS OF THE CHILDREN'S AID.
Two briefs complain of the burden imposed by the necessity of providing schooling
for wards of the Children's Aid in foster homes. Since an investigation shows that
the financial arrangements already proposed will make this burden practically negligible, no recommendation concerning these children is considered necessary.
RECOMMENDATIONS.
1. That the Salary Grants, Supplementary Salary Grants, Supplementary Aid re
Teachers' Salaries in Rural Districts, Special Assistance in the Cost of Education,
Grants in Aid of Equipment for certain Special Courses on Instruction, Aid for School
Libraries, Rural School Lunch Equipment, Grants for Tuition Fees for Rural Pupils,
and the Provision of Desks in Rural Schools be discontinued.
2. That the Provincial Government assume the payments for teachers' pensions
now made by School Boards.
3. That the basic or Provincial programme to be supported by basic grants consist of:—
(a.)  A Provincial salary schedule;
(&.)  An allowance for posts of special responsibility;
(c.)   A bonus for teachers in especially remote schools;
(d.)  An allowance for current expenditures  other than teachers'  salaries,
transportation, and debt charges. P 82 GRANT SYSTEM.
4. That the basic grant to each school district consist of the actual expenditures
for each of the items of (a), (b), (c), and (d) above, or the amounts allowed for these
items, whichever is less, minus the amount which would be raised by a tax of 5 mills
on the land and 75 per cent, of the improvements in the district, as shown on the last
completed assessment roll.
5. That property not within a school district be required to pay to the Provincial
Government a tax of 5 mills on land and 75 per cent, of improvements.
6. That the provisions for basic grants contain no maximum or minimum amounts
above or below which the grants cannot go.
7. That the basic grants, no matter for what types of school, require the deduction
of the product of only the one tax rate of 5 mills.
8. That the provisions for basic grant contain no requirement that the grant for
junior or senior high schools exceed that for elementary schools by certain fixed amounts.
9. That as a small first step in a programme for the reduction of class size to be
implemented when the supply of teachers and buildings permits, an increase in number
of teachers for very small elementary schools be allowed for grant purposes.
10. That in so far as possible all parts of the Province belong to a district with
schools in operation.
11. That the basic grants be paid to the School Board, unless otherwise directed
by the Superintendent of Education.
12. That the basic grants be paid in about four instalments, not necessarily equal,
each being a fraction of estimated total grant for the year, the first payment being
made in September and the last before the end of June.
13. That the amount by which the actual basic grant for a given year is greater
or less than the estimated grant be subtracted from or added to the payments of the
following September.
14. That the grant for the transportation of pupils remain unchanged at one-half
the approved net expenditure.
15. That any other arrangements which have the same purpose as transportation—
that is, the placing of schooling within the reach of pupils geographically isolated—be
grouped under the heading, " Special Services," and draw grant at the rate of 50 per
cent, of approved net expenditure.
16. That a grant of 50 per cent, of approved expenditure on buildings and fundamental new equipment for them be made for all types of schools and to all school districts.
17. That the Provincial Government establish a system of precedence or priorities
so that expenditures on school buildings can be distributed over a period of years.
18. That the Government give consideration to the possibility of making loans to
school districts for the construction of buildings.
19. That the Department of Education re-examine and, if necessary, readjust its
machinery for the supervision of expenditures which draw grants on a percentage
basis, to the end that its scrutiny will be as stringent and its leadership as helpful as
possible.
20. That the power of the Council of Public Instruction to grant special aid to any
district be continued, but that all grants of this nature be carefully reviewed.
21. That the Provincial Government consider the advisability of returning to the
practice of paying the railway fares of students attending normal schools, thus making
these schools more easily available to persons in remote parts of the Province. CHAPTER VII.
THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
Some of the preceding chapters have suggested the necessity of establishing
adequate school districts in British Columbia. Thus, the number of school districts is
as follows:—
Rural school districts*  590
City school districts     33
District municipality school districts!    26
Total   649
To put it mildly, this seems a large number of school districts for about 120,000
pupils. If the two city school districts of Vancouver and Victoria are excluded, 647
districts remain to serve fewer than 80,000 pupils.
The rural school districts as a group are, of course, much less populous than the
municipal school districts.    The rural school districts enroll only 23,000 children.
The small school district is not only a rural phenomenon. Of the fifty-seven
operating municipal school districts, eleven contained fewer than 1,000 people according to the 1941 census. Two districts operate no schools and several have voluntarily
combined for all school purposes or for secondary school purposes. As the thoughtful
brief of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities points out, the existence of
extra-municipal areas shows that municipalities are not necessarily satisfactory school
districts.
The smallness of most of our school districts is regrettable because of its inevitable consequences. Elsewhere in this report it has been shown that the proportion of
children from rural districts attending secondary schools is much smaller than from
municipal districts. Not only so, but most of the secondary schools available to these
pupils are so small that the programme offered can be only the barest minimum, and
not at all suited to the communities in which they are located. In some of the
smaller municipalities the same inadequacy exists. The first and by far the most
important argument for a reform in school districts is, therefore, that only in this
way can adequate schooling be provided for the children of our Province.
This investigation has stressed the well-known fact of great variations in taxable
resources among the local school districts, and has directed attention to the many cases
of great poverty. The proposed system of grants has been framed with a view to the
removal of the effects of these differences in so far as the basic cost is concerned.
Nevertheless, complete equalization is not possible if local authority is to be retained.
Since school districts bring all local taxable resources to bear on the problem of educating all local children, enlarged school districts will effect equalization within their
areas with a completeness and simplicity not attainable by any system of grants.
Further, the large school units should take in much property not now in any
school district. To exclude this is about as reasonable as the exclusion of business
sections of cities on the ground that they contain few or no children.
That the present system of administering the rural schools of British Columbia
is slowly but steadily breaking down is shown in Table XLIII. Little imagination is
needed to prophesy that unless something fundamental is done, the great majority of
our rural Boards will have been replaced within a measurable period of time by
Official Trustees appointed by the Council of Public Instruction. We shall have centralization without its attendant advantages of equalization and efficiency, and without
* Omitting districts not voting money and operating no schools.
t Including districts voting money, but operating no schools.
83 P 84
SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
ever having consciously sought it.    The step from decentralization to centralization is
too fundamental to take unintentionally.
Table XLIII. Administration of Rural School Districts with Schools
in Operation.
Year.
School Boards.
Official Trustees.
No.
Per Cent.
No.
Per Cent.
1929-30  	
690
570
465
321
93.9
75.8
70.7
61.1
45
182
193
204
6.1
1934-35                	
24.2
1939-40            	
29.3
1944-45   	
38.9
The truth is that the small district, administered by a three-man Board elected at
an annual school meeting, usually very poorly attended, is less and less compatible with
present ways of doing things. To say that many rural School Boards have done well,
sometimes astonishingly well, is to pay a well-deserved compliment, but it is not to say
that the present system should be continued. There just are not enough people with
sufficient time and interest to provide Boards for this multitude of school districts.
Further, the financial resources of many of our school districts are so meagre and the
difficulty of providing anything like an adequate schooling so great that it cannot be
a cause for wonder that a growing number of trustees abandon the task in discouragement and disgust.
All this is no disparagement of the rural electorate. A system which made it
necessary to find many hundreds of school trustees in, say, Vancouver, would work no
better and might not work as well.
Enlarged school districts should result in increased efficiency and economy.
Business management, the purchase of supplies, insurance, the placing of buildings,
and the transfer and continued use of equipment from closed schools are only a few
examples of the many ways in which improved efficiency could result.
The disadvantages characteristic of most small districts, both rural and municipal, in the securing and retaining of teachers can be considerably reduced when
larger units are introduced. Good working conditions and supervision, the prospect of
promotion, and the possibility of easy transfer from one school to another when desirable increase the attractiveness of teaching positions in these areas.
Large school districts and central secondary schools tend to remove sectarianism
and local jealousies. It has been noticed that when a consolidated secondary school is
established, the children from one little school will not at first play with those from
another. In districts containing small foreign groups central secondary schools have
been found to exert a strong Canadianizing influence.
Finally, an abundance of evidence gathered from much experience is unanimous
in showing that the many benefits from larger units are not mere possibilities, but
come immediately and inevitably. England reformed her school areas in 1902 and
provides for even further progress in her new Education Act. Since 1920, Scotland
has administered her schools through counties rather than small school districts. In
every Canadian Province and in many American States large school districts have been
established. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have instituted extensive reorganizations. Alberta has placed almost all her rural schools in large divisions, with benefits
which are little short of startling.
In our own Province considerable progress towards adequate school units has been
made.    As early as 1906 the Government abolished the many school districts into which COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 85
the district municipalities had been divided and decreed that henceforth each municipality was itself to be a school district. Also, many municipalities are united for
all school purposes or for secondary school purposes only with other municipalities or
with extra-municipal areas. However, some of the remaining municipalities are quite
inadequate as school units.
In those parts of British Columbia which are wholly " rural" the best known
larger unit is probably the Peace River Educational Administrative Area. The opinion
is advanced with deference but conviction that its conspicuous success and that of its
municipal twin, the M.S.A. Area, are due more to their largeness than to the fact that
they are not managed by School Boards. This conviction arises from the knowledge
that success has attended the creation of all large school districts regardless of the
method of control. Three other large units are operating in rural British Columbia:
the Creston Valley, South Okanagan, and Nanaimo-Ladysmith United Rural School
Districts. Inquiries have revealed nothing but satisfaction with the educational effects
of these reorganizations. Another, the Central Okanagan United Rural School District,
has been established in 1945 and begins operations in September, 1945.
However, British Columbia, which once led the Provinces in this matter, is now
lagging towards the rear.
Since the need is so great and the remedy so obvious the recommendation that the
Province undertake a thorough reorganization of its school districts is one of the most
urgent and important in this report. Our way is clear. It is to create school districts
large enough and powerful enough that their work will be a challenge to the trustees
who control them, and to see to it that these districts have financial resources adequate
to their responsibilities. If we do this, we shall have a school system sound and solid
and worthy of loyalty and support. If we cannot, let us have complete centralization
and its advantages, and say good-bye to local control.
METHODS OF ESTABLISHMENT.
Discussions at public hearings and perusal of the briefs presented to this inquiry
have made it gratifyingly clear that public opinion in so far as it has expressed itself,
is ready for an enlargement of school districts. Of course, many of the details are,
and should be, matters for debate, but the principle itself is widely accepted. It is
especially satisfying to report that the great majority of the Province's school trustees,
led by their thoroughly public-spirited association, are solidly behind the principle.
The main barrier in the way of change is a financial one. If a district enjoys a
low tax rate, its people naturally hesitate to join districts in which the rate is high.
This barrier should practically disappear if the financial proposals of this investigation
are implemented. No really high tax rates will remain, and it will make little financial
difference to a district whether or not it becomes part of a larger unit.
To this point another is closely allied. The grants to all except a few wealthy
districts should increase. There is a grave danger that the new grant system will
merely entrench still further an already deeply rooted system of inadequate school
districts. It would be a great tragedy if financial equalization made educational equalization impossible or unlikely.
It has been said frequently and forcibly that education is at root a Provincial
responsibility, and to this all must agree. If the statement has any meaning whatever,
the size and powers of the local district cannot be left to local decision. It is the duty
of the Provincial Government to put into operation the school districts which it thinks
will best serve the Province's children, just as it would be the duty of the Government
to abolish school districts entirely if it were convinced that centralized administration
would provide the best service. For these reasons it is recommended that the Government, through its Council of
Public Instruction, proceed to redistrict the school system without seeking local
approval of its proposals.
This does not mean that the Government should put the plan chosen into operation
without consultation with local bodies. Such a procedure would be highly undemocratic
as well as very unwise. What the recommendation does mean is that the Government
should allow no district or districts the option of voting itself out of a larger unit.
It should announce a tentative plan by circular letters and other means of publicity;
it should make this plan widely known; it should encourage full discussion of it, and
invite frank comments on it; and finally, after carefully weighing all information and
opinion gathered, it should evolve and put into effect a revised system. In other words,
the principle of larger districts should not be a matter of debate;   the details should.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A SATISFACTORY SCHOOL UNIT.
Before stating the criteria which should, in our view, be characteristic of adequate
school units in British Columbia, two explanations are necessary.
The first is that we are here discussing school districts as administrative units, not
as attendance units. The administrative unit is the whole area over which a School
Board has jurisdiction. The attendance unit is the area served by a particular school.
Thus, a large city is an administrative unit, being governed by one local authority or
School Board, but containing many attendance units or areas served by certain particular schools. Most small school districts are both, the district maintaining only one
school.
The second explanation follows from the first. The proposal to enlarge school
districts does not necessarily imply consolidation of schools, transportation of pupils,
and the elimination of small schools. It is true that some of the districts probably
would, and certainly should, transport some of their older pupils to central points. But
most districts could not transport any pupils whatever. British Columbia will always
have many small schools, and these can be very effective if properly equipped and
supervised. They are certainly preferable to transporting very young pupils long distances. The Peace River Area is an excellent example of a highly successful large
administrative unit in which most of the schools continue to have only one class-room.
The enlargement of the school district, then, will not necessarily produce school consolidation, but it will make consolidation easily possible where clearly desirable.
If possible, the area chosen as a school district should be large enough to justify
a reasonably adequate schooling from Grades I. to XII. If one test is more important
than the others, it is this one and it has been kept constantly in mind in the preparation
of the detailed plan presented below. Nevertheless, many of the districts must fall
short of reaching this ideal.
A second characteristic of adequate school districts in British Columbia is the fact
that they must disregard municipal boundaries. This necessity has already shown
itself in the formation of extra-municipal areas.    These should be extended.
There are limits to largeness as well as to smallness of districts. The unit should
be understandable or comprehensible to the local people. It should, if possible, be a
community, an economic entity, or a trading area. This does not mean that the unit
need always be small in extent. In some parts of the Province the local people are
accustomed to travelling great distances on relatively minor matters. Further, the
boundaries of districts should on occasion be pushed well out in order not to leave some
small school dangling.
Since as much as possible of the Province's area should be included in school
districts, a great deal of the territory in the proposed school districts is at present
unpopulated, and most of it will remain so.    However, future developments cannot COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 87
always be foreseen, and it is desirable that as population spreads each school-age child
find himself within the jurisdiction of an authority charged with the responsibility of
providing him with school facilities. Further, all financial arrangements, including
the payment of tuition charges, will be greatly simplified if the districts are made as
inclusive as possible. There is, after all, no convincing reason why property by not
being in a school district should escape all school taxation except the 2-mill tax now
imposed.
Some idea of the size of school districts contemplated may be gathered if we say
that it is hoped that many of the new units will employ at least forty or fifty teachers
and that districts which employ about a hundred teachers approach the ideal.
DUTIES OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT.
The duties imposed on a school district are very simple and very important. The
district should do all that geography and the distribution of population allow to provide
adequate schooling for the children under its care. If settlement is sparse, it should
consider the possibility of transporting some of its pupils to central schools. If this
is impossible, it should consider the establishment of a dormitory or hostel either at
some point within its area or at a near-by secondary school. Districts spread out along
a railway might well explore the possibilities of equipping a railway-car as a school,
and moving it from place to place, so that some of its isolated children can go to school
for a few days each month.* It may be that buses could be used in the same way in
some places. It should take full advantage of the Provincial Government's efficient
correspondence instruction.
In the preceding chapter it was stated that an immediate and complete programme
of dormitories was not to be advocated. Nevertheless, devices of this sort may be
essential if our isolated children are to have the chance of attending secondary schools.
The creation of large school districts will set free our sparsely settled areas so that
experiments in this direction can be attempted. A reasonable expectation is that two
or three such dormitories would make their appearance shortly. If these prove beneficial, a fairly large number might eventually develop.
It should be obvious that these are not the kind of institutions for which the
Government can assume responsibility other than the placing of them on the same
footing as transportation for grant purposes. It is essential that they be under local
control and supervision. In the majority of cases the School Board will rent or build
and operate the dormitory;  in some cases local service groups may do this.
In Alberta, where there are already twenty-nine dormitories housing some 700
pupils, experience has shown that the cost has not been great. The average board is
about $12.50 per month and some or all of this can be paid in farm produce, f The
same extensive experience has as yet discovered no difficulties in the delicate problem
of supervision, and has found considerable educational values.
No new legislation is required to permit districts to acquire and operate dormitories, as subsections (6), (7), and (8) of section 135 of the "Public Schools Act"
already make ample provision in the matter.
It should be re-emphasized here that proposed grants will reduce greatly the tuition
fees exacted by a district from students outside its borders. The basic programme
should be free to all. If a non-resident pupil attends a certain school, he will already
have paid his 5 mills, so to speak, and therefore the fee paid on his behalf by his home
district should be only his share of the programme provided him in excess of the cost
of the basic programme.
* This particular device has worked well in Ontario.
t The Government grant would not, of course, apply to board, but only to the approved net expenditures of
the School Board. SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
THE PLAN SUBMITTED FOR CONSIDERATION.
We now put forward for discussion a plan of reorganization for the school districts
of British Columbia:—
Proposed Reorganization of School Districts in British Columbia
No.
District.
No. of
Teachers.
District.
No. of
Teachers.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.
32.
33.
34.
35.
36.
37.
Fernie	
Cranbrook	
Kimberley	
Windermere	
Creston	
Kootenay Lake..
Nelson	
Slocan	
Castlegar-Brilliant _
Arrow Lakes	
Trail-Rossland,-	
Grand Forks	
Kettle Valley	
South Okanagan	
Penticton	
Keremeos	
Princeton	
Golden	
Revelstoke	
Salmon Arm	
Spallumcheen	
Vernon	
Kelowna	
Kamloops	
Barriere	
Birch Island	
Williams Lake	
Quesnel	
Lillooet	
Ashcroft	
Merritt	
Fraser Canyon	
Chilliwack	
Abbotsford-Mission _
Langley	
Surrey	
Delta	
42
29
40
12
34
15
55
19
29
13
109
22
17
22
54
13
23
15
34
42
33
63
81
61
9
10
21
21
12
13
8
13
94
93
43
108
26
38. Richmond	
39. Vancouver	
40. New Westminster	
41. Burnaby	
42. Maple Ridge	
43. Coquitlam	
44. North Vancouver	
45. West Vancouver	
46. Sechelt	
47. Powell River	
48. Howe Sound	
49. Ocean Palls	
50. Queen Charlotte	
51. Portland Canal	
52. Prince Rupert	
53. Terrace	
54. Smithers	
55. Burns Lake	
56. Vanderhoof	
57. Prince George	
58. McBride	
59. Peace River South	
60. Peace River North	
61. Greater Victoria	
62. Sooke	
63. Saanich	
64. Saltspring	
65. Duncan	
66. Cowichan Lake	
67. Ladysmith	
68. Nanaimo	
69. Qualicum	
70. Alberni	
71. Courtenay-Cumberland
72. Campbell River	
73. Alert Bay	
74. Quatsino	
52
1,238
118
177
43
51
94
40
20
44
18
18
5
3
44
9
21
16
13
47
13
58
24
197
22
34
13
46
17
26
65
17
40
54
17
8
10 COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 89
School.
Bamfield	
Unattached Schools operating.
No. of
Teachers.          Electoral District.
  1                Alberni.
Kildonan 	
  1
Alberni.
Kyuquot 	
Tofino 	
  1
  2
Alberni.
Alberni.
Ucluelet	
  1
Alberni.
Zeballos	
  1
Alberni.
Atlin 	
  1
Atlin.
Telegraph Creek
Westbranch
Port Renfrew 	
  1
  1
  1
Atlin.
Cariboo.
Esquimalt.
Dumaresq 	
  1
Mackenzie.
False Bay	
  1
Mackenzie.
Maple Grove
Tucker Bay	
  1
  1
Mackenzie.
Mackenzie.
Fort Nelson	
  1
Peace River.
University Hill
  7
Vancouver-Point Grey.
Unattached Schools closed.
School. Electoral District.
Clayoquot Alberni.
Clo-oose Alberni.
Big Creek Cariboo.
Chezacut Cariboo.
Tatla Lake Cariboo.
Tatlayoko—._: Cariboo.
Beaver Cove Comox.
Jackson Bay Mackenzie.
Rivers Inlet Mackenzie.
Gowlland Harbour Nanaimo and The Islands.
Granite Bay Nanaimo and The Islands.
Lists of the present school districts included in each of the proposed districts
will be found in Appendix B.    The plan is illustrated in the accompanying map.
It is admitted at once that the reorganization here set forth is drastic, so drastic
that we have no intention of recommending it without qualification, and think that
further consideration is necessary before final action.
However, the plan has been very carefully drawn up. Each district has been
discussed at great length with the Department's able staff of Inspectors. The plan is
therefore no doctrinaire programme, but rests on wide practical experience and
thorough knowledge of the geography and school problems of the Province.
The feeling of many will be that this scheme does not go far enough, and indeed
many of the proposed districts are small, over one-third having fewer than twenty
teachers, and more than one-half requiring fewer than thirty. The seventy-four
enlarged districts are distributed as follows:—
No. of Teachers. No. of Districts.
100 or more  6
90-99  3
80-89  1
70-79  0
60-69 :  3
50-59  6 P 90 SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
No. of Teachers.
40-49	
No. of Districts.
11
30-39	
         4
20-29 .	
       13
10-19	
    21
Less than 10	
         6
Total       __      .___            ..      	
74
SECONDARY SCHOOL FACILITIES.
The following thirty-four districts each contain one or more centres in which
adequate or reasonably adequate secondary school programmes can be maintained:—
Vancouver. Maple Ridge.
Greater Victoria. Kimberley.
Burnaby. Powell River.
New Westminster. Prince Rupert.
Surrey. Creston.
Chilliwack. Ladysmith.
Abbotsford-Mission. South Okanagan.
North Vancouver. ,                           Fernie.
Trail-Rossland. Cranbrook.
Richmond. Alberni.
Nanaimo. Courtenay-Cumberland.
Kamloops. Duncan.
Nelson. Prince George.
Kelowna. Spallumcheen.
Vernon. Revelstoke.
Penticton. Coquitlam.
West Vancouver. Langley.
Owing to the limited school population in each of the following seven districts only
a fairly adequate secondary school programme is likely:—
Salmon Arm. Saanich.
Delta. Grand Forks.
Princeton. Castlegar-Brilliant.
Ocean Falls.
In each of the following twenty-five districts there are one or more small high
schools capable of offering only a very limited secondary school programme:—
Windermere. Howe Sound.
Kootenay Lake. Terrace.
Slocan. Smithers.
Arrow Lakes. Burns Lake.
Kettle Valley. Vanderhoof.
Keremeos. McBride.
Golden. Peace River South.
Williams Lake. Cowichan Lake.
Quesnel. Qualicum.
Lillooet. Saltspring.
Merritt. Alert Bay.
Fraser Canyon. Quatsino.
Sechelt. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 91
In the following eight districts there are no high schools established at the present
time:—
Barriere. Portland Canal.
Birch Island. Sooke.
Ashcroft. Peace River North.
Queen Charlotte. Campbell River.
SOME DETAILS OF THE PLAN.
Of the seventy-four enlarged districts, seven are already in existence: South
Okanagan (14)*, Langley (35), Delta (37), Richmond (38), Vancouver (39), New
Westminster (40), and Burnaby (41). No change in the boundaries of these districts
is proposed at present. Eventually an improvement of transportation between Delta
and Richmond may make it desirable to unite these municipalities for school purposes.
THE LOWER MAINLAND.
Under the proposal, Barnston Island (one teacher) is joined to the District
Municipality of Surrey (36)* for school purposes. The area of West Vancouver (45)
is enlarged, but no schools are added. North Vancouver District is joined with North
Vancouver City (44).    These changes are not radical and their value is self-evident.
The combining of the cities of Port Coquitlam and Port Moody; the District
Municipalities of Coquitlam and Fraser Mills; loco, Essondale, Sunnyside No. 2, and
Lake Buntzen into the one district of Coquitlam (42) is more far-reaching. However,
the populated part of this district is compact and can support a good secondary school
without difficulty. We have no hesitation in advocating this unit or one closely
approaching it.
There is little question of the desirability of uniting Pitt Meadows with Maple
Ridge (42), and Mission with the adjacent rural area which includes Dewdney,
Deroche, Hatzic Prairie, McConnell Creek, and Nicomen Island. The plan also suggests combining this whole Mission area with the present M.S.A. Area, which comprises
the village of Abbotsford, the District Municipalities of Matsqui and Sumas, Huntingdon, and certain sparsely populated rural areas. The reasons for suggesting this are
that the people of Mission and Matsqui already have much in common, and that the
secondary schools of Mission and Abbotsford, being only 6 miles apart, could easily
enrich their programme if they could share facilities. However, one could not be very
critical of a scheme which left the M.S.A. Area untouched, as long as Mission and
Nicomen Island are united with the area adjacent and north of the Fraser River.
There seems to be little doubt that Chilliwack City and Chilliwhack District
Municipality should join for elementary school purposes as they are now joined for
secondary schools, and that for school administration the new district should be
extended to include some neighbouring rural schools (33). Whether or not the District
Municipality of Kent should also be included is a nice question.
VANCOUVER ISLAND.
Vancouver Island contains some districts so obviously desirable as to need no
defence. Thus the concensus of informed opinion is that only disparity in the rates
impedes strong local approval of the obviously desirable large unit around Courtenay,
Cumberland, Comox, and Tsolum (71). The same is true of the Albernis (70). The
rural districts surrounding Nanaimo and Ladysmith are now united in the Nanaimo-
Ladysmith United Rural School District, but experience indicates that the northern
and southern parts of this district might well be separated and joined with the cities
of Nanaimo and Ladysmith respectively (67 and 68). The case for units at Cowichan
Lake and Duncan seems clear enough (65 and 66).
* The numbers in parentheses are those given to the proposed districts. P 92 SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
One of the most important and interesting possibilities in the Province is the
proposed Greater Victoria School District (61). The proposal is to unite Victoria,
Oak Bay, the Inner Wards of Saanich, Esquimalt, and a small amount of unorganized
territory to the west. The advantages following such a union would be very great,
and we wish to add a strong endorsement to the recommendations in its favour of the
Harper Report and the " Survey of the Schools of the Greater Victoria Area " by
Inspectors Gray and MacKenzie.
If Greater Victoria (61) is formed into one school unit, the remainder of Saanich
District Municipality, North Saanich, James Island, and Highland will form a new
Saanich School District (63).
There remain the districts of Campbell River (72), Alert Bay (73), Quatsino (74),
Saltspring (64), and Sooke (62), all units of large area, small population, and poor
means of transportation. In these as in other similar areas throughout the Province
the crucial question is not what should be the boundaries of the enlarged districts, but
whether such districts should be formed at all. The argument that in such areas the
population is too small and scattered for larger school units is impressive. However,
each contains either a small high school or a superior school, and it may be that some
arrangement can be made whereby these or larger schools in other centres will become
available to some of the older pupils. The Peace River Area has shown that much
progress can take place even under very unfavourable conditions. Since no harm is
possible, some good is certain, and much good not unlikely, the districts are included in
the scheme suggested.
THE REST OF THE PROVINCE.
Enough has now been said to indicate the general pattern of the proposed reorganization, and tedious repetition can be avoided by discussing together the other districts
suggested.
The first group consists of large and sparsely settled areas similar to, say, Alert
Bay or Quatsino.    This group consists of:—
Windermere (4). Lillooet (29).
Kootenay Lake (15). ■ Ashcroft (3).
Arrow Lakes (10). Queen Charlotte (50).
Fraser Canyon (32). Portland Canal (51).
Golden (18). Terrace (53).
Barriere (25). McBride (58).
Birch Island (26).
In such districts the best schooling possible is not likely to be very good, at least
on the secondary level. However, for the reasons mentioned above even this will not
be possible if the larger districts are not formed. To these reasons we might add the
fact that a great number of the school districts involved are now administered by the
Inspectors acting as Official Trustees. If School Boards are to continue to be unavailable, the districts should be administered in groups, in any case. It is therefore advocated that most or all of these districts be established.
In a second group of districts the population is somewhat more compact and each
district has one or more natural centres, all of these containing some provision for
secondary education:—
Kettle Valley (13). Howe Sound (48).
Slocan (8). Ocean Falls (49).
Keremeos (16). Smithers (54).
Williams Lake (27). Burns Lake (55).
Quesnel (28). Vanderhoof (56).
Merritt (31). Peace River South (59).
Sechelt (46). Peace River North (60). COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 93
There will be differences of opinion as to whether some of these belong here or in
the others, and indeed there is much in common among the groups.
Here again there may be disputes concerning the proper boundaries of these districts, but those suggested merit consideration. We foresee little objection even
locally to the Kettle Valley, Keremeos, Smithers, Burns Lake, and Vanderhoof districts.
The Williams Lake district looks enormous on the map. Yet the inhabitants of
this district are accustomed to travel long distances for even fairly minor matters, and
few will disagree that Williams Lake is commonly recognized as a natural centre for
the whole area. The boundaries have been somewhat extended to take in a few isolated
schools, most of them now administered by the Inspector, which would profit greatly
from inclusion in the district. We are surely on firm ground in proposing the district.
It may be that the proposed Quesnel district should be divided in two by a boundary
in the neighbourhood of Wingdam, as there are many miles of uninhabited country
between Quesnel and Wells-Barkerville. This has not been done here because the
future of Wells-Barkerville depends on local mining properties and hence may be somewhat uncertain.
Much the same proposal should be entertained concerning the Ocean Falls district,
although contacts between Ocean Falls and Bella Coola are not so infrequent as one
might suppose.
Only in the Peace River are the suggested districts smaller than those already
existing. The position here taken is that the Peace River divides the Block into two
parts with different needs and problems, and between which communication is not
frequent. Although the Williams Lake and Prince George districts are about the same
size as the Peace River Block, each has a single centre. However, although the division
suggested seems preferable, we cannot quarrel too much with the present arrangement,
provided Rolla, Fort St. John, and Dawson Creek are included, and provided the local
people are allowed to control their own schools if they wish.
The third group of districts contains more or less urban centres, most of them
relatively large and most of them municipalities. It is recommended that they be
combined with the rural areas around them.    The districts in question are these:—
Fernie (1). Salmon Arm (20). '
Cranbrook (2). Spallumcheen (21).
Kimberley (3). Vernon (22).
Creston (5). Kelowna (23).
Nelson (7). Kamloops (24).
Castlegar-Brilliant (9). Powell River (47).
Trail-Rossland (11). Prince Rupert (52).
Grand Forks (12). Prince George (57).
Penticton (17). Princeton (17).
Revelstoke (19).
In many of these districts the population around the large centres is fairly compact. Often a system of transporting pupils already exists or will develop shortly.
In two or three, dormitories will probably make their appearance shortly, regardless
of this report. These districts contain many of the best schools and School Trustees
in the Province. If enlarged districts will work anywhere, they will work in these
areas. In some cases large districts have already been formed, and only a relatively
slight further enlargement is suggested. In others, strong local movements for enlargement exist. Many centres already receive many tuition pupils from outside. In all,
however, little hope for the secondary education of many rural pupils can be held out
if large districts are not established.
The reasons for including Wells-Barkerville with Quesnel are the reasons for combining Michel-Natal and its environs with Fernie, and these reasons are open to the
8 P 94 SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
same objections. Yahk should be combined with Cranbrook or Creston, preferably the
latter, and it is suggested that the excellent Creston unit be extended to include
Kitchener and Sirdar.
It may be that the Nelson district goes too far up the West Arm of the Kootenay
Lake and too far down the Kootenay River. It may also be that the Salmo-Ymir area
should not be included, but the educational advantages of including it are great.
Although one hesitates to disturb the happy financial arrangements of the Trail-
Tadanac school district, it cannot but be advocated that all the school districts contribu-
tary to Trail be combined. The new district would be one of the best in the Province.
It would be an admirable economic and social unit, well served by transportation
facilities. Its size would be ideal and it might have a Municipal Inspector. We urge
its establishment.
No comment regarding the proposed districts of Castlegar-Brilliant, Grand Forks,
Princeton, Revelstoke, Kamloops, Powell River, Prince Rupert, and Prince George are
necessary save the obvious one that the details should be carefully reviewed before final
action is taken. For example, the necessity of including Westview, Wildwood, Cranberry Lake with Powell River, and Fort George and Fort George South with Prince
George, is hardly open to debate. Concerning Blubber Bay or Penny, however, even
enlightened opinions will differ.
There is no doubt that Naramata, Kaleden, and Allen Grove should unite with
Penticton. Perhaps, however, Summerland should remain separate. Similarly, Glenmore should combine with Kelowna, Coldstream with Vernon, and Enderby with
Armstrong and Spallumcheen. In all probability Peachland and Westbank should be
in the Kelowna district. We think also that the children of the lovely Salmon Valley
and Lumby areas would profit greatly from unions with Salmon Arm and Vernon
respectively. However, the way should be left open for a new Okanagan United to
comprise the present Okanagan United, the newly created Central Okanagan United,
Benvoulin, Okanagan Mission, Okanagan Centre, and Joe Rich Valley.
THE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
The report makes no special provision regarding Doukhobor schools, treating them
in the same way as the other schools of the Province. It is possible that this is an
error, and the Commission is quite prepared to defer to the judgment of those with
longer experience in the matter.
However, the decision to make no differentiation between community and other
school districts has behind it some good reasons. First there is the belief that every
effort should be made to get them into the ordinary scheme of things. Then there is
the fact that the Doukhobor population is becoming gradually diffused, so that some
school districts, particularly those in the Slocan Valley, are finding their Doukhobor
enrolments steadily growing. It is, of course, quite impracticable to create new community school districts wherever Doukhobor children attend.
A further and important point must be brought out. A feeling of stewardship is
growing, so that an effort, necessarily incomplete, to sound out opinion in some of the
parts of the Province concerned discovered no objection to the proposal to eliminate
community districts as such.
It might be wise if the school districts of the Province were reorganized to retain
the Official Trustee of the community school districts as adviser to School Boards for
a year or two.
THE CLOSED SCHOOL TRUST FUND.
The moneys in this fund, amounting in all to over $10,000, should be made available
to such of the new districts as include territory within the districts formerly served
by the schools closed. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 95
BONUS FOR ISOLATION.
The bonus of $100 per year per teacher for especially isolated school districts is
intended to be given to the teachers in the following districts:—
No. District. No. of Teachers.
  Unattached districts (except University Hill)   16
26. Birch Island   10
27. Williams Lake  21
28. Quesnel  21
50. Queen Charlotte       5
51. Portland Canal        3
53. Terrace   9
54. Smithers   21
55. Burns Lake   16
56. Vanderhoof   13
58. McBride      13
59. Peace River South      58
60. Peace River North      24
Total  230
UNATTACHED SCHOOLS.
In the proposed scheme sixteen school districts are not attached to any large school
area.
One of these, University Hill, might perhaps be added to the list of large units,
since it employs seven teachers and maintains a secondary school. Under present
conditions this district should perhaps be added to Vancouver, as it is desirable that
Queen Mary elementary school be open to the children in its western section. However,
plans for the future call for such an extensive development of this area as will make it
an entirely adequate school unit, and for this reason no recommendation concerning
the district is here advanced.
For the children in the other fifteen unattached districts and for those in no school
district whatever, the officials of the Department should feel a special solicitude. They
should visit these schools as often as possible, and should-do all in their power to
arrange for the older pupils to attend a secondary school elsewhere.
FORMATION OF BOARDS.
At present the Board of School Trustees in a rural school district consists of three
members, one elected each year at the annual school meeting in July, to hold office for
a three-year term. However, the school meeting in many districts is falling into decay,
partly because the district is so small that really important problems cannot be effectively attacked, and partly because it is not in tune with present-day conditions.
Larger districts should revive public interest in school affairs, but he would be a hardy
optimist indeed who expected the annual school meeting to function well in them.
Section 80 (2) of the " Public Schools Act" provides for the election of Boards
by delegates. In each attendance area a meeting would elect, or if necessary the
Inspector would appoint, one, two, or three delegates. All these delegates would then
meet to elect a seven-man Board, each trustee so elected holding office for one yea?.
To the representatives or delegates, all the powers of the annual or other school meeting would be entrusted.
This subsection of the Act was added only recently, and has been used in only one
district. There it appears to be working very well. This method of forming a Board
solves the problem of finding a substitute for the annual school meeting, which, how- p 96 SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
ever much we may regret it, appears to be growing obsolescent. However, the method
has not been sufficiently tested to warrant recommending its adoption everywhere without qualification. The Council of Public Instruction should have power to make an
order in respect of any district, specifying the number of trustees, the method of
choosing them, and their terms of office.
In districts containing parts or all of one or more municipalities, Boards should
continue to be chosen as at present—i.e., by ballot—the part of the district not organized
being considered extra-municipal area. However, in respect of any of these the Council of. Public Instruction should have power to issue orders specifying any changes
considered necessary.
The Council of Public Instruction should, of course, retain the power it now
possesses to appoint Official Trustees to replace School Boards, but it is hoped that it
will be possible to exercise this power only sparingly.
THE INSPECTOR AND THE BOARD.
As a matter of ordinary good sense, the Boards of the enlarged districts will avail
themselves of the experience, training, and knowledge of the local Inspector of Schools.
However, it must be made clear that when an Inspector attends a Board meeting or
tenders advice, he does so, not on sufferance or by courtesy, but as a right which inheres
in his position and in his one all-embracing duty to further the interests of the children
in his area. It is recommended that the Inspector have the legal right to be informed
of and, if he thinks wise, to attend all Board meetings in his territory, to speak and
make recommendations, but not to vote. The Board, subject to the approval of the
Superintendent of Education, should have the power to delegate to the Inspector such
of the powers of a Municipal Inspector as it thinks wise.
VOTING ON MONEY BY-LAWS.
One of the briefs pointed out that present statutes prevent property-owners in
extra-municipal areas from voting on school money by-laws, although they are, of
course, taxed for the debenture debt incurred.    This injustice should be removed.
THE COLLECTION CHARGE FOR RURAL SCHOOL TAXES.
In accordance with section 124 of the " Public Schools Act " the amounts voted by
the annual school meeting to be raised by taxation in a rural school district are
advanced by the Minister of Finance from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The fund
is reimbursed by the taxes collected plus an amount fixed by the Assessor of up to 15
per cent, of that voted. This extra charge is to cover costs of assessment and collection, interest on money advanced, and losses from uncollected taxes. The common
practice appears to be to fix this collection charge at 12 per cent., save in a few districts containing only a small number of large taxpayers.
We cannot subscribe to the opinion frequently expressed that this charge should
be abolished. Taxpayers in municipalities pay taxes which must cover such costs, and
it is not right that they, as supporters of the Provincial Government, should also help
to defray these costs in rural areas. However, much of the cost is caused by the personal property tax, which is imposed only in rural areas and only for school support.
The abolition of this tax and the enlargement of school districts should decrease considerably the cost of collecting school taxes, and the Government should review the
matter with the object of ascertaining by how much the collection charge can be
reduced.
PROVISION OF TEXT-BOOKS ON A RENTAL BASIS.
It has been suggested that parents of pupils in grades not now provided with free
text-books might pay a rental fee varying from, say, $1 to $7 or $8, according to the
grade attended.    In return for this the Department, through its Text-book Branch, COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 97
would provide for use by the pupils during the year all text-books prescribed for the
courses taken. Calculation shows that the plan need not add to governmental expenditure. The scheme would, of course, be voluntary, that is, no pupil would be compelled
to rent books if he wished to buy them.
The proposal is very attractive. Parents would be saved much inconvenience and
expense. Transfer from school to school would be expedited. In time reserves would
allow rentals to be reduced or book dividends to be declared. The text-books prescribed
could be changed more easily than at present.
There are some difficulties. The teaching body might object to making the initial
collections, and the School Boards might find their part troublesome. Pupils might be
inclined to neglect books which were not their own. For these reasons the Teachers'
Federation and the Trustees' Association should be consulted before final action is
taken.
RECOMMENDATIONS.
1. That the Provincial Government reorganize its present system of school districts
without seeking local approval.
2. That the particular plan of reorganization to be put into effect be arrived at
only after much public discussion and the gathering and weighing of all possible
opinions.
3. That the plan be arrived at in the light of the characteristics of an adequate
school district enunciated in this report.
4. That tuition fees to non-resident pupils be based on the amount only by which
local expenditures exceed the cost of the basic programme; that is, that Government
grants and the product of the standard tax rate be not included in the calculation of
tuition fees.
5. That the plan for local units outlined in this report become the basis for the
discussion which should precede the formulation of a final plan.
6. That careful consideration be given to the proposal that community school
districts should cease to exist as such.
7. That most of the moneys in the Closed Schools Trust Fund be made available
to the appropriate large school districts.
8. That normally the Boards of Trustees in districts entirely rural be chosen by
representatives or delegates as provided for in subsection (2) of section 80 of the
" Public Schools Act."
9. That normally trustees in districts containing municipal territory be elected by
ballot as at present.
10. That the Council of Public Instruction be empowered to order any variations
deemed desirable in respect of the formation of School Boards in any district.
11. That the Council of Public Instruction retain the power to replace School
Boards with Official Trustees.
12. That the Inspector be given the right to be informed of any Board meetings
in his area, and the right to attend any such meeting, and to speak and make recommendations, but not to vote.
13. That with the approval of the Superintendent of Education, a School Board
be allowed to delegate to the Inspector in its area any or all of the powers now exercised by Municipal Inspectors.
14. That property-owners in extra-municipal areas be given the right to vote on
school money by-laws.
15. That the matter of the collection charge for rural school district school taxes
be reviewed by the Government with a view to its possible reduction.
16. That the possibility of providing prescribed text-books in upper grades on
a voluntary rental basis be explored. APPENDICES.
APPENDIX A.
Public Hearings and Briefs.
Place.
Organization.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.
32.
33.
34.
35.
36.
37.
38.
39.
40.
41.
42.
43.
44.
45.
46.
Jan.
30
Jan.
30
Jan.
31
Feb.
1
Feb.
2
Feb.
6
Feb.
7
Feb.
7
Feb.
7
Feb.
9
Feb.
9
Feb.
9
Feb.
14
Feb.
14
Feb.
14
Feb.
16
Feb.
19
Feb.
19
Feb.
21
Feb.
21
Feb.
21
Mar.
5
Mar.
5
Mar.
5
Mar.
5
Mar.
5
Mar.
5
Mar.
13
Mar.
13
Mar.
13
Mar.
13
Mar.
15
Mar.
17
Mar.
17
Mar.
17
Mar.
17
Mar.
17
Mar.
17
Mar.
17
Mar.
17
Mar.
21
Mar.
21
Mar.
21
Mar.
22
Mar.
22
Mar.
23
Vancouver...
Vancouver-
Vancouver-
Vancouver _.
Vancouver-
New Westminster..
Chilliwack	
Chilliwack	
Chilliwack	
Abbotsford	
Abbotsford	
Abbotsford -	
Prince Rupert	
Prince Rupert	
Prince Rupert	
Smithers	
Prince George	
Prince George	
Dawson Creek	
Dawson Creek	
Dawson Creek	
Haney	
Haney	
Haney	
Haney	
Haney	
Haney	
Penticton	
Penticton	
Penticton	
Penticton	
Kelowna	
Vernon	
Vernon	
Vernon -	
Vernon	
Vernon	
Vernon	
Vernon	
Vernon —
Creston—
Creston—
Creston„.
Nelson	
Nelson	
Rossland ..
B.C. School Trustees' Association.
B.C. Parent-Teachers' Federation.
Vancouver School Board.
Associated Property Owners of Vancouver.
B.C. Teachers' Federation.
Delta Municipality.
Chilliwack Township.
Kent Municipality.
Women's Canadian Club.
M.S.A. Advisory Board.
Matsqui Municipality.
Langley School Board.
Prince Rupert Municipal Council and School Board.
Prince Rupert Parent-Teacher Association.
Prince Rupert Teachers' Association.
Smithers Committee of Educational Finance.
Prince George School Board.
Quesnel Board of Trade and School Board.
Dawson Creek Chamber of Commerce.
Peace River Block, Alberta Farmers' Union.
Pouce Coupe Local, Alberta Farmers' Union.
Langley Municipality.
Maple Ridge Municipality.
Port Coquitlam City.
Maple Ridge School Board.
Coquitlam District.
Pitt Meadows School Board.
West Summerland School Board.
Penticton Municipal Council.
Penticton Local, B.C.F.G.A.
Stockmen, Southern Interior of B.C.
Kelowna City Council.
Coldstream School Board.
B.C. Federation of Agriculture.
B.C. Fruit-growers' Association.
Vernon School Board.
City of Vernon.
District G Farmers' Institute.
Vernon and Coldstream Locals of B.C. Fruit-growers'
Association.
Oyama Citizens' Forum.
Creston Valley School Board.
W. J. Truscott.
Creston Board of Trade.
Nelson City Council.
F. A. Jewett.
Rossland School Board.
98 COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE.
P 99
Public Hearings and Briefs—Continued.
Date.
Place.
Organization.
47. Mar. 23
48. Mar. 23
49. Mar. 23
50. Mar. 23
Rossland	
Rossland	
Rossland	
Rossland
Castlegar School Board.
Trail Board of Trade.
Central Farmers' Institute.
Rossland City Council.
51.    Mar. 27
Grand Forks
Grand Forks Board of Trade.
52. Apr.    9
53. Apr.    9
54. Apr. 10
55. Apr. 11
56. Apr. 11
57. Apr. 17
58. Apr. 20
59. Apr. 20
60. Apr. 20
61. Apr. 20
62. Apr. 20
63. Apr. 20
Nanaimo	
Nanaimo	
Port Alberni                  _.
Nanaimo Council and School Board.
Mid-Island Branch B.C.T.A.
West Coast Branch B.C.T.A.
Courtenay	
Courtenay	
Vancouver	
Victoria	
Victoria	
Victoria	
Victoria	
Victoria	
Victoria	
Comox District Educational Council.
R. U. Hurford.
Union of B.C. Municipalities.
Victoria City Council and School Board.
Saanich Municipality.
Saanich School Board.
Oak Bay Municipality and School Board.
Henry George Club.
Cowichan Agriculture Society of District A, Farmers' Institute of B.C.
Miscellaneous.
64.
North Vancouver City Council.
65.
North Vancouver School Board.
66.
Japanese Federation Parent-Teachers' Associations.
67.
Wells-Barkerville School Board.
68.    	
Richmond Municipality.
69.    .
Cloverdale Ratepayers' Association.
70.    	
Nanaimo Gyro Club.
71.            	
Chemainus Parent-Teacher Association.
72.
National Economic Order in Canada.
73.
Richmond School Board.
74.
B.C. Beef Cattle Growers' Association.
75.    _   __-   --.
E. S. Woodward. P 100
APPENDICES.
APPENDIX B.
Proposed School Districts.
No.                            District.
No. of
Teachers.
No.                            District.
No. of
Teachers.
1. Fernie	
42
29
40
12
34
15
55
19
29
13
109
22
17
22
54
13
23
15
34
42
33
63
81
61
9
10
21
21
12
13
8
13
94
93
43
108
26
38. Richmond	
39. Vancouver	
52
1,238
3. Kimberley	
40. New Westminster __       	
118
41. Burnaby	
177
5. Creston                               	
42. Maple Ridge	
43. Coquitlam	
43
51
44. North Vancouver _ _ 	
94
45. West Vancouver	
40
9. Castlegar-Brilliant	
46. Sechelt             	
20
47. Powell River	
44
48.  Howe Sound	
18
12. Grand Forks
49. Ocean Falls	
18
13. Kettle Valley     	
50. Queen Charlotte	
51. Portland Canal	
5
14. South Okanagan
3
15. Penticton
52. Prince Rupert	
44
53. Terrace    	
9
17. Princeton	
18. Golden
54. Smithers— 	
55. Burns Lake   -        -
21
16
19. Revelstoke
56. Vanderhoof  	
13
20. Salmon Arm
57. Prince George	
47
21. Spallumcheen
58. McBride     	
13
22. Vernon
59. Peace River South     	
58
23. Kelowna
60. Peace River North    	
24
24. Kamloops	
61. Greater Victoria   ... _ _
197
25. Barriere    	
62. Sooke	
63. Saanich	
64. Saltspring
22
26. Birch Island	
34
27. Williams Lake	
13
28.  Quesnel	
46
29. Lillooet      ...
17
30. Ashcroft	
26
31. Merritt     '
68. Nanaimo  	
65
32. Fraser Canyon     	
17
33. Chilliwack	
70. Alberni	
40
34. Abbotsford-Mission	
71. Courtenay-Cumberland
54
35. Langley     	
72. Campbell River
17
36. Surrey  	
73. Alert Bay
8
37. Delta      _____
74. Quatsino
10 COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 101
School.
Bamfield 	
Unattached Schools
No. of
Teachers.
      1
OPEN.
Electoral District.
Alberni.
Kildonan 	
      _        1
Alberni.
Kyuquot 	
      1
Alberni.
Tofino 	
     2
Alberni.
Ucluelet 	
      1
Alberni.
Zeballos 	
     1
Alberni.
Atlin 	
     1
Atlin.
Telegraph Creek
Westbranch 	
     1
     1
Atlin.
Cariboo.
Port Renfrew	
 1        1
Esquimalt.
Dumaresq 	
_      1
Mackenzie.
False Bay 	
       1
Mackenzie.
Maple Grove	
-.      1
Mackenzie.
Minstrel Island __ __
         ...    1
Mackenzie.
Tucker Bay 	
     1
Mackenzie.
University Hill 	
       7
Vancouver-Point Grey.
Unattached Schools closed.
School. Electoral District.
Clayoquot    Alberni.
Clo-oose  Alberni.
Big Creek  Cariboo.
Chezacut  Cariboo.
Tatla Lake Cariboo.
Tatlayoko  Cariboo.
Beaver Cove Comox.
Jackson Bay   Mackenzie.
Rivers Inlet Mackenzie.
Gowlland Harbour Nanaimo and The Islands.
Granite Bay  Nanaimo and The Islands.
No. 1.  Fernie District.
Schools open.—Baynes Lake, Cool Creek, Crows Nest, Elk Bridge, Elko, Elk Prairie,
Fernie City, Galloway, Grasmere-Roosville, Hosmer, Jaffray, Michel-Natal, Newgate, and
Waldo.
Schools closed.—Cokato, Corbin, Flagstone, Burlingham, Morrissey Mines, and Big Sand
Creek.
No. 2.  Cranbrook District.
Schools open.—Bull River Bridge, Cranbrook City, Fort Steele, Mayook, Moyie, Wardner,
and Wycliffe.
Schools closed.—Lumberton, St. Eugene Mission, and Wanklyn.
No. 3.  Kimberley District.
Schools open.—Kimberley United, Moyase, and Sheep Creek.
Schools closed.—Larchwood and Wasa.
No. 4. Windermere District.
Schools open.—Athalmer-Invermere, Brisco, Canal Flat, Edgewater, Wilmer, and Windermere.
Schools closed.—Glena, Sparkling Creek, and Radium Hot Springs.
No. 5.  Creston District.
Schools open.—Creston Valley United, Kitchener, Sirdar, and Yahk.
PROVlf      •      UBRARY
VICTORIA. B. C. P 102 APPENDICES.
No. 6.  Kootenay Lake District.
Schools open.—Ainsworth, Argenta, Boswell, Crawford, Gerrard, Johnson's Landing,
Kaslo City, La France Creek, Retallack, and Shutty Bench.
Schools closed.—Cooper Creek, Florence Mine, Gray Creek, Lardeau, Mirror Lake,
Riondel, and Sanca.
No. 7.  Nelson District.
Schools open.—Balfour, Belford, Bonnington, Harrop, Lodore, Longbeach, Nelson City,
Park's Siding, Procter, Salmo, Sproule Creek, Taghum, Willow Point, and Ymir.
Schools closed.—Erie, Hall Siding, Meadow Spur, Queen's Bay, and Sitkum Creek.
No. 8.   Slocan District.
Schools open.—Appledale, Crescent Valley, Hunter Siding, Krestova, New Denver, Pass-
more, Perry Siding, Silverton, Slocan City, Slocan Park, Slocan South, Vallican, and Winlaw.
Schools closed.—Lemon Creek, Roseberry, and Sandon.
No. 9.  Castlegar-Brilliant District.
Schools open.—Brilliant, Castlegar United, Champion Creek, Deer Park, Gibson Creek,
Glade, Kamanoe, Kinnaird, Ootischenia, Pass Creek, Renata, Robson, Shoreacres, and Thrums.
School closed.—Landis.
No. 10. Arrow Lakes District.
Schools open.—Arrow Park United, Burton, Edgewood, Nakusp United, Fauquier, Ina-
noaklin Valley, Mount Ingersoll, and Needles.
School closed.—Syringa Creek.
No. 11. Trail-Rossland District.
Schools  open.—Beaver  Falls,  Blueberry  Creek,   Casino,   Columbia   Gardens,  Fruitvale,
Patterson, Rossland City, Tadanac District Municipality, and Trail City.
School closed.—Birchbank.
No. 12. Grand Forks District.
Schools open.—Brown Creek, Christina Lake United, Fruitova, Grand Forks City, and
Outlook.
Schools closed.—Berrydale, Carson, Gilpin, Kettle Valley North, and Sand Creek.
No. 13. Kettle Valley-District.
Schools open.—Beaverdell, Boundary Falls, Bridesville, Carmi, Crouse Creek, Greenwood
City, Kettle Valley, Midway, Rhone, Rock Creek, Rock Creek Upper, Rock Mountain, and
Westbridge.
Schools closed.—Anarchist Mountain, Anaconda, Christian Valley, Myncaster, Norwegian
Creek, Wallace Mountain, and Ingram Mountain.
No. 14.  South Okanagan District.
Schools open.—Oliver, Okanagan Falls, and Osoyoos.
School closed.—Testalinda Creek.
No. 15.  Penticton District.
Schools open.—Allen  Grove, Kaleden,  Naramata,  Penticton  District Municipality, and
Summerland District Municipality.
School closed.—Meadow Valley.
No. 16.  Keremeos District.
Schools open.—Cawston, Hedley, Keremeos, Nickel Plate Mine, and Olalla.
School closed.—Sterling Creek. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 103
No. 17.  Princeton District.
Schools open.—Allenby, Copper Mountain, Coalmont, One Mile Creek, Princeton, and
Tulameen.
Schools closed.—Blakeburn, Five Mile Creek, Jura, Killarney, Manning, and Nine Mile
Creek.
No. 18.  Golden District.
Schools open.—Castledale, Field, Golden, Harrogate, Horse Creek, McMurdo, Moberley,
Mountain Ridge, and Parson.
Schools closed.—Beavermouth, Blueberry, Donald, and Forde.
No. 19. Revelstoke District.
Schools open.—Arrowhead, Beaton, Begbie, Big Eddy, Cambie, Cartier, Crawford Creek,
Glena Bay, Glacier, Greenslide, Hall's Landing, Malakwa, Mount Cartier, Revelstoke City,
Solsqua, Sproat, and Twelve Mile Ferry.
Schools closed.—Albert Canyon, Canborne, Clan William, Comaplix, Craigellachie, Ferguson, Mount McPherson, Taft, Three Valley, and Trout Lake.
No. 20.   Salmon Arm District.
Schools open.—Balmoral, Blind Bay, Broadview, Canoe, Canoe South, Carlin Siding,
Celista, Deep Creek, Eagle Creek, Falkland, Gleneden, Glenemma, Heywood's Corner, Larch
Hill, Magna Bay, Meadow Bay, Mount Ida, Notch Hill, Salmon Arm City, Salmon Arm
District Municipality, Salmon Bench, Salmon Arm West, Salmon Valley, Silver Creek, Sicamous, Sorrento, Sunnybrae, Tappen, Tappen Valley, and White Lake.
Schools closed.—Adelphi, Anglemont, Anstey Arm, Eagle Bay, Hendon, Hillcrest, Lee
Creek, Paxton Valley, and Seymour Arm.
No. 21. Spallumcheen District.
Schools   open.—Armstrong   Consolidated,   Ashton   Creek,   Enderby   North,   Grandview
Bench, Grindrod, Enderby City, Hupel, Mara, Trinity Creek and Springhead.
School closed.—Kingfisher.
No. 22.  Vernon District.
Schools open.—Coldstream District Municipality, Hilton, Kedleston, Lavington, Lumby,
Mabel Lake, Reiswig, Richlands, Shuswap Falls, and Vernon City.
Schools closed.—Creighton Valley, Medora Creek, Mount Aberdeen, Sugar Lake, and
Trinity Valley.
No. 23.   Kelowna District.
Schools open.—Benvoulin, Black Mountain, Ellison, Joe Rich Valley, Kelowna City,
Kelowna East, Kelowna South, Mission Creek, Okanagan Centre, Okanagan Mission, Oyama,
Peachland District Municipality, Rutland, Westbank, and Winfield.
Schools closed.—Bear Creek, Ewing's Landing, Fir Valley, and Glenmore District
Municipality.
No. 24.  Kamloops District.
Schools open.—Adam's Lake, Barnhart Vale, Bestwick, Brocklehurst, Chase, Duck Range,
Fruitlands, Heffley Creek, Holmwood, Kamloops City, Long Lake, Martin's Prairie, McGillivray, Monte Lake, Pemberton Range, Pinantan, Pritchard, Red Lake, Savona, Tranquille,
Vinsulla, Westwold, and Westsyde.
Schools closed.—Anderson Creek, Beresford, Campbell Ranch, Chase Creek Lower, Clifton, Criss Creek, Deadman's Creek, Edith Lake, Fish Lake Road, Heffley Creek Upper,
Knutsford, Mamette Lake Road, McLure, Monte Creek, North Thompson W., Robbins Range,
Rose Hill, Savona Road, Seven Lakes, Shuswap, Sullivan Valley, Tranquille Upper, Trapp
Lake, and Turtle Valley.
No. 25.  Barriere District.
Schools open.—Barriere River, Chinook Cove, Chu Chua, Darlington, Floral Creek, Forks,
Little Fort, Louis Creek, and Squam Bay.
Schools closed.—Blucher Hall, and Cahilty. P 104 APPENDICES.
No. 26.  Birch Island District.
Schools open.—Avola, Birch Island, Blackpool, Blue River, Clearwater, Lempriere, Round
Top, Star Lake, and Valemount.
Schools closed.—Albreda, McMurphy, Signal Butte, and Vavenby.
No. 27. Williams Lake District.
Schools open.—Alexis Creek, Bridge Lake North, Buffalo Creek, Dog Creek, Enterprise,
Forest Grove, Harper's Camp, Lac La Hache, Lone Butte, McLeese, 150 Mile House, Miocene,
Quesnel Dam, Roe Lake, Rose Lake, Soda Creek, Springhouse, and Williams Lake.
Schools closed.—Big Lake, Black Creek, Bradley Creek, Bridge Lake, Chimney Creek,
Felker Lake, Glencoe, Lilypad, Meldrum Creek, 144 Mile House, 100 Mile House, Pablo, Riske
Creek, Sheridan Lake, Watch Lake, and Willowford.
No. 28.  Quesnel District.
Schools open.—Alexandria, Alexandria North, Bouchie Lake, Dragon Lake, Gravel Ferry,
Landsdowne, Menzinger Creek, Moose Heights, Quesnel, Quesnel West, and Wells-Barkerville.
Schools closed.—Australian, Baker Creek, Castle Rock, Macalister, Narcosli Creek,
Sister's Creek, Ten Mile Lake, and Wingdam.
No. 29.   Lillooet District.
Schools open.—Bralorne, Bridge River, Lillooet, Pachelqua, Pavilion, and Pioneer. Mine.
Schools closed.—Brexton, Goldbridge, and Minto Mine.
No. 30.  Ashcroft District.
Schools open.—Ashcroft, Big Bar Creek, Cisco, Clinton, Foster's Bar, Lytton, Spences
Bridge, and Walhachin.   .
School's closed.—Black Canyon, Bonaparte North, Bonaparte Valley, Cache Creek, Eagan
Lake, Empire Valley, Green Lake, High Bar, Jesmond, Lytton North, and Vidette Mine.
No. 31.  Merritt District.
Schools open.—Brookmere, Merritt City, and Pine.
Schools closed.—Aspen Grove, Canford, Juliet, Mamette Lake, Nicola, and Nicola Lower.
No. 32.  Fraser Canyon District.
Schools open.—Boston Bar, Concord, Hope, Keefers, North Bend, St. Elmo, Stout, and
Yale.
No. 33. Chilliwack District.
Schools open.—Cheam View, Chilliwack City, Chilliwhack District Municipality, Columbia
Valley, Cultus Lake, Kent District Municipality, and Popcum.
Schools closed.—Chilliwack River, Slesse Creek, and Vedder River.
No. 34.  Abbotsford-Mission District.
Schools open.—Abbotsford, Deroche, Dewdney, Hatzic Prairie, McConnell Creek, Matsqui
District Municipality, Mission District Municipality, Nicomen Island, and Sumas District
Municipality.
No. 35.   Langley District.
Schools open.—Langley District Municipality.
No. 36. Surrey District.
Schools open.—Barnston Island, and Surrey District Municipality.
No. 37.  Delta District.
Sehools open.—Delta District Municipality.
No. 38. Richmond District.
Schools open.—Richmond District Municipality. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 105
No. 39. Vancouver District.
Schools open.—Vancouver City.
No. 40. New Westminster District.
Schools open.—New Westminster City.
No. 41.  Burnaby District.
Schools open.—Burnaby District Municipality.
No. 42.   Maple Ridge District.
Schools open.—Maple Ridge District Municipality and Pitt Meadows District Municipality.
School closed.—Pitt Lake.
No. 43. Coquitlam District.
Schools open.—Coquitlam District Municipality, Essondale, loco, Port Coquitlam City,
Port Moody City, and Sunnyside No. 2.
Schools closed.—Fraser Mills and Lake Buntzen.
No. 44.  North Vancouver District.
Schools open.—North Vancouver City and North Vancouver District Municipality.
No. 45.  West Vancouver District.
Schools open.—West Vancouver District Municipality.
No. 46.  Sechelt District.
Schools open.—Bowen Island, Egmont, Elphinstone Bay, Half Moon Bay, Howe Sound
United, Irvine's Landing, Kleindale, Pender Harbour, Port Mellon, Sechelt United, and Silver
Sands.
No. 47.  Powell River District.
Schools open.—Blubber Bay, Cranberry Lake, Lund, Powell River, Stillwater United, Van
Anda, Westview, and Wildwood.
Schools closed.—Bliss Landing, Galley Bay, Okeover Arm, and Southview.
No. 48.  Howe Sound District.
Schools open.—Birken, Britannia  Beach, Britannia  Mine, Pemberton,  Pemberton  Meadows, Squamish, and Woodfibre.
Schools closed.—Alta Lake.
No. 49.  Ocean Falls District.
Schools open.—Bella Bella, Bella Coola United, and Ocean Falls.
Schools closed.—Firvale and Noosatsum.
No. 50.  Queen Charlotte District.
Schools open.—Masset, Port Clements, Sandspit, and Skidegate Inlet United.
No. 51. Portland Canal District.
Schools open.—Premier and Stewart.
Schools closed.—Alice Arm, Anyox, and Big Missouri.
No. 52. Prince Rupert District.
Schools open.—Digby Island, Essington, Inverness, Port Edward, Prince Rupert City, and
Simpson.
Schools closed.—Claxton Cannery, Copper City, Lewis Island, Oceanic Cannery, Oona,
Osland, and Sunnyside Cannery. P 106 APPENDICES.
No. 53.   Terrace District.
Schools open.—Hazelton, Hazelton New, Kispiox, Kitwanga, Pacific, Terrace, Usk, and
Woodcock.
Schools closed.—Cedarvale, Dorreen, Four Mile, Hazelton South, Remo, and Sealey Lake.
No. 54.   Smithers District.
Schools open.—Barrett Lake, Driftwood Creek, Evelyn, Glentanna, Houston, Quick,
Smithers, and Telkwa.
Schools closed.—Duthie Mine, Hubert, Round Lake, Walcott, and Woodmere.
No. 55.  Burns Lake District.
Schools open.—Alexander Manson, Burns Lake, Danskin, Decker Lake, Endako, Francois
Lake, Grassy Plains, Omineca, Palling, Perow, Tchesinkut Lake, Tintagel, Topley, and
Wistaria.
Schools closed.—Bulkley North, Cheslatta, Colleymount, Forestdale, Francois Lake West,
Nithi Mountain, Nithi River, Savory, Sheraton, Southbank, Streatham, Tatalrose, and Uncha
Valley.
No. 56.  Vanderhoof District.
Schools open.—Ellesby, Fort Fraser, Fort St. James, Fraser Lake, Lakes District, Mapes,
Meadowdale, Vanderhoof, and Willowvale.
Schools closed.—Bearhead, Braeside, Chilco, Engen, Finmore, Fort Fraser North, Fraser
Lake North, Hulatt, Lily Lake, Marten Lake, Naltesby, Orange Valley, Pinchi Lake, Prairie-
dale, Stuart River, and Webber Lake.
No. 57. Prince George District.
Schools open.—Aleza Lake, Beaverley, Chief Lake, Cranbrook Mills, Crescent Lake, Ferndale, Fort George, Fort George South, Fraser Flats, Giscome, Hansard, Isle Pierre, Mud
River, Newlands, Penny, Prince George City, Reid Lake, Salmon River, Shelley, Sinclair Mills,
Stone Creek, Strathnaver, Tabor Creek, Thompson, Willow River, and Woodpecker.
Schools closed.—Bednesti, Cale Creek, Camp Creek, Canyon Creek, Fort George Canyon,
Hutton, Longworth United, Ness Lake, Newlands North, and Sylvan Glade.
No. 58.   McBride District.
Schools open.—Beaver River, Bend, Croydon, Dunster, Lamming Mills, Lee, Loos,
McBride, and Snowshoe.
Schools closed.—Dome Creek, Kidd, Mountain View, Red Pass, Shere, and Tete Jaune.
No. 59. Peace River South District.
Schools open.—Arras, Bon Accord, Carpio, Coleman Creek, Dawson Creek, Dawson
North, Dawson South, Devereaux, Doe River, Groundbirch, Kelly Lake, Lake View, Landry,
Moberly Lake, McLeod, Parkland, Pouce Coupe, Pouce Coupe Central, Pouce Coupe East,
Progress, Rolla, Rolla North, Saskatoon Creek, Seven Mile Corner, Shearer Dale, Springhill,
Sunnybrook, Sunrise Valley, Sunset Prairie, Swan Lake North, Swan Lake South, Sweetwater, Tate Creek, Tayloe South, Tuscolla Mountain, Willow Brook, and Willow Valley.
Schools closed.—Alderdale, Belle View, Bissette, Farrel Creek, Hays, High Ridge, Lone
Prairie, Pine East, Riverside, Tupper Creek, Upper Cutbank, and Valley View.
No. 60. Peace River North District.
Schools open.—Airport, Baldonnel, Cecil Lake, Charlie Lake, Crystal Springs, Fish Creek,
Fort St. John, Hudson Hope, Montney, Murdale, Pine North, Pine Upper, Pine View, Rose
Prairie, Sunrise, Taylor Flats, and Transpine.
Schools closed.—Bear Flats, Clayton, Erinlea, Forfar, and Peace View.
No. 61. Greater Victoria District.
Schools open.—Esquimalt District Municipality, Oak Bay District Municipality, Saanich
District Municipality (Inner Wards), and Victoria City. COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. P 107
No. 62.  Sooke District.
Schools open.—Albert Head, Colwood, Happy Valley, Jordan River, Langford, Metchosin,
Muir Creek, Otter Point, Rocky Point, Shirley, Sooke, Sooke East, and Sooke North.
Schools closed.—Goldstream, Kapoor, and Prospect Lake.
No. 63.   Saanich District.
Schools open.—James Island, Saanich District Municipality (Outer Wards), and Saanich
North.
School closed.—Highland.
No. 64. Saltspring District.
Schools open.—Beaver Point, Galiano, Galiano North, Isabella Point, Mayne Island,
Pender Island, and Saltspring United.
Schools closed.—Pender Island South, Retreat Cove, Saturna, and Savary.
No. 65. Duncan District.
Schools open.—Bamberton, Bench, Cobble Hill, Cowichan, Cowichan North District
Municipality, Crofton, Duncan City, Fairbridge, Glenora, Koksilah, Mill Bay, Sahtlam, Shawnigan Lake, Solarium, Sylvania, and Westholme.
Schools closed.—Lakeshaw, Malahat Station, artd Shawnigan Lake West.
No. 66.  Cowichan Lake District.
Schools open.—Cowichan Lake, Mayo, Nixon Creek, Rounds, Shaw Creek, and Yount.
No. 67.  Ladysmith District.
Schools open.—Chemainus and Ladysmith City.
Schools closed.—Diamond Crossing, Oyster North, Oyster South, and Silvey.
No. 68.  Nanaimo District.
Schools open.—Brechin, Cedar North, Gabriola United, Harewood, Lantzville, Mountain,
Nanaimo City, Northfield, and Wellington South.
Schools closed.—Cassidy, Cedar East, Cedar South, Chase River, Departure Bay, Extension, Nanoose, Nanaimo Bay, Waterloo, and Wellington.
No. 69.  Qualicum District.
Schools open.—Bowser, Deep Bay, Errington, French Creek, Hillier, Parksville, Qualicum
Beach, and Qualicum Little.
Schools closed.—Horne Lake, Montrose, and Redgap.
No. 70. Alberni District.   .
Schools open.—Alberni City, Beaver Creek, Cherry Creek, Franklin River, Gill, Great
Central, Port Alberni City, and Sproat Lake.
School closed.—Bainbridge.
No. 71.  Courtenay-Cumberland District.
Schools  open.—Bevan-Puntledge,  Comox,  Courtenay  City,  Cumberland  City,  Denman
Island, Fanny Bay, Hornby Island, Oyster River, Tsolum, and Union Bay.
Schools closed.—Comox Lake, McGuigan, Minto, and Royston.
No. 72.  Campbell River District.
Schools open.—Bloedel, Campbell Falls, Campbell River, Cape Mudge, Cortes Island,
Heriot Bay, Owen Bay, Oyster Bay, Quathiaski Cove, Redonda Bay, Sayward, Squirrel Cove,
Stuart Island, and Whaletown.
Schools closed.—Blind Channel, Elk Bay, Hardwicke Island, Menzies Bay, Palmer Bay,
Read Island, Rock Bay, Seymour Narrows, Sayward Upper, Seaford, Surge Narrows, and
Thurlow. P 108 APPENDICES.
No. 73. Alert Bay District.
Schools open.—Alert Bay, Englewood, Malcolm Island, Port McNeill, and Minstrel Island.
Schools closed.—Claydon Bay, Gilford Island, Kaleva, and Kingcome Inlet.
No. 74.   Quatsino District.
Schools open.—Coal  Harbor, Jeune Landing,  Port Alice,  Port Hardy,  Quatsino,  and-
Winter Harbour.
Schools closed.—Fort Rupert and Holberg.
VICTORIA,  B.C. :
Printed by Charles F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1945.
1,805-1145-9333  ERRATA.
Page   12,   third   paragraph,   line   3:    " $958,677,053"   should- read
" $58,677,053."
Page 85, second paragraph under table:   Line 3 should read:   " to
1,331,760 acres or a total of 1,678,600 acres.    I should add that destruc
tion "
Page 103, third paragraph, line 4:   " unemployment" should read
" employment."

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