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REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT. .

To the People of St. Louis :

I have the honor to present, herewith, the report of The President and Board of Directors of the St. Louis Public Schools, for the school year ending July 31st, 1880, the same being the twenty-sixth annual report.

The financial condition of the Board is exhibited in the report of the secretary (see appendix), and the detailed statement of expenditures, as there presented, will be found quite satisfactory.

During the year, the most rigid economy has been practised in every department of the system, and strict compliance with the rules governing the appropriation and expenditure of money, has been required. The result of the careful management of the affairs of the Board, has been to decrease the bonded debt by $50,000; while, at the same time, the necessary accommodations for the usual annual increase of pupils attending, have been provided, without a general reduction of teachers' salaries. It is believed, too, that the efficiency of the schools has not been impaired in the least degree, by the means that have been inaugurated to carry out the arrangements necessary to the required reduction in the expenditures.

Besides a statement of the receipts and expenditures, there will be found in the report of the secretary, detailed statements of the amount of bills receivable held by the Board at the close of the year; balance sheet for the year; list showing the value of grounds and improvements used for school purposes; statement of the expenses of each school; list of unleased lands belonging to the Board ; and also a list of lands belonging to the Board, and held for school purposes.

The receipts and expenditures for the year, as shown in the report of the secretary, are as follows:

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For teachers' salaries,

$594,410 95 “ janitors'

56,938 65 66 officers'

22,900 00 " supplies to the schools,

13,031 79 16 fuel and gas,

18,469 99 “ repairs and furniture,

38,800 72 66 rent for school-houses,

5,881 45 “ real estate and improvements,

1,501 92 " library,

13,508 00 16 enumeration of children,

5,500 00 “ general expense account (printing, insurance,

water license, cleaning vaults, street sprink-
ling),

12,786 95 Total, .

$783,730 42 From the above table it will be seen that the regular expenses

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for conducting the schools during the year amounted to $782,228.50. The $1,501.92 expended for real estate and improvements is not included in the amount for current expenses. The current receipts, for the year, amounted to $933,185.35. All of the amount received from taxes for the years 1865 to 1876 was placed in the general fund for school purposes; one-fifth of the amount received from the taxes of 1877, and one-ninth of the taxes of 1878 and 1879, was placed in the bonded debt fund.

The city tax for school purposes is limited by law to four mills on the dollar; but an additional mill may be levied for the purpose of liquidating the indebtedness of the Board that was created prior to the adoption of the New Constitution. The tax levied this year was four and one-half mills.

At the close of the fiscal year, July 31st, there remained in the hands of the treasurer, $23,234.22, to be used for current expenses, and $9,644.53 belonging to the building fund, for perma

, nent improvements.

A comparison of the items in the above table with the same for last year shows an increase of $1,523.89 in the receipts for rent; $210 in the amount recived from sales of real estate; and $3,456.95 in the amount of State school fund. The receipts from city taxes have decreased $14,414.37.

The expenditure for teachers' salaries has decreased $29,219.90; for officers' salaries, $754.55; for janitors' salaries, $511.40; for repairs and furniture, $4,367.01; for fuel and gas, $1,624.95; for rent for school houses, $208.55; for supplies, $612.14; and for general expenses, $6,791.06. The expenditure for the Public School Library was $2,708 more than for last year.

The total indebtedness of the Board in November, 1875, was $754,000. This debt is now reduced to $225,000, which is the amount remaining of the $275,000 of bonds issued by the order of the Board, March 12th, 1878, for the purpose of paying the then indebtedness.

The secretary's balance sheet for the year ending July 31st, 1880, exhibits the following general assets : Real estate held for revenue purposes,

$1,279,807 35 school

2,764,363 14 Bills receivable (from real estate sold, etc.),

174,457 09 Missouri State bonds,

46,000 00

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$4,264,627 58 Against these assets the total liability, as above shown, is only $225,000.

The bills payable in the Secretary's list of expenditures, amounting to $130,000, represent the $50,000 of bonds that were paid in January, 1880, and $80,000 of short loans for current expenses, borrowed in June, 1879, and paid in September of the same year.

The regular sources of income do not, at present, much more than meet the expense of running the schools. The decline in the value of city property has caused a decrease in the revenue; while the continual growth of our schools produces generally an annual increase in the cost of maintaining the same. During the present year every possible means have been adopted whereby the entire seating capacity of our buildings might be utilized. Nearly all the schools located within the old city limits now have as many pupils belonging as can well be accommodated; while several of the buildings located in the central and western portions of the city, are more than reasonably full, and it will soon be necessary to refuse further admissions. Additions to quite a number of our buildings will soon be needed, to meet the demand for school accommodations. The Franklin buildin

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has for a long time been in a crowded and uncomfortable condition. The crowded state of this school is not, by any means, its worst feature. The construction of the building is such that proper light and ventilation can not be secured. The recitation-rooms in the rear of the class rooms, make it impossible to admit light and air from more than one direction; and the additional expense attending the organization and conducting of the school in accordance with the system for which this building is best adapted, is considerable. Money would have been saved had a building on the modern plan been erected ten years ago, in the place of the old structure. If the Branch High School, which now occupies the third floor, could be provided for in some other, and probably more suitable locality, this building might be sufficient for the accommodation of all the district school pupils in the immediate vicinity, without using the recitation-rooms. The partitions separating the recitation-rooms from the class-rooms might then be taken down, thus removing the present obstruction to light and ventilation. This is the only one of our buildings that has small recitation-rooms attached to the larger rooms—all the other oldstyle buildings having been remodeled to conform to the modern plan for school edifices.

The principal growth of our city is now westward, between the Pacific railroad and St. Louis avenue. Every year there is a great increase in the number of dwellings in this locality, and the entire seating capacity of all the school buildings west of Jefferson avenue, is now utilized. / It will soon become the duty of the Board to provide additional room in this direction, and it would be well to anticipate the wants of the near future, by securing, at an early date, suitable building sites, near or west of Grand avenue-sites on which twelve-room buildings can be erected and increased to eighteen or twenty-four rooms, as future necessities may demand./ 1 The plan adopted some years ago, of increasing the capacity of schools by making additions on lots adjoining large schools already established, was an excellent one; for it saves much of the expense required in building independent schools, and much of the current expense of maintaining the schools after they are built. /The feasibility of organizing and running large schools

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