Cost records and reports for public schools
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What is the efficiency of the school system? This is the first question asked when a consideration of the money spent in the past, or what should be spent in the future, on that particular system, is taken up. To determine this, two things must be done. First; the amount of money spent for various items in that system must be compared with amounts for similar items spent in other systems which are under more or less the same conditions. Second: the expense of the different parts of the same system must be compared with each other. Up to the present time, in Missouri, there has been no standard for measuring the efficiency of schools, so far as the amount of money spent on them was concerned. This is mainly due to the lack of suitable methods for recording and reporting financial data of schools, without which, comparison is impossible. The aim of this paper then, is to show the purposes and needs of school financial records and reports, to point out where present reports fail, and to devise a system of records and reports that will enable Superintendents of Missouri Schools to determine the efficiency of their schools, using the cost of the same as a basis for their determinations. The idea will be to outline in what respects city school expenses should be compared with each other and to arrange for every item of expense so it can be put under a definite head, leaving very little of the yearly expense under the meaningless title, "Miscellaneous". At the same time that a system for recording school expenses is worked out, a method will be devised for best making known these facts to the patrons and supporters of the schools. In order to ascertain whether such a set of records and reports is applicable to Missouri Schools, the financial data from a representative school of the State will be arranged under the heads suggested, special pains being taken to see that provision has been made for all items of expense that occur in that system, and that no unnecessary division has been put in. The three fold plan then is
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