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Financial Support for Public Education

North Dakota Education Expenditures

This chart, included in the North Dakota state tax commissioner's 1913 report, tracks the increasing expenditures for education in North Dakota.

Even with the prevalent Progressive ideology and the demand for a normal school in the rapidly growing northwestern section of the state, one final element needed to fall into place, the school could not be established without financial support.

Coming out of the recession in the late 1800s, the United States economy was on an upward curve. This was also true in North Dakota, which boasted availability of land and a burgeoning population, a combination which contributed to expanding agricultural production, especially of wheat. Much of the state's increased revenue was devoted to public educational institutions, ranging from the common schools to the institutions of higher education. The North Dakota State Tax Commissioners' 1913 report provides evidence of these expenditures.




Commissioners' Quote: Expenditure Chart

In their report, the tax commissioner noted the significant increase in the amount of state funding that was being funneled into education. He stated that in 1890 a mere expenditure of $25,600 was devoted to education, but for the year of 1910, two decades later, more than $1,190,000 had been allotted.

Commissioners' Quote: Price of Education


In his report on North Dakota's economy and growth, the commissioner pointed out that state disbursements for education had increased nearly eight and one-half times since 1891, while expenditures for other purposes had increased in line with the state's population growth, at a rate of two and one-half times. In 1913, nearly two-thirds of the state's expenditures were for education.