A-16252, DECEMBER 30, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 426

A-16252: Dec 30, 1926

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ALASKA FUND - EXPENDITURES FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS THAT PORTION OF THE "ALASKA FUND" SET ASIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF SCHOOLS IN ALASKA IS FOR EXPENDITURE UPON THE WARRANT AND VOUCHER OF THE GOVERNOR OF ALASKA AND THE AMOUNT OF SAID FUND WHICH MAY BE EXPENDED IN ANY ONE YEAR IS NOT NECESSARILY LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT OF THE ESTIMATES MADE IN ADVANCE BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR OR THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET. IN WHICH YOU REQUEST DECISION OF THE QUESTION RAISED BY THE GOVERNOR AS TO WHETHER OR NOT EXPENDITURES FROM SAID FUND ARE LIMITED TO THE AMOUNTS ALLOTTED BY THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT FOR SAID PURPOSE. THE CREATION OF THE ALASKA FUND AND THE DISPOSITION OF SAME IS PROVIDED FOR IN THE ACT OF JANUARY 27.

A-16252, DECEMBER 30, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 426

ALASKA FUND - EXPENDITURES FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS THAT PORTION OF THE "ALASKA FUND" SET ASIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF SCHOOLS IN ALASKA IS FOR EXPENDITURE UPON THE WARRANT AND VOUCHER OF THE GOVERNOR OF ALASKA AND THE AMOUNT OF SAID FUND WHICH MAY BE EXPENDED IN ANY ONE YEAR IS NOT NECESSARILY LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT OF THE ESTIMATES MADE IN ADVANCE BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR OR THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, DECEMBER 30, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR COMMUNICATION OF NOVEMBER 6, 1926, TRANSMITTING A LETTER ADDRESSED YOU ON OCTOBER 23, 1926, BY THE GOVERNOR OF ALASKA RELATIVE TO THE ALLOTMENT FROM THE "ALASKA UND" FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN ALASKA, AND IN WHICH YOU REQUEST DECISION OF THE QUESTION RAISED BY THE GOVERNOR AS TO WHETHER OR NOT EXPENDITURES FROM SAID FUND ARE LIMITED TO THE AMOUNTS ALLOTTED BY THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT FOR SAID PURPOSE. THE CREATION OF THE ALASKA FUND AND THE DISPOSITION OF SAME IS PROVIDED FOR IN THE ACT OF JANUARY 27, 1905, 33 STAT. 616, AS AMENDED BY THE ACTS OF MAY 14, 1906, 34 STAT. 192, FEBRUARY 6, 1909, 35 STAT. 601, MARCH 3, 1913, 37 STAT. 728 AND FEBRUARY 4, 1917, 39 STAT. 903, READING IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

* * * ALL MONEYS DERIVED FROM AND COLLECTED FOR OCCUPATION OR TRADE LICENSES, OUTSIDE OF THE INCORPORATED TOWNS IN THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA, SHALL BE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT OF THE UNITED STATES, THERE TO REMAIN AS A SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FUND, TO BE KNOWN AS THE ALASKA FUND, AND TO BE WHOLLY DEVOTED TO THE PURPOSES HEREINAFTER STATED IN THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA. TWENTY-FIVE PERCENTUM OF SAID FUND, OR SO MUCH THEREOF AS MAY BE NECESSARY, SHALL BE DEVOTED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN SAID TERRITORY; * * *

THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF SCHOOLS IN ALASKA IS PROVIDED FOR IN SECTIONS 3, 4, 5, 6, AND 7 OF THE SAME ACT, 33 STAT. 617 TO 619, SECTION 5 THEREOF PROVIDING THAT:

* * * THE GOVERNOR SHALL ASSIGN AND SET APART TO EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT ESTABLISHED AND ORGANIZED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION A SUM, NOT LESS THAN THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS NOR MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS,IN PROPORTION TO THE NUMBER OF PUPILS IN THE DISTRICT, FOR THE CONSTRUCTION AND EQUIPMENT OF A SCHOOLHOUSE, WHICH SUM SHALL BE PAID BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY TO THE TREASURER OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT UPON THE ORDER AND VOUCHER OF THE GOVERNOR OUT OF THAT PORTION OF THE SAID ALASKA FUND SET APART FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS. THE RESIDUE OF SAID PORTION OF SAID FUND, OR SO MUCH THEREOF AS MAY BE NECESSARY, SHALL BY THE GOVERNOR BE APPORTIONED AMONG THE SEVERAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS ESTABLISHED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION IN AMOUNTS SUFFICIENT FOR EACH DISTRICT TO PAY THE WAGES OF A TEACHER, TOGETHER WITH THE EXPENSE OF FUEL AND LIGHT, FOR FIVE MONTHS' SCHOOL IN EACH YEAR. AND THE AMOUNTS SO APPORTIONED TO EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL BE PAID TO THE TREASURER OF THE DISTRICT BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY UPON THE ORDER AND VOUCHER OF THE GOVERNOR OUT OF THE SAID PORTION OF SAID FUND.

SECTION 7 STIPULATES THAT THE SCHOOLS SPECIFIED AND PROVIDED FOR IN SAID ACT SHALL BE DEVOTED TO THE EDUCATION OF WHITE CHILDREN AND CHILDREN OF MIXED BLOOD WHO LEAD A CIVILIZED LIFE AND THAT THE EDUCATION OF ESKIMOS AND INDIANS SHALL REMAIN UNDER THE DIRECTION AND CONTROL OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AND SCHOOLS FOR AND AMONG THE INDIANS AND ESKIMOS SHALL BE PROVIDED FOR BY ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS.

IT APPEARS THAT FOR THE YEARS 1919 TO 1925, INCLUSIVE, THE EXPENDITURES FROM THE ALASKA FUND FOR SCHOOLS HAS RANGED FROM $73,312.51 IN 1920, OR 22 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL COST, TO $18,212.69 IN 1925, OR 4 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL COST, THE WIDE VARIATION BEING DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE MONEYS APPROPRIATED BY THE TERRITORIAL LEGISLATURE ARE FIRST APPLIED TO THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN ESTABLISHING AND MAINTAINING SCHOOLS, AND THE ALASKA FUND USED ONLY TO COVER THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ACTUAL EXPENSES AND THE AMOUNT DERIVED FROM THE TERRITORIAL APPROPRIATIONS. IT FURTHER APPEARS THAT AS A RESULT OF THIS PROCEDURE THERE REMAINED TO THE CREDIT OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS' ALASKA FUND IN THE TREASURY ON JUNE 30, 1925, AN UNEXPENDED BALANCE OF $42,695.67 AND ON JUNE 30, 1926, THERE REMAINED AN UNEXPENDED BALANCE TO THE CREDIT OF SAID FUND OF $70,784.11. THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT ESTIMATED THAT THE SUM OF $25,000 WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR EXPENDITURE FOR SCHOOLS FROM THIS FUND IN THE FISCAL YEAR 1927 AND HAS ESTIMATED THAT THE SAME AMOUNT WILL BE REQUIRED FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1928, AND IN A MESSAGE TO THE GOVERNOR OF ALASKA, EXPRESSED THE OPINION THAT THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET WOULD CUT THE AMOUNT TO BE EXPENDED IMMEDIATELY.

THE GOVERNOR OF ALASKA PROTESTS SUCH ACTION AND STATES THAT NOT ONLY IS THE ESTIMATE OF $25,000 FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1927 INADEQUATE, $35,000 OF THE ALASKA FUND HAVING ALREADY BEEN OBLIGATED WITH THE PROSPECT THAT $10,000 TO $15,000 ADDITIONAL WILL BE REQUIRED BEFORE THE CLOSE OF THE SCHOOL YEAR, BUT THAT THE NEEDS WILL PROBABLY BE GREATER IN 1928. THE QUESTION IS, THEREFORE, WHETHER OR NOT THE LIMITATION PLACED BY THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT ON EXPENDITURES FOR SCHOOLS FROM THE ALASKA FUND IS AUTHORIZED.

THE FACT THAT THE CONGRESS SPECIFICALLY STIPULATED THAT THE SCHOOLS FOR INDIANS AND ESKIMOS SHOULD REMAIN UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR AND THAT ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS SHOULD BE MADE THEREFOR,TOGETHER WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 5, SUPRA, THAT THE AMOUNTS APPORTIONED BY THE GOVERNOR TO EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT SHOULD BE PAID BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY UPON THE ORDER AND VOUCHER OF THE GOVERNOR, IMPELS THE CONCLUSION THAT THE QUESTION AS TO THE AMOUNT AUTHORIZED TO BE EXPENDED FORM THE "ALASKA FUND" FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF THE SCHOOLS HERE UNDER CONSIDERATION IS NOT NECESSARILY LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT OF THE ESTIMATES MADE IN ADVANCE BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR OR THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET. HOWEVER, THE FULL 25 PERCENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO BE EXPENDED FOR SUCH PURPOSES UNLESS SAID AMOUNT IS NECESSARY TO SO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN SAID SCHOOLS TO THE EXTEND AND SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS PRESCRIBED IN THE SAID ACT OF JANUARY 27, 1905. IF IN ANY YEAR THE AMOUNT NECESSARY TO SO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN SAID SCHOOLS TO THE EXTEND AND SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS PRESCRIBED IN THE SAID ACT OF JANUARY 27, 1905. IF IN ANY YEAR THE AMOUNT NECESSARY TO SO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN SAID SCHOOLS IS LESS THAN 25 PERCENT OF THE AMOUNT DERIVED FROM THE SOURCES FROM WHICH THE "ALASKA FUND" IS OBTAINED, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT SO NECESSARY AND THE 25 PERCENT IS APPROPRIATED FOR MAINTENANCE OF WAGON ROADS, BRIDGES, AND TRAILS IN ALASKA AND MAY NOT BE USED OR ACCUMULATED FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE. THE FACT THAT BY THE USE OF TERRITORIAL FUNDS THE SCHOOLS ARE ESTABLISHED ON A MORE EXTENSIVE SCALE OR ARE MAINTAINED FOR A LONGER PERIOD DURING THE YEAR THAN AS PROVIDED FOR IN THE ACT OF 1905 DOES NOT PRECLUDE THE USE OF THE ENTIRE 25 PERCENT OF THE AMOUNT ACCRUING TO THE "ALASKA FUND" FOR SAID YEAR IF SAID 25 PERCENT IS IN FACT NECESSARY TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN THE SCHOOLS TO THE EXTENT AND SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS PRESCRIBED IN THE SAID ACT.