Message of Governor James S. Hogg to the twenty-fourth legislature of Texas Page: 30 of 48
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MESSAGE OF GOVERNOR HOGG.
The constitutional mandate that the Legislature shall raise sufficient
revenue to maintain and support the public free schools of this State for
a period of not less than six months of each year, has never been complied
with, and it can not and never will be obeyed without increased
taxation. The revenue has not been increased. The scholastic population
has. This is the trouble.
The available means derived from the permanent school fund, consisting
of the public free school lands, the land notes and bonds, added to the
constitutional appropriation of one per cent of the permanent fund, fall
far short of maintaining the schools up to the standard required by the
Constitution. In my first message to the Legislature, four years ago, these
questions were fully discussed, and advice was therein given to increase
taxation for their support. The following quotation from that message
on the subject is given for the purpose of reiterating the sentiments it
" The misleading opinion, that the State will educate the children at its
own expense, to some extent seems to prevail. This may sound well and
appear as plausible; but the pertinent question is, How will the State get
the money with which to do this? The only answer is, From the peopleI
The people compose the State. It exists by their consent, for their convenience,
to promote their happiness. Without money it can not exist,
and that must be raised by some method of taxation. A partial and
qualified exception to this rule applies to the public free schools. For
their support, the people-the State-once owned a vast domain. At
first it seemed to be the general expectation that all the expenses of the
schools could be defrayed out of it without resort to taxation. No longer
does such an opinion prevail among those who are informed on the subject;
and there is no hope of such a mistake ever again being excusable.
The proposition, narrowed down to the line of candor, is, that if the
people ever expect to have an efficient system of free schools, they must
prepare to pay for it. Resort to sophistries and subterfuges may disguise
the truth, but its essence and effect will nevertheless remain. Unmask
the facts, deal candidly, and let the truth be known. If the people revolt
at the situation, they alone have the power to change it."
I advocated an increase of taxes for this purpose then, and again discharge
my constitutional obligation in this respect by repeating the selfevident
proposition, that the mandate of the highest law known to thepublic
servant can not be complied with as to public schools without an
increase of the tax rate in proportion to the increase of scholastic population.
To efficiently maintain them, the Legislature must raise the revenue.
There is little use of attempting to dodge the question any further.
As the population increases, the revenues remain comparatively unchanged.
As a consequence, the per capita apportioned by the State
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Hogg, J.S. (James S.). Message of Governor James S. Hogg to the twenty-fourth legislature of Texas, book, 1895; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5862/m1/30/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .