Departmental Bulletin Paper 尋常小学校無償原則下における授業料徴収問題─その実態と学説および無償化「小学校令」の「違憲性」─(高成廈教授・寺木伸明教授 退任記念号)
The Charging of School Fees During the Period of Free Compulsory Education in Modern Japan: A Study of Its Theory and Practice, with Reference to the Unconstitutionality of the Elementary School Ordinance Providing Free Education(Special Issue Dedicated to Professor KO Sung-Ha,Professor TERAKI Nobuaki)

竹中, 暉雄

This paper discusses the problem of the charging of school fees during the period of free compulsory education in modern Japan. 1 The charging of school fees for compulsory education was not sustained by any definite philosophy. There were exceptional cases when not only poor families but even relatively wealthy communities were exempted from charges, and also cases when charges were levied on the relatively poor community as well as on the wealthy. As a result, various unequal and unreasonable conditions came about. 2 No official explanation was given to the general public as to why it was necessary to pay school fees when compulsory education was supposed to be free, nor as to why it sometimes became unnecessary to pay. 3 Instead of the charging of fees, since the "Elementary School Ordinance" of 1900 had provided that compulsory education should be free, communities were still obliged to pay higher resident taxes because there was as yet no governmental grant to elementary schools. 4 Many books on educational administration defined the charging of school fees as a natural levy, and could not agree logically with the principle of free education. After the "Elementary School Ordinance" providing free compulsory education was issued, their explanation of free education consequently became very vague. 5 In a sense, the "Elementary School Ordinance" providing free compulsory education was unconstitutional, because the "city and town=village system" law of 1888 authorized cities, towns and villages to collect service charges as required, and the Imperial Constitution prescribed that an ordinance could not override the existing law. The author concludes that it was because of this that jurists, who must have been aware of this fact, hesitated to give their unconditional support to the free education system, with the result that their explanations became all the more vague.

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