Higher Education Suffers Deep Cuts; Schools Feel Depression

September 1937

The depression and tax delinquency has brought many school districts to insolvency. In 1935 the legislature passed a 2 percent sales tax to raise money, in part, for schools. The new money was first distributed on the basis of need, then to all schools on a teacher-student formula. By 1937 the state was paying nearly a third of public school costs as compared with 8 percent in 1929.

The new source of financial support has helped, but still the schools are in difficult straits. Budgets and teachers’ salaries have sufferedCrural teachers receive less than $500 a year.

The depression has hit the state’s campuses very hard. State appropriations in 1933 were slashed between 55 and 60 percent for the university and the colleges. The professors’ salaries dropped from $3,650 to $1,914. There is no money for equipment or library books. This situation has hurt accreditation. The AC has lost its accreditation and the UND medical school is in trouble.


Most North Dakotans buy their groceries at a small nearby store. They are usually owned and operated by a family who lives upstairs over the store or have their quarters attached to the store. Credit is almost always offered and most provide home delivery. Fresh fruit and vegetables are not always available. In larger cities many neighborhood stores are only a few blocks apart.

Courtesy of the Grand Forks Public Library.

By Dr. D. Jerome Tweton


Originally published as The North Star Dakotan student newspaper, written by Dr. D. Jerome Tweton and supported by the North Dakota Humanities Council.

Grade Level


Subject Matter

Social Studies

North Star Dakotan:

Journals and Art Work: The Indian People, The Trade, and The Land

The Indian People

The Purchase and Exploration of Louisiana

The Fur Trade

Dakota Territory

The Military Frontier

The Reservation System

George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn

The Great Dakota Boom, 1878-1890

Reservation Troubles, 1886-1890

The Making of a State and a Constitution

The North Dakota Economy, 1890-1915

Life on the Indian Reservations

The North Dakota National Guard and the Philippines

North Dakota, The Great War and After

The Nonpartisan League's Rise to Power

The Nonpartisan League in Power

The Nonpartisan League's Decline

The 1920s

1930s: North Dakota's Economic and Political Climate

The New Deal in North Dakota

The Road to World War II

North Dakota and American Society

North Dakota Optimism and Economic Developments

North Dakota and Political Change