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basis of which substantially the schools remained for a half century. By its provisions the powers before exercised by the towns was conferred upon school societies, with territorial limits and corporate powers as ecclesiastical societies, sometimes co-extensive with a town, in some cases part of a town, and in other cases made up of two or more towns, as might be convenient for public worship, which mainly determined their formation. So long as ecclesiastical societies determined the religious activity of the people, no detriment to the schools ensued, either in respect to support or supervision. The societies were authorized to appoint visitors, whose duty it was to examine instructors at any of their meetings; to displace such as were found deficient in any requisite qualification, or would not conform to their regulations; to superintend and direct the instruction of youth in letters, religion, morals, and manners; to appoint at their discretion public exercises for the youth; to visit the schools twice, at least, during each season of schooling, at which two or more should be present; and particularly to direct the daily reading of the Bible by such youths as are capable of it, and the weekly instruction in some catechism by them approved, and recommend that the master conclude the exercises of each day with prayer; and continue in office during the pleasure of the society.'

In 1810 the expenses of keeping a district school above the amount of public money was apportioned according to the number of days' attendance of each person at school, which is the origin of the Connecticut Rate Bill system, althongh the system of parental payments had been the practice of this State from the beginning, and under it a lively interest in school matters had secured universal instruction no where else realized.

In 1820 an act was passed providing that the appropriation of $2 upon every $1,000 of the tax list of every school society (the regular State tax for schools) should not be made obligatory whenever the income of the school fund amounted to $62,000, which it did next year; and from this date the fund operated injuriously to the schools by relieving the towns of the obligation and the habit of school taxation, and limiting instead of increasing the resources of the districts, or throwing the increasing expenses of the schools on the rate bill of the scholars. From this date the income of the fund was appropriated to the several societies and districts, according to the number of persons over 4 and under 16 years of age, which necessitated an official enumeration of children, and thus made known the requirements of the districts for school accominodation and pecuniary means.

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In 1827 an agent was employed by the Hartford School Society to visit the different parts of the State and collect statistics of schools, and almost every year henceforward the details of scho improvement were discussed in conventions, until 1837, when, on motion of Henry Barnard, member of the House from Hartford, the school visitors and the society committee were required to make returns to the comptroller respecting the condition of the schools in certain specified particulars; and in the yı ar following, the saine work was done by Mr. Baruard by circulars addressed to school visitors and teachers.

In 1836 the State's proportion of the United States Surplus Revenue (amounting to $764,670) was received by the State aud deposited with the towns, on condition that at least one-half of its entire income should be devoted to the promotion of education in the common schools. In 1855 the entire income was required to be appropriated to the same object.

The State exercised a direct supervision of the common schools for the first time in 1838, when, on motion of Mr. Barnard, a Board of Commissioners of Common Schools was instituted, with a secretary as its executive officer. The duties of the Board were mainly to collect and disseminate information and awaken public interest in behalf of the schools, and the means of popular education generally.

In 1839, by an act drawn up by the Secretary of the State Board, who was chairman of the House Committee on Education, the school districts were authorized to tax themselves to the amount of $30 for the first year, and $10 for each subsequent year, for school libraries, and to associate for the purpose of supporting a union or high school; school societies were authorized to maintain common schools of different grades to secure the tree, equal, and careful instruction of all the youth thereof, and to distribute the school money to the districts according to the actual attendance in each;'. and the school visitors to appoint a special committee to examine teachers, visit schools, and exercise all the duties of the whole Board, and receive compensation for their time. In 1841 these and other provisions were incorporated into the revised school code.

In 1842 the act constituting the Board of Commissioners was repealed, but the powers of the secretary were assigned in 1845 to the Commissioner of the School Fund, who was made ex-officio Superintendent of Common Schools. During this period the former Secretary of the Board of Commissioners prepared all the official circulars and the annual reports to the legislature, and in


1849 was made superintendent, in virtue of his office as principal of the State Normal School.

In 1847, the Superintendent of Common Schools was authorized to employ suitable persons to hold schools of teachers in the several counties, similar to those held in 1839-40.

In 1848 this provision was made permanent, and these meetings were called Teachers' Institutes. From that date, on an average, one institute has been held in each county, with an aggregate attendance of at least 1,000 teachers every year.

In 1849, an act to establish a State Normal School was passed, and placed under the direction of a Board of Trustees, who located the same at New Britain, in consideration of the offer of a suitable building, and facilities for model and practice schools. Thus was consummated an enterprise which had been presented by Prof. Olmstead in 1816, advocated by Thomas H. Gallaudet in 1824, and urged in various ways by others in every year subsequently

In 1854, towns were required to raise by taxation a sum equal to one cent on the dollar on their grand lists (as made up at that time), for the support of schools, and to distribute the amount to the several school societies within the towns.

In 1856, school societies were abulished, and their property and obligations were transferred to towns, which, by the revision of 1872, inust maintain public schools in every organized school district, or, in case school districts are abolished, a sufficient number of good public schools of different grades in various parts of the town, which shall be open to all children over four years of age, residing within the same, without distinction of race or color.

In 1858 and 1862, attempts were made to graduate the rate of tuition according to the grade of the school; but in 1868 the town tax was increased to an amount sufficient to make the schools free.

In 1871, an annual appropriation was made from the State treasury of a sum equal to fifty çents for each person between the ages of 4 and 16, to be paid with the dividends of the school fund, and which in 1872, was increased to one dollar and fitty cents for each person aforesaid.

I. The system of Common Schools in Connecticut is administered by (1,) State Board of Education, composed of the Governor, Lient. Governor, and four persons, one from each Congressional district, and charged with the general supervision and control of the educational interests of the State, with special power to prescribe what books shall be used, but not to require any book to be changed oftener than once in five years; to prescribe the form of all school reports; to establish and manage a State Normal School, and hold conventions of teachers, and to appoint a secretary, whose business it is made to exercise a general supervision over the public schools, to visit different parts of the State for the purpose of awakening and guiding public sentiment in relation to the practical interests of education, to collect school-books, apparatus, maps, and charts as can be obtained without expense to the State, and to report, annually, to the board on the condition of thc Normal schools and other public schools of the State.

(2,) A Board of School Visitors for each town, of six or nine members, as the town may determine, who prescribe regulations for the management, studies, classification, and discipline of the public schools; examine candidates and issue certificates of qualifications to such as they find qualified. If authorized by the towns, this board may employ the teachers for the schools; visit the schools through one or more of their members, called an acting visitor or visitors; and report to the town and the board, annually, and when required.

(3) A committee of each district, charged with all matters of local management, unless the same shall have been transferred by the town to the school visitors.

II. The law designates certain branches in which the teachers must be found qualified to teach, and which any parent may require his child, if properly qualified, to receive instruction, viz., reading, writing, arithmetic, and grammar thoroughly, and the rudiments of geography, history, and drawing. There are no limitations or specifications as to the studies which may be introduced into schools of a higher grade which the towns are authorized to establish.

III. From the year 1650, it has been made by law the duty of all parents and guardians of children • to bring them up in some honest and lawful calling, and to cause them to be instructed,' originally

to read the Holy Word of God and other good laws of the colony,' but by existing statute in reading, writing, English grammar, geography and arithmetic.' By the existing law, any child between the ages of 8 and 14 must attend some school, public or private, or be instructed at home, at least three months in each year, unless the physical or mental condition renders such instruction inexpedient. And no child under 14 can be employed to labor in any business, whatever, unless he has attended school three months out of the twelve preceding, under a penalty of $100 for each offense. Each city or town may make all needful regulations con

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cerning habitual truants from school, or children under 16 years of age found loitering during school hours, with prescribed modes for their arrest, penalties, and for repeated convictions, their sentence to the State Reform School, and in case of girls, to the Girls' Industrial School. To carry out these provisions relative to children engaged in factory labor, the State Board appoint an agent who visits the localities, confers with employers and teachers, and thus, without actually appealing to penalties, secures the enforcement of the law. But the statistics of the Secretary's report for 1872, and the national census of 1870, show that the aim of the law-universal school attendance, and universal elementary instruction at home or at school, are not now reached. The census shows that there were 29,616 persons over 10 years old, of all races, who were returned as illiterate-over 19,000 who could not read, and over 29,000 who could not write. Of the 29,616 thus returned, 27,913 were white, and of these 5,678 were native born. Out of 131,748 persons over 4 and under 16 years of age in January, 1872, only 83,874 were registered as scholars in public schools in the summer of 1872, and 94,787 in the winter of 1.872. If to these we add 9,029 in private schools, it leaves 11,947 not in any school, public or private.

IV. The support of common schools comes from: (1) State treasury-income of State School Fund, and a sum eqnal to $1.50 for every child between the ages of 4 and 16; (2,) town treasuryincome from town funds, and such portion of the town tax as may be necessary to keep the public school, according to law; (3,) district treasury-income from local funds, and property taxation; (4,) voluntary contributions to prolong the schools.

In 1872, there were 166 towns; 1,521 school districts, with 1,638 schools, classified into 2,348 departments, under 2,477 teachers (2,240 females), of whom 580 had not taught before; the State School Fund, $2,013,375; Town Deposit Fund, $763,661; Local School Funds, $150,000; valuation of taxable property, $322,553,488. The income in 1872 was, from permanent funds, $178,655; from town and district taxation, $1,127,707; State treasury, $199,414; from other sources, $60,267,- total $1,442,669.

The educational institutions of the State in 1872 consisted of (1,)1,638 common schools; (2,) 170 academies, seminaries, and high schools of secondary instruction ; (3) 3 colleges, 8 professional and special schools (1 teaching, 3 theology, 1 law, 1 medicine, 1 science applied to engineering, agriculture, and architecture, 1 art-industrial and ideal, 1 deaf mute, 1 imbecile), and 290 private schools.

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