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number of persons
'not less than five, who may choose to associate together to establish a school in their neighborhood for the sake of having their children educated, with power to purchase and hold a site of two acres, erect a school-house, and elect trustees to manage the same.
The teachers of these schools were required to make return of the number of pupils, courses of study, and books used.
The law of 1821 was made slightly efficient by the act of 1830, “to establish a uniform system of public schools,' in which this provision occurs, 'any widow or femme sole over 21 years
of age, residing and owning property subject to taxation for school purposes in any school district, shall have the right to vote, either in person or by written proxy; also infants so situated
vote by proxy.' The law of 1830 was one of the fruits of the manifold labors of Rev. Benjamin 0. Prers, a native of Kentucky, and graduate of Transylvania University, who, upon completing his theological studies at Princeton, established at Lexington in 1827 the Eclectic Institute, in which he aimed to embody the views of Pes. tolozzi, Fellenberg, and Rensellaer; and in the year following, the Mechanics’ Institute, the objects of which were elaborately set forth in an introductory address in which he fortificd his views with copious extracts from Lord Brougham on popular education, and the pnl lications of Gallaudet and Carter on the education of teachers and the better supervision of schools. But the most timely and practical effort of Mr. Peers was a Letter printed in the Report of the Committee on Education to the legislature, in which he embodies the results of his personal visits to the schools of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York, and his conference with eminent school men of those States (Clinton, Flagg, Carter, and Gallaudet,) on the true uses of a State School Fund, which he sets forth to be, to prepare and pay well qualified teachers, to stimulate local and parental effort, and to secure thorough and intelligent supervision, That Letter, and his other publications to make known the objects of his Institute, and the views of eminent educators of our own and other countries, exerted great influence throughout the Western States. He employed Philip Neff, a pupil and teacher of Pestalozzi in his institute, and his Journal (1822) was one of the earliest of our educational periodicals.
In 1838 an important act to establish a system of common schools was passed, by which a Board of Education was instituted, of which the Superintendent of Public Instruction, appointed by the Governor with the consent of the senate, was made a member and the executive officer. By this law the State was divided into
districts, and the income of the small permanent fund was increased by a tax of two cents (made three by popular vote in 1850) on every one hundred dollars of taxable property in the State, designed, according to a subsequent act (1845), 'to encourage and aid the citizens to organize and maintain common schools.'
In 1852 the Superintendent was instructed to report a plan for creating the profession of teaching, and in 1854 the legislature made provision for the education of 150 teachers in the State University at Lexington. But the difficulties of a sparse population, and the peculiar social and industrial habits of the people mado a system of common schools impossible, and the schools never got such a lodginent as to materially modify the habits of the State except in Louisville, where the grailed system was truly efficient, its public high school, teachers, and superintendence comparing favorably with these features in any city. This system was organized in 1829 by the establishment of a central monitorial school, free of expense to all the children of the city under 16 years of age. The monitorial portion was abolished in 1840. Louisville was the first city to establish night schools as part of its system, and to appoint a superintendent, Rev. (now Dr.) James Freeman Clark, to visit the schools and report quarterly of their condition.
According to the report of the State Superintendent for the year ending June 30, 1871, there were 5,117 school districts, in which 5,068 schools were taught to 120,866 pupils, at an expense to the State (about $156,000 income of school funds, $802,000 avails of State property tax,) of $968,176, to which will be added next year the avails of “a rate bill assessed on each patron of the school, according to the number of children and length of time actually sent by each.” The State tax is about 2 mills on each dollar of taxable property, which, according to the census in 1870, was $469,544,294.
The census of 1870, out of a school population (5 to 18) of 454,539, returns 181,225 persons in attendance in the year previous; and out of the entire population (1,324,011) 249,567 persons over 10 years who can not read, and 321,176 who can not write. According to the same census there were in 1870, 5,149 schools of all kinds in operation; 4,727 public schools, viz., 1 normal, 23 high, 19 grammar, 88 graded, 1,596 ungraded, with an aggregate of 218,440 pupils ; 137 classical academies anıl colleges (including two universities), with 12,088 pupils; 15 professional and special schools, 2 law, 4 medicine, 5 theology, 1 ayricultural, 8 com'.mercial, 1 blind, 1 deaf mutes, 1 idiotic.
LOUISIANA. Louisiana was admitted a State in 1812, with a population in 1810 of 76,556, wbich bad increased to 726,915 in 1870, with an area of 41,346 square miles, and taxable property to the value of $254,371,890.
Wbile in a territorial organization, the University of Orleans was instituted, and provision was made for a college in the city of New Orleans, and at least one acadeiny and one public library in each county, and for the support of the same, $50,000 was to be raised annually. In 1808 authority was given to justitute elementary schools in each parish, which in 1819 were placed under police juries, and in 1821 under five trustees appointed by the police jury of each parish, from the resident landowners; and the suin of $800 was appropriated annually to each parish for such schools, wbich could be increased by a local tax on the property of the parish. In 1833 the Secretary of State was made Superintendent of Public Education, and reqnired to submit to the Legislature annually a report ou the coudition of schools, academies, and colleges.
In 1839 special authority was given to the Second Manicipality of New Orleans to establish a system of public schools supported by a tax on the property, which system was organized in that year on a plan submitted by Henry Barnard of Connecticut, to whom the position of superintendent was tendered before the schools were opened, and again in 1819.
In the constitution of 1815, it is ordered that a snperintendent of public education shall be appointed, and that free public schools shall be established throughout the State supported by taxation on property, and that all lands donated by the United States shall constitute a perpetnal fund, on which the State shall pay an annual interest of six per centum for the support of such public schools. In 1847 an act 'to establish Free Public Schools' for all white children between the ages of 6 and 16, provided for the appointment of a State Superintendent, and of a superintendent for each parish, and the collection of a tax of one mill on the dollar of the taxable property of the State, and establishment of a State School Fund out of a consolidation of all land grants (786,044 acres for common schools,) and individual donations made for educational purposes. To these revenues was added in 1855 a capitation tax of ove dollar on each free white male inhabitant over the age of twenty one years. The almost insuperable difficulties of a sparse population, divided socially by race and occupation, made a system of common schools almost impossible out of New Orleans, and Baton Rouge, and the larger villages.
In the constitution of 1868 it is ordained that the General Assembly shall establish at least one free school in each parish, and provide for its support by taxation or otherwise.' 'All children between the years of 6 and 21 shall be admitted to the public schools or other institutions of learning sustained or established by the State in common, without distinction of race, color, or previous condition, There shall be no separate school or institution of learning established exclusively for any race by the State of Louisiana.' Provision is made for the election by the qualified voters of the State, of a Superintendent of Education, to hold his office for four years, and to receive a salary of $5,000 per annum. In the spirit of these provisions, a system of public schools was inaugurated in 1870, which with abundant means, has encountered almost insuperable obstacles from the prejudices of race and the disturbed condition of the public mind. 'Colored citizens are willing to receive the benefits of the schools, but have not the knowledge or experience required to establish and manage a system; the white citizens are opposed to mixed schools.?
The school authorities are: (1) a State Superintendent; (2) ) State Board of Education, composed of the State and six Division Superintendents; (3,) a Superintendent for each Judicial District, of which there are six; (4) Parish Directors, composed of one member for each jury board; (5) Town and City Boards. The means of support consist of (1,) Free School Fund, $1,193.500; (2) Seminary Fund, $138,000; (3) State tax of two mills levied on property, $468,035; amount of poll tax, $112,668.
The general agent of the Peabody Fund in 1870 appropriated $13,800 in aid of schools in 28 different localities, which contributed the sum of $41,445 to the same. Among the schools thus aided was the Peabody Normal Seminary for the State at large at New Orleans. These amounts seem small compared with the State
appropriation of $600,000.
The census of 1870 returns a school attendance of 51,259, out of a population (persons from 5 to 18 years) of 226,114; and 592 schools of all kinds, viz., 178 public, (1 normal, 5 high, 4 grammar, 60 graded common, and 108 ungraded common), with a total of 25,088 pupils; 36 classical academies and colleges (including 2 universities), with 4,357 pupils; 10 special viz., 1 law, 1 medicine, 1 theology, 1 blind, 1 deal mutes, and 4 commercial.
Maine was settled under the colonial jurisdiction of Massachusetts, and acted under the school legislation of that commonwealth, until 1820, when it was admitted as a State, with a population of 298,335, wbich had increased in 1870 to 626,915.
The constitution of 1820 makes it the duty of the legislature ‘to require the several towns to make suitable provision at their own expense, for the support of public schools, and to encourage and suitably endow academies, colleges and seminaries of learning within the State; provided, that no donation, grant, or endowment shall at any time be made by the legislature to any literary institution, unless
the time of making such endowment the legislature shall have the right to grant any further powers to alter, limit, or restrain any of the powers vested in any such literary institution as shall be judged necessary to promote the best interests thereof.' The first school law distinct from that of Massachusetts was passed in 1821, by which each town was required to raise by tax on the polls and estates of the citizens a sum of money, which in the aggregate would amount to at least 40 cents for each inhabitant. This sum, increasing from year to year with the population was apportioned among the several school districts into which each town was divided, for the support of public schools, equally free and accessible to all the childern between the ages of 4 and 21 years, under the local care of an agent appointed by the town for each district, and the general supervision of a superintending committee for the whole town in the matter of teachers and studies. These fundamental principles were slightly altered in 1822 and 1825, by which the election of the agent was left, on the vote of the town, to the district; and the towns of Portland in 1825, Bath in 1828, Bangor in 1832, and all other towns in 1834, were allowed to dispense with a district agent and put all their schools under one board.
In 1825, the selectmen of the several towns were required to make returns to the Secretary of State, once in three years, as to the number of districts, the number of scholars of school age, and the number in actual school attendance, the length of time the schools were kept, and the amount expended in each. Maine was thus the second State to require such returns, and which became henceforth the basis of all school discussion.
In 1828 a permanent State School Fund was commenced by setting apart the sales of twenty townships of the State lands for