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Those belonging to the judiciary or to the department of education should only be named here, and their duties discussed when they are mentioned under the proper title.
School Policy of United States. - The United States has always recognized that an efficient educational system, free from sectarian control, is essential to the prosperity and perpetuity of a free government. Accordingly, even before the adoption of the national constitution, the school interests were considered. In the ordinance of 1787 creating the Northwest Territory, the 16th and 36th sections of every township in said territory were set apart as a foundation for a common school fund, and in other ways the educational spirit was encouraged.
The government has never receded from the policy thus early laid down, but, while carefully leaving the execution to the various states, has ever encouraged and required the adoption of a common school and higher educational policy by new states as they have successively been added to the Union.
Enabling Act.---Accordingly in the Enabling Act approved February 22, 1889, in accordance with which the constitutions of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington were formed, it was provided that in the new states constitutional provisions should
66 be made for the establishment and maintenance of systems of public schools, which shall be open to all children from said states, and free from sectarian control.” Generous grants of public lands were also made both for the maintenance of common schools and of special schools and colleges.
The School Fund.The school fund of the state consists of the following items:
1st. The proceeds of lands granted, directly or indirectly, by the general government. These at present comprise the 16th and 36th, or equivalent sections, of every township in the state ontside of reservations for common school purposes; seventy-two sections of land for a state university; 140,000 acres for an agricultural college; 100,000 acres for a school of mines; 100,000 acres for state normal schools; 50,000 acres for a state reform school; 50,000 acres for a deaf and dumb asylum.
2d. Five per centum of the proceeds of the sale of public lands within the state.
3d. All estates or distributive shares of estates that may escheat to the state.
4th. All unclaimed shares and dividends of any corporation incorporated under the laws of Montana.
5th. All other grants, gifts, devises or bequests made to the state for general educational purposes.
It is further provided in the constitution that the above school fund shall be controlled and managed by the State Board of Land Commissioners which consists of the Governor, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Secretary of State and Attorney General ; that the income only may be expended; and that the fund be guaranteed by the state against loss or diversion. 1
1 Political Code, page 67.
State Board of Education. The general supervision of the school system of the state is vested in the State Board of Education. This consists of eleven members, eight of whom are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The terms of office are so arranged that the time for which two are appointed expires each year. The other three members are the Governor, who is president of the board, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, who is secretary, and the Attorney General. The State Treasurer is treasurer of the board, though not an active member. The State Board of Education besides having supervision of the various state educational institutions prescribes the rules and regulations for their government. It also makes recommendation to the Legislative Assembly of a uniform system of text books to be used in the public schools of the state below the high schools; grants diplomas to graduates of state educational institutions and honorary degrees to persons not graduates; grants state diplomas to, and appoints and commissions teachers to act as instructors in county institutes, and exercises other powers in harmony with its objects.
Educational Institutions. The state institutions under control of the State Board of Education are:
The University of Montana, at Missoula. 2
· Constitution of Montana, Art. XI., Sec. 2. 2 Political Code, 21,540, et seq.