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The constitution of Virginia, framed by the convention which met in Richmond, December 3, 1867, has the following:
SECTION 1. The general assembly shall elect, on joint ballot, within thirty days after its organization under this constitution, and every fourth year thereafter, a superintendent of public instruction. He shall bave the general supervision of the public free-school interest of the State, and shall report to the general assem. bly for its consideration, within thirty days after his election, a uniform system of public free schools.
Sec, 2. There shall be a board of education, composed of the governor, superintendent of public instruction, and attorney general, which shall appoint, and have power to remove for cause and upon notice to the incumbents, subject to confirmation by the Senate, all county superintendents of free schools. This board shall have regulated by law the management and investment of all the school funds, and such supervision of schools of higher grade as the law shall provide.
Sec. 3. The general assembly shall provide by law, at its first session under this constitution, a uniform system of public free schools, and for its gradual, equal, and full introduction into all the counties of the State by the year 1876, or As much earlier as practicable.
Sec. 4. The general assembly shall have power, after a full introduction of the public free-school system, to make such laws as shall not permit parents and guardians to allow their children to grow up in ignorance and vagrancy.
Sec. 5. The general assembly sball establish, as soon as practicable, normal schools, and may establish agricultural schools and such grades of schools &s shall be for the public good.
SEC. 6. The board of education shall provide for uniformity of text-books and the furnishing of school-houses with such apparatus and library as may be necessary, under suck regulations as may be provided by law.
Sec. 7. The general assembly sila!! set apart, as a permanent and perpetual literary fund, the present literary funds of the State, the proceeds of all pnblic lands donated by Congress for public-school purposes, of all escheuted property, of all waste and appropriated lands, of all property accruing to the State by forfeiture, and all fines collected for offences cunmitted against the State, and such other sums as the general assembly inay appropriate.
SEC. 8. The general assembly shall apply the annual interest on the literary fund, any capitation or other special provided for by this constitution for pub. lic free-school purposes, and an annual tax upon the property of the State of pot less than one mill por more than five mills on the dollar, for the equal benefit of all the people of the State, the vumber of children between the ages of five and twenty-une years in each public free-school district being the basis of such division. Provision sball be made to supply children attending the public free schools with necessary text-books in cases where the parent or guardian is unable, by reason of poverty, to furnish them. Each county and public free-school district may raise additional sums by a tax on property for the support of public free schools. All unexpended sunis of any one year in any public free-school district sball go into the general school fund for redivision the next year: Provided, That any tax authorized by this section to be raised by counties or school districts shall not exceed five mills on a dollar in any one year, and shall not be subject to a redivision as bereinbefore provided in this section.
Sec. 9. The general assembly shall have puwer to foster all higber grades of schools under its supervision, and to provide for such purposes a permanent educutional fund.
SEC. 10. All grants and donations re.eived by the general assembly for educational purposes shall be applied according to the terms prescribed by tbe donors.
CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION RESPECTING EDUCATION.
The following propositions, slightly modified since their first publication in Special Circular No. 4, contain the main features of a system of public instruction which the people of every State, speaking through their constitutional convention, should, in the opinion of the Commissioner of Education, make obligatory on the legislature to provide :
1. The authority and duty of the legislature to establish, aid, support, and supervise schools of every grade, and all institutious and agencies of education, science, and the arts.
2. The security against diminution or diversion of all educational funds and benefactions.
3. The certainty of a minimum rate of taxation, increasing with the popula. tion, sufficient every year to secure the elementary instruction of all children within the State who shall apply, by teachers professionally trained, and in schools legally inspected and approved.
4. The distribution of all State appropriations derived from taxation or funds, on such conditions and in modes as will secure local taxation or individual contributions for the same purpose, a lively municipal or public interest in the expenditure of both sums, the constant co-operation of parents at home in realizing the work of the school, and the regular attendance of pupils.
5. A State board of education, having supervision of all educational institutions incorporated or aided by the State, and constituted in such way as to secure literary, scientific, and professional attainment and experience, freedom from denominational or party preponderance, sympathy with the wants of different sections and occupations, and independence of local or special influence.
6. A system of inspection, administered by the State board, intelligent, professional, frequent, and independent of local or institutional control, with the widest and fullest publicity of results.
7. State scholarships, securing free instruction in any higher institution incorporated or aided by the State, conditioned on fitness to enter and profit by the same, ascertained by open competitive examination.
8. A retiring fund, for teachers of public schools, made up of an annual allowance by the State, and an equal payment by those who register to secure its benefits, conditioned on prolonged service in the business of teaching.
9. An obligation on parents and guardians not to allow children to grow up in barbarism, ignorance, and vagrancy; and the exercise of the elective franchise, or of any public office, conditioned on the ability of the applicant to read understandingly the Constitution and the laws, and forfeited by any parent or guardian of children who neglects to secure the formal instruction of such children between the ages of 6 and 14 years, for at least eight months in the year, or to pay for their maintenance, if sent to a prison or reformatory, while minors.
PREVENTIVE AND REFORMATORY EDUCATION.
From our earliest connection with the administration and improvement of Public Schools in the States of Connecticut and Rhode Island, we have been convinced of the necessity of establishing and employing special institutions and agencies, of various kinds, to meet the educational deficiencies, and counteract the causes and tendencies to vice and crime among a large and increasing class of the population in cities and manufacturing villages. In a report to the Legislature of Rhode Island in 1845, the following suggestions were made in reference to the Supplementary Schools and Agencies required in the cities and large villages of that State.
* Evening Schools should be opened for apprentices, clerks, and other young persons, who have been hurried into active employment without a suitable elementary education. In these schools, those who have completed the ordinary course of school instruction, can devote themselves to such studies as are directly connected with their several trades or pursuits while those whose early education was entirely neglected, can supply, to some extent, such deficiencies. It is not beyond the legitimate scope of a system of public instruction, to provide for the instruction of adults, who, from any cause,
in early life were deprived of the advantages of school attendance.
Libraries, and courses of familiar lectures, with practical illustrations, collections in natural history, and the natural sciences, a system of scientific exchanges between schools of the same, and of different towns,—these and other means of extending and improving the ordinary instruction of the school-room and of early life, ought to be provided, not only by individual enterprise and liberality, but by the public, and the authorities entrusted with the care and advancement of popular education.
One or more of that class of educational institutions known as “ Reform Schools," “ Schools of Industry," or " Schools for Juvenile Offenders," should receive such children, as defying the restraining influence of parental authority, and the discipline and regulations of the public schools or such as are abandoned by orphanage, or worse than orphanage, by parental neglect or example, to idle, vicious and pilfering habits, are found hanging about places of public resort, polluting the atmosphere by their profane and vulgar speech, alluring, to their own bad practices, children of the same, and other conditions of life, and originating or participating in every street brawl and low-bred riot. Such children cannot be safely gathered into the public schools; and if they are, their vagrant
habits are chafed by the restraints of school discipline. They soon become irregular, play truant, are punished and expelled, and from that time their course is almost uniformly downward, until on earth there is no lower point to reach.
Accustomed, as many such children have been from infancy, to sights and sounds of open and abandoned profligacy,-trained to an utter want of self-respect, and the decencies and proprieties of life, as exhibited in dress, person, manners and language,-strangers to those motives of selfimprovement which spring from a sense of social moral and religious obligation, their regeneration involves the harmonious co-operation of earnest philanthropy, missionary enterprise, and sanctified wisdom. The districts of all our large cities, where this class of children are found, are the appropriate field of home missions, of unobtrusive personal effort and charity, and of systematized plans of local benevolence, embracing friendly intercourse with parents, an affectionate interest in the young, the gathering of the latter into week-day, infant, and primary schools, and schools where the use of the needle, and other forms of labor appropriate to the sex and age of the pupils can be given, the gathering of both old and young into the Sabbath schools and worshipping assemblies, the circulation of books and tracts, of other than a strictly religious character, the encouragement of cheap, innocent and humanizing games, sports and festivities, the obtaining employment for adults who may need it, and procuring situations as apprentices, clerks, &c., for such young persons as may be qualified by age, capacity and character. By individual efforts and the combined efforts of many, working in these and other ways, from year to year, these moral jungles can be broken up,—these infected districts can be purified,—these waste places of society can be reclaimed, and many abodes of penury, ignorance and vice can be converted by education economy and industry, into homes of comfort, peace and joy."
To enforce and illustrate these suggestions, the experience of other States and Countries in providing instruction for clerks, apprentices, and adults, as well as for orpban, vagrant, vicious, and criminal children, was set forth in lectures, “ Educational Tracts,” and School Journals. In
consequence of these lectures and publications, and the earnest efforts of many philanthropic men and women, a “ Reform School for Juvenile offenders ” has been established both in Connecticut and Rhode Island, and the other more important, although less obviously useful agencies of prevention, such as industrial schools, and small family asylums in the neighborhood of cities and villages, are receiving serious attention.
A selection from the publications above referred to, together with many new articles, having been published by the Editor. under the title of “ Reformatory Education,” we have concluded to issue in this Supplementary Number such articles as have not before appeared.