« AnteriorContinuar »
select trustees and suspend or revoke teachers' certificates for sufficient cause, giving notice to the authority which issued the certificate, and notifying the teacher of the right of appeal, and to whom such appeal should be made.
Eighth.--School trustees are to take special charge of the management of the schools over which they have been appointed, and inspect them once a month to see that the progress made and the order preserved are satisfactory. They are also to attend to the construction and repair of school buildings and furniture, and to procure a proper supply of text-books and apparatus.
Ninth.—Teachers' certificates granted by a Board of Public Instruction are good for one year in the county in which they are issued. The State Superintendent may grant certificates to graduates of the Department of Teaching, and to eminently successful teachers, to be good during a year in any part of the State. Certificates are of three grades, and the standard of qualification is to be fixed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Tenth.-Reading the Bible, and short devotional exercises of a non-sectarian character, at the opening of schools, are not prohibited, but attendance at such exercises is not compulsory.
Eleventh.-One half day in each week may be devoted to instruction in needle-work or manual labor.
Twelfth.-All matters of difference arising between school officers and teachers shall be submitted to two arbitrators, chosen one by each party. If the two cannot agree, they shall choose a third, and the decision of any two of them shall be binding
Thirteenth.—The Florida State Agricultural College, designed to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, is established by law, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction is, ex officio, President of the College.
The organization of the Common School System in Florida is of so comparatively recent a date that we are unable to give a view of the progress made during ten years. The following are the latest educational statistics :
YEAR 1873–74. School Districts in the State....
· 39: School-houses erected during the year.
24. Cost of the same.....
Average $300. Total value of school-houses...
$250,000. Pupils enrolled in the schools..
.27,000. Average daily attendance..
.18,coo. Number of school officers.
500. Male Teachers employed..
,150. Average wages.. Female Teachers employed.
• 350. Average wages...
$35. Amount of State School Fund...
8300,000. Number of illiterate children..
. About 60,000. Legal school age.....
.4 to 21 years. Average cost of schooling for each scholar...
. $3.28. Number of White scholars in public schools.
6,000. in private schools...
·3,0co. Number of Colored scholars in public schools.
12,000. Total receipts for school purposes..
$160,000. Total expenditures..
Hon. G. J. Orr, State School Commissioner, was born in Anderson, S. C., 1819, and early removed to Jackson County, Georgia. He spent the first years of his life on his father's farm, and at the age of twenty, opened a Latin grammar for the first time. Five years later (1844) he graduated at Emory College, with high distinction. He had previously spent two years at the University of Georgia, in a class which has furnished many distinguished men to the country. Soon after graduating Professor Orr was appointed Tutor of the Latin language at Emory College. Subsequently he was appointed Professor of Mathematics in the same institution, which position he tilled with great acceptance for eighteen years. In 1867, he resigned to become President of the Southern Masonic Female College, at Covington, Georgia. After four years of arduous labor there he was elected Professor of Mathematics in Oglethorpe University. Having filled this chair during one year, he was called by Governor Smith to the position of School Commissioner for the State of Georgia. The present School Law of the State was drafted by him.
EDUCATION IN THE PAST.
GEORGIA was one of the original thirteen States ratifying the Constitution of the United States. Her original Constitution (1777) contained a proviso to the effect that schools should be erected in each county, and supported at the general expense of the State. In 1783, the Legislature donated one thousand acres of land to each county for the support of free schools; in 1784, forty thousand acres for the endowment of a University, and in 1792, five thousand dollars for the endowment of an academy in every county in the State. While there was more or less educational legislation during the fifty years that followed, the cause of education made very slow progress.
In 1845, and again in 1856, vigorous but unsuccessful efforts wer made to establish a system of Common Schools, open alike to rich and poor, supported by public tax, and administered by district, county, and State commissioners. The new Constitution of 1868, however, provided for the organization of a thorough system of general education, to be forever free to all children of the State. A General School Law was enacted in 1870, and variously amended in 1872.
PRESENT SCHOOL SYSTEM.
This act is now in force in Georgia, and contains the following main features :
The State School Commissioner is appointed by the Governor, with the consent of the Senate, for four years, and receives an annual salary of twenty-five hundred dollars. He is charged with the administration of the school laws and a general superintendence of the business relating to the public schools of the State.
The State Board of Education, comprising the Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller-General, Attorney-General, and State School Commissioner, constitutes an advisory body, with whom the State School Commissioner shall have the right to consult when he is in doubt as to his official duty. This body is also in the nature of a court, to which appeals can be made from the decision of the State School Commissioner upon any question touching the construction or administration of the school laws; the decision of the State Board, when rendered, is final and conclusive. Appeals to the State Board must be made in writing
County Boards are elected by the Grand Jury, and must be composed of freeholders. Vacancies in the boards are temporarily filled by the Judges of the Superior Court. These boards employ teachers, purchase grounds, build school-houses, prescribe text-books, grant licenses to teachers on recommendation of the County School Commissioners, and hear and determine appeals from teachers whose licenses have been revoked for alleged cause, by County School Commissioners. They fix the compensation of County Commissioners, not to exceed three dollars a day, and are exempted from road, jury, and militia duty, in consideration of their own services.
County School Commissioners are elected by the County Boards of Education. They sign the contracts made by County Boards with teachers, examine applicants for licenses to teach, revoke licenses for incompetency, immorality, or cruelty to pupils, are custodians of the school fund, and act generally as the medium of communication between the State School Commissioner and subordinate school officers.
County Boards of Education are empowered to establish evening schools whenever and wherever they may deem best. They may prescribe text-books, provided the Bible is not excluded from the public schools of the State.
The white and colored races cannot be taught together in the
same school. The same facilities must, however, as far as practicable, be afforded to both races. The scholastic age is six to twenty-one years.
County Boards can organize one or more self-sustaining manual labor schools in each county, subject, however, to the approval of the State Board of Education.
The School Fund consists of the poll tax, special tax on shows and exhibitions, and spirituous and malt liquors, endowments, devises, gifts, and bequests made to the State or State Board of Education, all educational funds and incomes due the State University, one-half the net earnings of the Western and Atlantic Railroad, and such other sums as the State may from time to time raise by a general tax upon the whole property of the State.
LEGISLATION DURING 1874.
During 1874, the State Legislature passed five School Acts. The only change of importance made in the existing laws was a provision that the enumeration of the school population should be taken once in four years, instead of annually, as heretofore.
State School Commissioner Orr sends us the following statistics for 1874. They embrace all the counties of the State, or fifteen more than were included in his recent published report. There are no statistics for 1863-4:
Number of white schools in the State. ...
1,562 Number of colored schools in the State..
412 Number of white male scholars admitted..
35,792 Number of white female scholars admitted ..
28,607 Number of colored male scholars admitted..
10,449 Number of colored female scholars admitted....
10,337 Total number of white scholars admitted ....
64,398 Total number of colored scholars admitted..
20,786 Total number of white and colored scholars admitted......... 85, 184