« AnteriorContinuar »
School Trustees are selected for three years, employ teachers, locate schools and provide school-houses, establish graded schools, receive and pay out the school revenues, and organize the colored children into separate schools, having all the rights and privileges of other schools.
Whenever the parents or guardians of twenty-five or more children, in attendance at any school of a township, town, or city, demand it, the German language shall be introduced as a branch of study. The legal school age is between six and twentyone years. There is no compulsory education law. The State Superintendent purchases and the State Board distributes the books for the township libraries.
The School Funds have been simplified, and are now embraced under the two heads, Common School Fund and Congressional School Fund. The former embraces the various funds mentioned in the Constitution of the State, and set apart by it for educational purposes, such as the surplus Revenue Fund, Saline Fund, Bank Tax Fund, Sinking Fund, and the fund derived from the sale of county seminaries, the last dollar of which has found its way into the fund, and is, at the present time, productive of interest. This fund embraces, also, fines, forfeitures, escheats, etc., which continue to augment it from year to year. The Congressional Township Fund includes the proceeds of the sales of the sixteenth sections, as well as the present value of such of those lands as remain unsold. Both of these funds may be summarized as follows:
LATEST EDUCATIONAL LEGISLATION.
No session of the Legislature, which meets biennally, was held in the winter of 1874. In 1873 it abolished the office of County School Examiner, creating in its place that of County Superintendent, created County Boards of Education, and imposed a penalty upon teachers for non-attendance at Teachers' Institutes.
NINE YEARS' PROGRESS.
1863-'64. 1873-'74. Average length of schools in days....
105 Average length of schools in months.
5.25 Number enrolled in primary schools... · 370,964.... 451,259 Number enrolled in high schools .... 19,804... 13,895 Average daily attendance of white children....
295,931 Average daily attendance of colored children..
2,920 Number of districts in which schools were taught...
7,907 .... 8,918 Number of districts in which colored schools
were taught... Number of white male and female teachers employed.....
11,965 Number of male teachers employed....
5,274.... Number of colored male and female teachers employed......
91 Number of female teachers employed.
384.... Number of school-houses in the State...
713. Number of school-houses built within the year. 443...
465 Cost of same.....
... $872,900 73 Teachers' Institutes held.
The Convention of Indiana County School Superintendents laid on the table resolutions protesting against the educational provisions of the Civil Rights bill.
DISSENSIONS among the faculty of the Indiana Medical College have led to the organization of a new institution, to be called the “Indiana College of Physicians and Surgeons," and to be established also at Indianapolis.
REPRESENTATIVES from the State Collegiate institutions of Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin met in Chicago in June, 1874, and formally organized a society for promotion of oratory, called the Inter-State Collegiate Association of the Northwest. The first oratorical contest will occur at Indianapolis on the first Thursday in February, 1875. The chief prize is to be a gold medal, the second prize a silver one. The President is Charles F. Hunt, of Indiana.
HON. ALONZO ABERNETHY, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, was born in Sandusky County, Ohio, April 14th, 1836. When seventeen years old he moved to Iowa with his father; taught his first school during the following winter, studied three years and a half at the Educational Institution at Burlington, and entered the
Oniversity of Chicago," where he was pursuing his studies in the senior class when the war broke out. He immediately enlisted as a private in the ninth Iowa Infantry, was severely wounded at the battle of Pea Ridge, participated in the campaign down the Mississippi and around Vicksburg ; fought with Sherman from Chattanooga to Atlanta, and from Atlanta to the sea, and returned home from the wars a Lieut.Colonel, having been promoted through all the successive grades from the ranks. In October, 1865, he was elected to the State Legislature of Ohio. Subsequently he married Miss Louise E. Eaton, became Principal of the “ Baptist College" at Des Moines, and soon after the close of his first year was nominated for Superintendent of Public Instruction, and elected by a majority of 42,256, receiving a total vote of 109,156. He was re-elected October, 1873, for a term of two years. Col. Abernethy has a record to which he may well point with pride.
EDUCATION IN THE PAST.
IOWA was admitted into the Union in 1846. Her original Constitution provided for a State Superintendent, and enjoined the State Legislature to provide a system of Common School Education. The amended Constitution of 1857 gave the Board of Education full power to legislate and make all needful rules and regulations in relation to Common Schools and other educational institutions, aided from the school or university funds, subject to the revision and repeal of the General Assembly.
PRESENT SCHOOL SYSTEM.
The administration of the State Board of Education did not prove entirely satisfactory, and, accordingly, the Legislature reorganized the school system in 1863. It has since been amended in several particulars, and now embraces the following features :
A State Superintendent elected for two years.
Township Boards of Directors, made up of three or more sub-directors for each township, who have the management of the township school fund.
A Sub-Director for each sub-district, for the local management of the school.
State Superintendent Abernethy sends us the following:
Iowa provides for the free instruction of all its youth be tween the ages of five and twenty-one.
The educational system embraces the entire State, and contains about 9,000 schools, distributed in such a manner as to afford to all an opportunity for acquiring a common school education. The law requires all public schools to be kept in operation for at least six months during every year, and provides for their extension as much longer as the inhabitants may elect.
The schools are universally patronized. The people, in every portion of the State, and among all classes, tax themselves liberally for their support, and manifest an intelligent interest in promoting the efficiency and perfection of the schools and the school system.
While the great effort thus far has been in favor of elementary instruction, there are now four hundred well graded schools, many of them with high school departments, with courses of study extending through the natural sciences, higher mathematics, the ancient and modern languages. The number of these schools of a higher grade is rapidly increasing.
Each civil township constitutes a school district, which is divided into sub-districts for the purpose of determining where pupils shall attend school. A board of directors, consisting of one sub-director, elected annually from each sub-district, have the general control and management of the schools of their district.
There are thirteen hundred of these districts in the State, the greater portion of them embracing an area of thirty-six square miles, with boundaries coincident with those of the congressional townships.
All contracts, purchases, payments, and sales are made by the Board, who also locate the school house sites and determine the number of schools which shall be taught in each subdistrict. It is their duty to visit the schools, and aid the teachers in establishing and enforcing rules for the government of the schools. They may discharge incompetent teachers, and may punish irregularity of attendance of pupils by exclusion from the privileges of the schools. They have authority to establish graded and union schools wherever they may be necessary.
In addition to these township districts, there are four hun
dred independent districts, organized in cities and towns, any one of which containing not less than three hundred inhabitants may form an independent district by vote of its electors. They are governed by a board of directors who possess the same general powers as the officers of district townships, all districts being under the same general law. Independent districts, however, have the additional authority to issue bonds, drawing ten per cent. interest, and running not to exceed ten years, for the purpose of erecting school houses. The amount of indebtedness thus created cannot exceed five per cent. of the assessed value of the property of the district.
To support the schools, three funds are provided by law, viz.: a teachers', a school house, and a contingent fund.
The first, devoted to the payment of teachers' salaries, is derived,
1. From the interest on the permanent school fund of the State, accruing from the sale of school lands appropriated by Congress for this purpose.
This fund now amounts to $3,294,742. It yields an annual interest of eight per cent., which is apportioned semi-annually by the auditor of State to counties and school districts in proportion to the number of school population.
The greater portion of this permanent school fund is under the direct control of the several county officers, who loan it on real estate security.
2. A county school tax of not less than one, nor more than three mills on the dollar, levied by the Board of Supervisors on the taxable property of the county; also distributed in proportion to the number of school children.
3. Such additional tax on the property of the district, determined by the Boards of Directors, as is required to secure a teachers' fund sufficient to support the schools for six months, and as much longer as the district may determine.
Second. A contingent fund tax sufficient to provide for rent, fuel, repairs, and all other current expenses necessary for keeping the schools in operation. This is also determined annually by the Board of Directors.
Third. A school-house fund tax devoted to the purchase of grounds and building of school-houses adequate to the wants of the district.