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that this is owing to the fact that subdistrict and ward boundaries coincide, the latter of which are made for purely political purposes.
Besides the supervision of the thirty-eight principals and the principal of the high school, the central board of education assigns a teacher to each subdistrict for forty pupils each of average attendance, one-fourth of this number being classed as grammar teachers.
There are nine kindergarten schools, which, with some assistance of the board of education, are managed and maintained by a company known as the Kindergarten Association.
The board supports three school kitchens, and furnishes Sloyd schools to such subdistricts as ask for them.
School age is from 6 to 21 years, the courses of study occupying seven and a half years.
The central board furnish free text-books, while maps, charts, etc., are supplied by the subdistrict boards.
In many of the schools corporal punishment is prohibited and gradually falling into disuse in the others. The report avows the opinion that it ought to cease entirely. The feeling is growing that too long time is spent in the primary and grammar schools, that much of arithmetic, grammar, geography, and history might be put out. The report suggests that the subject of modifying the course be referred to a committee of the best known educators to report a plan.
The tables show that there are 41,497 pupils, taught by 838 teachers, in 72 buildings.
One good result from the business exigencies of the year has been increased attendance, owing to the want of other occupation of many within school age. Very marked changes have been wanting, beyond the fact that the city, town, and village schools have been growing, while those in the rural localities have become smaller and poorer. Notwithstanding the increasing favor of the town over the district system, many of the rural communities persist in adhering to the old, and are thus not only kept from improvement, but fallen into continual decay. Says the report: "These two features, better teachers and a systematic and progressive course of study, can only be had and maintained by means of organization which confers definite powers with corresponding liabilities."
The slow progress in industrial education makes more marked the necessity of the town system, and more clearly defined control of the State over the qualification and appointment of teachers.
The evening schools, now numbering 62, are reported to be doing not as well as they ought. One difficulty is the allowing entrance to children who are too young. These come in freely at the opening, but soon dropping out begins and comparatively few remain. The development of the evening high school, however, has been quite satisfactory, particularly in the cities of Providence and Pawtucket.
Appeal is made for better facilities both in ascertaining the number of feebleminded children in the State and providing for the education possible to them. Some of these have been provided for at Waverly and Baldwinville, Mass., and Elwyn, Pa.
Some increase has been in enrollment in the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, but it is yet too small. It is suggested that this be increased by the State's creating a number of scholarships.
Praise is bestowed upon the growing utility of the State Home and School for Homeless and Abandoned Children, and appeal is made for greater facilities for their visitation and inspection.
In the report of the commissioner it is shown that graded schools have continued to develop and ungraded to decline.
Of the 82 new teachers added during the year 69 were women. Two high schools have been added, the number now being 18, containing 5 per cent of the total enrollment.
Report for 1895, W. D. Mayfield, State superintendent.
Complaint is made that the State and county authorities find it difficult to get accurate information concerning the special school districts. This lack of information makes it appear, what is not a fact, that enrollment of pupils has fallen off. So it is regarding accurate estimate of the average of length in school sessions. On this head the report uses this language:
"Under the rule for ascertaining the average time the schools of a county have been in session during the year, the long-term schools, which are in the cities, and
towns, and special districts, are placed with the short-termed country schools, and the general average for the county does not do justice to the long-term schools, while it indicates to the casual thinker that the short-term schools ran longer than they really did. It would be well for those schools to be reported in separate classes, and the law should be so amended for this purpose. The special schools should be put under the school authorities at least to the extent of accounting for the public money received and expended, and reporting such other matters as will enable the school authorities to make complete reports of the condition of the schools of the State." The report speaks heartily of general improvement in the teaching force. Summer schools and teachers' institutes, both white and colored, were held in several counties in the State, with gratifying results.
It is contended that the moneys appropriated for public education are not sufficient. School sessions are necessarily made shorter than they ought to be. Those in cities, towns, and special districts levying a special tax are of reasonable length. In these the general school fund is supplemented by an extra tax of from 2 to 5 mills, a burden which a majority of the school districts could not endure. It is suggested in view of this want to increase the levy on the property of the counties. It is recommended that "the county levy for school purposes be raised from 2 mills as a minimum to 3 mills as a maximum, and all male persons between 21 and 60 years of age who are able to perform ordinary manual labor be declared taxable polls. This fund shall remain a county school fund."
The report for 1896 is from the same superintendent, W. D. Mayfield, and rendered to the governor. It announces general satisfactory improvement in the condition of education. Gratifying increase in enrollment, greater than during any previous year, is shown by the tables. With whites it has been 5,430; with colored, 3,886. This was unexpected, particularly for the fact that the scholastic year was only eight months, cansed by the change in reckoning from July to June instead of the former period, from November to October. The change is cordially commended by the report, as it makes the collegiate and graded schools coterminal with the scholastic year, thus presenting divisions of their sessions. Although the average session was less than that of the previous year (being 3.95 months for white and 3.25 for colored) this is accounted for by the change aforementioned.
Much pains have been taken to put all the expenditures of the schools on a cash basis. The effort has been partially successful. In some counties conditions are such that it has thus far seemed impracticable to employ any fixed compulsory law in the premises. It is suggested that some amendment of the school law be made giving wider discretion to school officials. The counties on a cash basis used only the tax formerly levied, namely, a poll tax and a 2-mill tax. In some of the counties not on such a basis it was the same, and nowhere was the 3-mill tax used.
The report quotes in full the educational sections in the State constitution of 1895, and complains of the varying constructions to which it is liable, particularly the provisions regarding the State dispensary. Adopting the prevailing interpretation, which gives to the general expense account of the State the net profits upon liquors until those profits reach the sum of $193,816.57, it will not be until June, 1898, when anything will be realized by the schools from this source.
A goodly number of schoolhouses were erected during the year for white and colored.
Feeling has been roused in some minds by the character of some of the school histories; but this regards private and graded schools over which the superintendent has no control. The State board of 1895 adopted its own series, action outside of which in the schools under their control is without authority of law.
It augurs well for the general educational spirit among the people that in a large number of public schools the State funds for their support are supplemented by subscriptions of private individuals. This is the case with nearly all in some counties. Of academies and high schools in operation there were 85. Attendance at these and the State colleges, male and female, was excellent.
Denominational and other colleges not under State control complain of the free tuition in the others. Dependent to a great extent upon tuition fees, it seems to them unjust that a discrimination should be made which hurts if it does not endanger their security. It is recommended that a uniform law upon the subject be enacted, without intrenching upon special scholarships already created for normal and other purposes.
(Quarter-centennial of Dr. Grier's presidency.)
This year (1897) marked the quarter-centennial of William Moffatt Grier as the president of Erskine College, an event of which advantage was taken to signify to him the high regard in which he is held in that State, both as a man and as an edu
cator. The event was celebrated at the college commencement on the 15th of June. The State superintendent of education and representatives from the various colleges and educational institutions of the State were present and bore loving tribute to the worth and high character of Dr. Grier, whose life was declared to be a blessing to the State. The alumni of the college, present in large numbers, testified to the high appreciation and affectionate regard, each business or profession being represented by a spokesman who appeared in its behalf, as "Erskine and her lawyers," "Erskine and her editors," "Erskine and her preachers." Homage was also rendered by the faculty and student body of the college.
Report for 1895 and 1896, Hon. Frank Crane, superintendent.
The report opens with a historical sketch of the educational system of the State since its foundation in 1864. It claims that gradation in the rural schools has served to bring into service a large number of trained teachers. Following are some of the observations under this head:
"The graded country school is in itself a detective agency that ferrets out and exposes the incompetent or indolent teacher. The teachers' reports inaugurated by this very excellent system compels the teacher to make a complete exhibit of his work and display it to patrons and superior officers."
Further on it said: "Our system needs revision. . .
Much of the labor, therefore,
has been the voluntary patriotic efforts of educators who have received no compensation other than pride in the success attending their efforts. The work of grading our rural schools to the high schools and the high schools to the State University is yet to be done."
The report declares that the work in the State department needs a much larger force for its effective performance.
The law providing for text-books omitted to make provision for continuing the board of education with whom was the authority to adopt and purchase. That law, therefore, became inoperative in July, 1896. The books adopted five years back are still used in most of the counties. The report says on the subject of uniformity in this item:
"County uniformity of text-books has been tried and proved satisfactory in South Dakota and many other States, while township and State uniformity has been abandoned in many States because the former unit was too small and the latter unit was too large."
The superintendent has no supervision over the normal department, although close and friendly relations obtain.
At the State University the course in philosophy has been discontinued, the remaining academic courses required through the sophomore year, and art and violin departments added. The plan alluded to in the foregoing report of accrediting certain schools has not proven as satisfactory as was expected; yet within two years those of Arlington and Vermilion have been added to the list. Uniformity in fitting students is hindered by the frequent changes in the teaching force of the lower institutions. The president says:
"The conditions are further complicated by the necessity of adopting high-school courses for the majority who will not go to college, with the omission of some subjects required for entrance to college, to make room for others in a very elementary form which are properly college studies."
Reports of county superintendents are given in due order. These are in general of a cheerful kind and interesting. Physiology is taught in many. The following is from Hamlin County:
"The subject of physiology is being successfully taught, and the evil effects of tobacco and alcohol are so instilled in the young minds that nearly every pupil is ready to give a temperance lecture at a moment's warning."
Here follow reports of the city schools.
The report contains a number of original articles by the superintendent, some of considerable length, and showing much study and reflection on various subjects, as changes occurring in educational practice, kindergartens, literature in the grades, nature study in the common schools, brains in teaching, and relative value of common-school studies.
Report for 1895 and 1896, Hon. James M. Carlisle, State superintendent.
After an extended discussion of the system and importance of public schools in general, the report pays a very high compliment to Governor Culberson for his influence in the disembarrassing of conditions into which the system in the State had been cast by the confused nature and management of the school revenues. A falling
off in receipts of interest on school-land notes and school-land leases wrought a deficit which increased from year to year, until in 1895 a reduction in the per capita of school population occurred notwithstanding which that deficit at the end of the year was made $600,000. In this emergency the governor earnestly urged the raising of the school tax to 20 cents, the constitutional maximum. A bill to that effect passed the house almost unanimously, but, meeting with some opposition in the senate, by a compromise the tax was fixed at 18 cents. This being inadequate, further relief was granted at the session next ensuing.
Pressing as is the question of financial supplies-as much so as is that of their disbursements-the condition of these in the State is told with much plainness:
"The State raises the greater part of the school funds, but no provision has been made by which any State authority is empowered to take necessary steps to prevent the funds from being diverted from their legitimate use. The funds are simply sent out to county and city school treasurers to be expended by county and district and city authorities, and the State reserves no right to see that the $3,000,000 of school funds raised by the State for school purposes are devoted to school purposes."
Here follows an account of the clumsy way in which reports are made and the circuits through which they are passed along the line of 225 organized counties and the 200 independent city and town districts.
"There is no subject," it is said, "of greater perplexity at the present moment than the simple inquiry, For what purposes may school funds be legally expended?" After giving summaries of school expenditures during the period of 1891-92 and that of 1895-96, the report says:
"From the summaries it may be seen that the expenditures for all purposes other than teaching and supervision, excluding, however, amounts transferred, was for 1895-96 $166,175.58 less than for 1891-92, while the expenditures for teaching were $314,345.47 greater."
The report speaks of the glaring disregard of the commands of the constitution requiring six months of schooling, when county schools get a little over four, while city schools getnine, and it calls for a law forbidding county trustees and superintendents from employing any teacher for less than six and providing that the State school fund be entirely relieved of payment of salaries to trustees and superintendents. In existing conditions very many heads of families are actually forced from the country into the towns for the sake of obtaining what can not be had at their homes-the educational advantages to which they are entitled-a misfortune and a wrong which earnestly claim consideration and redress.
Regret is expressed for the necessary suspension of the department of pedagogy in the State University and that this institution, so full of excellent promise, should have to depend upon appropriations at each biennial session of the legislature for its support. The report appeals also for other normal schools for supplementing the incalculably great good now being done by Sam Houston Institute; also for enlargement and increase of endowment for the Prairie View Normal, which has proved such a blessing to the colored race. The question of free text-books is again urgently advocated.
Report for 1894 and 1895, Hon. John R. Park, superintendent of public instruction. Attention is called to the general good and constantly improving condition of the schools, particularly in the cities, claiming that they compare favorably with those in any of the older States, notably in Salt Lake City and Ogden. Those in rural districts also would rank with the majority elsewhere. Just attention has been given to school buildings that have been constructed after improved methods regarding ventilation, health, comfort, and taste. Even several of the poorer counties, such as Tooele, Sevier, Juab, and others, in these respects and in the grading of schools have done notably well.
Further legislation is needed in order to prescribe a course of study for the whole educational system.
Improvement is shown particularly in the increased percentage of attendance and diminution of that of truancy.
The report recommends the creation of a board of examiners for the State, whose examinations for teachers shall be uniform, superintendents without exception to adopt their examination questions. After successfully passing such examinations; teachers having had five years' experience should be allowed to receive from the board of examiners life certificates. It is further recommended that the law regarding certificates of normal graduates should be so changed as to relieve the latter from subjection to further examination, and that the law authorizing county superintendents to issue warrants to the county treasurer be made more definite on account of the disregard in some instances paid to them.
While recommendation is made for the creation of a general fund for all school purposes, the report abstains from advocating increase of taxes which, if properly
handled, would be sufficient. Several suggestions on this head are offered and reasons given for their adoption. Among these is one requiring in exhibits rendered by this office separate items regarding statistics of "Mormon" and "non-Mormon." The superintendent says:
"I suggest that blank forms used for the purpose of obtaining information regarding schools and educational factors be so changed as to remove the abovequoted obnoxious words."
At the period beginning July 1, 1894, the number of non-Mormon children was 7,589; of Mormon, 47,338. Of all these, 46,495 attended the public schools, 2,224 private, and 6,188 no schools of any sort.
Extended tables are appended, giving detailed statements of all items pertaining to the school system in its operations in the several counties.
According to this report, education in the State, taking into consideration the peculiarly embarrassing condition in which society was found upon its admission into the Union, and the prudent, delicate care with which these required to be managed in order to conform to conditions elsewhere, has advanced with notable rapidity.
The first annual report, being that for the year ending June 30, 1896, is from the same superintendent, Hon. John R. Park.
Quite an extended discussion is made upon the subject of the law regarding the school fund, taxes for whose support are threefold: "A State tax, which is levied at a uniform rate upon all the taxable property in the State; a county tax, similarly levied upon the taxable property of the county, and a district tax, levied upon the taxable property in each district."
The report contends that the law is not sufficiently explicit regarding State and county funds; consequently there has been much confusion, in some instances producing direst violations of law and inflicting injury upon the districts where they have occurred in one and another item of educational interests. Under this obscure system a few of the counties receive from State and county funds more money than they paid to teachers, yet such misappropriation is not always ascertainable, because some districts pay mainly from the fund raised by local taxation, while others levy no such tax, or one inadequate for school needs. If the State and county fund were used legitimately and with uniformity, all the schools in the State, the report contends, could be maintained for ten months, paying our average salary of $33.35. Much is said also on the subject of the law regarding supervision, which it is contended is alike indefinite, both in the State superintendent and those of counties, who have little of control that has much of certitude. Trustees also, in many cases, knowing little of the law, which they have never taken pains to study, pay high salaries to incompetent and low salaries to competent teachers, and expend money in the purchase of apparatus and other things needlessly expensive. To avoid this in part the report recommends that all the districts of a county be consolidated into one board and be composed of persons competent in culture and experience to regulate all matters appertaining to the system. This substitution of county for district organization is argued at considerable length and with much earnestness.
The following is taken from the pages devoted to the teaching force in the State: "Of 1,047 teachers employed in the public schools of twenty-four counties and four cities during the school year 1895-96, 300 are normal school graduates, 38 are graduates of colleges, 145 are graduates of high schools, and 561 have not been graduated from any school giving instruction higher than that offered in the grades.
The average monthly salary paid to teachers in the public schools, outside of cities of the first and second class, is $44.78, and the average number of months the teacher is employed during the year is less than six--that is, the average yearly income is $224. These figures speak for themselves. It must be evident that such a pittance is not enough to induce men and women of superior ability to remain in the profession of teaching. . . . Yet it often happens that there are more applicants than there are places, and often the successful candidate is not selected on account of his fitness, but because he is a resident of the district, town, or county in which he is employed. In many places the most intense feeling exists against employing foreigners, as those who come from a distance, even in the States, are styled. In view of these things and the frequent incapacity of trustees to make proper selections, it is recommended to abolish all the small districts and place all the schools of each county under the supervision of one board of education.
The Normal School is a part of the State University and has a large number of students, for whom there is constant, urgent demand as teachers. Connected with the university there is also a course of normal instruction in the collegiate classes. While the kindergarten is much desired, the report considers that for the present it would not be advisable to make legislative provision for them as for common schools, as, however important in towns of as many as 10,000 inhabitants, they are not needed in rural districts, where already the burden of maintaining even common schools presses heavily.