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From an examination of Table I it will be seen that six States, Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Nevada, and Texas, and three Territories, Indian, New Mexico, and Wyoming, fail to make reports for 1884-'85.
California makes a partial report only for 1884-'85.
After the closing of the summaries and of the table in the Appendix a special return was received from Iowa and the printed State report from New Jersey. These statistics will be found in the abstracts of State reports following this summary.
For all the States failing to report for 1834-'85 statistics for 1583-'84 have been used, except in the case of Kentucky, from which State the latest figures are for 1882-83. For New Mexico and Wyoming the U. S. census figures for 1880 are still used, and for the Indian Territory figures for 1883-'84 are repeated.
LEGAL SCHOOL AGE.
For 1884-'85 the legal school age remains the same for every State and Territory as for 1883-'84, except in Arizona, where the age has been shortened by 3 years, having been changed from 6-21 to 6-18.
LEGAL SCHOOL POPULATION.
From the preceding summaries it will be seen that five States, viz, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Vermont, still use the U. S. census figures of 1880 for school population; ten use the population for the preceding year (1884); Georgia reports her school census for 1882 and Kentucky hers for 1882-183; the remaining twenty-one States report school census for 1884-'85.
Of the Territories, New Mexico, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia use the U. S. census figures, and the Indian Territory those for 1882-183.
The increase of 352,802 in school population in the States, therefore, which appears from the generalization at the close of the summaries, is an increase for twenty-one States only, and the increase of 22,187 in the Territorial school population an increase for six Territories only.
With the exception of the States and Territories noted above as making no report at all for 1884-'85, every State and every Territory makes a report on enrollment for the current year.
AVERAGE DAILY ATTENDANCE.
Arkansas, Michigan, and Texas among the States, and Idaho Territory and the Choctaw tribe in the Indian Territory, give no figures for average daily attendance.
The decrease for the year in average daily attendance as shown in the generalization above referred to is therefore only apparent.
In the total of the previous year were included figures for Arkansas and Texas for the year 1882, and for Michigan from the U. S. census of 1880.
If these same figures be added to the total for the thirty-five other States as made up for 1884-'85 (6,410,557), the total for the thirty-eight States becomes 6,790,882, an increase of 200,300 over the previous year.
All the States and Territories, except Idaho, make some report of teachers. in which the report is not for the year 1884-'85 have been carefully noted in Table !, part 1, Summary B.
Delaware, Georgia, Missouri, and the Indian Territory fail to report sex of teachers. The total for the entire country, 319,549, shows an increase of 11,745 over the year 1883-'84.
PER CAPITA EXPENDITURE.
Many States and Territories still fail to make reports of per capita expenditure. For most of those not reporting this has been estimated by the Bureau, the uniform rate of 6 per cent. having been adopted in casting interest on permanent expenditure.
As in 1884, so in 1885, Massachusetts led the States in her expenditure per capita of school population, enrollment, and average daily attendance.
Dakota leads the Territories for 1885.
North Carolina of the States and New Mexico of the Territories expend the smallest amount per capita.
INCOME; EXPENDITURE; VALUE OF SCHOOL PROPERTY.
These three items all show increase in 1885 as compared with 1884, and such items of expenditure as are summarized in the preceding summaries, viz, expenditure for permanent purposes (sites, buildings, furniture, libraries, and apparatus), salaries of superintendents, salaries of teachers, and miscellaneous expenditure, are all in advance of similar items of expenditure for the preceding year.
A study of the generalization by years and by topics (p. XL) accompanying the summaries of State school statistics for 1884-'85 will show the income and expenditure in the States and Territories for each of the last ten years. These figures show steady increase.
No report of income having been received from Kentucky since that for 1881, it was omitted in the summary of income, and no report of total expenditure having been received from Montana, it is omitted in the summary of expenditure, which shows a total of $110,384,657.1
Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, and Vermont still fail to report the value of school property, and no figures for this item can be obtained from Indian Territory.
PERMANENT AVAILABLE SCHOOL FUNDS.
With respect to permanent available school funds, Texas has made no report since 1878, when the amount given was $3,385,571. The District of Columbia has made no report since 1880, when the amount was $60,385. Delaware, Kentucky, and Mississippi have made no report since 1881, when the amounts were, respectively, $495,479, $1,760,652, and $800,000. New Hampshire and Nevada have made no reports since 1882, the amounts being then, respectively, $213,757 and $564,000. Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Georgia make no report under this head for the current year.
SCHOOL POPULATION, ENROLLMENT, AND AVERAGE ATTENDANCE.
According to the rate of increase in our population from 1870 to 1880 as shown by the last census, statisticians estimate our present population at something above 57,000,000. The legal school population as reported for 38 States and 10 Territories is 17,169,391, or 30 per cent. of the entire population. This number, it must be remembered, bears to total population a ratio varying in the different States and Territories, by reason of variations in the legal school age. For the entire country 18 different school ages are reported, the longest being from 4 to 21, or 17 years, the shortest from 8 to 16, or 8 years.
There are but 5 States and 2 Territories in which the legal school period is less than 12 years, and none in which it is as limited as the period of obligatory school attendance in places where compulsory school laws exist. In the United States the legal school period is made the basis for the assessment and distribution of the school fund, and the length of the period indicates the disposition of our people to make liberal appropriations for the schools and also to admit all minors to their privileges. The latter is an important consideration, since the social and industrial conditions of our country often 1 It would be interesting to compare this total with the amounts expended by the public for the support of criminals and paupers. In an address on this subject before the National Conference of Charities and Correction at St. Paul, ex-President Rutherford B. Hayes said:
Our statistical information on this subject is neither full nor exact. An approximation is all that we can attempt. A careful estimate for the United States would probably show something like this:
Requiring public care or control.
Men and women employed in this work.
Amount expended annually on this account by the public...
Value of property devoted to this use..
50,000 $75,000,000 $500, 000, 000
make it impossible for young people to complete their elementary education within the ordinary years of school attendance, and it is desirable that there should be no legal hindrance to their making up this loss at a later period. Moreover, the extension of the school period beyond the ordinary age of elementary school attendance leads naturally to the establishment of public schools of an advanced grade, a matter about which our people are in general very watchful. But while the extended school period is an advantageous feature of our public school system, its use as a basis in comparative statements is extremely misleading. This has been so clear to my mind that I have endeavored to secure from each State the census between 6 and 16 years of age, as affording a liberal estimate of the youth who are the proper subjects of elementary instruction.
Table I, part 1, Summary A, shows how few States are able to make the desired return. From various calculations it appears that 23 per cent. of the whole population is a fair approximation to the number, and in the absence of the exact enumeration it is well to employ this percentage in our calculations. Upon an estimated population of 57,000,000 this would give a school population of 13,110,000, or 4,059,391 less than the legal school population. The total public school enrollment for 38 States and 10 Territories (11,169,923) is 85 per cent. of the estimated school population, and the daily attendance (6,520,300) is 50 per cent. of the estimated school population and 59 per cent. of the enrollment.
If to the enrollment in public schools be added the number of pupils in private schools as reported for 25 States and 2 Territories, we have a total school enrollment of 11,831,844.
The average attendance in elementary schools is not so great as is desirable, and it is important that the reason for this state of things should be thoroughly investigated.
The opponents of free schools find in this deficiency of school attendance an argument against the system, but the argument is not supported by the past history and present condition of private school attendance in our country, nor by the ascertained causes of the irregular attendance upon the public schools.
Among these causes, the scattered nature of our population should undoubtedly be placed first, as will appear from a very slight examination of the census of 1880. According to this the population numbered more than 100 to a square mile in but five States and one Territory, and from 50 to 100 in six other States.1
For the remaining States and Territories the density of population ranged from .21 in Wyoming Territory to 41.22 in Kentucky.
The last statement includes the frontier States and Territories of the West and Northwest, and all the recent slave States excepting Delaware and Maryland, sections in which schools and school attendance are affected not only by the sparseness of the population, but by peculiar conditions that have been repeatedly set forth in my annual reports and are very generally understood.
The States included in the first two classes are those in which the highest ratios of attendance would naturally be expected. In order to find out the true status of school attendance in these States, it would be necessary to know for each, first, the census of youth who are proper subjects of elementary instruction (in the United States, as I have before stated, 6–16 is accepted as the period to be embraced in the enumeration); secondly, the total enrollment between those ages in public and in private schools; thirdly, the average enrollment between those ages; fourthly, the total attendance for those ages in public and in private schools; fifthly, the average attendance for those ages.
The following table shows the nearest approach to these data that our present information allows:
1The density of population in the States and Territories having more than 100 to a square mile is as follows: Rhode Island, 251.9; Massachusetts, 221.8; New Jersey, 151.7; Connecticut, 128.5; New York, 106.7; and the District of Columbia, 2,960.4; and in those having from 50 to 100 per square mile-Pennsylvania, 95.21; Maryland, 94.82; Ohio, 78.40; Delaware, 74.80; Indiana, 55.09; and Illinois, 54.96.