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fund shall be applied to the support of academies; and the sum of $25,000 of the revenues of the United States deposit fund shall each year be appropriated to and made a part of the capital of the said common-school fund."
The Literature Fund, by the way, originated in a series of lotteries drawn in 1801-1821. It will be remembered that some of the funds employed in erecting the first public buildings at Washington were obtained by means of Federal lotteries.
The only constitutional provision relating to schools that Delaware has ever had, is the declaration of 1831 that the legislature shall provide by law "for establishing schools and promoting arts and sciences." This is the most meagre recognition of schools found in the constitution of any state.
Rhode Island was even better contented with her colonial charter than Connecticut. But when the change came in 1842 she did not overlook schools. It was made "the duty of the General Assembly to promote public schools, and to adopt all means which they may think necessary and proper to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of education."
New Jersey took some short steps towards forming a school fund in 1816, but it was not until 1844 that education was admitted to her constitution. Then the state said this fund should be securely invested and remain a perpetual fund," and that the income, except so much as may be judged expedient to apply to an increase of the capital, should be “annually appropriated to the support of public schools, for the equal benefit of all the people of the state." Nothing has since been added to or taken from this requirement.
Before going farther, it is necessary to point out some forces that have greatly expanded the educational provisions of our fundamental laws. About 1835 there began a remarkable growth of interest in all matters relating to education and schools. The decade 1835 - 1845 witnessed an educational revival unexampled in the history of the country. That decade saw the first American normal school founded, the first teachers' institute held, the first school libraries created, and the first direct educational contact with the schools of Germany established The state universities began to assume definite form, and to exercise an appreciable influence. Mr. Jefferson's influence as a political philosopher also culminated. Faith in the sovereign people now touched its maximum; faith in legislators, executive officers, and judges tended to its minimum. Experience had revealed unexpected evils in the
working of the old state governments. Henceforth governmental powers and functions are defined in the state constitutions with new fullness and particularity. Legislation finds its way into the fundamental law. The public schools were becoming influential; their large revenues were an object of envy to the managers of schools not public; while the Catholic Church, the church most interested in a diversion of school funds, attained to large political influence. Hence arose the need of closely protecting the school endowments and revenues against sectarian encroachments. By and by the race question on the Pacific Slope and in the South aided in swelling the volume of constitutional school provisions. Quickening appreciation of the value of education, and the accumulation of great masses of ignorance and vice in the cities, have sometimes led to placing compulsory education in the organic law. Socialism, combined, no doubt, with fear of the publishing interest, has committed California to State publication of the textbooks used in the public schools. The woman question has made its imprint on the constitutions of Pennsylvania and California. The first of these states provides that women who have reached the age of twenty-one years shall be eligible to any office of control or management under the school laws of that state. California declares: "No person shall be debarred admission to any of the collegiate departments of the university on account of sex." Finally, mention should be made of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, which, proving, as was at the time thought, the superiority of the trained man for all purposes whatsoever, gave education in the United States a distinct impulse. Together with the Civil War, that will soon be more particularly mentioned, these, we conceive, are the main influences that have caused many of the Western and Southern states to insert in their constitutions educational articles as extended as the school laws of the New England states a century ago. Whole educational systems are found in outline; state and county boards of education, state and county superintendence of schools, primary schools, grammar schools, high schools, normal schools, universities and agricultural colleges, the management of school lands and school funds, the collection and disbursement of school taxes, and the minimum length of the school year. In several instances, two full pages of Poore's "Charters and Constitutions" are occupied. New England, the Old Middle States, Ohio, Illinois, and some other states have not fallen into this current. But
even the Constitutional Conventions that have refrained from legislation in relation to schools, have often spoken a firmer voice than before. Indefiniteness makes room for clearness, and permission gives way to command.
It is impossible and unnecessary to summarize the educational articles that reflect the new tendencies. A feature or two in each case will serve the purpose of illustration.
Ohio, in the constitution of 1851, was the first state to guard her school funds against sectarian attacks. "No religious or other sect or sects shall ever have any exclusive rights or control of any part of the school funds of this state." Michigan has made the president of her State University a constitutional officer. Michigan has also fixed the salary of her Superintendent of Public Instructions at $1,000, as Wisconsin has fixed the maximum salary of hers at $1,200. Iowa has committed unusual powers to her State Board of Education, and the Secretary of this Board, as in New England, is the chief executive school officer of the state. Minnesota and Oregon, committing school legislation to their legislatures, have contented themselves with a minimum of constitutional provisions. No other state ever framed so many constitutions in the same time as Kansas; four in four years. Nor did she forget an adequate school system in any one of them, not even the one that bears the name of "Lecompton." Nebraska well illustrates a strong tendency seen in many states to augment the permanent school fund, and also to increase the annual school revenues. The first includes: The per centum on public lands sold granted to the state; the proceeds of sections 16 and 36; the proceeds of lands granted to the state, the objects of which have not been defined (as swamp and salt lands, the 500,000 acres granted under the law of 1841); the proceeds of all property coming to the state by escheat or forfeiture; also certain moneys, stocks, and bonds devoted to that purpose by the state. Then, besides school taxes, all fines, penalties, and license-moneys arising under general laws or local ordinances are appropriated exclusively to the support of schools.
The provisions of the Colorado article, which is very extended, in regard to the diversion of state funds to church schools, to the teaching of sectarian doctrines in the schools, and the non-require-ment of religious tests in pupils and teachers, are very stringent. Here, too, the democratic spirit of the American common school
appears in its full strength. "Nor shall any distinction or classification of pupils be made on account of race or color." The Constitution of Nevada is the only one that requires any professor or teacher in the state schools, of any grade, to take an oath that he will support, protect, and defend the constitutions and governments of the United States and of the State of Nevada, that he will bear true faith, allegiance, and loyalty to the same, and that, since the adoption of the constitution, he has not been concerned in any duel, either as principal or as second, and that he will not be so concerned during his continuance in office. The remarkable book-publication section is not the only mark that Socialism has made on the educational article of California. Permission is granted to the legislature and to municipal and district authorities to establish high schools, evening schools, normal schools, and technical schools; "but the entire revenue derived from the state school fund, and the state school tax, shall be applied exclusively to the support of primary and grammar schools."
No other cause that ever operated in the field of our inquiry was so directly potent as the Civil War. The North believed that the sad lack of public schools at the South lay near the root of the Rebellion; and this belief had much to do with the development of Northern school systems and the expansion of statute-books. Nothing must henceforth be left to the possible hostility or indifference of legislatures, was the popular feeling. At the South the effect was far more striking. The insuperable obstacle to the Southern states' founding efficient school systems was now removed. Moreover, the enfranchisement of the blacks called loudly for their education. Nothing more strongly reveals Southern appreciation of the change that the war accomplished than the promptness with which those states have established schools and placed them under the shields of their constitutions. Some of them even recognized education in the constitutions that they formed in the confusion of 1865, when they were expecting their Senators and Representatives to be admitted to Congress in accordance with President Johnson's reconstruction proclamations. Two series of facts will measure the length of the stride forward.
Previous to the war, Virginia had simply provided, in 1851, for the application to free primary schools of one equal moiety of a capitation tax assessed on all white inhabitants twenty-one years of age and upwards, equal to the tax assessed on land of the value
of $200. Maryland had been wholly silent in the constitutions of 1776 and 1851. North Carolina had never taken a step beyond that of 1776. South Carolina had not mentioned education in any one of her several constitutions. Georgia never advanced or receded from the article of 1798. In her first constitution, framed in 1836, Florida simply said the school lands should be preserved and the proceeds applied to their proper object. Mississippi and Alabama, at the opening of the war, stood by the standards that that they had raised in 1817 and 1819. Louisiana in 1845, and again in 1852, directed her legislature to establish free public schools throughout the state, and to provide means for their support by taxation on property or otherwise. She also took care of the school lands, of which she had been so regardless in 1812. The Constitution of the Republic of Texas, 1836, made it the duty of the Texan Congress, as soon as circumstances would permit, to provide by law a general system of education. The beginning of a school fund was also made before Texas came into the Union. The State Constitution of 1845 recognized this fund, and directed the legislature to establish free schools throughout the state. Arkansas, in 1836, did no more than to provide for the school lands, and to direct the application of the funds arising therefrom to their specified objects. Tennessee, in 1834, and Kentucky, in 1850, recognized school funds that had already been created, and directed the appropriation of the income arising therefrom to common schools forever. Still the fact is, in no slave-holding state did a system of free schools exist in 1861.
All the former slave-holding states but Delaware and Kentucky have made new constitutions since the war. No one of them has omitted to make constitutional provision for education. Their educational articles do not suffer in comparison with the latest Northern constitutions. Some of these states have indulged in constitutional education quite as freely as the most ambitious young state of the West. Nor has the new State of West Virginia failed to rank herself alongside of her older sisters. At the same time, study of these Southern articles reveals the fact that these states labor under difficulties in providing school funds. Many of them, for example, levy for this purpose a capitation tax.
The educational articles of the various states show not only divergent views, but contradictory views. California has bound herself to a system of state-made school books. Colorado says,