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tion, Mr. Walter Smith, the art master in charge of the school at Leeds, England, has been employed by the Board as a professional adviser and lecturer in the matter of art education, and by the city of Boston as head master in the Normal Art School, his time being divided between the State and City in just proportion. He commenced his duties in July last, and has already delivered lectures in several of our large cities, and given practical demonstrations and addresses on the subject at the Teachers' Institutes. A collection of models, casts, apparatus and examples, similar to those used in the English Schools of Art, has been procured, and will be on exhibition in the schools when desired.
The Board are aware that the present provision is very inadequate, and hope soon to procure the services of a suitable person or persons, with assistants, to visit the different cities and towns and give such aid and advice as may be necessary for the successful introduction of this art into all our schools.
A very valuable tract, containing several papers on drawing, was printed by the Board in December last, and a circular sent in November to the School Committees of the towns throughout the State, calling attention to the law, and stating what provision had been made for giving lectures and furnishing the use of the models. Instruction in drawing has been given in many schools with very encouraging results, and especially in the Evening Schools in architecture, machine and ornamental drawing.
· The School FUND. The School Fund charged at cost amounts to $2,233,350; its present market value exceeds the cost by nearly $500,000. The aggregate income for the last five years was $842,803.74,—the yearly average being $168,560.75. The income for 1871 was $177,496.46, one-half of which, or $88,748.23, is disbursed " for the support of Public Schools without a specific appropriation.” Of this sum $100 is paid to each city and town, and the balance apportioned among the several cities and towns in proportion to the number of children in each between the ages of five and fifteen. This sum of $100 to each town takes $34,000, leaving $54,748.23 to be apportioned among 278,249 children, or 19 cents to each child. The whole sum, if thus divided, would give to each child 32 cents. The sum raised for educa. tional purposes by taxation averages $11.78 per child, and the
mere statement of the case is sufficient to show how inadequate this 19 or 32 cents is to afford any substantial relief to the towns, or benefit to the schools.
The remaining half of the income is appropriated to other educational purposes, and the surplus of income, if any, is added to the principal fund. The aggregate amount of these expenditures for the last five years was $381,401. The appropriations have increased year by year, and last year amounted to $92,056,* and will not be much less than that in the future, unless the State changes its policy, and shows a less liberal spirit towards its educational interests.
We start, then, with the fact, that the income of the fund applicable to educational purposes is absorbed by the present wants of the school system, to which must be added interest and insurance on the new Normal School at Worcester, . $3,700 00 Annual expenses of the school, . . . . 12,000 00
What arrangement shall be made for meeting the annual deficiency ? Every town is now required by law to keep schools of a prescribed character for a fixed period every year, and to raise by taxation the amount required for their support. This tax is really assessed for the benefit of the entire Commonwealth, and not especially for the individual town, and properly it should be equally assessed upon all the property ;- but there is great inequality in the assessment, owing to the unequal distribution of property in the various towns and sections of the State. In the year 1869 and 1870, the percentage of taxation varied from .088 to .714 of one per cent., or in different counties from .231 to .421 of one per cent.,—the average was .321 of one per cent. The lowest percentage is generally in the large and wealthy cities, the highest, in the small and poor farming towns. These towns feel the burden much more, and are tempted to keep down the school expenses, and raise the smallest sum possible, by paying their teachers small salaries, and providing poor and ill-furnished school-houses. Poor schools are the inevitable result of this system.
* These appropriations were not wholly expended, or there would have been a deficit.
The School Fund was originally established in 1834, in part to correct this evil, and it was then provided that a just and equal distribution of the fund should be made to Boston, and the several towns and districts throughout the Commonwealth. Since that time, the length of time the schools are required to be maintained has been greatly extended, and their character improved. Within the last ten years, the amount raised by taxation has been nearly doubled, having increased from $6.42 per child in 1860, to $11.78 in 1870–71. The income of the fund, therefore, which was then distributed, bore a much larger ratio to the whole tax than at present.
The Board believes that the principle suggested is a just one, and that some appreciable portion of the burden of taxation for schools should be assessed equally upon the whole property of the Commonwealth. It is therefore recommended that a State tax of one-half of one mill be levied with the general State tax, and the proceeds be held by the treasurer for Commissioners of the School Fund, and the net proceeds of said tax, togetber with the income of the School Fund, be expended, three-fourths for the support of Public Schools, without a specific appropriation, as the moiety is now expended, and the remaining one-fourth for other educational purposes. This tax will yield about $500,000 on the valuation of 1865, and about $700,000 on a new valuation, and will give about $650,000 a year to be distributed among the towns, and $217,000 a year for other educational purposes.
A special report will be submitted in response to a Resolve of the last General Court, to provide “for the revision of the laws relating to attendance upon the Public Schools."
TECHNICAL EDUCATION. A Resolve was passed by the last General Court “relating to Technical Instruction in Schools,” by which the Board of Education were directed to report "a feasible plan for giving in the Common Schools of the cities and larger towns of this Commonwealth additional instruction, especially adapted to young persons who are acquiring practical skill in mechanic or technical arts, or are preparing for such pursuits.”
Technical education is instruction in the peculiar knowledge or special skill required in any business or occupation — the training which will render the talents of the citizen most useful to the State in that particular craft, trade or profession in which he or she is engaged, whether as mechanic, farmer, sailor, engineer, teacher, merchant, architect, minister, doctor or lawyer. As the education of the Common Schools fits the youth for the performance of his general duties as a citizen, so the Technical School prepares him for the special duties of his trade or profession. Divinity, Law and Medical Schools, for special or technical instruction in those professions, have long been in successful operation. More recently, the State has established Normal Schools for training teachers, and an Agricultural College to educate farmers. It has also generously endowed the Institute of Technology in Boston, and the Museum of Zoology in Cambridge ; but though these last two institutions, and the Scientific School in the latter place, afford great advantages to those who intend following the higher walks of industrial pursuits, they do not give the practical instruction required to fit the mechanic for his daily work. They bear the same relation to schools for the technical education of mechanics that the college does to the High School : each is indispensable in its place, but neither fulfils the functions of the other.
The only school in this State where a technical education in mechanics combined with practice can be obtained, is the “ Worcester County Free Institute of Industrial Science” in Worcester. It was incorporated in 1865, and is a model institution, which has no superior in this country. The corps of instructors embraces professors of chemistry, mechanics and physics, drawing, mathematics, civil engineering, French and German. There are eightynine pupils in the school, mostly from Worcester County. There are also twenty free State scholarships for the benefit of pupils from other counties than Worcester, to be selected by the Board of Education.
The value and importance of schools of this character is not understood or appreciated in this country. If our citizens engaged in mechanical pursuits, and they comprise the body of the people, had realized that the State could have provided schools as useful and necessary for the education of mechanics as the Divinity and Law Schools are for the training of ministers and lawyers, they would have demanded and obtained them before this. It should be unnecessary to enlarge upon the vital importance of schools of this character. One of our leading citizens who has devoted much time and thought to this subject says that “provision for the prompt, speedy and ample or the better education for the manufacturing or mechanic operatives of Massachusetts is not only an investment promising a vast pecuniary return, but is to-day a necessity of self-preservation for the State.” Four-fifths of all the industry of the State is dependent upon occupations for which the training of these schools would be a preparation ; over 250,000 of our inhabitants are engaged in mechanical pursuits, yet nothing has been done for their special instruction until within a few years.
In this branch of education, as in many others, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium have taken the lead, leaving England and America far behind. In the great exhibition in London, in 1851, English workmen excelled in nine-tenths of the one hundred departments; but in the Paris Exposition of 1867, they excelled in only one-tenth. During those sixteen years artists, mechanics, engineers and chemists trained in Technioal Schools, had entered the workshops of Europe, and by means of their skill and knowledge had transferred to the Continent the supremacy England had so long enjoyed. At that very time, a French company was building locomotives for an English railway, and iron girders for a building in Glasgow were being constructed in Belgium. England, alarmed at the report of her jurors at the Exposition, at once established Technical Schools in many of her largest cities and has determined that hereafter her citizens shall at least be as well educated as those of Europe, and shall have a technical training “which will make the new generation of Englishmen excel the new generation of foreigners in this coming rivalry of race and nation.”
The question for Massachusetts to consider is, what position she will take in this strife for the world's prizes. We cannot expect long to enjoy the high protective tariffs that now keep out the cheap products of the skilled labor of Switzerland and Prussia, nor should we desire it. The market for our industries ought not to be confined to the State nor even to the United States. The broader development which our free institutions give to the individual man, enables him to accomplish a greater amount of work; and if we only furnish a better technical education than is given abroad, we can contend on an equal footing and compete