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Average monthly pay of teachers

$44 24 $44 84 $0 60 Whole expenditure for public schools. 11, 834, 912 13, 580, 968 1,746,0:16 Teachers' pay

7,985, 723 8,762, 950 777, 227 For sites, buildings, and furniture.... 2, 10:3, 216 2,824, 393 7:21, 177 Value of all public school property. 31,937,951 33, 347, 681 1,409, 630

STATE SCHOOL FUND. Amount of available fund......

3, 264, 600 Permanent school fund a .........

7,867, 4:22

a This includes $4,602,822 not now available. (From report of Hon. William B. Ruggles, State superintendent of public instructious, for ihe years indicated.)

STATE SCHOOL SYSTEM.

GENERAL CONDITION.

The statistics for 1884–85 present, as may be seen, an advance over 1883–84 of 18,159 in school youth, of 24,788 in enrollment in public schools, aud of 14,859 in average daily attendance. There were 403 fewer male teachers and 865 more females employed, with a slight increase in average monthly pay. An expenditure of $1,746,056 more than in 1883–84, with advances of $1,409,630 in value of school property, and of $777.227 in the aggregate paid to teachers, seems to iudicate a considerable outlay for additional scbools and school buildings. With this gratifying record of school work and school facilities, there yet remained 40.45 per cent. of school youtb not accounted for. If from this be deducted the large attendance of 124,816 in private and church schools, those over 16 years of age employed in varions industries, and those attending the higher schools, the above per cent. of non-attendance at school would be largely reduced, and an approximation reached to the real facts in the case.

The State on perintendent thus empbasizes this view: “Wbile the minimum of school age is as low as 5 years and the maximum as bigh as 21, the numbor of chil. dren of scbool age will continue to be largely in excess of the number in attendance in public schools. This excess, it should be remembered, includes a considerable proportion of children between the ages of 5 and 6 years, who have not yet been placed in school. It also includes a large class of persons attendant in the various universities, colleges, academies, and seminaries, with those opder instruction in select schools, in families, and in pamerous art, commercial, trade, and other techni. cal and industrial schools. It iucludes the large number of young persons of both sexes under 21 years of age, who, having gone throngb a completo or partial course in the public schools, bave engaged in business, as well as many such persons not in business, and others only temporarily out of school, whose names will hereafter roappear upon the school registers. It is not to be inferred, therefore, that this large excess represents, even approximately, the number of children in the State growing up in ignorance."

While this is true, it is also true that in many cities and towns, especially in the city of New York, school boards find it impossible to keep up with the increase of school youth ander 16 years of age. In New York 3 new school buildings were opened during the year 1884, which had an average attendance of 5,500, and get the superintendent says that, so far as discernible, po apparent diminution was produced in the attendance upon neighboring schools.

Anong tbe encouraging features shown is an annual increase of teachers employed during the full legal school year. A better grade of teachers is indicated, too, by the expeuditure of $8,762,950 for teachers' wages during the year, $497,497 more than in in any previous year. A further indication of improved condition is that while enrollment bas varied, the average attendance has been oninterruptedly increasing for the last 6 years. A large increase of volumes in school district libraries in 1884–85, the superintendent says, does not break the force of the fact that these libraries have been steadily running down for over 30 years, haviog decreased from 1,604,210 in 1853, to 732,876 in 1885.

ADMINISTRATION. The State superintendent of public instruction has general supervision of all the public schools.

Academic, collegiate, and professional training are under the direction of a board of regents of the University oi New York, the State superintendent being ex officio a member. For local administration there are school commissioners of one or more counties, called commissioners' districts, and boards of trustees of I or 3 pembers for ordinary school districes and of 3 to 9 iv union districts. Teachers at the close of their engagements must report to the district clerk the prescribed school statistics, he to tho trustees, they to the school commissioner, and he to the State superintendent, who reports to the legislatore.

The school coemissioners are elected for 3 years, dietriot trustees for 2 or 3 years. No school commissioner or supervisor may be a school trustee, or a member of any board of education within his district or town; and no trustee can hold the oflice of district clerk, collector, or librarian. Every district and neighborhood oficer must reside in his district or neighborhood, and be qualified to vote at its meetings. Women eligible as school officers may also vote at school meetings.

Public schools are free to all resident ohildren 5 to 21 years old in their school districts.

For Indian children separate arrangements are made on reservations. School authorities of cities or incorporated villages inay establish separate schools for colored children, and most furnish facilities for instruction equal to those in schools for whites, of the same grade.

A compulsory law of 1876 requires parents and guardians to soo that their children 8 to 14 years old attend school at least 14 weeks each year, unless otherwise instructed in the common school branches, and no child under 14 who has not so attended may de employed in any business during school hours under penalty of $30. Training in industrial and froe-hand drawing must be given in all tho Stato normal schools, in at least ono department of city schools, and in union free schools in districts incorporated by special acts, unless excused by the State superintendent. Boards of education in cities and villages designate the text books to be used in thoir schools, and no change can be made under 5 years except by vote of three-fourths of the board, or of the samo proportion of the legal voters of the district.

SCHOOL FINANCES. Public schools continue to be sustained from an annual tax of 17 mills on $1 of taxable property; from district taxes; from the income of a common school fund; from trust funds coming from the acquisition of real estate by gifts or otherwise; from such portion of the United States deposit fund as may be set apart for the purpose, and from certain fines and penalties. District taxes may be levied for sites, buildings, apparatus, libraries, fuel, etc., for supply of a deficiency in a former tax, or for paying teachers.

To entitlo a district to State school moneys it must have sustained at least 1 school for 28 weeks under a qualified teacher the preceding year, and must have filed its annual report with tho town clerk. No unqualified teacher may be paid from tho public funds.

NEW LEGISLATION. An act passed May 27, 1885, amends former acts as to the distribution of State school moneys, and requires that after deducting the usual annual amounts for salaries of school commissioners, city superintendents, libraries, etc., the State superintendent shall divide the remainder into 2 equal parts, and apportion one-balf equally among the school districts and cities from wbich reports have been received, the other half (and also the library moneys separately) among the counties of the State, according to their respective populations, excluding Indians residing on their reservations. But as to counties in which are cities under special acts, he is to apportion to each city the part to which it appears to be entitled, and to the residuo of the county on tho same basis.

After October 1, 1885, each school commissioner is to have an annnal salary of $1,000. Any sum allowed'him from the free-school fund by the supervisors of his district beyond this $1,000 the supervisors must assess upon the towus composing his district, according to the rated valuations of property therein.

After August 20, 1885, no person under 16 years of ago shall bo considered a qualified teacbor for a public school.

Every union free school district is to be subject, in all its departments, to the visi. tation of the superintendent of public instruction, who is charged with the general supervision of its board and management.

The superintendent is to establish such regulations as will furnish incentives to teachers to attend the institutes in the county or school district in which each is teaching, and such attendance is not to be allowed to work a forfeiture of contract or pay.

Provision is also made for instruction, in all schools under Stato control, as to the effects of alcoholic drinks, stimulants, and narcotics on the human system; and no certificate is to be issued after January 1, 1885, to any teacher in the public schools that has not passed a satisfactory examination in physiology and hygieno, with reference to tbo effects of such drinks, stimulants, and narcotics.

SCHOOL SYSTEMS OF CITIES WITH 7,500 OR MORE INHABITANTS.

ADMINISTRATION. City public schools are managed by local boards of education, under special statates, varying in the nature of their provisions. They are also under the supervision of local superintendents (or clerks of local boards), who perform the duties of superintendents, and exerciso powers and duties similar to those of school commissioners. Such superintendents report annually to their boards of education, and also directly to the State superintendent, transmitting whatever facts he may require.

STATISTICS

1884-'85.

Cities.

Population, Children of

Enrollment Average Number of Espendi. census of

in public daily at. school

age. 1880.

turo.

teachers. schools. tendance.

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ADDITIONAL PARTICULARS. Albany in 1884–85 provided 24 public school buildings (10 for primary schools, 13 for grammar schools, and 1 for a high school), with 12, 286 sittings, rated with other school property at $502,000. School population and registered attendance were about the same as in 1883–84, the enrollment gaining only 2, though there was a gain of 288 in average daily attendance, of 9 in teachers, and of $16,781 in expenditure for public schools. The registered attendance was 38.22 per cent. of school youth and the number retained in attendance 27.13 per cent. Taking into account about 5,000 in private and parochial schools, 52.15 per cent. of school youth were under instruction some part of the year. No evening schools are reported. A training school is taught by the principal of the primary schools. Special teachers in music, drawing, German, and chemistry were employed, the last for one-half of the year.

The superintendent says that 3 years' trial of a continuous daily session, without a noon recess, has added to the effectiveness of the schools, and has been a positive benefit to the health of the pupils.

Discipline had improved. Only 1 in every 260 pupils received punishment from the rod. Cases of suspension were only of a temporary character. Measures were taken to deviso a course of study in physiology and hygiene to meet the requirements of the new school law.

Auburn shows in 1884–85 a falling off of 327 in school population, yet a gain of 28 in enrollment, of 106 in daily attendance, and of $9,393 in expenditure for public schools. A new school building reported last year as under contract, to cost $8,000, is supposed to have been completed, znaking 12 buildinga, with 3,710 sittings. School property was rated at $243,500. Thero wero also 3 school buildings, with 1,200 sittings, for privato and parochial schools. Comparison of attendance in the public schools with the school youth reported shows 49.31 per cent. enrolled, and 37.75 per cent. in average daily attendance. Counting tho 1,200 pupils in private and parochial schools, 66.07 per cent. of school youth attended school some part of the year; and allowing the daily attendance in these schools to be 830, as reported, 49.13 per cent. of school youth were retained in average daily attendance by all classes of schools. But the test of the efficiency of a school system is in the average attendance of those between the ages of 6 and 16, as but a small fraction of other ages are enrolled. Of the 7,239 of legal school age (5-21), 406 were under 6, and 1,593 over 16, leaving 5,260 betireen 6 and 16. Of theso the public and other schools retained 3,570 in average daily attendance, leaving 1,090 out of school.

Schools are classed as primary, grammar, and high, and were in session 194 days. No evening schools were reportod. Special teachers in musio and drawing wero em. ployed.

The superintendent says, "Tho year has been one of exceptional quiet. Everything has run smoothly.”

Binghamton reports for 1884-'85 a well-proportioned advance on 1883–+84, there being an increase of 300 in school youth; of 225 iu enrollment; of 178 in averago attendance; of 13 iu teachers; and of $7,598 in school expenditure.' Eleven school buildings were reported, school property being valued at $236,661, an advance of $8,250 beyond the previous year. Adding the 545 in private and parochial schools to those in public schools, the per cent. of school youth enrolled was 71.45, while in the public schools alone the average daily attendance was 46.27 per cent. The schools, primary, graminar, and high, were in session 198 days.

No evening schools reported, and no special teachers employed. Brooklyn for 1884-'85 shows a fair advance on the previous year, there being a gain of 3,328 in registered pupils, of 2,375 in average daily attendance, of 82 in teachers, and of $145,407 in expenditure for public schools. No additional school buildings are reported. The enrollment exceeded by 30,965 the seating capacity of the 61 school buildings, which, however, was greater than the average attendance. Of the children enrolled 3,614 were under 6 years of age, 1,613 over 16, leaving 91,700 between 6 and 16 as the permanent school material, for whom were needed 25,738 additional sittings. Schools were taught the full school year, 208 days. School property was valued at $3,649,000. There were 61 schools under the control of the city board of education, including 1 training school for teachers, 1 central, 32 grammar, 25 intermediate and primary, and 2 " attendance" schools. The new school buildings erected during the last 2 years are said to be of superior internal arrangements, and the 2 recently built to be models of school architeoture. Of the 14 evening schools, 2 are of high-school grade, and 1 for colored pupils.

Buffalo shows a rapidly increasing population, and much enterprise in the struggle to keep abreast with it in school accommodations. During the year school youth increased by 2,000, enrollment by 689, average attendance by 1,511, and public school expenditure by $306,942. Of the 101 school buildings reported for 1884–85, 46 were for private and parochial, and 65 for publio schools, including those rented. Of those for public schools 18 were for primary schools, 36 for grammar schools, and 1 for a high school. The average number of teachers was 491, besides 4 special teachers — in music, drawing, penmanship, and German. The public schools enrolled 39.73 per cent. of school youth, aud retained 24.68 per cent. in average daily attendance. If to the eurollment in the public schools be added 12,000 estimated as registi red in private schools, it will be seen that 56.99 per cent. of school population were under instruction for some part of the school year, leaving 43.01 per cent. out of schools of any kind. Public schools were in session 197 days. No evening schools reported. School property was valued at $1,014,280.

Cohoes in 1884–85 went in all points beyond 1883–84. With 664 more school yonth, 471 more were enrolled, 250 u ore were retained in average attendance, 1 more teacher was employed, $833 more were expended for public schools, and 148 more sittings for study provided, making accommodations for 2, 123 pupils, or 181 more than the average attendance. Private schools report 3 school buildings, 7 teachers, 600 enrolled, and 400 in average attendance. The statistics show that the combined enrollment of all these schools amounts to 53.99 per cent of the school youth, thus leaving nearly one-balf of them out of school. But of the 7,135 school youth, 2,915 were over 14 years of age, and only 61 over 16 appear in the enrollment. This indicates that most, if not all, the able-bodied youth over 14 or 16 who were not in higher schools were employed in the industries of the city, and needed no day-school accommodations. Night schools were taught 96 evenings in 5 day-school rooms, with 778 enrolled and 194 in average attendance, under 8 teachers. Day schools were in session 202 days. School property was valued at $128,718.

Elmira, în 1884–85, though making bat small advance op 1883–'84, has a pleasing record of school work. The 8 public school buildings with 3,950 sittings afforded ample room for the public school enrollment, these sittings being exclusive of 300 in a building held as a relief. There was a night school with 3 teachers, a registry of 204, and an average attendance of 102. Private schools bad 3 school buildings with 700'sittings, 11 teachers, a registry of 600, and an average attendance of 425. The aggregate enrollment shows 72.20 per cent. of school youth under instruction somo part of the year, and 53.16 per cent retained in average daily attendance. The public scbools were in session 196 days. One special teacher in music was employed. Public school property was rated at $345,000, $20,000 being for apparatus.

Hudson in 1884–85, with a gain of only 60 in school youth, goes beyond the previous year 210 in enrolled attendance, 57 in average attendance, and 2 in teachers, expending 81,751 more for public schools. There were 8 school buildings, with '50 sittings for primary schools, 300 for grammar schools, and 200 for a bigh school. While these accommodations were ample for the registered attendance, they left 2,250 of the school youth unprovided for by the city system. Of this number 650 were in private schools, leaving 1,600 still withont school room or instruction. It must be considered, lowever, that about one-third of school youth reported are over 16 years of ago, have graduated from the common schools, and aro in omployments or in higher schools.

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