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MISCELLANEOUS. The Industrial Home, near Mobile, the Church Home for Orphans, Mobile, and The Sheltering Arms, in the same city, an asylum for the indigent, are all institutions semi-educational in character, under the charge of churches of the Protestant-Episcopal communion; but as no report has been received from them the extent of their educational work cannot be stated.
LIST OF SCHOOL-OFFICIALS IN ALABAMA.
MEMBERS OF THE STATE-BOARD OF EDUCATION. Hon. JOSEPH H. SPEED, superintendent of public instruction, ex-officio, president, Montgomery.
Name and district.
J. H. Sears, first .....
Selma. Camden, Ozark. Geneva. Opelika. Dadeville. Greensboro'. Ashville. Gadsden. Town Creek. Jasper.
COUNTY- AND CITY-SUPERINTENDENTS.
Autanga. Baker .. Baldwin Barbour Bibb... Blount. Bullock. Batler Calhoun .... Chambers.... Cherokee.. Choctaw Clarke.... Clay..... Cleburne Coffee .... Colbert. Conecuh. CU089... Covington Crenshaw... Dale. Dallas ... De Kalb Elmore .. Escambis E owah Fayette. Franklin. Geners. Greene... Hale. Henry ..., Jackson.. Jefferson... Landerdele Lawrence.. Lee.... Limestone.. Lowndes. Macen .... Madison Marengo Marion Marshall Mobile. Monroe.
Prattville. Hardy P. O., Dallas Co. Howard's Wharf, Eufaula. Centreville. Bangor. Union Springs. Greenville, Oxford. Waverly, Centre, Butler, Suggsville. Hillabee. Chulafinnee. Elba. Tuscumbia. Evergreen. Rockford. Andalusia. Rutledge. Ozark. Selma. Portersville, Wetumpka. Pollard, Gadsden. Fayette C.H. Pleasant Site Big Creek, Eutaw. Greenesboro'. Abbeville. Scottsboro'. Elyton. Florence. Moulton. Lochapoka. Athens. Benton. Notasulga. Huntsville. Linden. Pikeville. Guntersville. Mobile. Monroeville.
(From biennial report of Hon. Thomas Smith, State-superintendent of public instruction, for the term
ended September 1, 1872, published in 1873.)
Amount raised for public schools.
.... $167, 973 70
320, 810 00 212, 376 06 193, 089 71 894, 249 47
Total receipts for 1871 and 1872 ......................
Balance on hand September 30, 1872..........................
$696, 881 85
76,610 06 46, 621 35 11, 825 22
970, 306 74 38, 684 14
SCHOOL-STATISTICS. Concerning these the State-superintendent remarks: “The reports of the circnit-superintendents are so imperfect that it is utterly impossible to exhibit the true condition of education in the State." Number of white children between 5 and 21 years, 1871...... 128, 641 Number of colored children between 5 and 21 years, 1871...... 41,655 Total scholastic population for 1871....
196, 237 Number of white children between 5 and 21 years, 1872. ...... 96, 149 Number of colored children between 5 and 21 years, 1872.
16, 417 Total scholastic population for 1872....
Decrease from 1871 ..
Total attendance for 1871.......
Total attendance for 1872..
Decrease from 1871 ............
Teachers and teachers' institutes.
Decrease from 1871
* All the figures in these statements are given as printed in the report. A glance will show tbat there is an error somewhere, the items as they stand really amounting to $831,938.48 for expenditures, leaving an apparent balance of $62,310.99, instead of 838.684.14. The present State-superintendent thinks that this discrepancy may have arisen from an unmentioned item of the salaries of ten circuitsuperintendents at $3,000 per annum, with their postage.
Whole amount paid teachers in 1871........
..... $124, 443 00 .... 355,624 90
Decrease from 1871.
Number of teachers holding first-grade-certificates, (1872).......
188 423 546
Number of teachers' institutes held during 1871.
Decrease from 1871
Number attending institutes in 1871 .....
Decrease from 1871..
187 $55, 913 50
CONDITION OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS. At the date of the last report, (September 30, 1870,) the free-school-system had been in successful operation rather more than two years. During that time many difficulties had been surmounted: the prejudice which at first existed in the minds of the people, especially with regard to the education of colored children, had been overcome, and schools had been established in nearly all the counties in the State; many excellent teachers had been attracted from the older States, and vigorous efforts were being put forth to build suitable school-houses and keop schools open for a longer time than three months during the year.
During the years 1871 and 1872 various influences and agencies have operated most disastrously against the free-school-system, so that it has been not only greatly hindered and embarrassed, but well-nigh destroyed; and the vigorous growth of popular sentiment in favor of the system has declined into almost total indifference.
WANT OF FUNDS. One of the chief causes of this state of things has been the want of adequate funds, occasioned, in great measure, by the action of the legislature in limiting the amount of local tax that might be levied in country districts to one-half of 1 per cent. and in cities and towns to three-fourths of 1 per cent. on the taxable property of the district. In many neighborhoods no provision for schools bad previously existed, and considerable expense was necessarily incurred in getting them into operation for the first time. The people, however, relying on the provisions of the constitution for “levying such tax as may be deemed proper" to make up deficiencies in the public-school-fund, zealously engaged in the work and incurred the liability, expecting, by imposing on themselves a little heavier tax for a year or two, to be able to liquidate their indebtedness and still carry on their schools. In a few instances, perhaps through ignorance and inexperience in such matters, an exorbitant rate of taxation was authorized by districtmeetings. This excess was seized upon by the enemies of free schools and exaggerated to such an extent as to induce the legislature to limit the amount of local tax. In addition to this, the legislaturo authorized the issue of interest-bearing certificates and made them receivable for school-taxes.*
TEACHERS PAID IN DEPRECIATED SCRIP. The payment of the school-fund in this depreciated paper, worth but little more during the past year than half its par value, with the curtailment of local taxation, so
A decision of the supreme court, in its session of January, 1873, puts an end to this abuse by declaring that these taxes must be paid in currency. This, it carried out, will add about two-fiftbs to the school.fund of each county and enable the authorities to do justice to the teachers they engage.
crippled a large portion of the school-districts that it was impossible for them to support even a three-months school; and teachers receiving their pay in scrip, and finding that they could not dispose of it except at a ruinous discount, left the State. The schools have thus lost many of their most valuable teachers.
The opinion is expressed that, as the chief dependence for the support of schools in the several districts must, until the State-fund shall become much larger than at present, be on local taxation, by the voluntary action of the people, as few restraints as possible should be imposed on this action. It is strongly urged that the act restricting the amount of local tax to be levied be repealed, and that there be a provision of law that these taxes be collected and paid over in current funds. An opposite condition bas brought ruin and discredit on the free-school-system in many counties of the State.
SCHOOL-REVENUES AND SCHOOL-FUND. As the law now stands, there is a levy of one-fifth of 1 per cent. by the State for school purposes, which is collected and paid into the State-treasury as other Statetases are; and this, together with the accrued interest on the vested school-fund and the poll-tax, is apportioned to the several counties according to the number of children of school age, leaving the people of the several school districts at liberty, within certain limits, to levy a local tax for the additional support of schools.
All fines, penalties, forfeitures, &c., belong to the common-sehool-fund; but the arrangements for their collection are not satisfactory, and but a small portion of the fines reaches the State-treasury.
Of the two townships of land originally granted for the purpose of establishing a seminary, but afterward appropriated for the benefit of the common schools in the State, about 1,000 acres reinain unsold. The remainder has been disposed of at the price of 84 per acre, on a credit of one, two, three, four, and five years from date of sale, the notes bearing interest at the rate of 10 per cent. per annum. The outstanding amount of principal of the notes given for these lands was, in 1870, about $35,000.
Of the seventy-two sections of saline lands, about 20,000 acres remain unsold. The remainder was sold at about $1.25 per acre. The amount of the notes given for these lands was, in 1870, about $10,000.
DIVERSION OF SCHOOL-FUND TO OTHER PURPOSES. The last distribution of the funds arising from the seminary and saline lands was in January. 1861. After that date most of the money coming from these funds was appropriated for general State-expenditures. There was thus transferred to the general reyenue from the seminary-fund $7,260.81 and from the saline-fund $4,633.13. "In view of these facts the question arises whether the State should not be considered as indebted to these funds for the amounts thus diverted from their legitimate object.
Of the 928,000 acres of the sixteenth-section-lands, about 122,000 have been sold and patents granted by the State. A large quantity was sold that has not been paid for and for which no patents have been issued. The claims of the State, in the form of notes and bonds for school-lands sold and mopeye loaned, amount, perhaps, with the accrued interest, to half a million of dollars. Strenuous efforts have been made to secure the collection of these outstanding claims as far as possible. Where purchasers of land make no effort to settle their indebtedness, steps are being taken to forfeit the purchases and take possession of the lands on the part of the State. Efforts are also being made to collect a reasonable rental for the time improved lands have been occupied by parties failing to comply with their contracts of purchase.
The taxes collected on lands belonging to the sixteenth sections should be paid into the common-school-fund, but for several years past have been merged in the general revebue of the State. The question hence arises whether the State does not stand indebted to the school-fund in an amount equal to the sum of taxes thus misapplied.
The amount of permanent school-fund on hand October 1, 1872, was: In United States currency....
$14, 510 84 In 5-20 United States bonds...
24,186 25 In State-scrip.......
56, 804 22 Total.............
...................... 95,501 31 Amount of common-school-fund: In United States currency........
$3,024 24 In State scrip......
36, 852 51 Total.....
......................................... 39, 876 75
PEABODY FUND. Among the educational agencies of the State special mention is made of the aid afforded by Dr. Sears, agent of the Peabody educatioual fund. The donations to different schools during the past year amounted altogether to $8,950.