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Average number of white children attending, (males, 23,871; females,
21,650)..........; ; ;:;:;; ::: :
Total number of schools
834 792 771 104
FINANCIAL In consequence of the failure of a number of counties to forward proper annual reports within the time required, a fair comparison of the statistics of tho year with those of the year previous has been impossible; yet, notwithstanding the fact that the failure of the treasury to cash school-warrants had a depressing effect upon all the township-schools, the number of children in attendance-and the time during which the schools were open-does not vary materially, it is thought, from that of the preceding year.
It has been impossible for county-superintendents to balance their accounts with the department of education, from the fact that large amounts of warrants remain in their hands uppaid ; and, in the judgment of the retiring superintendent, Hon. Joseph Hodgson, the affairs of the department cannot be satisfactorily administered until the general assembly shall provide money to meet the annual educational apportionments; and to this end he advises that a sale of State-bonds be ordered sufficient to liquidate every cent of indebtedness to the public schools and that the school-revenues be henceforth kept separate and distinct from all other funds, in accordance with that provision of the constitution which says that they “shall be inviolably appropriated to educational purposes, and no other purposes whatever.” Notwithstanding This express command of the constitution, every dollar of the public-school-fund and of the university-fund given the State by the General Government has been eithersquandered or lost, so that the entire amount expended annually for the public schools and the State University has to be raised each year by direct taxation on people already groaning under heavy taxes and indebtedness. The new State superintendent, (Hov. Joseph H. Speed) in an address to the board of education, advises that all defaulting officers and all officers in arrears be sought out and compelled to account for every dollar of public-school-money that has gone into their hands or be made to suffer the severest penalties of the law.
COUNTY-SUPERINTENDENTS. Superintendent Speed advises, also, the enactment of a law requiring county-superintendents to reside at the county-seat of each county and keep their offices open on certain days of each week, since their residence in remote corners of counties having a large area compels teachers, trustees, and other school-officers having business with them to travel a great distance, at the risk, even then, of finding the county-superintendent absent. He further recommends the enactment of a law providing for the removal of county-superintendents for grossly immoral conduct and drunkenness.
TEACHIERS. A revision of the school-laws is considered necessary, so as to prohibit the employment of teachers in the public schools until the money is in band to pay them. Such teachers are generally poor, and nipe-tenths of them have to rely entirely upon their pay to support themselves and their families. To employ them, poor as they are, secure their time and services, and then compel them to wait six or twelve months for their pay, is not only unwise, but unjust and cruel, and entails much suffering on a worthy class of citizens, who, moreover, render more service for less compensation than any other public servants. There are hundreds of poor teachers throughout the State, who have served faithfully and laboriously, whose wives and children suffer for want of food and raiment because they have failed to receive the amounte due for work done many months ago.
PECULIARITY OF THE SCHOOL-SYSTEM. The most noticeable feature in the school-system of this State is the fact that it is the creation of the constitution, and not of the legislature, and that the power to enact school-laws is taken from the latter and given to the State-board of education. The general assembly has power to repeal these laws, and that is all. In a decision of tho supreme court of Alabama it is said : “ The new system has not only administrative, but full legislative, powers as to all matters having reference to the common schools and the public educational interests of the State. It cannot be destroyed nor essentially changed by legislative authority.”
The governor of the State is, ex-officio, a member of the board, but with no power beyond that of debate and advice. The State-superintendent of public instruction is its presiding officer, as well as the executive officer of all school-laws; and thus both the schooland the State-authorities have a voice in its proceedings and an opportunity to shape its legislation. This system, in the opinion of both the present and the retiring superintendents, needs revision, having failed to meet the expectations of its friends and the demands of popular education. The superintendent, therefore, suggests to the board of education, as well worthy its consideration, whether the old plan was not more successfal and beneficial.
MONTGOMERY. The total population of the State capital is given at 15,000; the number of children of school age, (5-21,) 3,327; number enrolled in schools, 878; number of weeks in scholastic year, 38; number of schools, 13; of teachers, 13, (2 male and 11 fomale ;) number of scholars enrolled as above, 878; number in average attendance, 631.* The salaries of teachers in primary schools (all females) are from $40 to $50 a month; of those in intermediate schools (all females) $50 to $60; of the male principal in grammar-schools, $75 to $100; of the female, $60 to $65; of the male principal in high schools, when existent, $100 to $120. The income for the year 1872–73 is: from last year, $2,223.10; from State-apportionment, $3,742.87; from city-appropriation, $4,000; from Peabody fund, $1.500 total, $11,465.97. The expenditures for the same time were, for salaries of superintendents, nothing, several serving gratuitously; for salaries of teachers, $6,308.35 ; for fuel and lights, $24.03; for rent of buildings, $350; for repairs, $183.47; for stationery, $25 ; for discount on warrants, $555.60— total, $7,665.42; leaving an apparent balance of $3,800.55. Neither Latin, Greek, German, nor French is taught in the public schools and drawing is only in its elements; but vocal music is attended to in all.
OPELIKA, Population of the city, 4,800; children of school-age, 715; number enrolled in schools, 3-0); average attendance, 300; school-year, 40 weeks. The schools are: (1) 1 public school, with 2 male and 2 female teachers, 275 pupils on the rolls, and 220 in average attendance; (2)1 “mixed” school, with 1 male and 1 female teacher, and 60 pupils; and (3) 1 young ladies' school, with 2 teachers and 45 pupils. The income for the public school is : from State-fund, when collected, $800; from local fund, $1,000; from other sources, ($1,000 from Peabody fund,) $2,000—total, $3,800, Expenditures not given, but said, in the application for aid from the Peabody fund, to be $3,000 for teachers alone. Opelika is a new town, which has sprung up within the last seven years, and has not Tet reached fnll order in its school-appointments. Latin and Greek, however, are taught; there are 20 pupils ip drawing, 75 in vocal music, and 30 in instrumental.
SELMA Whole population, 3,000; children of school-age, 2,067 ; enrolled in public schools, 739; in private schools, 30; school-year, 40 weeks. The public schools are 2, of which 1 is for whites, the other for colored youth. Each of these is divided into 7 grades, with a teacher for each grade. In one of the schools, a boys' grade is separate. In the white division there is also a high-school for girls. The teachers are (male 4, female 14) 18. The average attendance of pupils is said to be 737, (442 whites, 295 blacks,) which, if correct, is very high, reaching within two of the whole number enrolled. There are also evening-schools for colored pupils; number attendant not given. In the private schools are 3 male and 6 female teachers, with an average attendance of 150 pupils. The income of the public schools is given as $12,659, of which, $1,659 comes from the State, $9.500 from local fund, and $1,500 from the Peabody fund. Expenditures not stated. Latin and Greek are taught, drawing and vocal nusic "to some extent," and there are a few pupils in French.
SECONDARY INSTRUCTION. Information respecting schools for secondary instruction in this State is very incomplete. While the superintendent of public instruction reports 164 high schools, two of which are for the education of colored children, no means are afforded for judging of their efficiency.
* The above statistics are for the public schools. Besides these, there are in private schools 20 teachen, (4 males and 16 females,) with over 500 scholars.
Of private or denominational schools for secondary training, reports are at hand from: (1) the Greene Springs school, Hale County, of which Henry Lutwiler, LL. D., is principal, with 2 male instructors and 1 female, 49 male and 6 female students. The ancient languages, mathematics, German, and French are taught and instrumental music to the female pupils. The school possesses apparatus for the illustration of the natural sciences, also a general library of 2,000 volumes, with 1,000 additional in the libraries of two societies; (2) the Hamner Hall high school, in a pleasant grove near Montgomery, principal, F. Key Meade, of the University of Virginia, and 3 other male instructors, 70 malo pupils, with an academic course, comprising Latin, German, French, Spanish, Italian, mathematics, chemistry, higher English, and book-keeping; (3) the Park high-school, Tuskegee, James F. Park, principal, with 2 male instructors, 93 male pupils, of whom 55 are in the English course and 38 in the classical. Number preparing for college, 30; buildings new and sufficient for the accommodation of 150 stñdents; Latin, Greek, and French in course; and (4) the Burrell school, Selma, principal, John M. Cumings, with o female assistants, 175 male and 225 female pupils, none thus far advanced beyond the first year in grammar-school, a small apparatus for philosophical illustration, and “no library to speak of.” Monthly written examinations have been used in the higher classes, with good success.
From such other institutions as the high school for males, Montgomery, the Lafayette male-high school, Chambers C. H.; Theodore Hunter's school, Montgomery ; the Southwood select school, Talladega, or the Ursuline Convent, and Academy of St. John the Baptist, Tuscaloosa, there are no returns to show their present condition.
NORMAL TRAINING. Normal departments exist in connection with Talladega College and the State University. The returns from the former show a division of the department into “common-school normal,” and “higher normal.” "Above 8” are in the first year of the higher normal; in the two divisions, 39. From the university normal school there are no returns.
“Graded schools with normal departments” are also reported by the American Missionary Association office 50 Reade street, New York, as follows: (1) Emerson institute, Mobile, with 2 instructors, and 135 pupils; (2) Swayne school, Montgomery, with 8 instructors and 612 pupils; (3) Lincoln school, Marion, with 5'instructors and 300 pupils; (4) Trinity school, Athens, with 2 instructors and 163 pupils; and (5) the Burrell school, Selma, previously referred to. In none of these schools, however, are the number of pupils in normal classes indicated or any means afforded' for judging of the extent of the normal course.
UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA. The academic department of this university embraces six courses of study, either of which the applicant may select: five parallel courses for undergraduates and one postgraduate-course for master of arts, embracing extensive studies in any three of the schools into which the academic department is divided, the degree of master of arts not being conferred in course on bachelors of arts of three years' standing, as has been common at the North.
The department of professional education embraces the school of law, requiring one year and a half for its completion, and the normal school, which is intended to prepare young men for teaching and embraces a three years' course of study. Certificates of proficiency received by those who complete the course in this department secure their admission into the public schools as teachers without examination.
Military training.-All students are subjected to military drill and discipline, and are styled the “Alabama Corps of Cadets." The school of military sciences embraces instruction in military art ard science, military law, and elementary tactics.
Finances of the university.-From a statement of the superintendent of public instruction made to the board of regents, it appears that the expenditures of the university for the year 1871–72 considerably exceeded the amount annually furnished it by the State, $38,000 having been disbursed during the year in question, while the annual appropriation is only $24,000. Adding the amount realized from board, tuition, and other fees charged the students to that supplied by the State, he estimated that the expenses of the institution for the year were not less than $43,500, and, moreover, that in the future the entire amount would necessarily be defrayed by the State, since the board had just passed a law rendering tuition in the university free. * The convic'tion was expressed that this outlay might be considerably reduced and the university, at the same time, be rendered more useful and efficient.
It was stated, for instance, that the professor of moral and mental philosophy, who received a salary of $2,500, had only 4 pupils in his department, making the cost for instructing one pupil in that single branch $700, while a similar state of things existed in the department of mineralogy and geology. It was therefore recommended that the two professorships of moral and mental philosophy and natural history be abolished,
*It was doubtless this suggestion which influenced a subsequent action of the board of regents in the abolition of the law providing for free tuition.
the duties of the former being discharged by the president of the institution, as was the case for 40 years; that two other chairs be consolidated, and the salaries of professors reduced to $2,000 per annum. While these changes would not diminish the efficiency of the faculty they would effect a saving of $12,000 annually, which sum could be appliedito the completion of the university-buildings, to the purchase of scientific apparatus, to increasing the library, and to payment of the debts of the institution. He further recommended the establishment of a department of law, which could be done without additional expense to the university, the tuition-fees of students being an ample resource for its support.
HOWARD COLLEGE, MARION. The professed aim here is to make the instruction in every department practical. In all sciences the students are required to use the apparatus and instruments provided for them. Original problems are solved and much attention paid to original essays. Lectures are occasionally given on the subjects studied, but the rule is that the students themselves perform in the class-room, the object being to make them proficient in demonstration and explanation and keep constantly in exercise the knowledge they acquire.
The faculty offers for competition to the sophomore-class a gold medal for excellence in elocation.
SPRING HILL COLLEGE, (near MOBILE.) The plan of instruction at this college embraces a preparatory, a classical, and a commercial course; the first of one year, the second of six, and the third of three. At the end of the sixth year of the classical course, the degree of A. B. is conferred on those who pass the requisite examination. To attain the further degree of A. M. there must be either an additional year of philosophic study at the college or a two years' devotion to the studies of a learned profession.
TALLADEGA COLLEGE, TALLADEGA. This is one of several collegiate institutions established by the American Missionary Association for the benefit of the colored race especially, though not limited to them. It is yet in its infancy, but has in all 13 instructors and 268 pupils, classed, thus far, only in primary, intermediate, normal, and preparatory departments. It is said thus far to have proved eminently successful in the training of its pupils.
COLLEGES FOR WOMEN. Eight institutions for the higher instruction of women make returns for 1873. These returns show, in the 8 colleges and collegiate seminaries mentioned, an aggregate of 78 teachers, of whom 20 are males and 58 females, nearly all resident in the institutions with which they are connected. There are 955 pupils; 233 of these in preparatory departments, 44 in partial courses, 662 in collegiate courses of from four to five years, and 16 post-graduates still prosecuting studies. In all these schools, drawing and painting, music, (vocal and instrumental,) and French are taught, besides the other studies of a ladies' college-course. In all but one, German is added to the French; in two, Spanish also; and in one, Italian forms a further addition to the course. Four have cheinical laboratories; 6, philosophical apparatus or cabinet; 4, at least the beginnings of an art-gallery, and the same number some means for physical culture. One makes no report of any library; one bas 400 volumes; the others from 1,000 to 3,000 volumes each.
The following table exhibits, in brief form, the condition of the various institutions for superior instruction in the State:
Statistical summary of universities and colleges.
* Students unclassified.
AGRICULTURAL AND MECHANICAL COLLEGE OF ALABAMA, AUBURN, LEE COUNTY. This institution was established by act of the State-legislature, under the congressional provision for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts. The amount realized by the State from the sale of the lands donated by Congress for this purpose was $218,000. To this has been added, by donation from the trustees of the East Alabama College, at Auburn, in consideration of the establishment of the university at that place, all the buildings, property, and lands of said college, the value of such lands, (200 acres,) with the buildings, amounting to over $100,000.
The institution “holds its leading object to be to afford the most thorough instruction which its means will allow in the branches of learning pertaining to the industrial arts or necessary to the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits or professions in life." There are three special courses of study which are elective, namely, those of scientific agriculture, civil and mining engineering, and literature and science. There is also a required course of three years for all students, beginning with elementary studies and so arranged as to furnish training for the active business-concerns of life or for the special and higher courses of study pursued in the college.
Military training.-Although military science is required to be and is taught in the institution and the government and discipline are modeled after those of military schools, it is not made a leading object of the course, since the aim of the college is not to make proficients in arms, but simply to teach the tactics and improve both the health and bearing of the students.
Free scholarships.-Each county of the State is, by law, entitled to send two students to this college.
During the first session of seven months, closed October 30, 1872, there were in attendance 103 students, of whom 6 graduated. The same numbers appear in the returns for 1873.
ALABAMA INSTITUTION FOR THE DEAF, DUMB, AND BLIND. The annual appropriation for the support of this institution is said by the secretary, in his report for 1873, to amount to $18,000. The buildings and grounds are reported by the president to be kept with a degree of neatness and care seldom found anywhere, the groves and lawns improving in appearance yearly, the walks and carriage-ways graded, and drainage secured as far as there have been means to carry on the work. The garden and tillable lands have been cultivated and fertilized, and have produced abundant crops, the labor, except hauling, being all done by the male pupils,' The mechanical department, closed for want of means, was to be partially re-opened in October, 1873, competent teachers in this line having been secured.
The whole number present last year was 70; for the year which ended September, 1873, 60. Of this last number 46 were mutes and 14 blind. In the mute-department 4 teachers have been employed; in the blind, 2–1 in the intellectual, 1 in the musical instruction. The advancement of the pupils is said to have been satisfactory-in several instances highly encouraging—though the appliances for the instruction of the blind are poor, there being no means to increase the supply of school-apparatus, maps, globes, &c., which, in their raised forms, are expensive.