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charter, and although it is said to have less than a dozen students, and a Faculty composed of the President and his wife, it has been conferring degrees from B. A. to LL.D. upon persons who are vain and weak enough to wear titles emanating from such sources. The institution even went so far as to confer a doctorate upon its own President. Why should not the wife confer a degree upon her husband, and the husband upon his wife, when a state of things is threatened similar to that which was threatened in France when a minister declared that he would create so many dukes that henceforth it should be no honor to be a duke, but a disgrace not to be a duke. At the present rate there is danger that literary degrees conferred in Pennsylvania shall become the laughing stock of the civilized world. A member of the Board of Trustees of one of our theological seminaries complains that they have been distressed beyond measure at the great deficiencies manifest in the training of students with diplomas from some of these schools masquerading before the public under high-sounding titles. A very earnest superintendent, who is himself college-bred, declares that he is obliged to reject more graduates from a given college in the examination for provisional certificates than he is able to pass. Sometimes even persons graduated with honors by the institutions of this class have failed to pass the examination for a provisional certificate.
Under these circumstances it is not surprising that superintendents and institutions of high grade, whose aim is to do honest and thorough work, entered their protest against the issue of permanent certificates to the graduates of such institutions under the Act of May 10, 1893. An eminent lawyer warned the Department that, in view of a decision of the Supreme Court, handed down in 1838, drawing a sharp distinction between a charter to confer degrees and a charter giving the right to sue and to be sued, the power to grant the latter and not the former being vested by law in the courts, and in view of a similar decision of the Allegheny county court, rendered since the adoption of the new Constitution, it would be a misdemeanor in office for the State Superintendent to issue a permanent certificate under the Act of May 10, 1893, to the graduates of a school holding its charter from a county court. The Act was therefore referred to the Attorney-General for his construction and advice. official opinion, dated October 17, 1893, he says that the State Superintendent is required to grant without examination permanent certificates under the Act of 1893 except to graduates of colleges 'legally empowered to confer degrees, and that the general incorporation of a literary institution, under the Act of 1874, does not 'legally empower' it with this right."
The only course open to the Department, therefore, is to require as conditions for
issuing the permanent certificate the following:
1. The applicant must furnish evidence of good moral character.
2. The applicant must be twenty-one years of age, and have taught at least three full annual terms in the public schools of the commonwealth after graduation.
3. The applicant must produce a certificate from the School Board or Boards, countersigned by the County Superintendent of the same county where he or she last taught, showing that the said applicant has been successful as a teacher in the public schools during said term.
4. His or her course of study, leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts (B. A.), Master of Arts (M. A.), Bachelor of Science (B. S.), Master of Science (M. S.), Bachelor of Philosophy (Ph. B.), must have embraced four collegiate years of study, exclusive of the preparatory work required by our respectable colleges for admission into the Freshman class.
5. The college or university granting the diploma must have been invested with the power to confer degrees by an Act of the Legislature.
The new certificate will thus be the highest in rank of all those entitling the holder to teach in the public schools of the Commonwealth. Moreover, it will serve to emphasize the difference between a full and a defective course of training, and help to save promising youths from the bitter feeling of disappointment which always saddens the hearts of those who discover after it is too late that their teachers did not furnish them with the instruments and materials of thought accumulated by the ages, but sent them into the world lacking many of the weapons by which life's battles are fought and won.
OPINION OF ATTORNEY-GENERAL.
We give herewith the opinion of Attorney General Hensel, to which reference is made above:
OFFICE OF ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Harrisburg, Oct. 17th, 1893. REV. DR. N. C. SCHAEFFER, Supt. Public
Sir: I beg to acknowledge your oral request for a construction of and for advice upon the Act of May 10, 1893, relative to the grant of permanent certificates to graduates of certain literary institutions "legally empowered to confer" certain degrees, etc. The title of the act relates to graduates of "recognized literary and scientific colleges," but in the body of the statute these vague and indefinite terms are supplanted by words of exact and precise meaning.
Literary or scientific colleges "legally empowered to confer" the degrees specified in the act, in my opinion, comprise only such as have the express "authority of law" to confer them. Such authority must be found either in the special statutes in
corporating them or in the general corporation laws enacted since 1873, providing a uniform system for the formation of corporations for "the support of any literary, medical or scientific undertaking, literary association, or the promotion of music, painting or other fine arts."
"The powers of a corporation must be given in plain words or by necessary implication. All powers not given in this direct and unmistakable manner are withheld. A corporation can take nothing by construction."-Com. vs. E. & N. R. R. Co., 27 Pa. St., 339.
Before the Constitution of 1873 and the corporation Act of 1874 were adopted, literary institutions, such as classical and scientific colleges, were chartered specially by the Legislature, and they were invested with express power to confer degrees by the statutes erecting them into corporations. So far as this power was ever delegated to the courts, its limitation was long ago made the subject of judicial construction. In the case of St. Mary's Church, 6 Serg't & Rawle, 505, Tilghman, C. J. said: In this business of charters, the Court acts under the grant of an extraordinary power of a special nature, and is confined to the cases described in the Acts of Assembly." In the case of the Medical College of Philadelphia, 3 Wharton, 444, the Supreme Court refused to incorporate a medical college with power to grant degrees, no such privilege being conferred by the Act of 1791. These principles have controlled the Courts since their enunciation and are recognized as the settled law.
In the Duquesne College Charter (12 County Court Reports, 491) the Allegheny County Court held that the Courts having power, by grant of the Legislature, to charter colleges, had no power to invest them with the right of conferring degrees. Whether this power passes to and rests in an educational institution by necessary implication, is a mooted question, the right answer to which, it must be admitted, should depend somewhat on the kind of institution that claims the right. If there is a lack of legal authority at present to charter institutions of any kind with power to confer degrees, the necessity is one that appeals for legislative rather than judicial action. Pending the consummation of it, the cause of literature and of scholarship is less likely to suffer from a paucity than from a redundancy of degrees.
For the purposes of your present inquiry, I advise you that you are not required to grant, without examination, permanent certificates under the Act of 1893, except to graduates of colleges "legally empowered" to confer degrees, and the general incorporation of a literary institution under the Act of 1874 does not "legally empower" it with the right. Very respectfully, W. U. HENSEL, Attorney-General.
ITEMS FROM REPORTS.
ADAMS-Supt. Thoman: All the schools are open with two exceptions, due to the building of new houses, the one in Biglerville, the other at Pine Run. The latter is the finest and most complete school building in the county, especially for a rural district. It is heated by a furnace. The interior woodwork is not simply painted, but also varnished; in short, it is a model building in every way. Directors will do well to inspect both this building and the one erected at Red Hill, Oxford township, a year ago, before they agree upon a plan for a new house.
ARMSTRONG-Supt. Jackson: With but few exceptions, our schools began in August and September. As far as reported, the attendance is very good for the first weeks of school. Some of the country districts have adopted a graded course as recommended by the Superintendent. The teachers are doing what they can to give the course a fair trial. We feel encouraged by the way the schools are starting, and think that everything points to a successful year. All who have anything to do with the schools seem to be wide-awake and active. Everybody is anxious to do his part, and is always ready to do what is requested of him. The Superintendent has, by notice through the different papers of the county, urged upon principals, teachers, and school officers, the proper observance of the Autumn Arbor Day.
BEAVER Supt. Hillman: The educational event of the month was the annual Institute at Prof. Peirsol's Academy at West Bridgewater, which convened August 27, and continued four days. The total enrollment was 107, nearly all of whom were teachers. Many were young persons who are about to teach their first term. The exercises were especially arranged for this class.
BERKS Supt. Zechman: The Annual County Institute was held September 25. The instruction was very practical. Kutztown erected an eight-room building, heated and ventilated by the Smead system. This building is second to none in the county. It was dedicated October 1. At the County Institute we appointed Nov. 2nd as Conrad Weiser Day, which is to be observed in every school. A collection will be taken up, which will be the beginning of an effort to raise funds for the erection of a monument to his memory.
BLAIR-Supt. Wertz: The Altoona and Blair County Union of Teachers and Dircctors held its second annual meeting at Lakemont Park, August 31. An interesting programme, consisting of live educational topics, was arranged for the occasion. The meeting was well attended by teachers, directors and patrons. The discussions were animated and to the point, and all present voted it a day well spent. The schools are all in session, and as far as we have been able to learn by visitation and inquiry, have the largest enrollment in the history of the
CAMBRIA-Supt. Leech: The Cambria Library, one of the very best equipped in the State, has granted all its privileges to the pupils of the public schools of the county, free of all cost, a movement which is appreciated alike by teachers, pupils and parents.
CAMERON-Supt. Herrick: Lumber, Gibson, and Shippen townships have placed "The Teachers' Normal Series (number and language chart) and Yaggy's "Geographical Portfolio," in the schools.
CHESTER - Supt. Walton: Brandywine Day was observed in nearly all the schools of the county. The interest taken in home history and government is marked. At Birmingham the schools celebrated the day by meeting in the old Friends' Meeting House. The traditions of the locality were recalled by some of the older residents. Tredyffrin and Easttown townships have supervising teachers, who act as local superintendents, visiting all the schools each month. The new school-house at Paoli, with its modern individual furniture (heater, pump, hardwood finish, etc.), is another illustration of public interest in the welfare and comfort of the school children.
COLUMBIA-Supt. Johnston: The schools of Berwick, Bloom, Catawissa, Espy and Orangeville, were visited during the month. Most of these schools have an unusually large attendance for the beginning of the term, evidently due to the free text-book system. In some districts the term has been lengthened, and in many the teachers' salaries increased. Directors generally have been more careful in the selection of teachers. We are arranging as usual to hold a series of local institutes, eight or ten during the term. From some of the districts reports have been received that the teachers have organized associations. During the year twenty-four examinations have been held, resulting in the granting of 154 provisional certificates, and 7 professional; there were 199 applicants.
DAUPHIN-Supt. McNeal: The schools of Williams and Williamstown opened August 14. For several terms these districts have been opening their schools about the middle of August for the accommodation of the boys who are taken out of school in the early spring to go to work. Most of the other town schools opened the first Monday in September, and the country schools from the first Momday of September to the first Monday of October. Our schools never opened
with more promising indications of success than at the beginning of the present term. The law relative to text-books and supplies has been obeyed not only in letter, but in spirit as well. So far as my observation has extended, the most liberal provision of supplies was made by Middletown. During vacation this Board repaired, painted, papered and refurnished their high school room, recitation room, and principal office, at a cost of about six hundred ($600) dollars. Teachers' salaries were increased, two new schools established, and drawing added to the course of study. The principal and his corps of teachers have arranged to procure sixteen different educational journals, each to be left one week at a building, and then filed in the principal's office for reference. Millersburg has had one of their school houses repaired, painted at a cost of about two hundred dollars.
FULTON-Supt. Chestnut Most of the schools opened October 2. There is considerable confusion in regard to books. In Taylor all the houses are new and first class; in Dublin, the same. As a whole, the county has a tolerably fair corps of teachers. One school in Taylor has a teacher not so well qualified as the pupils. I am trying to organize a Local Institute in each district.
HUNTINGDON Supt. Rudy: Shirley township has erected three new school-houses, one taking the place of a house recently burned down. Warrior's Mark township has completed a new house, also on account of fire. The schools are nearly all in operation, with an attendance reported good.
JUNIATA-Supt. Marshall: By October 2nd all the schools will be in session, excepting those of Lack township, where the repairing of houses has caused delay. I find, as far as my visitation of schools has gone, that we need a course of study for graded and ungraded schools. In many of the schools the studies are arranged by the teacher and pursued by the pupils in a hap-hazard manner, hence entirely incompatible with successful teaching. An effort will be made at the County Institute to have a committee appointed to prepare a course of study for the county, so that it can be presented to the different districts during the coming school year. The habit of our farmers in keeping their sons and daughters at work during the first month of school, when they have arrived at the age when they could make the most progress in school, is certainly an instance of poor economy, as well as a great injustice to the children, and a hindrance to the progress of the school as a whole.
LACKAWANNA-Supt. Taylor: I have endeavored to emphasize the importance of keeping the out-houses of the schools in good and proper condition, by sending copies of the law relating thereto, and a personal letter, to all the secretaries in the county. An effort will be made to establish a uniform course of study in all the schools, with monthly examinations. For a guide in this
matter we shall use a course of study prepared by a committee of county superintendents in Illinois. LAWRENCE Supt. Watson: The school building in West Newcastle, which will be ready for occupancy about November 1, will be one of the finest in western Pennsylvania. School Boards have all been very busy during the past month providing books and other supplies. The free text-book law is giving the schools a lift in the right direction, as each pupil will be placed in the grade to which he belongs.
LEBANON-Supt. Snoke: The schools I have thus far visited have made a favorable beginning, with few exceptions. The unsatisfactory condition of these exceptions is invariably due to a want of skill and tact on the part of the teacher. Frequently, more of this tact and less brilliant intellectual attainments, would show better results. Let the teacher strive to acquire both.
LEHIGH-Supt. Rupp: Before the opening of the schools a meeting of the teachers and directors was held in all the rural districts. The text-book question was quite fully discussed. All of the schools are now supplied with free books, etc. I attended the dedication of two new houses in Lowhill township -one at Claussville, the other at Lowhill Church. Both are brick structures, substantially built. Both are surmounted with a steeple and bell. They are furnished with patent desks.
LYCOMING-Supt. Becht: The monthly meeting of the Teachers' Exchange was held September 30. The subject of district supervision was considered, and the county divided, as heretofore, into seventeen districts. A prominent teacher in each district was appointed to act as superintendent, to collect statistics, and arrange a report of the condition of the schools, to be presented at each meeting of the Exchange, and also to be published in the county papers. This superintendent wiil also have charge of the arrangements and programme of the district institute. He will have stated meetings of teachers, directors and patrons, and will assist as far as possible in all local institutes, reviews, etc. This plan has been in operation for the past two years, and it is proposed to continue it along the same lines, changing only in details as experience demands.
MIFFLIN Supt. Cooper: Having visited most of the schools in four townshipsBrown, Union, Menno, Decatur, and part of Derry-we are pleased to report them in a prosperous condition. Decatur and Menno are supplied with a full line of text-books. The directors in these townships have the right idea of economy, and correct views as to the best interests of their schools. Our new teachers are doing good work. Armagh proposes to hold a Local Institute before the meeting of the County Institute.
MONROE-Supt. Serfass: Several districts are short of teachers. The new Normal School at East Stroudsburg will, by another
year, furnish us with a larger and better supply of teachers. The Normal opened September 4, with an attendance beyond expectation. There are now 283 students enrolled. They are at present in need of an addition to the faculty, and by spring an additional building will be required. In our visit we found an earnest and overworked faculty, and an enthusiastic and happy body of students.
NORTHUMBERLAND-Supt. Shipman : My visits this month were chiefly in Coal township, which surrounds Shamokin borough. In this district 35 teachers are employed, who were working at a disadvantage, due to a delay in shipping text-books. Closer supervision would add much to the usefulness of the schools. East Sunbury's large new building is nearly completed. The distribution of free text-books is costing some of the districts considerable extra concern.
SCHUYLKILL-Supt. Weiss: Free textbooks are a blessing to many children, especially in the mining districts.
SULLIVAN Supt. Meylert: The Normal Institute lasted five weeks, closing September 15. More than four-fifths of the teachers of the county were in attendance. The work accomplished will, we are certain, prove of benefit to the teachers in way of professional training and scholastic improvement.
VENANGO.-Supt. Bigler: The introduction of free text-books and all that accompanied the same, is certainly the most important step that has been taken for many years in the line of school work. Richland township has secured an elegant book-case, with lock and key, for every school in the district, for the safe keeping of the books. A very satisfactory blank record book has been adopted throughout the county for the accounting of books. One discouraging feature is that publishing houses are not furnishing the books as promptly as they should. Some time ago I advocated the adoption of the "Mental Arithmetic," and the result is that more than one-half the districts have done so. This seems to me to be a good step. Since we have writing materials furnished free, we may expect better results in the teaching of penmanship.
WARREN-Supt. Putnam: The majority of our schools opened September 4th, for a continuous term. Nearly every district will have eight months' school, several nine, and none less than seven. The directors are furnishing books and other supplies needed, as rapidly as possible. The disposition seems to be to comply with the law in a liberal spirit, and all seem pleased that this forward step is made.
YORK-Supt. Gardner: The increased attendance, compared with last year, is very marked. This is one of the good results of the free text-book system. At Hanover and Wrightsville the increase was so great that each borough was compelled to organize a new school to accommodate the pupils. The School Board of York Haven erected a one
story brick building, with two commodious rooms, properly lighted, well ventilated, and furnished with improved patent furniture and slate blackboards.
ALLEGHENY CITY-Supt. Morrow: Our schools are unusually full. We have a gain of 1215 over last year for the same month. We never had such a gain before in the history of our schools. Heretofore it has been between 300 and 400 per year, never more than the latter, nor less than the former. This year, therefore, marks a great advance.
ALLENTOWN-Supt. Raub: A high school building is in process of erection, to be completed by July, 1894. It will contain eight school-rooms, besides class-rooms, and the superintendent's office. It is to be two stories, with mansard roof. The attic is to be fitted up for an assembly room. The Smead-Wills system of heating will be put in. It is to be of brick with brown-stone trimmings. The schools have been supplied with free text-books at a cost of about $9,000. The work in the schools has begun very auspiciously.
BETHLEHEM Supt. Farquhar: schools opened Aug. 28, and are in a condition satisfactory to myself, and, I believe, to the Board. The law respecting supplies has been fully complied with. Everything that was deemed necessary for the assistance of the pupils in their work has been furnished. I think the Board will show a liberal spirit in the future, if it shall appear that supplies of a greater variety are needed.
CHAMBERSBURG-Supt. Hockenberry: We have more scholars now in our schools than we had any previous year during the first month. It is due to free text-books, and not to increase in population. No time was lost waiting for parents to buy books. All the pupils in all the schools were able to begin work at once.
CHESTER-Supt. Foster: Three of the buildings have been furnished with the hot water system of heating, and all have been put in excellent condition for the service of the term recently opened. Chester will this year hold an annual Institute separate from that of the county, during the week beginning March 23. It is the design to secure the very best instruction for the teachers during the day sessions, and omit the evening entertainments. The high school curriculum has just been extended so as to cover four-year courses of study in parallel lines Academic, Normal, and Classical. Four pupils have commenced Greek.
COLUMBIA-Supt. Hoffman: During the past month 1902 pupils were enrolled-the largest monthly enrollment in the history of our schools. Of this number 1165 were present every session. We found it necessary to organize an additional primary school.
DUNMORE-Supt. Williams: The directors, at their last meeting, increased the salaries of the teachers $5 per month, and engaged the services of an instructor in vocal music who gives us one lesson per week.
HARRISBURG-Supt. Foose: The new High School building, costing over $100,000, was first occupied by the school in September. When fully equipped it will furnish all necessary facilities for high school work. Free books have been furnished in all the grades of the school, in consequence of which our schools have never been so well filled, nor has the attendance been so good for the number enrolled.
HOMESTEAD Supt. Kendall: Homestead was incorporated a borough in 1881. The town having no school facilities, a ten-room brick building was erected and occupied in the fall of 1882. A second and a third of eight and nine rooms respectively were erected in 1888 and 1890. The Board for the fourth time is obliged to increase the number of school-rooms, and has under construction a fine twelve-room_building to be completed Feb. 1st, 1894. Free text-books are furnished the pupils, and we note a more regular attendance and better results.
HAZLE Twp., (Luzerne Co.)—Supt. Mulhall: One of our school buildings, located at Hazleton Mines, containing four rooms and employing two teachers, was completely destroyed by fire on the night of Sept. 22d.
There was no doubt that it was set on fire
either deliberately, or by parties loafing and carousing in or around the premises. The School Board has offered a reward of $100 for the arrest and conviction of the guilty party. This matter of loafing around school houses and injuring the property in many places is an evil which annoys school directors and teachers very much. The malicious destruction of school property, and the consequent repairing thereof, is an item of considerable expense to many districts.
LEBANON-Supt. Boger: The Franklin School was ready for occupancy at the opening of school August 28th. The two new wings furnish seating capacity for about 250 pupils. Its external appearance and internaf arrangements do credit to the progressive spirit of our Board of Control. It is heated by the Smead system, and furnished throughout with single desks. On Labor Day this building was opened for public inspection. The several Camps of the P. O. S. of A., together with the teachers and pupils of the eight schools of the building, had a parade in connection with the presentation and raising of the national flag. The city was in holiday attire, and thousands greeted the National President of the Order, Clarence Huth, who presented the flag, and Henry Houck, who accepted it in behalf of
the Board of Control.
MAHANOY CITY-Supt. Miller: All school supplies have been furnished the pupils according to law. The attendance is much larger than ever before at the end of the first month.
MAHANOY TWP. (Schuylkill) Co.-Supt. Noonan: Our schools opened September 4th, for a term of nine months. Three new buildings were occupied, and the grounds of