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$5,707,810 6, 896, 879
$12, 604, 689
From the above it will be seen that the common school revenue of 1867 exceeded that of 1866 by an amount equal to more than 28 per cent.; the revenue of 1868 exceeded that of 1867 by over 20 per cent., while the revenue of 1868 exceeded that of 1866 by $2,451,749, being over 50 per cent increase in two years; and the total revenue of 1867–68, the two years embraced in the present report, exceeds the total of 1865–66 by $4,842,820, or more than 62 per cent.
In 1867 there was raised by local district taxation, for common school purposes, the sum of $3,533,133; and, in 1868, the sum so raised was $4,250,679, amounting, for the two years embraced in the present report, to $7,783,812. The whole amount raised by district taxes, during the preceding two years, was $4,748,105, showing an increase for the two years of nearly 64 per centum. The whole amount raised by district taxes, in the ten years ending September 30, 1866, was $13,000,166, from which it will be seen that the amount so raised in the last two years was more than half (nearly 60 per cent.) of the whole sum raised during the preceding ten years. The amount raised by local taxes, in each of the years covered by this report, was five times more than the amount of State tax funds distributed in thoso years respectively, and nearly double the whole amount of all other school revenues received in the same time. Seren millions seven hundred and eighty-three thousand eight hundred and twelve dollars is a vast sum of money to be raised in two years for common schools, the greater portion of it raised by taxes self-imposed. It is believed that the figures in this report, on this subject, are without a parallel in the whole history of free schools on this continent.
SCHOOL STATISTICS. At no other point in the manipulation of school statistics are mistakes so likely to occur as in the calculation of averages; and yet, upon these we must chiefly rely for our knowledge of the general condition and progress of the school system of a State. In order to lessen the chances of mistakes as much as possible, the district, township, and county officers during the years 1867–68 were required to report no averages at all, but simply to send the original data to the superintendent. All the averages, then, contained in the report for these years have been calculated in the office of the superintendent.
The whole number of public schools in the State in 1868 was 10,705, being in the proportion of one school to 77 of the white children, between six and twenty-one years of age. The grand total number of days school was taught in 1868 was reported to be 1,783,856, or an average of seven and three-tenths months.
As an assistance in the comprehension of the enormous magnitude of the common school work of the State, it is estimated that the aggregate service of all the teachers in the State for the year 1868 was equal to the service of one teacher for 5,243 years, counting every day in the year; or, in other words, in order to have taught as many days as were taught by the public school teachers of Illinois, in 1868, a single teacher would have been obliged to open his school 1,460 years before the creation of the world, according to the received Bible chronology, and to have taught continuously to the present time.
The number of white children in the State between six and twenty-one years of age in 1868, being 826,820, and the number attending that year 706,780, it appears that 120,040 children, or nearly 17 per cent. of the whole number, failed to improve the advantages of education. A large deduction should, however, be made, from the fact that the area of legal eligibility to the public schools is very largo, covering the whole period from six to twenty-one, while the period of actual and general attendance does not extend much beyond the age of sixteen yogrs. But even after making the necessary deductions upon this ground, the evil of non-attendance is most lamentable. The average number of pupils to a school in 1867 was 24”; in 1868 it was 25 .
The whole number of school districts for the year 1867 was 10,620, and for the year 1868 was 10,590. The number which complied with the condition of the law necessary to a receipt of school funds, viz., a maintenance of a free school for six months in each Fear, was, in 1867, 9,624, or 90 per cent. of the whole number; in 1868 it was 10,117, or more than 95 per cent. of the whole number of districts:
of the whole number of districts in 1867, only about 41 per cent. are reported as having kept be records of the district in a punctual, orderly, and reliable manner, as provided for by law. In 1868 the per cent. of districts reported as having complied with this provision had increased to about 45. In its relation to the accuracy of statistical returns, and to the general business of the district, this remissness is deplorable, and the adoption of the township system is believed to be the only effectual remedy for the evil.
The financial condition of the local districts, as a whole, is favorable. In 1868, 3,948 districts are reported as being in debt, while 5,400 had balances in their treasuries. A large portion of the indebtedness is for new school-houses, grounds, and furniture, &c.
The number of private schools has decreased rapidly during the last four years, until 1868, when there is an apparent increase of 38 over the last year. This is only apparent, not actual, and is due to an imperfect enumeration in the city of Chicago. The largo number of private schools in that city is partly caused by the inadequate accommodations afforded by the public schools. So extraordinary is the growth of the city, that although several large new school buildings are added every year, the increase in the number of seats does not keep pace with the increase in the population. Of the wholo number of private schools in the State over 23 per cent. are in the city of Chicago. Exclusive of that city, only 2} per cent. of the pupils in the State belong to private schools. Tried, therefore, by the test of the relative number and condition of private schools, the progress and popularity of our system of public education must be regarded as eminently satisfactory.
The returns show but 565 graded schools in 1867, and 634 in 1868, or about 5 per cent. of the whole number in 1867, and 6 per cent. in 1868. This small proportion of graded schools furnishes an impressive practical argument in favor of the abolition of the independent local district system. But while the adoption of the township system would remove all organic obstacles to the general prevalence of graded schools, it would not remove the misapprehension, prejudice, and indifference which so largely obtain in respect to the improved kinds of schools and methods of instruction. To accomplish this, other agencies must be used.
The number of colored children in the State is estimated to be about 7,000, or a little less than one-twentieth that of the white. For the education of these children the general school law makes virtually no provision. By the discriminating terms employed throughout the statute, it is plainly the intention to exclude them from a joint participation in the benefits of the free-school system. Except as referred to by the terms which imply exclusion, they are wholly ignored in all the common-school legislation of the State. The purport of that one section (the eightieth) is that the amount of all school taxes collected from persons of color shall be paid back to them; it does not say what use shall be made of the money so refunded, although the intention (if there was any) may be presumed to be that it should be used for separate schools for colored children. But if that was the object it has not been attained, except in a few instances, for two reasons: first, the school taxes paid by persons of color are not generally returned to them; and second, even when they are refunded there are not colored children enough, except in a few places, to form separate schools. In some of the cities and larger towns, where the schools are under special acts and municipal ordinances, the education of colored children is provided for in a manner worthy a just and Christian people; and in many other instances the efforts of the colored people to provide schools for their cbildren are heartily seconded. But the larger portion of the aggregate number of colored people, being dispersed throughout the State in small groups of one, two, and three families, insufficient to maintain separate schools, are without the means of education for their children. They are trying by conventions, petitions, and appeals to reach the ears and hearts of the representatives of the people to see if anything can be done for them. The Stato Teachers' Association have adopted a resolution to the effect," that the distinctive word 'white' in the school law, and the eightieth section of the same, are contrary to the true intent of the principle on which the school system is based, and should be repealed.”
In 1867, 756 school-houses were erected, at an aggregate cost of $1,139,628. The number built in 1863 was 653, the total cost of which was $1,236,890.
In summing up the points considered in this general survey of the school statistics the superintendent says:
"We find a large increase in the number of school-going children; in the number of graded schools; in the whole number of school-houses, and the number and character of the new ones built; in the average duration of the schools; in the whole pumber of free schools; in the number of scholars; in the grand total of attendance and in the average attendance; in the whole number of teachers of each sex; in the amount of school revenues received from all sources, especially from district taxes; in the average excellence and cost of new school buildings; in the average wages paid teachers, both male and female; and in the amounts paid respectively for sites and grounds, repairs and improvements, furniture, apparatus and libraries."
Educational conventions of remarkable interest have been held since the last biennial report, the outgrowth of which has been the permanent organization of co-operative educational associations.
THE STATE ASSOCIATION OF COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS OF SCHOOLS, which holds one session annually, of from two to three days, met in 1867 at Bloomington. The superintendents of forty-two counties were present, and the meeting was very earnest and spirited. The meeting of the association for 1868 was held in the city of Aurora, Kane County, and had an attendence of forty-three county superintendents. This association has now become a permanent educational force in the State, one that could not be dispensed with without serious detriment to tho interests of the common schools.
COUNTY TEACHERS' INSTITUTE.
In the two years included in this report, 290 institutes have been held in seventynine different counties, leaving but twenty-three counties in which no institute was held either in 1867 or 1868. This number greatly exceeds that of any other biennial period. It is earnestly recommended that the law be so amended that no deduction in teachers' salaries shall occur for time spent at institutes.
THE STATE TEACHERS' INSTITUTE.
Another auxiliary educational force of great promise has been recently organized under the above name. The first meeting was held August 1, 1864. The second was held August 5, 1867, and continued four weeks; a year after a third session was held, which continued two weeks. The second meeting had an attendance of 100, among whom were some of the best teachers in the State. A vote was passed inviting the teachers to write out a synopsis of the lessons they gave, for publication, with the catalogue, which was done, and 500 copies were printed at the expense of the institute. The book contained 194 pages and was sold for $1 per copy. Members of the institute and many other teachers were so eager to obtain copies that the whole edition was exhausted in less than six months. At the second meeting of the institute 248 names of members were enrolled. The object of the institute is to strengthen and encourage teachers, arouse enthusiasm in their work, and to present to them new thoughts on teaching, objects which have been fully justified by results.
THE SOUTHERN ILLINOIS TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION
is another recently organized educational force, intended to meet the wants of the southern portion of the State. Among other questions discussed at the meetings of this institute was the need of a State normal school for Southern Illinois.
COUNTY NORMAL SCHOOLS
have been established within the past two years in three counties of the State, for the purpose of securing, with the least possible delay, better qualitied teachers for the common district schools of the respective counties which may adopt the plan, which will bo in effect a perpetual local institution of the highest order, which teachers can attend a few months in the year, or when their schools are not in session, and more thoroughly prepare themselves for their work. The full course of study is not to exceed two years, of three terms each, while shorter and special courses are to be provided for those who want them. The plan proposes that county normal schools should become, to a certain extent, preparatory schools for the State normal university, sustaining thé same relation to that institution that a high school sustains to the college or university. The uplifting and vitalizing power of a good local or county normal school, within reach of all the teachers of every portion of the State, would be immense and immediate.
THE STATE TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION. This body, organized at Bloomington, December, 1853, has convened annually ever since, bringing together earnest workers in the educational ranks, to compare views, and consider the new problems coming up every year for investigation. The meetings
at Galesburg in 1867, and at Peoria in 1868, were enthusiastic assemblages of men and women, anxious to do the most judicious things, in the best way, and adding, by their concurrence and approval, the highest practical weight to tho suggestions elsewhere made in this report.
THE ILLINOIS TEACHER, the leading common-school advocate and general educational periodical of the State, has been from the first a distinct and positive power in the discussion and determination of questions and problems affecting the interests of public education. It remains under the editorial charge of the accomplished teachers and able writers who have so successfully conducted it the past two years, Professor William M. Baker, of the Illinois Industrial University, Professor J. V. N. Standish, of Lombard University, and Mr. Samuel H. Vihite, principal of the Peoria County Normal School.
are granted to teachers of approved character, scholarship, and successful experience, in virtue of the authority conferred by the fiftieth section of the school law, as amended February 16, 1865. The clause which confers such authority is as follows:
“The State superintendent of public instruction is hereby authorized to grant State certificates to such teachers as may be found worthy to receive them, which shall be of perpetual validity in every county and school district in the State. But State certificates shall only be granted upon public examination, of which due notice shall be given, in such branches and upon such terms and by such examiners as the State superintendent and the principal of the Normal University may prescribe. The fee for a State certificate shall be $5. Said certificate may be revoked by the State superintendent upon proof of immoral or unprofessional conduct."
Applicants for a State teacher's diploma are required to furnish satisfactory evidence, 1, of good moral character; 2, of having taught with decided success at least three years, one of which shall have been in the State; 3, to pass a very thorough examination in orthography, penmanship, reading, mental and written arithmetic, English grammar, modern geography, history of the United States, algebra, elements of plane geometry, and theory and art of education; 4, to pass a satisfactory examination in the elementary principles of anatomy and physiology, botany, zoology and chemistry; 5, to pass a satisfactory examination in the school laws of Illinois, especially as relating to the duties and legal rights of teachers.
The whole number of State certificates issued since the passage of the act authorizing them, so far as known, is, to ladies, 30; to gentlemen, 95; total 125.
THE ILLINOIS STATE NORMAL UNIVERSITY.
Hon. Richard Edwards, president of the State Normal School, reports : "The act establishing this institution was passed February 18, 1857, after an agitation of six years, in which the public mind had been gradually preparing for the accomplishment of the fact. The number of students during the first year was 98, viz, 41 gentlemen, and 57 ladies. The first graduating class, 1860, consisted of 10, viz, 6 young men, and 4 young ladies. Upon the breaking out of the rebellion, many of the normal students entered the army, with five members of the faculty, and the principal as colonel of the regiment. This regiment, the Thirty-third, was known as the Normal regiment. During this period the exercises of the institution were carried on, though under many discouragements. The second class graduated in 1861; the third class in 1862, consisting of 3 young men and 5 young ladies ; the fourth, in 1863, consisted of 3 gentlemen and 4 ladies. In 1864 the legislature, by an appropriation of $31,214 91, paid the indebtedness of the institution, which had been a serious drawback upon the prosperity of the school. In 1866 a circular was issued by the president of the university to gentlemen of intelligence and influence in various parts of the State, making inquiries in regard to the influence of the institution, the success of its pupils as instructors, and the general estimate in which it was held by the people. Thirty-eight letters were received in response, all of which, with remarkable unanimity and emphasis, affirmed the superior ability, skill, and enthusiasm and success of the graduates of the Normal University. The legislature of 1867 appropriated $6,000 toward the repairing of apparatus and enlargement of museum and ornamentation of grounds.".
During the years 1867–68, there were 1,043 students connected with the institntion; 413 in the normal, and 630 in the model department. The total number of pupils in the normal department since the beginning of the school is 1,700. Among other evidences of the appreciation in which the work of the institution is held by the people, it is stated that the normal graduates obtain nearly double the compensation which is paid to unprofessional teachers. Even in cases where the course of normal training had not been completed by teachers who could only attend a limited time, the result of their brief training was an increase in their salaries of 40 per cent. in the case of ladies, and 47 per cent. in the case of gentlemen. The greater gain in the salary of the gentlemen is explained by the fact that the gentlemen remain in the institution, on an average, four and three-quarter terms, while the young ladies only remain four and one-quarter terms.
But the influence of the institution, as a teaching force, is by no means limited to the normal department. Many teachers go forth from the model school. Twenty-five per cent. of the teachers of the high school, and thirty-three and a third per cent. of i hose in the grammar school, engage in teaching.
THE ILLINOIS INDUSTRIAL UNIVERSITY, located at Champaign, Champaign County, was founded in 1867, John M. Gregory, LL.D., regent. The leading object is to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, not excluding other scientific and classical studies, and military tactics. It is organized under the act of Congress of July 2, 1862, providing that the interest of the fund derived from the land grant shall be inviolably appropriated " to the endowment, support, and maintenance of at least one college, where the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies, and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the States may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions of life.”
The university embraces departments of natural history, of agriculture, of chemistry, of pure mathematics, of natural and mechanical philosophy, of civil engineering, of English language and literature, French language and literature, German language and literature, Latin language and literature, Greek language and literaturo, history and social science, commercial department, department of mining and metallurgy, of military tactics, and of mental and moral science. Liberty of choice is allowed the student in selecting the courso which he will pursue. All who are physically competent are required to. labor from one to three hours each day. Tuition, to natives of the State, is $15 per annum; to foreign students, $20. Total annual expenses from $163 to $195. Any young man can pay his way who is willing to practice the virtues of industry and economy.
THE ILLINOIS SOLDIERS' COLLEGE, located at Fulton, Whiteside County, Leander H. Potter, A. M., president, was chartered in 1867, and is for the free education of soldiers and soldiers' children of the State. There are preparatory, commercial, normal, scientific, and classical departments. The course of study comprises four years. The number of pupils now pursuing a full course is 111; in preparatory department, 139. Annual State appropriation, $25,000. Number of professors and instructors, 6.
ILLINOIS SOLDIERS ORPHANS' HOME. Incorporated 1865 by act of legislature, but no appropriation made until 1867, when the “ deserters' fund” was donated to it. Fifty children were received in August, 1867; and in February, 1868, 90 had been received. Many are refused for want of room. The permanent building is fast approaching completion.
THE STATE REFORM SCHOOL.
An act establishing this school was passed March 5, 1867. The site for it is not yet chosen.
ILLINOIS INSTITUTION FOR THE EDUCATION OF THE BLIND, located at Jacksonville, Morgan County, Joshua Rhoads, M. D., superintendent, was founded January 13, 1849, when the legislature made appropriations and authorized the purchase of not less than ten nor more than forty acres of ground, in or near Jacksonville. Instruction to be given at the expense of the State, to all citizens of the State who are blind and of suitable age. The whole number admitted since the organization of the institution is 331 ; of these 260 have left, having completed their course.
ILLINOIS INSTITUTION FOR THE EDUCATION OF THE DEAF AND DUMB, located at Jacksonville, Morgan County, was founded February 23, 1839. The first appropriations were small, and were chiefly expended on buildings and grounds. The school did not open until the year 1846, and then only with four pupils. It now stands second in point of numbers to any in this country, and third to any in the world.
It may seem an easy matter to build up a large school in a state containing about 1,700 mutes, more than one-fourth of whom are of the proper age to attend school, and