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results so vast in this direction, being able to show that in July last, in day and night schools, regularly and irregularly reported, 149,581 pupils had been in attendance. It is gratifying to know that under the restoration policy of Congress the reorganized State governments have adopted constitutions making obligatory the establishment and conduct of free public schools for all the children of school age, and that laws have been enacted and the work of education so generally commenced under them, organizing superintendence, employing teachers, and building school-houses, introducing here and there the germs of systems which have been tried elsewhere and proved most successful. But when we begin to compare what has been accomplished with what remains to be done, and the instrumentalities in the field with the work they have to do, the feelings awakened are those of extreme anxiety. It will be observed that the provisions for education in Delaware remain the same as before emancipation. There is no State supervision, no State provision for training teachers, no school law adequate for keeping schools open; municipalities may tax themselves for school purposes or not, as they see fit. Wilmington affording the most favorable results, the schools in the State generally are of an inferior class, and, so far as organized under the school law of the State, provide only for the education of the whites. Some excellent private efforts have been made for the benefit of both whites and blacks, those for the latter under the auspices of the Freedmen's Bureau and benevolent societies.
It appears from authentic information filed in this office, that Sussex County now raises, by taxation, $30, Kent, $50, and Newcastle, $75, the lowest limit which will secure their appropriation of the State fund. This year, however, owing to the circulation of a statement that, under the operation of the fifteenth amendment, the colored children might claim to be educated at the same schools with whites, five of the six school districts into which Dover, the capital of the State, is divided, voted no tax, the remaining one voting $251. It is noticeable that the school
. fund is divided among the three counties, on the basis of the population as it was forty years ago, in 1830.
Maryland has a law for the conduct of the white schools, excellent in some of its features. The principal of the normal school is the nominal, but powerless, head of the system; the county examiners perform, in some measure, the work of superintendence. The Baltimore schools have many excellencies, and provide for the education of the colored children, but in the country districts of the State the education of any excepting whites is utterly ignored, save as provided for by private enterprise.
Kentucky provides supervision, but the legislature last winter, in endeavoring to curb the energetic efforts of the superintendent, reduced his salary, and, instead of adopting the efficient measures for white schools which he had recommended, enacted a law very much in accord with the provisions of the statutes before the emancipation of slaves, practically ignoring the large population of colored children of school age.
West Virginia, after having struggled, so far successfully, in the estab. lishment of a free school system, seems now to be contemplating its destruction.
Virginia is just putting a free school system into operation, but encountering great difficulties in the lack of means, the want of correct information of what a free school system is, and in the absence of school houses and qualified school officers and teachers.
North Carolina has been struggling for about two years to put a system of free schools into operation; many of its features are excellent, but the inadequacy of means, and the other obstacles encountered have permitted only partial success, more having been accomplished by the instrumentality of the Freedmen's Bureau and the aid of the Peabody fund, and other charities, it is believed, than by the expenditures of the State. Many reasons combine to render the friends of education more fearful of defeat than hopeful of success.
The friends of education in Tennessee, after seeing the school system put into operation and nearly 200,000 children enrolled, saw their work overthrown by reactionary sentiments, save in the cities of Nashville and Memphis, and the provisions reënacted in accordance with which the pauper schools of the days of slavery had been conducted. The counties of Davidson, Green, and Montgomery had so far come to appreciate the benefits of the free schools they had enjoyed that they have attempted their reëstablishment under the present inadequate legislation.
Missouri has a free-school system firmly established.
Arkansas, encountering the obstacles common to the regions where slavery has been abolished, has secured a greater success than a majority of the Southern States.
South Carolina, among the States having the largest percentage of illiteracy, is confident of final success in establishing free common schools.
Florida, although under a most zealous and competent superintendent, now deceased, has hesitated in giving the greatest efficiency to the system sought to be established, and yet presents reasons for anticipating the general prevalence of free schools.
Alabama, after the friends of education had put forth most strenuous efforts, and secured the general opening of schools, with hopes of permanent success in the establishment of free and universal education, now debates the question of advancing or retreating.
Mississippi, although commencing late, is progressing steadily and efficiently in the establishment of a system of free schools, notwithstanding the great and bitter opposition, appointing county superintendents, collecting the school tax, and building school-houses.
The school code of Louisiana, containing some features well adapted to efficiency, and administered with great energy, has encountered an opposition so persistent and fierce that its success outside of the city of New Orleans has been most unsatisfactory to its friends.
Georgia has just passed a school law and appointed a State commissioner, but must wait a year for funds with which to put the system into full operation.
In Texas no school legislation has, so far, succeeded, and no public officers are at work for the organization of schools, her entire population being left to grow up in ignorance, save as here and there a private enterprise throws a ray of light upon the general darkness.
The diverse inquiries necessary to bring out the most recent facts in regard to the schools of the District of Columbia have been so far successful, as appears in the accompanying papers, by the aid of several gentlemen, upon whom varied educational responsibilities rest. General Francis A. Walker furnishes the facts from the present census; George F. McLellan, esq., a member of the board of trustees, and J. O. Wilson, A. M., superintendent, the facts in regard to the white schools of Washington; Mr. A. E. Newton, superintendent, in regard to the colored schools of Washington and Georgetown; A. Hyde, esq., in regard to the white schools of Georgetown, and J. B. Miltberger, esq., as to the schools in the District outside of the two cities.
In this limited territory, directly at the doors of the Capitol, it will be observed that Congress regulates the schools for whites in the city of Washington through the city councils, and a board of education appointed by these councils; a superintendent, nominated by the mayor, and confirmed by the board of aldermen; the appointment of teachers being made by the board of trustees of public schools. The schools for the blacks in this city, Congress regulates through a board of trustees, appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, who appoint a superintendent and the teachers, and add to their responsibilities a corresponding authority over the schools for colored children in Georgetown.
Georgetown, like Washington, therefore, has a double-headed school authority, there being a separate board for the management of the white schools, while the schools of the District outside Congress regulates through the levy court, that designates a board of commissioners, who appoint teachers and manage the schools.
From materials derived from the ninth census the following table has been compiled : Number of children between six and seventeen years (inclusive) in the District of Columbia.
City of Washington.
796 1, 166
Number of children in the District of Columbia (excluding the city of Washington) between
the ages of six and seventeen years, both inclusire.
From various sources, public and private, the following items, respecting school attendance, have been collated : White pupils in private schools, Washington.. White pupils in charity schools, Washington.. White pupils in public schools, Washington... White pupils in Washington, total
3, 809 1, 795 6, 663
* The following extract from the last annual report of the board of trustees of the public (white) schools of Washington, will show how they account for the large absence from any schools noticeable by comparing these figures :
“It appears from this, that all but 5,136 of the white children of proper school age are at school. Of the number enumerated in the census, 3,858 are from fifteen to seventeen years old. In consequence of the necessity of seeking employment, most of the children are withdrawn before reaching the first of those ages, so that but 405 remain in the public schools after that time of life. Making allowance for the probable number over fifteen years old attending private schools, less than 2,000 under fourteen remain to be accounted for. Moreover not a few of those of thirteen and fourteen are more or less regularly engaged in various pursuits. Taking into account these facts, and considering the number of children of parents who are unwilling to send them to school before they reach the age of seven or eight years, and those also who from disease are upable to attend, it will appear that very few youths who can be at their studies are unprovided for. Even this number is reduced by taking from it those who are attending seminaries and colleges elsewhere. So that the number of the habitually idle must be comparatively insignificant, wero it not that even one child, growing to manhood. without education, threatens to become an element of evil in tho body politic."
White pupils in public schools of Georgetown.
White pupils in District, total.....
Colored pupils in private schools, Washington...
467 Colored pupils in charity schools, Washington.
138 Colored pupils in public schools, Washington and Georgetown .. 3,500 Colored pupils in public schools, rest of District..
Colored pupils in District, total.......
From the figures, it would appear that there are in the District White children not attending school.....
7,854 Colored children not attending school..
The capacity of the public school buildings seems to be utterly inad.equate. In Washington City, in the public schools, the number of seats for pupils is 6,856,* while the number of different pupils enrolled during the year ending June 30, 1870, was 8,118; the permanent colored public school buildings in Washington and Georgetown seat about 3,000. In other words, the white public schools of Washington can accommodate about one-third of the white school population, and the colored public schools about one-half of the colored school population. Comments, as to the sufficiency of the public school system under these circumstances, are bardly necessary.
There is no high school; there is lack of steady growth in the completeness of gradation; there is an inadequacy of means and a danger of too frequent change in control. Yet these all can be directly remedied by Congress. And whatever has been the sentiment of the people of the District in the past, it is manifestly growing rapidly in favor of free public schools, elsewhere so successful. Among its citizens, in its corps of teachers, and its school officers, there have been some of the most
* Report on school-rooms, ages of pupils, 8c., Washington, D. C., May 31, 1870.