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SCHOOL FUND IN WISCONSIN. In Wisconsin, the school fund, set apart for the purpose of securing to every child in the state, hereafter born, a good and sufficient school education, is a munificent and charitable provision. From a report on schools recently made to the senate, by Col. Philo White, we gather the following items of the present extent and value of this fund: the number of townships in the state, is 2,200; school sections, 2,200; number of acres in these sections, 1,408,000– add to this 500,000 acres ceded by congress, and the total number of acres is 1.908,000. The estimated number of acres in the surveyed portion of the state, is 272,571—the average value of which, at three dollars per acre, is $817,713. Annual interest on this, at seven per cent., $57,239, and half that amount to be raised by the people, and an annual available fund is formed of $85,859.
Here, then, is a school fund of nearly 2,000,000 acres of land! The present value in the surveyed portions of the state, at the moderate estimate of three dollars per acre, is almost sufficient to educate every child. Many of these lands are now worth, and will bring, fifteen dollars per acre. With the rapid growth of population, the fund hourly increases, and an average of five dollars per acre will undoubtedly in time be realized, for the whole fund, or $10,000,000.
The university fund comprises seventy-two sections of the best land in the state, in addition to the above; thus, common schools, academies, normal schools, colleges, and a parent university are all provided for.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN NEW JERSEY. From the last report of the superintendent, made to the legislature, we gather that there are one hundred and sixty-four townships, and 1,640 school districts in the state, of which reports were received last year from 1,446. In 1845, only nine hundred and ninety-one districts were reported, and the amount then raised and appropriated for school purposes, was $54,632; in 1848, it was 101,767. Of ihis sum, $30,000 was appropriated by the state government.
In 1845, the number of scholars was 41,752; in 1848, it was 66,406. The amount of money raised for school purposes by the townships, it would seem, has overrun the limit of the law, which is $60,000 for the whole state. Several townships have petitioned for permission to lay a tax for the support of free schools, and the superintendent recommends the establishment, at some future but not far distant day, of a general free school system. The advantages of district school libraries are urged, and the institution of a normal school recommended.
The pupils supported by the state in the institutions for the blind and the deaf and dumb in this city, have been visited by the school authorities of New Jersey, and very favourable accounts are given by them. Among the specific alterations recommended in the school laws, is one to authorize the trustees to exempt from the charges of tuition, the children of parents unable to pay; and another to authorize the townships to raise by tax, for the support of schools, four times as much as they receive from the state. There are other good features in the recommendations of the report.*
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION. The National Intelligencer has the following notice of the proceedings of the Board of Regents of this Institution which met at Washington on Monday last:
* We bave further statements relative to the progress of school systems, and public instruc. tion in other states, which we will insert as we have room, in future numbers.
VOL. II.-MARCH, 1849. 6
Mr. Seaton, on behalf of the executive committee, presented a report of the state of the funds of the institution. From this report, it appears that its financial affairs are in a very prosperous condition. At the time of the establishment of the institution, in addition to the original fund of $514,169, there had accrued in the form of interest, $212,129; the latter sum the regents were authorized, by the act of congress, to expend for the erection of a building, and for other purposes. They have, however, thus far encroached upon this sum only to the amount of about $30,000; and it is confidently believed that, by adhering to the plan of finance adopted, at the end of three years (within which time the building is to be completed) there will be left at least $150,000 of interest, to be added to the original principal for other objects of the bequest.
General Totten, from the building committee, reported upon the progress of the Smithsonian edifice. From this it appears that the east wing will be finished by the first of January, and the west wing early in the spring. The main part of the building has been commenced, and, from the results thus far, it is confidently expected that the building will be completed, and the grounds improved for the sum of $250,000, appropriated by the board for these purposes.
The secretary, Professor Henry, presented his report of the operations of the past year, from which we glean the following particulars:
The programme of organization has been submitted to a number of literary and scientific societies, and has, in every case, received their approbation. The officers of these institutions have expressed a willingness to co-operate with this institution in carrying out the plans which have been adopted. Until the end of three years from next March, only one-half of the income of the original fund is to be appropriated to the active operations of the institution, the other part of the whole income to be devoted to the building fund; and, therefore, the institution cannot be put in full operation until after the end of the time above mentioned.
It will be recollected that the programme embraces, Ist, The plan of publishing original memoirs on all branches of knowledge, in a series of volumes; 2dly, the institution of original researches under the direction of suitable persons; 3dly, the publication of a series of reports, from year to year, giving an account of the progress of the different branches of knowledge; and 4thly, the foundation of a library and a museum of objects of nature and art,
The first volume of the contributions has been published, and partially distributed to colleges and learned societies. Before the types were distributed, the authors were permitted to strike off an edition for their own benefit, and it is this edition which is now offered for sale. Applications have been made for the first volume from many academies and minor institutions, and, were the means sufficient for the purpose, the institution would supply all demands; but, with its limited income, this is impossible. The periodical reports, however, being less expensive, will be much more widely distributed. Preparations have been made for the publication of the second volume of the contributions, and a sufficient number of mernoirs have been already accepted, or are in preparation, to supply the materials.
Under the second head is mentioned the publication of occultations for facilitating the determination of the longitude of important places, ordered at the last meeting of the board. These have been so well received that another set has been prepared, and is now ready for distribution for 1819, among all persons interested in practical astronomy. An ephemeris has also been prepared and pablished of the planet Neptune. A beginning has been made towards establishing a system of nieteorological observations, ordered at the last meeting, the blank forms being now in the hands of the lithographer, and will shortly be ready to send to those who may be willing to join in ihe observations. Several sets of instruments have been sent to remote stations on the coast of the Pacific, and in the interior of our continent, and investigations in reference to terrestrial magnetism have been instituted. Under the auspices of the institution, an important
literary enterprise has been commenced, viz.: the preparation of a biographical account of all books relating to or published in America prior to the year 1700; the expense of preparation of this work being defrayed by the subscriptions of a number of institutions and individuals. This work will indicate the libraries in this country and Europe where the books are to be found. Instruments have been ordered for observations in astronomy, magnetism, and other terrestrial phenomena, to be placed under the direction of Lieut. Gilliss, in his expedition to Chili. "These, it is hoped, will be paid for by a further appropriation by the general government towards this object.
With regard to the periodical reports to be published, we learn the following particulars: These reports are to be as extensively circulated as the funds of the institution will allow, and are intended to give an account of the progress of the different branches of knowledge throughout the world. In many cases the periodical reports will be preceded by preliminary reports on the previous state of the branch of knowledge to which the former pertain. A number of these are in processof preparation, viz.: one upon chemistry, applied to agriculture; one upon the forest trees of America; one on the phenomena of lightning; one on the later discoveries in astronomy; and on the practical use of meteorological instruments.
Appended to the Secretary's report, is the report of the assistant Secretary, (Professor Jewett,) on the library, an account of which we will give our readers in a future number.
Professor Henry's report ends with an allusion to the munificent donation of Dr. Hare, of Philadelphia.
THE SCHOOLS OF FRANCE.
BY G. W. SNETHEN.
Under Bonaparte, a body of educated men was or anized under the title of Universite," ? which has continued, with some modifications, to the beginning of the present year, to hold the chief direction of education in France. Of this body, which is incorporated by law, and which possesses large disposable funds. arising from real estate of government grants, and pay pupils, all public teachers are members. The highest officer of this university is the minister of public instruction, who has a seat in the cabinet. He makes all the appointments in the university, and fills all vacancies in the academies and colleges upon the recompiendation of the local authorities, by whom the strictest examinations are instituted. He is assisted by a council of ten members, men of the highest rank in the literary and scientific world. No school of any kind can be opened in any part of France without permission from the university. The proposition to abolish this restriction in the new constitution failed. Twenty-six university academies are established in France, and the whole territory is divided into as many academical circuits, of which the following towns are the seats of the respective academies, viz:
Aix, Amiens, Angers, Besançon, Bordeaux, Bourges, Caen, Cahers, Clermont, Dijon, Douai, Grenoble, Limoges, Lyons, Metz, Montpellier, Nancy, Nimes, Orleans, Paris, Pau, Poitiers, Rennes, Rouen, Strasbourg, Toulouse.
Each academy consists of a superintendent, who inspects all schools of public instruction within his circuit, and reports to the university at Paris. He is assisted in the exercise of his functions by a council of ten, and this body is an administrative portion of the academy. If the academy be complete, the course of instruction comprehends five faculties, theology, law, medicine, literature, and sciences. To each academy is attached one college or more, which is a preparatory school, and corresponds to the American high school. Paris has several colleges, and all the principal towns one or more. No one is admitted into the academies who has not passed the colleges. In 1833, a law was passed requiring that every commune by itself, or by union with other communes, should have one pri
mary or elementary school, in which, reading, writing, and the system of weights and measures should be taught. Every commune having more than 6,000 population was also required to have a high school, in which the elements of geometry and its application to the arts, the elements of chemistry and natural history as applied to the ordinary habits and pursuits of life, the elements of history and geography, and especially of France, should be taught. It was further required that every department should have a national school, or school for the instruction of teachers, either by itself or by union with an adjoining department. These schools might be established and supported by private foundations, donations, and legacies, but the commercial, departmental, and general governments were required to establish and support them in the absence of private enterprise.
All who are incapable of paying for the instruction of their children have them educated gratis at the elementary institution, and a certain number of the nonpaying pupils are selected, after an examination, and educated gratis at the commercial high schools, the colleges, and the academies. The teachers of the elementary schools have a residence, and receive forty dollars annual salary. The teachers of the commercial high schools have a residence also, and receive eighty dollars a year.
The whole charge to France of the department of public instruction, according to the budgets of 1838 and 1848, is exhibited in the following table:
1838. 1818. Francs.
Francs. General administration,
686,623 622,000 General services,
238,000 716,700 Departmental and academical administration,
919,900 749,100 Academic instruction,
1,972,050 3,007,206 Collegiate instruction,
1,655,600 2,511,700 Elementary instruction,
1,600,000 7,767,000 High school instruction,
3,500,000 Normal schools,
200,000 Literary and scientific establishments,
7,676,500 2,086,277 Subscription to literary works, encouragement to authors, and publications of unedited works,
19,005,673 18,258,183 Notwithstanding this great annual expenditure, the French people, at the present hour, are universally deficient in common school education. The law for creating common schools has not been, and is not now rigorously executed. The monarchy of Louis Philippe was recreant to the cause of education. It kept up a show in favour of it, but in reality did nothing to promote it.
In 1836, there were 36,000 elementary schools for boys, 11,000 elementary schools for girls, 47,000, containing in winter 2,170,000 pupils, and in summer 1,300,000.
In the same year there were 73 normal schools for training teachers for the elementary schools; 873 boarding schools; 94 high schools; 322 commercial col. leges, with only 27,000 pupils; 41 royal colleges, with 15,900 pupils.
In the year 1829, out of every 100 young men enrolled in the military census, the proportion of them that could read and write, in the department of Meuse, was 74; in that of Seine, 71; and in that of Corege, 21. Going to the field to learn the military art is not a very favourable school for the acquirement of letters and morals.
COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES.
EXPORTS AND IMPORTS.
Compiled from the Annual Report on Commerce and Navigation for the
Ñ. Y. Tribune.
VALUE. Dried fish, or cod fisheries
$609,482 Pickled fish, or river fisheries, herring, shad, salmon, mackerel
109,315 Whale and other fish oil
552,388 Spermaceti oil
314,107 Spermaceti candles
TIIE FOREST. Skins and furs
283,433 Masts and spars
129,760 Oak bark and other dye
184,126 All manufactures of wood
2,042,695 Naval stores, tar pitch, rosin, and turpentine
752,303 Ashes, pot and pearl.