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Virginia, 60 per cent. ; in Tennessee, 56 per cent. ; in North Carolina, 51 per cent. In the teaching force of Massachusetts, in the early years of the nineteenth century, the men far outnumbered the women. By 1840, the situation was reversed. Even then the percentage of men was as high as 40. In our earlier popular thought women lacked the physical strength needed to govern the hard schools and the intellectual attainments needed to teach the older pupils. The preponderance of men in a school system, at least in the United States, would seem to indicate an earlier and cruder evolutionary stage. Whether the preponderance of men in an old, highly elaborated and prosperous school system, like that of Germany, is to be so interpreted, is another matter.
When it comes to the wages of teachers, no State pays its men better than Massachusetts, the average monthly pay exceeding by $32.87 the highest pay in any other State. Illinois, Colorado, Nevada and California, however, pay women higher wages than Massachusetts, California paying the highest of all, — $64.55 per month.
In school property Massachusetts stands conspicuously first, no other State showing so large a valuation relatively for its number of schoolhouses. With only one seventieth of the schoolhouses in the country, Massachusetts has one thirteenth of the schoolhouse valuation. Indeed, there are only four States in the Union that have absolutely larger valuations : New York, 11,883 schoolhouses, valued at $71,832,511; Pennsylvania, 14,666 schoolhouses, valued at $48,917,003 ; Illinois, 12,740 schoolhouses, valued at $43,705,943; and Ohio, 13,114 schoolhouses, valued at $41,428,289; as against Massachusetts, with 3,395 schoolhouses, valued at $39,077,405. In other words, each Massachusetts schoolhouse averages in valuation $11,510. The next highest average in the Union belongs to New York, — $6,045. The fact that Massachusetts' population is more largely urban than that of any other State, Rhode Island excepted, and that cities build more solidly and elaborately than rural communities, largely explains Massachusetts' lead in school buildings. If there were a more even distribution of this school property in Massachusetts, it would be matter for greater gratification.
Massachusetts in the Financial Statistics of the Country. Massachusetts raises more money per tax payer, i.e., per each adult male, for all school purposes than any other State ($17.06, as against $16.64 for Utah, the next highest, and $10.07 for the country); also a larger percentage of money from local taxation than any other State (98 per cent., as against 94 per cent. for Wyoming, the next highest; 2 per cent. for North Carolina, the lowest; and 67 per cent. for the country). To bring out somewhat sharply the unjustifiable extreme to which Massachusetts has permitted herself to go in keeping upon a local basis almost the entire burden of a school system whose cost is far more dependent on State requirement than local action, these two facts, already given, need to be placed side by side and pondered :
1. Massachusetts shows, with a single exception, the highest urban development in the Union. The draft of such development upon the rural towns is beyond estimate, and the resultant extremes of ability and inability to maintain reputable schools are painful to contemplate.
2. And yet, in spite of this enormous urban development and its far-apart extremes of great local resources and scant, the State practically compels the scant local resources to carry double, quadruple, sextuple and even octuple the burden of taxation for schools carried by the great; and even then the heavier burden has usually to put up with the inferior school.
In brief, with stronger reasons than any other State for equalizing somewhat the school burdens of its municipalities, Massachusetts is yet farthest removed from any equalizing policy. The State in its school legislation sees no reason in the poverty of a town why its children should not have as good schooling as those of the most favored town. The State, in fact, sets up this ideal, — equal school privileges for all. Let it, then, squarely meet an important consequence of this ideal, — the duty of lending a helping hand to such towns as its ideal overburdens. In this connection, the second series of graduated tables in the Appendix, pages civ-cvii, will be found instructive. There is West Boylston at one end of the list, raising $10.12 per thousand dollars for schools, and Gosnold at the other end, raising only 44 cents per thousand, the former raising twentythree times as much as the latter; and yet, astonishing to say, the State contributes out of the school fund $300 to Gosnold with its single school, while it contributes only $341.71 to West Boylston with its 15 schools ! Nor is this an insolated curiosity in the working of the State's present policy of aiding certain towns. This second series of graduated tables shows that there are 286 towns and cities each of which raises more per thousand dollars than $3.10, which is the average for the State, and 67 towns and cities each of which raises less than $3.10; and yet 46 of these 67 towns whose school tax is below the average are assisted by the State, while 76 of the 286 towns whose school tax is above the average are not so assisted. Without hastily concluding that the State's contributions of aid to the towns are so erratic and questionable as the foregoing statement makes them appear, it is at least pertinent to inquire whether a system of distributing the income of the school fund once deemed fairly equitable has not outgrown its equity and lost some of its usefulness.
If towns abundantly able to maintain their schools on a basis of school taxation equal to the average of the State — a basis even then lower than that for 81 per cent. of the towns - are nevertheless aided by the State, what becomes of that high local sense of self-reliance which the State would encourage for the welfare of the schools? There are two factors that determine what the towns now receive from the school fund: one is small valuation; the other, the high ratio of the school tax to the total. But small valuation is by no means a necessary sign of inability to maintain good schools. It all turns on whether that small valuation must support few schools or many. Nor is the high ratio of the school tax to the total a necessary sign. Here again it all turns on whether the total tax is a large percentage or small of the total valuation.
In expenditure per pupil for all school purposes, Massachusetts leads the country as a whole, its expenditure ($39.10) being more than double that of the country ($18.86); and it leads all the States in detail except Nevada, whose expenditure is $40.87.
In the daily expenditure for each pupil of the average attendance, Montana, Wyoming and Nevada surpass and Colorado
equals Massachusetts, while the remaining 38 States fall behind her.
It must not be inferred, however, that Massachusetts, because she expends on the whole so much more for her schools than other States, carries the heaviest school burdens in the country. On the contrary, 35 States in the Union, as well as the Union as a whole, would carry heavier burdens for their schools than Massachusetts if they were to expend as much per child thereon. The commissioner of education has determined for each State, as well as for the United States, just what amount of money is required from each adult male to raise $1 of the amount expended for each child's schooling between five and eighteen years of age. This amount for Massachusetts is only 77 cents, while for South Carolina, Mississippi, North Carolina and the rest of the 35 States the amounts are respectively $1.81, $1.75, $1.67 and so on. This is because in Massachusetts there are 130 adult males to every 100 children between five and eighteen years of age, while in South Carolina, Mississippi and North Carolina there are only 55, 57 and 60 adult males respectively to every 100. That is to say, these States have relatively more children to school than Massachusetts ; and this fact alone, were they to expend as much per child as Massachusetts, would give them burdens that would hopelessly bankrupt them. Now, add the fact that Massachusetts as a State is wealthy, while these States are poor, and the astonishing vantage ground of Massachusetts, so far as ability to pay for her schools goes, stands out in the boldest of relief. And so one is led to think that what poor school districts are to rich ones in the town, what poor towns are to rich ones in the State, so poor States are to rich ones in the nation. In each case the poorer party may pay the higher tax and yet receive the inferior benefit. This is right when the welfare of neither party is involved in that of the other, and when taxation for such welfare is not dependent on united action but is, in a sense, voluntary. It is wrong when the welfare of both parties is jointly involved, and when taxation for such welfare is determined by united action and so is, in a sense, compulsory.
Now, the education of the children is emphatically, both by universal conviction and by the most positive terms of law, a common interest. A patriotic regard for this interest has already abolished the school district system, the richer districts thus acknowledging their obligations to the poorer.
It cannot be long before the State, in the same spirit, will rectify the disproportionate school burdens its legislation is putting upon the towns. And it may yet be seen to be the nation's duty to make a beginning, at least, in reducing the grosser inequalities of school privileges that darken some of its States and Territories.
RESOLUTIONS AND REPORTS RELATING TO EDUCATIONAL
CONDITIONS. The progress and present attitude of thought on the part of those who study the educational needs of the times may be gathered from the reports and resolutions of various organizations. These reports and resolutions usually express convictions that have been gathering strength for years.
To win public attention to any measure of promise for the schools, it is often necessary to keep that measure before it for many years. Some of the measures advocated by Horace Mann and admitted by intelligent people to be eminently desirable have yet to receive full and final endorsement from our conservative people. In his first annual report, in 1838, Mr. Mann said, for example:
The State employs annually in the common schools more than three thousand teachers, at an expense of more than $465,000, raised by direct taxation. But they have not one thousandth part the supervision which watches the same number of persons having the care of cattle or spindles or of the retail of shop goods. Who would retain his reputation, not for prudence, but for sanity, if he employed men on his farm or in his factory or clerks in his counting room month after month without oversight and without inquiry? In regard to what other service are we so indifferent where the remuneration swells to such an aggregate?
Mr. Mann had learned, as a result of his inquiries, that in not more than 50 or 60 towns out of 305 had there been any pretence of a compliance with the law requiring school committees to visit their schools. Supervision has vastly improved since then, but even now there is here and there a town, it is