Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

authority on the Great American Desert, the school law was revised, the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction created, and Wilbur C. Lothrop appointed to fill the office. Migratory pilgrims became permanent settlers. Miners who had wrung fortunes from the mountains, and merchants, mechanics, and ranchmen who had been prospered, expended their gains in local improvements, both public and private.

Black Hawk and Central City, both mining towns, in the very heart of the Rocky Mountains, and within twelve miles of the summit of the snowy range, completed, in 1870, the former a $15,000 and the latter a $20,000 public school-house, the first in the territory. Denver, the capital, soon followed with an $80,000 building, and then a second, and then a third, and now a fourth is in process of construction. The public schools of Denver are attended by over two thousand pupils, and employ twenty-eight teachers. Greeley, Golden City, Colorado Springs, Nevada, Georgetown, and many other districts have finished or are building school-houses after the best models.

To-day, Colorado has one hundred and thirty school-houses, valued at more than $300,000, sixteen thousand school children, and two hundred and fifty-two teachers. Graded schools are established in the large districts, and High Schools in the cities. The scholarship of the pupils will compare favorably with that of pupils generally.

A college under the auspices of the Congregationalists, and an institution for deaf mutes have been established at Colorado Springs. The entire public school system is well established, and in a prosperous condition.

PRESENT SCHOOL SYSTEM.

The Common School Law, which went into effect February 8, 1872, and is still in force in the Territory, embraces the following main features.

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Legislative Council. He holds office for two years, receives an annual salary of $1,200, gives a bond of $5,000 for the faithful performance of his duties, and has the general supervision of all the County Superintendents, and of all the common and public schools of the territory.

County Superintendents, to the number of twenty-five, are elected for two years, give bonds to the amount fixed upon by the respective County Commissioners, and receive on an average $300 per annum salary, or $5 for every day's work performed. They hold examinations four times a year, issue teachers' certificates, valid for not longer than one year, apportion the school fund, and have the general superintendence of the schools of their respective counties.

District Boards of Directors consist of a President, Treasurer, and Secretary, elected for one year. They employ teachers, make all school contracts, purchases, payments, and sales, act as judges of all district elections, and perform such other duties as may be delegated to them by the district meetings. There is no Territorial tax, the schools being maintained by county and district taxation. The legal school age is from five to twenty-one years. Education is not compulsory. The Bible shall not be excluded from any public school in the Territory, nor shall any pupil be required to read it contrary to the wishes of his parent or guardian.

Where there are twenty-five or more children of foreign descent, or speaking other than the English language, within any school district, the Board of Directors, with the approval of the County Superintendent of Schools, may establish a school wherein both the language so spoken and the English language shall be taught. Where there are twenty-five or more colored children in any school district, the Board of Directors thereof, with the approval of the County Superintendent of Schools, may provide a separate school for the instruction of such colored children.

Twenty-five County Institutes were held during 1873.

During 1874 there was no educational legislation of importance.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRESS. There are no statistics for 1863 and 1864. The largest public school in the Territory at that time did not exceed one hundred

...

125

pupils. There were no school-houses and no well-established system of schools. Nearly all of the public school-houses have been built since 1869. Previous to that date $1,000 would cover the value of all the public school-houses in the Territory.

The following figures show the progress made during the three years in which the present school system has been in operation:

1870-'71. 1873–74. Number of school districts in the Territory.. 160.... 243 Number of schools established.

120.... 180 Number of persons of school age, five to twenty-one .........

7, 742.... 14,417 Number enrolled in the public schools..... 4,357.... 7,456 Total number of school-houses........

80..... Average cost of tuition per month for each pupil....

$3 66.... $3 12 Highest salary paid male teachers per month $173 00.... $250 00 Highest salary paid female teachers per month...

..... $100 00.... $100 00 Average salary paid male teachers per month $69 oo.... $62 oo Average salary paid female teachers per month.........

$54 oo.... $51 00 Aggregate amount paid teachers..........$44,148 96.... $71,258 28 Value of school-houses..

.......$82,574 05.... $260,183 46 Average rate of taxation for school purposes.........

...... 17 mills.... 34 mills Amount of special tax collected in school districts ......

........$33,886 49.... $55,923 90 Total School Fund, exclusive of proceeds of

bonds issued for building purposes...$81,274 02....$137,557 61

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., has a young society called the Woman's Educational Association of Illinois Wesleyan University. Its object is the endowment of a woman's professorship in the University, and the raising of a fund to assist young women who are striving to educate themselves, especially such as are intending to become missionaries. Over $10,000 has been raised already. The total sum to be collected will be $40,000. DAKOTA.

HON. E. W. MILLER, Superintendent of Public Instruction, was born in Wayne County, Ohio, February irih, 1834. From ten until seventeen years of age he attended the Apple Creek Academy. During 1853, 4 he was a student at Old Jefferson College, Washington County, Pennsylvania. He read law during 1855, 6 in Wooster, Ohio, and was admitted to the bar in 1857. He resided in Pennsylvania from 1860 until 1868, when he moved to Greensboro', Georgia. From that place he moved to Elk Point, Dakota Territory. In 1872 he was nominated and elected Superintendent of Public schools for Dakota. His term of two years expires Jangary Ist, 1875.

EDUCATION IN THE PAST.

pidly inchbly, infusenst in educa

DAKOTA was organized as a Territory March 2d, 1861. In 1864 there were no public and but few private schools in the Territory. The country was so thinly settled that the organization of schools was attended with no little difficulty. The settlers, however, displayed unusual interest in educational matters, and the Territorial Assembly, infused with the intelligence and energy of•the rapidly increasing population, passed a school 'law in 1867. It was approved January 30, 1868, and provided for the appointment of a Territorial Superintendent of Public Instruction, County Superintendents, District Directors, and Boards of School Officers. There were at that time (1867) sixteen organized school districts in Union County, seven in Clay County, five in Yankton County, and one in Bon Homme County, but none reported in the other counties. The population of the Territory rapidly increased during the succeeding two years, and many new school districts were organized and new school-houses erected. The general government constructed a school building for the children of Ponca Indians in Pembina County, at a cost of $17,500, and expended considerable sums of money in supporting schools among the Indians elsewhere in the Territory. In his report for 1870 the then Territorial Superintendent of Public Instruction, Hon. James S. Foster, said: “There has been'a rapid influx of immigration into the Territory during the year. More school districts have been organized, more comfortable school-houses erected, a better class of teachers employed, and the schools have been more generally patronized than during any previous year in the history of the Territory. Sectarianism and politics are alike ignored in the schools."

In his report, dated January, 1874, the present Superintendent said: “The progress of public education which previous reports have recorded has continued during the past year, and we have great reason to congratulate ourselves on the future outlook of the public school system in our Territory. Though there are many defects which demand a change, yet, under our present system, imperfect as it is, great good and wonderful results have been accomplished.”

In January, 1871, the original school law of 1867-8, which had undergone some modifications at the hands of the Legislature, was repealed and a new law enacted. In January, 1873, this was amended in some particulars. As the Legislature meets only once in two years no changes have since been made.

PRESENT SCHOOL SYSTEM.
The following are the main features of the new law:

The Territorial Superintendent of Public Instruction is elected by the people for two years, receives an annual salary of $600, and is allowed $600 more for a deputy. He grants teachers' certificates good for the whole Territory, regulates the grade of county certificates, selects the text-books to be used in the public schools, determines all appeals made to him from the decisions of the County Superintendents, holds in connection with the County Superintendents an annual Teachers' Institute, whose sessions must continue not less than three nor more than four days, and performs the other duties incident to the position of General Superintendent.

« ForrigeFortsett »