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1. ORGANIZATION OF SYSTEM.
state board-State superintendent-State institute conductor-Parish school board—Parish superintendent—District board of directors—Parish of Orleans.
State board.—The governor, State superintendent, attorney-general, and seven members, one from each Congressional district, appointed by the governor, shall compose the State board of education. The appointed members shall receive as compensation for their services a per diem for actual service and their traveling expenses equal to that paid members of the legislature. They may require reports from the parish superintendent, and shall appoint for each parish, with the exception of Orleans, a board of school directors. The board shall prepare rules for the government of the common schools (which shall be enforced by the parish superintendent and school boards), give such directions as it may deem proper concerning the branches to be taught, and strictly enforce uniformity of textbooks.
State superintendent.—There shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State a superintendent of public education, who shall hold office for four years, at an annual salary of $2,000; a vacancy to be filled by the governor, with advice of senate. He shall be provided with an office at the seat of government and allowed such incidental and clerical expenses as may be appropriated by the legislature. His duties are to supervise all boards of education and all State, common, high, or normal schools, visit the parishes at least once a year, make a biennial report upon the condition and progress made and possible improvements to be made in the common schools, the amount and condition of the school funds and their distribution, the amount and disbursement of local taxes and other sources of revenue, an abstract of the parish and city superintendent's reports, and all facts of interest to the public schools. He shall have printed a copy of his report for each school district, 200 copies for the legislature and for exchanges, and 300 copies for distribution. He shall decide all controversies among school officers or teachers, from which decision an appeal may be taken to the State board.
State institute conductor:-(See Teachers, Institutes.)
Parish school board.—The State board shall appoint a board of school directors, consisting of not less than five nor more than one from each ward, to serve four years. The parish board shall elect a superintendent, and may appoint auxiliary visiting trustees for each ward or school district, report all deficiencies in the schools and neglect of duty by officers or teachers, visit the schools, apportion the school fund among the districts, determine the number of schools to be opened, the location of the schoolhouses, the number of teachers to be employed and their salary, and in general to enforce the law. The board holds four regular meetings during the year, and its members receive a compensation of not more than $2 per diem, also mileage not to exceed 5 cents per mile. By a twothirds vote they may change the location of a schoolhouse.
The president of the board, a person appointed by said board, and the parish superintendent form the committee for appointing teachers.
Parish superintendent.—The parish school board elect a parislı superintendent, who shall be of age and possessed of moral character and ability to manage the common school interests. His salary shall not exceed $1,200 per annum. lle shall visit at least once each school in the parish, and whenerer his services are quite etficient and highly satisfactory to the school board they may grant him his traveling expenses, not to exceed $125 per annum, and his expenses to the convention of superintendents. He is a member of the committee for appointing teachers. He shall make an annual report to the State superintendent, showing in tables an aggregate of the school districts, the districts in which schools were taught, and the length of time taught, the highest, the lowest, and the average number of children at school, the cost of tuition of each child for the session and month; number of private schools, academies, and colleges taught in the parish, and the length of session of the same; the number of teachers employed, male and female, and their average wages; the sum raised by local tax or otherwise, and the purpose for which disbursed; the number, increase, kind, and value of schoolhouses; number of district libraries, volumes in each, and the increase during the year; and the sums received and expended. Failure to comply causes him to lose $10 per week for the full time of his delinquency. He shall be at his office at the parish seat on the first
Saturdays of January, April, July, and October and at such other times as may be necessary.
District board of directors.—The parish board of directors are authorized to appoint auxiliary visiting trustees for each ward or school district or school in the parislı. Such trustees shall make quarterly reports to the parish boards concerning the scholastic and material condition of their charges.
Parish of Orleans.-All the public schools of the parish of Orleans shall be under the direction and control of a board of directors of 20, 8 of whom shall be appointed by the governor, with the approval of the State board, and 12 by the city council of New Orleans, who shall hold for four years, one-fourth to retire annually. The board fixes the salaries of teachers, limits the expenditure to one-ninth of the whole amount provided for the schools, provides rules for examining teachers, and elects them from those passing and from graduates of the normal schools, may establish night and normal schools, appoint a superintendent, and shall make a full report to the common council of New Orleans.
i he superintendent shall receive an annual salary of $2,500, hold office on good behavior for four years, is ex officio member of the board who have elected him to assist them in organizing and improving the city system of schools.
Appointment, qualifications, and duties.—The president of the parish school board, a member appointed by that board, and the parish superintendent shall constitute a committee to appoint the teachers in the common schools of the parish and fill vacancies in the order of merit, and no person may be employed who has not obtained a license for the year in which the school is to be taught, of a grade sufficient to cover the requirements of the school to which he may be appointed.
Certificates.-The examinations to ascertain the fitness of candidates are under the control of the parish superintendent, who is assisted by two persons appointed by the school board of the parish, all of whom must agree before a certificate may be issued. The applicants must pay a fee of $1 and satisfy the examiners of their good character. To obtain a third-grade certificate the applicant must be found competent to teach spelling, reading, penmanship, drawing, arithmetic, English grammar, geography, history and Constitution of the United States, constitution of the State of Louisiana, physiology and hygiene, with special reference to the effects of stimulants and narcotics, and the theory and art of teaching. To obtain a second-grade certificate the applicant must be found competent to teach all the foregoing branches, and also grammatical analysis, physical geography, and elementary algebra. To obtain a first-grade certifieate the applicant must be found competent to teach all the branches required for a second-grade certificate, and also higher algebra, natural philosophy, and geometry. A special certificate of this grade may issue on a satisfactory examination in the study or studies to be taught in any special academic department, which shall entitle the holder to special appointment in a department where such studies may be taught. Those holding the diploma of the Peabody Normal College or of the Louisiana State Normal School shall be entitled to a first-grade certificate, good for four years and renewable at the option of the State board.
A third-grade certificate shall entitle the holder to teach for one year; a second-grade certificate, three years; a first-grade certificate, five years. person pass a satisfactory examination before any parish superintendent, obtain a certificate of any grade, and purpose to teach in another parish, it shall be lawful for the superintendent holding the papers written at the examination for such certificate, upon the request of any parish superintendent, to transfer such papers to him; and if found satisfactory, a certificate thereon of the proper grade and for the same length of time as the original certificate may be issued by him to the same effect as though he had examined the applicant himself.
Duties.-It shall be the duty of each teacher to keep a register as the parish superintendent may require, and to make a report of enrollment, the highest, the lowest, and the average attendance, the books used, branches taught, number of pay pupils, if any, and such other statistical information as may be required. For failure the parish superintendent shall withhold $2. The course of study must be faithfully enforced and the rules and regulations obeyed, and failure of the teacher to comply with these provisions may, on complaint,
cause his or her removal. The teacher shall have the power to hold every pupil accountable in school for disorderly conduct on the playgrounds or to suspend pupils. The teacher must attend State and county institutes.
Preliminary training.- The State normal school shall have for its object the training of teachers for the public schools of Louisiana, and shall be open to white persons of either sex of 15 (women) or 16 (men) years of age, of good moral character and proficiency in the common school branches, provided they give assurance in writing of intention to teach in the schools of the State one year after graduation. Tuition is free. The board of administrators is empowered to confer diplomas upon the graduates entitling them to a first-grade teacher's certificate, valid for four years in any town or county, subject to renewal at the option of the board; in addition, the diploma gives precedence if the board so order.
Institutes.—The parish superintendent may devote the first Saturday of each month during the time the common schools are in session in the parish to holding institutes for the improvement of teachers in their calling. Three hours constitute a legal session. Teachers failing to avail themselves of this opportunity shall forfeit one day's pay, unless excused, or living 10 miles away from place of meeting, or having to cross water; and a parish superintendent shall forfeit $5 for failure to comply with the provisions regarding them, unless physically unable to comply. The superintendent shall appoint one of the best qualified teachers as institute manager, who shall receive $2.50 per day. The school board of the parish of Orleans may inaugurate institutes as set forth above.
State institutes shall be held in the aggregate for twenty weeks, at such places and times as may be decided upon by the State superintendent and the president of the State normal school, in conjunction with the respective parish superintendents. The State superintendent and the president of the normal school shall select a State institute conductor, who shall have immediate charge of the State institutes, and his salary shall be payable from any funds donated by the board of trustees of the Peabody fund or appropriated by the general assembly.
Attendance-Character of instruction—Tert-books.
Attendance.—White and colored persons are taught in different schools. The school age is from 6 to 18. The school boards may assess and collect $1 per annum from each family which sends a child to the common schools, to be used in purchasing fuel and other things conducive to the comfort of the pupils.
Character of instruction.--The branches required to be taught are orthography, reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, grammar, United States history, laws of health and the injurious effects of narcotics and stimulants, physical education, and such other branches as the State or parish school board may require; and these elementary branches may be taught in the French language in the localities where that language predominates, if no additional expense is incurred. The parish school board shall have authority to establish graded schools and central or high schools under the sanction of the State board, provided site and buildings are not paid for from the school fund ; but the parish of Orleans shall not require the sanction of the State board.
Tert-books.—The State board shall strictly enforce a uniformity of text-books and shall adopt a list, which shall not be changed for four years.
Funds (permanent and special)—Taration. Funds (permanent and special).-The school fund of the State shall consist of the interest on the proceeds of all public lands heretofore granted by the United States for the use and support of the public schools ; of all lands and other property which may hereafter be bequeathed or donated to the State or generally for school purposes; all funds or property other than unimproved lands bequeathed or granted to the State not designated for other purposes, and the proceeds of vacant estates. The legislature may (by the constitution) also appropriate, in whole or in part, the proceeds of the public lands not designated for any other purpose. This fund is distributed among the parishes according to the number of children from 6 to 18 years of age.
All fines imposed by the several district courts for violation of the law and all
forfeited bonds in criminal cases (the parish of Orleans excepted) are applied to the support of common schools.
Taration.—The general assembly shall levy an annual poll tax for the maintenance of public schools on every male person of 21 years or more, which shall never be less than $1 nor more than $1.50, and belongs to the parish in which collected. There shall be a State school tax to be distributed to the parishes in proportion to the children from 6 to 18 years of age, which is fixed annually by the State legislature. The police jurors of the several parishes and the boards of trustees, aldermen, and legal representatives of cities, towns, and villages, except the parish of Orleans, may levy for the support of the common schools of their respective parishes not less than 11 mills of the 10 mills tax on the dollar of the assessed valuation. Whenever one-tenth of the property taxpayers of any parish, city, or incorporated municipality shall petition the police jury or municipal authorities to increase the rate of taxation for the purpose of constructing public buildings, the body petitioned shall order a special election to authorize the levy.
1. ORGANIZATION OF THE SYSTEM.
State superintendent-Superintending school committees-Superintendent of
State superintendent.-Appointed by the governor and confirmed by the council; term of office, three years. An office is provided for him at the capitol. Ile shall devote all his time to the duties of his 'office, which are: To exercise a general supervision of all public schools, and to advise and direct town committees by circular letters and personal conference; to obtain information as to the school systems of other States and countries, and to disseminate the same, with practical suggestions, through public addresses, circulars, and the press; to encourage an interest in education among the people, and stimulate teachers to well-directed efforts; to arrange for the holding of annual State elucational conventions, and county teachers' institutes if suflicient encouragement is afforded by citizens, and to prepare, print, and distribute important portions of the proceedings of such conventions; to prepare courses of study; to hold public examinations and to issue teachers' certificates to applicants found qualified therefor: to keep in his office a list of such teachers, and send the same, with other information, to school committees and superintendents upon request; to assume control and management of free public schools established and maintained by gifts or bequests, when such gifts or bequests so specify, and to carry out the provisions of such gifts or bequests when approved by the governor and council; to report annually to the governor and council the results of his investigations and of the school returns, with his recommendations; to compile, print, and distribute biennially the amended school laws of the State, and to issue annually circulars of information and advice to school officers relating to new enactments; to furnish to school oflicers blank books for keeping itemized records of all moneys expended for schools, said books remaining the property of the State; to furnish forms (see Teachers-Duties) for all lawful or necessary returns, and on March 1 to forward to town clerks blanks for the annual school return, and registers for the school year commencing April 1 following; on June 1 to notify superintendents whose returns are delinquent; on July 1 to ascertain the number of children between the ages of 4 and 21 in towus from which returns are received, and furnish a list of same to the State treasurer.
Superintending school committees.-The management of the schools and the custody and care of all school property in every town devolves upon a superintending school committee, consisting of three members chosen by ballot at the annual town meeting, one each year, for terms of three years. Women are eligible. Vacancies are filled by the committee until the next town meeting. Committee serves without pay unless otherwise voted by the town, and no member can be employed in the same town as a teacher in the public school.
Duties of the committee are: To arrange for the examination of candidates
for positions as teachers in the town (who do not hold certificates from the State Superintendent or normal schools), giving three weeks' notice by newspaper or poster; to issue certificates to those found competent, and to employ teachers; to direct the general course of instruction, to select a uniform system of text-books, contract with publishers for the same, and make rules for their lireservation; to make provision for instructing all pupils in physiology and hygiene with special reference to the effects of alcoholic drinks, stimulants, and narcotics; to dismiss any teacher who after due investigation is proven to be unfit; to expel any obstinately disobedient and disorderly scholar if found necessary after proper investigation, and to restore him on satisfactory evidence of his repentance; to exclude, if expedient, any person not vaccinated; to classify scholars and transfer them from school to school; to elect annually a superintendent of schools (not a member of the committee) who shall be ex officio secretary of the committee.
Superintendent of schools.-Duties : To inquire into the regulation and discipline of schools and the proficiency of scholars, for which purpose he shall visit each school at least twice each term; shall make (in April, corrected to April 1) a list of names and ages of all persons in the town from 4 to 21 years, except persons coming from other places to attend a college or academy or to engage in business; make all reports and returns required by law of superintending school committees; perform such other duties as the committee may direct. His salary is fixed by annual vote of the town, not less than $2 a day when employed. Two or more towns may by vote unite to employ a superintendent (for a term not exceeding five years) the several school committees constituting a joint committee for such purpose. Each town's vote in said joint committee and share in the expense of such superintendence (the State pays one-half) is in proportion to the amount of service to be rendered by the superintendent to each. (See also Schools-Attendance.)
Truant officers.--Cities and towns must elect annually one or more truant officers, whose compensation is fixed by the municipal authorities; vacancies in the interim filled by the school committee. Truant officers shall inquire into cases of nonattendance and report causes to the school committee; arrest truants and take them to school; prosecute violators of attendance law when directed in writing by the school committee or superintendent; enforce the law against disturbing schools or defacing school property. A penalty of $10 to $50 is incurred by towns neglecting to elect truant officers and by truant officers neglecting to prosecute when directed.
Duties.-To keep a school register of all scholars enrolled, age of each, date of his entering and leaving, and number of days he attended, length of school term, the teacher's wages, a list of text-books used, and all other facts required by the blank form furnished him; such register to be always open to inspection by the school committee and turned over to them at the close of the school; payment of teacher's salary is conditioned on the proper completier and delivery of said register. All teachers in public and private institutions are to use their best endeavors to impress on the minds of children and youth the principles of morality and justice, and a sacred regard for truth; love of country, humanity, and a universal benevolence; sobriety, industry, frugality, chastity, moderation, temperance, and all other virtues which ornament huma society, and to lead those under their care, as their ages and capacities admit, into a particular understanding of the tendency of such virtues to preserve and perfect a republican constitution, secure the blessings of liberty, and promote their future happiness, and the tendency of the opposite vices to slavery, degradation, and ruin. Not less than ten minutes of each week must be devoted to te:?cbing the principles of kindness to birds and animals. Certificates become invalid unless indorsed annually by the school committee. Whoever teaches without a certificate forfeits not exceeding the sum contracted for his wages and is barred from receiving pay therefor.
Conventions.-Thirty or more teachers or school officers of a county may organize for mutual improvement in teaching and for the encouragement of popular interest in education, and may hold conventions at least once a year under the supervision of the State superintendent, the State paying the necessary expenses of such conventions, for which a continuous annual appropria