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TEN YEARS' GROWTH OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM.
[Table 17, Page 91.) The general lines of development of the public schools of the different parts of the Cnited States for the last ten years are indicated in Table 17. In this table it is clearly demonstrated that the growth of the public school system, taking into account the average for the United States, has not only kept pace with the growth of population, but has outstripped it.
While the population of the United States 6 to 14 years of age has increased 29 per cent. during the last decade, the enrolment in the public schools has increased 31.1 per cent., showing that there is an increase of 1.6 per cent. in the proportion of children 6 to 14 enrolled.
EDUCATION IN THE SOUTH. This increase in the proportion of school children enrolled is due entirely to the growth of the public schools of the two southern divisions, which are the only ones in which the public school enrolment has increased at a greater rate than the population 6 to 14. In the South Central Division, especially, the growth in school enrolment, as compared with the increase of school population, has probably never been paralleled in a country so long settled; the school enrolment has, in fact, in the division referred to, nearly doubled during the decade, while the population 6 to 14 has only increased by about one-third. From the relative increase of population 6 to 14 and enrolment, it may be deduced that the proportion of school population enrolled as pupils has increased 25.3 per cent. in the South Atlantic Division, and 34.1 per cent. in the South Central Division. In the three northern and western divisions there has been a decrease, amounting to 9.3, 1.7. and 8 per cent., respectively.
The actual proportion of children enrolled in the public schools (Table 3, Column 6) is still at the present time less in the South than in the North. If the extension of the pablic school system in the South, however, should continue at the marvellous and unprecedented rate it has exhibited during the past decade, the two sections would be placed Learly on an equal footing in this respect (though not in regard to length of school term). Whether such will prove to be the case will probably depend on the growth of the South in material prosperity. It has already been shown that, as near as can be ascertained, the people of that section are paying nearly as largely of their means for education as teose of the North (Table 14, Columns 5 and 9). Any further considerable development g: their public school system will probably depend, therefore, on their increased ability to bear the expense, i. e., on the increase of their property per capita of population.
EXPENDITURE. The increase of expenditure has in every geographical division grown at a greater ute than the increase of population 6 to 14; that is to say, the expenditure for schools per capita of population 6 to 14 has increased in all the different groups of States in which it has been summarized. This increase in per capita expenditure is least in the Western Division (2.2 per cent.), greatest in the South Central Division (20.9.per cent.), and averages 9.4 per cent. for the United States.
On account of the inordinate increase of enrolment in the South, however, the increase la expenditure has not been able to keep pace with it; so that the expenditure per capita pour enrolment shows a small decrease in the two southern divisions. This is a result that ught have been anticipated from a school enrolment growing to such a degree that it it as began to tax to the utmost the ability of the people to provide for it.
The status of education in the South, it may be remarked, can not be properly considered without a reference to the fact that the funds for educating both the whites and cured people are, and must continue to be, supplied in the main by the whites. Further reference is made to this point in another chapter.
In the three northern and western divisions the expenditure per capita of enrolment has largely increased, allowing longer school terms, and higher wages for teachers. The following tabular summary has been computed from Table 17, and presents a more complete view of some of the data made use of in the preceding remarks:
EDUCATION IN THE NORTH AND WEST. It may be noted here that the proportion of children 6 to 14 years of age enrolled in the public schools has decreased only in those divisions in which compulsory attendance laws are generally in force, and in each one of these there has been a decrease.
It is possible that this decrease has been offset, or more than offset, by an increase in private school enrolment. On this point no satisfactory knowledge can be obtained on account of the general absence of private school statistics.
Whether, however, the private schools have absorbed the children who might have swelled the public school enrolment, or whether such children are out of school altogether, the fact remains that the public schools of the three divisions referred to seem to have been on the wane during the past decade, and that they do not gather in as large a pfoportion of the school population as they did ten years ago, although more money is expended upon them. This is a matter of the highest gravity, and requires serious consideration. Has the public school system reached and passed its maximum phase in the North and West? Is universal education by the State an abstraction not to be realized in the concrete ?
The disclosures made by the tables which are given in this connection impart new significance to the remark made by Superintendent Le Roy D. Brown at a recent meeting of the Department of Superin tendence of the National Educational Association: "Strange it would be if a growth, at once so rapid and luxuriant, should be altogether sound and enduring !"
"As to the causes at work to produce the falling off in the proportion of children enrolled in Connecticut, see page 114.
* Bureau of Education, Circular of Information No. 3, 1887, p. 64.
North Atlantic Division:
a For 1875-76. b For 1885-86.
484, 744 775, 202
1,510, 223 1,768, 371
370, 996 590, 225
1,050, 346 1,575, 324 53, 977 43.1
793, 272 1,087, 675
72,621 70.9 226, 021 424, 426
1,130,000 1,754, 107
a698, 220 61,047, 223
392, 493 d600,000
7,411, 068 9, 353, 639
7, 388, 596 10, 131, 150 61, 119 18.0 3, 187, 913 4,739, 665
e For 1875. f For 1885.
TABLE 17.-INCREASE FOR TEN YEARS OF POPULATION 6 to 14, ENROLMENT, AND EXPENDITURE—Continued.
(NOTE.-D indicates a decrease.)
North Central Divis.
North Atlantic Division. 2, 292, 978 2,672, 343
United Statesh 8,718, 304 11, 247, 009
o For 1870. d For 1880.
e Excluding Texas. Excluding Idaho.
| Excluding Alaska
Excluding the States and Territories not tabulated above.
TABLE 18.-CHIEF STATE SCHOOL OFFICERS.
(NOTE.-This list has been revised to date of going to press.]
Solomon Palmer. Montgomery, Ala. State superintendent of education. Woodville E. Thompson Little Rock, Ark.. State superintendent of public instruc
tion. Ira G. Hoitt. Sacramento, Cal
Do. Leonidas S. Cornell Denver, Colo
Do. Chas. D. Hine.
Hartford, Conn.. Secretary of State board of education. J. H. Caldwell
Newark, Del.. President of State board of education. Albert J. Russell Tallahassee, Fla.--- State superintendent of public instruc
tion. James S. Hook Atlanta, Ga State school commissioner. Richard Edwards Springfield, III. State superintendent of public instruc
Topeka, Kans Jos. Desha Pickett. Frankfort, Ky-
Do. Joseph A. Breaux.. Baton Rouge, La. State superintendent of education. Nelson A. Luce... Augusta, Me State superintendent of common schools. M. A. Newell Baltimore, Md. State superintendent of public instruc
tion. John W. Dickinson Boston, Mass. Secretary of State board of education. Joseph Estabrook.. Lansing, Mich. State superintendent of public instruc
tion. D. L. Kiehle Saint Paul, Minn,
Do. J. R. Preston
Jackson, Miss. State superintendent of education. Wm. E. Coleman. Jefferson City, Mo.- State superintendent of public schools. Geo. B. Lane Lincoln, Nebr State superintendent of public instruc
tion. W.C. Dovey
Carson City, Nev.. Do. James W. Patterson Concord, N. H.
Do. Eli T. Tappan.
Columbus, Ohio State commissioner of common schools. E.B. McElroy Salem, Oregon. State superintendent of public instruc
Columbia, S. C State superintendent of education.
tion. Justus Dartt Springfield, Vt.
Do. John L. Buchanan. Richmond, Va.
Do. Benj. S. Morgan
Charleston, W. Va -- State superintendent of free schools. Jesse B. Thayer
Madison, Wis.. State superintendent of public schools. Sheldon Jackson Sitka, Alaska. General agent of education for Alaska. Charles M. Strauss.. Prescott, Ariz Superintendent of public instruction, E. A. Dye. --Mellette, Dak
Do. Wm. B. Powell, whiteWashington, D.C... Superintendent of District schools. G.T. Cook, colored. Silas W. Moody --- Boisé City, Idaho. Superintendent of public instruction. A.C. Logan Helena, Mont
Do. Trinidad Alarid
Santa Fé, N. Mex.--Ex-officio superintendent for reports. P. L. Williams
Salt Lake City, Utah. Superintendent of public instruction, J. C. Lawrence
Olympia, Wash, T.. Do. John Slaughter Cheyenne, Wyo.---- Do.