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LANSING, September 20, 1907. To County Commissioners and all interested in rural high schools:

The legislature of 1901, by Act 144 of the Public Acts, authorized the establishment and maintenance of rural high schools in townships where no graded schools are already established. The reason for such a statute is that in many of our townships there are no opportunities for advanced instruction for children, and parents if they desire that their children receive such instruction must send them to some school miles away from home and pay their board and tuition. As a result, many of our bright young people who have completed the eighth grade are unable to attend high school because their parents are not in position to bear the extra expense. This makes an unfair discrimination in favor of the children of wealthy parents. But by the establishment of a rural high school in a township, all boys and girls will have equal educational privileges so far as the public schools are concerned. This is my idea of free public schools.

I most earnestly urge upon county commissioners and all interested in schools that rural high schools shall be established in every township where no graded school already exists, and it is my opinion that the law should be so amended that, even in townships where there are graded school districts, rural high schools may be established for the benefit of the rural communities.

I give in this bulletin the law governing rural high schools, together with a course of study, list of reference books, and some suggestions in regard to their organization and equipment. This course of study it seems to me will meet the needs of our rural young people.

Very respectfully,

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[Act 144, 1901)

An Act to provide for the establishment and maintenance of rural high schools, The People of the State of Michigan enact:

(297). SECTION 1. The township board of any township, not having within its limits an incorporated village or city, upon the petition of not less than one-third of the taxpayers of such township for the establishment of a rural high school, shall submit such question to a vote of the qualified electors of said township at a special election called for that purpose within sixty days from date of receipt of said petition.

(298). SEC.. 2. All elections ordered by any township board in pursuance of section one of this act shall be held at the usual place or places of holding township elections, and notice shall be given and the election conducted in all respects as provided by law for the election of township officers and the ballots shall have printed thereon, “For rural high school-yes.". “For rural high school-no."

(299). SEC. 3. If more votes are cast in favor of such high school than against it at such election, the qualified electors of said township shall elect at their next annual election of township officers a board of trustees of three members, one for one year, one for two years, and one for three years, and on the expiration of their terms of office and regularly thereafter their several successors shall be elected in like manner for a term of three years each. The township clerk shall be ex officio member and the clerk of the board, and the township treasurer shall be ex officio member and treasurer of the board with

the same power as other members of the board. (300). Sec. 4. Said board of trustees shall meet on the third Monday in April of each year and organize by electing one of the trustees as president. Regular meetings of the board shall be held on the second Mondays of May, August, November, and February, in each year. Special meetings may be called upon five days' notice by the president or secretary. The board shall have power:

(a) To supervise and visit the school;

(b) To admit all children of the township above the sixth grade and to admit and provide rates of tuition for non-resident pupils if they so elect;

(c) To select and adopt text books; (d) To appoint legally qualified teachers; (e) To fix wages, make general rules and regulations for the control of the school, suspend or expel pupils, fix the time of school, which shall not be more than ten months nor less than seven in any one year;

(f) To rent or to purchase and hold real estate for such high school, build and furnish township schoolhouses, determine location of grounds and buildings, which shall be as near the center of the township as practicable, according to sanitary conditions, and to receive and hold bequests and gifts for the benefit of the school, and to dispose of property belonging to the district subject to the provisions hereinafter named;

(8) To provide a course of study which shall be approved by the superintendent of public instruction and the president of the Michigan Agricultural College, and shall not consist of more than four years' work. Said course of study may include instruction in manual training, domestic science, nature study and the elements of agriculture.

(h) To estimate and vote the amount of tax necessary to support the school at a meeting previous to October first in each year and report the same to the supervisors, which amount shall be spread upon the tax roll the same as other district taxes, and in their discretion borrow money for current expenses, which amount shall not exceed fifty per cent of the amount of tax voted.

(1) To publish annually in one newspaper of the township or county a statement of the proceedings of the board meetings and an itemized account of all receipts and expenses, and file a copy of the same in the office of the county school commissioner nd State superintendent of public instruction within sixty days of the date of publication of the same.

(301). Sec. 5. The secretary of the board shall receive not to exceed fifty dollars per annum for his services. It shall be his duty to keep the records, provide supplies, visit the school and make annual reports to the school board, the county school commissioner and the State superintendent of public instruction, in such form as the superintendent of public instruction shall direct.

(302). SEC. 6. All orders on the treasurer for moneys shall be ordered by the board and signed by the secretary and president.

(303). SEC. 7. A majority of the taxpa yers of the township shall determine the amount to be expended in the grounds and building of said school and may bond the township for such amount: Provided, That the amount of said bonds shall not exceed five thousand dollars, and that the period of such bonds shall not continue beyond ten years.

(304). SEC. 8. The high schools established under the provisions of this act shall be under the supervision of the county cominissioner of schools, and all questions of management, support, and control arising under the provisions of this act and not expressly provided for therein shall be subject to the provisions of the general school laws of this State.


1. The township board of any township not having within its limits a high school is required, upon the petition of not less than one-third of the taxpayers of such township, to call a special election within sixty days from the receipt of said petition.

2. At such special election the question of the establishment of a rural high school will be voted upon. The election is to be held at the usual place or places of holding township elections.

3. If a majority of the votes cast are in favor of the establishment of a rural high school, the qualified electors of the township at the next annual meeting shall elect a board of trustees of three members who, with the township clerk and township treasurer, shall constitute the township board of education.

4. This board of trustees must meet on the third Monday of April of each year and organize by electing a president. The township clerk is ex officio clerk of the board and the township treasurer is ex officio treasurer of the board.

5. Regular meetings of the board are to be held on the second Mondays of May, August, November and February, and special meetings may be called upon five days' notice.

6. Section four of the original Act was amended by the legislature of 1907 in clause (b) by providing that all children above the sixth grade may be admitted if their parents desire to send them.

7. The powers and duties of the board of education are specified in the statute, and among them the board is authorized to purchase and hold such real estate as may be necessary, to determine the location of grounds and buildings, and to build and furnish a school house when authorized by the voters of the township,

8. They are to provide a course of study which must be approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the President of the Michigan Agricultural College, the course to consist of not more than four years.

9. They are to estimate and vote the necessary tax to support the school and report this tax before October first in each year. They may also borrow money for current expenses for an amount not to exceed fifty per cent of the tax.

10. The board is required to publish in a newspaper an annual statement of all receipts and expenses and make all necessary reports to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and county commissioner of schools.

11. The taxpayers of the township are authorized to determine and vote the amount of money to be expended in grounds and buildings and they may bond the township if they desire, the limit of the bond to be five thousand dollars.

12. High schools established under this Act are under the supervision of the county commissioner and the Superintendent of Public Instruction.


(a) It should be noted that the special election provided for in this Act may be held at any time during the year, but that the trustees or board of education can be elected only at the time of the annual township meeting. (b) Frequently the town hall or some other public building may be rented, or a part of it rented, and fitted up for temporary school use.

(c) The course of study given herewith has been approved by the President of the Agricultural College. The industrial side of education is emphasized in this course together with such academic high school training as will give a liberal English education to our young people. In case students below the ninth grade are admitted they will pursue the usual subjects for seventh and eighth, grades.

(d) It is not necessary that the course of study for a township high school shall conform to the usual course of study in city high schools, but it will train our young people for admission to the Agricultural College and normal schools if they desire to attend such institutions.

(e) The building constructed for the use of a rural high school should be large enough for two assembly rooms with superintendent's office and two or three recitation rooms on the first floor, and basement under the entire building. The basement should be constructed mostly above ground, extending not over two or three feet below the surface. It should be divided into three rooms, one for a furnace and fuel room, another for the girls for domestic science, and the third for the boys for manual training work.

(f) There should be at least three recitation rooms which may be used as class rooms. One of these should be fitted up as a physical laboratory for simple experiments in botany, physics and agriculture. The others should be fitted up as chemical laboratories for experimental work in agriculture and chemistry.

(g) The lot selected for the school should contain not less than two acres and it would be better if it contain five acres. This would give ample room for a play ground and a good sized plot for experimental purposes in agriculture.

(h) The pupils themselves, having been supplied with proper material by the board of education, should, under the direction of their instructors, do the work of decorating the school grounds, that is, planting trees, shrubbery, flower gardens, etc.

(i) The rural high school should be closely affiliated with the Agricultural College, and arrangements can be made with several professors of said College to appear before the rural high school and give lectures on various subjects.


The equipment necessary for teaching the different subjects will depend entirely upon the location of the school, the number of students and the character of instructors. The following is only suggestive and in all cases the material should be purchased as the need arises.

doz. hoes.
doz. garden rakes.

doz. spades.
1 doz, earth forks.
I doz. garden trowels.
1 doz. pruning knives.

doz. pruning shears.
i hand cultivator.
1 hand weeder.
A supply of whatever seeds, grains, plants or bulbs that are to be planted.


The equipment for this work may be made as extensive as required and much instruction can be given with a small amount of material. The following is given as a suggestive list which may be purchased entire or in part. Usually these can be purchased from local dealers but the regular school supply houses also handle the articles.

Six single benches with rapid acting vise, costing $8 to $15 each.
Double bench with rapid acting vises, $10 to $18 each.


Set for each individual.

1 No. 5 iron plane.
1 10 in. Atkins back saw.
1 13 oz. adz eye hammer.
1 6 in. Stanley graduated all iron try square.
1 Stanley patent boxwood brass faced marking gauge.
1 each | in. and 1 in. firmer tang chisels, handled and sharpened (Buck Bros.)
i Swedish sloyd knife.
1 hickory mallet.
1 9 oz. all bristle bench brush.
1 4 in. Champion screw driver.
1 6 in. winged divider.

Approximate cost, $5.00.

Set of general tools sufficient for six pupils, 'which should be duplicated for each six additional pupils in the class, except in bit sets which should be added to in assorted sizes as required.

1 8 in. ratchet brace.
1 Buck Bros. rosehead countersink.
1 Buck Bros. screw driver bit.
1 Buck Bros. 8 in. draw knife.
1 Stanley spoke stave.
1 26 in. rip saw, Atkins No. 53.
1 22 in, cross cut saw, Atkins No. 53.
1 6 in. coping saw with 1 doz, extra blades.
3 cabinet scrapers.
3 10 in. } round cabinet files.
1 steel 24 in. x 16 in. framing square.
6 6 in. malleable iron clamps.
6 36 in. Sheldon patent malleable cabinet clamps.
1 2 in. x 6 in. combination oil stone,
1 3 in. bronzed oil can,

Approximate cost, $20.00. In addition to the foregoing it would probably be well to have one large work bench equipped with a vise. A supply of lumber including 2 inch, inch and one-half inch stuff, can be provided at small expense.

Whenever desired or convenient a small gas engine may be installed to furnish power for turning lathe and small circular saw.

If any blacksmithing is to be done, one or two blacksmith's forges with proper supply of tools, hammer, chisel, etc., can be installed.


The domestic science tables are usually in two forms, one with a case or cupboard attached, another a plain table with drawers underneath. These tables can be purchased at from $3.50 to $6 each and will accommodate from

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