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saving the nation, they are striving to make their public schools more effective by more liberal provisions for their support. I am painfully conscious that our schools, while accomplishing something, fall far short of the great work which is pressing upon them. They need both judicious legislation for their government and liberal taxation for their support. It is a matter of deep regret to all thinking men, that some of our citizens who represent the greatest wealth of the community are engaged in a crusade against taxation for the support of schools, and are waging their warfare under the hue and cry of extravagance, for the purpose of exciting the prejudices of the people.
LIBERALITY IS ECONOMY.
Liberality in educating the people is the true economy of States. What would be extravagance in one individual, whose life is limited to a few years, is economy in the life of a State or nation; what would be economy in a single man, is meanness in a State. This generation is not living for itself alone, but for future generations and for the future greatness of the nation. We have those among us who, to save from each dollar they call their own, a tax of one one-hundredth of one per cent., would make serfs of the next generation by leaving the children to grow up in ignorance; who think intelligence, cultivation, refinement, honor, integrity, morality, religion and patriotism among common people--the working classes --are myths; that the only thing tangible is real estate, and the great object of life is to escape taxation. Public schools are synonymous with taxation; they represent taxation, and the sooner
common people” understand this democratic-republican doctrine the better for the State, the better for property, the better for mankind, the better for the nation. There is altogether too much of this whining about taxation for the support of schools. Where would the nation have been to-day but for public schools ? Who fought our battles in the last war, but the men who were drilled into patriots in public schools supported by taxation ? Last year the nation paid $22,000,000 for the support of schools; what true statesman wishes it had been less? The public schools are the educators of the working men and women of the nation, and they are the producers of all the wealth which is protected by law. The schools mold the characters of the men whose will, expressed through the ballot-box, makes and unmakes constitutions, and breathes life into all laws.
I appeal to legislators, when the school bill comes before them, to bear in mind that in providing for schools, a liberal expenditure is, in the end, the truest economy; and when the cry of taxation is urged against any reasonable and necessary appropriations, to remember this great truth, so well expressed by Horace Mann: our country and in our times no man is worthy the honored name of statesman who does not include the highest practicable education of the people in all his plans of administration. He may have eloquence, he may have a knowledge of all history, diplomacy, jurisprudence—and by these he might claim in other countries the elevated rank of statesman; but, unless he speaks, plans and labors, at all times and in all places, for the culture and edification of the whole people, he is not, he cannot be, an American statesman.
31. SECOND BIENNIAL REPORT, 1866-67.
This report opens with the following statement of progress:
The school year ending June 30, 1867, marks the transition period of California from rate-bill common schools to an American free school system.
For the first time in the history of the State, every public school was made entirely free for every child to enter.
In the smaller districts, having less than 100 children and less than $200,000 taxable property, free schools were maintained three months; in the larger districts, having more than 100 children and $200,000 taxable property, free schools were kept open five months.
More than 21,000 pupils attended free schools during the entire school year of ten months.
FREE SCHOOLS AT LAST.
I am glad that in this, my last official report, I can say that a system of free schools, supported by taxation, is an accomplished fact. When I assumed the duties of this office, five years ago,
I saw clearly that it was useless to expect to improve the character of the public schools to any considerable extent without a largely increased school revenue, derived from direct taxation on property.
At the session of the Legislature in 1863, I secured a revision of the School Law, and a State school tax of five cents on the hundred dollars, which gave an additional revenue to the State Fund of $75,000 a year. A bill was also passed providing for the gradual funding of the indebtedness of the State to the School Department, then amounting to $600,000. At the next session, in 1864, an additional school revenue was secured by providing that the minimum county school tax should be equal to $2 per census child. This little clause gave an additional county school revenue of $75,000.
In 1866, by the passage of the “Revised School Law," the State school tax was raised to eight cents on the hundred dollars, and the minimum county tax was raised equal to $3 per census child, both provisions together increasing the school revenue by at least $125,000 a year.
I need not say that to secure an additional school revenue of $300,000 per annum, in the face of the high county, State, and National taxation, during a period of civil war, was no holiday task.
During each successive session of the Legislature I became a persistent member of the “Third House," arguing, soliciting, meeting committees, and patiently waiting, with a determination to secure for every child in California a right guaranteed by law to an education in a system of free schools based upon the proposition that the property of the State ought to be taxed to educate the children of the State.
I saw clearly at the outset that even after the revenue was provided, the schools would be to some extent a failure, unless protected from incompetent teachers by a thorough system of State examinations and certificates, for the schools cannot rise higher than the teachers.
The second leading object of my administration has been to secure a corps of professional teachers, and to elevate the occupation of teaching. How far this has been accomplished, the list of professional teachers, and the graduates of the Normal School, found in this report, will show.
One third of the teachers in the State hold State diplomas and certificates, and one twelfth of the teachers are graduates of the California State Normal School.
A State Board of Education, of Examination, of Normal School Trustees; a uniform series of text-books, a course of study, rules and regulations, an educational journal-all constitute a system of education, in place of the irregular and unsystematized half public and half rate-bill schools of five years ago.
THE REVISED SCHOOL LAW.
Early in the session of 1865–66, the State Superintendent submitted a series of amendments to the Senate Committee on Education.
The amendments were so extensive that the committee referred the entire law to the Superintendent for revision. The law, as drafted by me, was submitted to the committee and adopted, with a few slight changes.
The more important improvements effected in the School Law by the first revision in 1863, and the second revision in 1865, may be briefly summed up as follows:
1. Organizing a State Board of Education of nine members.
2. Organizing a Board of State Normal School Trustees of eight members.
3. Authorizing the State Board of Education to adopt rules and regulations and a course of study for public schools.
4. Authorizing the State Board to adopt a uniform State series of text-books.
5. Providing each school with a State School Register.
6. Providing for the binding and preservation of school documents in the State and county departments of instruction.
7. Providing that the Legislature shall furnish the State Superintendent with at least two thousand copies of each biennial report for distribution among school officers and libraries.
8. Requiring the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to visit schools and lecture at least three months each year, and providing for the payment of actual traveling expenses.
9. Establishing County Teachers' Institutes, and providing for the payment of necessary expenses out of the County School Fund.
10. Funding the debt of the State to the School Fund.
11. Enlarging the powers and duties of County Superintendents, in details too numerous to mention.
12. Payment of County Boards of Examination. 13. Postage and Expressage Fund for County Superintendents. 14. Increasing the salaries of County Superintendents.
15. Authorizing County Superintendents to equalize district boundaries.
16. The election of Trustees for a term of three years instead of
17. Requiring the District Clerk to furnish the schools with pens, ink, stationery, and school incidentals, at the expense of the district.
18. The establishment of graded schools.
19. Providing for the legal establishment of separate schools for children other than white children.
20. Limiting the school time of children under eight years of age to four hours a day, exclusive of intermissions.
21. Establishing a system of school libraries by the reservation of ten per cent. of the State School Apportionment.
22. Authorizing a State subscription for an educational journaltwo copies for each school district, one for the District Clerk, and one for the school library.
23. Life diplomas for teachers.
24. State educational diplomas, valid for six years; and first, second and third grade State certificates.
25. Establishing City Boards of Examination.
26. Authorizing the State Board to issue State certificates on county examinations with the State series of questions.
27. Authorizing the State Board to recognize the Normal School diplomas of other States.
28. Requiring all Boards of Examination, whether State, city or county, to be composed exclusively of professional teachers who are holders of State diplomas, or first grade city or county certificates.
29. A State tax of eight cents on each $100 of taxable property.
30. Requiring a minimum county school tax of $3 per census child, and increasing the maximum tax to 35 cents on each $100.
31. Authorizing and requiring School Trustees to levy a district school tax sufficient to keep a free school five months in a year.
32. Changing the school year to correspond with the State fiscal year, July 1 to June 30.
AVERAGE LENGTH OF SCHOOLS.
The average length of time during which public schools are maintained during the year is 7.2 months. Last year, for the first time in the history of the State, all the schools were kept free to all pupils for a period of from 3 to 5 months, according to the number of children and the taxable property in the district.
It marks an epoch in the school history of the State. Had rate bills been levied as before, during the entire year, the average length of the term of tuition in the schools would doubtless have been increased.
The death-blow to rate bills has been given, and they will soon be among the things of the past.
Last year 21,200 pupils attended schools which were kept open and entirely free for 9 and 10 months in the year.
10,000 more attended schools which were entirely free, but were kept open less than 9 months.
The number of schools maintained from 3 to 6 months was 387; from 6 to 9 months, 281; and from 9 to 10 months, including San Francisco as 208 schools of 60 children each, 422.
SALARIES OF TEACHERS.
The average monthly salaries of males teachers is $77; of female teachers, $64.
As the average length of schools is 7.2 months, the average annual salary of male teachers is $554; of female teachers, $460.
Even if teachers were employed for the whole school year of 10 months, which is the case only in the city schools, the average annual salary of a male teacher would be only $770 a year, from which deduct $300 for twelve months' board at $25 per month, and there would remain only $470 as the net proceeds of a year's work. Deduct from this $100 for clothing, and the salary stands at $370.
Trustees in some parts of the State who complain that the salaries of teachers are too high, and that school expenditures are extravagant, will do well to consider these figures.
The admission of teachers into the occupation is virtually in the hands of the teachers in this State now engaged in teaching. Elevate the standard of admission, and the occupation will soon become a respectable business. It will soon be better paid than brute labor. No occupation is more laborious; none wears out muscle and brain faster. It is only in the vigor of early manhood that a man can follow his profession. Shall he, then, be paid no more than the mechanic, or the day-laborer who shovels sand on the streets ? The brain labor of the skillful teacher ought to be as well paid as the brain labor of the lawyer, the physician, the clergyman, the editor. He ought to dress as well and live as well. His profession ought to cost him, and often does, as much time and money as other professions. He ought to be paid a salary sufficient to enable him to supply himself with a library, and the periodical literature of the day. He should have a salary sufficient to enable him to live respectably, dress neatly, and move in the intelligent circles of society like other educated men. He should be paid enough to support a family. Teachers well paid can devote all their time and energies to the schools. They are not greater philanthropists than their neighbors whose children they educate. None of them teach from pure love of teaching. They do their duty, and expect their pay for it; it is the way in which they earn their living. They ought not to be expected to break mental bread to the children of others and feed their own with stones. Good teachers are not to be estimated by their daily salary of five dollars. Persons enough could be found in the State at half the present rates, but the people would be the losers. It is the teachers who give character and efficiency to the schools. The State may legislate, the