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Mr. C. D. HINE :
Sir I herewith present to you a report of my work, for the year 1887, as agent, of the State Board of Education, for the enforcement of the Child Labor Law.
I have visited during the year the following towns :
Stamford, Norwalk, Westport, Wilton, Danbury, Derby,
Several of these towns have been visited two or three times during the year. My work as appears above has been for the most part in Fairfield County and through the Naugatuck Valley.
Child labor is not an important factor in the industries generally engaged in in these localities, to wit: the manufacture of wood, metal, rubber goods and Yankee notions. While in several of the towns enumerated there are either cotton, woolen or silk mills, yet in none of these places is there a demand for young help that cannot be supplied readily by resident children over 13 years of age. Thompsonville, Hartford County, may be an exception to this rule.
This being the case my duty has been, not to prosecute offenders against the law, so much as to keep the fact before manufacturers that the State is enforcing the law; and, under the direction of the State Board of Education, to enforce the law in regard to the school attendance of children between the ages of 13 and 14.
With the exception of one or two cases arising from a misapprehension of the value of a parent's certificate, I have found no children under 13 years of age employed in any establishment, after the first visit of an Agent of the State Board of Education. I have found a certain carelessness in regard to keeping on file certificates of school attendance required for children employed when between 13 and 14 years of age.
An opinion was prevalent that a strict compliance with the new law, measured the employer's responsibility. To remove such impression and to insist upon a strict compliance with the school attendance law has been the principal part of the active work of my second and third visits to the manufacturing establishments. Within the range of my observation the Child Labor
Law has had a good effect. It has quickened the humane feelings of many manufacturers and caused them to think of the effects upon society at large and upon the individual child of the free and untrammeled employment of very young children, and thus has made them friendly to its provisions and enforcement. The desire is often expressed that in this State every child may have at least so much of education, health and strength as may enable him to develop whatever powers he may have, and not be ruthlessly bound down to a life of toil and ignorance, in circumstances entirely unfavorable to improvement. There is a fund of hope extant, that a child's birth shall not forecast its life, and that all shall be given a fair chance to acquire a rudimentary education. And it is undeniable that without a child labor law and a school attendance law, there would be hundreds of cases where parents would sacrifice the health and education of their children for a mere pittance of wages. Manufacturing establishments could be found where the ability to do some work cheaply would be the only test for a child applicant.
Hundreds of children are to-day at school who, but for the law, would be shut up in factories.
If the State seeks to promote the health and education of children it has not placed the age limit too high. The tendency should be to increase the limit of age and not to lower it. There should be no exceptions permitting child labor in vacation. To commence a life of toil at 13 is soon enough, too soon for health and education. Especially valuable is a clean cut, positive enactment like the present. It is plain and not open to misunderstandings. Exceptions are simply so many hindrances to enforcement. If at the close of each vacation those manufacturers who desire to employ very young children, and to whom the privilege is valuable, were compelled to turn out the young help and supply their places with older children, there would be constant irritation. And the ill will that is now felt toward the law, if
any, would be indefinitely continued and increased.
On the other hand a steadfast adherence to the law, as it stands to-day, will soon cause unquestioned obedience, and manufacturers, made dependent on children old enough to be properly employed, will adjust themselves to the new conditions.
H. J. CURTIS.
Summary of Statistics 1886-7.
2,559 ; total,
2,730; total, Decrease-male, 3; increase-female, 60; total
Increase for the year,
Decrease for the year,
Decrease for the year,
Increase for the year,
per month-male, 12; female, 158; total, Number of teachers whose wages was from $20 to
$25 per month--male, 71; female, 358;
total, Number of teachers whose wages was from $25 to
$30 per month—male, 114; female, 392 ;
total, Number of teachers whose wages was from $30 to
$40 per month-male, 116; female, 774;
total, Number of teachers whose wages was from $40 to
$50 per month--male, 38; female, 757;
Below will be found a table giving summary for years since 1866:
9 12 33 12
113 1,959 1,074 558 $49.00 $22.61 $421,137 92 70.4
1,218 637 52.05 24.91 557,193 22 57.8
608 58.74 29.16 695,539 25 54.3
557 70.05 37.35 1,057,242 19 67.1 321 2,317 1,780 539 67.43 37.16 1,085,290 05 70.9 305 2,354 1,904 478 64.55 36.20 1,058,682 28 60.1 349 2,329 1,947 470 61.03 36.50 1,041,040 43 68.1 377 2,344 2,063 484 57.19 35.27 1,015,882 91
2,354 2,119 411 56.43 35.42 1,011,729 94 71.8 349 2,432 2,144 454 60.69 35.37 1,025,322 66 69.4 316 2,503 2,183 470 63.44 35.94 1,056,268 25 68.0 307 2,532 2,325 460 67.36 36.52 1,094,580 61 60.3 307 | 2,596 2,347 485 69.17 37:21 1,130,863 35 63.6 346 2,625 2,463 395 69.16 37.64 1,166,879 13 62.9 346 2,670 2,482 419 69.89 37.97 1,188,056 04 66.3 343 2,730 2,654 378 68.82 38.50 1,227,412 60 69.4
IO II 1 o 6 5 5 5 4 10 9 9 17 23 15 21
From the above table it appears that in the winter of 1865 31 in every 100, and in summer, 5 in every 100 teachers were men. In 1887, in winter, 13, and in summer, 11 in every 100
The number of teachers increased about one-third. In the same period, the number of female teachers employed in winter increased 1,111, while the number of male teachers decreased 122. The number of male teachers employed in summer is larger by 230, and the number of female teachers in summer by 771.
The number of male teachers in summer shows accurately the number of male teachers continuously employed. It is evident that so far as permanent situations are concerned, men are not giving place to women; while more and more districts that formerly alternated in winter and summer, employ women for the whole year. Moreover, women have entirely superseded men in primary and most grammar schools, leaving open to.men only a small number of grammar schools, an insignificant number of high school positions and substantially all the positions requiring supervisory duties. In ungraded schools few men are employed, either in summer or winter.
The number continuously employed has more than doubled, and the number of beginners shows a steady decrease.
The wages of men show fluctuations from year to year, being affected by the addition or subtraction of two or three large salaries to the small aggregate.
The average wages of women has increased, but not very rapidly or largely. There are still about 900 female teachers whose salaries are $30 a month or less, and of these, 500 receive $25 or less. This sum is received for six to nine months service, in most cases for not more than eight months. In fine, 900 teachers receive less than $240 per year, and out of this all expenses must be paid. It will be profitable to those who accept poor teachers, and regard poor schools as a necessity, to consider the effect of such meagre salaries. There is no encouragement for preparation nor for continuance in the busi
There is no chance for a decent living, nor any stimulus except that of duty to thoroughness or improvement.
Teachers' Meetings.— Teachers' meetings have been held at the following places:
Broad Brook, (2) May 2,
4 2 5 7 4 15 3 6 11
ers. 18 21 19 28 33 15 320 31 62 41 56 44 42 37 30 41 35 43 52 55 320
In the past five years there have been held 85 teachers' meetings in 77 towns. The attendance of teachers at the 21 meetings of the past year was 1,343.