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Table Showing the Number of Text-books on Physioloy and
Hygiene, and Diagrams sent to each Town.
No. of Sets of
No. of Sets of
55 126 125 200 15 85 40 20 300
20 450 25 60 60 80
6 17 17 18
9 20 10
9 16 4 17 4 4 4 14
Hartford Avon. Berlin Bloomfield Bristol Burlington Canton East Granby East Hartford East Windsor. Enfield Farmington Glastonbury Granby Hartland Manchester Marlborough New Britain Newington Plainville Rocky Hill Simsbury Southington South Windsor Suffield West Hartford Wethersfield Windsor Windsor Locks
35 120 110 175 440
25 100 50 25 70 135
7 12 9 ng 14 11 19 13
75 46 25 75 100
125 20 30 335 70 75
2,461 | 287
New Haven City ..
1,350 Westville 50 South .. 5
complete 1,405 Beacon Falls
25 Bethany Branford
100 Derby East Haven
27 Guilford Hamden
200 North Branford
32 North Haven
200 Oxford Prospect
6 18 40
8 20 400
13 12 23 6 7 10 7 8 15 12
20 200 900 32 75 25 300
13 8 2 8 17 20 22
7 21 45
Tolland Andover Bolton Columbia Coventry Ellington Hebron. Mansfield Somers Stafford Union Vernon Willington
40 225 50
10 3 4 8 12 9 9 14 10
19 12 6 5 9 12 15 11 11 13 6 9 21 12
9 17 117
15 20 20 65 95 55 30 165 50 50 200 150 75 70 50 100 55 50 325 50 75 50 150 90
The prime difficulty in the way of good schools is that our system of school administration is not efficient. The cause of this inefficiency is found in the separation of the municipal and school organization. The town, the unit of municipal or. ganization, is not the unit of school organization.
The fact that the defects of our present system are not universally acknowledged, and many are satisfied with things as they are, calling decrepitude repose, does not furnish reason for regarding this state of things with complacency. Testimony is formidably plentiful that the whole State and especially the smaller communities are experiencing or are threatened with practical inconvenience and loss. Some children can go to school 200, and others only 120 days. If the instruction in both cases is good, the latter receives 80 days or 16 weeks less instruction than the former. If, as is likely to be the case, the 200 days cover good instruction and the 120 days poor instruction, no fancied freedom from interference or enjoyment of traditionary routine, balance the monstrous inequality. These schools fix the intellectual character of the children, and here are formed the public sentiment and public policy of communities which they will in a few years control The history of every individual and of the town and State is
If schools are short and poor and form themselves at haphazard, will not the offspring of such schools come short of that intellectual standing which their more favored neighbors attain?
There are, moreover, glaring inequalities of expense and of taxation, abuses of examination and appointment engendered by the removal of school affairs from the light of public discussion and the pressure of public sentiment. There is confusion and weakness, and though properly an educational agency, the system is concerned in doing as little as possible, and doing that little without regard to the best interests of children.
The public schools are a necessity. School organization is a necessity, and this organization based upon municipal unit tends to efficient management of schools. Such a system would
attract public attention, stimulate interest among intelligent people. It would inspire respect and confidence, because there would be a body of men in every town upon whom responsibility could be fixed.
Below will be found a bill prepared and introduced at the last session of the General Assembly, together with remarks upon the same by Hon. E. B. Bailey of Windsor Locks, and by Hon. George G. Sumner of Hartford, The bill does not differ in plan from the present law permitting the town system, but details which experience has suggested are incorporated.
Proposed Act relating to Town Management of Public Schools.
SECTION 1. Every town in this State shall, from and after September first, 1887, assume and maintain the control of all the public schools within its limits, and for this purpose every such town shall be a school district, and shall have all the powers and duties of school districts except in so far as these are inconsistent with the provisions of this act.
SEC. 2. All business concerning the public schools, including all heretofore necessary or proper to be transacted in district meetings, shall be transacted in town meetings. The annual town meeting shall be the annual school district meeting.
SEC. 3. At its next annual town meeting, every town which now has a board of school visitors composed of three members shall elect, by ballot, three residents of the town as a school committee, and every town which now has a board of school visitors composed of more than three members shall elect, by ballot, nine residents of the town as such committee, who shall by lot, if necessary, divide themselves into three classes, to hold office from the time of their election till the expiration of one, two, and three years respectively from the sixteenth day of the next July. At this election, no one shall vote for more than five persons as members of this committee. At every subsequent annual town meeting, one-third of the committee, namely, one or three members, as the case may be, shall be elected by ballot for the term of three years, to begin on the sixteenth day of the ensuing July. If the number to be chosen be three, no person shall vote for more than two. The said school committee shall have power to fill vacancies in its membership until the next annual election, when such vacan
cies shall be filled for the remainder of the term by the town, by ballot. From the first of September, 1887, until the next annual town meeting, the school visitors and the chairmen of the committees of the districts within each town shall constitute a joint board, having the powers and duties of the school committees created by this act. After the aforesaid date no boards of school visitors shall be elected and no district committees except in districts which retain their organization in the manner hereinafter provided. Any town may at any time vote to make the number of its school committee either three or nine, and at each subsequent election one-third of the new number shall be elected in the manner above provided, but those theretofore elected shall remain in office until the expiration of their terms, provided, however, that in
every town now constituting a union school district the school committee shall be of the same number, and shall be elected in the same manner as at present.
SEC. 4. Said school committee shall, in general, have all the powers, and perform the duties both of district committees and boards of school visitors, except in so far as such powers and duties are inconsistent with the provisions of this act. Especially they shall maintain in their several towns good common schools of the different grades, at such places and times as in their judgment shall best subserve the interests of education, and as shall give all the scholars of the town as nearly equal advantages as may be practicable; they shall have charge of schools heretofore organized or maintained by their respective towns; they shall appoint a chairman and secretary, who shall respectively perform the duties and exercise the powers now pertaining to the chairman and secretary of the boards of school visitors; they shall appoint one or more acting visitors, or a superintendent to exercise, under their discretion, a supervision over schools; they shall have the care and management of buildings, lands, apparatus, and other property used for school purposes; they shall determine the number and qualifications of the scholars to be admitted into each school; they shall employ a requisite number of qualified teachers, but shall make no contract for a longer period than one year; they shall designate the schools which shall be attended by the various children within their several towns, and shall make such provision as will enable every child of school age residing in the town, who is of proper physical and mental condition to attend some public day school, at least six months in each year, but they may arrange,