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the state ordered that every town without a high school of its own should pay for the tuition of all its properly qualified children in the high school of any other town or city and, should it see fit, should pay for their conveyance also. In 1895 another step was taken. A law was passed to the effect that towns having a valuation of less than $500,000 each and without high schools of their own might send their pupils to other high schools approved by the state board of education and then be reimbursed by the state for the actual amount of tuition thus expended. In 1902 the law was amended so as to extend its policy of state aid to high schools in smaller towns. The essence of the law is to the effect that any towns of less than five hundred families, and having a valuation of less than $750,000, are entitled to receive from the treasury of the commonwealth all necessary amounts actually expended for the maintenance of pupils in approved high schools. Towns whose valuation exceeds $750,000, but whose number of families is less than five hundred, are entitled to receive from the treasury of the commonwealth half of all necessary amounts actually expended for high school tuition in approved high schools. Towns of less than five hundred families, maintaining a high school of their own and whose courses and equipment are approved by the state board of education and employing at least two teachers, are entitled to receive annually from the state treasury $300 for the support of said high school. Towns of less than five hundred families, maintaining a high school with only one teacher, are not entitled to any state aid. The inference is that state aid is offered as an inducement to employ more than one teacher. In the state there are 185 towns having less than five hundred families. Eighty-nine have a valuation of less than $750,000 and are without high schools of their own and are consequently entitled to the actual amount expended for tuition in approved high schools. There are eighteen with more than $750,000 valuation without high schools which are therefore entitled to state reimbursement for one-half of the tuition expended in approved schools. Thirty-three towns maintain high schools with two or more teachers and consequently receive $300 each. There are twenty-four towns with less than five hundred families, but being assessed at more than $750,000, are consequently not entitled to state aid. The remaining twenty-one towns, having less than five hundred families but with a valuation of less than $750,000, maintain a high school but employ only one teacher, and are consequently not entitled to an allowance from the state. The state requires that before being approved they shall be adequately equipped and taught by a principal and assistants of competent ability and good morals. It requires the school to give instruction in such subjects as the school committee consider expedient to be taught in the high school and in such additional subjects as may be required for the general purposes of training and culture as well as for the purpose of preparing pupils for admission to state normal schools, technical schools, and colleges. One or more courses must be at least four years in length. The school must be kept open for the benefit of all the inhabitants of the city or town for at least forty weeks exclusive of vacations. Any town which does not maintain the school for at least thirty-six weeks exclusive of vacations is liable to have its share of the income withheld.
As early as 1873 Maine established a system of free secondary schools. Under the provisions of the law of 1873, any town raising an expense fund for high schools was reimbursed to the extent of one-half the amount paid for teachers' wages and board, provided that no town was paid more than $500. In 1875 there were organized 157 such schools in the 421 towns.
In 1879 the legislature passed an act suspending the operation of the law for one year. In 1880 the legislature provided that instruction in the ancient and modern languages should not be given in any school aided by the state except in such schools as formed a part of a graded system. At that time the amount directly paid was reduced to $250. Subsequent changes were made to provide for the free tuition of pupils residing in towns or districts not maintaining high schools. Since 1875 the growth of the system has been such that the number of towns in which free high schools are maintained has been increased from 157 to 256 in 1898. The advance in the grade of scholarship required for entrance reduced the number to 220 in 1899 and to 214 in 1900. “ The act establishing high schools in 1873," writes the State Superintendent, “ was a death blow to all but the stronger of the old academies. Many of them transferred their buildings and funds to the towns in which they were located and became free high schools. In 1891 the legislature granted fourteeen academies an annual appropriation of $500 each for ten years; two, $800 each for ten years; and one, $300 for ten years. The legislature of 1899 made an appropriation for quite a large number of academies." At the present time the academies receive generally $500, but in special cases for maintaining additional courses, receiving a larger number of nonresident pupils, they may receive $750, or even $1000 in case they maintain an English course, a college preparatory course, and a training course for teachers, and have the requisite attendance. Pupils residing in districts not maintaining high schools shall have their tuition paid by their own district and the district in turn is reimbursed by the state for one-half of the amount paid out, not to exceed $250.
Wisconsin maintains what are known as free high schools. That is, they are graded schools maintaining a high school course of study and complying with other state regulations. These provide that there must be at least twenty-five pupils of a high school grade in order to establish the school; it can only be established by vote of the district and upon application to the state superintendent and after inspection and approval by that official; and it must maintain the state course of study. It is provided that not more than two free high schools may be established in one town, village, or city. Two or more towns may unite for the purpose of securing this advantage. The purpose of the original law giving state aid to high schools in Wisconsin was to encourage the development of township or rural high schools. But as few took advantage of it, the second class of high school districts in towns and villages received the major portion of the appropriation.
Approved schools are entitled to receive from the general fund of the state, annually, one-half the amount actually ex
pended for instruction therein. No school may receive more than $500. The total amount appropriated is $100,000 annually. If this is insufficient to pay the full amount to all they each receive a proportionate amount. Large schools, of course, never receive one-half of the total sum paid for instruction, but some of the smaller ones do.
The course of study laid down by the state superintendent must be followed, or if deviations are made, such changes must be clearly approved by him. They are at all times subject to inspection and a state inspector is employed for the purpose. All free high schools must maintain one course termed the "English Course"; that is, a course without foreign languages. Most free high schools provide foreign languages, but they are not compulsory. In addition, “ each free high school shall offer at least a twelve weeks' course of instruction each year in the theory and art of teaching; in the organization, management, and course of study of ungraded schools; and in the duties of citizens in the organization and administration of local school systems. Such a course of instruction shall be open to all students," and a satisfactory standing must be secured by students who desire to have their high school diplomas countersigned by county superintendents, after one year's teaching upon a first-grade certificate, for validation as a five-year state certificate.
All free high schools in Wisconsin are obliged to admit properly qualified pupils from other districts, not possessing a free high school, provided the facilities of the school will warrant it.
A regulation of vastly more importance than that pertaining to courses of study, however, is that which requires the school to be taught by teachers of superior qualifications. Every teacher must be a graduate of some university, college, or normal school; hold a state certificate (the examination for which is very rigid), or pass an examination upon the branches taught. These last two forms of licenses can only be gained after a certain amount of experience in teaching. The principal of a four-year course high school must possess a life certificate or its equivalent. The diploma from the elementary
courses of the normal schools or the five-year state certificate will not qualify their holder to assume such a responsible position as the principalship of a better class high school. All teachers in the free high schools must be similarly certified.
Wisconsin has recently taken another important step in providing a bonus for the graded schools in order to induce them to raise their standards and increase their efficiency. In 1901 a law was enacted apportioning $300 to graded schools of the first class and $100 to graded schools of the second class. A first-class school is required to maintain three or more departments and a second-class school must have two departments. In each case school must be in session nine months each year and the average daily attendance must be at least fifteen in each department. The school buildings and all property must be in approved condition. Ample equipment, including globes, maps, blackboards, library, and other essentials for the proper work of the school, must be provided by the district. The law gives abundant evidence of being drafted by an expert in school matters instead of by the average legislator entirely lacking in pedagogical training. The law is, in fact, one of the many splendid monuments to the wisdom and foresight of Dr. L. D. Harvey, then state superintendent of public instruction. During his four years in the office of state superintendent some of the most important school legislation that ever was placed on the statute books of any state was enacted. Special importance is to be attached to the provision requiring that every principal of a state graded school of the first class be the holder of some form of state certificate. The principal of a school of the second class must possess a state certificate or a first-grade county certificate. This last form implies experience; the former, extended training. Not more than one assistant may possess so low a grade of certificate as a third grade, and this only when accompanied by evidence of one year's experience. Only one may have a second-grade certificate. All others must have a first-grade county certificate or a state certificate. This plan reasonably assures at least a modicum of scholarship and professional