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tion, from the hereditary enemy of improvement, and the mitred patron of abuse, down to the meanest peculator in the land, may learn that the time is gone by when the poor can be robbed with impunity.”
[The "monuments of genuine glory” are the school houses raised by a free people. These humble but mighty institutions, scattered all over our soil, are the fairest ornaments of the land. They are the people's colleges, and the temples of freedom. Within their walls, on this day, are educating four millions of sovereigns, each one to be a citizen king. Our common schools are the
sun of the people's mind, daily scattering light and warmth over the nation. They should be the idols of a free people, and around them all should gather to honor and elevate, for they are the sources and guardians of freedom. On them the people rely for strength and wisdom to
overcome “Ignorance, that worst enemy of the human race.” And whoever builds a school house, or teaches a good school, is erecting a monument to Freedom—that man should the people delight to honor.—Ed.]
PERNICIOUS INFLUENCE OF ANNUAL PARLIA
MENTARY GRANTS ON PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
“Should Parliament show a disposition to assist those societies formed for the education of the poor, by annual grants, no one can doubt that the zeal of the collectors and the exertions of the contributors would be immediately relaxed; nor can it reasonably be questioned that the funds so bestowed would be supplied less economically. We might expect soon to see these incomes raised for the education of the poor
in less considerable towns, amounting to £100 or £200 a year, in larger cities to £1,200, £1,500, and even £2,000, dwindle to nothing, while others, only in embryo, might perish; and many beneficial schemes would assuredly never be performed at all, which the charity of richer classes, left to itself, neither controlled nor assisted, might speedily have conceived.
The line traced out by Parliament with regard to the populous districts, by all the evidence given to the committee, seems suffi
ciently plain. It should confine its assistance to the first cost of the establishments, and leave the yearly expenses to be defrayed in every case by the private patrons. The difficulty generally experienced in beginning a school, arises from the expenses of providing the school room and the master's house. places the inhabitants could raise so much a year to keep the thing going, provided it were once started; and undertakings are often thus abandoned from the difficulty of meeting this first and greatest expense.”
[This opinion of Lord Brougham is opposed to the requirements of our school laws, and equally so, we think, with great deference to this learned legislator, to the best interests of education.
The New York school system requires each school district to erect a school house and sustain a school four months each year before the inhabitants can be entitled to any portion of the school fund.
If the legislature should erect school houses, the people, in many instances, feeling little or no interest in that which had cost them nothing, and which they in person had not asked for, would not readily or with spirit organize and sustain a school. And we think that the means and feelings of the people of England do not so far differ from us as to sustain this opinion of the learned Lord.
Whenever individual or legislative aid is offered for the maintenance of a school, the inhabitants of the district should first be required to appropriate a certain sum, and afterwards double the amount they are to receive annually from the permanent fund.
Yet, we think it would be a wiser system still, which would establish a fund sufficient to appropriate to every child in the state between five and fifteen, one dollar annually, at the same time compelling the inhabitants of the district to raise, by direct tax on property, an additional amount sufficient to maintain a good school the entire year. The school would then be free and open to all, and not cursed with