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The number suitably furnished with convenient The number of male teachers in the winter seats, desks, &c. is reported at 3,282, and the schools visited by the several county superinten- | number not so furnished at 5,972. The number dents, was 5,170; that of female teachers 635;|| furnished with proper facilities for ventilation is of the former 170, and of the latter 175, were stated at 1,518; while the number not provided under 18 years of age; of the former 1,181, and with these essential requisites of health and com. of the latter 558, between the ages of 18 and 21; fort is 7,889. of the former 2,113, and of the latter 615, bell No subject connected with the interests of ele. tween the ages of 21 and 25; of the former 963,|| mentary instruction affords a source of such and of the latter 228, between the ages of twen-|| mortifying and humiliating reflections as that of ty-five and thirty; of the former 666, and of the condition of a large portion of the school the latter 137, over the age of 30 years.- houses, as presented in the above enumeration. or the former 2,004, and of the latter 451, had One-third only of the whole number visited, taught in the whole for a less period than one were found in good repair; another third in ordi. year, and of the former 3,036, and of the latter | nary and comfortable condition only in this re1,120, for a longer period than one year; of the spect-in other words, barely sufficient for the former 798, and of the latter 303, had taught the convenience and accommodation of the teachers same school for one year and upwards; of the and pupils; while the remainder, consisting of former 387, and of the latter 125, had taught the 3,319 were to all intents and purposes unfit for same school for two years and upwards; and of the reception of man or beast. the former 319, and of the latter 70 had taught But 544 out of 9,368 houses visited, contained the same school for three years.
more than one room; 7,313 were destitute of any In the summer schools thus visited, the number suitable play-ground; nearly six thousand were of male teachers was 1,024, and that of female unfurnished with convenient seats and desks; teachers 5,699. Of the former 34, and of the nearly eight thousand destitute of the proper fa. latter 1,066, were under 18 years of age; 147 of|cilities for ventilation; and upwards of six thou. former, and 2,168 of the latter, between the ages sand without a privy of any sort; while of the reof 18 and 21; 363 of the former, and 1,688 of mainder but about one thousand were provided the latter, between 21 and 25; 218 of the former, with privies containing different apartments for and 551 of the latter, between 25 and 30; and male and female pupils! And it is in these 261 of the former, and 205 of the latter, 30 years miserable abodes of accumulated dirt and filth, of age and upwards. Of the former 180, and of deprived of wholesome air, or exposed without the latter 2,513, had taught in the whole for a adequate protection to the assaults of the ele. less period than 1 year; and of the former 804,|| ments, with no facilities for necessary exercise and of the latter 3,150, for a longer period than or relaxation, no convenience for prosecuting one year of the former 252, and of the latter their studies; crowded together on benches not 911, had taught the same school for one year and admitting of a moment's rest in any position, and upwards; of the former 159, and of the latter debarred the possibility of yielding to the ordina. 359, for two years and upwards; and of the form ry calls of nature without violent inroads upon er 166, and of the latter 145, for three years. modesty and shame; that upwards of two hun.
The average monthly compensation of the male dred thousand children scattered over various teachers employed in the winter schools was parts of the State, are compelled to spend an ave. $14.28 exclusive of board; that of the female rage period of eight months during each year of teachers $7.00. In the summer schools, the male their pupilage! Here the first lessons of human teachers received, on an average, $15 per month, | life, the incipient principles of morality, and the and the female teachers $6.
rules of social intercourse are to be impressed The apparent reduction of the average com- | upon the plastic mind. The boy is here to re. pensation of teachers, from the prices heretofore ceive the model of his permanent character, and paid, may be accounted for by the increased va- || to imbibe the elements of his future career; and lue of money, and the corresponding diminution || here the instinctive delicacy of the young female, in the prices of labor and subsistence of all kinds. , one of the characteristic ornaments of the sex, is Taking these circumstances into consideration, II to be expanded into maturity by precept and exit will be found that there has in reality been no ample! Is it strange under such circumstances, falling off in the rates of compensation hereto- that an early and invincible repugnance to the fore allowed to male teachers, while those of acquisition of knowledge is imbibed by the youth. female teachers have perceptibly increased. ful mind; that the school house is regarded with Condition of School Houses.
unconcealed aversion and disgust, and that pa. The whole number of school houses visited rents who have any desire to preserve the health and inspected by the county superintendents du- and the morals of their children, exclude them ring the year was 9,368: of which 7,685 were from the district school and provide instruction of framed wood; 446 of brick; 523 of stone, and for them elsewhere? 707 of logs. Of these, 3,160 were found in good If legislation could reach and remedy the evil, repair; 2,870 in ordinary and comfortable repair, I the law-making power would be earnestly in. and 3,319 in bad repair, or totally unfit for schooil voked. But where the ordinary mandates of hu. purposes. The number furnished with morel manity, and the laws of parental feeling written than one room was 544, leaving 8,795 with one by the finger of Heaven on the human heart, are room only. The number furnished with suita- || obliterated or powerless, all statutory provi. ble play-grounds is 1,541; the number not soll sions would be idle and vain. In some instances furnished 7,313. The number furnished with a during the past year, comfortable school houses single privy is, 1,810; those with privies con- have been erected to supply the place of misera. taining separate apartments for male and female ble and dilapidated tenements which for years pupils 1,012; while the number of those not had been a disgrace to the inhabitants. Perhaps furnished with any privy whatever, is 6,423.- the contagion of such worthy examples may
spread; and that which seems to have been be- || What ideas of the good sense and intelligence yond the influence of the ordinary impulses of|of the past, will be entertained by the instructed humanity, may be accomplished by the power of men of future times, to whom will be bequeath. example or the dread of shame.
ed the legislative patrimony of this State—who The expense of constructing and maintaining will inherit, in fee simple, an enormous debt and convenient buildings, and all other proper appli-lla voluminous inventory of unfinished works, ances for the education of the young, is a mere forsaken by God and man, the yawning Golgo. trifle when contrasted with the beneficial results tha of wasted human toil-and who, instead of which inevitably follow. Of all the expenditures a general fund, and a replenished treasury, will which are calculated to subserve the wants or receive the negative blessing of an "exhausted gratify the caprices of man, there are none which I receiver?” That combination of interests which confer such important and durable blessings as for years could have seduced a whole community those which are applied to the cultivation and into such gross fatuity, will probably be an enig. expansion of the moral and intellectual powers. Ima to the future historian. The signal success It is by such cultivation that human happiness is which has been achieved and maintained for graduated, and that from the most debased of thella long period over the human understanding, by savage tribes, nation rises above nation in the the unblushing repetition of false statements, scale of prosperity and civilization. The penu-Il fraudulent estimates, treacherous promises, and riousness which has been manifested on this sub hollow and interested pretences, will astonish ject, and the reckless profligacy exhibited on every intelligent man, woman and child of future others, is strongly characteristic of the past. In days. Nor would their wonder be diminished future times, when the light of science shall be by a disclosure of existing efforts in the same more widely diffused, and when the education of|direction, moving in a subdued under current, the young shall claim and receive the considera with the evident design of artsully obviating tion it deserves, a retrospection of the records of every impediment to the onward course of the past will exhibit preceding generations in no|| Juggernaut of debt. enviable point of view.
Those who come after us, and who shall In 1805, thirty-nine years ago, the basis of the make themselves acquainted with the facts and School Fund was laid; and now, after the lapse | records of the present and the past, will inquire of almost forty years, the aggregation of everyll with surprise and indignation, how it was posdollar which has been consecrated to the availa-sible that such things could have been. Look. ble capital of this fund, gives the amount of onlying at the avails of nearly half a century, in the $1,975,093.15. With a population of two and a slow and parsimonious accumulation of the half millions, the entire avails of the appropria. | school fund, and at the wanton profligacy of a tions of forty years, destined to the holy purpose few years of the same period, in the entire of youthful progress and human improvement waste of countless millions of the public wealth, for all time to come, is less than seventy-five and the aggregation of an enormous debt; and cents to each individual in the State. Nor has contemplating the wretched accommodations and this extraordinary parsimony been caused by any reckless indifference for youthful instruction, legislative restraints or constitutional inability. I which to a great extent contemporaneously preThe will of a bare majority might at any time || vailed throughout the State, they will find it dif. have augmented this fund. But the will of le ficult, if not impossible, to reconcile such extra. gislation has been frequently signalized in a di- (ordinary facts with the ordinary laws of human rection exactly opposite. În a much shorter || nature. “Did the men of those days," they
iod than it has required to collect the School | will ask, "omit to furnish proper accommodaFond, more than ten times as much has been ut-Il tions for the advancement of their children in terly wasted in the reckless career of miscalled the rudiments of indispensable knowledge, " internal improvement.” Without estimating | while at the same time, they quietly looked on, the vast sums which have been applied, and || from year to year, and witnessed with stolid inmust yet for a long period continue to be applied difference, the ruinous and reckless career of leto the payment of principal and interest, thegislation ? Did they neglect to provide for their amount invested as capital alone in this profii. sons and daughters, in their helpless and tender gate crusade, is $34,400,729.26; and the State age, comfortable buildings, competent instruchas been“ improved ” into a standing debt, now | tors, necessary books, useful apparatus, and all producing an exhausting tax upon its land and those other aids which are requisite to the right labor, of about twenty-eight millions of dollars; Il development of the youthful mind, and, at the and which debt, before it is finally extinguished, same time, allow their rulers to lavish not only will probably draw from the tax-payers, in prin- | all the disposable resources of the State, but to cipal and interest, forty or fifty millions of dollars. I crucify its credit and put it to open shame, in a
The interest of one-half of the money which mad career of wild and hopeless profusion ? Did has been thus hopelessly sacrificed, would, of it- l they grudge to their own flesh and blood, a mi. self, be sufficient to educate every child in the serable pittance for the necessaries of mental State for all time to come. In a single instanceLife, whilst they allowed their rulers to scatter legislation has thrown a much larger amount millions to feed the hungry rapacity of rotten than the whole School Fund into the luxurious || corporations, and to subserve the pecuniary and lap of a rotten and meretricious corporation. I political aspirations of unprincipled demagogues? This bonus of three millions bestowed upon cor. Did they, with miserly gripe, withhold the in. raption by felonious legislation, was peddled out considerable funds necessary to instruct the to brokers on little strips of paper, upon which young, and thus to promote virtue and intellithe fiat of law had assumed to stamp the credit gence, and to accelerate the progress and elevi. of the people of the State; the rederaption of late the character of the human race, whilst they which credit is yet to be effected by the sweating permitted themselves to be grievously taxed for process of annual taxation,
"the parpose of digging the graves of productive
industry, to support pauper canals, and to be. | Transferred from the General stow immense gratuities upon hackneyed fraud,
Fund, .. .................. 300 00 and countless millions upon impudent corrup
Moneys received into the Treasury, viz. tion ?"
|| Principal of bonds for lands, 825, 706 19 If those of the present and the past sbould be do do. loans,. 41,990 83 summoned from their graves into judgment be.
do. loan of 1792, ......
do do. fore the future, what response could they make First payments on sales of
1809,..... 2,0 to questions like these? The six hundred thou- lands, ...................... 9,776 99 sand children of the State, now rapidly approach- Redempiion of lands, ....... 156 97 ing maturity, will soon occupy the places of
82,868 97 their forefathers. And if with no more virtue and
8116.176 61 knowledge than their predecessors, the destinies of the future are committed to their guidance,
Diminution of the Fund. the demoralizing scenes of the past may be re. |
Ronds for lands, viz: enacted ; and the combined influences of paper | the Treasury,.............. 826,706 19
|| Principal of bonds paid into money inflations and profligate“ Internal Im- | Reversion by sales of lands unprovement" again roll their full tide of corrup der foreclosure of mortg'es, tion over the State. The practice of fraud, theft. ll by the Altorney.General,... 20,866 60 embezzlement and robbery, whose almost daily' | Bonds for loans, viz:
$46,678 70 and nightly occurrence blackens the annals of Principalof bonds paid into the Treasury, 41,990 88 the present period, is but the miniature epitome Loan of 1792: of past legislation. Destitute of the law-mak. Principal paid into the Treasury,........ 2,730 90
Loan of 1608 : ing power, by which the property of millions is Principal paid into the Treasury,....... 2,002 00 compendiously plundered, the vagrant, nocturnal Money paid out of the Treasury, viz: culprits are reduced to a miserable retail busi. Surplus moneys on resale of ness, and forced either to abandon their calling,
lands, refunded, ............ $816 72 or to levy contributions upon single individuals. I
by i Redemption of lands sold, &c.
refunded, .................. 74 69 That most of the crimes against property which Erroneous payments into the now disgrace society are the necessary results ofl Treasury, refunded,...... 141 82 "unclean legislation," and the consequence of
For bonds transferred from E. & C. Canal examples of profligacy set in high places, there Fund, ................................. 9,445 00 can be no reasonable doubt. The turbid stream For bonds transferred from General Fund, of black legislative precedents flows through all Amount transferred to revenue for inte
rest included in sundry bonds and mortthe departments of human society, down to the
gages taken by the Attorney-General and very lowest, with the accumulating velocity of a Surveyor-General, for resales of lands, 6,299 34 descending torrent. But thank God the prospect of the future is
$109,373 18 not wholly devoid of hope. The records of the
Revenue. past year clearly exhibit an awakening in many | Bal. of revenue in the Treaportions of the community, on the important | sury, on the 30th Sept. 1842, 72,101 70 subject of juvenile instruction. The majority of Amount received into the Treathe schools in the State are manifestly in the con
sury during the year ending
30th Sept. 1913, including the dition of palpable improvement. Instruction of
sum of $ 165,000 appi opriata better quality, and in greater quantities than ed from the income of the U. ever before, is now communicated to the young; || States Deposite Fund,...... 264,244 40 and it is, therefore, certain that the present sick
Amount transferred from the
capital for interest included ening vices and crímes will ultimately receive a
in sundry bonds taken by the salutary check; although the period of reforma Surveyor Generaland Aitortion may, perhaps, be protracted until most of i
ney-General,............... 5,298 34
Amount transferred from Ge. the existing adult actors on the theatre of life
neral Fund, for interest on shall have passed away.
money in the Treasury, beCOMMON SCHOOL FUND.
longing to the capital,..... 2,827 90
$344,472 2 Capital.
Amount paid out of the Treasury during The following statement shows the amount of the year ending 30th Sept. 1843, ........ 275,461 64 the capital of the fund and the increase and diminution of the same, during the year ending 30th
th || Balance of revenue in the Treasury on
and amounts paid on rate bills.
$2,084,466 33 The aggregate amount of public money receiv. Diminished as stated below, ............. 109,373 18 ed and expended in the several districts from Amount of the fund 30th Sept. 1843, ...... $1,976,093 16
which reports have been received, during the
year ending on the first day of January, 1843, To this fund also belongs 857,624 acres of
was $660,727.41, of which $565,793.76 were land, valued at,
9179,412 00 applied to the payment of teachers' wages, and
$94,933.65 to the purchase of suitable books for Increase of the Fund. Bonds for land3, viz:
the district libraries. The aggregate amount For sales of lands by the Sur
paid by the inhabitants of the several districts veyor-General, ............ $18,767 01
on rate bills, was $509,376.97, making in all the For sales of lands by the At.
sum of $1,075,170.73 applied to the payment of torney-General,
6,299 63 Transferred from the Canal
teachers' wages. Fuad,...................... 9,445 00
The whole amount of public money received
by the commissioners of common schools and by-word of repulsion and the district school town superintendents, during the year ending on synonymous with all that was vulgar, low, im. the first day of July last, from all sources, is re moral and degrading. The repeated and con. ported at $655,699.44, of which $552,772.79 curring testimony of individuals and public offi. were apportioned for the payment of teachers' cers, and the observation and experience of all wages, and $98,470.65 for the purchase of suit- who have had the means of knowing the condi. able books for the district libraries, maps, globes 1 tion of these schools, in the greater portion of and other scientific apparatus, under the provi- the districts of the State, will corroborate the sions of the act of 1843.
truth of the picture here reluctantly drawn. The amount of local funds in the possession. That there has not been a gradual and steady of the several towns and districts, derived from improvement in their condition, notwithstanding the avails of their gospel and school lots, unap ll the obstacles they have been compelled to enpropriated poor funds and other sources, is re. counter, it would be equally unjust and untrue ported at $17,425.83.
Il to assert: but under the disadvantages insepara. County and Town Superintendents. ble from an almost total absence of public or The sources of the general inefficiency which private supervision, that thorough and complete has hitherto characterized our common schools, Il elementary education, which it was the policy are undoubtedly to be found in the absence, until and design of our system of public instruction quite recently, of any effective supervision; into secure to every child of the State, has been their complete isolation from each other, and almost universally with held. from the community in general; in the indiffer But we may reasonably congratulate ourselves ence manifested by the great body of the people upon the accession of a new order of things, in to their interests and welfare; in the wanı of relation to the practical workings of our system. competent teachers; the want of suitable school Through the medium of an efficient county and houses, suitable text books and suitable modes town supervision, we have succeeded not only of government and discipline in the school-room;| in preparing the way for a corps of teachers in short, in the absence of any interest on the thoroughly competent to communicate physical, part of parents, and any enlightened knowledge intellectual and moral instruction — themselves of the science of education on the part of teach.enlightened and capable of enlightening their ers. Up to the year 1841, the only class of offi. || pupils—but also in demolishing the numerous cers whose special duty it was to visit and in l barriers which have hitherto prevented all interspect the schools, and provide a suitable body of communication between the several districts. teachers for their instruction, were the commis An extended feeling of interest in the condition sioners and inspectors of common schools. and progress of the school has been awakened;
In what manner these important and responsi- land in addition to the periodical inspection of the ble duties were discharged by them, has already county and town superintendents, the trustees been submitted to the Legislature, in previous || and inhabitants are now, in many portions of reports from this Department. Incompetent the State, beginning to visit the schools of their teachers were permitted to take charge of all districts: striving to ascertain their advancement: great majority of the schools, under the officialll to encourge the exertions of teachers and pupils. sanction of certificates of qualification, grantedlland to remove every obstacle resulting from frequently without any previous knowledge of their previous indifference. Incompetent teachtheir character or attainments; and the visita- ers are beginning to find the avenues to the com. tions required by law were seldom, and in a ma mon school closed against them; and the demand jority of instances, never made. Trustees of | on the part of the districts for a higher grade of districts contented themselves with discharging instructors, is creating a supply of enlightened the duties specifically imposed upon them by law;ll educators, adequate to the task of advancing the and after having contracted with a teacher ail youthful mind in its incipient efforts to acquire the lowest prices they could obtain, and made knowledge. The impetus thus communicated to the requisite arrangements for continuing the the schools of one town and county is speedily school for a length of time sufficient to enable diffused to those of others. Through frequent their district to secure its proportionate share of and periodical meetings of town and county as. public money, they rarely felt themselves called sociations of teachers and friends of education, upon to investigate the condition of the school | the improvements adopted in any one district are itself; and the inhabitants of districts conceived | made known to all; and the experience, observa. their duty discharged by sending their children, tions and suggestions of each county superinten. when convenient, to the school, and punctually | dent, annually communicated, through their re. paying their quota of the tax list or rate bill, || ports, to all. By these means the stream of when called upon for that purpose. No oppor. Il popular education, purified at its source and re. tunity was afforded for comparing the condition lieved from many of its former obstructions, is of the school with that of others, near or remote:Il dispensing its , invigorating waters over a very and each teacher, for the brief period embraced considerable portion of the State. in his contract with the district, without super The reports of several county superintendents vision, encouragement or advice, daily passed|| which are herewith transmitted, exhibit unequiv. through a tedious and monotonous routine of un ocal evidence of efficient exertions on their part, intelligible, and consequently uninteresting exer. Il in the performance of the responsible duties as. cises. After an interval of three or four months, signed them by law and by the instructions of this another teacher was employed, and the same | Department. To their efforts is to be attributed, process repeated, with such variations only | to a very great extent, the revolution in public as resulted from the substitution of one imprac. sentiment, by which the district school from beticable method of instruction for another. The ing the object of general aversion and reproach, profession of the teacher became, too often not begins to attract the attention and regard of all. without cause, disreputable the school house all To their enlightened labors for the elevation and advancement of these elementary institutions, act referred to, has generally been found, emi. we owe it in a great measure, that new and im- nently conducive to the interests of primary edu. proved modes of teaching, of government and cation. of discipline have succeeded in a very large pro “The abolition of the offices of commissioners portion of the districts, to those which have hith and inspectors, and the substitution of that of town erto prevailed; that a higher grade of qualifica superintendent,” says the county superintendent tions for teachers has been almost universally re- of Albany, "has been universally approved by the quired; that parents have been induced to visit people. There is no longer a division of respon. and take an interest in the schools; that private sibility, under which duties can be neglected with and select schools have been to a considerable impunity; on one man rests the immediate charge extent discountenanced, and the entire energies of the schools, and their condition honors or dis. of the inhabitants of districts concentrated on the graces him. Not only is greater vigor and cer. district school ; and that the importance, the ca- tainty in this manner given to the local adminis. pabilities and extended means of usefulnesstration, but the usefulness of the county super. of these nurseries of knowledge and virtue, are intendent is also greatly increased. By obvious beginning to be adequately appreciated in nearly and judicious arrangements, each can powerfully every section of the State. Collectively consid. co-operate with the other, combining together ered, these officers have well vindicated the con. the drills, inspections, registers, district examifidence reposed in them by the legislature and nations, and town celebrations into a system the people, and justified the anticipations of the which shall reach and remedy every evil." friends of education.
"The substitution of town superintendents In accordance with the recommendation of for commissioners and inspectors of common this Department, many of the county superinten. schools," says the Cortland county superinten. dents have, in addition to the statistical and gene. dent, "has, on the whole, resulted in a decided ral information comprised in their annual reports benefit to the schools, and in a more correct and for the present year, submitted their views on uniform administration of the laws. It could special topics which had been assigned them, not be expected that an entire uniformity would embracing the consideration of various subjects exist in the decisions or practices of these offi. connected with the science of elementary educa- cers, but the uniformity is greater than under the tion. These topics have been, in general, ably former system; and the official relations, as well discussed; and the results of their examination as the frequent official intercouse and co-opera. will be found to embody a mass of valuable and tion between them and a central officer of appel. interesting information in relation to many of the late jurisdiction, tends to prevent any material most important departments of mental culture. | discrepancies." I respectfully recommend that some adequate. “I am highly gratified," says the superintenprovision be made by the Legislature for the dent of Dutchess county,“ in being able to bear distribution of these valuable documents, togeth. testimony to the readiness and efficiency with er with the general reports of these officers, which these officers have, in general, discharged among the several school districts of the State. J.their duties; and I take this opportunity publicly Should it be thought advisable to place one copy to acknowledge my obligations for the efficient in each school district library, the expense of;aid received from them in the discharge of my such an appropriation would be inconsiderable duties, in furnishing me with all the necessary when compared with the benefits which could information relative to the schools in their renot fail to be derived from the general diffusion spective towns. The office of town superinten. of the valuable information embodied in these dent is one of great importance; and it is hoped reports.
that the selection of these officers will be made The provisions of the act of the last session of || without reference to their partizan character. the Legislature, relative to common schools, | Let the question be 'Is he capable, is he honest, seem to have met with general acceptance on thell is he moral ?'” part of the people. So far as the means of as- || “It affords me much pleasure," says the coun. certaining public sentiment on this head havety superintendent of Franklin, " in being able to been possessed by the department, through its say that the constituted authorities exemplified extended correspondence with the officers and in- much wisdom in their selection of these officers; habitants of the school districts, and through the more it is to be feared, than will the people hereannual reports of the several county superinten. || after, actuated by the bickerings of party spirit, dents, it may safely be alleged that the system of as they too frequently are in the election of town common schools as now organized, has received officers. The town superintendents have almost the almost universal approbation of those to invariably accompanied me in my peregrinations whom its immediate interest and administra- || through their respective towns, and a more effi. tion are committed. The great simplification ofcient, conscientious and co-operative set of offi. its details, by dispensing with the cumbrous and cers cannot be found." expensive machinery of commissioners and in. “It is a source of pleasure," says the county spectors, and committing the direct administra | superintendent of Essex, “ for me to be able to tion of the affairs of the several schools in each | speak of the zeal and spirit of co-operation town to one officer, selected in view of his pecu. which has been manifested by these officers in liar qualifications for the discharge of this duty, || the discharge of their duties since their appointand required to give security for the faithful ap- | ment. They seem to be conscious of the replication of the public funds entrusted to his sponsibilities devolved on them, and have ren. care, has commended it to the public favor; and dered essential service during the past season, in it is gratifying to be able to state that the tem- | contributing to perfect such arrangements as had porary selection of this class of officers, by the been projected to reforin crying evils in the iplocal authorities, under the 18th section of the ternal workings of the schools."