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THE ACT SUPPLEMENTARY TO THE COMMON SCHOOL
ACT FOR UPPER CANADA Is destined, in our opinion, to exert a more powerful influence in extending and elevating the system of Elementary Education in Upper Canada, than any School Act, which has preceded it.
We will not here repeat the remarks which have been made on the several provisions of this Act in the Circulars accompanying this notice, addressed to County Councils, Local Superintendents, and Trustees of Common Schools. We will offer in this place a few general observations :
1. We observe, in the first place, that the Supplementary Act does not repeal or alter any of the general provisions of the School Act of 1850, but provides for wants which the progress of the school system has created, and remedies defects which observation and experience have detected. The one act does not supersede, but supplements the other. The latter act is the completion of the former. The two form a whole.
2. By the provisions of the latter act, combined with those of the former, the whole system of Elementary Instruction in Upper Canada is placed upon a broad, deep, and permanent foundation. An addition of one-sixth is made to the Legislative School Grant for Upper Canada; the completion and support of the Normal School are fully provided for; provision is made for the gratuitous circulation of the Journal of Education to all the School Sections and School Superintendents in Upper Canada; an annual sum is granted to commence a Provincial Museum and Library; the commencement of an annual fund is made for the support of superannuated or worn-out School Teachers,— a provision of the utmost importance towards establishing and elevating the noble profession of school teaching,
3. The office of School Trustee is invested with great power; and is, therefore, one of great respectability as well as of responsibility. The effect will soon be the selection of the best qualified men in each School Division to this sitally important and powerful office. Motives of economy will dictate this, no less than regard for the interests of the rising generation. Many ignorant men, feeling their own deficiencies, would do good as School Trustees, if they knew how. Educated Trustees can manage a school and its interests more economically, as well as more efficiently, than uneducated Trustees. A school must be kept open in each School Section six months in each year by a legally qualified Teacher, or the Trustees of such Section incur personally the forfeiture of the amount of the School Fund apportioned to such Section for the year. No opposition of individuals or of meetings can prevent Trustees from lerying and collecting, from time to time, such sum or sums as they may think necessary for school purposes; and the most formidable obstruction which can be erected in any School Section against the general attendance of pupils at School, is the voting of a rate-bill of one shilling and three pence a month, or about three pence half-penny a week, for each pupil,--a charge too small to prevent a full attendance of pupils at every well-taught and well-furnished school.
4. The several sections of the supplementary Act which remove doubts as to certain provisions of the School Act of 1850, which secure to each school division the advantage of all the taxable property situated within its limits, and the collection of all rates on the lands of absentees, which provide for proper descriptions of all school sections in each township, which relate to disturbances of schools and law-suits, &c. &c., cannot fail to be eminently promotive of the interests of schools.
8. The same remark may be made in regard to the 4th section of the Supplementary Act which relates to separate schools. It will be seen by this section. 1. That no separate school can be established or continued, otherwise than on the conditions and under the circumstances specified in the 19th section of the School Act of 1850. 2. That no part of any Municipal Assessment can be applied, and no Municipal Authority or officer can be employed to collect rates for the support of any separate school-a great restriction and improvement in the School Law, as it has hitherto existed on this subject. 3. That if any persons, whether Roman Catholic or Protestant, demand a sep
arate School in the circumstances under which it may be allowed, they must tax themselves for its support, and they must make returns of the sums they raise, and the children they teach-a regulation which has not heretofore been required, but which is rendered necessary in order to make out the School Assessment Roll, and to determine the School Collector's duties. 4. That separate Schools are subject to the same inspections and visits as are all Common Schools. 5. That all ground and semblance of a complaint of injustice is taken away from the supporters of a separate School, while they cannot any longer employ Municipal authority and Municipal assessments for sustaining their school. 6. That the supporters of separate Schools cannot interfere in the affairs of the Public Schools.)
If separate Schools have not hitherto endangered our School system, there is still less danger of their being able to do so under the Supple mentary Act, the provisions of which put it out of the power of any opposers to shake the foundations of that system, or get up a plausible pretext of agitation against it on the plea of religion or justice. The withdrawment of a few persons, here and there, from the support of the public schools, will scarcely be felt by the people at large, even in a pecuniary sense, while they will have the advantage of making the public schools more perfectly what they wish them to be in a religious and moral point of view.
Upon the whole we anticipate the happiest results from the operations of the Supplementary School Act, and recommend its attentive perusal by all friends of universal education, and its careful study by all councillors, superintendents, and trustees of schools in Upper Canada.
(AN ACT :
ANNO SEXTO-DECIMO, VICTORIÆ REGINE, CAPUT CLXXXV. II. AN ACT SUPPLEMENI ARY TO THE COMMON
SCHOOL ACT OF UPPER CANADA.
13 and 14 Victo
[Received Royal Asgent, 14th June, 1853.]
THEREAS it is expedient to make some furPreamble.
ther provision for the improvement of Common Schools in Upper Canada, and to modify and extend some of the provisions of the Act passed in the session held in the thirteenth
Avion and fourteenth years of Her Majesty's Reign, chapria, ch. 48, cited. tered forty-eight, and intituled, An Act for the better
establishment and maintenance of Common Title of
Schools in Upper Canada, hereinafter called “the Upper Canada School Act of 1850:” Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, constituted and assembled by virtue of and under the authority of an Act passed in the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and intituled, An Act to re-unite the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, and for the Government of Canada, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That the Board of School Trustees in each
City, Town and incorporated Village, shall, in addiatid Vil: tion to the powers with which they are now legally lage trustees ex• invested, possess and exercise, as far as they shall tended.
judge expedient, in regard to each such City, Town and incorporated Village, all the powers with which the Trustees of each School Seetion are or may be invested by law in regard to
of the each such School Section :* Provided always, that Chairman of the the Chairman of each such Board of School Trustees
shall be elected by the Trustees from their own number, and shall have a right to vote at all times, and in case of an equality of votes, the maxim præsumitur pro negante [it is decided in the negative] shall prevail.
II. And be it enacted, that in any Village or Wednesday in Town not divided into Wards in Upper Canada,
which shall become incorporated according to Law, * See Pamphlet Edition of the School Act of 1850, p. 23, sec. XXI.
Power of Cit
an Election of a Board of School Trustees for such Village or Town shall take place at the time specified in the second section of the said Upper Canada School Act of 1850; Pro
First Election to vided always, that the first Election of such Board be called by Mu. of School Trustees shall be called by the Returning nicipal Returning
Officer. Officer appointed to hold the first Municipal Election in such Village or Town, or in case of his neglecting Proviso- or, in
default, by two to do so for one month, by any two Freeholders in Freeholders. such Village or Town, on giving six days' notice in at least three public places in such Village or Town ; Provided, also, that all Elections of School Trustees Proviso-Former
Election conthat have taken place in Villages and Towns not firmed. divided into Wards, which have been incorporated since one thousand eight hundred and fifty, shall be and are bereby confirmed, and the acts of Boards of School Trustees so elected in such Villages and Towns, are hereby made as valid as if şuch Boards bad been elected for Villages and Towns incorporated before one thousand eight hundred and fifty ; Pro
School Act, 1850, vided likewise, that in the words “ two years ” error in Proviso which occur in the second proviso of the twenty- 2 of Sec. 25 cor
rected. fifth section of the said Act,* the word “ three” shall be substituted for the word “ two," and the said proviso shall be held to have and to have had effect as if the word “three" had been originally inserted therein instead of the word “ two ;" Provided, nevertheless, that the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth sections of the said Act shall be con- Proviso. strued to apply to all such Boards of School Trustees. III. And be it enacted, That in case an objection
made by person be made to the right of any person to vote at an 100 whose" vote Election of a School Trustee or Trustees in any City, objection is
made, Town, or Incorporated Village, or upon any other subject connected with School purposes, the Returning Officer presiding at such Election shall require the person whose right of voting is thus objected to, to make the following declaration: “I do declare and affirm that I have been rated
Form. " on the Assessment-Roll of this City (Town of “ Village, as the case may be) as a Freeholder (or Householder, a.
* See Pamphlet Edition of the School Act of 1850, p. 27, sec. XXV.
Declaration to be