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THE EDUCATION LAW.
CHAPTER XXII OF THE GENERAL LAWS.
The education law is intended to embrace all general provi. sions relating to the subject of education, including the two great departments, namely: The university, and the department of public instruction, and also miscellaneous provisions relating to educational institutions which are directly or indirectly under the supervision of either or both of these departments. The whole law on this subject has been substantially rewritten and rearranged, and an effort has been made to make a scientifio classification of the subject. Many new provisions have been added, which seemed necessary to produce harmony in the scheme, and also to supply defects in former laws.
The subject of education in this state, from the colonial period, has been passing through a process of evolution. Little was done for education under the colonial system, except to provide temporarily for instruction in the grammar schools or other high schools. Public schools were not provided for all the people.
The university is the oldest educational institution, antedating by several years the establishment of common schools The common school law of 1795 was continued only a few years, and it was not until 1812 that a general educational system was ergtablished. Since then the subject has been developed and broadened and the plan much enlarged, and many lines of instruction have been added which were not within the purview of the orig. inal scheme. In 1894, the common schools and the university were put into the constitution, and it was made the duty of the legislature to provide schools for the education of all the children of the state.
The consolidated school law of 1894 was apparently not intended to be a revision of the statutes relating to education, but rather a compilation of existing laws. It contains many repetitions and provisions which can properly be omitted in a general law so classified and arranged as to reach all parts of the common school system. Besides, many subjects are included in the miscellaneous statutes which should be brought together into one general law. While the functions of the university and the department oi public instruction are in many respects quite distinct, they are nevertheless closely related as to many branches of the system. It is therefore thought that both departments should be brought together under one law, and the powers and duties of each clearly stated.
This chapter includes the subject of common schools and the several branches of the educational system under the generai supervision of the department of public instruction, including school districts, their formation, the duties and responsibilities of district officers, local taxation, text books, teachers' instruotion and qualifications, normal schools, compulsory education, Indian schools, instruction of the blind and of deaf mutes, libraries, apportionment and distribution of state funds for publi:3 schools, powers and jurisdiction of school commissioners and of the state superintendent, Cornell University, and the regents.