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state superintendent to visit the various parts of the state; to coöperate with county superintendents and other local educational authorities in developing uniformly higher standards; to collect statistics and other data; to devise plans for the improvement of the educational system; and to make reports to the governor and legislature upon which new legislation may be based. Quite commonly, state normal schools and institutions for the training of teachers are placed under the supervision of the state superintendent, but the state universities stand on a more independent basis.

The powers of central boards of education vary greatly from state to state. In some instances they are merely charged with the guardianship of the school funds and school lands; in others, their functions are merely to advise the state superintendent or commissioner on educational policies; in others, they are given a large authority over the whole system of the state, including the power to make rules and regulations affecting the curriculum, books, methods of instruction, examinations and appointment of teachers.

The education department of New York may be taken as only fairly typical. It consists of a board of regents (who constitute the governing body of that famous institution "the University of the State of New York") and a commissioner of education. The board of regents, which, in a way, takes the place of the board of education in other states, consists of twelve members elected by the legislature, and it has the power to grant charters to educational institutions, govern the issuance of degrees, investigate all institutions of learning, establish teaching courses, supervise entrance requirements to professions, direct the educational policies (including those relating to secondary and elementary schools), confer honorary degrees and suitable certificates, diplomas, and degrees on persons who meet satisfactory examination requirements, direct state libraries, museums, and similar institutions; and, in the language of the educational law, "coöperate with other agencies in bringing within the reach of the people at large increased educational opportunities and facilities, by stimulating interest, recommending methods, designating suitable teachers and lecturers, lending necessary books and apparatus, conducting examinations and granting credentials, and otherwise aiding such work." The board of

regents by establishing a state system of examinations has done a great deal to standardize and raise the level of educational work throughout the commonwealth.

The commissioner of education, who is the chief executive officer of the state educational department, is appointed by the board of regents. He supervises generally the enforcement of the education law and the policies adopted by the board of regents. He enjoys high judicial powers because he has the final and conclusive right of determining appeals carried to him from the action of local school officers and boards; he supervises and directs the school commissioners in all parts of the state; he has special control over state normal schools and training schools for teachers. In short, he is the general advisory and supervisory officer of the state system of education.

For the most part the central administration of each state limits its activities to general matters, but the legislature of the commonwealth enacts the laws upon which the whole public system must rest; and, under the terms of the constitution, provides the way in which funds for educational purposes may be raised and apportioned among the various localities. The state also looks after the establishment and maintenance of state universities and normal schools. In the East, where there are a number of colleges and universities older than the Republic itself, the state makes little or no provision for higher education except for the training of teachers. In some instances, however, private institutions, such as Cornell, Yale, and Harvard, are recognized by the state and aided, at least in the development of certain departments. In the East, therefore, college and university work is generally regarded as a peculiar field or private institutions, and it is held that the people should not be taxed to furnish higher education to the relatively few who can take advantage of it. On the other hand, in the West the state university is looked upon as the crowning institution of a great democratic educational system, and the western states are steadily working toward a system of free education beginning in the kindergarten and running through the graded and high schools and the colleges to the universities.

The central government of the state also controls by special and general acts the incorporation of colleges, seminaries, and institutions of higher education. It is from the state that institutions of learning secure the power to grant degrees.1

The actual administration of education, however, is, for the

1 Total expenses for education in typical states in 1902:

Alabama (typical of the South):



Cities with a population of over 25,000 in 1900.

8,000 to 25,000 in 1900.

Other minor civil divisions.





Cities with a population of over 25,000.

8,000 to 25,000..

Other minor civil divisions.

Total. Massachusetts: State.. Counties.

Cities with a population of over 25,000..

8,000 to 25,000..

Other minor civil divisions.


Nevada (smallest expenditure):



Other minor civil divisions.


New York (largest expenditure):



Cities with a population of over 25,000.

8,000 to 25,000..

Other minor civil divisions.

$1,310,122 1,108,256





















$ 5,435,787







Wealth, Debt, and Taxation (Special Reports of the Census Office, 1907), pp. 982-989.

most part, regarded as a local matter and is vested in county,
city, township, and other local authorities. Outside of New
England we usually find a county superintendent or a county
board of education, or both, standing in somewhat the same
relation to the county schools in which the state superintendent
or board does to the whole system of the commonwealth.1

Provision is generally made by law for the division of the county'
into school districts, but usually township lines are not crossed
in the formation of these districts. In fact, the township is
often the lowest administrative division of the state educational
system and the administration of educational matters in the
township or town is left to the t ustee or to some special authorities
locally elected. Sometimes, however, there is a board of trustees,
and sometimes a single officer, in every school district. The
administration of education in cities is, as we have seen, vested
in a board, sometimes appointed, but quite generally elected
by the voters.3

Large experiments have also been made in extending the advantages of education beyond the schools and universities to the broad masses of the people by the establishment of public libraries, travelling libraries, and extension systems. More than two-thirds of the states, including New York, Michigan,

Wisconsin, Indiana, and Minnesota, have endeavored to carry

education beyond the limits of the schoolroom through travelling())

libraries. Indiana, for example, has provided for the establish-
ment of such libraries, and the authorities in charge have pre-
pared small boxes containing books on special subjects and also
books of a general character. These libraries are circulated
throughout the state through local associations at a nominal
cost, and in 1907 the public library commission of that state.
reported that there were then in circulation nearly two hundred
travelling libraries containing about six thousand books and that
there were some three hundred local library associations scattered
throughout the state.

1 In New England the local school system is generally in the hands of school committees or supervisors elected in the several towns.

2 Townships are frequently divided into school districts with a special authority in each.

3 Above, p. 624.

Legislation Relative to Morals

In the United States, notwithstanding our strong individualism, the state interferes with what is commonly regarded as individual liberty perhaps as much as any country in the world. It is a common practice to prohibit all labor on Sunday except works of necessity and charity and also to forbid all public sports, exercises, and shows, and all noises disturbing the public peace on Sunday. Gambling, pool selling, lotteries, and betting on races are generally forbidden. A number of states have attempted to limit the manufacture and sale of cigarettes

for example, Indiana has made it unlawful.

The manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors are placed under strict supervision and in a number of cases entirely prohibited. About half a century ago, a wave of temperance swept over the northern states, and Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, Delaware, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, and Rhode Island adopted prohibition by legislative act.' When the wave subsided, prohibition was given up in a majority of these states in favor of the system of high license.

The opening of the twentieth century, however, saw a great revival of temperance enthusiasm, especially in the West and South; and during the last decade Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, and North Dakota have adopted state-wide prohibition. During the same period a large number of states, including Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, and Washington, have passed strict local option laws allowing certain local divisions to abolish the sale of liquor by popular vote or by a petition.


Similar laws have long been in force pretty generally throughout the Union, and through the persistent efforts of the temperance forces, state after state has been going "dry" by the gradual process afforded by local option. In 1909 it was estimated that two-thirds of the territory and almost one-half of the people of the United States were under prohibition laws. About two-thirds of the people of Indiana in 1909 resided in

In a few instances the prohibition law was wholly invalidated by the


2 Maine (1854) and Kansas (1880) were already "dry."

Sometimes counties, but more often townships, villages, and cities.

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