Alexander L. Peterman.

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_Road Commissioners_. - Each county is arranged into road districts in
order that the labor and expense may be divided as equally as possible
throughout the county. Three commissioners are appointed in every
district for a term of two years, and are excused only for providential
causes; but while serving they are exempt from jury, militia, and other
road duty.

All male residents of the State between the ages of sixteen and fifty
years are subject to work on the public roads, with the exception of
preachers, cripples, and employees of the Insane Asylum, and the like.
No person, however, is required to work for a longer time than fifteen
days in the year, or for a longer time than five days in succession.
The commissioners have the power to fine or imprison defaulters.
Counties may, however, adopt an alternative plan for working the roads:
in such counties a special tax is levied on property, the proceeds of
which are spent on the roads, and able-bodied men between eighteen and
fifty years of age are subject to road duty for not more than five days
each year, or they may pay a small commutation tax instead.

CORONER. - The principal duty of the coroner is to hold inquests, with a
jury composed of six electors, over the bodies of all persons who have
died suddenly and under suspicious circumstances. Upon the verdict of
the jury, the coroner may commit to prison, to await trial, any person
found guilty of homicide. The coroner is also _ex-officio_ sheriff
when the latter is disqualified or absent from the county.

_County Surveyor_. - The county surveyor makes surveys of county and
district lines, and such other surveys as are required by the

CITIES AND TOWNS. - Where the necessity demands it in very thickly
populated districts, and where the county government would be
inadequate for the requirements of the community, local governments are
established, which are termed _municipal corporations_.

Such corporations are chartered by the General Assembly, and the form
of government of each municipality is prescribed in the act creating
it. No distinction is drawn in Georgia between towns and cities.

The form of the municipal government conforms to a large extent to that
of the State government, the legislative power being delegated to a
council or board of aldermen, the executive to the mayor, and the
judicial to a recorder, or some one performing the duties usually given
to this officer.

The council is composed of the _mayor_ and a number of _councilmen_.
They are elected by the voters, usually for a term of one or two years.
The councilmen in some places are elected from various city wards; in
others they are elected by the town or city at large. In some cities
the _recorder_ is elected by the council, and in some he is elected by
the people. In some the mayor performs the duties of the recorder.

Under some charters, the city comptroller, tax collector, treasurer,
and city attorneys are elected by the voters, while the minor officers,
such as the city clerk, tax assessors, members of the board of health,
the board of education, and the board of police commissioners, are
elected by the council.

The revenue of a city is derived from a general tax on all real and
personal property, which must be uniform, and a license tax on all
occupations, which is varied with the occupation.

EDUCATION. - There is a thorough system of public schools for the
education of the children of the State, the expenses of which are
provided for by taxation or otherwise. The schools are free to all
children of the State, but separate schools are provided for white and
colored children. The State appropriates money directly to the support
of the public schools.

Authority may be granted to counties, school districts, or to
municipalities, upon the recommendation of the corporate authority, to
maintain schools by local taxation, levied in addition to the amount
appropriated by the State. But such a law takes effect in any county
district, or municipality, only if ratified by a two-thirds majority of
the citizens voting on the question.

The _State Superintendent of Schools_ is the executive head of the
school system of the State, and to him are submitted reports from the
county school superintendents. He prepares the questions for teachers'

The _State Board of Education_ is composed of the Governor, State
Superintendent of Schools, and four other persons who are appointed by
the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. At least three of these
appointees must be men of practical experience in teaching schools and
of high standing in educational work, having had at least three years'
practical experience in the schools of Georgia.

The board is authorized to receive bequests for education, and invest
the principal sums when the interest only is to be expended. The board
is an appellate and advisory body. The State Superintendent of Schools
is required to advise with the board for the better performance of his
duties, and appeals from his decisions lie to the board.

It is the duty of the State Board of Education to provide rules and
regulations for the supervision of all schools in the State; to provide
the course of study and select textbooks for all common and high
schools of the State receiving State aid; also to provide a system of
certification for the teachers of the public schools.

The schools of each county are under the control of a _County Board of
Education_. The grand jury of a county selects five citizens to serve
on the board for the term of four years. The county is divided by the
board into school districts, and a school is established in each
district which may have three trustees who act under the general
supervision of the County Board of Education.

The board employs teachers, rents property, buys school furniture, and
makes all arrangements necessary for the efficient operation of the

The _County School Superintendent_ is elected by the qualified voters
of each county for a term of four years. Under a recent act the term
of all these officials is uniform and expires January 1, 1917. He must
be a resident of the county in which he offers for election and be a
person of good moral character. In addition to the above there are
four tests laid down by law and the County School Superintendent must
qualify under at least one of these: -

1. Three years' experience in teaching, one year of which shall have
been in Georgia, and the possession of a first-grade license.


2. A diploma from a reputable college or normal school.


3. Five years' experience in actual school supervision.


4. An approved examination before the State Board of Education as to

It is his duty to examine on a day advertised for that purpose all
applicants for licenses to teach, and to grade such applicants
according to the instructions of the State Superintendent of Schools.
He is a medium between the State Superintendent of Schools and all
subordinate school officers, and acts as the agent of the County Board
of Education in purchasing school furniture, apparatus, and all
educational requisites.

Besides partly supporting the public schools, the State supports other
institutions for higher learning. These institutions, though situated
in different parts of the State, are collectively known as the
_University of Georgia_, which has its seat at Athens. The head of all
these institutions is styled the _Chancellor_, but each has its
President and separate board of trustees. The trustees are appointed
by the Governor for various terms.

The University of Georgia consists of the college at Athens and the
following branches: The Georgia Normal and Industrial College, State
Normal School, South Georgia State Normal School, State College of
Agriculture, North Georgia Agricultural College, Medical College,
Technological School, and Georgia State Industrial College for Colored

The educational system of Georgia is being constantly improved by
voluntary local taxation supplementing the State funds. Every child in
Georgia is entitled to receive a thorough education, suited to the
station in life to which he can reasonably aspire. This much should be
demanded. Nothing less should be accepted as sufficient. May the time
soon come when the people of Georgia will realize that money spent to
develop the minds and characters of their children is the best
investment to be made for them in time and eternity.

ELEEMOSYNARY INSTITUTIONS. - At the expense of the whole people, the
State of Georgia maintains the following eleemosynary institutions:
Georgia Academy for the Blind, Macon; Georgia School for the Deaf, Cave
Spring; the Soldiers' Home of Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia State
Sanitarium for the Insane, Milledgeville; Georgia State Tuberculosis
Sanitarium, Alto; and the Georgia Training School for Girls.


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Online LibraryAlexander L. PetermanElements of Civil Government → online text (page 16 of 16)