William Oscar Wilson.

History of public school education in Arkansas, 1900-1918 online

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of tho Litato.

(5) Act i:o. 190 amondod Soctions 10 and l^. of Aot.':)99

of tho x\cto of 1907, creatine county cuperintcndency,
so an to prescribe additional diitios and fix tho
salary of the county superintendent of Poinsett

(6) Act llo. 217 amended Act IIo, 3 21 of the Acta of
1909 in regard to niinor details in connection with
tho fixing of boundary lines of ochool districts. 2

(7) Act lie. 228 re-enacted Act Ho. 92 of the Act:3 of
1915, with siniply a change in the counties in \7hcih
the la\7 was to be effective — one county being omitted
from the first group and three added in the second

> group .

General Laws Enacted in 1917 • The r.onerol educational laws

enacted by the legislature at its session in 1917 wore as follows:

(1) Act no. 59 created the "Arkansas Illiteracy Com-

mlG:.iion'' to study the conditions of adult illiteracy
in the State and to riake recommendations for its

Page 172.

X' This Act applies only to Loo Coimty^ and would therefore bo
more properly classified as a special act.

1. The Smith-Lever .igri cultural Extension Act passed by Congress
and signed by tho President of the Jnited states on Iiay 8, 1914
appropriated the sum of ,.10,000.00 per year to be oxrpendod

by the land grant colleges of the Gtaton for doing extension
work in agriciilture toid hone econoiTiic . Tlie Act also provided
an aduitionnl sum for tho same purpose provided the States
each year made appropriations in sums eciuol to the extra ap-
propriations. In order to ta^ce advantage of this extra
appropriation, the General Assembly of Arkansas a4 its session
in 1915 made the above mentioned appropriation of v47»26o.OO.

2. Act IIo. 217 applied only to Faulkner, Logan, Dallas, Cleburne,
and v, 111 to counties.


(2) Act No. b'j, amendod Sections 10 and 14 of Act
No. 399 of tlio Acta of 1907 00 ao to prescribo
additional dtitioc, incroaso authority, fix
salary and linlt Gxponsoa of the coTmty aupor-
intcndont of schoolo of Monroe Cotmty.

(]5) Act ITo. 112 Gsto.hlishod a "Textbook Coranission"
to provide a iinifom system of toxtbooks for the
oomnon schools of the state.

(4) Act Ho. 118 provided for the maintenance of the
State Schoolo on a millafro basis as followo:

a. Oniv. of .'irkonsan, four-nintl^ of
one mill.

b. The State IToinal School, ono-ninth of
one raill.

o. Each of the four Stat' Agriciatural

Schooln, ono-ninth of one mill.
d. The Branch Ilomr.l (llegro) ono-ninth of

one mill .

(5) Act ITo. 140 amended Act lie. 112 of the Acts of
1917 Tjy naldng alight clianj^es in Sections 1]) and

(6) Act ITO. 144 amended Act ITo. 189 of the Acts of
1907 in regard to the duties and pov/ers of tlie
electors to bo exorcisod at the annual scliool

(7) Act Ilo. 160 amended Sections 2 and 4 of Actno.248
of the Acts of 1905 in regard to raorteaginc
school property and borrowing money for building

(8) Act No. 180 authorised the issuance of school
district bonds as ovidonoo of school district
indob;tFedneas and providod proper safeguards in
connection vxith the procedure.

(9) Act ITo. 181 providod for the accdptance of the
benefits of an Act passed by Congress entitled
"An Act to provide for the promotion of vocational

education; to provide for co-operation v;ith the
States in the promotion of such education in
agricnltiire and the trades and Indus trier.; to
provide for the cooperation with the States in
•Sie preparation of teachers of vocational subjects;
and to appropriate nonoy and rogulato its es;pcndi-
ttires," and pledged the State to observe and
comply with all the renulroments of such Act.

(lOj, Act I;o. 269 aznonded Sections 3 and 4 of Act
no . ;)04 of the Acts of 1909 so as to enlarge
the usefulness of the Arkansas History Com-
mission by increasing the soo-^o of Its \rork and
making provision for extra office force.


(11) Act ITo. 294 provldod oomindooiy Dcliool attontl-
anco bot\rnon certain af'oo, otlpTilatod n jioncilty
for non-attondarioo, and nutliori2cd achool boards
to j[*iiriilsli fToo toxtbookD jmdGr certain condi-

(12) Act Ho. 302 iillowod school diroctors to inouro
school buildinco in certain aseociations of
ftimorf! who riako mutual plcdc' to Innurc oach
other againot Iosg "by fir, tornadoes, oto .

(13) Act Ho, ^ib re-enacted Soctiono 2 and 3 0^ Act
ITo, 190 of tho Acts of 1915. 1

(14) Act Ho. 3bO oraondod Act Ho, 367 of the Acta of
1907 by pro vi dine that tho rogtilar county insti-
tute held aniTually in Juno could bn hold any time
botuoon J\mc 1st and October 1st, Joint county
institutes wore olloxroC iri case of counties with
less than fifteen toachors instead of eight as
before . 2

(15) Act IJo, 375 increased tho srJ.ary of the co;Tnty
su^orintondent of Jackson County from vl200 to
OloOO por annum.

(16) Act No. 430 appropriated vl02,8bO,00 for the bi-
ennial period from June 50, 1917, to June 30,
1919, to secure an equivalent amount as provided
by the Smlth-Iovcr Agricultural l^xfeension Act

of Congress, 3

(17) Act ITo, 453 appropriated v4000,00 'out of the funds
accrued from the fees for State and professional
examinations of toacherSj, in accordrjice with the
provisions of Section 75:>0 of Kirby's Digest, to

be used by tho State Superintendent for the following

a. To pay salaries ond ozpensos of competent
experienced instructors for the normals
and institutes to be held in tlio various
counties of the State .

b. To pay expenses of collecting school ex-
hibit v/ork fJrora tho rural, town and city
schools and for arranging some as an oKhiblt
in the office of State Superintendent of
Public Instruction.

c. To purchase suitable roference and pedacogical
books for tho library in tho office of Super-
intendent of Public Instruction.

d. To iiay tho necessary expenoon of conducting
examinations for State and professional
licenses in tho State. 1

(18) Act IIo. 457 appropriated 050,000.00 to oncomrage
and aid in teaching of olemontary agriculture,
home economics and manual training in rural and


vllln.cc! Iii';""^ cchoolo and in the tr'\ininf; of
toaoiiorG '.loi' nirril and clcmcntn,ry ocho )ln of
the states.

(19) Act No. 4(54 provided for a rural toaoliors'

certlfioato nnd a spociol certificate in Home
EconOToica to bo granted to students of the
Arkansas State normal .School upon the satis-
factory coraplotion of cnrtain proscribed
courses .

itO) Act no, 469 abolished the office of ooiinty
examiner in Scott Goimt:/ codA cu'ostitutcd
theroforo the office of co-mty Superinten-
dent with certain defined duties and a
fixed salary.

notes from page 175 •

1. See p. 17?- -17:;

2. This latter provision was made particiaai'ly for negro

3. See note 1 t5. 175

4. This act covers Act JTo . 208 of the Acts of 1913- 5?he
appropriation v^ao increased vi^CX) and the purpoccs of the
appropriation wore cnlarcod by the addition of those in-
cluded in subdi visions a. and b. in the outline above.

Hote for -^ar-o 17^^ • ^^ t -i „^ •

1. Tliis Act is practically the same as the ccneral law
providing for coimty ciiperintendonoy. Act lie. ^99 ^f
the Acts of 1907.

Chapter VII.


In rovlewinc tho past olghtoon yoara of oduoatlonal
history in ^xkansac, v;o find arron{? the nultitudo of rofrretnble con-
ditions many re!a.i"!onr! for encoiiraconiont . Orir various efforts at
improvoraent aiad *ovolopmont often were hut little raoro than failures
yet each successive endeavor, even though it failed of its purpose,
added to our esqoei'ienco and assisted us in our suboeciuent undor-
taJclngs . Gradually our resources liavc hoon increar^ed, noT7 lines of
TTorl: evolved, and the scope and useftilnoss of tho schools enlarged.
Out St."te Superintendents and educational leaders have maintained a
constant diagnosis of oiir school system in the light of other school
systems, frankly and openly pointed out our weaknesses to the gener-
al public, and urged such legislation and modifications as in their
judgment nould imp rove our educational facilities and give our

children equal advantages v?ith those oi' other States, nr. \'.'eeks says

that, xrhatever shortcomings may he apparent in our school conditions

and educational policies, "The people of Arkansas are not in

the hahit of claiming that their system is better than it is or that
it is better than that of other States; they have boldly and honest-
ly sought to know the true situation, regardless of their relative
rank; they have never comforted themselves with the flattering
unction that their system was already the best that could be devised
and therefore needed no improvement. On the other hand their
educational le:iders have called things by their -ferue iaaraes; they

1. T/eeks: Hist, of Pub. Ed. in Ark. p. 7^^.


Imvo rooogiiizod their sliortcomiiiGS, thoir bltmdoro, thoir fail-
uro3, their injuatic to thomaolvoa, and with atoadiucsc of purpose,
— BomotimeG escooodiiigly slow, it is true, but noiio the loss sure —
they have sought to onend the errors of earlier days and to lay
broad and deep the foundations of a school oyBtom that shall grow
and dovdlop with the increasing strength and Power of the state."

Various eduoational oonpalgna have boon carried on vTith
•Hie reoult that the people have oone to realii^e that public eduoa-
tion is a public utility, and that the dogroe of its officioncy is
directly proportional to tho support vj^iich it recoiveo. In 190t),
the people cast an overwhelming vote amending the Constitution so
as to raise tlie general Stato School i'es: from 2 nills to jj nille
and the optional local district taz from a maxinum of 5 mills to
a maslmun of 7 mills; in 191^ another araonitmBaxt increased the op-
tional local district tax to a maslmura of 12 mills. Legislative
appropriations for tho support and maintenance of tho State Educa-
tional Institutions in 1901 amounted to approximately 04-00,000.00;
while in 1917 it amounted to a little more than ^It^OO.OOO.OO.
liberal appropriations ha#e also been mode in the way of aiding
Ijarticular educational novcmonts. Administrative policies have
been improved and the worldLngs of tho school Gystomati25ed; much has
been accomplished In llio way of grading and standai^islng both the
elementary and secondary schools; and the scope of the work has
been extendod not only by tho introduction of now coiir-jo, but also
by the improvement of tho old.

Bore significant still is tho rapid tendency of the
Bchools to give up the traditional acadenlc and cultural courses


and adopt tho more utilitarian and practionl lincD of training,

i>uperintondent Cook in his firat bioniiial reports Bays "Indood, the

vory purposes and roc onsibilitioo of tlic soho )1 eyston havo "boon
greatly enlargocl in rocont yoarc. The accoptod essontiolo of educa-
tion liavo undorcone strllcinG chancos. No longer are tho public
schools looked upon as merely tho supply houses for stored hook
knowlodce, "but these schools are expected to train the youth for
citisenship and life work. Practical training, the application of
knowledge suited to the environment and to the individucl, a sys-
tem that VTill develop moral and physical, as well as intellectual,
manhood and womanhood is the ideal toward which Hie schools are

Especially, has this he on true in the case of the high
schools. Prior to 1911 » when tho high schools wore not supported
and regulated hy State legislation, the only outside f&ctor con-
trihuting to their supervision and regulation was found in the
college and University "entrance reciuirements" wliich wore fixed
almost -holly u on academic and cultural suhjocts. Aa a result fif
this influence, together with an absence Qf anything more tlian
vogue and indeflnlto educational policies on the part of tho local
comraanities, tho Mgh schools aspired only to reox;h tho standards
of ^entrance reoulroraonts . * i/ith the passage of the law providing

State aid to high schools and piitting then imdor the control of the

State Board of Ilducatlon, there has boon a marked change in the

high school curriculum to those studies characterized by practical

1. Report of Supt. of Pub. Ins. 1907-08, p. 6

2. State /dd has he on rope 'led but tho high scho^ils are still
under tlio control of tho State Board of Education.


values .

Among the iCTn-ovcmentn In our public ochool syetom trhioh
have "beon affectod "by direct loGialative enactment may bo montioncd
the introduction of elementary ajjjriculturo and horticulture Into
the public school course and the Geta1?lioJuacnt of the foiir acrlcid-
tural schools; the establishment of the Arkansas State llomal
Schools; the adoption of tho prlnoipleo of consolidation and county
super intondency; and the praotioal application of compulsory attend-
ance and anti-child lahor laws .

Very c'^oat improvcnent has he on ocooTiplished also through
the activities of such agencies as the Arltansar. state Teachers!
Association, tho Arkansas State Teachers' I^eadlng Circlo ond the
Pupils' Reading Circle, cluh women and School Improvoment Associa-
tions, and the State Board of Education, More iraportrmt oven than
tho work of theso agoncios has heon the -nork of our four special
supervisors in tlioir respoctivo lines of Secojjdary l.duoatijn, Rural
Schools, Special TTountain Schools, and Ilegro Schools.







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Online LibraryWilliam Oscar WilsonHistory of public school education in Arkansas, 1900-1918 → online text (page 14 of 14)