The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 46
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
in monthly installments. The ordinance went on to prescribe
the methods of instruction, specifying even such details as the
amount of time to be devoted daily to review."2
The school thus established existed until 1834, but despite its
high-minded aims, it did not function too satisfactorily. Finan-
cial stringency caused the teacher's salary to be reduced to twen-
ty-five pesos per month. At one time in 1830, it dropped to six
pesos a month, a sum which the municipality admitted was in-
sufficient to attract the desired type of teacher.21 School attend-.
ance dropped from 150 in 1828 to 6o in 1833 despite the fact
that there was an actual increase in the number of children of
school age."-' Moreover, even this school attendance was nominal
rather than actual since the visiting committees of the ayunta-
miento spoke regretfully of the small number in attendance as
contrasted to the numerous urchins running loose in the streets.
In addition to his other duties, the teacher was expected to
assist in collecting the unpaid (voluntary) contributions. But
neither gifts nor subscriptions were sufficient to cover school
expenses, small as they were. The school fund declined. Things
kept getting worse so that when Colonel Almonte visited the
town in 1834, he declared that the funds were "so reduced as to
render [the school's] maintenance . impossible."23 His con-
clusion was correct, for the school stopped functioning soon
Educational conditions in the other Mexican communities were
even worse. The town of Nacogdoches had been one of the
earliest Spanish settlements in Texas. In time, however, because
of the havoc wrought by various filibustering expeditions and
the town's proximity to the United States, the Mexican popu-
lation declined, and the town became flooded with Americans.
This movement became so marked that General Manuel de Mier
20Ordinance Establishing a Public Free Primary School, in Cox, "Educational
Efforts in San Fernando de Bexar," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Asso-
ciation, VI, 52-63. Original taken from the Bexar Archives and now missing. The
Ordinance was drawn up in 1826 but was not officially promulgated until 1828.
21Bexar Memorial, December, 1832, in Eby, Education in Texas: Sourse Ma-
terials, 81; Cox, "Educational Efforts in San Fernando de Bexar," Quarterly of the
Texas State Historical Association, VI, 41-43. Original in Nacogdoches Papers.
22School statistics for Bexar in Eby, Education in Texas: Source Materials, 83,
23Morphis, History of Texas, 54.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/64/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.