History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 130
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BISTORY OP TEXAS.
A' hoard of school collmnissioners, as an executive
body, and under their supervision
many schools were organized and conducted.
In 1850 there were 349 public schools, with
360 teachers and 7,746 pupils. By 1860
there were 1,218 schools, with a corresponding
increase of teachers and pupils. But
even yet the schools were not entirely supported
by public tax. Considering the many
political revulsions, Indian depredations, etc.,
to which the State of Texas has been subject,
it is remarkable to observe the advance she
has made in education and the refinements
of modern civilized life. The last civil war
was, of course, the greatest interruption to
her progress in all directions. Under the
constitution of 1866, all funds, lands and
other property previously set apart for the
support of the free-school system were rededicated
as a perpetual fund. It furthermore
devoted to that fund all the alternate
sections of land reserved out of grants to
railroad companies and other corporations,
together with one-half of the proceeds of all
future sales of public lands. The legislature
was deprived of the power to loan any portion
of the school fund, and required to invest
the specie principal in United States
bonds, or such bonds as the State might
guarantee; and it was authorized to levy a
tax for educational purposes, special provision
being nmde that all sums arising from taxes
collected from Africans, or persons of African
descent, should be exclusively appropriated
to the maintenance of a system of public
schools for the black race. Provision for the
university was renewed; a superintendent of
public instruction was directed to be appointed
by the governor, who, with himself
and comptroller, should constitute board of
education and have the general management
of the perpetual fund and common schools.
The constitution of 1868 did not materially
alter these provisions, except in one marked
particular, namely, the significant omission
of the provision appropriating the taxes paid
by colored persons for the support of schools
for their children. The schools were made
free to all. The article in the constitution
reads: "It shall be the duty of the legislature
of this State to make suitable provisions
for the support and maintenance of a system
of public free schools, for the gratuitous instruiction
of all the inhabitants of this State
between the ages of six and eighteen.."
Since the adoption of the constitution of
1868, improvements have been constantly
made, either by constitutional provision or
legislation, until now, when the State has as
good a school system as any in the Union.
Under the topic of public education are
1. The Common-School System.
2. The Normal Schools.
3. The University of Texas.
The Common-School System embraces:
1. Rural Schools.
2. Independent School Districts (cities and
The Rural Schools are organized in two
The districts are formed by the commissioners'
courts, have geographical boundaries,
and may vote a levy of local school tax not
exceeding two mills. One hundred and thirty
counties are thus districted, and about three
per cent. of the districts levy local taxes.
The average school term for the year 1890-'91
was 5.25 months in the districts; the average
salary paid teachers was $228.05, and 90 per
cent. of the children within scholastic age were
enrolled in school some time during the year.
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/135/?rotate=270: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .