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certain securing of this great essential of good citizenship to
Furthermore it is noticeable that our State officials are no longer afraid to quote favorably European precedents and models in educational administration. For example, as early as 1872, State superintendent Bateman of Illinois said: “It has been proved that the intervention of the legislature, by means of compulsion, is necessary to perfect the American school system that such intervention is not unconstitutional or tyrannical; that the allegations as to the incompatibility of such laws with the nature and spirit of our political system are unfounded, as also are the apprehensions concerning the assumed harshness and severity of their enforcement; that the operation of such laws in many of the most enlightened States of Europe is a vindication of their wisdom and beneficence, affording an example that may be safely followed.”: Three years later, the State superintendent of California uttered the following pungent truth concerning this point: “There can be nothing un-American in adopting non-American means to eradicate non-American evils which refuse to yield to American means. And since the above comments were made, one finds in the various State reports very many references to the more effective centralized administration of European countries, and of Connecticut, in the line of compulsory education, as something desirable for other American States to copy. What is indeed wanted in America to make compulsory education thoroughly successful, is a strong administrative department at the head of the system in each State. Connecticut, one of the earliest and staunchest upholders of local selfgovernment, has taken the lead in asserting that, in this one realm at least, this time-honored and hoary principle must be supplemented by efficient State control; and while many 1 III. Sch. Rep., 1872, p. 187.
2 Cal. Sch. Rep., 1874-75, p. 35.
States still lag and none have come up to the standard set by Connecticut, a few are following close in her tracks, and the tendency is already quite strong in the direction of a wise centralisation of administration in this realm.
"It may be well to also note here that the State superintendent of New York is authorized “to employ such assistants as he may deem necessary” to enforce the compulsory attendance law of that State. Cf., Act 1894, sec. 10.
STATE REGULATION OF TEXT-BOOKS.
DURING the past twenty-five years a great many laws have been passed by the various States and Territories regulating the selection, adoption and supply of school text-books. 'A brief examination of these laws will, I think, prove interesting and profitable, as they reveal another strong tendency towards centralization in educational administration. examine these laws with reference to the following three subjects:
A. The various kinds of uniformity established.
(A) A very few of the States and Territories have no law's whatever on the subject of text-book uniformity. Many of the States have as yet only made district uniformity compulsory. In a few of these States, however, the State superintendent is authorized to recommend text-books for uniform adoption. Several States go one step further and make township uniformity compulsory. The next stage of centralization would naturally be county uniformity, and at least seven States have made this system compulsory.. Furthermore two other States have passed permissive county uniformity laws. New Jersey has a system which is a cross
Ark., Col., III., Ia., Kan., Mich., Neb., N. Y., N. D., S. D., O., Pa., Tenn., Wis.,. * Wisconsin and Arkansas. In the latter State the attorney general has held that district directors in adopting text-books are confined to the list prepared by the State superintendent.
3 Mass., Me., Ct., N. H., R: I. * Fla., Ga., Ky., Md., Miss., Vt., N. C. ola., Kan. 191]
between district and county uniformity. In this State district boards“ in connection with the county superintendent" prescribe text-books for the schools under their charge. In Tennessee, county superintendents recommend text-books " with a view to securing "county uniformity. At least sixteen States and Territories' have gone to the extreme of centralization in the direction of text-book uniformity by es, tablishing a system of compulsory State uniformity under the control of the central educational authorities. The Kentucky State board of education recommends lists of text
books from which county superintendents must select. The school law of Connecticut empowers the State board of education to prescribe text-books for the State, but the power has never been exercised. Several of the States which have not established a general system of State uniformity have prescribed a text-book in physiology and hygiene for use in all the schools of the respective States. Some of the above States impose the penalty of forfeiture of their share of the school fund upon all localities not complying with the above laws.
(B): The majority of the States have asserted the principle of State control over the local authorities by prescribing a period during which text-books cannot be changed. This period is three years in Arkansas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin; four years in California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana and Virginia; five years in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina, Vermont and Washington; six years in Indiana, Montana and Oregon. The Minnesota law of 1877 prescribed a period of 15 years;
t', Ariz., Cak, Del., Id., Ind., La., Mo., Vont., Nev., Or., S. C., "tah, Va., Wash., W.Va., Wy.
Sch. law, 1896, sec. 13.
the law of 1893 a period not less than 3 nor more than 5 years.
(C) Several systems of supplying text-books to pupils are prevalent in the various States, the most important of which are the following:
I. Individual purchase in an open market. This plan, which implies no State control whatever, is perhaps as yet the most common one. It is established in at least fifteen States.
II. Contract system. Under this system either the State or the local authorities, by means of contracts with the publishers, regulate or control the wholesale or retail price of text-books, or both. Such contracts are made by county authorities in five States;2 by State authorities in twelve States. The general practice under the State contract system is for publishers to make bids for furnishing all the schools of the State with one or more of the State series of text-books, and for the State board of education to decide which proposition it will accept. In Montana and West Virginia the prices of text-books are directly fixed by law; in Ohio by the so-called "School-book board.”
It is interesting to here allude to the complicated and highly centralized State contract system established by the Minnesota law of 1877. Although this law has now been repealed, it illustrates most admirably the fact that the principle of " local self-government” is sometimes cast completely to the winds and the most extreme centralization adopted in order to achieve some much desired end. Under this Minnesota law the State entered into a 15-year contract with Mr. D. D. Merrill to furnish a series of text-books for the
* Al., Ark., Col., Ct. (except in towns and districts having the free text-book system), Ga., III., Ky., Mich., N. J., N. Y., N. D., S. D., S. C., Tenn., Tex.
2 Kan., Md., Miss., N. C., Vt.