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REPORT OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION.

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ture, a system of registers and returns for towns, districts, and school teachers, with proper laws for insuring their use, all which we recommend to the favorable consideration of the legislature.

Education in the new settlements is especially brought under our consideration. The hardy pioneers, who are reclaiming our wilderness and making it rich to us, not only in material products, but in men on whom in future the state will so much depend, labor under difficulties with regard to education, which make them very properly an object of anxiety to the legislature. Situated so far from those portions of the state where academies, high schools, and colleges have been established by the former bounty of the state and of individuals, they find it impossible with their limited means to induce competent teachers to go so far from their homes. Teachers' institutes are of great service in preparing those to teach who have already the requisite knowledge of the subjects to be taught, but here the preliminary process of preparing pupils for the institutes must be performed. Although we do not consider the establishment of academies in general as a matter for our consideration, we know at present of no better way to supply this want than by their aid. We therefore recommend that the state allow the establishment of two academies or high schools, in convenient places in the northern part of the state, and that they be aided by such grants from the state as have been made to academies in other sections, with the express provision that they be in part devoted to preparing teachers for the public schools.

In the new settlements, on lands owned in whole or in part by the state, it is but just that the state, as proprie

tor, should bear a part of the expense of educating the youth, by whom its lands are made every day more valuable. A memorial will be presented to the legislature, under the sanction of the board, on that subject, which we commend to their favorable consideration. It seems hardly just that any appropriation for this

purpose

should be made a charge on the income of the permanent school fund. It would come more properly from the revenue derived from the public lands. The report of the committee of the board, on education in the new settlements, is herewith transmitted, and will be found to contain in full, the statements and arguments on the two last named subjects.

The reports of the committees of the board, on the subjects of moral instruction and the general nature and requisites of the education and qualifications of teachers, not looking to any immediate legislation, but containing arguments and suggestions of great importance, are herewith transmitted.

The secretary of the board, being fully possessed of the views of the board on the subject of the legislation relating to public schools now required, has been requested to appear before the appropriate committees of the legislature, and may be considered as fully authorized to represent us in regard to those matters.

In concluding this first report, we cannot but congratulate the legislature and the people of this state, that a reform so much needed has at last been commenced, and must be allowed to express the earnest hope that a work, fraught with so much blessing to the community, may be neither defeated nor hindered by any want of zeal, discretion, or liberality in any persons who

have powers or duties in connection with it. All which is respectfully submitted.

STEPHEN EMERY,
HORACE PIPER,
PHILIP EASTMAN,
BENJAMIN RANDALL,
A. F. DRINKWATER,
AARON HAYDEN,
R. H. VOSE,
SAMUEL TAYLOR, JR.,
EBENEZER KNOWLTON,
DAVID WORCESTER,
OLIVER L. CURRIER,
SAMUEL ADLAM,

WILLIAM T. SAVAGE.
To the Governor of the State of Maine.

Augusta, May 14, 1847.

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FIRST REPORT

OP THE

SECRETARY OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION.

have powers or duties in connection with it. All which is respectfully submitted.

STEPHEN EMERY,
HORACE PIPER,
PHILIP EASTMAN,
BENJAMIN RANDALL,
A. F. DRINKWATER,
AARON HAYDEN,
R. H. VOSE,
SAMUEL TAYLOR, JR.,
EBENEZER KNOWLTON,
DAVID WORCESTER,
OLIVER L. CURRIER,
SAMUEL ADLAM,

WILLIAM T. SAVAGE.
To the Governor of the State of Maine.

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Augusta, May 14, 1847.

To the Board of Education :

GENTLEMEN :—The act of July 27, 1846, establishing the board of education, does not by its terms require a report from the secretary of the board ; but as the information I have collected, during the few months which have elapsed since I entered upon the discharge of the duties of my office, may have a tendency to aid

you in your deliberations, I herewith submit a report of my doings, and the result of my investigations.

In compliance with the requirements of the act referred to, I have availed myself of every opportunity which has presented, “to consult with superintending school committees, school agents, and other authorities and inhabitants of the state,” as well as with teachers, and the friends of popular education at home and abroad, for the purpose of ascertaining the full extent of the existing defects in the practical operation of our common school system, and the means best adapted to remedy those defects and promote its welfare and improvement. At the earliest practicable period after the meeting of the board for organization, I caused blank forms of inquiry, with an accompanying circular, to be issued, and transmitted

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to the school committees of the several towns and plantations throughout the state, for the purpose of ascertaining from those most immediately acquainted, and therefore best informed, the present condition of our public schools, the wants most deeply felt, the most prominent defects, and such other facts, as, in my opinion, might serve to promote the object for which this board was established. Taking into consideration the indifference upon the subject of common school education, which has hitherto prevailed, the brief period which elapsed between the issuing of the blanks and the time fixed for their return, and the further fact, that in furnishing the information asked for, committees were subjected to much inconvenience and labor, for which the law provides no compensation, you cannot fail to be gratified at learning, that returns have been received from two hundred and eleven towns and plantations, containing under the census of 1840, about one half the whole population of the state. The result of those inquiries, in a digested form, I herewith submit under their respective titles, with a few remarks applicable to each, which may not be considered wholly inappropriate.

School Districts. The whole number of school districts in the towns and plantations from which returns have been received, is two thousand two hundred and eighty-three. Regarding these as a fair specimen of the whole, there are in the state, not far from four thousand five hundred school districts. The number in the towns heard from, ranges from one to twenty-nine. The average number in the several counties is as follows, viz. :

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to the school committees of the several towns and plantations throughout the state, for the purpose of ascertaining from those most immediately acquainted, and therefore best informed, the present condition of our public schools, the wants most deeply felt, the most prominent defects, and such other facts, as, in my opinion, might serve to promote the object for which this board was established. Taking into consideration the indifference upon the subject of common school education, which has hitherto prevailed, the brief period which elapsed between the issuing of the blanks and the time fixed for their return, and the further fact, that in furnishing the information asked for, committees were subjected to much inconvenience and labor, for which the law provides no compensation, you cannot fail to be gratified at learning, that returns have been received from two hundred and eleren towns and plantations, containing under the census of 1840, about one half the whole population of the state. The result of those inquiries, in a digested form, 1 herewith submit under their respective titles, with a few remarks applicable to each, which may not be considered wholly inappropriate.

Counties.

Average No. in each town. York,

15 Cumberland,

14 Lincoln,

12 Hancock,

10 Washington,

6 Kennebec,

15 Oxford,

10 Somerset,

13 Penobscot,

9 Waldo,

12 Piscataquis,

8 Franklin,

13 Aroostook,

4 From a comparison of the returns, it is very apparent that population, valuation and extent of territory, furnish no data from which to form an estimate of the number of school districts in any town. While one town with a population of 1,400, contains twenty-seven districts, another, with a population of 8,600 contains but five. Of two towns, each containing about the same number of inhabitants, and of about the same territorial extent, one contains eight districts, and the other twenty-two. The whole number of schools in the towns heard from,

in which the number of scholars does not exceed 10, is

116 From 10 to 20,

322 20 to 30,

540 30 to 40,

514 40 to 50,

311 50 to 60,

166 60 to 70,

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School Districts. The whole number of school districts in the towns and plantations from which returns have been received, is two thousand two hundred and eighty-three. Regarding these as a fair specimen of the whole, there are in the state, not far from four thousand five hundred school districts. The number in the towns heard from, ranges from one to twenty-nine. The average number in the several counties is as follows, viz. :

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