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Charles J. Daniel, W. F. Grasty, William A. Yancey, Henry W. Swann, Wesley Inge, John W. Lawson, and Coleman E. Hawkins.
H. H. MITCHELL,
J. J. WORLDS,
M. G. HOSKINS,
H. W. SWANN,
We certify that we know the persons (or most of them) whose names are signed to the foregoing statement, and know them to be responsible men and good citizens of Danville, Va.
JAMES Wood, Sergeant of Danvilie, Wm. P. GRAVES,
Mayor. I concur in the above. April 11th, 1885.
A. M. Wheeler,
I certify that the signatures of the above-named gentlemen, officials, are genuine, and that they are in every way competent to judge of what they speak. Our people are very much interested in this matter, and I hope that we may be so fortunate as to have the Normal here. Superintendents of Halifax, Campbell, Charlotte, Henry, Patrick, Pittsylvania and Franklin will assist me in the work.
H. C. SLAUGHTER,
Superintendent of Schools. Danville, April 11th, 1885.
Section 75 provides when and how the school census shall be taken, and its requirements must be strictly complied with. We are in constant receipt of communications asking when the census will be taken. The law provides that it shall be taken “during the month of June or July,” and it will not be taken at any other time either before or afterward. The law also declares that "it shall be the duty of the county superintendent to exercise special care in securing a prompt and accurate discharge of this duty by the district clerks. The duty of taking the census of the school population shall be discharged by no other person.” Thus it is seen that the duty cannot be performed by the commissioner of the revenue, or any deputy appointed by the clerk, but it must be done by the clerks of the respective boards of school trustees. We are asked when the blanks will be sent out. We answer, not before the last of May, and then to the superintendents, who will be required to deliver them to the clerks of the respective boards in their counties, and to take their receipts therefor. It is proper to state that the clerks reported to this office by competent authority will be the ones recognized. We hope those who are interested will read the law referred to, and that they will not write to this department asking any departure therefrom, as none can be made, and none will be attempted. If district clerks cannot perform this duty they must resign, and let others be appointed who can.
We believe law is defined to be "a rule of action prescribed by a superior, which an inferior is bound to obey.” If this definition be accepted as correct, then have some of our school officers reversed its meaning, and constituted themselves the superior of all law, and ignored all precedent. There can no longer be any excuse for ignorance of the school law on the part of any school officer; for every superintendent and trustee is furnished with a bound copy of the school law, which embraces every act that has been passed affecting the schools, except the ones passed by the last Extra Session; and these have been published in the Official Department of the JOURNAL, which is also furnished the officers named ; then why is it that some school officers are so persistent in violating the plainest pro. visions? It must be because they neglect to read the law, and are thus ignorant of its requirements. The only way to make the schools succeed is to enforce the law strictly, and then if there are any bad ones we will find them out, and can give some good reason for asking that they be repealed or amended. When school officers set themselves up as constructors of law, rather than enforcers of the laws that are real, they commit a grave blunder, and subject them selves to much unnecessary trouble.
We have actually had our attention lately called to a county in this State where people are teaching, or pretending to teach, public schools without even a certificate or contract, and that such schools are recognized as legal by the school officers. This is a vicious violation of law, and is allowed would soon disorganize and destroy the system. We regret to say that this is only one of many gross vio lations of the law that have lately come to our knowledge. We are required to see that the laws are properly enforced, and are determined to perform our full duty, and in every case that has been brought to our attention, after a careful examination of the charges, if the facts sustain them, we are bound to enforce the law, and, as far as our power extends, will exact the penalty.
General John Eaton.
Hon. J. L. M. Curry, the agent of the Peabody Education Fund, is making a noble effort to have General Eaton, the present efficient United States Commissioner of Education, retained. This action on his part deserves the hearty commendation of every true friend of public education ; it shows that he is in earnest in the great work of building up our educational interest, and that he recognizes in General Eaton a man who has done his full duty. Perhaps no man was ever called upon to fill a more important or delicate position than that now held by Commissioner Eaton. When he took charge of the Bureau of Education it consisted of nothing but a vague conception of its vast possibilities. He was clothed with no authority, either direct or remote, over any of the school systems then existing or to be created; he was hedged by prejudice of the strongest sort, and even the friends of the bureau were jealous of giving it what would seem to have been needed authority.
But the man proved to have been equal to the occasion, and with rare good judgment he avoided all conflicts with the existing authority, and soon had the cordial good will and hearty support of all school officers, and has gradually built up an enormous bureau of information on all school subjects, from the class room of the Kindergarten to the loftiest college. His reports are quoted as authority all over the land, and his circulars of information are relied upon by school officers.
We have sent out petitions to all of our superintendents, and are gratified to see that they are being signed by all classes of school officers and teachers without regard to politics. We hope that Dr. Curry, and those who are assisting him, may succeed. and that General Eaton will be retained; but, whether he is or not, he will have the satisfaction of knowing that he has done his full duty, and that in the labor performed and work accomplished he has left a monument that will long survive his earthly existence.
There will be seven vacancies at the Nashville College this year, and those who desire to compete for these scholarships are urged to file their applications at once, said application to be dictated and written by themselves, giving their name, age, occupation, the schools attended, and address, and must declare their intention to make teaching in the public schools of this State a profession; said application must be endorsed by their county or city superintendent as to mental and moral fitness of the candidate, both for student and teacher. No application will be entertained or filed unless it complies literally and strictly with these requirements. Upon the receipt of the application, if satisfactory, it will be filed, and the applicant notified in due time when and where the competitive examination will be held.
The examination will take place at the Summer Institutes, and will be written and oral, each applicant being required to pass a satisfactory examination in the following studies, viz: Spelling, Reading, Penmanship, Grammar and Analysis, Rhetoric, Geography, civil and physical, Arithmetic, Algebra, Bookkeeping, Physiology, United States History, Elements of Geology. The questions to be furnished by the President of the College. These scholarships are free to all persons from seventeen to thirty years of age inclusive, but are not for the purpose of giving to a few favored ones free education, but to give to our public free school system what it so much needs—an efficient class of regularly trained professional teachers. The examination will be rigid, and the scholarship awarded strictly on the merits of the applicant, without fear, favor or affection.
All applicants are required to file with their applications a certificate of the following nature, viz:
-----.., hereby obligate and bind myself, if awarded a Peabody scholarship at the Nashville College, Tennessee, to teach at least two years in some public free school in Virginia, in accordance with the law governing the schools in the said State, as soon after completing the prescribed course at said College as the opportunity shall present itself.
Witness my hand this - . day of ___.—, 188_ .
Thanks. We return thanks to General Armstrong, principal, for invitation to be present at the anniversary exercises of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, which will take place at Hampton on Thursday, May 21, 1885.
We are also indebted to Prof. R. H. Pratt, Superintendent Carlisle Indian Industrial School, at Carlisle, Pa., for cordial invitation to attend the annual examination of the school on May 6, 1885.
We regret to see that the teachers in many places are having trouble in collecting their pay. This should not be the case, as the money to pay them is, or should be, in the hands of the respective county treasurers. It is the duty of the superintendent to inquire into these matters, and to see that the funds set apart for the support of the schools are promptly paid.
The late decisions on the debt question may, and we fear will, seriously affect the school revenues for the future; but they cannot, and do not, affect those for the current year.
The apportionment has been made, and the money due the schools