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The former slave States have a white population of 15,493,323, and a white school enrollment of 3,422,785, or 22.1 per cent of the white population.

The same States have a colored population of 6,954,840, and a colored school enrollment of 1,289,944, or 18.5 per cent of the colored population.

The colored form 30.98 per cent of the total population, but colored pupils form only 27.37 per cent of the total school enrollment.

These figures show that the colored school enrollment is not relatively equal to the white. It exceeds the white, as compared with the population, in the District of Columbia, North Carolina, and Texas; in the remaining States it falls behind the white-in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and West Virginia far behind.

The ratio of average attendance to enrollment is 63.3 for white and 62.4 for colored in twelve States.


ED 90-68

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TABLE 1.-White and colored schools compared-1889–90.

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@ 15.5 17.9












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19.0 129,973




200, 543

50, 891

85, 149

94, 336

134, 108

67, 185 256, 669




10, 079

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Ratio of attend-
ance to enroll-

White. Colored. '12


Per cent. Per cent.





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Includes only States tabulated in the same column above.



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Apportionment of funds between the races in Alabama.-The Alabama State distributable school fund has heretofore been apportioned among the townships and districts according to the number of children of school age, the fund of each race being kept separate. This has caused much dissatisfaction. "It is alleged that in portions of the State the colored race gets well-nigh all the school fund, whilst that race pays a very small per cent of the taxes that make up that fund; also that the colored race is as yet, in general, only capable of receiving and profiting by an elementary education, which costs comparatively much less than that suitable for the white race in its more advanced stages of civilization." The State superintendent, without discussing whether these complaints are well grounded or not, says that there are individual cases of peculiar hardship, and suggests the following plan: "Let the school fund be apportioned by this office to the different counties and townships in proportion to the number of children without regard to race, and let the township officers apportion the fund to the schools of the township in proportion to the number of children who will probably attend cach school. They, being on the ground and acquainted with the wants of the different neighborhoods, can do this to better advantage than it can be done by this office. In addition to this, there should be fixed by statute a gradation of teachers' licenses, so that well-qualified and successful teachers should receive greater compensation than the teacher who can barely stand an examination for a third-grade certificate. In all other departments persons are paid in proportion to the quality as well as the quantity of work done by them, and why should not this rule apply in the payment of teachers? Under our present apportionment of funds such is frequently the case--that the poor teacher of the colored race gets much better salary than the well-qualified white teacher. If this were left to the local school authorities such injustice and inequality would not be allowed."

This is practically what is done at present in the larger Southern cities with the local school funds (city appropriation); the municipal school boards apply the local funds to the various schools, white and colored, in their discretion. It is believed that the city colored schools are amply provided for under this system. Whether it would work as well throughout the country districts, administered often by trustees prejudiced against negro education, and especially against negro education at the white man's expense, is problematical. That Superintendent Palmer does not think it would work injustice is evident, when he declares: "Allow me here to say that I have no sympathy with those who would deprive the colored race of an equal participation in the benefits of the public-school

fund. I believe that it is not only our solemn duty but best interest to see that the colored race is educated and elevated so as to fit him for good citizenship, of which, in my opinion, there is not the slightest probability that he will be deprived. Nor am I in sympathy with those who would apply only the tax raised from our race for the education of that race. Such a law or provision of a State cons.itution would be declared by the courts unconstitutional as being against public policy and as contravening the letter and spirit of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The plan herein sugested will go far towards remedying the evils complained of, and that, too, upon sound principles-that teachers should be paid in proportion to the quality of the work performed by them."

Superintendent Palmer's suggestion adopted-The law amended.-The legislature in 1891 changed the law so as to provide for three township trustees (instead of one) who are to dispose of the school funds derived from the State virtually as Superintendent Palmer has suggested. Mr. J. N. Hutchinson, himself a township trustee, explains their duties relating to the disposition of unds under the new law, as follows: They are required to "establish and apportion to each school just such an amount of the public funds as they deem just and equitable to carry on the schools in their township, not according to number of scholars pro rata as heretofore, but apportioning and giving unto schools as t ey deem best to promote free education in their township with due regard to all neighborhoods. For as the law was, where one school could get only t n pupils, in pro rating it was not sufficient to employ a suitable teacher to tach those children, and other schools had the advantage, especially the colored, which generally outnumbered the whites, receiving the most money, and the colored people paying less taxes. Hence some neighborhoods were deprived to a great extent of the benefit of schools, not being able to procure a suitable teacher on account of insufficiency of funds.

"I take the position that one teacher's time is worth as much to them as another teacher, without regard to the number of scholars they teach in the public schools, and the trustees should see that all children are offered the benefit of schooling, and that this is the intention of the law, which was wise in our legislature in so changing it, and now it becomes the duty of the trustees to carry out the law without regard to the whims and complaint of some."

The new State superintendent, Hon. John G. Harris, further explains the situation as follows:

"It is the duty of the township trustees to establish a suffici nt number of schools in their township to meet the necessities of school children according to justice and equity, having reference to the amount of money apportioned to such township, paying to the teacher of each school an amount which will secure continuation of all the schools of both races, the same length of time.

"This law confers upon the township trustees the power to contract with teachers at an agreed amount per month for three months or more. The entire amount belonging to each township must be divided among the white schools and colored schools by the trustees according to 'justice and equity not per capita. One teacher may be secured to teach a c rtain school at one price, while another teacher may be employed to teach a different school at a greater or less sum. Trustees must use their very best judgment, looking to the highest interest of all the children to be taught. The greatest good to the greatest number must govern. Such, in my judgment, is the spirit of the law. Equal rights to all, special favors to none."

The words italicized, "same length of time," are evidently designed to be the watchword under the new order of things.

The law only covers the State school fund proper. The apportionment of the State poll tax remains as before-poll tax collected from the whites goes to white schools exclusively, ditto colored.

Colored education in Alabama.-W. B. Paterson, conductor of colored teachers institutes in Alabama, says in his report to the State superintendent: "The county superintendents and other white citizens attended the sessions of the institute, and showed much interest in the education of the colored race. I find that where a colored teacher is competent and devotes himself strictly to the work of teaching, that he can depend upon the support of the best people of the community. The county superintendents, too, discharge their duty regardless of race, and everywhere they expressed a desire to get the very best teachers possible for the colored schools.

"The colored people are being encouraged to build school-houses, and their white neighbors are contributing liberally towards this object.

"These facts are given to make more forcible the following statement: The schools are retarded in their progress by a want of unity and harmony among the colored people themselves. Desiring to get control of the schools, they are imposed upon by incompetent teachers, who establish a denominational or a high school, with an absurdly long and very illogical course of study, and the means of the people, which might be used very profitably to double the public-school term, are wasted. I have reference here only to the efforts made in small towns to build up a college on local patronage at a tuition of $1 per month. It would be good policy for the present to let Talladega College, Selma University, Payne Institute at Selma, and the State normals at Huntsville, Tuskegee, and Montgomery attend to the higher education and let the efforts of the people be directed to improving the public schools. Not one-tenth of the pupils entering the above institutions from the public schools are prepared to take up a normal course of study."


Apportionment of funds between the races in Arkansas.-A statement in the Annual Report of this Office for 1888-89 was calculated to create an erroneous impression as to the distribution of the State school moneys. With reference to this subject State Superintendent Josiah H. Shinn writes to the Office:


The law apportions to all children irrespective of color. Each child in Arkansas, black and white, of school age receives the same amount of money by State apportionment. Each county in the State, irrespective of color, gets an amount of money equal to the sum of the amounts given to its children of school age or the multiple of the equal pro rata per child into the number of children of school age in the county. The county judge then apportions the fund received from the State in the same way to the districts. Each district gets from the State a sum of money in every case equal to the multiple formed by the pro rata into the number of children in the district.

"So far the money has been apportioned as though no color line existed. "The money is now in the hands of the county treasurer, subject to the order of the [dist ict] directors. Each district may have three funds, and must have two; (1) The State apportionment made by the State superintendent; (2) the poll-tax apportionment made by the county judge; (3) the local tax voted upon the property of the district and paid by the collector to the treasurer of the county for the use of that district alone.

"I desire to emphasize this point again. Up to this point in our financial management-the point when the directors are to open the schools-no distinction whatever has been made. It has been a question of cold calculation without one drop of blood. If any discrimination is made now, the fault will lie with the directors. The law requires them to hold separate schools for the races. There is no restriction upon the black man's right to hold the office of school director. In eastern Arkansas in a large majority of the districts the directory is black. Two plans have been adopted by directors, irrespective of color.

"1. To hold a three months' school for each color, and as much longer as their proportionate share of the district funds will continue it. This share is determined by taking the ratio of the black and white children of school age, respectively, to the whole number of children.

"2. To hold two schools of equal length, irrespective of these proportions. (a) As to the first proposition, the division is always more favorable to the colored race than to the white. Where but eight or ten children of either color were to be found in any district a trouble followed in nearly every case. Black directors saw little use in running a school for less than ten white children; so did the white ones. The legislature cured this last winter by permitting any number less than ten to transfer to the adjoining district.

"(b) The second proposition is on the broadest basis of fairness, and reaches the widest stretch of justice. No more can be claimed. It would be unjust to my fellow-citizens not to say further that the great majority of our school directors fol ow the second plan.

"In the following cities and towns the terms and all the other arrangements are equal: Little Rock, Helena, Marianna, Pine Bluff, Monticello, Lonoke, Camd n, Texarkana, Hope, Nashville, Washington, Prescott, Malvern, Conway, Moulton, Newport, Augusta, Russellville, Fort Smith, Van Buren, and Hot Springs."

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