The New Student's Reference Work/Education, State-Aid in

Education, State-Aid in. In the United States, education is one of the matters which falls within the control of the several states, and not of the Federal government. The result of the power lodged in the states is that they tend to give aid in money and land to the schools; while, in return, their control over the schools increases, and the educational system in this way becomes more uniform. Thirty of the states make the education of children compulsory for an average term of five years. Most cities have their own superintendents of public instruction, and their own school-systems under a charter from the state. Each state, however, has a superintendent of public instruction who is given this title in 29 of the states, other titles in others. One of the benefits of state-control in education is that the more prosperous sections help to improve the schools of less prosperous places. The state generally supports normal schools for the training of teachers. In the west and south the states go so far as to support universities, which is done nowhere else in the world to anything like the same extent. Secondary education often receives special attention from the state. Massachusetts requires the townships to maintain secondary schools. The University of the State of New York, however, is the best example of how the state may organize secondary education. The regents examine the high-schools, and allot vast sums in their aid. In Indiana, Minnesota and other western states the state-board of education accredits high-schools, which may then send their graduates direct to the state-university without examination. Each state admitted to the Union since 1800 has ceded land for a state-university and for common-schools. In 1836 many of the states distributed the surplus revenue that was returned to them by Congress wholly or partly among the schools. Of the land-grants for education made by the states, the chief is the 16th section of each township and, in states admitted since 1848, the 36th section also. In all, the states have granted about 68,000,000 acres of land; and to this they have added vast grants also in money.