xt7w6m335d4j https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7w6m335d4j/data/mets.xml Kentucky. Department of Education. Kentucky Kentucky. Department of Education. 1935-10 volumes: illustrations 23-28 cm. call numbers 17-ED83 2 and L152 .B35. bulletins  English Frankford, Ky. : Dept. of Education  This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. Educational Bulletin (Frankfort, Ky.) Education -- Kentucky Educational Bulletin (Frankfort, Ky.), "The Present Status of Public Education in Kentucky", vol. III, no. 8, October 1935 text Educational Bulletin (Frankfort, Ky.), "The Present Status of Public Education in Kentucky", vol. III, no. 8, October 1935 1935 1935-10 2021 true xt7w6m335d4j section xt7w6m335d4j I
I .
1 0 Commonwealth of Kentucky 0












Published by


Superintendent of Public Instruction







EMEFEd as second-class matter March 21, 1933, at the post Office at

I Vol. I


Frankfort, Kentucky, under the Act of August 24, 1912.

” ° S’sxeherefl-9g35 ' N°- 3




. E









My term as Superintendent of Public Instruction in the Common-
wealth of Kentucky is now fast approaching an end. In the light of
the events and achievements of public education during this adminis-
tration, the obligation and privilege devolves upon me to express
my appreciation for the unity of purpose and loyal cooperation of all
who have labored with me to advance the cause of public education in
Kentucky. Without that cooperation, no appreciable measure of
educational progress could have been realized. My final message to
you is a plea for the continuance of that spirit of good will, and for

the renewed support of those who have thus far contributed so gener-

ously and so nobly in behalf of the schools of the Commonwealth.
During my campaig

n for the office to which I was elected four
years ago I stressed. particularly two points: first. the great need for

a careful and comprehensive study and analysis of the state ’s public
school system in relation to other facts, with a View to planning a,
better and more efficient school program; and second, the imperative
need for a new school code. I stated then that I believed the revision
of the school laws should follow the findings and recommendations of
tie commission, which Ihd‘ped techavle appointed to make the study
mentioned above,

The plight of the public schools of Kentucky at that time is well
noon to all. The inroads 0f the depression were threatening the
Very existence of the state school system. The educational leadership
of the state was mindful of the impending crisis. The Kentucky
Education Association through its Special Planning Committee
OL‘uSed attention upon the problems confronting public education.

. pon my recommendation, there was created by the General
Assembly in January, 1932, the Kentucky I‘lducational Commission.
On April 9, 1932, Governor Laft‘oon appointed the following persons
as members of the Commission:

Mrs. James G. Sheehan, President of the Kentucky Congress for Parents
and Teachers, Danville.

5:331}? L. McVey, President of the University of Kentucky. Lexington.
- . . Cl

lerry, President of Western Kentucky State Teachers Col-
lege, Bowling Gr

1133‘; VWV. Bradner, Superintendent of City Schools, Middlesboro.

Ville '. Peters, Superintendent of Christian County Schools, Hopkins-

fionorable W. J. Webb, Attorney, Mayfield.
r. Yancey Altsheler, Wholesale Grocer, Louisville.
Jaoiiiorable Ben Williamson, former U. S, Senator, Ashland.
Chairmags H- Richmond, Superintendent Public Instruction, ex-Officio

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Section 2 of the Act creating this Commission explains the pin.
pose for which it was formed. It reads:

“It shall .be the duty oi this commission to direct a study of public
education in Kentucky and report its findings to the Governor and the
General Assembly of this Commonwealth at the opening of its next regular
session, with recommendations of such measures and such revision of our
school code as may be found necessary for increasing the efficiency and
equalizing the benefits of public education throughout the Commonwealth."

To carry on the work of the Commission funds totaling $13,000.00
were donated by three agencies: $7,500.00 by the Kentucky Education
Association, $5,000.00 by the General Education Board of New York
City, and $500.00 by the Kentucky Negro Association.

The Commission held its first meeting in Frankfort, Kentucky,
May 16, 1932. At this meeting James W. Cammack, J r., then Direc-
tor of Research, State Department of Education, was selected as
Secretary of the Commission.

The usual procedure of employing a group of outside survey
experts was not followed. The educational leadership of the state
was literally drafted into service. The best authorities and the most
talented research workers from the State University, the colleges,’
and from the ranks of the leaders in the public school systems of the
state were given committee positions, and cheerfully accepted im.
portant assignments of work. A total of 17 committees composed of
85 Kentuckians gave generously of their time and services in contrib-
uting to the work of the Commission.

In the months that followed, as Committee reports were developed
and submitted for review by the Commission, the need for interpret-
ing these findings to the people of Kentucky became apparent. More-
over, theserious character of the break-down in educational support
was evidenced by the great reductions in school revenue to which
school districts were subject. Large sections of the Commonwealth,
which in prosperous times, even, had meagre educational programs:
were threatened with almost entire loss of the advantages of pilbilc
education. In a resolution adopted by the Kentucky Educational
Commission on February 21, 1933, it was resolved “That it is of paro-
mount importance that relief be brought to many Kentucky Schools
and that definite effort be made to supplement means of support notl
given Kentucky school districts which are unable to maintain tile
minimum requirements of a standard school after having exhausie
their taxing powers”.

Under the joint sponsorship of the Kentucky Educational Com-
mission and the State Department of Education the publicatiouflf
the Educational Bulletin was begun with the issue of March; 1933‘
In this bulletin, which has been published monthly by the Stat.”
Department continuously since its inauguration, the cause of W“
education has‘been effectively presented to the people of Keptuekl‘

The importance of interpreting the schools to the people 111 V19W
of the crisis in the economic situation was keenly recognized iJYi.e
Kentucky Education Association. At the annual meeting In Lows-






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ville the Board of Directors authorized the appointment of a special
committee to carry on the work of educational interpretation. Under
this committee the work of interpreting the schools to the people was
organized upon a broader and more effective basis than before.
Through the activities of the Interpretation Committee the Kentucky
Education Association accepted the responsibility of making available
to the people of Kentucky the great wealth of educational facts and
findings produced by the work of the Educational Commission.

The Report of the Kentucky Educational Commission was pub-
lished in October, 1933, as No. 8 of Vol. I of the Educational Bulletin.
The proposed revision of the school laws based upon the Commission’s

findings and embodying the major recommendations of that body was‘

published in January, 1934, as No. 11 of Vol. I of the Educational

After the publication of its report and the proposed draft of the
new school code, both of which were duly transmitted to Governor
Latioon and the members of the 1934 General Assembly, the Educa-
tional Commission joined with the other educational leadership of
the state in concentrated effort to secure passage of legislation enact-
ing the code into law, and for an appropriation amounting to a sub-
stantial increase in the Common School Fund. By an almost unani-
mous vote the code was adopted in March, 1934, in practically the
form recommended by the Commission. The code became the new
law three months later. '

During the month of June, 1934, the Special Session of the Gen-
eral Assembly passed the budget bill. By the provisions of this bill
there is appropriated to the Common School Fund an amount which,
with the income from the Permanent School Fund, totals $8,369,—
710.00 for each of the years 1934-35 and 1935-36. The 1934 legisla-
ture also appropriated $500,000.00 annually from the state treasury
to. provide free textbooks for grades one to eight. When contrasted
With funds of $6,254,739.00 in 1931-32, $4,972,660.00 in 1932-33, and
$4,319,232.00 in 1933-34, these appropriations for the present bien-
'nlum constitute a renewed and significant recognition on the part of
the law-making bodies of Kentucky of the state’s responsibility for
pubhc education.

_The three great achievements of public education in Kentucky
(luring this administration are the Report of the Kentucky Educa-
thPal Commission, the enactment of the new school code, and the
legislamVe appropriation of the so—called $12.00 per capita. As is well
linown, due to large increases in the school census, the per capita
mStead 0f amounting to full $12.00, as originally planned, amounted

t0 $11.60 for the school year 1934-35 and $10.95 for the school year

1935'36- (If the Equalization Fund reverts to the Common School
021111355116 per capita will be $11.95. This question is now before the
as' . ~ It Should be noted, too, that because of shrinkage in local

fieSsments and consequent decreased income from local revenue, even

With the increased per capita of this biennium the schools of the state


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are receiving Less Total Revenue and at the same time are rendering
better service under improved educational conditions than some Six
Years Ago. It Bespeaks Great Credit for the People of Kentucky that
Her Public School System, Instead of Being all but Destroyed by the
Ravages of the Depression, has Actually Risen to Higher Levels than
Ever Before.

, Let it not be understood, however, that Kentucky schools are
bountifully provided for. Such, indeed, is far from the case. It is i
still true that thousands of Kentucky school ‘teachers are laboring
at meagre salaries of $60.00 a. month for terms of only seven monthsa
and that hundreds of thousands of Kentucky children still attend


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,3: school in unsatisfactory and inadequately equipped one-room
l3}? buildings.

Kentuckians have a right to be proud of the new school code.
It is recognized all over the United States as the most modern and the


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é best in America. It is my earnest plea that this new code be Left Un-
}‘ molested and U ntanwered l/Vith until Ample Time has Passed to
if Reveal Any Minor Defects.


‘ The new school code constitutes in effect a rather ideal aggregate
t” ‘ of regulations and potential plans looking toward the building up of
a vastly improved system of schools within the state. The greatest i
need at the present time of public education in Kentucky is the in‘
creased strengthening of an attitude of mind on the part of the citi-
zens of the Commonwealth, strongly appreciative of the gains that
have been made and deeply solicitous that they be conserved. The
new school code written by Kentuckians, for the administration of
Kentucky Schools, incorporates in its provisions the highest and best
idealism and at the same time allows for the greatest possible efficiency _
and economy in the Operation of the schools. It recognizes the cardi-
nal American principle of equality of opportunity; it looks beyond
the selfish interests of individuals; it: puts its stamp of disapproval
upon nepotism; it rises above the provincial selfishness; and it
embraces the principle that the public school system of Kentucky is
primarily concerned with the educational welfare of the 760,000
children of the state. 01'? course, it will be subject to attack and' 1,
largely upon the basis of Special Interest and Privilege as opposed to }
the Best Interests of the Children of the State as a thole. l
The adoption of the code by the General Assembly was a signal
achievement and reflects great credit upon the administration undfir
which it became lan But this achievement is only the first step 111
ther'realization of the“ ideal of a new day in public education in K611-
tucky. , The new code has now been in operation a little more thana
year and thongh many gains have already been made, they are but a
3 beginning of the great advances that are yet to come. An obllgfilwn
L rests. squarely upon the. shoulders of the educational leadershIP,0f
- Kentucky to continue zealously to cherish and guard the high Prm‘
ciples upon which the new law is based, and to support the legal sane-
tions that give those principles validation and effectiveness.
V In Order topicture more concretely the progress that has been


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made so far under the Operation of the new code, a few illustrations
may be given indicative of the advancements taking place.

In the interest of greater economy and effiCiency in the adminis-
tration of local units it is desirable that small units in many instances
be consolidated with larger ones. Such mergers tend to iron' out
inequalities of educational opportunity, to promote better community
understanding, and to work to provide enrichment of school
programs. _ .

At the beginning of my administration four years ago there were
380 different local school systems inclusive of the 120 county districts.
By May, 1932, according to the Commission Report, this number had
been slightly reduced to a total of 371. However, largely due to the
efiectiveness of the code, this total has since been reduced (September,
1935) to 301. The administrative organization of county school sys-
tems has been further improved by the abolishment of subdi'stricts
in more than twenty counties of the Commonwealth.

A significant new provision of the school law is the creation of
the new school official, the attendance officer. The code requires that
every school district have an attendance officer and specifies definitely
his duties and responsibilities. The value of the work of the attend-
ance officer is indicated by the large increases during their first year
of service in the school census, the school enrollment and in the aver-
age daily attendance. The school census of 1935 shows an increase of
41,460. This increase may appear out of line when compared with
increases of former years; but when consideration is given to the fact
that for the first time in the history of Kentucky a complete school
census for a single year has been made by trained school people, it is
evident that the 1935 census is more accurate than any such census
heretofore taken.

The Kentucky public school enrollment increased from a total
of 609,684, for the year 1933-34. to a total of 625,776 for the year
1934-35, a net gain of 16,092. In this connection it should be pointed
out that the percentage increase in the high school enrollment greatly
exceeded the percentage increase in the elementary school enrollment.
This interesting result reflects the effectiveness of the new school code
111 not exempting from attendance those pupils who have completed
the ‘elghth grade. The new law requires that children attend school
until they have reached their sixteenth birthday. The average daily
attendance of public school pupils in 1934-35 was 18,012 greater than
for the year preceding. The children of Kentucky are being more
accurately accounted for than ever before; more of them are enrolled
in school; and their attendance is markedly improved.

Under the new school code provision is made for raising the
qualification standards of Kentucky teachers. The law provides for
etter trained teachers and teachers trained for specific. tasks. Under
the certification requireinents,which became effective Sept. 1, 1935,
110 elementary teacher may be certificated at a level below two years
Of 00116953, and no high school teacher may be certificated at a level
610W four years of college ; all teachers must be trained for the; school






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level at which they are to teach; and no teacher will be certificated
who has not had laboratory school training. Studies carried out by the
division of Teacher Training point to striking recent advances in the
training and qualifications of teachers in service in the public schools
of the state. "

Not only is provision made for the certification of teachers upon
the basis of training and other qualifications, but the new school code
also recognizes that remuneration for the services of teachers also
should be based upon such factors. ' Under the code every school dis-
trict must pay its teachers according to a salary schedule which shall
include training, quality of service, experience, and other approved
factors. Such a provision tends to insure recognition of those quali-
fications which make for better teaching, and it provides incentive for
the advancement of teachers in their profession. Moreover, it tends
to eliminate unethical, personal, and group discriminations, the barter
procedure in the securing of jobs, and tends to destroy operation of
the pernicious spoils system in the employment of teachers. The net
result is to raise the professional standards of the teacher, and in the
end to provide better educational service for the children of the state.

T: Reference has been made to the fact that the 1934 legislature ap-
propriated $500,000 for each of the years of the present biennium for
the purchase of free textbooks. On account of legal complications,
the purchase of books was not started until late in August, 1934, by
Which time a number of the one-teacher schools had already opened.
For the school year 1934-35 $472,000 worth of textbooks were pur-
chased, which amount supplied the children of the first four grades
with practically all the needed texts. The unexpended balance re-
maining after these purchases, was carried over into the year 1935-36.

For 1935-36 the State Board of Education authorized the pur-
chase of free textbooks for children of the fifth grade and for addi-
tional subjects and replacements in the lower four grades. Practical-
ly all of the money appropriated for free textbooks has been spent.
Moreover, on account of the increased enrollment in the schools, and
the Widespread desire of parents and children to take advantage of
this free textbook program, the amount of money available has not
been entirely adequate for the grades supplied.

The free textbook program has been the most popular undertak-
ing inaugurated by the State Board of Education. By supplymg
much needed books where there has been widespread lack of such
materials of instruction heretofore, it has contributed much toward
the upbuilding of a real educational program in the state. There 15
of late particularly a rapidly growing conception on the part of the
people of Kentucky that it is the state ’s obligation to provide books
for the school children, just as it is clearly recognized that it is the
state’s obligation to furnish teachers, buildings, and equipment; at
public expense.

It is already very apparent that the free textbook program has
increased attendance, that it has improved the efficiency of the teach-

. ing prOgram, that it has stimulated and increased the interest 0f the






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teacher, and that it has reduced considerably the large degree of
pupil retardation characteristic of the many inadequately prOVided-
for schools of the state.

The free textbook program should be continued as a fundamental
part of the educational program of the Commonwealth. Moreover,
books should be provided for children of all the grades. The minimum
appropriation for textbooks for children enrolled in the first eight
grades should not be less than $750,000 a year.

In the field of the financial administration of the public school
systems of the state great progress has been made. During the ad-
ministration of my esteemed predecessor, the late Mr. W. C. Bell,
provision was made for the safeguarding of school funds by strict
observance of requirements for the bonding of school officials intrusted
with the handling of funds. As a result of this wise policy the public
school moneys of Kentucky were adequately protected during the
period of insecurity in banking conditions that reached its climax
in the nation in March, 1933.

Numerous studies have been made of Kentucky public school
finance problems during the past four years. These include exhaus-
tive investigation of the indebtedness of the public schools, the effec—
tiveness of school budgeting procedure, studies of teachers’ salaries,
extensive research of financial accounting procedures, and compre-
hensive investigation of the bonding of school officials. These studies
have served as the basis for significant and far—reaching improve-

. Probably the most outstanding advance in the field of the finan-
eial. administration of the public schools of the state is represented
by the inauguration of a comprehensive financial accounting and
recording system, starting with the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1933.

Research carried out within the State Department the past year
shows that the public school indebtedness of Kentucky, exclusive of
the city of Louisville, was reduced from $10,969,000 as of June 30,
1932, to $9,542,000 as of June 80, 1934, a net decrease of $1,427,000.
This represents a decrease of 13 per cent and becomes the more im-
presswe when it is noted that between the same two dates the decrease
in the public school indebtedness of the United States as a whole was
less than one per cent.

The administration of schools in Kentucky owes a debt of sincere
{iDDl‘eCiation to the General Education Board, a purely philanthropic
IOundation established by John D. Rockefeller. This board began
c00p<°3ration with the state soon after its organization more than a
quarterof a century ago. It has been its policy to help this depart-
ment initiate from time to time types of service desirable to be given
hilt for which public funds may not have been made available. It
was through its aid that the divisions of Supervision and Inspection
UTE] schools was provided for in the State Department of Education.

16 same is true of the division of Negro Education, the divisions of

85311001 Buildings and Grounds, of Research and Statistics, of School
rary SQTVICe, and that of Teacher Training. This help generally

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takes the form of an appropriation adequate to provide the services
of a highly trained director, to the end that efficient organization and
operation may be assured.

The aid thus given is continued for the operation of the service
for a limited number of years, during which it should demonstrate its
value and establish itself as an essential public service. This philan.
throphy prudently refrains from interfering in any way with the
administration of the services to which it makes appropriations, and
after a time it withdraws from any given type of service so it may
conserve its resources to be devoted to other purposes of constructive

The work of the division of School Buildings and Grounds has
been financed by the General Education Board for the past five years.
This appropriation expired on June 30, 1935, and the work must now
be financed by the State it it is to be carried on.

The report of the division of School Buildings and Grounds for
the biennium ending June 30, 1935, conveys an idea of the tremendous
amount of work imposed upon this Division of the Department of
Education. During the period covered by the report services were
rendered to local boards of education on a total of 639 school build-
ing projects. Of this number 284 were small school buildings rang-
ing from one to four teachers in size, or extensions and alterations for
which plans and specifications were furnished by the Division. The
estimated cost of school buildings and improvements upon which as-
sistance was given by this division amounted to $2,168,654 for the
biennium. More demands were made by local boards of education
than could possibly be accommodated because of the limited personnel
of the office. ,

The construction of school buildings was greatly stimulated due
to the operation of the Public ’Works Administration and Works
Progress Administration programs of the federal government. Ap-
plications totaling approximately $12,000,000 have been submitted to
the P. W. A. and additional applications totaling several million
dollars have been filed with the W. l). A. Regardless of whether these
applications are approved or not, the next few years should witness
the greatest program of schoolhouse construction in the history .03?
the state, due to the fact that local boards of education have had guid-
ance in the study of their school building problems and have developed
definite housing programs.

In 1930 Kentucky ranked forty-sixth among the forty-eigllt
states in the average value of school property per pupil enrolled-
The average at that time was $82.00 in Kentucky, while the average
for the United States as a whole was $242.00. In 1932, Kentucky
had climbed to forty-second, with an average value of $10100 per
pupil enrolled as against an average of $250.00 per pupil enrolled for
the United States as a whole. Much of this progress may be attl’lb'
uted to the work of the division of School Buildings and Ground?

The work of the division of Research also has been financed by
the General Education Board for the five years ending June 30, 1933'










Notwithstanding the great importance of continuous activity in the
intelligent understanding and planning of educational progress, funds
have not yet become available for the carrying on of this work since
the expiration of the appropriation generously granted by the General
Education Board. The former director of the division served in the

a very important capacity as Secretary of the Kentucky Educational

CommiSSion and in this position rendered outstanding service to the
advancement of research in public education in Kentucky.

During 1934 and 1935 when the Superintendent of Public In—
struction of Kentucky was called upon to assume the leadership of
the Federal Emergency Aid for Education program as chairman of
the national committee, the Director of Research was drafted as secre-
tary of the committee. The fact should not be overlooked that as a
direct result of the activities of this committee, a total of more than
seventeen million dollars was made available to some thirty states by
the Federal Government in 1934. Kentucky shared in this amount,
and along with other states received lasting gains in the way of proper
recognition by the Federal Government of the public educational pro-
gram of the nation.

If the great gains that have been made in public education in
Kentucky during the last few years are to be conserved, and if the
program so well begun is to go on and further progress is to be made,
then it is of the highest importance that adequate provision be made
to finance a continuous research program under the direction of a
competent director in the State Department of Education. Such a
program should be undertaken at once and pushed forward with zeal
and tireless activity. We must continue to measure our steps as we
proceed onward, for the ways of progress must needs be charted by
the instrumentality of the services of scientific investigators. Educa-
tional research has already proven itself as actually indispensable to
the advancement of public education in Kentucky. It must be pro-
v1ded for.

The literally unprecedented development of public education in
Kentucky during the past four years has been attended by vastly in-
creased demands upon the services of the staff of the State Depart-
ment. Not one division of the Department, but actually all 'of them,-
have done tremendous amounts of work. Due to the increased
demands for services and responsibilities which have come about as a
result of the adoption of the new code, and to the additional tasks
bl'OUght about as a result of taking over the state work in the emer-
gency education program of the federal government, large assign-
Fents of new work have been assumed by. the different divisions, par-
lcularly the d1v1sion of Special Education, which has done a tremend-
0us amount of extra work, and done it well.

.InCidentally, it may be mentioned that the total cost of the

emergency educat
‘ducation for th
We employment
more than fifty 13

ion program sponsored by the division of Special
8 year 1934-35 was over $546,000. This program
to more than fifteen hundred teachers and enrolled
housand students and trainees in all sections of the



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state. It is easy to understand that a great deal of added work was
taken over by the stafi of the Division‘in the services required for the
administration of this program.

Without exception the staff members have accepted these extra
assignments cheerfully and have applied themselves assiduously to .
the added responsibilities. Considering the volume of work needed ' '5'
to be done and the services to be supplied to the system of public
education in Kentucky, the Departmental staff is somewhat under-=1 _
manned as at present constituted. It is quite remarkable that such a 3"
limited force has been able to render so large a measure of educational
service. Moreover, the present cost of operating the State Depart
ment of Education is almost insignificant in comparison with the
total cost of the public education program of the Commonwealth.
There is needed right now a substantial increase in the appropriation
for the work of the State Department of Education. This added ,- ‘
financial support would constitute an investment which under wise 5
direction would yield magnificent returns of lasting benefit to the
childhood of Kentucky. '

In closing, again permit me to express my sincere appreciatie.

for the fine cooperation of school men and laymen, alike, in makin‘ 1':
possible the advancement of public education in Kentucky durin' "
these last four years. Without your faith and your work little couli
have been accomplished; and it is my earnest hope that, in the year
that are ahead, the unity of. purpose and breadth of v