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A Study of Rural School

Conditions in Ohio

Legislative History
The One-Room School
Centralization and Cunsolidation
Community Activities an Extension

The Rural High School
The County Normal School

Issued by
The Superintendent of Public Instruction

Columbus, Ohio



Bound at the State Bindery.


LB 1621

03 A2




Rural School progress has been very marked in Ohio during the past five years. In the enactment of the School Code of 1914 adequate provision was made for the administration and supervision of the rural schools of the state. The power conferred upon county boards of education to transfer territory and create school districts around business and social centers has been the means of promoting centralization and consolidation which are, undoubtedly, helpful agencies in the readjustment of the rural school system. In this publication it has been the purpose to typify the principal achievements of rural school administration under the new code.

Acknowledgment is hereby made of the splendid cooperation of the County Superintendents in supplying data without which our endeavors would have resulted in failure.




The Fourth Constitutional Convention of Ohio which convened in Columbus in January, 1912, submitted to the people a proposal to amend Article VI of the constitution as follows:

"Provision shall be made by law for the organization, administration and control of the public school system of the state supported by public funds."

This proposal was adopted at the special election held Sept. 3, 1912. James M. Cox, who was elected Governor in the following November, was keenly conscious of the great importance of the movement to organize rural life, a subject which, broadly speaking, was at that time engaging more public attention than any other. He realized that a school system commensurate in efficiency with the importance of rural life and its industries was necessary and fundamental to the progress and consummation of such a movement; that the country boys and girls were not getting a square deal because the so-called system then in use was inadequate to their needs, purposes, and interests, and failed to reveal to them the possibilities of rural life and rural activities.

Accordingly, in his first message to the General Assembly he directed the attention of its members to the foregoing amendment and made the following recommendations:

“Because of its far-reaching influence and the further fact that the schools form the real base to our institutions and civilization, this constitutional change imposes upon the legislature a great responsibility. It will be noted that provision is made for the organization of a school system in Ohio. Whether this phraseology was so intended or not, still in plain words it exhibits a very serious lack in our government scheme, because Ohio really has no uniform school system. Instead, we have a variety of school systems, and the truth is that Ohio does not rank with many of the best states in the Union in the matter of her public schools. This subject suggests possibili. ties of such stupendous moment to the people that legislation should be preceded by investigation. It is my judgment that a complete school survey should be made of the state. This plan has been followed by a number of states in the last few years and the conditions existent in many parts of these commonwealths have been surprising to the people. If a survey is made in Ohio there will be found such a number of school systems as to clearly indicate the disorder and incongruity of our present archaic structure. No one will deny the need of complete uniformity in the method of teaching, sanitation, etc. Other states have found it necessary to withhold the distribution of the state common school funds to all disricts until they have fully complied with the laws relative to the length of term, minimum salary, institute pay, janitor service, compulsory attendance and all reports required by the department of public instruction. It is the executive recom


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