Typed as spelled and written
Lena Stone Criswell

Eighteenth Year - Number 40
Marlin, Texas, Wednesday, October 9, 1907
Interesting Statements, Summaries
and Suggestions About Our

       The county superintendent has just sent his annual report to the department of education at Austin and the following facts, figures and suggestions, taken from it should interest all of our readers.


From the state, including last year's balance,                                $34,486.29
From the county fund                                                                            3,003.80
From local tax                                                                                        4,440.97
From tuition (Ben Rice)                                                                           105.00
From transfers from other counties                                                        411.77

Total Receipts                                                                                   $42,447.83


Paid teachers                                                                                     $32,505.63
       " for repairs                                                                                          974.88
       " census                                                                                               380.14
       " supplies                                                                                          2,986.52
       " supt's salary                                                                                   1,225.00
       " treas' commis'on                                                                              380.00

  $38, 909.70

       The state fund was five dollars and fifteen cents while the county paid all the expenses and gave an additional fifteen cents to each scholastic pupil.
       The county fund is derived from lease on 7040 acres of land in Archer county and the interest on $29,530.00 invested in six per cent Falls county road and bridge bonds.


Number of white children within scholastic age        3401
Number of white children over scholastic age               57
Number of white children under scholastic age           125
Number of negro children within scholastic age       2221
Number of negro children over scholastic age                7
Number of negro children under scholastic age           33                                                                                             

Total for all                                                                    5844

       The census rolls show 313 white and 133 negro children more than the entire enrollment in school, which means that 313 white and 133 negro children of Falls county were not in school a single day last year.
       The average length of the school term for white children was 110 days, and for the negroes 112 days, but the average attendance for each child was 65 days for each white and 61 days for each negro, which impresses very strongly the fact that the children are in school but little more than half the time, that the problem of irregular attendance is of vital importance.


       There were employed on the county schools 23 males and 64 female teachers; the negroes had 11 male and 26 female teachers.
       Of the whites two had third grade certificates; 46 second grade; 33 first grade and 4 permanent certificates, while the negroes had 9 third; 23 second; 2 first and 2 permanent grade certificates.  The whites had 19 county certificates and 68 state, while the negroes had 19 county and 18 state certificates.  The number of high grade state certificates is increasing very rapidly and is an evidence that the teachers are improving very rapidly in scholarship and preparation.
       Our people are urged to value as highly as possible those of our teachers who are preparing themselves for the work.  It is to be hoped that in a few more years we will be able to get all of our teachers to hold state certificates.  The number of new teachers was several less than last year and the number of changes of teachers was also less; we will never get the best advantages for our schools until we learn to appreciate our teachers more and keep them longer in one place.  Too much valuable time is lost by the constant change.
       The following copied from a letter sent out to the newly elected trustees last spring regarding the selection of teachers is not out of place here:  "Employ your teacher early and make as few changes as possible.  So much valuable time is lost by a new teacher learning a new school unless they are very much better than the old teacher, the children will make no progress.  Try to select a teacher that is adapted to your school and has been successful in past work.  One that is cautious, self-reliant and practical.  Age and experience should count first, but many (missing) new teachers have had State Normal training which is splendid experience.  A good man should be at the head of every school, but with our limited funds this is impossible.  A good woman is far superior to a "sorry" man.  A man with first grade qualifications looking for a third grade position had best be investigated, for usually there is a deficiency somewhere.  A teacher that can stay several years in the same place has merit.  When all things are equal Falls county teachers should have the preference because they will be more anxious to make a reputation at home than those among strangers.  Look out for a teacher; don't wait for them to run you down.  The best teachers do not have to run after positions.  Do not hesitate to get the best even if you have to shorten the term to do so.  Five months with a live teacher is better than fifteen with a dead stick."


       The white schools of Falls county have invested in school houses $40,290.00, and the negroes $3580.00.  The whites own 59 houses which are classed, 38 good, 28 fair and 3' bad.  The negroes own 10 houses, classed 3 good, 6 fair and 1 bad, but most of the negro schools are taught in churchs which are badly seated and ill suited for doing good school work.
       The whites have 265 single and 1394 double desks which leaves only six rooms in the whole county seated with the old fashion uncomfortable benches.  The negroes still have 23 rooms seated in       this manner.
       New buildings were built at St. Paul, Highbank and Criswell, in each case neat comfortable buildings were erected.  Nearly every building in the county was more or less repaired, so that we are going to begin this year with comfortable houses.  Many of the districts have painted the house this past summer which has added much to the appearance and done much to preserve the building.  It is sincerely hoped that this work will go on until every school house in the county has been painted.  Reagan, Barclay, Blevins, Alto Springs, Crown Point, Liberty, North Prairie, Busby, Alexander, St. Paull, Westphalia, Stranger, Grady and others, deserve special credit for what they have done in the way of improvement in the last year.  The whole county has spent in the last twelve houses something over ten thousand dollars.
       About one half of the houses in the county are fenced, the result is that they are often abused by tramps, hoodlums, traveling shows and other moneyless people.  It is the duty of the school trustees to protect the property and preserve it for the use of the schools.
       There was planted on the various school grounds of the county last year over five hundred trees, Cego, Alexander, St. Paul and Chilton took the lead in this work and each now has a fine lot of growing trees on their school yards.  The school ground should be the most attractive place in the whole district and we should do what we can to make it so.  There are now twenty one school houses in the county that have not a single tree on the grounds.  It is hoped that all the schools will make an effort next year.
       Last year the pupils and teachers scrubbed, washed and cleaned fifty one school houses, in some cases the water had to be carried a long way and the work was rendered very difficult by want of proper material, but in all cases the general appearance of the building was greatly improved and all honor is due those who try to impress their personality on their school work and to emphasize the good old doctrine that "cleanliness is next to Godliness."
                                                                  A. W. E.


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printing by The Democrat, Marlin, Falls Co., Texas