Report of the District Schools for Pi-Ute County
Koosharem, Decbr. 24th 1883.
Hon. L.J. Nuttall,
Ter Supt of Dist Schools
In response to your requirement I have the pleasure to submit the following:
Rept of Dist. Schools for Pi-Ute County
I stated to you in a recent letter the Disadvantage under which I started to perform my duties as Co. Spt. which shortly is: because I did not get my Commission untill about 4 weeks after the time the reports should have been sent to you, I had to take the Trustees reports (which had been sent to my Predecessor in Office) which I found in a very poor shape to afford a foundation for the report I had to make. Furthermore I had not time because of, as already stated, it was 4 weeks after the time the reports should have been sent in to return said Trustees reports to them for correction.
As to the Standard of Education in the County, it is generally in a low Condition, the reasons being, mostly the lack of Teachers. The people of this county have had many disadvantages to battle with, such as a very limited Supply of water and the frosts, which have destroyed their crops towards Harvest time, the consequences being that the financial progress of the people has been very slow, so much so, that untill the last Year or two the Majority of our People, were compelled to go off to the more favored Settlements in other Counties to earn the necessities to support their families; this being the Case, the People were only able to engage cheap Teachers. Another Disadvantage is that we have no competent Teachers residents of our communities with one Exception (Fremont) and consequently have to engage Teachers from other Places, -- which is a serious drawback, -- for instance: this year Grain can not be sold for Money at any price in this part of the Country and such imported Teachers can not be paid in any thing, but cash, at present not obtainable for the Farmer or his Products, while a resident Teacher could be paid in part in produce, which at cash price would be as good to him as Money
In parts of this County the people are living on their 1/4 Sections far from each other (1, 2 or more Miles) which makes it difficult for their Children to come to School
Having so lately taken possession of the office I have not yet visited the Schools officially, but will start in the beginning of the new Year. I am acquainted with the condition of several of the Districts however, in this Neighborhood. The Schools are almost destitute of all kinds of Apparatus, few of them having as much as a Blackboard. By Inquiry I find that there is a small sum of money in the Co. Treasury to the credit of the Schools, from Estrays, which I intend to divide amongst the districts as soon as possible, advising Trustees to use the same to buy Apparatus &c.
Your Advice to Co. Supts. in your Bi-annual P. 29 to keep in their Offices Price Lists, plans, and other Instruction for Teachers I think very good, but at present I have none and as far as I know there is no fund to draw from to buy such articles, and as the law has made no provision for any Salary or other ways to pay Supts. for their Labor I think it can not reasonably be expected that they shall pay for such things themselves.
As to Suggestions I think that the present School Law although in general a very good Law, is a little deficient with regard to providing a way for Trustees to obtain sufficient means to pay Teachers. In this locality, for Instance, they tried to charge Tuition Fees to make up what was lacking, when the Terr: Allotment was used, and found that although the Majority paid their Bills, there is some, from whom they probably never will get payment. They also tried District Tax but was opposed and even abused by certain parties. Now Trustees are required by Law to provide Schools, Teachers can not be hired except Trustees are responsible to them for their Salary, if a Majority of the People refuse to pay,-- either by Tax or Fees -- where is the remedy?
Referring to my being so recently installed in the Office I beg you will excuse that I am not able to give a more thorough report of the condition of the educational Dept of this County.
Hoping for Instructions or personal Visit of yourself or representation & I am yours very respectfully.
Supt. Dist. Schools
Copyright 2006 by Ardis E. Parshall