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sponsible assemblage of the friends of education, and expresses with great clearness and urgency, the judgment of the convention, and of the memorialists themselves, upon the necessity and the advantage of establishing a board of education at the present time.
A majority of the States of New England, have already established some general supervisory system for the great department and interest of public instruction. The State of New York has long been distinguished for her wise and enlightened central administration of her public school affairs. There may be reason to apprehend, that unless the State of Maine shall speedily adopt the examples thus placed before her, she may be the last of the northern States in entering upon a policy of improvement, in respect to this great interest, where the genius of her constitution and the absolute necessities of her people might well have placed her among the foremost.
It is not only the force of example and of authorised recommendation, that has induced the committee to advise the establishment of a board of education in this State, but a deliberate survey of the actual condition of things among ourselves, has brought them to a unanimous conviction of its propriety, its necessity and its practicability.
The state of public sentiment is so far propitious for the attempt, that at least, it may be very difficult to predict a more favorable opportunity than the present session, for an undertaking so worthy: so long expected, and so certain to create and increase new confidence and new hope.
The duties of a board of education are simple in theory and practice. The conclusions of the committee upon that head, are succinctly stated in the draft of a bill which they have unanimously agreed to report. The committee have carefully abstained from entrusting to the board any executive or legislative power over the subjects or persons within the scope of their action. The existing common school system will continue subject only to the control of the Legislature, under the constitution, and its local administration will be in the hands of the local authorities. The duties of the board will be to investigate, to reflect, to devise and
sons, and fill their hearts with joy, and the blessing of millions of maids and mothers will pour upon you like a golden shower, and the “first summer session” be a lullaby of their cradle through all time to come.
JAMES MERRILL. Whitefield, Lincoln Co., June 15, 1846.
to recommend; to impart information, to exhibit models and means of improvement, to encourage parents and teachers, to unfold and quicken and satisfy the capacities and the aspirations of the young, and to enliven the whole existing system with new energy and spirit.
In regard to the method of electing the board of education, the committee suggest a plan, which they are satisfied, is both practical and highly appropriate. Considerations which might otherwise be embarassing, are removed by placing the election, as strictly as possible, within the popular control, and by requiring all the sections of the State to co-operate in the choice. Deriving their powers thus directly from the people, the members of the board will be in the closest communication with those persons to whom the inhabitants of the several towns entrust their local school interests, and the labors of the board will immediately react upon the several parts of the State which they represent.
With these explanations, the committee present the bill which is submitted with this report.
E. M. THURSTON, Chairman.
11 and clerk, who shall severally certify the election of 12 the member chosen, and transmit one copy of such 13 certificate to the secretary of state, and one copy to 14 the person chosen.
Sec. 3. A quorum of such county meeting shall 2 consist of one or more members of the superintend3 ing school committees from a majority of the towns 4 in each county ; but if any town or city shall have a 5 superintending school committee consisting of more 6 than five members, such committee shall appoint del7 egates from their own number, not exceeding five, 8 which delegates shall exercise the duties and powers 9 herein provided.
Sec. 4. The county meetings aforesaid shall be held 2 at the shire town in each county, and at Wiscasset in 3 the county of Lincoln, at the times following; 4 York; third Tuesday of September; 5 Cumberland; Friday next after the the third Tuesday
of September; 7 Oxford; fourth Tuesday of September ; 8 Franklin ; first Tuesday of October ; 9 Somerset ; Friday next after the first Tuesday of Oc10 tober; '11 Piscataquis ; second Tuesday in October;