Act No. 74, Education Act of 1901

[No. 74.] AN ACT establishing a department of public instruction in the Philippine Islands, and appropriating forty thousand dollars ($40,000) for the organization and maintenance of a normal, and a trade school in Manila, and fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for the organization and maintenance of an agricultural school in the island of Negros for the year 1901

By authority of the President of the United States, be it enacted by the United States Philippine Commission, that:

Section 1. A Department of Public Instruction for the Philippine Islands is hereby established, the central office of which shall be in the city of Manila. All primary instruction in the schools established or maintained under this act shall be free.

Sec. 2. All schools heretofore established in the Philippine Islands, under the auspices of the Military Government, are hereby declared to be in the Department of Public Instruction established by section one and are made subject to the control of the officers of this department.

Sec. 8. The chief officer of this department shall be denominated the Geneml Superintendent of Public Instruction and shall be appointed by the Commission. His annual salary shall be six thousand dollars ($6,000). He shall have the following powers and duties, to be exercised and discharged under the general supervision of the Military Governor:

(a) He shall establish schools in every pueblo in the Archipelago, where practicable, and shall reorganize those already established, where such reorganization is necessary.

(b) He shall appoint, in accordance with Act No. 25, enacted October 17, 1900, a City Superintendent of Schools for Manila, and Division Superintendents of Schools for other parts of the Archipelago, and the teachers and clerks authorized by law, and shall prescribe the duties of such teachers and clerks.

(c) He shall fix the salaries of the division superintendent and teachers within the limits established by law.

(d) He shall fix a curriculum for primary, secondary and other public schools and shall decide in what towns secondary schools shall be established.

(e) He shall divide the Archipelago into School Divisions, not more than ten (10) in number, and shall fix the boundaries thereof, with power to change the same when necessary, but the city of Manila and its barrios shall constitute one of such school divisions.

(y) He shall prescribe the authority to be exercised by the Principal Teacher of each school over the other teachers, if any, and his duties in caring for the school house and school property.

(g) He shall prescribe plans for the construction of school houses to be built by the municipalities, the amount of land required in each case, and rules of hygiene which shall be observed in connection with the schools of the Archipelago.

(h) He shall make contracts for the purchase of school supplies authorized by law, and, whenever practicable, he shall invite bids by public advertisement and shall award the contract to the lowest responsible bidder.

(i) He shall have power to determine the towns in which English teachers, to be paid out of the Insular Treasury, shall teach. He may exercise this discretion in favor of those towns showing their loyalty to the United States by their peaceful condition, and in favor of those towns which shall construct and maintain suitable school houses by local taxation or contributions.

(j) In case of a vacancy in the office of a division superintendent or that of the Superintendent for Manila, he shall discharge all the duties of such position during the vacancy, or may make a temporary appointment to till the same.

(k) He shall examine and pass upon all requisitions made for funds by division superintendents and forward them, with his recommendation, to the Chief Executive for submission to the Commission.

(l) On or before January first and July first of each year, he shall make a report of his administration for the previous six months to the Military Governor and to the Commission, and such special reports as may from time to time be called for by either. In the regular semi-annual reports, it shall be the duty of the Superintendent to recommend changes in the school law which he deems expedient.

(m) He shall exercise general supervision over the entire department, and shall prepare and promulgate rules for the examination and determination of the qualifications of applicants for positions of division superintendents and teachers, and for the guidance of the officers and teachers of the department, adapted to carry out this law and not inconsistent with its provisions.

Sec, 4. There shall be a superior advisory board of education composed of the General Superintendent and four members to be appointed by the Commission. It shall be the duty of the Board to hold regular meetings once in two months, on a day to be fixed l)y resolution of the Board, and such special meetings as shall be called by the General Superintendent. The General Superintendent shall act as President of the Board. The chief clerk of the General Superintendent shall act as Secretary of the Board and keep minutes of its proceedings. It shall be the duty of the Board to assist the General Superintendent by advice and information concerning the educational needs and conditions of the Islands; to make such investigations as the General Superintendent may desire and to make recommendations to the Commission from time to time as to needed amendments to the law. Each of the four members of the Board, appointed by. virtue of this section, shall receive as compensation ten dollars for each regular or special meeting which he shall attend. Any member of the Board who is a non-resident of Manila shall be paid his actual and necessary expenses for travel from his residence to Manila and his return and hotel expenses. Requisitions for the amount required to pay such compensation and expenses shall be made by the General Superintendent. The terms of office of the members of such Board appointed under this section shall be for three years or until their successors are appointed and qualified.

Sec. 5. There shall be a City Superintendent of Schools in the city of Manila who shall receive an annual salary of three thousand dollars ($3,000.)

Sec. 6. In each school division established by the General Superintendent of Public Instruction, there shall be a Division Superintendent who shall receive an annual salary of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) and not more than twenty-five hundred dollars ($2,500.)

Sec. 7. The actual expenses of the General Superintendent and the Division Superintendents while traveling or absent from their usual

5 laces of residence on official business shall be paid out of the Insular Treasury.

Sec. 8. Except where otherwise provided, provisions of this act describing the duties and powers of division superintendents shall apply to the City Superintendent for Manila.

Sec. 9. Each division superintendent shall, subject to rules prescribed by the General Superintendent, under section 3 {m)^ appoint the native school teachers to serve in the schools within his district and shall fix their salaries from year to year within the limits prescribed by law. He shall examine the school houses occupied for public instruction within his division with a view to determining their suitableness and hygienic condition. Should the school house in which any school is conducted appear to the Division Superintendent to be unsuitable and dangerous for the health of the children, and should no other school house be available, he shall have power^ subject to the approval of the General Superintendent, to discontinue such school, and it shall be unlaw- ful thereafter to use the school house thus condemned for public school purposes. He shall pass upon and accept or reject or modify the plans lor any new school house, proposed by the loc^l authorities to be erected,

and for the proposed site thereof, and shall make report of his action thereon to the Geneml Superintendent of Public Instruction. If the local authorities or the local school board shall be dissatisfied with the decision of the Division Superintendent as to the suitableness of the plans or site of the proposed school house, they may appeal to the Gen- eral Superintendent, whose decision shrill be final. He shall make careful investigations into the agricultural conditions existing in his division and shall make report thereon to the General Superintendent of Public Instruction, with a view to aiding the General Superintend- ent in making recommendations as to the places and number of the agi'icultural schools hereafter to be established. He shall see to it by personal visits and by requiring repoilis from the principal teachei-s of each school that the curriculum for primary and secondaiy schools pre- scribed bv the Genei*al Superintenaent of Public Instruction is com- plied with. He shall make himself familiar with the supplies and text Dooks needed in each school in his division, and shall make report of the same at as early a date as possible, in order that they maj^ be con- tracted for and funiished by the General Superintendent. He shall appoint one-half of the local school board in each pueblo in his divi- sion, as provided in section 10. He shall have and maintain his resi- dence and an office in one of the large towns in his division, from which all the pueblos in his district can be most conveniently reached.

Sec. 10. There shall be established in each municipality organized under anv General Order of the Military Governor or under such municipal code as may be hereafter ena<;ted, a local school board, con- sisting of four or six members, as the Division Superintendent may determine, in addition to the President or Alcalde of the Municipality, who shall be a member ex-officio. One half of the members, except the member ex-officio, shall be elected by the Municipal Council, and the remaining half shall be appointed by the Division Superintendent, and the term of office of all members, holding by appointment or elec- tion, shall be two years and until their successors snail have been duly elected or appointed.

Sec. 11. £\ie appointed or elected membera of the local school board may, after due notice and hearing, be removed at any time by the Division Superintendent, subject to the approval of the General Super- intendent of Public Instruction, who shall have power to suspend such membera temporarily.

Sec. 12. It shall be the power and duty of the local school board: -

(a) To \nsit from time to time the schools of the pueblo and to report bi-monthly to the Division Superintendent their condition and the attendance of pupils;

(J) To recommend sites and plans to the Municipal Council for school houses to be erected;

(c) Where there are two or more schools in the pueblo, to adopt rules, subject to the supervision of the Division Superintendent, for a;ssiening the pupils of the pueblo to the several schools;

(a) To report annually te the Municipal Council the amount of money which should be raised for the current year by local taxation for school purposes;

{e) To report, whenever it shall deem necessary, directly to the General Superintendent as to the condition of the schools of the pueblo and to make suggestions in respect thereto as may seem to it expedient.

Sec. 13. Every pueblo shall constitute a school district and it shall

be the duty of the Municipal Council thereof to make as ample pro- vision as possible by loc«il taxation for the support of all the schools established within its jurisdiction. In exceptional cases, where the topography of the country or the difficulty of communication between parts of the same pueblo require it, the Division Superintendent may attach a part of one pueblo to the school district of another and shall, in such case, fix the amount which it will be just for the Municipal Council of the former to contribute to the annual school expense of the latter.

Sec. 14. The English language shall, as soon as practicable, be made the basis of all public school instruction, and soldiers mav be detailed as instructors until such time as they may be replaced by trained teachers.

Sec. 15. Authority is hereby given to the General Superintendent of Public Instruction to obtain from the United States one thousand trained teachers at monthly salaries of not less than seventy-five dol- lars ($75) and not more than one hundred and twenty-five dollai*s ($125), the exact salary of each teacher to be fixed by the General Superintendent of Public Instruction in accordance with the efficiency of the teacher in question and the importance of the position held. The necessary tmveling expenses of sucn teachers from their places of residence to Manila shall be paid by the government.

Sec. 16. No teacher or other person shall teach or criticise the doc- trines of any church, religioas sect or denomination, or shall attempt to influence the pupils for or against any church or religious sect m any public school established under this act. If any teacher shall intentionally violate this section, he or she shall, after due hearing, be dismissed from the public service.

Provided, however, that it shall be lawful for the priest or minister of any church established in the pueblo where a public school is situ- ated, either in person or by a designated teacher of religion, to teach religion for one half an hour three times a week in the school building to those public school pupils whose parents or guardians desire it and express their desire therctor in writing tiled with the Principal Teacher of the school, to be forwarded to' the Division Superintendent, who shall fix the hours and rooms for such teaching. But no public school teacher shall either conduct religious exercises or teach religion or act its a designated religious teacher in the school building under the fore- going authority, and no pupil shall be required by any public school teacher to attend and receive the religious instinct ion herein permit- ted. Should the opportunity thus given to teach religion be used by the priest, minister or religious teacher for the purpose of arousing disloyalty to the United States, or of discouraging tne attendance of pupils at such public school, of creating a disturbance of public order, or of interfering with the discipline of the school, the Division Superintendent, subject to the approval of the Genei'al Superintendent of Public Instruction, may, after due investigation and hearing, forbid such offending priest, minister or religious teacher from entering the public school building thereafter.

Sec. 17. There shall be established and maintained in the city of Manila a Normal School for the education of natives of the islands in the science of teaching. The rules and plan for the organization and conduct of such school and the qualifications of pupils entering the stiino, shall ))e dotcrmined by the Gcneml Sui^erintendent of Public Instruction.

Sec. 18. There shall l)e established and maintained in the city of Manila a Trade School for the instruction of natives of the islanas in the useful trades. The powers and duties of the General Superin- tendent in respect to this school shall be the same as those provided Ui the section in respect to the Normal School.

Sec. 19. There shall be established and maintained a School of Agriculture in the island of Negros. The Superior Advisoiy School Board shall recommend to the Commission for final detennmation a proper site for such school. The powers and duties of the General Superintendent in respect to this school shall be the same as those pro- vided in the section concerning the Normal School.

Sec. 20. The General Superintendent of Public Instruction is authorized and directed, under the supervision of the Military Gov- ernor, to procure the making of plans and estimates for the creation of such school buildings as he may deem necessary and practicable at the present time, including a building or buildings for the Normal School in Manila and a building or builoings for the Tiude School directed to be established in sections 17 and 18 hereof. The estimated cost of such buildings and their proper equipment shall not exceed four hundred thousand dollai-s ($400,000). Such plans and estimates shall be sub- mitted to the Commission.

Sec. 21. The General Superintendent of Public Instruction is directed to prepare and submit to the Commission through th^ Military Gov- ernor a statement showing the text books and other supplies which will be needed for the year 1901, the estimated cost of which shall not exceed the sum of two hundi-ed and twenty thousand dollars (1220,000).

Sec. 22. The sum of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated out of any funds in the Insular Treasury not otherwise appropriated for the organization and maintenance of the Normal School in Manila for the year 1901.

Sec. 23. The sum of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000), or so much thereof as may be necessary , is hereby appropriated out of any funds in the Insular Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the organiza- tion and maintenance of the Trade School in Manila for the year 1901.

Sec. 24. The sum of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000), or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated, out of any funds in the Insular Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the organization and maintenance of the School of Agriculture for the year 1901.

Sec. 25. Nothing in this act shall be construed in any way to forbid, impede or obstruct the establishment and maintenance of private schools.

Sec. 26. Whenever sums of money are mentioned in this act, they shall be understood to be money of the United States.

Sec. 27. This act shall take effect on its passage.

Enacted, January 21, 1901.