History of Oklahoma

By Edward Everett Dale; Morris L. Wardell | Go to book overview

__XXI__
Education

OKLAHOMA TERRITORY'S FIRST YEAR

THE ORCANIC ACT of May 2, 1890, provided for organized government in the newly opened lands. By a supplemental act of May 14, 1890, provision was made for $50,000 to be expended by the governor in temporary support and aid of common school education as soon as a system of public schools could be established by the territorial legislative assembly. When this body met in September, 1890, it was concerned with what was considered more pressing matters and did not provide a school system until late in the session. Consequently, several school districts were not organized in time to provide schools, and others had only short terms. Of the amount provided, the sum of $37,581 was spent for teachers' salaries and the printing of forms, though the latter cost but $182. The remainder was held for districts where no money had been spent or where very short terms had been held; this was primarily in the newly opened lands.

Governor George W. Steele reported in 1891 that Congress had made no provision for funds to support schools in the recently opened lands in the Sac, Fox, Iowa, Potawatomi, and Shawnee lands. The problem of establishing common schools here was further complicated by the fact that the allotted Indian lands were not taxable, even though the Indian children were expected to attend the public schools. This problem aris-

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