RECORD GROUP: Other County Records
RECORD SERIES #: 14100
SERIES: Monmouth County Schools, 1845-1866
VOLUME: 1 manuscript box
Although legislation for public schooling had been enacted as early as 1816, some of which created the State School Fund, education for children was a rather slap-dash affair. Few areas had dedicated schoolhouses or teachers. The cause was a combination of sparse population, little discretionary income for the residents, and lack of willing, or able, instructors. But, in 1829, An Act to Establish Common Schools was passed that would have a great impact on the students in Monmouth County, as described here by County Superintendent Samuel Lockwood, in his Historical Sketch of Education, Monmouth County, 1876,:
In this year was made the first annual appropriation of money to schools – $20,000 among counties in proportion to the amount of taxes paid by the inhabitants. The same act provided for the election of a school committee in each township, and this committee was authorized to divide the Township into School Districts, and to examine, and license teachers, and call annually district meetings. At these meetings, three Trustees were chosen every year. Their duty was to decide how many months the schools should be kept open, to provide suitable school houses, to prepare a list of children in each district between the ages of four and sixteen years, and to send this list to the township committee.
This act created great controversy, not the least of which was turmoil over the raising of taxes, and it was soon repealed.
In 1838, several changes were made to improve the educational system. The State Fund was increased to $30,000, and was to be used exclusively for the education of the poor. The townships were authorized to collect taxes for school needs, enough to match twice the amount coming from the state. The changes also created boards for each county to issue certificates to teachers.
In subsequent years, more improvements were instituted. 1846 saw the creation of township school superintendents, who would visit each school quarterly, and report to the State superintendent. The State Fund was increased to $40,000 in 1851 and was allocated according to the population of students between the ages of five and eighteen, hence the reason for the student censuses.
In 1875, Article VII, Section 6, of the State Constitution was amended to provide for the maintenance and support of a free public school system through an exclusive, perpetual fund.
There are three large school censuses that list the names of the parent or guardian, followed by the number of children under that adult’s care. The report from Marlboro Township lists the guardian’s name, as well as the names and ages of the children under their care.
125 Symmes Drive
Manalapan, NJ 07726
|Report from Shrewsbury School Committee||1845|
|School Censuses – Atlantic-Matawan||1861-1866|
|School Censuses – Middletown-Wall Twp.||1861-1866|
|Misc. School-related documents||Ca. 1864|
|School Surplus & School Money Collected||1864-1865|
|Matawan Twp. Enumeration List||1861|
|Matawan Twp. Enumeration List||1862|
|Marlboro Twp. Enumeration List||