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1865-1877 1878-1895 1896-1915 1916-1931 1932-1944 1945-1953 1954-1972 1973-1982 1983-1993 1994-Present
Advancing Creative Solutions to Assure Fairness and Excellence in Education

A college degree is increasingly essential if citizens are to reap the benefits of the Souths new and still developing knowledge-driven economy. Higher education is the gateway to better jobs and the higher standard of living that goes with them.
Miles To Go (1998)

Alabama School1896-1915:
Separate & Unequal

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1896US Supreme Court upholds "separate-but-equal" public facilities for Blacks in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson. The decision will give legal sanction to segregation laws and "Jim Crow" practices that provide African Americans with separate, but inferior services and facilities.
1898Hampton is the site of one of the first summer teacher institutes where 200 Black teachers gather through the support of the Peabody and Slater Funds.
1899US Supreme Court decides Cumming v. School Board of Richmond County, Georgia, allowing local White officials to close Georgia's only Black high school in order to re-direct more funds to the local White high school. It would be 1945 before a four-year high school was available in Richmond County for Black children.
1900A race riot breaks out in New Orleans, Louisiana, one of several to occur over the next 10 years in the South. Black schools and homes are destroyed during the disturbance.
1901"While on the statute books, State systems have not discriminated adversely against the schools for Negroes, yet it has been unfortunate that there has often been a lack of attention to and sympathy with the Negro schools." - report of Educational Committee of Slater Fund.
Federal Census reports that 76 percent of White children and 52 percent of Black children between the ages of 10 and 14 are attending school in the South. School attendance is less than half those rates for younger children (5-9 years old).
1902Louisiana Department of Education reports data showing that on average both Black and White schools in the state are open for 120 days per year--an approximately 5-month term. Yet, only 44 percent of eligible White students and 25 percent of eligible Black students were actually in attendance on most days in elementary schools.
1903W. E. B. Du Bois publishes his book, The Souls of Black Folk, in which he challenges the gradualism of Booker T. Washington, calling for agitation to claim American rights for African Americans in the South.
1906 North Carolina School"The most unsatisfactory part of our school system is the condition of the rural schools, where population is scarce, the people generally are poor, and the bettering of equipment and instruction ought not be delayed." - Report of Educational Committee of Slater Fund.
White women reformers are active in at least 7 Southern states to improve public schools. In South Carolina, the group is named "The Women's Association for the Improvement of Public Schools." The Southern "crusade for public schools" is underway.
1907A wealthy Quaker from Philadelphia, Anna T. Jeanes, entrusts $1 million to establish a fund to maintain and assist rural schools for Blacks in the South.
1908Fearing that a proposed law will require educating Black children, New Orleans' leading newspaper warns White citizens: "compulsory education would strike deadly blows at our white domination of the state." Similar opposition to compulsory school attendance exists in many parts of the White South.
1909On average White teachers are now paid twice as much as Black teachers in the South. In Alabama, the average monthly salaries by race are $50.92 for White teachers and $25.23 for Black teachers. During the last 20 years, the racial disparity in teacher pay has increased in Alabama from 99 cents to over $25 per month.
1910Peabody Fund provides a salary for the first state official employed to promote the education of African Americans in the South--a "State Agent for Negro Schools" in Virginia.
Approximately 10 percent of all White children from 15 to 19 years of age in the South are attending a high school--in contrast with less than 3 percent of Black children of the same age group.
1911Slater Fund announces a new direction--funding and efforts to support the growth of high schools for African American students across the South so that all African American students would "some day be part of the public school system."
The Supreme Court of North Carolina invalidates school bonds in Camden County issued solely for building a public school for White students since the action constituted discrimination on account of race. Still, North Carolina continues to spend for each Black child less than half the money it spends for a educating each White child.
1912Slater Fund expands funding across the South to enlarge the number of public county "schools for Negroes," which were schools providing instruction on the eighth grade level or higher.
The City Council of Baltimore codifies the first city ordinance designating the legal boundaries of Black and White neighborhoods. This action is followed with similar ordinances in Dallas, Greensboro (North Carolina), Louisville (Kentucky) and other Southern cities. The US Supreme Court will declare the Louisville ordinance unconstitutional in 1917.
1913 Jeanes TeachersJeanes Fund supports 125 "lead teachers" working and traveling across the South to improve curriculum and instruction in small, rural schools for African Americans.
Southern states begin to consider and pass "compulsory attendance" laws to force parents and employers to take children off farms, out of factories, and into schools. Within 3 years, Georgia will pass a "compulsory attendance" law but it will be enforced irregularly as child labor persists.
1914Peabody Fund merges into Slater Fund. Over almost 50 years, the Peabody Fund contributed more than $3.5 million toward the advancement of Southern education.
US Commissioner for Education reports that annual expenditures for public schools in Southern states have risen by 230 percent since 1900. Yet, Southern states show vast disparities in per pupil expenditures by race. For every dollar the South spends for educating a White child, the region spends less than 38 cents educating a Black child ($10.82 versus $4.01). The largest disparity in funding is in Louisiana where the state spends $16.44 per White child and only $1.81 for a Black child.
1915Slater Fund is funding most Southern states to establish or sustain county high schools for African Americans. With Slater's focused help, the number of public high schools for African American students grows from four to over 40 in 3 years.
On the 50th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, Tuskegee Institute's Negro Yearbook estimates that African Americans, enslaved and legally prohibited from acquiring education or property in the South 50 years earlier, have contributed over $25 million to build and sustain schools. By 2004 values, this cumulative contribution amounts to approximately $500 million.
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