The provisions for education in the Texas Constitution of 1876




Ferguson, Arthur Clinton, 1876-

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The desires, policies, and governmental concepts of a people can usually be found in their organic laws and statutory enactments. This study is an investigation of the resolutions, reports, amendments, debates and final provisions made by the delegates of the Texas Constitutional Convention of 1875 on the question of education. ... The purposes of the investigation are: (1) to discover what educational concepts have been fostered during the history of Texas since the victory for independence, and what concepts crystallized into provisions in the organic law. (2) To determine the causes and influences which operated in making the constitutional provisions for education in the Constitution of 1876. (3) To furnish information in brief compass on the development of educational policies as controlled by the Constitutions and accompanying laws to citizens of Texas and to other interested persons with the hope of making a contribution in the solution of present and future problems of education in Texas. A need seems to exist for a study which may assist in clarifying the causes of the presence of some of the educational provisions in the Constitution of 1876. Constitutional provisions are stabilizing factors in the administration of the affairs of government. Detailed restraints, limitations, and specifications in the organic law always have a tendency to stabilize practice in any department of government at the stage of progress reached at the period when the provision goes into effect. Changes in conditions which require different provisions are disregarded sometime with detrimental consequences to the progress of social enterprises all because of constitutional restrictions made to meet the need of conditions that have long since passed away. Whether or not this is true of the Texas Constitution of 1876 is probably a debatable question. To understand the original motives, hopes, beliefs, and concepts of the framers of this instrument should help citizens of today come to safer conclusions on the subject of education and should guide their attitudes regarding future efforts in dealing with educational policies