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PREFACE,

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The law requiring that the report of the Superintendent shall be made on the 15th day of August preceding the regular session of the General Assembly, and that it shall cover the biennial period ending June 30th, leads to confusion, and renders it impossible for the Superintendent to report the condition of education in the several counties up to or near to the date of the issue of his report. This report although issued August 15, 1887, contains nothing from the several counties later than October, 1886, and all this valuable and interesting information is therefore almost an entire year behind the appearance of the report. The statistics relating to the several counties are made up from the reports of district secretaries and treasurers. These reports are due at the office of the county superintendents between the fifteenth and twentieth days of September of each year. (See sections 1745 and 1751 school laws 1884.) It will be seen therefore, that the report of this department for the year 1887, cannot contain anything from the counties compiled from the reports of secretaries and treasurers later than September of 1886. The reports of the Board of Regents of the State University and the Trustees of the Iowa State Normal School cover a period ending June 30, 1887 . Unless there are grave reasons for the distinction which the law now makes between the report of the Superintendent of Pablic Instruction and that of other State officers, (and such reasons have not occurred to me) the law should be so amended as to provide that the report of this department shall be made to the Governor on or about the time of the assembling of each session of the General Assembly. This would enable the Superintendent to report for the term ending October 1st, and would bring the information he is able to give practically down to the date of his report. Respectfully,

J. W. AKERS, Superintendent of Public Instruction.

TWENTY-THIRD BIENNIAL REPORT

OF THE

Superintendent of Public Instruction.

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It is gratifying to be able to report a most satisfactory and prosperous condition of education throughout the State. The past two years have been years of increased interest, activity and growth. This applies to no particular county or locality, but is general. The number of school houses has been increased by about five hundred, and their aggregate value by more than five hundred and fifty thougand dollars. The number of teachers is increased by about five hundred, while our school population is ten thousand greater than the same as reported two years ago.

The total number of teachers attending normal institutes in 1884, was fourteen thousand, seven hundred and ninety-four. This report shows eighteen thousand and twenty-six.

Our report for 1884 shows $4,962,276 raised by district taxation. For 1886 the amount is $5,200,807, showing an increase of $238,531. This does not represent our entire receipts for 1886, that being, for the three funds, $6,514,639.56. The aggregate disbursements of the three funds for 1884 was as follows: School house fund, $1,182,544.15; contingent fund, $1,329,459.91; teachers' fund, $3,724,966.54, making a total of $6,236,847.82. For the year 1886 these amounts are as follows: Total disbursements of the school house fund, $952,540.03; contingent fund, $1,361,749.39; teachers', $4,008,883.54, making the total disbursements of the three funds for 1886, $6,323,172.42, leaving on hand, in all funds, $2,091,028.29.

Since 1884 there has been quite a decrease in the amount of money expended for school houses and sites. The years 1883 and 1884 were remarkably active in this respect, as compared with earlier and later

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years. The explanation of the falling off of the last two years is, of course, to be found in the hard times and the general depression in business enterprise.

I herewith present a tabulated statement of the receipts and disburgements of the several funds for the past six years, believing that such a presentation will prove interesting and valuable to those who desire to inform themselves as to the condition and progress of our school system:

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