"War vs. Schools," Ohio State Journal, May 3, 1848, p. 2.
Ohio State Journal
War vs. Schools
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
War vs. Schools.
The Hon. HORACE MANN, Secretary of the Board of Education in his Eleventh Annual Report, contrasts the cost of war and its preparations with the cost of education, in the following extract:
Since the organization of the Federal Government in 1789, the expenses of our military and naval establishments and equipments, in round numbers, is $700,000,000. Two of our ships of the line have cost more than $300,000,000. The value of the arms accumulated at one time at the Arsenal in Springfield in this State, was $900,000. The Military Academy at West Point has cost more than $400,000,000. In our town meetings, and in our school district meetings, wealthy and substantial men oppose the grant of $15 doe a school library, and of $30 for both library and apparatus; while at West Point they spend $50 in a single lesson at target firing, and the government keeps a hundred horses, and grooms and blacksmiths to take care of them, as an indispensable part of the apparatus of the academy. The pupils of our Normal schools, who are preparing to become teachers, must maintain themselves; the cadets at the academy receive $28 a month, during their entire term, as a compensation for being educated at the public expense. Adding bounties and pensions to wages and rations, I suppose the cost of a common foot soldier in the army cannot be less than $250 a year.
The average cost of female teachers for the public schools of Massachusetts last year, was only $13.60 a month, inclusive of board; or at a rate which would give $163,20 for the year; but the average length of the schools was but eight months, so that the cost of two common soldiers is nearly that of five female teachers.
The annual salary of a Colonel of dragoons in the United States Army is $2,205; of a Brigadier General $2,950; of a Major General $4,502; that of a Captain of a ship of the line, when in service, $5,500, and when off duty, it is $2,600!
There are but seven towns in Massachusetts where any teacher of a public school receives so high a salary of $1000; and in four of those towns, one teacher only receives this sum - Horace Mann.
He might have added that the annual expense of a regiment of dragoons in the service of the U. States is $700,000, more than $30,000 greater than the annual cost of public education of the people of Massachusetts. Three such regiments are now in service, costing annually $2,100,000, a sum greater than the cost of all the colleges in New England.
The $100,000,000 which have been expended in the late Mexican War, would have been sufficient to found 126 free Colleges, each as richly endowed as Harvard University - Library, Professorships, scientific schools and all.
If sums of money were thus liberally expended, and for education and its appliances, instead of war and its horrible enginery, who can estimate the happy results which would be the fruit of such policy? - Rochester American.