Harveys Lake
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The Pennsylvania School System


The Lake Township School System
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The Pennsylvania School System


Chapter 2: Administration

Under the early school laws each county had two inspectors of common schools appointed by the county court.  The schools were supervised by the Department of State in Harrisburg.  In 1957 the Department of Public Instruction was created.  There was a State Superintendent of Common Schools, which was changed in 1873 to a Superintendent of Public Instruction.

A system for county superintendent, elected by local school directors, was created in 1854.  The first Luzerne County school superintendent was John W. Lescher whose salary was $500.00.  By 1867 cities and boroughs had their own superintendent.  By 1870 the “non-accepting” school districts were also swept under the Free School Act of 1834.

The early school laws, however, did not require compulsory attendance.  The first compulsory school law was adopted in 1895 and applied to children eight to 13.  In 1897 the law was extended to children to age 16.

Under the Free Act of 1834 the minimum school term was three months.  The term was extended to four months in 1849, but the extended term was so controversial it was repealed in 1851.  The four month term was reinstated in 1854.  In 1899 the minimum term was extended to seven months.


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Copyright 2006-2007 F. Charles Petrillo

Copyright 2006-2008 F. Charles Petrillo