Harveys Lake
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The Pennsylvania School System


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The Pennsylvania School System


Chapter 5: School Consolidation and Transportation

There were critics of the one-teacher rural schools who believed that children in upgraded schools did not progress as well as students in graded schools.  In some sections of the state rural children had a higher failure rate when they attended high school.  Teachers were also becoming difficult to attract to rural schools.

The one-room schoolhouses were inadequate and textbooks dated.  Library material and supplementary readers were absent or selected without proper consideration.  Sanitary facilities were in deplorable condition in many schools. 

Many of these concerns, however, did not apply to Lake Township.  Qualified graduates of the Lake schools returned as gifted teachers to the rural schools of Lake Township.  But, it is true that many of the Lake schoolhouses were 50 years old by 1900, and consolidation of schools had advantages.

At the turn of the century roads and transportation in rural areas were slowly to improve.  The state encouraged change in the rural districts.

In 1897 school districts were authorized to close and consolidate the smaller rural schools.  In 1919 the law required school districts to close one-teacher schools having an average term attendance of 10 or less.  In 1926-27 there were 486 one-teacher schools in the state which was reduced to 237 by 1933-34.  The state encouraged these closings by subsidizing the cost of transporting children of closed schools.


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Copyright 2006-2007 F. Charles Petrillo

Copyright 2006-2008 F. Charles Petrillo