Publication Date


Degree Program

School of Teacher Education

Degree Type

Master of Arts


In order to have a clear understanding of the principles and practices of the existing educational set-up in Kentucky, It is necessary for one to have a knowledge of the actual decisions of the courts that have established the educational policies. To gain this knowledge, one must be familiar with the beginnings of the schools and the common school system. To show this period, which might be called the "Pre-Publlc School Era" It has been necessary to make a chronological study of the laws pertaining to education. The laws, as they were approved and passed by the Legislature, have been transcribed verbatim. There exists nowhere a transcript of this kind. Therefore, the need for such treatments seems well warranted. .Not only will such a compilation be of value to the student interested in the history of the school system, but it also will be of value as reference for those who will formulate the school laws that will be passed in the future. The purpose of this study has been twofold. First, it has been the purpose of the writer to make just such a compilation of the laws that have made our school system what it is today. We have the school laws, yes, as they are found In the constitutions of the State and in the Session Acts; but, nowhere, do we have a single volume dealing in its entirety with the laws pertaining only to the school. In the second place, this study should serve as an Introduction to further research in this field. The period covered in this study has been one of fifty years. Such a length of time was decided upon for the following reasons: 1. Because of the large number of acts and laws passed by the Legislature, a longer period of time would cause an unwieldy volume. The succeeding fifty years would afford one a similar study. 2. It was necessary to cover a period of at least fifty years to show the advancement of the academies and seminaries to the public school. This study is a purely introductory one, In that it shows the beginnings of our educational system, as found in the early academies and seminaries. It is, in the main, that era in our educational system before the public school came Into existence. The sources of data for this study were the Acts of Virginia, the first three constitutions of the State, and the Session Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Education, as such, was not mentioned in the first two constitutions of the State. A change is noted In the constitution of 1850, in which a complete article was included concerning education. Only after much discussion by the members of the convention of 1849-1850 was this article included. The only inference to be drawn from the first two constitutions concerning education is that the Acts of Virginia are to be upheld. Since education was Included in them, therefore, it must be continued as Kentucky gained her statehood. A few studies of this kind have been made in several states, among which are Florida and Mississippi. Nothing of this type has been done in Kentucky, except for a book by Ligon, History of Education in Kentucky, which deals mainly with the University of Kentucky and its growth as evidenced in the statutes. In consequence of the preceeding reasons and statements, the need for such a work seems well warranted.


Education | History | United States History