1896 School Systems and Teachers Pay
In that same newspaper dated 16 May 1896, The Langston City Herald reported that several of the Oklahoma county superintendent say that many of the districts would begin the coming school year free of debt. Teachers would feel that a better day had dawned, when once they can take their orders to the district treasurer and received the cash for them.
While the warrant system, owing to the condition of the country, had probably been a necessary evil, it was a very expensive method of paying debts and always worked a hardship to the teacher. Those who build and furnish houses always add to the price they charged enough to enable them to make a fair profit when their warrants had been discounted heavily, but the teacher was paid no more in warrants than he should receive in cash.
Thus without gain to the taxpayer, the teacher's wages were reduced to what was a good deal less than a reasonable remuneration. Cash payments would be a gain both to the teacher and to the supporters of the schools. The teacher would receive the full amount of his wages, and the taxpayer would save the interest which must be paid until the warrants could be paid in cash.
It was reported in May, 1896 there were 70,000 school children in Oklahoma with Oklahoma supposedly having the finest schools for her age in the world. Also, did you know that in 1896 the average wages paid to school teachers in Woods County was $30 a month? I suppose back then $30 was a lot of money. What would the equivalent of that be 146 years later?
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