Schools of the Past: Greene

In Chenango County as we are in the fait season it is timely to turn our attention to the south (not Florida) but to the southern central section of the county and look at the extensive history of the Town of Greene’s one-room schools. The Township of Greene has the distinction of having a total of twenty-five districts, both single and joint which will be the subject in the forthcoming weeks. The extensive research credit for this vast amount of information has to be given to Mildred English Folsom from her “Town of Greene – Rural School Districts.” Mrs. Folsom’s research was extensive to say the least and in the course of these articles, as the districts changed numbers it will be necessary to be repetitive in some cases. For all readers as the saying goes – “stay tuned.”

With the incorporation of the Board of Regents in 1784, was the earliest beginning of the now vast educational system we have here in New York State. By 1789 (and this has been written in previous articles) the State Legislature had set aside two lots of public land for each town for Gospel and School purposes. When this bill became law and annual amount of $50,000 was appropriated for support of the schools, with money being apportioned among the counties accordion to their representation in the Legislature. With this monetary appropriation each county then divided its portion according to the number of taxable inhabitants. Each town then appropriated their portion among the school districts according to the number of day’s attendance by pupils resident in the district. “The Mounties raised half as much as they received from the State. At the end of three years, 1352 districts had been organized with a total registration of 59,600 pupils.” This constituted the start of our Common School system.

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