EDUCATION. In 1900 only 4.2 per cent. of the population over ten years of age were illiterate, s compared with 10.7 for the whole country. The free-school system dates from 1855. Rapid progress has been made in perfecting the sys tem, especially in lengthening the school year, the average for recent years having exceeded 150 days. The power of the county superintendent has been increased sn that he can supervise the schools without restriction by the county hoards. Great inequalities, however, exist throughout the State, due to the inadequacy of local taxes in many of the rural communities, and to lack of centralization. Over 350 schools enroll fewer than 10 pupils each. Lack of funds necessitates short terms and leads to the employment of mediocre teachers. More than one-third of the pupils of the State are enrolled in ungraded schools. The lack of high schools in the rural communities, or any provision for the payment of their tuition in schools outside their district, prevents many Iron securing the advantages of a secondary education. In 1900 there were 1,588,000 persons between the ages of six and twenty-one. Of these, 958.900 were enrolled in the public schools, the average attendance being 737,576. The per cent. of the children in daily attendance increased from 61 in MO to 76.9 in 1900; and the average num ber of days attendance increased during the period from 91.9 to 123.3. There were also 142,496 children enrolled in 965 private schools. The private secondary schools numbered 65, and the public high schools 321. The public-school teachers numbered 26,303, of whom 6950 were male. The average monthly salary of the male teacher was $60.34, and of the female teacher $52.45.
The total cost to the State of the public schools and educational institutions was, in 1900, $19, 919,000. The income from the township school
funds amounted to $900,000, while that from the county and State funds approximated $100,000. The average cost per enrolled child was $18.94. The total permanent school fund now amounts to $17,429.000. The largest items are, first, school lands unsold and other lands of an estimat ed value of $9.571.000, and, second, the town ship funds, being the net proceeds of the sale of the sixteenth section in each Congressional town ship, amounting to 85,923,000. The State educa tional system comprehends higher institutions of learning, of which there are five normal schools, located respectively at Charleston, De Kalb. Ma comb. Carbondale, and Normal: an agriculture and mechanic-arts school at, Urbana; and a uni versity also at Urbana. In few States has private initiative been more active in establishing higher schools of learning. Thirty-one institutions have assumed the name of 'college' or 'university.' Be sides these there are a large number of profes sional and technical institutions, more modest in name, hut equally well known. Cook County Nor mal School is one of the best known in the whole country, and the University of Chicago (q.v.) has attracted wide attention by its original fea tures and the eminence of the scholars who have been called to fill its chairs. Among the best known of the other institutions are the North western University. the Armour Institute of Tech nology. and the Rush Medical College, situated at Chicago; Knox College. at Galesburg: and Il linois Wesleyan University, at Bloomington. Most of the higher institutions are coeducational.