Status: Complete


to Negro schools. Governor Aycock rallied his friends in and out of the General
Assembly to defeat the bill. He said there was no more reason to divide school funds
between the races according to the amounts each paid than there would be to effect
such a division in all other taxes; that the bill for that reason and others, was un-
constitutional. The opposition did not succeed in 1901. However, when the General
Assembly, of 1903 convened this "school tax division group" began their efforts all
over again and there was much bitter discussion. Finally, exasperated, the Governor
sent the leaders of the group in the Assembly who wished to pass such a bill a written
statement saying in effect: "If you and your associates pass any such bill as that,
I will resign my office as Governor, return to my home in Goldsboro and to the practice
of law."

That statement of the Governor ended the matter and since then no such "Vicious
principle" has raised its head in a North Carolina General Assembly. The Governor
of North Carolina does not have veto power.

It may be appropriate here to say that Governor Aycock, many years later, was
among four leaders in American education who were "cannonized" and thus honored by the
National Education Association meeting in Seattle, in the state of Washington. The
other three were Dr. Charles W. Elliot, former president of Harvard Univerisity, Dr.
William T. Harries one time United States Commissioner of Education, and Mrs. Ella
Flagg Youth, a former Superintendent of the Chicago Public Schools.

Another North Carolinian who made invaluable contributions to public education
in the state is Dr. James Y. Joyner. Appointed to be State Superintendent of Public
Instruction in 1902 by Governor Aycock, Dr. Joyner served as head of the state's
public school system for seventeen years, and then retired of his own volition in 1919.
He and the Governor had been close personal friends since their student days at the
State University in Chapel Hill. Dr. Joyner brought to his task sound scholarship,
broad experience, enthusiasm and deep devotion to his state, and the education of all
the children as supreme goal.

Notes and Questions

Nobody has written a note for this page yet

Please sign in to write a note for this page