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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > About Indiana - History and Trivia > Explore Indiana History by Topic > Indiana Documents Leading to Statehood > Constitution of 1851 as originally written > Article 8 - Education Article 8 - Education

Section 1. Knowledge and learning, generally diffused throughout a community, being essential to the preservation of a free government; it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to encourage, by all suitable means, moral, intellectual, scientific, and agricultural improvement; and to provide, by law, for a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall be without charge, and equally open to all.

Section 2. The Common School fund shall consist of: the Congressional Township fund, and the lands belonging thereto;

The Surplus Revenue fund;

The Saline fund and the lands belonging thereto;

The Bank Tax fund, and the fund arising from the one hundred and fourteenth section of the charter of the State Bank of Indiana;

The fund to be derived from the sale of county seminaries, and the moneys and property heretofore held for such Seminaries; from the fines assessed for breaches of the penal laws of the State; and for all forfeitures which may accrue;

All lands and other estate which shall escheat to the State, for want of heirs or kindred entitled to the inheritance;

All lands that have been, or may hereafter be, granted to the State, where no special purpose is expressed in the grant, and the proceeds of the sales thereof; including the proceeds of the sales of the swamp lands, granted to the State of Indiana by the act of Congress of the twenty-eighth of September, eighteen hundred and fifty, after deducting the expense of selection and draining the same;

Taxes on the property of corporations, that may be assessed by the General Assembly for common school purposes.

Section 3. The principal of the Common School fund shall remain a perpetual fund, which may be increased, but shall never be diminished; and the income thereof shall be inviolably appropriated to the support of Common Schools, and to no other purpose whatever.

Section 4. The General Assembly shall invest, in some safe and profitable manner, all such portions of the Common School fund as have not heretofore been entrusted to the several counties; and shall make provision, by law, for the distribution, among the several counties of the interest thereof.

Section 5. If any county shall fail to demand its proportion of such interest, for Common School purposes, the same shall be reinvested, for the benefit of such county.

Section 6. The several counties shall be held liable for the preservation of so much of the said fund as may be entrusted to them, and for the payment of the annual interest thereon.

Section 7. All trust funds, held by the State, shall remain inviolate, and be faithfully and exclusively applied to the purposes for which the trust was created.

Section 8. The General Assembly shall provide for the election, by the voters of the State, of a State Superintendent of Public Instruction; who shall hold his office for two years, and whose duties and compensation shall be prescribed by law.