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ERIC Number: ED518388
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
Public Schools and the Original Federal Land Grant Program. A Background Paper from the Center on Education Policy
Usher, Alexandra
Center on Education Policy
This background paper from the Center on Education Policy (CEP) examines the origins, history, and evolution of federal land grants for public schools, as well as their significance as an early example of the federal role in education. It is intended to serve as a more detailed companion to another CEP paper, "Get the Federal Government Out of Education? That Wasn't the Founding Fathers' Vision" (CEP, 2011), which mentions land grants as part of a broader look at the historical federal role in education. Several key points can be drawn from this paper: (1) Federal support for public schools is not a modern concept; (2) The nation's founders saw these land grants as a way to encourage public education and incorporate the principles of democracy throughout the vast western territory; (3) The policy of land grants for education continued to be endorsed in federal laws spanning from the Jefferson Administration through the Eisenhower Administration; (4) Land grants were an early example of the federal government using a carrot-and-stick approach with states; and (5) Federal land grants continue to generate revenues for education. A table showing basic information about which states received federal land grants, which lands were granted to these states for use of the public schools, and which federal act granted these lands is appended. (Contains 2 tables and 5 footnotes.) [For the companion report, "Get the Federal Government out of Education? That Wasn't the Founding Fathers' Vision," see ED518386.]
Center on Education Policy. 1001 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 522, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-822-8065; Fax: 202-822-6008; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: George Gund Foundation; Phi Delta Kappa International
Authoring Institution: Center on Education Policy
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A