The Land Ordinance of 1785, enacted by the Continental Congress before we had a constitution, spelled out detailed plans for how townships in the Northwest Territories should be laid out. There would be 36 lots in a nice orderly 6x6 arrangement. The lots would be available for sale, except for four which would be reserved for the federal government, and Lot 16. Lot 16 was set aside for a special purpose:
There shall be reserved the lot No. 16 of every township for the maintenance of public schools within the said township.
Consider: in the 6x6 arrangement Lot 16 would be smack in the middle. That’s where the public school was supposed to be. Consider: the Continental Congress had very little power within the 13 colonies. Each of those colonies were sovereign states. The Congress had no power to do anything on a national scale unless all 13 colonies agreed. But in the vast territory west of the Appalachians and north of the Ohio River, the Continental Congress had real power. How interesting that the Congress used that power to recognize the fundamental importance of public education.
Today we welcome President Biden and Vice President Harris, along with Miguel Cardona, their designee to head up the Department of Education. Let’s hope these leaders carry on the legacy of Lot 16.
DAWG BONE: THE FOUNDERS KNEW THAT PUBLIC EDUCATION WAS THE FOUNDATION OF GOVERNMENT BY THE PEOPLE.
Tomorrow: The latest on transgender students…