Today’s Des Moines Register contains an opinion piece with some important reminders from American history. Here’s something from our second President (one of the “founders” before holding that position):
“The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it,” President John Adams declared in 1785. “There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it — not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves.”
Of particular note for my novel in progress: By 1918 everyone was required to complete elementary school (then defined as 8th grade).