"An Act to Require School Attendance" in South Carolina, 20 February 1915


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Document Description:

In addition to the concerns regarding child labor laws, South Carolina was also becoming increasingly concerned with school attendance.  At the beginning of the century, school attendance was very low, and illiteracy was a serious problem.  Governor Coleman L. Blease (1911-1915) took an interest in the education and literacy of children in his state by working to mandate school attendance and create comprehensive libraries in many schools across the state.  The following law requires school attendance for children 8 to 14, with various exceptions including extreme poverty and residence in agricultural districts.  The moderate terms of the law, considered a progressive move at the time, may surprise students who are a part of the modern school schedule.


An Act To Require School Attendance.  1915 Acts no. 98.  20 February 1915.  South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina.  

Correlating SC Social Studies Academic Standards:

Standard 5-3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of major domestic and foreign developments that contributed to the United States’ becoming a world power.

Indicator 5-3.5 Explain how building cities and industries led to progressive reforms, including labor reforms, business reforms, and Prohibition.

Standard 8-6: The student will demonstrate an understanding of South Carolina’s development during the early twentieth century.

Indicator 8-6.1 Summarize the progressive reform movement in South Carolina, including the motivation of progressives; child labor laws; Prohibition; improvements to roads, hospitals, and libraries; tax reforms; changes to local government systems; and the roles of significant state governors and women’s groups.

Standard USHC-5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of major social, political, and economic developments that took place in the United States during the second half of the nineteenth century.

Indicator USHC-5.7 Compare the accomplishments and limitations of the progressive movement in effecting social and political reforms in America, including the roles of Theodore Roosevelt, Jane Addams, W. E. B. DuBois, and Booker T. Washington.

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School Attendance Act

School Attendance Act

School Attendance Act

School Attendance Act

School Attendance Act

School Attendance Act

School Attendance Act


Lessons Using this Document:

Child Labor in the Carolinas


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