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This Day in Georgia History

December 12, 1866

General School System Tentatively Created

Gov. Charles J. Jenkins signed legislation to create a “general system of Georgia Schools.” The act provided for a common school system, a state school superintendent appointed by the governor, and a school commissioner for each county appointed by the grand jury. The law further directed that every white resident in each county between the ages of 16 and 21 (or under 30 years of age if a disabled or indigent ex-soldier) was entitled to a free public education. The law’s effective date was Jan. 1, 1868 - but by then Reconstruction was underway, and the law was never implemented.