January 8, 1916.
Supt. E. L. Darst, Dublin, Virginia.
My dear Mr. Darst:
Your recent letter to Mr. J. H. Binford with reference to the Coordinate College was handed to me. I am interested in what you say with reference to this matter, and because of this interest I am taking the liberty of writing you with reference to the same.
I think, with you, that there can be nothing of greater importance to the state of Virginia than increased appropriation for the common schools. As a matter of fact, it is the thing to which I have given every moment of spare time since 1902, when the May Campaign was organized and promoted in Virginia. As you probably know, this campaign begun the fight for better things in education here in the state. Since that time, through the Co-operative Education Association, I have worked for and faithfully championed this cause.
I speak of these personal things in order that you may understand that some of us who are most deeply interested in the establishment of the Co-ordinate College have felt for many years the need of the common schools, and been faithful workers for better provisions for them. It is also true that the best friends of the common schools, namely former Supt. J. D. Eggleston and our present superintendent, Hon. R. C. Stearnes, have been among the best friends and the most earnest workers for the establishment of the Co-ordinate College.
We feel that the establishment of this college would give an opportunity to the 13,000 girls in the public high schools, some 1087 of whom are in the graduating class, as against 633 boys in those same classes (these figures represent only the 120 high schools that reported on students) an equal opportunity with their brothers to pursue their education, which brothers have the choice of four state institutions, viz: V.P.I., William & Mary, V.M.I. and the University of Virginia. It would also enable the state to give adequate and college opportunity to the high school teachers, and to offer academic credit to these same teachers at the Summer School.
Adequately trained high school teachers would mean, as you know, improved training in the elementary schools, since so large a proportion of these teachers come directly from the high schools.
Some little while back I sent you some literature with reference to the Co-ordinate College, which I trust you had the opportunity to read. We feel that the committee of twenty-five working for better appropriations for the common schools, compulsory education, a Co-orginate College, and an increase to the teachers' pension, is going to accomplish great things during the coming ses-