SECTION 1. A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of this State to make suitable provisions for the support and maintenance of public schools.
SEC. 2. The Legislature shall, as early as practicable, establish a system of free schools throughout the State; and as a basis for the endowment and support of said system, all the funds, lands and other property heretofore set apart and appropriated, or that may hereafter be set apart and appropriated for the support and maintenance of public schools, shall constitute the public school fund; and said fund, and the income derived therefrom, shall be a perpetual fund exclusively for the education of all the white scholastic inhabitants of this State, and no law shall ever be made appropriating said fund to any other use or purpose whatever. And until such time as the Legislature shall provide for the establishment of such system of public schools in the State, the fund thus created and the income derived therefrom, shall remain as a charge against the State, and be passed to the credit of the free common school fund.
SEC. 3. And all the alternate sections of land reserved by the State out of grants heretofore made, or that may hereafter be made, to railroad companies or other corporations of any nature whatever, for internal improvements, or for the development of the wealth and resources of the State, shall be set apart as a part of the perpetual school fund of the State; provided, that if at any time hereafter any portion of the public domain of this State shall be sold, and by virtue of said sale the jurisdiction over said land shall be vested in the United States Government, in such event one half of the proceeds derived from said sale shall become a part of the perpetual school fund of the State; and the Legislature shall hereafter appropriate one half of the proceeds resulting from all sales of the public lands to the perpetual public school fund.
SEC. 4. The Legislature shall provided, from time to time, for the sale of lands belonging to the perpetual public school fund, upon such time and terms as it may deem expedient; provided, that in cases of sale the preference shall be given to actual settlers; and, provided further, that the Legislature shall have no power to grant relief to purchasers by granting further time for payment, but shall in all cases, provide for the forfeiture of the land to the State for the benefit of a perpetual public school fund; and that all interest accruing upon such sales shall be a part of the income belonging to the school fund, and subject to appropriation annually for educational purposes.
SEC. 5. The Legislature shall have no power to appropriate or loan or invest, except as follows, any part of the principal sum of the perpetual school fund for any purpose whatever; and it shall be the duty of the Legislature to appropriate annually the income which may derived from said fund, for educational purposes, under such system as it may adopt; and it shall, from time to time, cause the principal sum now on hand and arising from sales of land, or from any other source to be invested in the bonds of the United States of America, or the bonds of the State of Texas, or such bonds as the State may guarantee.
SEC. 6. All public lands which have been heretofore, or may be hereafter, granted for public schools, to the various counties or other political divisions in this State, shall be under the control of the Legislature, and may be sold on such terms and under such regulations as the Legislature shall be law prescribe; and the proceeds of the sale of said lands shall be added to the perpetual school fund of the State. But each county shall receive the full benefit of the interest arising from the proceeds of the sale of the lands granted to them respectively; provided, that the lands already patented to the counties, shall not be sold without the consent of such county or counties to which the lands may belong.
SEC. 7. The Legislature may provide for the levying of a tax for educational purposes; provided, the taxes levied shall be distributed from year to year, as the same may be collected; and provided, that all the sums arising from said tax which may be collected from Africans, or persons of African descent, shall be exclusively appropriated for the maintenance of a system of public schools for Africans and their children; and it shall be the duty of the Legislature to encourage schools among these people.
SEC. 8. The moneys and lands heretofore granted to, or which may hereafter be granted for the endowment and support of one or more universities, shall constitute a special fund for the maintenance of said universities, and until the university or universities are located and commenced, the principal and the interest arising from the investment of the principal, shall be invested in like manner, and under the same restrictions as provided for the investment and control of the perpetual public school fund, in Sections four and five (4 and 5) in this Article of the Constitution, and the Legislature shall have no power to appropriate the university fund for any other purpose than that of the maintenance of said universities, and the Legislature shall, at an early day, make such provisions, by law, as will organize and put into operation the university.
SEC. 9. The four hundred thousand acres of land that have been surveyed and set apart, under the provisions of a law approved 30th August, A. D. 1856, for the benefit of a Lunatic Asylum, a Deaf and Dumb Asylum, a Blind Asylum, and an Orphan Asylum, shall constitute a fund for the support of such institutions, one fourth part of each; and the said fund shall never be diverted to any other purpose. The said lands may be sold, and the fund invested under the same rules and regulations as provided for the lands belonging to the school fund. The income of said fund only shall be applied to the support of such institutions; and until so applied, shall be invested in the same manner as the principal.
SEC. 10. The Governor, by and with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senate, shall appoint an officer to be styled the Superintendent of Public Instruction. His term of office shall be four years, and his annual salary shall not be less than ($2,000) two thousand dollars, payable at stated times; and the Governor, Comptroller and Superintendent of Public Education shall constitute a Board to be styled a Board of Education, and shall have the general management and control of the perpetual school fund, and common schools, under such regulations as the Legislature may hereafter prescribe.
SEC. 11. The several counties in this State which have not received their quantum of the lands for the purposes of education, shall be entitled to the same quantity heretofore appropriated by the Congress of the Republic of Texas, and the State, to other counties. And the counties which have not had the lands to which they are entitled for educational purposes, located, shall have the right to contract for the location, surveying and procuring the patents for said lands, and of paying for the same with any portion of said lands so patented, not to exceed one fourth of the whole amount to be so located, surveyed and patented to be divided according to quality, allowing to each part a fair proportion of land, water and timber.