-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Pease Elementary
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2011 14:26:17 -0500
From: Andy Welch
To: gselby@statesman.com

Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, in her remarks in an interview withKUT-FM on Friday, April 1, 2011, made reference to the establishment of
Pease Elementary School as having its origin with the Texas Constitution.
Actually, the public property on which Pease sits is older than the State
of Texas and the current Texas Constitution.

Pease sits on property that was dedicated to educational purposes in the

1839 survey of the city of Austin, at the urging of Mirabeau B. Lamar,

second President of the Republic of Texas. Under his leadership, the

Congress of the Republic of Texas passed a general education law in 1839

that created the foundations of public education in Texas. That same year,

largely because of Lamar’s advocacy, surveyors laid out the town of Austin,

which became the capital of the Republic. As part of that survey, the

Congress of the Republic of Texas set aside a plot of land that today lies

on the west side of modern Rio Grande Street just south of 12th Street.

This survey plot was designated as the site for a public school for the

children of the new town of Austin. The Austin Graded School opened on this

site in 1876—the same year that Texas adopted the current state

Constitution, and was subsequently named after Governor Elisha M. Pease. It

has continued in operation, educating thousands of Austin schoolchildren

ever since.


The State Historical Marker placed at the school site calls Governor Pease

“a leader in legislation that laid the groundwork for support of public

education in Texas.”


Senate Bill 18, passed by the 62nd Texas Legislature in 1971, addresses

ownership of property, and directs that:


“The State of Texas hereby grants and conveys all right, title, and
interest of the State of Texas to the Austin Independent School
District in and to the property dedicated on the map of the original
City of Austin as “Academy” and as “University” and located between
Mesquite Street (now known as 11th Street) and Peach Street (now known
as 13th Street) and Rio Grande Street and West Avenue, so long as said
property is used by the Austin Independent School District for
educational purposes. The State of Texas hereby specifically retains a
right of reverter in said property and the title thereto shall
automatically revert to and vest in the State of Texas in the event
said property shall be abandoned or ease to be used by the Austin
School District for public educational purposes.” (Section 1, amended)

4:56 pm, April 5, 2011:

Statement from the Austin School District
April 5, 2011





Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, in her remarks about the Facility Master

Planning process in an interview with KUT-FM on Friday, April 1, 2011, made

reference to the establishment of Pease Elementary School as having its

origin with the Texas Constitution. From her perspective and review of

historical documents, more than perhaps any other building in Texas, Pease

Elementary signifies the state Constitution’s commitment to a free and

public education for children.



From its birth as a republic, Texas has had an amazing commitment to public

schools.

The public property on which Pease sits was designated for a public school

when Texas was still a Republic. At the urging of Mirabeau B. Lamar, the

second President of the Republic of Texas, the property was dedicated to

educational purposes in the 1839 survey of the City of Austin, predating

the 1876 (current) Constitution by 37 years.



Under Lamar’s leadership, the Congress of the Republic of Texas passed a

general education law in 1839 that created the foundations of public

education in Texas. That same year, largely because of Lamar’s advocacy,

surveyors laid out the town of Austin, which became the capital of the

Republic. As part of that survey, the Congress of the Republic of Texas

set aside a plot of land that today lies on the west side of modern Rio

Grande Street just south of 12th Street. This survey plot was designated

as the site for a public school for the children of the new town of Austin.

The Austin Graded School opened on this site in 1876—the same year that

Texas adopted the current state Constitution, and was subsequently named

after Governor Elisha M. Pease. It has continued in operation, educating

thousands of Austin school children ever since.



At passage, the 1876 Constitution was very clear about the use of public

lands to establish a system of free public schools. The original Pease

school, several blocks from the capitol, embodied the intention of those

Constitutional framers.



The State Historical Marker placed at the school site calls Governor Pease

“a leader in legislation that laid the groundwork for support of public

education in Texas.”



Ninety-five years later, Senate Bill 18, passed by the 62nd Texas

Legislature in 1971, addressed ownership of the property, and directed

that:



“The State of Texas hereby grants and conveys all right, title, and
interest of the State of Texas to the Austin Independent School
District in and to the property dedicated on the map of the original
City of Austin as “Academy” and as “University” and located between
Mesquite Street (now known as 11th Street) and Peach Street (now known
as 13th Street) and Rio Grande Street and West Avenue, so long as said
property is used by the Austin Independent School District for
educational purposes. The State of Texas hereby specifically retains a
right of reverter in said property and the title thereto shall
automatically revert to and vest in the State of Texas in the event
said property shall be abandoned or ease to be used by the Austin
School District for public educational purposes.” (Section 1, amended)


Pease Elementary School—the oldest public school in continuous service in

the state—was born in the same year as our Constitution and continues to

shine as a symbol of the our State’s commitment to public education.



# # #

5:49 pm, April 5, 2011:

Statement from the Austin School District

April 5, 2011





Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, in her remarks about the Facility Master

Planning process in an interview with KUT-FM on Friday, April 1, 2011, made

reference to the establishment of Pease Elementary School as having its

origin with the Texas Constitution. From her perspective and review of

historical documents, more than perhaps any other building in Texas, Pease

Elementary signifies the state Constitution’s commitment to a free and

public education for children.



From its birth as a republic, Texas has had an amazing commitment to public

schools.

The public property on which Pease sits was designated for a public school

when Texas was still a Republic. At the urging of Mirabeau B. Lamar, the

second President of the Republic of Texas, the property was dedicated to

educational purposes in the 1839 survey of the City of Austin, predating

the 1876 (current) Constitution by 37 years.



Under Lamar’s leadership, the Congress of the Republic of Texas passed a

general education law in 1839 that created the foundations of public

education in Texas. That same year, largely because of Lamar’s advocacy,

surveyors laid out the town of Austin, which became the capital of the

Republic. As part of that survey, the Congress of the Republic of Texas

set aside a plot of land that today lies on the west side of modern Rio

Grande Street just south of 12th Street. This survey plot was designated

as the site for a public school for the children of the new town of Austin.

The Austin Graded School opened on this site in 1876—the same year that

Texas adopted the current state Constitution, and was subsequently named

after Governor Elisha M. Pease. It has continued in operation, educating

thousands of Austin school children ever since.



At passage, the 1876 Constitution was very clear about the use of public

lands to establish a system of free public schools. The original Pease

school, several blocks from the capitol, embodied the intention of those

Constitutional framers.



The State Historical Marker placed at the school site calls Governor Pease

“a leader in legislation that laid the groundwork for support of public

education in Texas.”



Ninety-five years later, Senate Bill 18, passed by the 62nd Texas

Legislature in 1971, addressed ownership of the property, and directed

that:



“The State of Texas hereby grants and conveys all right, title, and
interest of the State of Texas to the Austin Independent School
District in and to the property dedicated on the map of the original
City of Austin as “Academy” and as “University” and located between
Mesquite Street (now known as 11th Street) and Peach Street (now known
as 13th Street) and Rio Grande Street and West Avenue, so long as said
property is used by the Austin Independent School District for
educational purposes. The State of Texas hereby specifically retains a
right of reverter in said property and the title thereto shall
automatically revert to and vest in the State of Texas in the event
said property shall be abandoned or ease to be used by the Austin
School District for public educational purposes.” (Section 1, amended)


Pease Elementary School—the oldest public school in continuous service in

the state—was born in the same year as our Constitution and continues to

shine as a symbol of the our State’s commitment to public education.



# # #