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“J” is for Jeanes Teachers

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“J” is for Jeanes Teachers. In 1907, Anna T. Jeanes, a wealthy Philadelphia Quaker, donated $1 million to set up the Negro Rural School Fund to provide educational opportunities for Black children in the rural South. In 1909 eleven Black women were employed as Jeanes Teachers in the state. However, if the program were to grow, there had to be local support. In 1936 the South Carolina Superintendent of Education reported that schools employing Jeanes Teachers were notably superior to those that did not. By the 1940s state and county funds covered more than ninety percent of Jeanes Teachers’ salaries. The end of school segregation in the 1960s led to the demise of the program. For more than sixty years, Jeanes Teachers had helped provide educational opportunities for African American children in South Carolina.