Illinois Free School Act of 1825
Acknowledging the duty of a free government to promote and cultivate the intellectual energies of its citizens, the Illinois General Assembly passed an act providing for the establishment of common schools on January 15, 1825. The legislation authorized counties to establish schools, county courts to create schools districts, counties to hold elections for schools trustees, and school officials to collect taxes to fund schools. The act designated the auditor of public accounts and the secretary of state as commissioners of the school fund authorized to apply moneys accruing from property tax assessments and school land sales for the use of schools and school districts. Subsequent legislation created county-level school commissioners, whose duty was to manage the sale of sections designated for schools, deposit the money, and distribute the interest to their respective counties.
"An Act providing for the Establishment of Free Schools," 15 January 1825, Laws of Illinois (1825), 121-28; "An Act to Amend an Act, Entitled, 'An Act Authorizing the Sale of Sections Numbered Sixteen, or such Land as may be Granted in Lieu Thereof to the Inhabitants of Such Townships, for the Use of Schools,' Approved Jan. 22, 1829, Laws of Illinois (1831), 172-76.