Section 1. The general assembly shall establish, organize, and maintain a system of public schools throughout the state, for the equal benefit of the children thereof between the ages of seven and twenty-one years; but separate schools shall be provided for the children of citizens of African descent.
Sec. 2. The principal of all funds arising from the sale or other disposition of lands or other property, which has been or may hereafter be granted or intrusted to this state, or given by the United States, for educational purposes, shall be preserved inviolate and undiminished; and the income arising therefrom shall be faithfully applied to the specific objects of the original grants or appropriations.
Sec. 3. All lands or other property given by individuals, or appropriated by the state for educational purposes, and all estates of deceased persons who die without leaving a will or heir, shall be faithfully applied to the maintenance of the public schools.
Sec. 4. The general assembly shall also provide for the levying and collection of an annual poll tax, not to exceed one dollar and fifty cents on each poll, which shall be applied to the support of the public schools in the counties in which it is levied and collected.
Sec. 5. The income arising from the sixteenth section trust fund, the surplus revenue fund, until it is called for by the United States government, and the funds enumerated in sections three and four of this article, with such other moneys, to be not less than one hundred thousand dollars per annum, as the general assembly shall provide by taxation or otherwise, shall be applied to the support and maintenance of the public schools; and it shall be the duty of the general assembly to increase, from time to time, the public school fund, as the condition of the treasury and the resources of the state will admit.
Sec. 6. Not more than four per cent of all moneys raised, or which may hereafter be appropriated for the support of public schools, shall be used or expended otherwise than for the payment of teachers employed in such schools; provided, that the general assembly may, by a vote of two-thirds of each house, suspend the operation of this section.
Sec. 7. The supervision of the public schools shall be vested in a superintendent of education, whose powers, duties, term of office, and compensation shall be fixed by law. The superintendent of education shall be elected by the qualified voters of the state in such manner, and at such time, as shall be provided by law.
Sec. 8. No money raised for the support of the public schools of the state shall be appropriated to, or used for, the support of any sectarian or denominational school.
Sec. 9. The State University and the Agricultural and Mechanical College shall each be under the management and control of a board of trustees. The board for the university shall consist of two members from the congressional district in which the university is located, and one from each of the other congressional districts in the state. The board for the Agricultural and Mechanical College shall consist of two members from the congressional district in which the college is located, and one from each of the other congressional districts in the state. Said trustees shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, and shall hold office for a term of six years, and until their successors shall be appointed and qualified. After the first appointment each board shall be divided into three classes, as nearly equal as may be. The seats of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of two years, and those of the second class in four years, and those of the third class at the end of six years, from the date of appointment, so that one-third may be chosen biennially. No trustee shall receive any pay or emolument, other than his actual expenses incurred in the discharge of his duties as such. The governor shall be ex officio president, and the superintendent of education ex officio a member of each of said boards of trustees.
Sec. 10. The general assembly shall have no power to change the location of the State University, or the Agricultural and Mechanical College, as now established by law, except upon a vote of two-thirds of the members of the general assembly, taken by yeas and nays, and entered upon the journals.
Sec. 11. The provisions of this article, and of any act of the general assembly, passed in pursuance thereof, to establish, organize, and maintain a system of public schools throughout the state, shall apply to Mobile county only so far as to authorize and require the authorities designated by law to draw the portion of the funds to which said county will be entitled for school purposes, and to make reports to the superintendent of education, as may be prescribed by law. And all special incomes and powers of taxation, as now authorized by law for the benefit of public schools in said county, shall remain undisturbed until otherwise provided by the general assembly; provided, that separate schools for each race shall always be maintained by said school authorities.