Below are a few of the regulations for schools in the state of Kentucky for the last decade of the 19th Century. What I find interesting in these tidbits are uniforms, state exam for graduation, grounds for suspension and that 'no teacher shall work on Saturdays.' Sunday isn't even mentioned because no one worked on Sundays back then.
1. [A Uniform System.] — lit it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky: There shall be maintained throughout the State of Kentucky a uniform system of common schools in accordance with the Constitution of the State and this chapter.
2. [Common School Defined.]—No school shall be deemed a "common school," within the meaning of this chapter, or be entitled to'any contribution out of the school fund unless the same has been, pursuant hereto, actually kept, or is under contract to be kept, by a qualified teacher for three months in districts having thirty-five pupils or less, for four months in districts having more than thirty-five or less than forty-five pupils, and for five or more months in districts having forty-five or more pupils, during the same school year, and at which every child residing in the district, between the ages of six and twenty years, has had the privilege of attending, whether contributing towards defraying its expenses or not: Provided, That nothing herein shall prevent any person from attending a common school who will obtain the consent of the trustees and the teachers and pay the required tuition fees. Rut after June 30, 1894, no school shall be deemed a ''common school" or be entitled to any contribution out of the school fund, unless the same has been, pursuant hereto, actually kept, or is under contract to be kept, by a qualified teacher for not less than five months during the same school year, free of expense to every pupil child, as prescribed above. In order that each child of the Common wealth may enjoy the benefits of a five months' school, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall, for each school year after June 30, lSJ)3, apportion the fund due each county having one or more districts of less than forty-five pupil children as follows: He shall apportion to each district, without regard to school popnla ion, the per capita of forty-five pupil children, both from the fund derived from the State and interest on the county bond, if any, and prorate the remainder of the fund among the districts having more than forty-five such children: Provided, That any fractional balance shall be omitted in computing the said per capita, and that the aggregate of fractional balances shall be credited to the respective counties, and be taken into account the following year.
3. [School Year.]—The school year shall begin on the first day of July, and end on the thirtieth of June.
4. [School - Month — School - Day — Assistant Teachers.]—Twenty school days, or days in which teachers are actually employed in the school room, shall constitute a school month in the common schools of the State; but no teacher shall teach on Saturdays. Teachers shall have the benefits of only such legal holidays as they actually observe. Six hours of actual work in the school room shall constitute a school day; and under no circumstances shall the daily session, including recesses and intermissions, exceed nine hours in length. When the attendance exceeds fifty, the teacher may employ, during such attendance, an assistant, whose scholarship and competency shall be acceptable to the trustees. When the school shall require an assistant to serve regularly at a salary, such assistant shall hold a certificate of qualification and be employed by the trustees.
5. [Regulations for Schools — Penalties.]—All pupils who may be admitted to common schools shall comply with the regulations established in pursuance of law for the government of such schools. Wilful disobedience or defiance of the authority of the teachers, habitual profanity or vulgarity, or other gross violation of propriety or law, shall constitute good cause for suspension or expulsion from school.
6. [Forbidden Publications and Doctrines.]—
No books or other publications of a sectarian, infidel, or immoral character, shall be used or distributed in any common school; nor shall any sectarian, infidel or immoral doctrine be taught therein.
7. [Conditions for Graduation.]—Whenever a pupil of any common school shall have faithfully completed the prescribed course of study, shall have passed a proper examination before the County Board of Examiners on a series of questions prescribed by the State Board of Examiners, and paid to the said county board an examination fee of one dollar, he shall be entitled to a certificate of such completion and examination, signed by said county board and approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction who shall affix thereto his official seal. The superintendent shall prepare a proper formfor said certificate. Onesuchexaminationshall be held in each county on the last Thursday in January, and another on the last Thursday in June of each year.
Source: Kentucky Common School Laws ©1896