William N. Sheats, elected three times as Florida state school superintendent, brought Florida national recognition by his progressive school policies. During his socalled “crusade against ignorance” he had written the educational provisions of the state constitution of 1885, organized the dual school system, and had helped to upgrade the professional status of teachers. His negotiations with the state legislature had resulted in a $188,000 appropriation for public schools from Florida’s Indian War claim settlement with the federal government and a $50,000 state appropriation for high school development. Still, Sheats had made many political enemies in Florida over the years, and his critics dubbed him an education “Czar.“
White, Arthur O.
"Race, Politics and Education: The Sheats-Holloway Election Controversy, 1903-1904,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 53
, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol53/iss3/3