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are authorized to lay a tax, not exceeding twenty dollars for the first year, and ten dollars for each subsequent year, for the purchase of a district library, consisting of such books as they shall in their district meeting direct, and such further sum as they may deem necessary for the purchase of a book-case. . These provisions, it will be observed, are entirely distinct from those which relate to the purchase of books with the public moneys provided by the act of 1838. They are confined to such books as are obtained by means of a district tax; and wherever the inhabitants do not choose to place the latter on the same footing with the former, the distinction should be carefully observed. The library directed to be purchased with the public. money provided for that purpose, is to be selected by the trustees : the inhabitants have no direct control over such selection ; and the rules and regulations for its government are to be prescribed by the Superintendent alone; while the library to be raised by tax must consist of such books as the inhabitants in districts meeting shall direct; and the rules and regulations for its management may be adopted at such meeting, Still, both classes of books may be placed upon substantially the same footing, by a general direction to the trustees as to the books to be purchased, and the adoption of the rules and regulations prescribed by the Superintendent. By $ 141 (No. 160,) the legal voters in any two or more adjoining districts,may, with the approbation of the Superintendent, unite their library moneys, as they shall be received or collected, and purchase a joint library for the use of the inhabitants of such districts, to be selected by the trustees, or such persons as they shall designate, and to be placed under the charge of a librarian to be appointed by them. - - By section 143 of the same act, (No. 162) the legal voters in any district are authorized to direct the trustees to apply to the Superintendent to select and forward to the county clerk for the use of the district, a library. . . . . . . - By sub. 9 of § 82, (No. 103,) the power of inhabitants of districts to direct the division of the public (teacher's) money, into not exceeding four portions for each year, and to assign and apply one of such portions to each term taught during the year by a duly qualified teacher, is expressly recognized. Where by reason of the inability to collect any tax, there shall be a deficiency in the amount raised, the inhabitants of the district in district meeting, are empowered to direct the raising of a sufficient sum to supply such deficiency, by tax.-S 84, (No. By $46, (No. 72,) “If the Town Superintendent of common schools in any town, shall require in writing, the attendance of the Town Superintendents of any other town or towns, at a joint meeting for the purpose of altering a school district formed from their respective towns, and a major part of the Town Superintendents notified shall refuse or neglect to attend, the Town Superintendents attending, by a majority of votes, may call a special district meeting of such district, for the purpose of deciding on such proposed alteration; and the decision of such meeting shall be as valid as if made by the Town Superintendents of all the towns interested, but shall extend no further than to dissolve the district formed from such towns.” The powers conferred upon the inhabitants of school districts must be strictly pursued, and can in no case be exceeded. No vote or proceeding of a district meeting can be legal, for which authority is not expressly or by necessary implication, to be derived from the statute. - ' .
2. CHANGE of SITE of school, House.
By $73, (No. 95,) it is provided that “whenever a schoolhouse shall have been built or purchased for a district, the site of such school-house shall not be changed, nor the building thereon be removed, as long as the district shall remain unaltered, unless by the consent, in writing, of the Town Superintendent of common schools, of the town or each of the towns within which such district shall be situated, stating that in their opinion such removal is necessary ; nor then, unless a majority of all the taxable inhabitants of said district to be ascertained by taking and recording the ayes and noes at a special meeting of such district called for that purpose, shall be in favor of such new site.”
This provision is designed to secure permanency in the location of the district school-house, while the circumstances under which it was so located remain substantially the same. But when an alteration has taken place in the district, since such location, either by the addition of new inhabitants, and the consequent an nexation of new territory, from the adjoining districts, or by the setting off of a portion of the inhabitants and territory to some other district, then, the reason for the enactment failing, a change of site may be voted by a majority of the altered district, in the usual manner. When the new site is again established, either in this manner, or by a two-third vote, as provided in the section above quoted, and a house built the same principle again prevails. No further alteration can be made while the district remains substantially in the same condition as when the new site was fixed.
The alterations here referred to must be such as are made in the territorial boundaries of the district. Changes of residence by the inhabitants removing out of the district, or the removal of persons into it from other districts, cannot be deemed alterations within the meaning of the law, while the territory remains the same.
When the district has not been altered, and a change of site is proposed, the consent, in writing, of the Town Superintendent, as above specified is requisite, and in addition thereto, a vote of a majority of the taxable inhabitants of the district who are legal voters, present and voting, by ayes and noes. No taxable inhabitant who is not a legal voter of the district can vote therein on any question; nor is it necessary that a majority of all the taxable inhabitants or legal voters residing in the district should be obtained ; but only of a majority of those present and voting at a meeting duly notified.—Per MoRGAN Supt. April 1851. . Experience has shown that by far the most fertile sources o contention and difficulty in the various school districts, originate from the proceedings of the inhabitants connected with the change of the site of their school-house. Such a measure should, therefore, only be adopted when the convenience and accommodation of the inhabitants will be essentially promoted thereby ; when the altered situation of the district imperatively requires a change; and even then, the full and hearty concurrence not merely of a clear and decided majority of the district, but of the inhabitants generally, should be secured, before any final decision is made. There must always be a portion of the inhabitants, residing at the extremities of the district, who will experience more or less inconvenience, at particular seasons of the year, in consequence of their distance from the school-house: but it is better that these partial inconveniences should be submitted to, thān that they should be transferred to others and the whole district plunged into a contention respecting the site. But when, in consequence of the enlargement of the boundaries of the district, a change is indispensable, the inhabitants should come together in a conciliatory and friendly spirit, having no other object in view than the best interests of the district and the convenience of the greatest number: and their action should be deliberate and circumspect—reconciling, as far as possible, the interests of all, and rejecting every proposition calculated to Sow the seeds of dissension or disturbance in any portion of the district :—bearing in mind that a mere numerical triumph, leaving a large minority dissatisfied and irritated, however gratifying to the successful party, for a time, is but a poor compensation for a divided and distracted district, and an embittered and hostile neighborhood. - . . By $74, (No. 96,) it is provided that whenever the site of a school house shall have been changed as herein provided, the inhabitants of the district entitled to vote, lawfully assembled at any district meeting, shall have power by a majority of the votes of those present, to direct the sale of the former site or lot, and the buildings thereon, and appurtenances, or any part thereof, at such price, and upon such terms as they shall deem most advantageous to the district; and any deed duly executed by the trustees of such district, or a majority of them, in pursuance of such direction, shall be valid and effectual to pass all the estate or interest of such school district in the premises intended to be conveyed thereby, to the grantee named in such deed; and when a credit shall be directed to be given upon such sale, for the consideration money, or any part thereof, the trustees are authorized to take in their corporate name, such security by bond
and mortgage, or otherwise, for the payment thereof, as they shall deem best,and to hold the same as a corporation, and account therefor to their successors in office and to the district, in the manner they are now required by law to account for moneys received by them; and the trustees of any such district for the time being, may in their name of office, sue for and recover the moneys due and unpaid upon any security so taken by them, or their predecessors in office, with interest and costs. . . . . . . . .
By $ 75, (No. 97,) all moneys arising from any sale made in pursuance of the last preceding section, shall be appropriated to the payment of the expenses incurred in procuring a new site, and in removing or erecting a school house, or either of them, so far as such application thereof shall be deemed necessary.
- 3. DESIGNATION OF SITE OF SCHOOL-HOUSE.
When the site of a school-house is to be fixed, it should be designated with distinctness and precision. It is very common in many of the districts to vote a site in general terms, as at or near a particular spot, between two points, or by other equally vague deScriptions; and in some instånces, the precise location has been left to the discretion of the trustees, or of a committee appointed for that purpose. All this is directly contrary to law. The inhabitants in district meeting assembled, are to “designate a site for a district school-house,” and this designation must be sufficiently explicit, and must be described by metes and bounds, or other known and permanent land marks, to enable the trustees to locate the site, and to contract for and receive a title to the same ; and the best rule will be to make such a description as would be required in a deed of the premises.
4 BUILDING, HIRING, PURCHASING AND REPAIRING OF SCHOOL HOUSEs, AND PROVIDING FURNITURE AND APPENDAGES.
When a tax is voted by the inhabitants of a district for building a school-house, it is important, not only that the specific amount to be raised should be stated, but if any portion of it is designed to be expended in the erection of other appurtenances, such as a wood-house, necessary, or fence that those purposes should be specifically set forth in the resolution. It would, in all cases, be desirable that a committee of the inhabitants, consisting of or including the trustees who are charged by law with the execution of the work, should be appointed, to digest and, under the advice of the Town Superintendent, mature a full plan for the building, appendages and appurtenances, together with a detailed estimate of the expense, and to submit the same at an adjourned meeting for the Sanction and approval of the district. . . . . . . . . . .
From this proceeding many useful results would follow. The trustees would be placed in possession of all the information necessary to enable them sufficiently and systematically to discharge their duties, in contracting for and superintending the erection of the house; an opportunity would be afforded of obtaining and comparing the best models of architecture, and the inhabitants would be enabled to discuss at their leisure the several plans submitted, and to consult their convenience, taste and accommodation in the several details. . S The volume of “School Architecture,” by the Hon. HENRY BARNARD, of Connecticut, will be found exceedingly valuable, in the construction or alteration of school-houses, and should, whenever practicable, be consulted. - . The school-house, when built or purchased, should never be permitted to remain for any length of time out of repair. It is the duty of the trustees to keep it in repair, and the district should, whenever called upon, provide for the expense. They should also see that the school-rooms are properly furnished with fuel, prepared for use; that all the necessary articles of furniture are provided; that the seats, desks and other fixtures are in good condition, and that the district library, the apparatus for the school, and all the other property of the district, is properly taken care of, and such articles as are wanted, promptly furnished. In other words, the district should exercise a constant supervision over its officers, and provide the means for an efficient discharge of their duties. When it is supposed that more than four hundred dollars will be necessary to build, hire, or purchase a school-house, care should be taken to procure the certificate of the Town Superintendent before the tax is voted by the district, as such certificate seems by the act and has been held by the department to be indispensable, to authorize the vote. If there be a site and house, they should be sold, and the proceeds applied first to the purchase of the new site, and next to the building. And whatever sum is applicable to the erection or purchase of the school-house must, according to a decision of the department, go in reduction of the amount which the district may vote for a school-house.—(Decisions, p. 183.) Thus, if the former site and building sell for 200 dollars, and 50 dollars be applied to the procuring a new site, the remaining 150 dollars being applicable to the new house, the district cannot vote a tax of more than 250 dollars for the building, without the consent of the Town Superintendent. The following will be a proper form of a resolution for raising a tax for the erection of a school-house: . . . . . . . The certificate of the Town Superintendent of common schools of the town of having been obtained, that in his opinion a larger sum than four hundred dollars ought to be raised for building a school-house in the said district, namely, the sum of six hundred dollars, [or whatever the whole sum may be.] w . Resolved, That the said sum of six hundred dollars be raised by tax upon the said district, for the purpose of building a schoolhouse therein. The resolution for the purchase of a site should be distinct, and may be in the following form : -