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with the teacher at a specific sum per month, or by the quarter, and they may then agree with him, that if he shall be afforded satisfactory board at the house of any of the inhabitants, he will allow whatever sum may be agreed on per week for such board, to be applied to his wages, and will give an order on the trustees for the amount, to the person with whom he boards : and the trustees may then accept such order from the inhabitants, as payment to that extent upon his tuition bill, and deduct it from the amount to be paid the teacher, after having paid him the whole of the public money.
It is strongly recommended that all contracts with teachers be made in writing, and a duplicate kept by each party. In no other way can justice be done to the parties in case of any dispute.
The power of the trustees to contract with and employ teachers, cannot be controlled by the inhabitants; although it should never be exercised, unless under very peculiar circumstances, in opposition to the known wishes of a decided majority of the district.
Contracts by trustees of school districts for teachers' wages are binding on them personally, individually and collectively, while they remain in office; and on their successors after the expiration of their term: and trustees who are not in office, as such, are no longer personally answerable on such contracts. See 7 Wendell, 181, 4 Hill; Com. School Dec. 191, 282.
A contract made by all the trustees of a district, but signed by two only, is binding upon all; and the presence or concurrence of the third will be presumed from the signature of the remainder. So two trustees may enter into a contract, in the absence of the third, if he was duly notified of a meeting for that purpose, or was consulted, and refused to act.--Mc Coy vs. Comtree, 9 Wend. 17. In short, so far as the rights of third persons are concerned, a contract made by a majority of the trustees will be regarded as prima facie valid and obligatory. The party with whom the contract has been entered into is not bound to enquire whether the requisite preliminary steps to authorize the majority to act without the presence or concurrence of the third trustee have been taken
If a teacher's certificate is annulled, the trustees are at liberty to dismiss him, and to rescind their contract with him. They engage him as a qualified teacher, and the moment he ceases to be so, there is a failure of the consideration for the contract. If, however, the trustees continue him to the school after notice that his certificate has been annulled, it will be regarded as such a continuance of the contract that they will not be allowed at a subsequent period to dispute it.--Com. School Dec. 212.
2. MODE OF PAYING TEACHERS.
This is specifically provided for by $ 82, (No. 103,) above referred to. By subdivision eight, the trustees are to pay the wages of such teachers, when qualified, out of the moneys which shall come into their hands from town superintendents of common schools, so far as such moneys shall be sufficient for that purpose ; and to collect the residue of such wages, excepting such sums as may have been collected by the teachers, from all persons liable therefor."
By subdivisions nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen and fourteen, they are,
“ To divide the public moneys received by them, whenever authorised by a vote of their district, into not exceeding two portions for each year, to assign and apply one of such portions to each term during which a school shall be kept in such district, for the payment of the teachers' wages during such quarter or term; and to collect the residue of such wages, not paid by the proportion of public money allotted for that purpose, from the persons liable therefor, as above provided.
“ To exempt from the payment of wages of teachers, either wholly or in part, such indigent persons within the district as they shall think proper, in any one quarter or term, and the same shall be a charge upon such district:
“ To certify such exemptions, and deliver the certificate thereof, to the clerk of the district, to be kept on file in his office :
“To ascertain, by examination of the school lists kept by such teachers, the number of days for which each person not so exempted, shall be liable to pay for instruction, and the amount payable by each person :
“ To make out a rate-bill containing the name of each person so liable, and the amount for which he is liable, and to annex thereto a warrant for the collection thereof: and
«To deliver such rate-bill, with the warrant annexed, to the collector of the district, as directed by subdivision 14, of $ 82, (No. 103,) and $ 83, (No. 104.)
By $ 84, of the same act, (No. 105,) “where by reason of the inability to collect any tax or rate-bill, there shall be a deficiency in the amount raised, the inhabitants of the district, in district meeting, shall direct the raising of a sufficient sum to supply such deficiency, by tax, or the same shall be collected by rate-bill, as the case may require.”
In accordance with these several provisions, trustees of districts in making out their rate bills, will hereafter proceed as follows:
1. They will first ascertain the amount due to the teacher, under his contract, for the first quarter's services.
2. They will then apply so much of the public money as is applicable to the term, in diminution of such amount.
3. They will assess the balance upon each inhabitant who has sent to the school during the term, (including indigent persons) according to the number of children and of days sent by each, as appears by the verified list kept by the teacher, under the 104th section of the aforesaid act. (No. 127.)
4. They will then proceed to exempt, either wholly or in part, such indigent inhabitants as they may think proper for the payment of their proportion of such assessment, and certify the whole amount of such exemptions, and deliver the certificate thereof to the clerk of the district, to be kept by him.
5. They will then make out a rate bill against those exempted in part, for the balance remaining after such partial exemption, and against those not exempted either wholly or in part, for the collection of the amounts assessed against them respectively, and add their warrant, in the usual manner. Such warrants need not be under seal, and may be executed by the collector “ in any other district or town, in the same manner, and with the like authority, as in the district for which he was chosen or appointed.” (No. 126.)
6. The trustees will collect the amount of exemptions, as certified by them, by a tax, which they are authorized to impose upon all the taxable inhabitants of the district. They may immediately proceed to impose this tax ; or they may add the amount to any tax thereafter imposed for district purposes, as may be most convenient.
Trustees should exercise a liberal discretion in making exemptions in behalf of indigent inhabitants, so that the charge for tuition shall in no case be burdensome : while on the other hand, they should never allow the consideration of the trifling amount of the general tax for such exemption when levied upon the whole taxa. ble property of the district, to tempt them into an unnecessary exercise of the powers confided to them.
To illustrate this proceeding more fully, let us apply the several steps necessary to be taken in ordinary cases. Suppose a teacher employed for the usual term of four months at $20 per month. The public money, including local funds, belonging to the district, and applicable to the term, either by the decision of a distriet meeting, as above specified, or by the determination of the trustees, is $40: the amount due the teacher for his quarter's services is of course $80, of which the trustees pay him $40 at once, from the public money, and take his receipt therefor. They then call upon him for his list, kept and verified according to the provisions of $ 104, (No. 127,) and after having ascertained from such list, the number of days' attendance for which each person sending to school is liable, they will proceed to assess the respective proportions of the remaining $40, from each, according to the whole number of days and children sent. Thus if one inhabitant has sent four chil- . dren for 104 days, he will be charged for 416 days, and so on. Suppose upon adding up the whole number of days thus ascertained, the total is found to be 4,000, for the average attendance of 40 scholars for the whole term : the proportion of $40 due for one scholar for each day, would be one cent: and this multiplied by the number of days each scholar attended, would give his proportion : and by adding the proportions of each belonging to the same family, the amount due from each person sending to school is ascertained. The trustees then make out an assessment in the following form.
Form of Assessment. 'Assessment containing the name of each person liable for teachers' wages in district No. in the town of Trenton, for the term ending on the day of 185 and the amount for which each person is liable.
The assessment should be signed by the trustees and filed with the district clerk.
The next step is to exempt such indigent persons as the trustees may think proper, from the payment of the sums set opposite to their names, either wholly or in part. Suppose Peter Barney to be exempted wholly, and Thomas Jones and John Radcliff each from the payment of one-half the amounts assessed to them ; the trustees will first make out a certificate, to be filed with the clerk of the district in the following form:
3. CERTIFICATE OF EXEMPTION. We, the undersigned, trustees of District No. in the town of Trenton, do certify, that we have this day exempted Peter Barney from the payment of any share of the wages of the teacher employed in said district for the term ending on the
18 and Thomas Jones and John Radcliff each from the payment of one half the amount assessed to them respectively, as their share of such wages. Dated this
A. B. 18
Trustees. E. F.
They will then proceed to make out their rate bill and warrant in the following manner :
Form of Rate Bill and Warrant. .Rate bill, containing the name of each person liable for teach ers' wages, in District No. in the town of Trenton, for the term ending on the
185 and the amount for which each person not exempted, either wholly or in part, from the payment of such amount, is so liable, with the fees of the collector thereon.
To the Collector of School District No. in the town of Trenton, in the county of Oneida.
You are hereby commanded to collect from each of the persons in the annexed rate bill named, the several sums mentioned in the last column thereof, with five per cent for your fees, except on amounts paid in within two weeks after the receipt of this warrant at one per cent., and within thirty days after receiving this warrant to pay the amount so collected by you, into the hands of the trustees of said district, or one of them; and in case any person therein named shall neglect or refuse to pay the amount set opposite his name as aforesaid, you are to levy the same by distress and sale of the goods and chattels of such person, except such as are exempt by section twenty-two, article two, title five, chapter six, part three of the revised statutes from levy and sale under execution.