Page images

Taxation.-School districts may raise money to procure sites, to build, rent, repair, remove, or purchase school buildings, to procure insurance, to plant and care for ornamental trees upon school grounds, to provide furniture, books, maps, charts, apparatus and conveniences for schools, and to pay off debts. They may hire money for building schoolhouses not exceeding four-fifths of their cost, payable in five years, with interest.



State superintendent.—Examiner of teachers.-School directors.-Town superintendent.-Truant officers.

State superintendent.-The general assembly shall elect at each biennial session a superintendent of education, who shall have general supervision of the public schools of the State, and shall devote his whole time to the duties of his office, which, in case of vacancy, is filled by the governor. His annual salary is $2,000 and traveling expenses to the amount of $600. His office shall be at the statehouse, and he may employ a clerk, at an annual compensation of $400. His disbursements for postage, expressage, and freightage are refunded him.

He shall hold a teachers' institute in each county during each biennial term, and may hold additional institutes, but not more than two in any one county during a biennial period, nor shall an institute continue more than four days. He may direct the examiner of teachers of a county to conduct the institute. He shall visit each county annually in addition to the occasion of holding an institute, and as many towns as possible, deliver lectures upon educational subjects, confer with and advise school officers and teachers, and investigate the condition of schools. He shall present to the general assembly on the first day of each biennial session a report covering the two years last past, containing an account of his official doings, of the condition of the schools, of the expenditure of school money, and suggestions. He shall file quarterly an itemized sworn statement of his expenses. Not more than 4,000 copies of his report shall be printed. Each examiner of teachers shall receive 20 copies, and members of the general assembly, town clerks, district clerks, and principals of graded union and high schools shall each receive one copy.

Examiner of teachers.-At each biennial session of the legislature, or as soon as possible thereafter, the State superintendent of education and the governor shall appoint one man in each county, who shall be a resident of the same, who shall be styled "examiner of teachers"; vacancies to be filled by the State superintendent and governor. The examiner shall, under the direction of the State superintendent, make all necessary arrangements for holding teachers' institutes, take measures to secure the attendance of teachers, assist at such institutes, and furnish statistical information.

The examiner of teachers, after consultation with the town superintendents of the county, shall, in the spring and autumn of each year, make arrangements for a public examination of applicants for teachers' certificates at such places and times as shall best accommodate the teachers of the county.

The examiner shall receive $4 a day for time actually spent in discharge of the duties of his office and his necessary expenses, not to exceed $2 a day, and expenditures for postage and stationery, and shall file every six months an itemized and sworn-to account of his expenses. He may be removed by the State superintendent and governor for unfitness, and shall biennially report to the former.

Board of school directors. At the annual town meeting in March, 1893, there shall be elected a board of three or six school directors, citizens of the town, onethird of whom shall be elected for one year, one-third for two years, and one-third for three years. A vacancy in the board shall be filled by the selectmen, until the next annual town meeting. The board shall have the care of school property and the management of the public schools, determine their number and location, employ teachers and fix their compensation, examine and allow claims arising in school matters, draw orders on the town treasurer for the payment thereof, and may make regulations for carrying the powers granted it for carrying them into effect, and when authorized to do so by the town it may purchase or sell sites and erect buildings. It may provide for the instruction of advanced pupils. It shall report fully to the annual town meeting. The compensation of the directors shall be fixed annually by the town.

The special provisions relating to incorporated school districts and school districts in unorganized towns and gores" are not included in this digest.

[blocks in formation]

Town superintendent.—The board of school directors shall, on or before the 1st day of April of each year, appoint a town superintendent of schools, whose compensation they shall fix. His duty shall be to visit the schools of the town at least once each term, and oftener if the school board so directs. He shall observe, when visiting a school, the condition of the buildings and grounds, the number of the scholastic appliances, maps, text-books, etc., and make suggestions to the board. He may dismiss any incompetent teacher. In towns having a graded school district under special act, the town and the special district may unite in the election of a town superintendent. Any two or more towns, the aggregate number of schools in all of which is not more than 60 nor fewer than 30, may, by vote of the school directors of the several towns, unite for the purpose of employing a superintendent of schools, the directors of the several towns forming a joint committee for the election of the superintendent and determining the proportion of his salary to be paid by each town.

Truant officers.-The selectmen of each town and the mayor of each city shall annually appoint two truant officers, or, in case of failure to appoint, the constables, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, or policemen shall act as truant officers. The truant officer, or a member of the board of school directors, or other authorized person, may arrest, and upon the written application of three voters in the town shall arrest, a child who is illegally absent from school. Any person charged with the duty of arresting truants who shall refuse or neglect to perform the duty imposed by law shall be fined not exceeding $100. All persons acting as truant officers shall be paid $2 a day for time actually spent, unless otherwise provided. On complaint of a teacher to a school director the truant officer shall inquire into the cause of a pupil's absence, and if he have reason to believe that the pupil's parent, guardian, or master has violated the laws regarding attendance, the truant officer shall immediately make complaint to a justice of the peace or judge of the municipal court, who shall issue a warrant to have the parent, guardian, or master brought before him.


Appointment, qualifications, and dutics.-Preliminary training.-Meetings. Appointment, qualifications, and duties.-No person shall teach a public school without having a certificate or a permit, and a contract for teaching shall be void if the teacher does not obtain a certificate before opening school. But this provision does not apply to the principal teacher of the highest department of a graded school. No certificate will be granted to a person not 17 years of age. A certificate of graduation from the lower course of a normal school in the State shall be a license to teach in the public schools of the State for five years from the date thereof, and a certificate of graduation from the higher course, for ten years. A graduate of the lower course, after one hundred weeks of successful teaching, may present himself for examination in the studies of the higher course. A person having a ten years' certificate and having taught two hundred weeks under it may, by the concurrent action of the State superintendent and the county examiner of teachers, be given a certificate entitling the recipient to teach until revoked by like concurrent action. The examiner may also grant certificates to the graduates of other normal schools which in his own county are of equal power with those granted graduates of the State normal school.

The State superintendent shall prepare printed questions for examination and blanks for teachers' certificates, and shall transmit the same to the examiners. He shall also fix the standard which shall be reached in the examinations. The examination shall be oral and written, and shall be conducted by the examiner or some competent person appointed by him, and should the examiner not be able to issue certificates seasonably the State superintendent is empowered to issue them. The certificates issued by the examiner are of three grades. A certificate of the first grade shall be given only to one who has taught forty weeks successfully, whose examination papers show the applicant to have reached the standard required by the State superintendent, whose oral examination has been satisfactory, and moral character and ability to govern good. Such certificate shall be a license to teach for five years from its date in any town in the State. A certificate of the second grade shall be granted to a candidate having taught twelve weeks, passed an examination in all the branches required by law to be taught in the common schools, proved in his papers that he has filled the requirements of the standard set by the State superintendent, and that he is of good character and capable of controlling a school. Such certificate shall be a license to teach two years. A certificate of the third grade shall be a license to teach for a specified time, not to exceed one year, and may, at the discretion of the examiner, be limited to the teaching of a particular school. One having twice taken a certificate of the third grade, and who has taught at

least twenty-four weeks, shall not afterwards be given a certificate of that grade. When the exigencies of the case may require it, the examiner may give an applicant a private examination.

Duties.-Every teacher shall register on the proper blanks the daily attendance, and enter therein correct answers to the interrogatories addressed to teachers, and shall return such register to the clerk of the board of directors, the final return to be made on or before the 20th day of March. If the register is properly filled out the clerk will certify the same and the teacher can obtain the compensation for the services rendered. When a pupil is not provided with the required text-books other than those furnished by the State the teacher shall notify the school directors, who will, if the legal guardian fail to supply them, furnish the necessary books. Each teacher shall promptly give notice to the school directors of cases of truancy on the part of any pupil in his school.

Preliminary training.-The manual schools at Randolph, Johnson, and Castleton are continued until August, A. D. 1900.

There shall be two courses of study in a normal school. Each course shall contain such branches as the trustees and the State superintendent shall decide, but no foreign language, ancient or modern, shall be included therein. No study or subject not included in the established courses shall be taught in a normal school, and if these provisions have not been complied with the State superintendent shall withhold the certificates upon which the auditor of accounts is authorized to draw his order for the payment of moneys to these schools. The examination for admission to a normal school shall be controlled by the trustees of such school and the State superintendent. The examination for graduation shall be conducted by a board consisting of the State superintendent, the principal of the normal school, and a practical teacher annually selected by the governor from the Congressional district in which the school is located, who shall receive $4 a day and his traveling expenses while in discharge of his duties. The board shall attend and assist at such examination and grant certificates of graduation to all who pass the required examination in the first course or both courses, but may revoke said certificate on cause shown.

Each town shall be entitled to one scholarship in a normal school, and a person appointed to a scholarship may attend any State normal school as he may elect. Each State normal school is entitled to 20 scholarships in addition to the scholarships it may have by reason of such town scholarships. The town superintendent may appoint to a scholarship, for the period required to complete the course of study, any person residing in the town of good character, 15 years of age or more, who declares it to be his purpose to complete at least one of the courses in a normal school and to teach in the common schools of the State for two years after graduation, and upon passing the examination for admission to the school such person shall be entitled to its privileges. The town superintendent shall notify the trustees of such appointment before the first day of the term in which the appointment is to take effect, and he may recommend other persons to the trustees, but no town shall have more than 10 scholarships during one term. A scholarship shall be reckoned at $12 a half term.

A graded school organized in accordance with a special act of the general assembly and situated in a county in which there is no normal school may establish a training-school department for preparing teachers. The State superintendent shall establish two courses of study in such schools similar to the courses in the normal schools.

Institutes. See under "Organization of system,-State Superintendent and Examiner of Teachers."

The time, not exceeding four days, actually spent by the teacher of a common school in attendance upon a teachers' institute or State teachers' association during the time such teacher is engaged to teach shall be considered as spent in teaching, nor shall legal holidays be considered as days lost.


Attendance.-Character of instruction.-Text-books.—Buildings.

Attendance.-The term "legal pupils" shall include all persons between the ages of 5 to 21 years. No child under 5 years of age shall be received as a pupil, though school directors may establish a kindergarten for such. Every person having under his control a child of good health and sound mind between 8 and 14 years of age shall cause it to attend a public school at least twenty weeks in the year, unless such child has been otherwise furnished with the means of education for a like period or has already acquired the branches of study required by law to be taught in the public schools. No child under 14 years of age shall be

employed in a mill or factory unless such child shall have attended a public school twenty weeks during the preceding year, and shall deposit with the owner or person in charge of such milf or factory a certificate showing such attendance, signed by the teacher. No person shall employ children under 14 years of age who can not read and write, though capable of receiving instruction in those arts, during the time when the school such person should attend is in session. The penalty for violation of these provisions is not fewer than $5 nor more than $25, to be adjudged by any justice of the peace.

The board of school directors may use 25 per cent or less of the school money for the purpose of conveying pupils to and from school.

Character of instruction.—In every town there shall be kept for at least twentysix weeks in each year, at the expense of the town, by a competent teacher or teachers of good morals, a sufficient number of schools for the instruction of all the children who may legally attend the public schools therein, and all pupils shall be thoroughly instructed in good behavior, reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography, arithmetic, free-hand drawing, the history and the Constitution of the United States, and in elementary physiology and hygiene, and shall receive special instruction in the geography, history, constitution, and principles of the government of Vermont. Said school shall be within the limits of the town supporting it and may be established at such places and held at such times as in the judgment of the board of directors will best subserve the interests of education and give all the children of the town as nearly equal advantages as may be. They may also provide for the instruction of advanced pupils in the higher branches of English study in one or more graded schools, if such there be, and may establish central schools in the town, and if instructed by vote of the town may provide for the education of advanced scholars in any graded or incorporated academy within the limits of the town and also establish evening schools and kindergartens. Vocal music may also be taught, if allowed by vote of town.

Text-books.-Any town may purchase and hold text-books for use in its schools if it so votes at a meeting warned for that purpose. [A series of text-books shall be selected every five years and none other shall be used in the public schools (unless supplied without expense to pupils) during the interval. The publisher shall be required to enter into a written agreement to furnish for sale in each town, at a predetermined price, as many books as may be required, the persons selling the books not to charge for them more than the cost of transportation and 10 per cent advance on publisher's contract price.] See also under Teachers; Duties.

Buildings.-Towns shall provide and maintain suitable schoolhouses, and the location, construction, and sale of the same shall be under the control of the board of school directors.

A person who willfully and maliciously injures or defaces a dwelling house or other building shall be fined not more than $20 and be liable to the owner in action at law. A person who carelessly and without malice injures or defaces any part of a building belonging to a town or county or the appurtenances thereof of any kind, including trees and shrubbery, or fastens a horse or other animal to any such appurtenance, or posts bills, etc., whereby any defacement results, shall forfeit $2 to the State.

No barbed-wire fence shall be used to inclose school grounds.


Funds (permanent or special).—Taxation.

United States deposit money.-The treasurer of the State shall receive moneys belonging to the United States to be deposited with this State. Such moneys shall be apportioned to the several towns, organized or unorganized, and to the gores in proportion to the number of inhabitants in each, according to the last State or national census. The town trustees of the public money may loan the same for one year to the town or to private individuals at an annual interest of 6 per cent. When there are no town trustees of public funds the State treasurer acts. The treasurer of each town shall give credit in his account of the school fund for all sums received by him as income from the town share of the deposit money and this income shall be annually appropriated to the support of schools in the town; but if a town has other school funds the income of which is sufficient to support schools in such town for six months of the year, such town may appropriate the income received from its share of such money to any purpose. Failure to comply with the foregoing provisions makes the town liable to the county to a sum not exceeding double the interest on such moneys, and the grand jury shall inquire into the management and disposition of this fund.

Town school fund.-The selectmen of a town shall have charge of the real and personal estate in such town appropriated as a fund to the use of schools unless otherwise provided by law or the donor. They shall lease lands and loan moneys on annual or semiannual interest secured by real estate.

Taxation.-A tax of 5 cents on the dollar shall be annually assessed on the list1 of polls and ratable estate of the inhabitants of this State for the support of common schools. The treasurer shall annually apportion to the several towns and cities and unorganized districts the proceeds of such tax according to the number of legal schools maintained during the preceding school year.

The school directors of each town shall annually, in writing, recommend to the selectment of their town the amount of money necessary for the use of schools, and said selectmen shall annually appropriate for such purpose a sum not exceeding one-half nor less than one-fifth of the grand list of such town, and shall assess a tax annually to defray such appropriations. Any town by special vote may raise a larger sum for school purposes.



State board of education.-Secretary of the State board of education.-Agents of the State board of education.—Commissioners of the State school fund.—Town school committee.—Town superintendent.—Truant officer.

State board of education.-The board of education shall consist of the governor and lieutenant governor, and eight persons appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the council, each to hold office eight years from the time of his appointment, and one to retire each year in the order of appointment; and the governor, with the advice and consent of the council, shall fill all vacancies in the board. The board may take and hold, in trust for the Commonwealth, any grant or devise of lands, and any donation or bequest of money or other personal property, made to it for educational purposes; and shall forthwith pay over to the treasurer of the Commonwealth, for safe keeping and investment, all money and other personal property so received. It shall prescribe the form of registers and blanks to be used in the schools, shall annually report to the general court concerning the statistical information it has received with an abstract thereof, and its own doings, with observations and suggestions as experience and reflection may dictate. It has general management of the State normal schools and the boarding houses attached thereto. Secretary of the board of education.-The board may appoint its own secretary, who, under its direction, shall make the abstract of school returns required by law; collect information respecting the condition and efficiency of the public schools and other means of education, including all incorporated institutions an institutions aided by the Commonwealth; diffuse throughout the Commonwealth information concerning the best system of studies and the best method of instruction for the young; suggest to the board and to the general court improvements in the present system of public schools; visit, as often as his other duties will permit, different parts of the Commonwealth for the purpose of arousing and guiding public sentiment in relation to the practical interests of education; collect in his office such schoolbooks, apparatus, maps, and charts as can be obtained without expense to the Commonwealth; receive and arrange in his office the reports and returns of the school committees; receive, preserve, or distribute the State documents in relation to the public-school system; give sufficient notice of and attend such meetings of teachers of public schools, of members of the school committees of the several towns, and of friends of education generally in any county as may voluntarily assemble at the time and place designated by the board, devoting himself at such meetings to the object of collecting information with respect to the condition of the public schools of such county, the fulfillment of the duties of their office by members of the school committees of all the cities and towns, and the circumstances of the several school districts in regard to teachers, pupils,

'This "grand list" of Vermont is made up of the polls and one per cent of the assessed value of real and personal property. Five per cent of this "grand list" is taken as related in the text.

By act of April 11, 1894, the board of education is authorized to establish an educational museum, for the care and maintenance of which $1,500 is annually granted.

« PreviousContinue »