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COMMON SCHOOL SYSTEM
STATE OF NEW-YORK,
THE SEVERAL GENERAL LAWS RELATING TO COMMON SCHOOLS,
VILLAGES OF THE STATE.
TO WHICH IS PREFIXED;
ORIGIN, PROGRESS AND PRESENT OUTLINE
OF THE SYSTEM.
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE
HON. CHRISTOPHER MORGAN,
SUPERINTENDENT OF COMMON SCHOOLS.
BY SAMUEL S. RANDALL,
DEP. SUP'T COMMON SCHOOLS.
TROY, N. Y.:
In submitting the following work to the inhabitants and officers of school districts, the various town and county officers charged with the local administration of the common school system in its several departments, and the public generally, the compiler has been actuated by an earnest desire to diffuse as widely as possible, a more thorough and accurate knowledge of the history and details of that system than has hitherto appeared. Having been connected with the department of Common Schools, with a slight interval, for the past fourteen years, during which period five successive Superintendents have been in office, and the system has undergone numerous important modifications, the necessary materials for a complete digest of its various provisions, as well as for the requisite adaptation of the numerous expositions, decisions, and instructions of the department, to the present state of the law, were probably more fully within his reach than that of any other individual.
The volume of Laws and Decisions prepared and published by Gen. Dix in 1837, however valuable for its intrinsic interest, and for its clear and lucid exposition of the fundamental principles of our system of public instruction, has become to a very great extent inapplicable to the existing details of that system; and where relied upon as a guide, by officers of districts, of towns and counties, must necessarily embarrass and mislead. The compiler of the present work has therefore deemed it his duty to obviate this result so far as may be in his power, by giving first, a general abstract of the existing provisions of the law in reference to the powers, duties and liabilities of each class of officers connected with the administration, of the system, and of the inhabitants of the several school districts; and secondly, a digested view under each head, of the various instructions, expositions, and decisions of the department, or rather of the principles of such instructions and decisions, in their application to the law as it now stands : preceded by the general laws and the various local provisions applicable to the several cities and larger towns.
A historical sketch of the origin and progress of the system from its inception to the present period, accompanied by a brief exposition of its present condition, has been annexed to the work, with the design of rendering it more acceptable as well to our own citizens as to those of other portions of the Union, who may feel an interest in tracing the gradual advancement of our legislation on this important subject, and in ascertaining the prominent features of our system, as moulded by the successive improvements consequent upon an experience of nearly forty years.