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INSTRUCTIONS

CONCERNING THE DUTIES OF THE VARIOUS

COUNTY, TOWN AND DISTRICT OFFICERS,

AND OF THE

INHABITANTS OF DISTRICTS,

Under the Laws relating to Common Schools.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.

It is their duty as a board, to add to the sums of money to be raised in each town for other purposes, a sum equal to that which shall have been apportioned to such town, by the Superintendent. See No. 20 of Laws. For a neglect

For a neglect of this duty, in addition to other responsibilities, they are liable individually to a penalty of $250. § 16, Title 2, chap. 12, part 1, Revised Statutes.

It is understood that in some counties this duty is not performed by the board, but that the clerk, or each supervisor for his town, adds to the assessment roll the requisite sums. This practice is entirely unauthorized, and may occasion serious questions respecting the legality of the assessment. There should be a formal resolution entered on the minutes, in a form similar to the following.

Resolved, That there be raised, levied and collected on the several towns of this county, the sums following, set opposite to the name of each town, for the support of common schools therein, during the ensuing year; the said sums being equal to those apportioned to the said towns respectively, by the Superintendent of common schools from the income of the common school fund, and the means provided for that purpose; and that the said sums be added to the amounts directed to be raised on such towns for other purposes, and be included in their respective assessment rolls.

In counties where a larger sum is directed by law to be raised upon certain cities, as upon Albany, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Rochester, &c., the resolution will be varied accordingly, by adding, “and that there be raised, levied and collected on the city of

for the same purpose, the sum of

in pursuance of the several statutes of the Legislature,” (" and in conformity to the resolutions of the common council of said city,” in cases where such resolutions are required.)

Where the electors of any town at their annual meeting hare voted to raise a sum of money on their town for the support of common schools, under the third subdivision of original section five, (§ 9 in the third edition) of Title 2, Chap. 11, Part first of the Revised Statutes, it is important that this sum should be kept distinct from that directed to be raised by the board of supervisors under ori. ginal section 17, of the revised school act, No. 20 of Laws. Otherwise it will not appear whether the county has raised the sum required by law. It is recommended, therefore, that the resolutions of the board of supervisors, directing the raising of the school money · voted by a town, be entered separately from that directing the levying of the amount required by law to be raised on such town; and that their warrant to the colleetor specify the sum voted by the town separately as having been so voted, and direct it to be paid to the town súperintendent of the town.

By $ 93 and 95 of the act of 1847, (Nos. 118 and 120,) the board of supervisors are directed to cause the amount of unpaid taxes on non-resident, unimproved and unoccupied lands, returned to the trustees of the several school districts, and advanced by the county treasurer, together with seven per cent. in addition thereto, to be levied upon the lands of non-residents, liable to pay the same, and the same proceedings in all respects, are to be had for the collection of the amount so directed to be raised, as are provided by law in relation to county taxes.

CLERKS OF BOARDS OF SUPERVISORS.

By No. 24 of the laws respecting common schools, they are to transmit on the last day of December in each year, copies of the resolutions and proceedings of their boards respecting the raising of money for library or school purposes; and particularly the amount

directed to be raised in each town. An omission to furnish the evidence of a full compliance with the law may subject a county to serious loss. The resolutions and proceedings referred to will all have been passed before the first day of December in each year, so that there can be no excuse for a neglect to transmit the required copies before the last day of that month.

SUPERVISORS OF TOWNS.

By No. 173 of the Laws, they are to sue for and collect the penalty of ten dollars imposed by that section upon town superintendents and clerks of school districts, for refusing or wilfully neglecting to make any report, or to perform any other duty required by law or by regulations or decisions made under the authority of any statute. The “regulations” referred to are those which the Superintendent is authorised to prescribe by (No. 12;) also those which by chap. 480. of Laws of 1847, he may prescribe for the purpose of obtaining information from trustees of school districts and town superintendents, on any subject relating to schools, which he may require (No. 44;) and those also respecting school district libraries, he may make respecting the preservation and use of the books. (No. 164.) The decisions referred to, are those which the Superintendent is authorised to make, on appeal to him, under section 132, of the title of the Revised Statutes, as amended by the act of 1847, concerning any matter under the said Title, (No. 157) and also those which the same officer is authorised to make on appeal, under the 140th section of the act, 1847. (No. 165.)

The success of the schools and of the libraries will depend much on the faithful discharge of the duty thus imposed on supervisors. While it is not to be presumed that they will seek slight and trivial occasions to commence prosecutions, it is at the same time expected, that they will not suffer any instance of wilful neglect or perverse refusal to perform any duty enjoined by law, or by the regulations or decisions of the Superintendent, to pass without applying the remedy. This is peculiarly a case where lenity to an offender is injustice to the dearest interests of the public. Officers charged with the sacred trust of superintending the education of the children of the republic—so soon to become citizens—and of diffusing knowledge, by means of the district libraries, ought to make up their

minds faithfully to discharge the obligations they have taken upon themselves, or resign their trusts. A single example in a flagrant case, will not only prevent future disobedience, but will tend most effectually to remove the causes of contentions and disturbance, which destroy the peace and harmony of a district, and terminate in breaking up its school.

COUNTY CLERKS.

By § 16 of the school act, (No. 19,) the county clerk is required to transmit a certified copy of any notice of apportionment of school moneys which he may receive from the Superintendent to the county treasurer, and clerk of the board of supervisors of his county. It is of the utmost importance that this duty should be promptly and faithfully performed; as otherwise, the board of supervisors will be ignorant of the necessary amount of school money to be raised on their county; and it may become necessary either to call a special meeting of the board for this purpose, or to withhold the whole or a portion of the public money from distribution.

The annual report heretofore required from the county superintendents, containing a certified copy of the several reports of commissioners, will hereafter be made by the county clerks, in pursuance of 172 of the Revised Statutes as amended, (No. 169,) from the reports, of the town superintendents, on file with the county clerk.

It is the duty of the county clerk, under § 144 of the school act, (No. 172,) in case any of the reports of the town superintendents are behind, on the first day of August, in each year, immediately thereafter to give notice of such neglect to the town clerk, whose duty it is to apprize such town superintendents of such neglect, and require them to make their report.

TOWN CLERKS.

The town clerk is to receive and keep all reports made to the town superintendents by the trustees of school districts, and perform all the other duties required by $ 32 of the school laws, (No. 57.)

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