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by those more advanced. In these and other cases, the districts should not hesitate to exercise the power given by this section. But they should in all cases obtain the previous assent of the Town Superintendent.
The same section authorizes the inhabitants, in their discretion and without the assent of the Town Superintendent, to levy a tax not exceeding twenty dollars in any one year, for the purchase of maps, globes, black-boards and other school apparatus. The principal facts in geography are learned better by the eye than in any other manner, and there ought to be in every school-room a map of the world, of the United States, of this state and of the county. Globes also are desirable, but not so important as maps. Large black-boards, in frames, are indispensa: ble to a well conducted school. The operations in arithmetic performed on them, enable the teacher to ascertain the degree of the pupils' acquirements, better than any result exhibited on slates. He sees the various steps taken by the scholar, and can require him to give the reason for each. It is in fact an exercise for the entire class ; and the whole school, by this public process, insensibly acquires a knowledge of the rules and operations in this branch of study.
Cards containing the letters of the alphabet, or words, may be usefully hung up in the room. Indeed the whole apparatus provided by Mr. Holbrook and others, is eminently calculated to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and to render it agreeable.
The amount of the tax which may be voted for the purchase or lease of sites for the district school-house, and for the repairs, furniture, fuel and appendages, is left wholly to the discretion of the district, and is unlimited by law : but no tax for building, hiring or purchasing a schoolhouse can exceed the sum of four hundred dollars, unless on the certificate of the Town Superintendent that a larger sum, specifying the amount, ought, in his opinion, to be raised; in which case a sum not exceeding the sum so specified, may be raised. $ 64, (No. 83.) If the district under the act of 1841, raise a tax for building, hiring or purchasing two or more school-houses, a tax for each may be levied, to the amount of $400, without a certificate from the Town Superintendent.
By the sixth section of chapter 241, of the Laws of 1837, (No. 77,) the inhabitants of the several school districts are authorized to vote a tax for the purchase of a book for the purpose of recording the proceedings of the district; and which by sub. 1 of $ 74, (No. 102,) must be provided to enable the clerk to perform his duty.
By the fourth section of chap. 44 of the Laws of 1831, (No. 89,) the inhabitants are authorized, whenever the site of their school-house has been legally changed, 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.
By the 16th section of the act of 1843, it is provided that “whenever the number of volumes in the district library of any district numbering over fifty children between the ages of five and sixteen years, shall exceed one hun. dred and twenty-five; or of any district numbering fifty children or less, between the said ages shall exceed one hundred volumes, the inhabitants of the district qualified to vote therein, may, at a special meeting, duly notified for that purpose, by a majority of votes, appropriate the whole or any part of library money belonging to the district for the current year, to the purchase of maps, globes, black-boards, or other scientific apparatus, for the use of the school."
The object of this enactment is two-fold. It is designed in the first instance, to secure to every district at least one hundred volumes of suitable books for a district libra. ry; and to districts numbering over fifty children, one hundred and twenty-five; and in the second, to authorize the inhabitants of any district so supplied, when duly convened for that special purpose, to appropriate so much of the library fund for the current year, as they may think proper, to the purchase of maps, globes, black-boards or scientific apparatus, for the use of the school. In the absence of any such appropriation, or whenever any balance remains unappropriated, the library money, or such unappropriated balance, must be applied to the purchase of books; and in any event, that money must be expended for the one or the other of these purposes, on or before the first day of October in each year. It is respectfully recommended to the inhabitants of those districts which are already supplied with the requisite number of books, and of others, whenever they shall reach the specified number, to avail themselves of the power thus conferred upon them, to supply their school with those useful articles of scientific apparatus which so materially conduce to the improvement of the pupils. Independently of this appropriation, no district should dispense with a black-board ; and if suitable maps, globes and a few of the more simple means of illustrating the elementary truths of science, can be superadded, the library money for two or three years cannot perhaps be more advantageously appropriated. In the mean time, the books on hand can be general'y read; and such additions to the library as the growing wants and increased intelligence of the district may require, can then be from time to time procured. The advice of the Town and County Superintendent may at all times be had as to the most proper and judicious appropriation of the fund for the purposes provided for by the section under consideration.
By the provision of the several acts relative to school district libraries, (No. 175 et seq.) the inhabitants of the several districts 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; and also to appoint a librarian, who is to have the care and custody of the library so purchased, under such regulations as they may adopt for his government.
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 district 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.
Under the fifth section of the act of .1839, relative to district libraries, (No. 184,) 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 the seventh section of the same act, (No. 136,) the legal voters in any district are authorized to direct the trustees to apply to the Superintendent to select and for. ward to the county clerk, for the use of the district, a library.
By sub. 9 of $ 75, (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 or rate-bill, 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, or the same may be collected by rate-bill, as the case may require.-$ 30, Act of 1841, (No. 106.)
By $ 64, (No. 84,) "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 shal? refuse or neglect to attend, the Town Superintend. ents 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. MODE OF PROCEEDING.
As a general rule, the punctual attendance of the inha. bitants of the district should be secured by the organiza. tion of the meeting at the appointed hour, after making a fair allowance, say ten or fifteen minutes, for the variation of time-pieces; at the expiration of which time, those in attendance, whatever may be their number, should organize, by the appointment of a moderator. Any number of inhabitants, however small, are, as before observed, competent to the transaction of the business for which the meeting was called; but if there be only a very small number present, it will be advisable to adjourn the meeting. The clerk of the district, if present, will act as clerk of the meeting ; and in case of his absence, any other inhabitant of the district may be designated by the meeting to act as clerk pro tem. The inhabitants will then proceed to the transaction of the business for which they were convened.
Where officers of the district are to be chosen, the choice should be by ballot, separately for each office; and this mode of proceeding should never be dispensed with where there is reason to believe any difference of opinion exists as to the proper persons to be chosen. Where no such difference of opinion exists, it is still better to regard the choice by ballot as the regular mode, and when dis. pensed with in any individual case, it should be done by express resolution. All other business of the meeting