Page images

manner as though he held a certificate, provided he was duly employed by the trustees.-Id. 61, 76, 213.

The wages of two teachers, employed for different terms, or different portions of the same term, at different rates of compensation, cannot be included in one ratebill.-Id. 168, &c.

Trustees cannot transfer to teachers the right of en. forcing the collection of their wages. If the teacher agrees to collect his own wages, it is right that he should do so, to the extent of his ability ; but in case of failure, the trustees alone can issue a rate-bill and warrant; and they should do so notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary with the teacher.-Id. 289; Per Dix, Sup't.

Trustees cannot include in a rate-bill any other object han the wages of the teacher under the contract made by them, excepting in certain cases where persons liable to

fuel have not done so, on the proper requisition. Where a person had from charitable motives, taken a poor family to reside with him, in his house, the children of which attended the district school, it was held that he was not liable for the tuition of such indigent children, unless they were sent to school by him under an express or implied contract to be responsible for such tuition; and that if sent by their parents, or if they attended school of their own accord, the trustees should exempt the parents from payment of the tuition bill.- Per SPENCER, Supt. 1840.

A grandfather is not prima facie liable for the board or schooling of a grandchild. He may, however, become liable, in the same manner and to the same extent as any individual who has a youth residing with him whom he supports and suffers to go to school, without giving any particular directions on the subject. An implication would arise that it was by his assent. But the father or mother is prima facie liable: and some positive acts on the part of the grandfather must be shown, amounting to an assumption of liability on his part before he can be held responsible for the payment of tuition under such circumstances.-Id. 1841.

By $ 35 of the act of 1841, (No. 141,) “ All children included in the reports of the trustees of any school district shall be entitled to attend the schools of such district;

[ocr errors]

and whenever it shall be necessary for the accommodation of the children in any district, the trustees thereof may hire temporarily any room or rooms for the keeping of schools therein; and the expense thereof shall be a charge on such district."

None but children residing in a school district can of right be benefitted by the public money. Indeed, the trustees can exclude all children, except those who are residents of the district, from the school. But if such nonresident children are permitted by the trustees to attend the school, their parents should be apprised of the conditions on which they are received: and one of those conditions should be, that no part of the public money shall be applied for their benefit. Where no such conditions however are exacted by the trustees, and such non-resident children are admitted on the application and responsibility of an inhabitant of the district, the trustees must make out the rate bill against such inhabitant in the usual manner.Com. School Dec. 11.

Children of non-resident parents coming into a district and boarding for the purpose of attending school therein, are not entitled to any share of the public money in reduction of their rate-bills : and their tuition, in such case, may be charged, in the first instance, to the person with whom they board ; whose liability therefor can be discharged only by express notice to the trustees, that he declines being accountable for such tuition. Where, however, such children are hired to labor or service in the family of an inhabitant of the district, or are regarded and treated as part of the family of such inhabitant and not as mere temporary boarders, they are entitled to participate equally with the other children of the district, in the public money.-Per Young, Supt. 1842.

Trustees cannot refuse admittance in the school to any child whose residence is in the district, if such child complies with the reasonable and proper regulations of the school.—Com. School Dec. 47.

No child residing in a school district can be excluded from the school on account of the inability of the parents to pay his tuition.-Id. 119.

If a non-resident owner of taxable property in the district, sends his children to the school in such district, they should be permitted to attend, unless by their admission the school would become too crowded.- Id. 317.

All children residing in a district and attending the school, are entitled to participate in the public money, without reference to their ages.-Id. 34.

The law does not recognize any particular age in respect to the admission of children to the district school. As a general rule, all under the age of twenty-one years, and of a proper age to be benefited by instruction, are entitled to admission. There must, however, be some discretion vested in the trustees, in regard to such admission. Children having infectious diseases-idiots-infants-and persons over twenty-one, may undoubtedly be excluded; and colored children, where their attendance is obnoxious to the greater portion of the patrons of the school, especially in cases where schools have been established for their separate benefit, within a reasonable distance from their residence.- Per SPENCER, Supt. 1841.

By $15, of the act of 1841, No. 168,) a school for colored children may be established in any district, with the approbation of the commissioners, which is to be under the charge of the trustees of the district in which such school is established. Trustees in their annual reports are also required particularly to specify the number of such children over five and under sixteen years of age attending such school from different districts, naming such districts respectively, and the number from each attending for four months, and instructed by a duly qualified teacher, which report is to form the basis of an apportionment to such school, of a share of the public money.

The provisions contained in this section are more particularly applicable to those cities and large villages where no special legal provisions have been made for the instruction of colored children. The means provided, are it is true, altogether insufficient to meet the expense which must necessarily be incurred in the organization of these schools; and inasmuch as the class of community for whose special benefit they are intended are generally unable to contribute to such expense, in any considerable degree, the object in view can seldom be fully attained, but through the efforts of charitable and benevolent individuals in the several districts, from which the colored

schools are composed. These efforts have hitherto been paralyzed from the absence of any legal power to effect the necessary organization; and the provision now made was, doubtless, intended to supply that defect, and to furnish a nucleus around which the benevolent exertions of the friends of education and humanity might be concentrated. If, however, in any of the country districts, a colored school can be organized and efficiently kept up for the requisite length of time, it is hoped no efforts will be spared to carry into effect the provisions of the section. Colored children are entitled equally with all others, to the privileges and advantages of the district school: and wherever they can be grouped together in a separate school, under the charge of a competent teacher, they will be far more likely to derive the full benefits of such instruction as may be best adapted to their circumstances and condition, while at the same time, the disadvantages inseparable from their attendance at the district school, will be avoided.

Trustees have power, with the assent of the Town Superintendent, and by a vote of the inhabitants of their district, to purchase, hire or build a school-house or room for the accommodation of the colored children of their own and other adjoining districts; to supply the same with the necessary furniture, fuel and appendages; and to employ a competent teacher.

By $ 11, of the act of 1841, (No. 122,) the trustees of each district are to provide a book, in which the teachers are to enter the names of the scholars attending school, and the number of days they shall have respectively attended, and also the number of times the school has been inspected by the County and Town Superintendents. This list is to be verified by the oath of the teacher.

Trustees cannot legally enforce the collection of a ratebill, unless the teacher's list on which it is based, has been duly verified according to law. This is a condition designed for the protection of the inhabitants sending to school as well as of the trustees; and it is not enough that the latter are satisfied of the accuracy of the list. The inhabitants against whom the rate-bill is made out, have a legal right to insist upon its verification by the affidavit of the teacher.

Where the trustees of a district engagé a teacher for a specified term, and the inhabitants, without good cause, withdraw their children from the school, the whole, or the greater part of the teachers' money belonging to the district, will be directed, on a proper application, to be applied to the term during which such teacher has been employed.-.Com. School Dec. 301.

Deficiencies in the amount directed to be raised by ratebill must generally result from the omission, on the part of the trustees, to exempt, wholly or in part, indigent inhabitants; from subsequent inability on the part of those who, at the time of making out the rate-bill, were properly included, or their removal out of the reach of the collector's warrant; or from neglect of duty on the part of the collector. In the first two cases trustees may, when legally authorized by a vote of the district, add such deficiency to any tax thereafter to be voted for district purposes, or make out à separate tax list for the amount; and in the latter they may either hold the collector accountable for the deficiency, or renew the warrant, at their option. The inhabitants of a district may legally vote a tax to cover the amount of arrearages on rate-bills which have accrued in consequence of the inability of the collector to collect the amounts respectively charged to the inhabitants sending to school; and where such arrearages are directed by a vote of the district to be so raised, it will be presumed, until the contrary is made to appear, on appeal or otherwise, that such inability was shown. If, however, the inhabitants refuse to make provision for the collection of such arreårages, the trustees are without remedy, and must pay the amount out of their own pocket: inasmuch as it was their duty, in the first instance, to have made the necessary exemptions, and then to have insisted upon the prompt collection of the residue; or in case of unforeseen deficiencies, to have amended their rate-bill in season.-Per Young, Sup't, 1943.

It is the duty of the trustees to co-operate with the teacher in the government of the school, and to aid him, to the extent of their power and influence, in the enforces ment of reasonable and proper rules and regulations; but

« PreviousContinue »