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OF THE SCHOOL FUND AND ITS APPORTIONMENT.
In every year immediately following a year in which a national or state census is taken, the Superintendent of Common Schools is required by law to “ apportion the school moneys to be annually distributed amongst the several counties of the state, and the share of each county amongst its respective towns and cities,” according to the rates of their population respectively. If an increase of the fund to be distributed occurs during the period intervening between the respective enumerations, under the authority of the general and state governments, the Superintendent is to apportion such increase according to the last preceding census. When the census, or returns, upon which an apportionment is to be made, shall be so far defective, in respect to any county, city, or town, as to render it impracticable for the Superintendent to ascertain the share of school moneys, which ought then to be apportioned to such county, city, or town, he is required to ascertain, by the best evidence in his power, the facts upon which the ratio of such apportionment shall depend, and to make the apportionment accordingly: and whenever, in consequence of the division of a town, or the erection of a new town, in any county, the apportionment then in force shall become unjust, as between two or more of the towns of such county, he is required to make a new apportionment of the school moneys next to be distributed amongst such towns, ascertaining by the best evidence in his power, the facts upon which the ratio of apportionment as to such towns, shall depend. He is also to certify each apportionment made by him, lo the comptroller, and give immediate notice thereof, to the clerk of each county interested therein, and to the clerk of the city and county of New-York; stating the amount of moneys apportioned to his county, and to each town and city therein, and the time when the same will be payable to the treasurer of such county, or to the chamberlain of the city of New-York.-Laws relating to Common Schools, § 2–8.
The proceeds of the sales of all lands belonging to the state are, by the constitution, appropriated exclusively to the Common School Fund. The lands remaining unsold consist of 357,824 acres, principally situated in the fourth senate district, in the northern part of the state, and are valued by the surveyor-general at $179,412, constituting what is termed the unproductive capital of the fund.
The productive capital of the fund amounted on the 30th of September last to $1,975,093.15, and consists of bonds for lands sold and for loans, bank stock, state stock, balance due on tbe loans of 1792 and 1808, and money in the treasury belonging to the fund; yielding an annual revenue of $110,000, for distribution among the several school districts. An equal amount was appropriated by chap. 237 of the Laws of 1838, from the annual revenue of the United States deposit fund, together with an additional amount of $55,000 for the purchase of district libraries, so that the aggregate sum to ce apportioned annually among the several school districts from the state treasury, is $275,000.00.
This sum is required to be paid on the first day of February in every year, on the warrant of the comptroller, to the treasurers of the several counties and the chamberlain of the city of New York, according to the last preceding apportionment of the Superintendent of Common Schools. On the receipt of the share so apportioned to each county by the treasurer, he is required to give notice in writing to the Town Superintendent of each town, and to some one or more of the Commissioners of common schools of each city in his county, of the amount apportioned to such town or city, and to hold the same subject to their order. In case they, or any of them, do not apply for their share of such moneys, or of a vacancy in their office, the treasurer is to retain the same and add it to the amount next to be received by him for distribution. It is made the special duty of the county treasurer “ to apply for and receive the school moneys apportioned to their respective coun. ties, as soon as the same become payable.- 12–14.
Treasurers of counties have no right to deduct from the amount of the school moneys apportioned to each town a commission of one per cent. They are unquestionably entitled to such a commission under $ 26, 1 R. S. 370, on the moneys received and paid by them for the use of the common schools ; but they have no right to diminish the amount of the moneys placed in their hands for distribution, under an apportionment by the Superintendent. Their commission is a charge upon the county, and not upon the Common School Fund.Com. School Dec. 279.
Whenever the clerk of any county receives from the Superintendent of common schools notice of the apportionment of moneys to be distributed in the county, he is required to file the same in his office, and transmit a certified copy to the county treasurer, and to the clerk of the board of supervisors of the county; and the clerk of the board of supervisors is to lay such copy before the supervisors at their next meeting.
By Ø 17 of the school act (No. 19,) it is made “the duty of the supervisors, at such meeting, and at every annual meeting thereafter, to add to the sums of money to be raised on each of the towns of the county, for defraying the necessary expenses thereof, a sum eqnal to the school moneys which shall have been apportioned to such town; which moneys, so added, together with the fees of the collector, shall be levied and collected in the same manner as other moneys directed to be raised in the town;" and by Ø 18, the supervisors “shall cause and require the collector of each town, by their warrant to him, to pay the moneys so added, when collected, retaining his fees for collection, to the Town Superintendent of common schools in such town, for the use of common schools therein ; whose receipt therefor shall be sufficient evidence of such payment."
If there shall not be any Town Superintendent of common schools in such town when the moneys are colJected, the collector is to pay the same, retaining his fees for collection, to the county treasurer, to be by him appor tioned as above required.
By the 2d section of chap. 330, Laws of 1841, (Laws relating to Common Schools, No. 22) it is made the duty of the respective boards of supervisors of the several counties in the state, whenever they shall have omitted at their annual meeting, to add to the sums of money to be raised on the towns of their county,,an equal sum to that apportioned to such towns by the Superintendent of Common Schools in any year, to “ hold a special meeting for the purpose of adding the sum that may be deficient, whenever it can be done in time to allow such deficient sum to be collected with the other taxes of the county ; and such special meeting shall be notified by the clerk of the board of supervisors on receiving notice of the deficiency from a majority of the board of supervisors of said county; and in case such deficient sum shall not be directed to be raised at a special meeting, it shall be the duty of the supervisors of such county, at their next annual meeting, to add the amount of such deficiency to the sums to be raised on each of the towns of the courty; which, with the fees of collection, shall be levied and collected in the same manner as other moneys directed to be raised in the town, and shall be apportioned among the school districts therein according to law." By $ 3 of the same act (No. 23) it is made the duty of the clerk of the board of supervisors in each county in this state, on the last day of December in each year, to transmit to the Superintendent of Common Schools, certified copies of all resolutions and proceedings of the board of supervisors of which he is clerk, passed or had during the preceding year, relating to the raising of any money for school or library purposes, and to report particularly the amount of such money directed to be raised in each town of such county ; and in case it shall not appear that the amount required by law to be raised for school and library pur) poses has been directed to be raised during the year by the board of supervisors of any county, the Superintendent of Common Schools and the comptroller are authorized to direct that the money appropriated by the state and apportioned to such county, be withheld until the amount that may be, deficient shall be raised, or that so much only of the money apportioned to such county be paid to the treasurer thereof, as shall be equal to the amount