« PreviousContinue »
directed to be raised therein by the supervisors of snch county; and in such case the balance so withheld is to be added to the principal of the common school fund.
The electors of each town, at their annual town meeting, are also authorized “ to direct such sum to be raised in such town for the support of common schools for the then ensuing year, as they may deem necessary, but not exceeding a sum equal to the amount required by law to be raised therein for that purpose.”—1 R. S. 340. A special meeting may be called for this purpose, when twelve persons eligible as supervisors make application in writing therefor to the town clerk.-Ib. 341, § 7.
In addition to the funds thus provided by the general law, a large proportion of the towns are annually in the receipt of local funds, arising from the proceeds of the sales or leases of gospel and school lots belonging to such towns, reserved under an act passed in 1789, by the surveyor-general in the original allotment of townships; from the appropriation of moneys remaining in the hands of the overseer of the poor of towns in those counties in which the distinction between town and county paupers has been abolished, to the support of the schools, by a vote of the inhabitants at their annual town meeting ; and in some instances from testamentary bequests and voluntary donations, for the benefit of common schools. In most of the cities of the state, too, as will be seen hereafter, large sums are directed by special acts to be raised for the support of the public schools.
The aggregate amount of public money, applicable to school and library purposes, annually apportioned from the state treasury, and raised upon the taxable property of the inhabitants of the different towns and counties in pursuance of law, exclusive of the various local funds, the amounts raised under special acts in cities, and the sum voluntarily raised by the inhabitants of towns, by vote at their annual town meeting, is,.............. $550,000 Add to this the aggregate amount of the various local funds, .........................
20,000 Sums voluntarily raised by vote of town meeting, 20,000 Raised in cities under special laws,.......... 75,000
Amount of public money from all sources,.. $665,000
TOWN SUPERINTENDENTS OF COMMON SCHOOLS.
By the first section of chap. 133, Laws of 1843, the offices of Commissioners and Inspectors of common schools were abolished ; and by the second section it is provided that "there shall hereafter be annually elected in each of the towns of this state, at the same time and in the same manner that other town officers are chosen, an officer to be denominated “Town Superintendent of Common Schools," who in addition to the powers and duties hereinafter conferred and imposed, shall perform all the duties, and be subject to all the restrictions and liabilities now by law imposed upon commissioners and inspectors of common schools, except as otherwise herein provided. It shall be his duty, within ten days after his election, to execute to the supervisor of his town and file with the town clerk, a bond with one or more sufficient sureties, to be approved of by said supervisor by endorsement over his signature on said bond, in the penalty of double the amount of school money which his town received from all sources during the year preceding that for which he shall have been elected, conditioned for the faithful application and legal disbursement of all the school money coming into his hands. In case such bond shall not be executed and filed within the time herein specified, the office of such Town Superintendent shall be deemed vacant, and such or other vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as vacancies in the office of commissioners of common schools are now by law directed to be filled. Such Town Superintendent shall be entitled to a compensation of one dollar and twenty-five cents for every day necessarily spent in the discharge of the duties of his office, to be audited and allowed as other town charges."
By $ 16' of chap. 260, laws of 1841 (No. 75) Town Superintendents are declared ineligible to the office of trustee of a school district. The spirit of this provision prohibits the same individual from holding these two offices at the same time, whatever may have been the order in which they were conferred. The same remark is applicable to the offices of town supervisor and Super
intendent. / The various powers and duties appertaining to the
office of Town Superintendent, may be arranged under the following heads:
1st. The formation and alteration of districts.
3d. The inspection and licensing of teachers, and the visitation and supervision of schools.
4th. The making and transmission of their annual reports.
5th. The collection of certain penalties and forfeitures.
6th. Miscellaneous duties under various provisions of law.
1. OF THE FORMATION AND ALTERATION OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS
By the third section of the act of 1843, above referrea to, it is provided that “in the erection or alteration of a school district, the trustees of any district to be affected thereby may apply to the supervisor and town clerk to be associated with the Town Superintendent; and their action shall be final unless duly appealed from. The com.' pensation of the supervisor and town clerk, when thus associated, shall be the same as that of the Town Superintendent." The various remarks under this head will therefore be applicable as well to the action of the town supervisor, superintendent and clerk, when associated together by virtue of this provision, as to that of the Town Superintendent alone; although for the sake of brevity and simplicity the latter only is referred to.
It is proper, however, in this connection to advert to the general duties of the town clerk, in his capacity as clerk to the Town Superintendent, independently of the provision above cited. By the 43d section of the school act (No. 43) he is required "to receive and keep all reports
made to the Town Superintendent from the trustees of school districts, and all the books and papers belonging to the Town Superintendent, and to file them in his office: to attend and prepare, under his direction, all his reports, estimates and apportionments of school money, and to record the same and his other proceedings in a book to be kept for that purpose: to receive all such communications as may be directed to him (the town clerk) by the Superintendent of Common Schools, and to dispose of the same in the manner directed therein; to transmit to the clerk of the county all such reports as may be made for such clerk by the Town Superintendent; to notify the Town Superintendent, upon receiving notice from the county clerk, that he has not made his annual report, for the purpose of preparing such report : and generally, to do and execute all such things as belong to his office, and may be required of him by the Town Superintendent."
By the 31st section of the act of 1841, (No. 53) town clerks are to be allowed in their accounts for all postages actually paid by them on communications from commissioners of common schools, or from trustees of school districts; and it is made their duty to transmit to the Superintendent the names of the clerks of the several school districts, to distribute communications from the Superintendent to the clerks of the school districts, and to receive and transmit to the Superintendent such returns and papers as he shall, by regulation, require to be transmitted by them.
It has been decided by the Superintendent of Common Schools, that no legal impediment existed to the election of the town clerk as Town Superintendent: but it is respectfully submitted whether very great practical embarrassment would not be likely to arise from a conjunction of the two offices in one person, particularly in those cases, and they will probably be numerous, where trustees desire to avail themselves of the united action of the supervisor, Town Superintendent and town clerk, in the formation or alteration of school districts, and where it may be desirable that the concurrence of at least a majority of those officers, in the proposed alteration, should be obtained or refused. Although, therefore, no absolute incompatibility exists in the discharge of the duties of