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cers of a district that is or may be annulled, or belonging to such district, the Town Superintendent of common schools of the town may demand, sue for, and recover the same, in their name of office, and are required to apportion the same equitably between the districts to which the several portions of such annulled district may have been annexed, to be held and enjoyed as district property.--Id. 95. (No. 97.)
The books in the distriet library, and all other personal property, are to be appraised and their value apportioned in the manner above required, as there is no authority for making any partition among the districts.
The money thus received by the new district is not to be paid to the individuals whose portions have been ascertained, but is to be applied by the trustees receiving it
, towards procuring a school-house, or a library, and is to be allowed to the credit of such individuals, in reduction of any tax for erecting a school-house, $ 69, (No. 94,) and if received on account of the library, to the purchase of books. If the amount of the tax upon any one of those individuals for erecting a school-house is not equal to his portion of the sum raised and paid over to the trustees, yet, as the law positively requires its application towards procuring a school-house, and leaves no discretion on the subject, it must be so applied: and if for any reason no tax shall be levied for the erection of a school-house, the trustees would be justified in applying the amount received to the repair of their house, giving credit to the individuals upon any tax levied for that purpose, in the same manner as before mentioned.
It should be borne in mind, that this appraisal and distribution of the value of property on hand, is to be made only when a new district is formed; and that the statute does not apply to the case of the mere alteration of a district, by the annexation of one or more inhabitants from another district.
Where money is on hand, the Town Superintendent should cause an equitable apportionment of it to be made between the new and old districts.
The appraisal and apportionment of district property is required by the terms of the acı, to be made at the time of the formation of the new district; and although on a
proper application to the Superintendent, where the rights of all parties can be protected, it will, under special circumstances be allowed to be subsequently made, there are substantial reasons in favor of having the valuation made at that time rather than any other. These reasons are forcibly stated by Mr. Flagg, at page 37 Common School Decisions. “It is just and fair that the old district should know at the time of the division, whether a tax is to be levied to pay for a portion of the school-house, because in many instances the inhabitants would remonstrate against a division of the district, if they knew that a tax would be required to pay those set off for a part of the school-house, when, without such knowledge, they might silently acquiesce in the division. It is also due to those retaining the school-house that they should know whether they are to be taxed, as it might form the principal reason for an appeal against the division of the district; and if the principle were established that the valuation might take place at any time, designing persons might procure the division of a district, and postpone levying the assessment until after the expiration of the time allowed for bringing an appeal, and thus take the inhabitants by surprise, and deprive them of their fair redress in the ordinary way. An additional reason against deferring the valuation of the school-house is, that another portion of the inhabitants of the district retaining the school-house might be detached to other adjoining districts, and leave the proportion of tax still heavier upon those who remained. In forming a new district, therefore, the valuation of the school-house, &c. must be made at the time of such formation; and if this is omitted, such appraisement cannot subsequently be made without an order from the Superintendent of Common Schools, who will open the whole case, by allowing an appeal both from such appraisal, and from the formation of the new district."
This appraisal and apportionment is to be made in all cases upon the formation of a new district, unless all the inhabitants transferred to the new district, expressly relinquish their claim to any share of the property of the district from which they are taken. No person set to a new district can without his consent, be deprived of his right to receive a portion of the value of such property; and
this whether he has in any manner contributed to such property or not.
Where persons are annexed to a new district without their consent, and in consequence of having paid a tax for building a school-house in the district from which they were taken, within four years, are not liable to taxation for the same purpose in the new district, their proportion of the value of the school-house of the former district, goes to the benefit of the remaining taxable inhabitants of the new district.—Com. School, Dec. 196.
Where, however, inhabitants of a district are transferred with their consent, or without objection on their part, to a new district, on its formation, the amount directed to be raised by the trustees of the district from which they were taken, as their proportion of the property of such district, can be applied by the trustees of the new district, only in reduction of any tax which may thereafter be imposed upon the individuals so transferred, for building or repairing school-houses; or if such property consists wholly or in part of a library, for the purchase of books. It is not competent for the inhabitants of the new district to direct any other disposition of such money ; nor can the trustees make any different application of it.
In the case of joint districts, the Town Superintendents of the respective towns from parts of which the district is composed, must unite in the appraisal and apportionment of the district property; and the assessment rolls of such respective towns must be consulted as to the valuations of property situated in each.
The amount to which the new district is entitled having been ascertained, the Town Superintendent makes an order, directed to the trustees of the district or districts from which such new district is formed, reciting the appraisal and apportionment, and directing the amount so ascertained to be raised, in the usual manner by tax on the pro perty of the districts retaining the school-house, &c. and paid over to the trustees of the new district. This order may be enforced by the latter, if necessary, by an action at law, against the former.
FORMATION OR ALTERATION OF JOINT DISTRICTS.
By $ 21, (No. 25) of the school act, it is provided that “whenever it may be necessary or convenient to form a district out of two or more adjoining towns, the Town Superintendents of each of such adjoining towns may form, regulate and alter such districts."
In accordance with the spirit of this provision, and of the adjudications under it, it is conceived that the assent of the Town Superintendent, either singly or in conjunction with the supervisors or town clerk, or one of them, of each of the towns from which a joint district is partly composed, is essential to the validity of any order forming or altering such joint district. In the formation of joint districts the Town Superintendents, &c. represent their respective towns, and the rights of those whom they represent cannot be voted away by officers representing the inhabitants of another town. The principle has been settled by the decisions of Messrs. FLAGG, Dix and YOUNG, Superintendents, against the dissenting opinion of Mr. SPENCER, that the law does not authorize the question of the formation or alteration of a joini district, to be settled by a joint ballot of the officers representing the several towns, from parts of which it is, or is proposed to be, composed. See Com, School Dec. 23, 174. The moment a single district becomes joint, the action
cers of all the towns of which it is a part is indispensable to give validity to any alteration in its boundaries; and such alteration, whether its effect is to change a joint to a single district, or to continue the joint district, can be made only by the concurrence of the representatives of each of the towns interested, or of a majority of them, where there are more than one. This construction is in entire accordance with the whole tenor. of the Superintendent's decision ; and if it is not clear from the language of $ 21 that such is the true meaning of that section, all doubt on this point will be dispelled by reference to § 65, which provides for the case of a refusal on the part of the proper officers of one town to act with those of another, for the purpose of altering a joint district." Per Dıx, Sup't Com. School Dec. 174; modified in conformity to the existing provisions of law
of the proper
in reference to the proper officers to form, regulate and alter districts. At pages 249 and 253 of the same volume, the same principle is again distinctly recognized and enforced by the same Superintendent. "The consent of the trustees of a joint district to an alteration does not authorize the proper officers of one town to make it without the concurrence of those of the others of which it may be composed. Each town of which the district is a part, is concerned in its preservation ; and it is only with the consent of the official authority of each town, that its boundaries can be enlarged or diminished, excepting when the proper officers of one town refuse or neglect to meet those of the others when their attendance has been required.”
By $ 65, (No. 84) above alluded to, it is provided that where the Town. Superintendent of common schools of any town shall require in writing the attendance of the proper officers of
ang 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 officers notified shall refuse or neglect to attend, those in attendance may, by a majority of votes, 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 proper authority of all the towns interested; but shall exiend no further than to dissolve the district formed from such towns. The effect of such a dissolution would be to cause the inhabitants and territory of each of the towns from parts of which the joint district had been composed, to revert under the separate jurisdiction of the proper officers of the respective towns, who might make such dis. position of them as they should deem most expedient and proper.
Single districts are frequently transformed into joint districts by operation of law, on the division of towns and counties, or the alteration of their boundaries. A district intersected by the line of division between a new town and the town from which it was taken becomes a joint district; and is thereafter subject to the principles and provisions of law applicable to joint districts.