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Where the inhabitants of a school district have by a vote to that effect, authorized the trustees to go on and make repairs, or to do any other lawful acts involving an expenditure of money, they will be required to save the trustees harmless, if the latter have acted in good faith. But where trustees undertake to do any act which they are not by law authorized to do, in the absence of any directions on the part of the district, it is at their own peril. The inhabitants may ratify their proceedings by a subsequent vote: but if they do not choose to do so, the trustees are without remedy.—Com. School Dec. 41, 222.
A school-house built by subscription, may, if under the control of the trustees, be kept in repair by a tax on the property of the district.-Id. 47.
There can be no partnership in the erection of a schoolhouse, which will prevent the district from controlling it entirely for the purposes of the district school.-Id. 201, 290.
No more money can legally be expended on a schoolhouse than is necessary for common school purposes. An additional room cannot be provided for a select school. Id. 203.
A tax should not be voted by the inhabitants of a district for repairing the school-house where the district has no title to the site, and the owner has forbidden the repairs to be made.-Id. 60, 187.
Nor should a tax to build a school-house, be imposed or expended until the district has acquired such an interest in the site as to be able to control the house.-Id. 168.
A tax cannot be raised to build a school-house on a site selected without legal authority.—Baker v. Freeman, 9 Wendell 36. · Where a school-house is built by subscription, a tax may be voted for its purchase, if the district has title to the site on which it stands.-Id. 193.
The rule of law is, that the right of property in all permanent erections upon lands, resides in the owner of the soil. The latter is therefore the legal owner of a school-house erected without his permission on his land. But if such school-house was originally placed there with his permission, the district has a right to direct its remo val.- Per Young, Supt.
The inhabitants of a district may legally vote a tax to enlarge their school-house, notwithstanding it may already have cost $400, without a certificate from the Town Superintendent.-Id.
Where a school-house is so decayed as in the opinion of a majority of the district to be no longer suitable for the purposes of the school, a tax may be voted in the usual manner for building a new one on the same site.- Per SPENCER, Supt.
Inhabitants of school districts cannot, by a vote to that effect, authorize the trustees to provide fuel in any other mode than those prescribed by law.—Com. School, Dec. 264.
Nor can they impose a tax for the payment of the costs or expenses incurred in prosecuting or defending a suit brought by or against any officer of the district; or for the expenses of conducting an appeal, or an arbitration, although such suit, appeal or arbitration may have been expressly directed by the district.
Nor can they dispose of any portion of the district pro-. perty, unless in the cases and in the manner specifically pointed out by law.
Although the inhabitants of a district may direct the division of the teachers' money for the current year into portions, applicable to the respective school terms, they cannot so appropriate the money for the succeeding year: nor can they direct such division after its appropriation by the trustees on a specific contract with a teacher.
A tax may be levied in a school district to build a woodhouse and necessary.-Com. School Dec. 21.
Money cannot be raised by tax in a school district for contingent purposes.-Id. 233.
A tax to purchase a district library cannot be voted at a meeting of which no notice is required to be given: e. g. an adjourned meeting, where the adjournment is for a less period than one month.-Id. 286.
A tax cannot be laid to erect a building to be occupied jointly as a school-house and a meeting-house.—Id. 290.
When the whole amount of a tax raised for any additional purpose is not required for such purpose, the balance may be applied by vote of the district to any other authorized object.-Id. 315.
A tax cannot be voted for arrearages generally, or to reimburse trustees or other officers of the district for moneys expended by them, unless it appears by the vote that the money is to be applied to one of the objects for which laxes may by law be raised.--Id. 316.
A vote of the district is necessary to raise by tax the excess beyond $400 certified to be necessary for building a school-house.-Id. 339.
A tax may be voted for the erection of a fence around the school-house lot; but not for a bell.-Id. 28, 235.
TRUSTEES OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
THESE officers are to be chosen by the inhabitants of the district entitled to vote, at their first meeting, and thereafter at any annual or special meeting legally convened, whenever there is a vacancy, by expiration of their term of office or otherwise. They are to hold their offices “ until the annual meeting of such district next following the time of their appointment, and until others shall be elected in their places." $ 70, No. 98.) In case of the existence of a vacancy, by the death, refusal to serve, removal out of the district, or incapacity of the incumbent, unless such vacancy is supplied by a district meeting within one month thereafter, it is the duty of the Town Superintendent of common schools to appoint some person to supply such vacancy. The expiration of their term of office, also creates a vacancy; and if, for any reason, the annual meeting passes over without the election of officers, ample provision is made, (see Nos. 79, SO and 81,) for the calling of a special meeting to supply such vacancy; and in the mean time the old officers hold over, until others are elected in their places, as in such case of vacancy the Town Superintendent has no authority to appoint.
By $ 72, (No. 100,) every person duly chosen or appointed to any such office, who without sufficient cause shall refuse to serve therein, shall forfeit the sum of five dollars ; and every person so chosen or appointed, and not having refused to accept, who shall neglect to perform the duties of his office, shall forfeit the sum of ten dollars."
By $ 73, (No. 101,) “any person chosen or appointed to any such office, may resign the same in the manner provided in chapter eleventh, title third, $ 33, of this act." The provision referred to in this section is as follows: “Any three justices of the peace of a town may for suffi. cient cause shown to them, accept the resignation of any town officer of their town."
By Ø 16 of the act of May 26, 1941, (No. 75,) “no Town Superintendent of common schools or supervisor of a town, shall be eligible to the office of trustee of a school district ; and no person chosen a trustee, can hold the office of district clerk or collector."
By § 12 of the act of 1943, it is provided that “the trustees of each of the several school districts next hereafter to be chosen, shall be divided by lot into three classes, to be numbered one, two and three; the term of office of the first class shall be one year; of the second, two; of the third, three; and one trustee only shall thereafter annually be elected, who shall hold his office for three years, and until a successor shall be duly elected or appointed. In case of a vacancy in the office of either of the trustees, during the period for which he or they shall have been respectively elected, the person or persons chosen or appointed to fill such vacancy shall hold the office only for the unexpired term so becoming vacant."
This extension of the official term of trustees to three years, combined with the annual choice of one of their number, is a very important improvement of the system, securing as it does, uniformity, stability and harmony in the councils of the district, and preventing that ignorance of its previous arrangements and affairs, which has so frequently been found not only to paralyze the exertions of new trustees, but to involve thein in pecuniary embarrassment and subject them to personal liability. On the accession of a new trustee, under the present arrangement, he will find two experienced colleagues already in office, con: versant with all the affairs of the district, and able and willing to aid and co-operate with him in the discharge of his duties. All the deliberations and actions of the board under this arrangement, will partake of a greater uniformity, and become more systematic Teachers will be likely to be retained for a longer period; contracts will be likely to be more promptly fulfilled, and taxes and rate bills to be more accurately made out and more speedily cob lected ; and order and harmony will gradually, succeed to the chaotic confusion and irregularity which now too