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Vol. IV.

ALBANY, DEC., 1843.

No. 9.

1. Toe LOW

INSTRUCTIONS, &c.(CONTINUED.) y lished by the existing law, in relation to the public mo.

ney-the number of children above five, and under sixteen years of age.

No part of the interest or principal of this town fund

can be distributed as "library money;" the whole receiving and dividing the Public School||

must be apportioned and paid over as school money." Money.

There are laws of a similar character respecting the

gospel and school lots, which are so local and peculiar The town superintendent should apply to the coun. as not to justify any particular observations concerning ty treasurer for the school money of his town in suffi. them in a general circular; except that it seems to the cient time to enable him to make the apportionment on superintendent none of these funds can be applied to the day prescribed by law. He should be careful to re- the purchase of books. ceive the whole amount apportioned to, and collected in apportioning and paying the money in their hands for, his town, without any deduction for commissious, Il to trustees of school districts, the town 'superintendents fees, or any other charges of the treasurer or collector, I will bear in mind that the " teachers' money" and the or any other officer, and should see that the bills paid "library money" are entirely independent of each othare current and good, as he will be responsible for the

er. The report of the trustees of school districts may sa me amount for which he gave bis receipt.

entitle them to their teachers' money" and yet they 2. A practice is said to prevail of making two divis-may not have complied with the conditions upon which ions of the public money among the districts in the they are authorized to receive the library money." course of the year. This is contrary to the express pro. For instance, they may not have expended the latter in vision of the statute, and is exceedingly reprehensible. the purchase of books; and yet they may have fully The 6tb subdivision of section 20 (No. 24) makes it the complied with the law in regard to their schools. So duty of the town superintendent to apportion the school they may be entitled to "library money," and yet not moneys received by him. on the first Tuesday of Aprill have had a school kept four months by a qualified teach. in each year: and by the 7th subdivision of the sameler. In all such cases the money appropriated to the difsection, if he have received reports from all the districts ferent objects, teachers or library, is to be distributed before that day, he is to divide the money within ten upon the reports relating to those objects only. days after receiving all the reports and the money. The teachers' money is to be paid over on the writ.

3. He will receive from the town collector a sumten order of a majority of the trustees of each district. equal to that received from the county treasurer, for the to the teachers entitled to receive the same." It will support of common schools and the purchase of books. therefore be incumbent on the town superintendent to The aggregate, composed of these two sums, is to be satisfy himself, both of the genuineness of the order, and apportioned by him among the school districts of his that the person presenting it has the certificate of the lown, in proportion to the number of children over five, trustees that he is or was a teacher of the district, and and under sixteen years of age, as that number appears Iduly qualified according to law. In order to entitle a dis. by the annual report dated the 1st of January preced-trict to its share of teachers' money, it must appear ing.

from its annual report, " that a school had been kept By the third subdivision of original section 5, of Title therein for at least four months during the year, ending 2. of Chapter 11, Part 1, Rev. Stat. ($ 6, of the second at the date of such report, by a edition,) No. 403, the electors of each town are autho- ter obtaining a certificate of competency from the prorized, at their annual meeting, to direct a sum to be iper authority; that all the teachers' money received raised in their town for the support of common schools during the year has been expended in the payment of for the ensuing year, not exceeding that required by law such teacher; that no other than a duly qualified teachto be raised by the board of supervisors for that pur- er had at any time during the year for more than one pose. The sum that may be thus voted, may be equalmonth been employed to teach the school in said disto the whole amount which the supervisors are autho-trict; and such report must, in all other respects, be in rized to assess on the town, including both library mo-i accordance with law, and the requisitions and instruc. ney and teachers' money. This construction follows tions of the superintendent, made in pursuance of law. from the language of the fourth section of the act of In other words, it must be in the form prescribed by the 1838, respecting the U. S. Deposite Fund, hereto annex. superintendent, and must contain all the information ed, which directs that the sum of $55,000 shall be annu. required by law and by the department to be distributed to the support of common schools ;" With the ample opportunities afforded for correction although it subsequently directs that it shall be applied and for the interposition of the department when reto the purchase of a library.

Iquisite, prior to the apportionment, it will hereafter be By chapter 257, of the laws of 1829, in those counties expected that the apportionment of teachers' money where the distinction between town and county poor is will be made with reference exclusively to the reports abolished, the inhabitants of towns having any funds in and orders of the department, then before the town su. the hands of the overseers of the poor, may appropri. perintendent; and no application subsequently made ate all, or any part of such funds, to such piirposes as for the interposition of the department will be regard. shall be determined at an annual or special town meet., ed, unless the most satisfactory explanation of the delay ing. If appropriated for the benefit of common schools, is gi it is made a fund for that purpose, and is placed underil The library money is to be paid over to, or on the orthe charge of the town superintendent of common der of, a majority of the trustees, on its appearing from schools of the town. The interest is to be applied by the annual report that "the library money received at him (i to the support of common schools." But the the last preceding apportionment was duly expended ac. town may, at an annual meeting, direct the whole Icording to law, (in the purchase of books suitable for a principal, as well as the interest, to be applied for the district library, or in the purchase of maps, globes, benefit of the common schools. See vol. 1, 2d ed. Rev. black boards, or other scientific apparatus for the use Statutes, page 351, and Common School Decisions, page of the schools, in the cases and in the mode prescribed 418.)

by the late law, and which will be hereafter considered) The town superintendent will, therefore, be bound to on or before the first day of October subsequent to such distribute the interest, and the principal when directed apportionment." The report must uniformly be acby the town, equally among the districts. He cannot companied with a catalogue of the library, and must adopt a more just or convenient ratio than that estab.' state accurately the number of volumes and their con

III. Duties of town Superintendents in re

dition; and when the money has been expended in the condition of the districts and their schools, and be enapurchase of apparatus, &c. the authority under which || bled to determine on the propriety of any alterations such expenditure has been made, and a full and parti. ll necessary to improve them; nor should this duty be recular inventory of the articles purchased, must be spe. laxed in consequence of the appointment of county sucifically reported.

perintendents. The local information which their situBy $ 15 of the act of 1811, (No. 168,) town superin. ation enables them to give, and the benefits they will tendents are required to apportion and pay to the trus derive from the suggestions of the county superintendtees of colored schools, established in Their town, ac- l ents, will much facilitate the labors of each, and rencording to the provisions of that section, a portion of || der them more useful. the public money, according to the number of colored | The 52d section of the school act, (No. 63,) makes it children between the ages of 5 and 16 years, appearing the duty of each town superintendent to visit all the by the reports of the trustees to have been instructed common schools in his town which shall be organized, in such schools for at least four months during the pre ll at least once in each year, and the penalty of ten dol. ceding year by a licensed teacher, and to deduct the lars i nposed by 96 of the act of 1339, (No. 166,) for the amount so apportioned from the shares of the districts neglect of any duty prescribed by law, undoubtedly alfrom which such children have respectively attended. taches for the omission to visit the schools. Each town

superintendent should visit every school in his town, at least once during each term, in addition to his visits

with the county superintendent. lation to the prosecution and collection || If the opinions of the best and most experienced wri. of Penalties and Forfeitures.

ters on primary education, are not eatirely fallacious;

and if all the results of experience hitherto are not de1. By subdivision 8 of $20, Rev. Stat. (No. 24,) the ceptive, the consequences of such a vigorous system of town superintendents are to sue for and collect by their inspection, will be most happy. The teachers and pupils name of office, all penalties and forfeitures imposed by | will feel that they are not abandoned to neglect; the the title relating to common schools, where no other | apprehension of discredit will stimulate them to the provision is made. Under this provision they are toll greatest effort; while the suggestion of the visiters will prosecute for the sum of ten dollars, forfeited by each tend constantly to the improvement of the schools, and town superintendent neglecting to make an annual they will themselves be more and more enabled to rereport, imposed by | 31 R. S. (No. 39.) The forfeiture | commend proper measures from their better acquain. of an amount equal to that lost by their neglect, im- || tance with the subject. posed by 9 32 (No. 40,) is to be sued for by the supervi. | The following is the form of a certificate to be given sor. They are also to prosecute for the penalty of one Il to a teacher by the town superintendent: hundred dollars, imposed by 39, (No. 46,) upon their || I hereby certify that I have examined [here insert the predecessors for refusing to render an account, or ne-ll name of the teacher,j and do believe that he (or she, as Secting to pay over a balance on hand; also for the pe-ll the case may be,] is well qualified in respect to moral

alty of five dollars prescribed by 58, (No. 69,) upon ll character, learning and abilicy, to instruct a common the refusal or neglect of any inhabitant of a district to school in this town for one year from the date hereof serve the notice of the first meeting; the same penalty | Given under my hand at this day of 18 for altogether refusing to serve in a district office: and

C. D. Town Superintendent of Commom Schools of the penalty of ten dollars for neglecting to perform the

the town of duties of a district office, not having refused to accept ||

A certificate cannot be annulled until days' pretbe same. This last penalty must be distinguished from II

vious notice in writing has been given to the teacher that imposed by 0 6 of the act of May 3, 1839, (No. 166.) ||

and to the trustees of the district in which he has been That given by No. 100, ($ 72,) is to be recovered for

employed, of the intention to annul the same. As the wholly neglecting to perform the duties of a district of

complaint must necessarily be stated, and its truth in. fice, which the incumbent has colorably accepted: see

vestigated before any decision, it would be more conve. 6 Cowen, 479; while the forfeiture prescribed by No: 166,

nient to the town sup't, and more fair and just to the 086, act of May 3, 1839,) is for the neglect of any spe.

teacher, to apprise him of its nature, in the notice of cific duty, and may be collected for any one wilfull

intention to annul. omission; and the latter is to be sued for by the super

As the power of annulling in all cases, is given to the visor of the town.

county superintendent, with the concurrence of any They are also to prosecute for the penalty of twentyfive dollars imposed by $ 96 R. S. (No. 145,) upon every

town sup'i, probably it will be found most condu.

cive to the successful operation of the system, for the trustee who signs a false report, with the intent of ob.

town superintendent to decline acting without his pretaining an unjust proportion of the school moneys of

sence and co-operation, whenever the exigency of the the town. There is reason for suspecting that this duty

case admits of the delay. of trustees, especially in reference to the whole num.

The following may be the form of the instrument anber of children between five and sixteen, in a district. is often performed erroneously. Justice to the sever1

nulling a certificate: districts requires that the town superintendent should

Having inquired into certain complaints against A. be vigilant in detecting such errors, and in applying the

B., heretofore licensed as a teacher of common schools remedy provided by law, in all cases where they arise of said town, and being of opinion that he, the said A. from design.

B., does not possess the requisite qualifications as a The sums collected by them in suits for penalties, af. teacher, in respect to moral character, for "in respect ter deducting their costs and expenses, are to be added to learning," or "in respect to ability in teaching." as to the school moneys received by them during the year,

the case may be,) and having given at least ten days? and apportioned among the several districts.

previous notice in writing to said teacher, and to the For the purpose of having authentic evidence of the Trustees of the district in which he is employed, of my amount collected and of its application, town superin.

intentions so to do, I have annulled, and hereby do an. tendents of common schools are hereby required to

nul the said certificate and license so granted as aforestate in their annual reports, whether they have or have

said. pot since the date of the preceding report, collected any

Given under my hand this

day of fines, penalties or forfeitures, and if any, they must spe

C. D. Town Superintendent of Common Schools of cify ihe amount, and the person of whom collected, the

the town of offence for which it was imposed, the amount of costs As a note in writing, containing the name of the teachand charges in its collection, and the disposition made er, and the time when his certificate was annulled, of it.

must be filed in the town clerk's office, to give it effect,

the most convenient and effectual mode of complying IV. Duties of Town Superintendents in

with the law, will be to make out, sign and file a dupli

cate of the instrument itself. the inspection of Schools and licensing| of Teachers.

V. Duties of Town Superintendents in The town superintendents are by law inspectors of the

respect to their Annual Reports. common schools of their town, and are entitled to the Between the first day of July and the first day of Audaily compensation provided by law, for their services |gust in each year, the town superintendents are to make as such. The performance of their duties as inspec-ll an annual report to the county clerk. In some instan. tors, particularly in visiting the schools, is indispensa- ces these reports have been erroneously transmitted to ble to the proper and faithful execution of their powers, ll the superintendent, who cannot receive them. The conas they can thus become acquainted with the actual" tents of this report are specified in 29, (No. 35:) and


in addition thereto, they are hereby required to state in cuted for and recovered by his successors, who may their annual reports :

also bring a suit for such unpaid balance against 1. The number of times the school in each district such town superintendent or his representative, by has been inspected by the county and town superinten- | 50, (No. 48.) degts, to be taken from the abstract furnished by the By $ 90, (No. 135,) “If the moneys apportioned to a trustees :

district shall not have been paid, it shall be the duty of 2. The number of volumes in the library of each dis- the trustees thereof to bring a suit for the recovery of trict, the school-house of which is in their town, as re. the same, with interest, against the officer in whose tarned by the trustees :

hands the same shall be, or to pursue such other reme. 3. The amount of money expended in each school dis.dy for the recovery thereof as is, or shall be given by trict for teachers' wages, besides and beyond the pub-law." lic money apportioned to such district, that is, they This provision is not suppo will condense from the reports of the trustees the l the money apportioned to a district is retained in the amount paid by individuals, on rate-bills or otherwise, | hands of the town superintendents in consequence of and the amount collected from any local funds:

the failure on the part of the district to comply with 4. The school books in use in their respective towns. some provision of law; but to those only of an illegal This will be compiled from the reports of the trustees, il wetention, where the right of the district is undisputed. in which the title of each book, and the aggregate num. ber reported in all the districts will be stated : 5. The number of joint districts, the school-houses of

TRUSTEES OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS. which are situated, wholly or in part, in their town: 1 6. Whether any fines or penalties have been collected

These officers are to be chosen by the inhabitants of

the district entitled to vote, at their first meeting, and by iber, and the amount, as herein before required :

thereafter at any annual or special meeting legally con. 7. They are also hereby required to condense from the'l

vened, whenever there is a vacancy, by expiration of reports of the several trustees, and to insert in their

their ierm of office or otherwise. They are to hold annunl report, in a tabular form as heretofore annexed, the attendance of pupils in the several district schools

their offices until the annual meeting of such dis

trict next following the time of their appointment, and for the following different terms, viz :

until others shall be elected in their places," 070, (No. Those who attended less than two months :

99.) In case of the existence of a vacancy, by the death, two months and less than four; refusal to erve, removal out of the district, or inca. four months and less than six;

pacity of the incumbent, unless such vacancy is sup. six months and less than eight;

'I plied by a district meeting within one month thereaf. eight months and less than ten; 1 ter, it is the duty of the town superintendent of com. ten months and less than twelve;

mon schools to appoint some person to supply such va. twelve months :

cancy. The expiration of their term of office, also cre. 9. They are also hereby required to report the num- ' ales a vacancy; and if, for any reason, the annual meet. ber of select and private schools in their town, other | ing passes over, without the election of othicers, ample than incorporated seminaries, and the average number provision is made (see Nos. 79, 80 and 81) for the call. of pupils therein, as stated in the reports of the trus-ing of a special meeting to supply such vacancy; and in lees of the several districts :

the mean time the old officers hold over, until others 9. They are also hereby required to condense, from are elected in their places as in such case of vacancy. the reports of the several trustees, the number of the town superintendent has no authority to appoint. schools for colored cbildren taught in their town, ape- l By $72, (No. 100,) "every person duly chosen or ap. cifying the districts in which such schools have been pointed to any such office, who without sufficient cause taught, the number of colored children between the shall refuse to serve therein, shall forfeit the sum of ages of 5 aud 16, attending such schools; and the fire dollars; and every person so chosen or appointed, amount of public money apportioned to the respective and not having refused to accept, who shall neglect to districts from which such children attended, specifying | perform the duties of his office, shall forleit the sum of such districts.

ten dollars. The most common mistake committed by these offi- || By 6 73, (No 101,) "any person chosen or appointed cers is in their report of the moneys received by them to any such office, may resign the same in the manner or their predecessors, since the date of the last report. 1 provided in chapter eleventh, title third, 33, of this They often confound this money with that received by act." The provision referred to in this section is as trustees of districts, which is an entirely different item.follows: "Any thrce justices of the peace of a town This last item is received on the first Tuesday of April, may for sufficient cause shown to them, accept the reand reported by the trustees on the first of January fol-signation of any town officer of their town." lowing, and is embodied in the report among the abil Pay ý 16 of the act of May 26, 1841, (No. 75,) "no town stracts of the trustees' reports in the columns headed superintendent of common schools or supervisor of a "amount of money received in each district." But the town, shall be eligible to the office of trusice of a money received by the town superintendent is that paid school district; and no person chosen a trustee, can to them by the county treasurer and town collector af. I hold the office of district clerk or collector." ter the first of January, and apportioned by them on or By ( 12, act of 1843, "the trustees of each of the se. before the first Tuesday in April, and is not contained veral school districts next hereafter to be chosen, shall in the reports of the trustees.

be divided by lot into three classes, to be numbered In making their annual reports the town superintend-onetwo and three; he term of office of the first class ents will see that the several columns of their table shall be one year, of the second, two, and of the third, are correctly fooled, and the figures plainly and distinct-three; and one trustee only shall thereafter an Jy made.

elected, who shall hold his office for three years, and until a successor shall be duly elecíed or appointed. In case of a vacancy in tbe office of either of the trus tees, during the period for which he or they shall have

been respectively elected, the person or persons chosen By | 3 of chap. 241, laws of 1837, (No. 37,) town sy. or appointed to fill stich vacancy shall hold the office perintendents neglecting to furnish such information only for the unexpired term so becoming vacant." as shall be required of them by the superintendent, This extension of the official term of rustees to three severally forfeit to their town the sum of ten dollars, il years, combined with the annual choice of one of their to be sued for by the supervisor.

number, is regarded as a very important improvement By 31, (No. 39,) the same forfeiture is incurred for of the system, secusing as it does, uniformity, stability a neglect to make their annual report within the time and harmony in the councils of the district, and rreprescribed by law; and the share of school moneyg be-venting that ignorance of its previous arrangements longing to the town for the ensuing year may be with and affairs, which has so frequently been found not only held at the discretion of the superintendent, and distri to paralyze the exertions of new tristees, but to inbuted among the other towns from which the necessa volve them in pecuniary embarrassment and subject ry reports were received; and in that event, by the suc-them to personal liability. On the accession of a new ceeding section, (No. 40,) the officers guilty of such ne. trustee, under the present arrangement, he will find glect forfeit to their town the full amount, with inte two experienced colleagues already in office, coover. rest, of the moneys so lost.

sant with all the affairs of the district, and able and By 6 39, (No, 46,) every town superintendent refusing willing to aid and cooperate with him in the discharge or neglecting to render the account required by ý :35, || of his duties. All the deliberations and actions of the (No. 43,) or to pay over any balances remaining in his board under this arrangement, will partake of a greater hands, &c., forfeits one hundred dollars, to be prose. uniformity, and become more systematic. Teachers

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