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pose, to be voted by the inhabitants: 2d. Where this l'excepting such sums as may have been collected by mode is not adopted, the trustees are directed by $ 85, || the teachers," implies that they may collect their wa. (10. 124,) to determine the proportion which every per-| ges. But this can apply only to the case of voluntary son sending children to school shall be liable to provide, payment, and does not justify trustees in abandoning according to the number sent by each, exempting indi- || the means of collection provided by law. gent persons: and 3d. “If any person liable to provide Another practice requires notice. It is that of trussuch fuel, shall omit to provide the same, on notice tees engaging with a teacher that he shall board with from any one of such trustees, it shall be the duty of the parents of the children alternately. There is no the trustees to furnish such fuel, and to charge the authority for such a contract, and it cannot be enforced person so in default, the value of, or amouut paid on the inhabitants. This compulsory boarding gives for, the fuel furnished," j 86, (No. 125,) and to add such occasion to constant altercation and complaint, which amount to his rate-bill, or prosecute for and collect often terminates in breaking up the school. The best the sime. $ 87, (No. 126.)
arrangement is to give the teacher a specific sum and Trustees should see that the respective proportions | let himn board himself. But there are some districts so of fuel are promptly furnished by the inhabitants, or destitute that it may afford the inhabitants considera. the amount due, on neglect, promptly collected, ble relief to be permitted to board the teacher. In such
The statute usos the term "fuel" which imports || cases the object can be obtained in another way. Let wood or other material in a state fit for use. The trus- the trustees contract with the teacher at a specific sum tees should not receive large or green logs, which re. per month, or by the quarter, and they then agree with quire splitting or cutting; but should require the wood him, that if he shall be afforded satisfactory board at to be adapted to the fire place or stove. Unless this is the house of any of the inhabitants, he will allow whatdone by those who are to furnish the fuel, there are no ever sum may be agreed on per week for such board, to mwans of having it prepared. It cannot be said to be be applied to his wages, and will give an order on the duty of the leacher, or of the pupils, to cut or split, the trustees for the amount, to the person with whom or in any way to prepare the materials sent for use. he boards: and the trustees may then accept such or. Great inconvenience has been frequently experienced der from the inhabitants, as payment to that extent upfrom the omission to supply proper fuel, and the schools on his tuition bill, and deduct it from the amount to be have often been dismissed in consequence.
paid the teacher, after having paid him the whole of
the public money. V. The employment of teachers and their teachers be made in writing, and a duplicate kept by
It is strongly recommended, that all contracts with payment, and the making out and col-leach party. In no other way can justice be done to
the parties in case of any dispute. lecting of rate-bills.
The power of the trustees to contract with and em1. Contracts with Teachers.
ploy teachers, cannot be controlled by the inhabitants:
although it should never be exercised unless under very By sub. 7 of $ 70, (No. 103.) trustees are "to contract || peculiar circumstances, in opposition to the known with and employ all teachers in the district.” ivishes of a decided majority of the district.
The most fruitful source of difficulty in school districts, and of applications to the superintendent, has been the
2. Mode of paying Teachers. looseness and irregularity with which these contracts This is specifically provided for by $ 75, (No. 103,) halve been made. În some districts the trustees have above referred to. By subdivision 8, the trustees are agreed to pay the teacher the whole amount of public to pay the wages of such teachers, when qualified, money that should be received, be it more or less. This out of ihe moneys which shall come into their hands is unjust to the teacher or the district, and has almost from town superintendents of common schools, so far always led to contention. The agreement should be to as such moneys shall be sufficient for that purpose; pay him a specific sum by the month or by the quarter, and to collect the residue of such wages, excepting adequate to the value of his services. If the public such sums as may have been collected by the teachers, money is not sufficient, the deficiency should be sup- from all persons liable therefor." plied by a rate-bill. It is not to be believed that any in- By subdivision 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14, they are: telligent citizens will consider that sordidness to be "'To divide the public moneys received by them, economy, which prefers that their children should be whenever athorized by a vote of their district, into not brought up in ignorance, or instructed in error, rather | exceeding four portions for each year; to assign and apthan contribute the mere trifle which will secure them ply one of such portions to each quarter or term an education, at least sound and accurate, as far as during which a school shall be kept in such district, for it goes. When the rewards which other professions the payment of the teacher's wages during such quarand avocations hold out to talent, knowledge and in- ter or term; and to collect the residue of such wages, dustry, are so liberal, how can it be expected that per- not paid by the proportion of public money allotted for sons, competent to the great business of instruction, that purpose, from the persons liable therefor,as above should devote themselves to it for a compensation in- || provided: adequate to their support?
"To exempt from the payment of wages of teachers, if the public money should be more than sufficient such indigeni persons within the district as they shall to remunerate the teacher, the tustees should consider think proper: whether they may not esiablish another school, or a "To certify such exemptions, and deliver the certifidistiuct department. A large amount of public money, || cate thereof to the clerk of the district, to be kept on indicates a large number of children over 5 and under file in his office: 16, and of course there will be the gaterials for a large : To ascertain by examinarion of the school lists school, or for more than one, e secially if they are kept by such teachers, the number of days for which of a character to command respect and inspire confi- each person not so exempted, shall be liable to pay dence.
for instruction, and the amount payable by each per. It is strongly recommended that wherever it shall be practicable, there be a separate school for boys under • To make out a rate bill containing the name of each the charge of a male teacher, and another for girls, person so liable, and the amount for which he is liable, under a female.
adding thereto five cents on each dollar of the sum due Should there be a surplus of public money after paying irom him, for collector's fees; and to annex therelo a a fair and just equivalent to the teachers who can be use. I warrant for the collection thereof and fully employed, the district will always be relieved “ To deliver such rate bill, with the warrant annex: from the conseqaences of not expending the whole, up-||ed, to the collector of the district, who shall execute on application to the superintendent.
the same in like manner with other warrants directed A practice prevails to some extent of contracting to him by them." with teachers that they shall collect the rate-bill, or By $ 13, of the act of 1941, (No. 104,) "the trustees the sum
that may be deficient after applying the of any school district are authorized to exempt any inpublic money. This
is wholly illegal, and is sure digent person from the payment of the teacher's wages: to involve trustees and teachers in difficulty. The de leither in part or wholly, and shall certify the whole ficiency must be collected by the trustees, by warrant, amount of such exemption in any one quarter or term; annexed to a rate-bill
, and delivered to the collector and the same shall be charged upon such district." And The Superintendent has constantly refused to interfere By 930, of the same act, (No. 106, where by reain all cases where any arrangement for the collection son of the inability to collect any tax or rate bill, there teachers' wages, other than that prescribed
by law has | shall be a deficiency in the amount raised, the inhabi; been made; and he will steadily continue such refusal. tants of the district, in district meeting, shall direct The expression in sub. 8 of $ 75, Kev. Stat. (No. 103,) the raising of a sufficient sum to supply such defi
district, or one of them; and in case any person therein for signing a false report, with intent to procure a
2. Report, what to contain.
In addition to the particulars required by $ 92, (No.
137.) trustees are, by 0 1 of chap. 241, laws of 1837,
(No. 138,) to state the amount of money paid for teach
ers' wages, in addition to the public money received
from the commissioners.
By virtue of the authority conferred on the superin-
1. The number of books belonging to their district li.
2. The number of times the school in their district
3. The names of the several school books in use in the
4. The number of pupils who have attended the
than six months; the number attending six and less of teachers' wages, may pay his proportion to the teach. I than ten months; the number attending ten and less er, at any time before the rate bill is actually made out; || than twelve months; and the number attending twelve and such payment exempts him, to the exient so paid
months : from the operation of the rate bill. The language of the 8th subdivision of $12, (No. 103,) recognizes the right district, other than incorporated seminaries, and the
5. The number of select and private schools in their of collection on the part of the teacher; although, as average number of pupils attending them during the before remarked, its exercise is, as a general rule, inex- || preceding year: pedient. Where any portion of his bill is thus collect
6. The number of colored children between the ages ed by the tencher, notice of the amount, and the name of the inhabitant paying it, should be given to the trus- | established in the district, and instructed therein at
of 5 and 16 years, attending any school for such children tees at the time of furnishing them with the list of pu: least four months by a teacher duly licen sed, specifying pils; and the amount so paid must be allowed to ihe | the number attending from different districts, designat. credit of the person paying it. But the whole sum foring such districts, and the number from each, the which the rate bill and preliminary assessment is made amount of public money received from the commissionout, is not to be varied by the fact of such payment; ers for such schools during the year ending with the date credit only is to be given for the advance to the teacher of their report, and the amouni paid for che compensa. in the rate bill; as otherwise, by diminishing the sumtion of such teacher, over and above the public money to be raised by the amount so paid, a double assessment
so received. on the person paying, would be the consequence. One of the most important items in the annual report
of trustees, is the number of children residing in the VI. Annual Reports of Trustees. district between the ages of five and 16, as it affords the 1. When Annual Reports of Trustees are to be most sure and practical test of the progress of primary
education. There is reason to believe, as has been made.
heretofore remarked, in the instructions to commisThe statute, $ 91, (No. 136,) requires that trusteessioners (see page 116 ante,) that the reports have been sball make their annual reports before the stor very inaccurate in this respect. Some difficulty has, it farele in each year. The report includes the transac- is true, been experienced in determining with the requi
tions of the year ending the last day of the preceding site precision, the children proper to be included within December. As they have two months to make their re- the boundaries of the several districts; but the specific port, there is no excuse for deferring it beyond the first provisions of the late act, $ 34, (No. 140,) will, it is beof March. If the trustees make their reports at an lieved, remove every difficulty of this kind. By that early day, the town sup't will have time to examine | section it is required that the reports shall include all them and return them for correction, when found defec- children over 5 and under 16, who, at the date of the re.
port, are actually in the district, composing part of the If a report does not show a compliance with the law, | family of their employers, &c. residing at the time in the town sup't can not apportion to the district a the district, although such residence,-that is, of the share of the school moneys; and if the presentation of employers, parents, &c. be temporary. Bu! children the report is delayed until the day of the apportion belonging to the family of a person who is an inhabitant ment, no time will be left for returning
it to the trustees, of another district, are not to be included. If, there.
VII. Trustees accounting to their Succes-
ing papers to them.
By 56, of the act of 1839, (No. 166,) trustees of school of January, their successors are often put to great and
In ad. dan
glect, not only subject themselves to a penalty of ten of their term of office, and to apply the money recoverdollars, but are liable also, individually, for the amount ed to the use and benefit of their school; and by 102, of money thereby lost to the district. As they are now (No. 152,) in connection with Ø 40, (No 48,) they are required, by i of the act of 1941, (see No. 122,) to keep authorized to prosecute for any unpaid balance in the a book in which they are to enter all moneys received || hands of a former trustee, or his representatives,
and and paid by them, and all moveable property belonging directed to apply the amount recovered to the use of the to the district, there can be no difficulty in complying district, in the same manner as if they had been paid with the law respecting the rendering their accounts. without suit.
But the rendering of full accounts of money received By $ 109, (No. 159,) they are also authorized to proand expended, is not sufficient to enable succeeding || secute for the recovery, with interest and costs, of all trustees to perform their duties, or to make out their || forfeitures incurred by a collector, and unpaid balances reports, They cannot collect money that may be due a in his hands, and to apply the moneys recovered in the teacher, without knowing what scholars have attended || same manner as if paid without suit. the school, and how many days. They cannot raise By 9 9, of the act of 1841, (No. 73,) trustees are to the means of paying for fuel or other lawful expenses, I prosecute for the recovery of the fine of ten dollars, without knowing what expenses have been incurred, I with costs of suit, imposed upon any inhabitant voting and remain unpaid. To reach this evil, the following at any school district meeting without being qualified. regulation is hereby established:
2. Suits against Trustees. Whenever trustees of school districts go out of office, they shall, in addition to the account they are required It is conceived that an essential service may be renby law to render to their successors, furnish them
with, I dered to officers connected with common schools, by 'L A written statement of all contracts entered into informing them of some general principles to show the by them, remaining unpaid, in whole or in part, whe- extent of their liability to suits by individuals. ther made with teachers or any other person, the
Officers required by law to exercise their judgments amount paid by them on such contracts, and the sum
are not answerable for mistakes of law, or mere errors remaining due:
of judgment, without any fraud or malice Jenkins vs. 2. If there be any sum due from parents, or for wbich Waldron, uih Johnson's Reports, 114. they are liable for the tuition of their children, the A public officer who is required by law to act in certrustees shall furnish their successors a list of the tain cases, according to his judgment or opinion, and scholars who attended school during the time such lia- || subject to penalties for his neglect, is not liable to a bility accrued, and the number of days they respective party for an omission arising from a mistake, or want ly attended:
of skill, if acting in good faith. Seaman vs. Patten, and 3. Unless they go out of office on the 1st day of Janu- | Caine's Reports, 312. ary in any year, they shall also furnish their succes. But an officer entrusted by the common law or by stasors with a written statement of the time a school
has tute is liable to an action for negligence in the performbeen kept in the district since the 1st of January, by a ance of his trust, or for fraud or neglect in the executeacher who has received the certificate required by tion of his office. Jenner vs. Joliffe, 9 John. Rep. 381. law, naming such teacher:
And an officer who commands an act to be done by 4. And whenever they go out of office during a term issuing a warrant or other process, if he act without of the school not then ended, they shall furnish a simi- kurisdiction of the subject matter, or of the person, is lar statement, of the time a school has been kept, by liable as a trespasser. Horton vs. Auchmordy, 7 Wenwhom, and the names of the scholars attending during dell, 200. But if he have jurisdictior, errors in judgsueh term, with the number of days of their attendance ||ment do not subject him to action. respectively:
Mere irregularities in proceedings will not render an 6. They are also to deliver over the book of " Com- officer, having discretionary powers or acting as a mon School Decisions and Laws,'' the instructions and judge, liable to a civil suit. There is a large class of Circulars they may have received from the superinten- cases, in which the remedy is only by plea to the prodent, the catalogue of the district library, and all other || ceedings or by writ of error. See Builar vs. Potter, 17 papers and documents relating to their office, and they ||Johns. 145, and Griffin vs. Mitchell, 2 Cowen's Rep. 549. are to furnish all information to their successors, as to The collector or other officer who executes process, any official act or duty, that may be required by them. has peculiar protection. He is protected, although the
court or officer issuing such process, have not, in fact, VIII. Suits by and against Trustees.
jurisdiction of the case; if on the face of the process it
appears that such court or officer had jurisdiction of 1. Suits by Trustees.
the subject matter, and nothing appears in such process
to apprise the officer but that there was jurisdiction of By $ 4, of chap. 44, laws of 1831, (No. 88,) trustees the person of the party affected by the process. Saraare authorized to sue for and recover the moneys due | cool vs. Boughton, 5 Wendell's Reports, 170. upon any security taken by them, or their predecessors A contract made by all the trustees, and signed by in office, on the sale of the school-house and site of their two, is binding; and where a contract is signed, or å district, in the cases provided for by that section, with warrant issued, by two trustees, the presence of the interest and costs.
third will be presumed until the contrary be shown. By $ 87, R. S. (No. 126,) the trustees are authorized to Two trustees can contract
against the will of the third, sue for and recover the value of, or amount paid for, if he was duly notified of a meeting of the trustees, or the proportion of fuel which any inhabitant of the dis: I was consulted and refused to act. McCoy vs. Courtree, trict shall neglect to provide, on notice, together with || 9 Wendell, 17. costs of suit.
Where a district votes a tax to purchase a new site By : 99, (No. 133,) trustees are athorized to prosecute and build a school-house thereon, where the consent of for the amount due on a tax list or rate bill, against the town superintendent had not been obtained for a non-residents of their district, where no goods or chat- l change of the site, (the district not being an altered one,) tels can be found in the district whereon to levy. the trustees are liable in trespass for making out a tax
By $ 90, (No. 185,) they are directed, in case the mo- | list and issuing a warrant for the collection of such neys apportioned to their district
are withheld, to pro. I tax, on the ground that the district had no authority to secute for the recovery thereof, with interest, against || vote such tax. Baker vs. Freeman, 9 Wendell, 36. the officer in whose hands the same shall be, or to pur. Trustees are not liable as trespassers for omitting to sue such other remedy for the recovery thereof as is or insert the names of all the taxable inhabitants in the shall be given by law. This provision, it is supposed, tax list, where there is no evidence of bad faith on their is applicable only to cases of illegal detention in the part. Easton vs. Calendar, 11 Wendell, 90. hands of the town superintendent, of money apportion- Subordinate tribunals are not liable as trespassers ed to a district, and not to the withholding of such mo- || for acts done growing out of an error of judgment. 18. ney in consequence of the discovery of some illegality Trustees are liable in trespass for making out their or informality in the reports from the districts. Where tax list upon any other basis than the last assessment the right of the district to its share is incontestible, roll of the town, after it has been reviewed and finally and the amount is still withheld for any reason, the settled by the assessors. Alexander vs. Hoyt, 7 Wen. 89. trustees are directed to prosecute; and the proper re- Inhabitants of a district must vote a precise and deti. medy in such a case, would be an action of assumpsit nite sum as a tax for building a school-house, or any for money had and received to the use of the district other purpose, and trustees will not be authorized to against such town superintendent.
issue their warrant to levy a tax under a general vote. By $ 101, (No. 161,) trustees are directed to prosecuteRobinson vs. Dodge, 18 Johns. 351. their predecessors for the recovery of the forfeiture of Trustees in office are liable on the contracts of their $26, incurred by a refusal or neglect to account, or to predecessors for the employment of teachers, personalpay over any balance due from them, on the expiration "ly, because they have the means of indemnifying them
selves, and those who made the contract are not liable faithful disbursement. One has as much right to its after the expiration of their term of office. Silver vs. custody as another. The simple fact, therefore, thas Cumming, 7 Wendell, 181.
public money has been received by one and misapplied, The court intimate a distinction between those cases cannot in itself render the others liable. where the trustees are not to act unless money is previ. It would seem that there should be some act of omisously raised, and those where it is to be collected sub-sion or commission on the part of the others to reader sequent to the performance of the work. In the first them liable for the misconduct of their associate; and class of cases they are not to incur responsibilities be-lhere the following rule seems better adapted to the yond the means in their possession; they render them- | case: selves personally responsible, and their successors are 3. If one trustee wrongfully suffer the other to detain not holden. The first class of cases would seem to in- | the trust money a long time in his own hands without clude those only which are specified in sub. 5, of 975, security, or should lend it to him on his simple note, or (No. 103,) and those in which blank books, maps, globes, should join with the other in lending it on insufficient black boards, and other school apparatus may be pro- security, in all such cases he would be held liable for cured by means of a previous tax. In these cases suc. || any loss. Of course, a trustee who has connived at or cessors are supposed not to be liable, unless money been privy to an embezzlement of the trust money comes into their hands for the purpose.
would be liable. And if it be mutually agreed between In all other cases, it is supposed successors are liable them that one shall have the exclusive management of on the contraets of their predecessors. It is quite important to trustees to know that the del part, both would be liable for the acts of each.
one part of the trust property, and the other of another cisions of this department have been, uniformly, that their costs in any suit cannot be paid by a vote of the tee, that the law has made no provision for requiring
Considering the equal rights and powers of each trusdistrict to levy a tax for that purpose; as the only pur- security from them, and the gross injustice of making poses for which a tax can be voted are specified in the an officer responsible for the mi conduct of an associstatutes, and this is not among them.
ate over whom he has no control, they ought not to be Ey section 109, of Title 4, Ch. 8, Part 3, Rev. Stat. p:|| held liable for each other's acts, unless there be some 476, vol. 2, 1st edition, 1$ 112, p. 390, 2d edition. vol. 2,} evidence of participation or connivance, like those speIt is provided that in suits against trustees of schoolcified in the third class of cases above mentioned. districts, and other officers, "the debt, damages or costs recovered against then, shall be collected in the 1. Schools for Colored Children. same manner as against individuals; and the amount so collected shall be allowed to their in their official ac- By $ 15, of the act of 1841, (No. 168,) a school for counts." It is presumed that this provision does not colored children may be established in any district, with relate to actions for personal delinquencies, but to the approbation of the town superinteodent, which is those only which arise out of an official duty. As the to be under the charge of the trustees of the district in recoveries are to be "allowed them in their
accounts," which such school is established. Trustees in their anit is implied that they may retain the amount of mo- nual reports are also required particularly lo specify neys in their hands, and set off the sums recovered. the number of such children over five and under sixteen But this cannot apply to the public school moneys paid years of age attending such school from different disto them for the purpose of employing teachers, as those tricts, naming such districts respectively, and the num. moneys are specifically appropriated by law to that ber from each attenuing
for four months, and instructed purpose, and cannot be diverted to any other.
by a duly qualified teacher, which report is to form the The provision of 33, of the act 1841 (No. 167,) abun | basis of an apportionment to such school, of a share of dantly protects trustees, and all other officers from the public money. costs, in cases where they act in good faith; especially The provisions contained in this section are more par. as they have now the means of correcting any error in licularly applicable to those cities and large villages any tax list or rate bill, by application to the superin-| where no special legal provisions have been made for tendent.
the instruction of colored children. The means provid. Questions respecting the liability of trustees for theired, are, it is true, altogether insufficient to meet the joint acts, and for the acts of each other, are frequent. Lespense which must necessarily be incurred in the or ly presented. It becomes proper to state the groundsganization of these schools; and inasmueh as the class and limits of their responsibility in this respect, that of community for whose special benefit they are intendthey may be better enabled to guard against its consell ed are generally unable to contribute to such expense, quences.
in any considerable degree, the object in view can selThe object being to secure fidelity to the trust and to dom be fully attained, but through the efforts of chari. prevent negligence and fraud, the rules which govern in table and benevolent individuals in the several districts, the cases of executors, guardians and other private from which the colored schools are composed. These trustees, must be a pplicable to officers holding a simi-efforts have hitherto been paralyzed from the abseuce lar fiduciary relation to the public, and therefore the of any legal power to effect the necessary organization; principles which have been seitled in those cases by the and the provision now made was, doubiless, intended courts, will be the guide in determining the extent of to supply that defect, and to furnish a nucleus around their liability:
which the benevolent exertions of the friends of educaThe general rule, as laid down by an eminent jurist, tion and humanity might be concentrated. If, however, (Story on Equity Jurisprudence,) and sustained by the in any of the country districts, a colored school can be adjudged cases, is, that joint trustees are responsible organized and efficiently kept up for the requisite length only for their own acts, and not for the acts of each of time, it is hoped no efforts will be spared to carry other, unless they have made some agreement by which into effect the provisions of the section. Colored chil. they have expressly agreed to be bound for each other; Idren are entitled equally with all others, to the privi. or have, by their voluntary co-operation or connivance, || leges and advantages of ihe district school: and wherev. enabled the other to accomplish an object in violationer they can be grouped together in a separate school, of the trust. This rule is exemplified in the following under the charge of a competent teacher, they will be
far more likely to derive the full benefits of such in. 1. Where money has been received jointly, all are instruction as may be best adapted to their circumstances general liable for its application, and a joint receipt is and condition, while at the same time, the disadvant. presumptive evidence of the fact that it came to the ages inseparable from their attendance at the district hands of all; but either may show that his joining in the school, will be avoided. receipt was formal or necessary, and that the whole of the money was in fact received by his companions. 2. Bond to be required of the Collector. And if it was misapplied before there was a reasonable opportunity to control it, he would not be responsible. Trustees are authorized by $ 106, (No. 166,) to require
2. When by any positive act, direction or agreement of the collector of their district, before delivering to of one joint trustee, the money is paid over and comes him any warrant for the collection of moneys, to exeto the hands of the others, when it might and shoula || cute a bond to them, in their corporate name, with one have been otherwise controlled or securel by both, then or more sureties, to be approved by one or more of their each will be chargeable for the whole.
number, in double the amount to be collected, condi. There is great difficulty in applying this rule to the tioned for the due and faithful execution of the duties case of trustees of common schools. The money for of his office : and in case any collector shall not ere. distribution cannot be in the hands of more than one; || cure such bond within the time allowed him by the trusthere are ordinarily no means of insuring a control over tees for that purpuse, which shall not be less than ten it hy all, by depositing it in a bank or other place of se- || days, his office is vacated, and the trustees are authoriz. curity, and I know of no authority by which any two|ed to appoint any other person residing in the district trustees could require the third to give security for ils" as collector in his place.