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ment, and the duties were assigned to the Secretary of State, who has since that time been ex officio the Superintendent of the Common Schools. At the time of this change, John Van Ness Yates was Secretary of State.

During the administration of the department by Mr. Hawley, the Superintendent had no appellate power with respect to the determination of controversies arising in school districts. This power was first given while Mr. Yates was in office. Although numerous decisions were made by the latter, copies were not preserved in his office. His practice was to send them to be recorded by the commissioners of common schools of the towns, or the trustees of the districts, in which the cases arose. Abstracts of some of them were appended to a new edition of the School Laws which he was directed to publish in the year 1822; and a reference to a few of them will be found in this volume, as well as to the exposition by Mr. Hawley of the early laws relating to the common schools.

In 1826, Azariah C. Flagg was appointed Secretary of State, and from the commencement of his administration of the common school department down to the present time, a continuous record of decisions has been preserved.

Mr. Flagg continued in office until January, 1833, when John A. Dix was appointed in his place; and for the reasons before assigned, this volume contains only the decisions pronounced by these two officers.

Should this publication have the effect of diminishing the number of controversies in school districts, or lead to an amicable settlement of them before they shall have ripened into feuds, and thus contribute to the preservation of that spirit of harmony on which the social comfort of parents, and the intellectual improvement of their children are alike dependent, the undersigned will be amply repaid for the labor expended in preparing the decisions for the press.

JOHN A. DJX. Albany, August 1, 1837.

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COMMON SCHOOLS. The Commissioners of Common Schools, on receiving the copies of this work, which will be sent to them for distribution, will deposite one copy with the Town Clerk for the use of the Commissioners and Inspectors of Common Schools of the town; and they will distribute the residue among the school districts in their respective towns, giving one copy to each district. Before they deliver a copy to a joint district, they must satisfy themselves that it has not already received one from the Commissioners of the other town or towns in which such district partly lies. The work has been printed at great expense to the state; and the utmost care must, therefore, be taken in distributing the copies according to the intention of the law. It is hoped that equal care will be taken in preserving them for the use of the towns and districts to which they are furnished. If after all the districts in a town are supplied, there should be surplus copies remaining on the hands of the Commissioners, they should ascertain whether there is not a deficiency in some adjacent town, and in such a case the surplus copies should be delivered to the Commissioners of the town in which such deficiency exists.When a new district shall be hereafter created, it will be furnished with a copy by the Superintendent of Common Schools, on a certificate from the Commissioners that such district was formed subsequently to the distribution of the work, and that it has not received a copy.





FROM 1826. TO 1837, INCLUSIVE.

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The Commissioners of Common Schools of the town

of Lorraine, ex parte. The formation of a new district not having been recorded at the time it was formed, on application to the Superintendent of Common Schools, the commissioners will be authorized to enter their proceedings of record.

On the representation of two of the commissioners of common schools of the town of Lorraine, it appeared that district No. 11 in said town was formed on the petition of the freeholders and inhabitants of districts No. 3 and 7, and that the order of the commissioners was left with the town clerk, who was requested to record the same on the 15th Dec. 1825. By the neglect of the town clerk the order was not recorded.

By A. C. FLAGG, March 29, 1826. Ordered, that the acts and doings of the commissioners of common schools of the town of Lorraine in the organization of district No. 11, be entered of record, in conformity to the 11th section of the act entitled “An act for the support of common schools," passed April 12, 1819.*

The Commissioners of Common Schools of the town

of Starkey, ex parte. The formation of a new town does not affect the organization of school districts.

A district intersected by the line of division between the new town and the town from which it is taken, becomes a joint district.

By an act passed April 6th, 1824, a part of the town of Reading was set off and erected into a new town by the name of Starkey. The first town meeting was held in Starkey in March,

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and in Reading in April, 1826. By the division referred to, school districts No. 7 and 8, were intersected by the line dividing the two towns, and the commissioners of common schools of the town of Reading applied to the Superintendent to be instructed as to the effect of the division upon the above mentioned districts.

By A. C. Flagg, May 20, 1826. The statute relating to common schools, authorizes the organization of school districts without reference to town or county lines. The alteration of a town line, therefore, does not, as a matter of course, break up or disorganize a school district. And where the line of a new town runs through a school district, the commissioners of the old and new town should regard a district thus intersected by a town line, as a joint district. The law seems to contemplate that school districts should be formed with a view of accommodating neighborhoods, without regarding the divisions into towns and counties, except where the inhabitants would be as well accommodated by regarding such lines. It is not a matter of any particular consequence to the inhabitants of a district, whether or not an imaginary town line runs through their district. But it is a subject of deep interest to them that their school district should not be disarranged; because it is by keeping up their organization, and complying with all the requirements of the law, that the trustees are enabled to make such report as will entitle the district to the public 'money.

The same steps must be taken to reorganize or dissolve districts composed of parts of both towns, as if those districts had been formed by the commissioners of both towns after the division of the town of Reading.

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The Trustees of School District No. 1 in the town

of Lansingburgh, ex parte. An error or omission in the assessment roll of the town may be corrected or sur

plied by the trustees of a school district in making out a tax-list.. In assessing a tax to be levied for the purpose of erecting a school-house in district No. 1, in the town of Lansingburgh, the trustees believing that the valuation of some of its taxable property by the town assessors was erroneous, but doubting their power to correct the assessment roll, addressed to the Superintendent the following question, viz :—"Are the trustees of a school district bound by valuations put upon property by the town assessors, or may they exercise a discretion and vary the valuations accordingly ?" :nu · By A. C. FLAGG, June 5, 1826. The law provides that the valuations “shall be ascertained and taken from the then last assessment roll of the town, so far as the same can be ascertained and taken therefrom." Where it cannot be thus ascertained,

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