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Duplicate orders shall be filled out and signed by at least two of the school commissioners, or in case of united or incorporated districts by the president and secretary of the school board; one of these orders shall be forwarded to the State treasurer, to be forwarded to the publisher, and the other shall be kept as a stub in the order book as a voucher.
The State treasurer, on receipt of an order from school commissioners, shall make an entry of the amount of the order against the district in a book kept for that purpose, and shall forward the order at once to the publisher, who shall send duplicate invoices for the same, one to the State treasurer and the other to the district clerk of the school district to which the books are consigned.
The State treasurer shall pay the publisher out of the school fund of the State for books thus supplied, and charge the amounts so paid to the respective districts ordering said books, and deduct the same from the amount to which such districts may be entitled under the school laws of the State; but the State treasurer shall pay no bill for at least thirty days from the time it is rendered, in order that he may be notified by the school commissioners of any error or failure on the part of the publisher to supply the books.
It shall be the duty of the clerk of each school district to distribute the books received as aforesaid to the scholars of the district, or their parents, guardians, or other persons, as they may desire, upon receipt for the same. The clerk of each district shall be responsible for the safe-keeping of the books furnished him, and also for prices of books sold to parents, guardians, scholars, or others. Any money or the value of the books which such clerks shall fail to account for according to law may be recovered in the name of the State by the county superintendent before a justice of the peace, as other accounts, when the amount does not exceed the sum of $200. Such clerk shall, at the expiration of his term of office, turn over to his successor in office all books on hand and take a receipt for the same, which shall be his voucher in settlement.
It shall be the duty of the school commissioners to provide for the safe-keeping and care of the books, which shall be returned by the pupils at the close of the annual school term to the clerk of the district, or to such other person as the school commissioners shall designate. They shall also keep a separate account of the amount expended for books, and shall report it under a separate item in the annual settlement required by law. The school commissioners may furnish books at cost to pupils who wish to replace books lost or willfully destroyed, or who may wish to own their books, and shall turn the proceeds of all such sales into the school fund of the district and report the amount at the time of the annual settlement to State auditor.
Funds (permanent or special)-Taxation.
Funds (permanent or special).—The clear income of the school fund of this State is apportioned among the school districts as follows:
1. The dividends on an investment in 5,000 shares of Farmers' Bank stock, made under act of February 21, 1837; the interest on $131,750 of a bond of the State of Delaware to the school fund of the said State, at 6 per cent interest, and the interest on the sum of $5,000 advanced to the county of Sussex under act of February 17, 18:37, must be divided, as they fall due, among the counties equally, except that Sussex County is to have, for its schools, the interest on the $7,000 above mentioned in addition to its one-third of the dividend from the general school fund.
2. All the clear dividends or profits from any other bank stock, securities, or property belonging to said fund, together with the clear sum from fees for marriage and tavern licenses, one-fourth of all money arising from licenses for auctioneering, foreign life-insurance agencies, vending of goods by samples, keeping of traveling jacks or stallions, keeping eating houses, taking photographs, acting as brokers, real-estate agencies, exhibiting circuses, practicing jugglery, selling vinous, spirituous, or malt liquors; also one-fourth of the fees on commissions issued to prothonotaries, clerks of the peace, recorders of deeds, clerks of the orphans' court, and sheriffs, and any other income of said fund, or money directed by law to be paid to the trustee of said fund for distribution, must be apportioned among the several counties according to their white population, as ascertained by the census.
The trustee of the school fund, in apportioning annually the share of its in
come to each county in the State, must distribute it equally among all the districts in the respective counties, according to the number of teachers,
Taration. The school commissioners in each school district must annually assess and levy the sum of $100), without regard to any vote thereon.
The district meeting shall decide what sum shall be raised for a schoolhouse or a free school,
1. ORGANIZATION OF THE SYSTEM.
State board-State school commissioner-County board-District trustees—
County school commissioner-Cities.
State board. The gorernor, attorney-general, secretary of state, comptrollergeneral, and State school commissioner shall constitute the State board of education, the governor being president ex officio and the State school commissioner the chief executive officer. The clerk of said commission shall be clerk of the State board and shall keep minutes of its meetings. The board shall meet, upon call of its president or a majority of its members, at the office of the State school commissioner at the capitol, or elsewhere, as the call may designate. Said board may hold in trust for the State any grant or devise of lands or other property made for educational purposes, duly executing the terms of such grants. The board shall constitute an advisory body with whom the State school commissioner shall have the right to consult when in doubt as to his official duty. The board shall also hear and decide appeals from decisions of the State school commissioner upon any question touching the construction or administration of the school laws, which appeals must be made through the county commissioner,
State school commissioner.-He shall be elected by the people for two years; shall have an office at the seat of government, and receive a salary not exceeding $2,000 a year. He shall be charged with the administration of the school laws and a general superintendence of the business relating to the common schools of the State. He shall prescribe forms for the reports required of subordinate school officers and blanks for their guidance in transacting official business, and from time to time shall transmit to them such instructions as he may deem necessary, which instructions they are bound to follow, but shall have the right of appeal to State board; he shall visit the several counties of the State as often as possible for the purpose of examining into the administration of the school law, inspecting school operations, counseling with school officers, delivering popular addresses, or doing such other things as he may deem subservient to the interests of popular eclucation; see that the proper actions are brought against all officers or agents of the system who are liable to the same for misapplication of funds or for other cause; shall make an annual report to the general assembly containing a statement of the condition and amount of all funds and property appropriated to public education, number of common and public schools of various grades in the State, number of scholars (by sex and color) attending same, branches taught, average cost of instruction per scholar per county, plans for improvement of the schools, number of children of school age in the State, number of private schools and colleges of different kinds in the State, with number of scholars attending (by sex), branches taught, and average cost of tuition per scholar. All necessary traveling expenses incurred in the performance of oflicial duty, postage, and other necessary office expenses, shall be paid by the State; and he shall be entitled to one clerk, who shall also be clerk of the State board. (See also Finances-Apportionment.)
County board of education.-Every county in the State shall compose one school district, under the control of a county board of education consisting of five freeholders elected by the grand jury for four years. No person pecuniarily interested in the sale of school books shall be eligible to membership in such board. In counties wherein are local school systems (see Cities) the grand jury shall select said county board from outside the territory of such local system. Members of said county board shall receive not to exceed $2 per day of actual service, but are not exempt from road or jury duty. Judges of the supe
rior court of a county may remove any member of such board for cause, on the address of two-thirds of the grand jury, and such judges may fill vacancies in such board until the next session of the grand jury. The board shall elect one of their number president. The county school commissioner shall be ex officio secretary, and shall record the proceedings of board meetings, all of which shall be open to inspection. The board shall meet at least once a quarter at the court-house. They shall lay off the county in subdistricts, in each of which they shall establish at least one school each for the white and colored races, which schools shall be as near the center of the subdistrict as practicable, reference being had to population, to any schoolhouse already erected, and to contiguity of white and colored schools.
Whenever in the opinion of the county board the good of the schools demands it, they may appoint three trustees in each subdistrict, to serve each three years, one to retire each year, whose duty it shall be to supervise the school operations of their subdistrict, to visit the schools, and make such recommendations in regard to school interests as may seem best. Such trustees shall recommend applicants to teach, whom the county board shall choose if they be duly qualified and eligible according to law. The trustees shall make written report to the county board once a year; oftener, if the board so require.
In the county board is vested the title to all school property, including that of all subdistricts in the county (see Buildings and grounds, under Schools). The board shall determine the length of term of the schools in their county. They shall hear and determine any local controversy regarding the construction or administration of school law, but either party may appeal to the State school commissioner, through the county commissioner in writing. (See also Schools, Text-books-Finances, Apportionment.)
District school trustees.-(See County board of education.)
County school cominissioner.The county board of education shall select from the citizens of the county a county commissioner of education, for a term of four years, who shall be ex officio county superintendent of the common schools. Before election the several applicants shall be examined (questions furnished by State school commissioner) upon the subjects taught in the common schools, the science and theory of teaching and school government, and such other subjects as the State school commissioner may deem proper. In addition to a satisfactory standing upon said examination, the board shall take into consideration the moral character, business qualifications, and general availability of each applicant; and the county commissioner shall give bond in such sum and with such security as the board may require. By a majority vote the board may remove such county commissioner for cause, but he shall have the right of appeal to the State school commissioner, and thence to the State board of education. In case of a vacancy in the office of county school commissioner, the same shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as for a full term. The county school commissioner shall constitute the medium of communication between the State school commissioner and subordinate school officers; shall visit each school in his county at least once during the term, twice if practicable, and oftener if ordered by county board, and without notice to teachers, for the purpose of instructing in modes of management and teaching and giving such advice and suggestions as he may deem helpful; shall be the agent of the board in procuring school furniture, apparatus, etc., sich as the board may order purchased; see that none but the prescribed textbooks are used ; audit accounts of teachers and others before presenting same to the board for an order for payment; enter in a book a record of all his official acts, which book, with other books, papers, and records pertaining to his office, shall be turned over to his successor; make a report of the year's school operations to the grand jury at the spring term of court, accompanied by his books for examination. He shall be provided with an office in the court-house if there be room, and shall receive such compensation as the county board may determine, not to exceed $:3 per day while actually employed in his official duties; in counties having 60,000 population the boards may pay county school commissioners a salary not to exceed $1,800 a year. (See also TeachersCertificates; institutes.)
Cities.-Any city with 2,000 or more population (or any county or town under special authority of the general assembly) may organize an independent school system and draw its pro rata of all educational funds raised by the State. The chief executive officer of such independent organization shall make the same reports to the State school commissioner as are required of the county school commissioners (see preceding section).
Certificates-Employment and duties-Institutes. Certificates.—The county school commissioner shall examine all applicants for license to teach in his county and may invite such persons as he may think proper to assist therein. Applicants shall be examined upon orthography, reading, writing, English grammar, geography, arithmetic, the science and practice of teaching, and physiology and hygiene, with special reference to the effects of alcoholic drinks and narcotics. Said examinations shall be held throughout the State on days fixed by the State school commissioner, who shall also prepare questions therefor, and shall supply the county school commissioner with printed instructions as to grading applicants on a uniform basis, and shall fix the lowest standard for each grade of licenses; and no applicant shall be examined on any other day than those so designated, except where the county board shall order a special examination for good reasons and to meet some special emergency. The county school commissioner shall prepare questions for such special examinations, and licenses granted thereunder shall be valid only until the next examination ordered by the State school commissioner and in the county where issued. ('pon the report and recommendation of the county school commissioner the county board shall grant to the applicants licenses of the first, second, or third grade, accoriling to the grade attained, provided they shall have attained at least the lowest grade mark fixed by the State school commissioner for that grade, and there shall be satisfactory evidence (submitted in writing with examination papers) of good moral character. First-grade licenses shall continue in force three years; second grade, two, and third grade, one, in the county where issued. They may be validated in other counties by indorsement of respective county school commissioners. Graduates of colleges are not exempt (since 1899) from such county examinations. The county school commissioner may revoke licenses for incompetency, immorality, cruelty to pupils, or neglect of duty, which revocation shall constitute a dismissal of such teacher, but he may appeal to State school commissioner. Forgery of a license constitutes a felony.
After passing upon the examination papers as hereinbefore provided, if, in the opinion of the county school commissioner, any of them exhibit unusual inerit he shall forward same to the State school commissioner, together with his certificate of the good moral and professional character of the applicant; and if the State school commissioner deem said papers to exhibit sufficient inerit he shall issue a permanent teacher's license to the applicant, which license shall be revocable only by the State school commissioner for cause.
Employment and duties.-County boards employ teachers. Contracts must be in writing, signed in duplicate. Subdistrict trustees, if any, recommend applicants to county board (which see). Teachers may enter into a supplemental contract with patrons to teach a private elementary school in connection with the common school and to embrace the period allowed by law for the said public term if approved by county board. Teachers shall file with the county school commissioner at the expiration of each term a full report of the whole number of scholars admitted to the school during said term, distinguishing between male and female and colored and white, together with the names of all, the entire and average attendance, branches taught, number studying each branch, and such other statistics as the county or State school commissioner may require; and until such report has been prepared, sworn to, and filed the county school commissioner shall not audit said teacher's salary account. No teacher shall receive pay for any pupil who is allowed to use any other than the prescribed text-books (which see, also Studies, under Schools). County boards may pay teachers fixed salaries or else according to enrollment or attendance. Teachers shall be paid monthly.
Institutes.--The State school commissioner is authorized to organize and establish a county teachers' institute in each county to hold a one-week session in June, July, August, or such other month as he may deem expedient. He may combine the said annual sessions of two or more of such institutes. He shall prepare programmes and syllabi of courses and require county school commissioners, as part of their official duty, to conduct same. He may require all teachers to attend such institutes held in the county of their residence, and county school commissioners and boards may assess and collect fines from members of such institutes for tardiness or absence without good cause, which funds thus collected shall be used in purchasing teachers' libraries for the counties in which collected.
Separate institutes shall be held for white and colored teachers, and not exceeding $25 may be paid from the educational fund of each county per annum for the purpose of securing the services of an expert in conducting the week's session of the institute of said county, such expert to be selected by the county school commissioner and board of education, Institutes shall be held at the county seat or other place selected by the county school commissioner,
Attendance-Studies--Text-books-- Manual training-Evening schools-Build
ings and grounds.
Attendance.-Admission to all schools of the State shall be gratuitous to all children between the ages of 6 and 18 years residing in the several subdistricts, respectively. Colored and white children shall not attend the same school, and no teacher receiving both in the same school shall receive any compensation out of the common school fund. Children residing in one subdistrict may, in special cases, bf permission of the county board, attend school in another subdistrict, and when a school is located near a county line children from the adjoining county may attend, if convenience requires, by concurrent permission of both county boards, and in such cases the teacher sball make out two accounts, one against each county board, in proportion to the number of children in the school froni eacli county.
Studies.-County boards shall prescribe what text-books and books of referente shall be used. (See Test-books.) The Bible shall not be excluded from the common or public schools of the State Boards shall not introduce any text or miscellaneous book of a sectarian or sectional character, and shall provide for the teaching of physiology and hygiene witli special reference to alcoholic drinks and narcotics. (For general branches taught see Teachers-Certificates.)
Tert-books.—County (or city) boards of education, in order to prevent excessive rates of charges for school books, may purchase directly from the publishers such books as may be adopted for their schools, and shall supply same to patrons and pupils at cost, or at such an advance as shall cover cost of handling. The board may make such contract with a local merchant or other person, whom they may require to give bond. Pupils, parents, or guardians about to move to another county wherein different books are used may sell their school books to the county at such discount as may cover wear and tear. The boards may arrange to rent books to pupils at just and proper fees and make all proper rules to insure payment of such fees and proper care oť books, Copies of all contracts for text-books must be filed with the State board of education within ten days. No county board may change or renew any contract for such books before the expiration of five years without first giving sixty days' notice by newspaper advertisement and sixy days' notice to the publisher party to such contract, and then only by a three-fourths vote of the members of such board in session.
Manual training.–County boards shall have power to organize one or more manual labor schools in each county on such a plan as shall be self-sustaining, which plan shall first be submitted to and approved by the State board of education.
Erening schools.-County boards may establish, at such places as they deem proper within the limits of their jurisdiction, a suitable number of evening schools for tlie instruction of such youth over 12 years of age as are prevented by their daily avocations from attending day schools.
Buildings and grounds.-County boards shall have power to purchase, lease, or rent school sites; build, repair, or rent schoolhouses; purchase maps, globes, school furniture, and other such things as are necessary for efficient schools; and said boards are vested with the title, care, and custody of all schoolhouses, sites, libraries, apparatus, or other property belonging to the several subdistricts in their respective counties, with all power to control the same as they think will best subserve the interests of public schools. When in the opinion of the board any schoolhouse site has become unnecessary or inconvenient, they may sell the same, such conveyance to be executed by the president or secretary of the board. Boards may provide for the building of schoolhouses either by labor on the part of the citizens or by a tax on the property of the subdistrict.
The State school commissioner, through the several county commissioners, shall cause the public schools of the State to observe arbor day as superiu