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in any public school in grades more advanced than the fourth grade may, upon graduating from the grammar school and upon application to the school committee, be permitted to acquire the permanent ownership of such free textbooks used during the last year of their attendance in the school as they may select.
The school committee shall, at the expense of the town and in accordance with appropriations therefor previously made, procure apparatus, reference books, and other means of illustration.
A change may be made in the schoolbooks used in the public schools by a vote of two-thirds of the whole school committee at a meeting thereof, notice of such intended change having been given at a previous meeting.
Building.–Every town shall provide and maintain a sufficient number of schoolhouses properly furnished and conveniently located for the accommodation of all children therein who are entitled to attend the public schools. A town which for one year refuses or neglects to comply with the requirements of this section shall forfeit not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, to be paid and applied as provided in sections 23 and 24. The school committee, unless the town otherwise directs, shall have general charge and superintendence of the schoolhouses therein, shall keep them in good order, and shall procure a suitable place for the schools, if there is no schoolhouse, and provide fuel and all other things necessary for the comfort of the pupils therein at the expense of the town,
The school committee of every city and town shall provide for each schoolhouse in which public schools are maintained and which is not otherwise supplied, a United States flag of silk or bunting not less than 4 feet in length, and suitable apparatus whereby such flag may be displayed on the schoolhouse building or grounds every school day when the weather permits and on the inside of the schoolhouse on other school days.
A town may, at a meeting called for the purpose, determine the location of its schoolhouses, and adopt all necessary measures to purchase and procure land therefor. Whoever willfully and maliciously or wantonly and without (ause destroys, defaces, mars, or injures a schoolhouse or any of its appurtenances shall be fined $500 or imprisonment in the jail not exceeding one year.
Every public building and every schoolhouse shall be kept clean and free from effluvia arising from any drain, privy, or nuisance; shall be provided with a sufficient number of proper water-closets, earth closets, or privies, and shall be ventilated in such a manner that the air shall not become so impure as to be injurious to health. The provisions of this section shall be enforced by the inspection department of the district police. If it appears to an inspector of factories and public buildings that further or different sanitary or ventilating provisions, which can be provided without unreasonable expense, are required in any public building or schoolhouse, he may issue a written order to the proper person or authority, directing such sanitary or ventilating provisions to be provided. A school committee, public officer, or person who has charge of, owns, or leases any such public building or schoolhouse who neglects for four weeks to comply with the order of such inspector shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100. Whoever is aggrieved by the order of an inspector, issued as above provided and relating to a public building or a schoolhouse, may, within thirty days after the date of the service thereof, apply in writing to the board of liealth of the city or town to set aside or amend the order, and thereupon the board, after notice to all parties interested, shall give a hearing upon such order and may alter, annul, or affirm it.
The nautical training school. There shall be a board of commissioners of the Massachusetts Nautical Training School consisting of three citizens of the Commonwealth, one of whom shall annually, before the 1st day of July, be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the council, for a term of three years from said 1st day of July. Said commissioners shall serve without compensation, but they shall be reimbursed by the Commonwealth for all expenses actually incurred by them in the performance of their official duties. They shall provide and maintain a nautical training school for the instruction and training of pupils in the science and practice of navigation, shall provide accommodations for the school on board a proper vessel, purchase and provide books, stationery, apparatus, and supplies needed in the work of the school, appoint and remove instructors and other necessary employees, determine their number and compensation, fix the terms and conditions upon which pupils shall be received and instructed in the school and be discharged or dismissed therefrom, establish all regulations necessary for its proper management, and shall from
time to time provide for cruises in or from the harbor of Boston. They may. receive from the United States Government, and use for the accommodation of the school, such vessels as the Secretary of the Navy may detail. They may annually expend not more than $50,000 which shall be paid by the Commonwealth; and they shall annually submit an estimate of the expense required in making cruises in or from the harbor of Boston, and the amount of said estimate, after approval by the governor and council and subject to the provisions of chapter 6, shall be advanced to the commanding officer of the vessel detailed therefor, who shall give a bond in the sum of $10,000, with sureties approved by the governor and council, for its proper disbursement. Said advance shall not exceed $10,000 for six months, and shall be accounted for by properly approved vouchers within thirty days after the termination of said cruises. They shall annually, in January, report to the general court a detailed statement of all moneys appropriated and expended during the preceding year for the nautical training school, stating the results of the work during such year and making any necessary recommendations.
Funds (permanent or special) - Taxation.
The Massachusetts school.fund.--The present school fund of the Commonwealth, such additions as may be made thereto, and any money received by the Commonwealth from the Government of the United States, the disposition of which is not otherwise provided for, shall constitute a permanent fund, to be called the Massachusetts school fund." The principal thereof shall not be diminished, and the income shall be appropriated as hereinafter provided. The fund is now $1,670,548.14, and $100,000 shall annually be paid from the treasury of the Commonwealth into said fund, until the principal thereof amounts to $5,000,000.
The secretary of the board of education and the treasurer and receivergeneral shall be commissioners who shall invest and manage the fund, and report annually to the general court the condition and income thereof. The premiums on any securities purchased for said fund, to an amount not exceeding in any one year $50,000, may be paid from any money in the treasury of the Commonwealth not otherwise appropriated. All investments shall be made with the approval of the governor and council. The annual income of the Massachusetts school fund shall, without specific appropriation, be apportioned and distributed for the support of the public schools in the following manner : Every town wbich complies with all laws relative to the distribution of said income and whose valuation of real and personal property, as shown by the last preceding assessors' valuation thereof, does not exceed $500,000, shall annually receive $500; but if its rate of taxation for any year shall be $18 or more on $1,000, it shall receive $75 additional ; every uch vn whose valuation is more than $500,000 and does not exceed $1,000,000 shall receive $300; and every such town whose valuation is more than $1,000,000 and does not exceed $2,000,000 shall receive $150; and every town whose valuation is more than $2,000,000 and does not exceed $2,500,000 shall receive $75. The remainder of said income shall be distributed to towns whose valuation does not exceed $2,500,000, and whose annual tax for the support of public schools is not less than one-sixth of their whole tax for the year, as follows: Every town whose school tax is not less than one-third of its whole tax shall receive a proportion of said remainder expressed by one-third; every town whose school tax is not less than one-fourth of its whole tax shall receive a proportion expressed by one-fourth; every town whose school tax is not less than one-fifth of its whole tax shall receive a proportion expressed by one-fifth; and every town whose school tax is not less than one-sixth of its whole tax shall receive a proportion expressed by one-sixth. All money appropriated for other educational purposes, unless otherwise provided for, shall be paid from the treasury of the Commonwealth.
The income of said fund which has accrued on the 31st day of December in each year shall be apportioned by the commissioners of the Massachusetts school fund in the manner provided for by section 1 of this act, and shall be paid to the several towns on the 25th day of January thereafter.
The sums received by any town under the provisions of this act shall be held by the town treasurer, and shall be expended only for expenses in maintenance of the public schools authorized by the school committee, in accordance with
existing laws; and it shall be the duty of the treasurer to keep a separate account of all sums so received and expended, and the school committee shall make an annual report to the State board of education, in such form as may be prescribed by said board, of the amount received during each year, the amount expended from such receipts, the purpose for which such expenditures have been made, in detail, and the balance, if any, remaining unexpended. And whenever it appears that, in the opinion of the State board of education, the sums paid to any town have not been used in whole or in part in accordance with the provisions of this section, or that they have not been held and accounted for separately, or that the report thereof herein required has not been made, the commissioners of the school fund are hereby authorized to withhold, as they may deem advisable, the whole or any part of the future allowances otherwise falling to such town under the provisions of this act.
No such apportionment and distribution shall be made to a town which has not maintained a school as required by law; or which, if containing 500 families or householders, has not maintained, for at least thirty-six weeks during the year, exclusive of vacations, a high school such as is mentioned therein; or which has not made the school returns, and complied with the laws relative to truancy; or which has not raised by taxation for the support of public schools which are authorized or required by law, including the wages of teachers, the transportation of school children, fuel, the care of fires, schoolrooms, and school premises, supervision, text-books, and supplies, and school sundries or incidentals during the school year embraced in the last annual returns, an amount not less than $3 for each person between the ages of 5 and 15 years resident in such town on the 1st day of September of said school year. The income of said fund shall be applied by the school committees of the towns receiving it to the support of the public schools therein ; but said committees may apply not more than 25 per cent thereof to the purchase of books of reference, maps, and apparatus for the use of said schools. The income of the Todd fund shall be paid to the board of education, to be applied by said board to specific objects, in connection with the normal schools, not provided for by legislative appropriation.
Moneys received by a county treasurer under the provisions relating to dogs and not paid out for damages, shall in the month of January be paid back to the treasurers of the cities and towns in proportion to the amounts received from such cities and towns; and the moneys so refunded shall be expended for the support of public libraries or schools. In Suffolk County moneys so received by the treasurer of a city or town, and not so paid out, shall be expended by the school committee for the support of public schools.
Taxation.-Towns shall raise by taxation money necessary for the support of public schools. A town which refuses or neglects to raise money for the support of schools as required by law shall forfeit an amount equal to twice the highest sum ever before voted for the support of schools therein. A town which refuses or neglects to choose a school committee shall forfeit not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 to the use of the county. Three-fourths of such forfeiture so paid shall be paid by the county treasurer to the school committee, if any; otherwise, to the selectmen of the town from which it has been recovcred, who shall appropriate it to the support of the schools of such town as if it had been regularly raised by the town for that purpose.
A town may appropriate money for conveying pupils to and from the public schools, or, if it maintains no high school or public school of corresponding grade but affords high school instruction by sending pupils to other towns, for the necessary transportation expenses of such pupils, the same to be expended by the school committee in its discretion.
1. ORGANIZATION OF THE SYSTEM.
State board-State superintendent-County board of examiners—County com
missioner of schools—Township school inspectors—District board of director 8-Board of trustees.
State board.—There shall be elected every two years a member of the State board of education, who shall serve for six years. The State superintendent sball be ex officio a member as well as secretary of the board. The board shall
hare the general supervision of the State normal schools, and shall grant teachers' certificates to certain persons, as hereinafter set forth.
State superintendent.--At each biennial election there shall be elected a superintendent of public instruction, who shall have his office at the seat of government. A vacancy shall be filled by the governor, by and with the advice of the senate. The State superintendent shall have general supervision of public instruction and of all the State institutions, other than the university, that are essentially educational in their character ; and he shall visit the university, the agricultural college, the institutions for the deaf, for the blind, the industrial school for boys and for girls, the school for dependent and neglected children, and meet with the governing boards of each institution at least once in each year. He shall biennially report to the governor the following: The condition of the university and of each of the other State educational institutions, all incorporated institutions of learning, and the primary, graded, and high schools; the estimated cost of the system and amount of expenditures from all educational funds and plans for their better management; plans for the better organization of the educational system; the annual reports and accompanying documents, so far as he shall deem the same of sufficient public interest, of all the State institutions of educational character; abstracts of the annual reports of the school inspectors of the several townships and cities of the State, and all such other matters relating to his office and to the subject of education in general as he may deem expedient to communicate. The State superintendent shall semiannually apportion the primary school interest fund among the several townships and cities of the State in proportion to the number of children in each between the ages of 5 and 20 years, as the same shall be reported to him by the board of school inspectors made to him for the school year closing prior to the May apportionment, drawing on the State treasurer in favor of the treasurer of each county.
County board of examiners.--The board of supervisors of each county shall biennially appoint two persons as school examiners, who, together with the county commissioner shall constitute a board of school examiners who shall examine all persons who offer themselves at two regular public examinations at the county seat; and shall also hold, for the same purpose, not more than two special public examinations as the interests of the schools may demand. The board shall grant certificates to those found qualified. The appointed members shall receive $4 per diem for each day actually employed in performance of duty.
County commissioner of schools.—There shall be elected every fourth year, beginning April, 1903, a county commissioner of schools, and in case of vacancy the judge of probate, together with the county board, shall appoint some suitable person to the office. The person so elected or appointed shall execute a bond in the sum of $1,000 for the faithful performance of fiscal duties. No person shall be eligible to the office of county commissioner who shall not be a graduate in. the literary department of some reputable college, university, or State normal school, or hold a State teacher's certificate, or hold a first-grade certificate: Provided, That in counties having less than 50 schools subject to the supervision of the county commissioner a person holding at the time of election a second-grade certificate shall be eligible. It shall be the duty of the county commissioner to notify the superintendent of public instruction and the chairman of each township board of school inspectors of the county of his election; keep a record of all examinations held by the board of school examiners, and sign all certificates and other papers and reports issued by the board ; receive the institute fees provided by law, and pay the same to the county treasurer quarterly ; keep a record of all certificates granted, suspended, or revoked by the board or himself, showing to whom issued, with the date, grade, and duration of each certificate, and if suspended or revoked, with the date and reason therefor; furnish to each township clerk a list of persons, with data, legally authorized to teach in the county at large and in the township; to visit each of the schools in the county at least once in each year, and examine carefully the discipline, mode of instruction, progress, and proficiency of the pupils, provided that in counties having 120 or more districts he may appoint such assistants as may be necessary, who shall perform such duties as the commissioner shall direct, but their expenses shall not in any one year exceed $90; counsel with the teachers and school boards as to the courses of study to be pursued and as to any improvement in the discipline and instruction in the schools; promote the improvement of the schools in the county, and of the teachers and officers, and act as assistant conductor of institutes appointed by the superintendent of public instruction ; receive the triplicate
annual reports of the several boards of school inspectors, examine into the correctness of the same, and, when approved, forward one copy of each to the State superintendent and the other to the county clerk; make an annual report to the State superintendent, and obey all instructions from him, and distribute the blanks and communications forwarded by him. His compensation shall be not less than $500 in a county having 50 schools, not less than $1,000 where there are 100 schools under such supervision, and not less than $1,200 where there are 125 schools under supervision, but in no case shall it exceed $1,500 per annum. The necessary contingent expenses of the commissioner for printing, postage, stationery, record books, and room rent for public examinations shall be allowed by the county supervisors to the sum of $200. No traveling expenses shall be allowed either to a commissioner or any assistant visitor or school examiner. No commissioner shall receive an order for compensation until he shall have filed with the county clerk, first, a certified statement from the State superintendent that all reports required of him have been properly made and filed; and, second, a detailed statement, made under oath, showing what schools have been visited by him during the preceding quarter and what amount of time was consumed in each school, naming township and school district. No commissioner shall act as agent for the sale of any school furniture, text-books, maps, charts, or other school apparatus, nor be interested financially in any summer, normal, or teachers' training class in the county for which he was elected. In case of vacancy, the office shall be filled by the chairmen of the township boards of school inspectors in joint session.
Township board of school inspectors.-At the annual meeting of each township there shall be elected one school inspector, who shall hold office for two years and be an elector of the district, or a woman 21 years of age who has resided in the State three months and in the township ten days. The school inspectors of each township, together with the township clerk, shall constitute the township board of school inspectors. The township clerk shall be clerk of the board, and the other members shall be elected chairman and treasurer, and shall give bond to double the amount of moneys to come into his hands.
The said board shall annually make in triplicate a report setting forth the whole number of districts in their townships, the amount of money raised and received for township and district libraries, and such other items as are given in the reports of the district school directors for the preceding year or as may be required by the State superintendent. Two copies of the report shall be forwarded to the commissioner and one filed in the office of the township clerk. Before making their annual report, it shall be the duty of the board to examine the list of legally qualified teachers on file in the office of the township clerk, and if the examination shows school has not been taught for the legal period, the board shall certify to the facts in the case in the annual report. It shall be their duty also to render to the township board [ not school inspectors) a full account of all moneys received and disbursed by them. The whole number of meetings of the township board of school inspectors at the expense of the township during any one school year shall not exceed eight.
The chairman of the township board of school inspectors shall have general supervisory charge of the schools of his township, subject to such advice and direction as the county commissioner may give, and shall make such reports of his official labors and of the condition of the schools as the State superintendent may direct or the commissioner request.
The board shall divide the township into school districts, which they may from time to time alter and regulate, and the districts shall be as compact as practicable.
District board of directors.—At the first meeting in each school district there shall be elected by ballot a moderator for the term of three years, a director for two years, and a treasurer for one year; and on the expiration of their respective terms and annually thereafter their successors shall be elected in like manner for a term of three years. Removal from the district, neglect to file his acceptance or renew any official bond, or other vacancy, however caused, shall be filled by the board thus created; or, in case of two vacancies, by the district, in special meeting; or in case of the entire board being vacant, or if any vacancy is unfilled for twenty days, then the township board of school inspectors shall appoint a new board or fill the vacancy, as the case may be. Any qualified voter in a school district who has property assessed for school t:ix shall be eligible to office in such school district, unless an alien. Meetings may be called by one member serving the other with notice twenty-four hours in advance, but a majority shall constitute a quorum.