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years; and they shall determine his compensation. After the certification of the election of the superintendent to the State superintendent, the schools of the city, borough, or township shall not be subject to the authority of the county superintendent. The municipal superintendent is to perform the duties of the county superintendent and such as may be imposed by his board of directors, report monthly to the State superintendent, and attend meetings of superintendents called by him.
Appointment, qualifications, and duties--Preliminary training—Meetings. Appointment, qualifications, and duties.- No district employing a teacher who has not a valid certificate from the county or local superintendent shall receive money from the State treasury. No teacher shall be employed in teaching any branch of learning other than those enumerated in his or her certificate. No teacher shall be employed or dismissed except by a majority vote of the whole number of the directors or controllers of any common-school district. No person shall receive a certificate from a county, city, borough, or township superintendent who has not a fair knowledge of orthography, reading, writing, geography, English grammar, mental and written arithmetic, history of the United States, the theory of teaching, physiology and hygiene, civil government and elementary algebra. No person using intoxicating drinks as a beverage shall be granted a certificate. The certificate shall state the proficiency of the holder in each branch. The teacher must report monthly to the local school board the number and sex of pupils in attendance, the books used, and branches taught, or forfeit pay. After June 1, 1904, the minimum salary of teachers shall be $35 a month. Any district failing to comply with this provision shall forfeit its State appropriation during the whole time it is violated.
Preliminary training.-The State is divided at present into 13 normal school districts. When 13 or more citizens shall, as contributors or stockholders, erect and establish a school for the professional training of young men and women as teachers for the public schools of the State, all students in that school over 17 years of age who sign an agreement to teach two years in the public schools of the State after graduation receive $1.50 per week, which pays their tuition in full. The affairs of each school are to be managed by a board of 18 trustees, 12 elected by the contributors and 6 appointed by the State superintendent, and it shall require a three-fourths vote to pass a motion for the sale or purchase of real estate. The governor, superintendent, and attorneygeneral are a commision to distribute the State money to the schools. The trustees report annually to the superintendent, and are always subject to his inspection. To obtain State aid the following requirements must be met : Suitable building, surrounded by an area of 10 acres; a hall to seat 1,000 persons, with class rooms, etc., to accommodate 300 or more students, properly supplied with heating apparatus, adequately lighted and ventilated, and provided with a place for physical exercise in inclement weather, a library, 6 professors or more, one each in orthography, in reading and elocution, in writing, drawing and bookkeeping, in arithmetic and higher mathematics, in geography and history, in grammar and English history, and in theory and practice of teaching, together with such professors of natural, mental, and moral sciences, languages, and literature as the condition of the school and the number of students may require. The principal shall be a professor of one of the required branches. There shall be a model school of not less than 100 children. The principals shall fix the requisites for admission and the course and duration of study. The examination of the graduating class shall be conducted by a board composed of two principals, one of whom shall be the principal of the school whose pupils are under examination, the State superintendent or his deputy and two county or local superintendents of the normal school district being present, and no person shall graduate unless by a vote of 4 out of the said 5 members. Graduates are given a certificate of their scholastic qualifications valid throughout the State, but after two years of teaching a certificate of competency in teaching (teachers' State certificate) shall be given. Actual teachers in good standing, having taught three full annual terms, may also take the examination.
Institutes.--Annually the county superintendent shall hold an institute, at which all the teachers of the county are required to be present, without loss of pay. The duration of the institute is five days, one-half day being allowed to come from and another to return home. The county superintendent shall draw from the county treasury for every three days' attendance of a teacher the sum
of $1 to defray the expenses of lecturers and instructors. It shall be law. ful, however, for the board of directors or controllers which has elected a superintendent and employs not less than 75 teachers to hold a separate annual teachers' institute and to draw upon the county treasury in the manner laid down for the county superintendent.
Attendance-Character of instruction--Tert-books—Buildings. Attendance.-The board of directors or controllers shall provide a sufficient number of schools for the education of every individual above 6 and under 21 years of age for four to ten months, without regard to race or color.
All children between 8 and 13 years of age must attend school continuously during the term, unless the board at its meeting in June shall reduce the period of compulsory attendance, but the period shall not be reduced to less than 70 per cent of the term. Pupils may be excused on account of mental or physical ailments, or if there is no schoolhouse within 2 iniles of their residence, or on presentation of a certificate that they are being taught in a proper private school. For neglect of anyone in parental relation to send a child to school, or of the principal or teacher to report tbe nonattendance of pupils, the penalty for the first offense is $2, each subsequent offense $5. Boards of directors or school controllers in cities shall, and in all otlier districts may, appoint a truant officer, with police power, to be paid out of the school fund, to enforce the compulsory-attendance law. Boards of directors may establish special schools for habitual truants or those who are insubordinate or disorderly while in attendance upon the public schools.
No child under 13 years of age shall be employed in any manufacturing or mercantile industry; nor anyone under 16 who can not read and write English, unless he presents a certificate of having attended during the preceding year an evening or day school for a period of sixteen weeks, such certificate to be signed by the teacher of the school so attended.
Character of instruction.--It shall be the duty of each county superintendent to see that there be taught orthography, reading, writing, English grammar, geography, arithmetic, and physiology in reference to stimulants, as well as such other branches as the board of directors or controllers may require, all to be tauglit by qualified teachers. Failure of a local board in these respects works forfeiture of State money. District boards have power to grade schools, and boards in cities and boroughs having a population of 5,000 or more may establish a high school, fix its course of study, appoint its teachers, and maintain it for ten months in the year.
Upon the application of the parents of 20 or more children above 6 years of age, the school board shall open an evening school, giving instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic, and such other studies as may be prescribed by the board. The term of such school is to be not less than four months of 20 erenings of two hours each, but if the average attendance falls below 15 the school may be closed. In certain cities central boards of education are provided, to establish and maintain schools for instruction in the mechanic arts and kindred subjects; instruction in such schools may be given in the day or evening, and may include chemistry, mathematics, natural philosophy, and other branches pertaining to the mechanic arts.
Tert-book 8.—No series of text-books shall be adopted in any school district unless by vote of a majority of the whole number of the directors or controllers, and their votes shall be recorded by name; nor shall any text-books be changed until three years after their adoption. The board shall purchase text-books and other necessary supplies for the schools as the occasion demands, and such books and supplies shall be furnished free of cost to the pupils, subject to regulations.
Building8.-Suitable buildings and outhouses must be supplied by the board of directors for all children of school age.
Funds (permanent and special)-Taxation. Funds (permanent and special).- Any person found intoxicated in a public thoroughfare or place shall be fined $2, to be paid to the school district. This fund is distributed to the districts on the basis of resident taxables.
Taxation.-There are three kinds of tax for school purposes according to their subjects, each separate and distinct, but all may be due from one person. They are: The rate tax on real and personal property; a minimum occupation tax of $1 on all resident males' taxables over 21 years of age; the districts may tax themselves for support of schools in general, up to 13 mills, and may raise a sum for establishing schoolhouses not greater than the sum raised for support of schools in the sarle year.
1. ORGANIZATION OF THE SYSTEM.
State board-Commissioner of public schools—Toin school committee-Town
superintendent--District trustees—Truant officers. State board.-The general supervision and control of the public schools of the State and the enforcement of all rules and regulations necessary for carrying into effect the laws in relation thereto, with such high schools, normal schools, and normal institutes as are or may be established and maintained wholly or in part by the State, shall be vested in a State board of education, which shall consist of the governor and lieutenant-governor ex officio, and of six other members, one from each of the counties of the State with the exception of Providence County, which shall have two members. Two members of the board shall be elected annually at the January session of the general assembly from each county the term of whose member has expired, who shall hold office three years. Vacancies are filled in the same manner. The governor shall be president and the commissioner of public schools secretary of the board, which shall hold quarterly meetings, but special meetings may be convoked by its president or secretary. The board may grant for the purchase of books in any free public library the sum of $50 for the first 500 volumes it obtains, and $25 for every additional 500 volumes therein, provided that the annual payment shall not exceed the sum of $500. It shall prescribe the character of books which constitute such library and regulate its management so as to secure the free use of the same to the people of the town and neighborhood.
The board shall hold or cause to be held, in such places in different parts of the State and at such times as they may determine, examinations for the position of teacher in the public schools of this State; and said board is hereby authorized to issue certificates of qualification which shall be valid throughout the State for the grade and time specified therein.
The board shall make an annual report to the general assembly. The members shall receive no compensation, but the expenses necessitated by the performance of their duties shall be paid after approval by the general assembly.
Commissioner of public schools.--The State board shall anually elect a commissioner of public schools, who shall devote his time exclusively to the duties of his oflice, and while unable to perform them, the governor shall appoint a person to act as commissioner during the continuance of the disability. Ile may appoint a clerk to assist in the duties of his orlice.
He shall visit, as often as practicable, every school district in the State for the purpose of inspecting schools and of diffusing as widely as possible by public addresses and personal communication to school oflicers, teachers, and parents a knowledge of the defects and of any advisable improvements in the administration of the system and the government and instruction of the schools. He shall endeavor to secure uniformity in text-books and promote the establishment of school libraries, and shall report annually to the board of education upon the condition of education in the State schools, with suggestions for their improvement.
Toun school committee.-The school committee of each town shall consist of three residents of the town, or of the same number as constituted the committee in 1896, divided as nearly as may be into three groups, one group retiring from office annually. In a town abolishing all the school districts within its limits, the town school committee may, by vote of the town, be increased to seven persons. Vacancies are filled by the town council until the next annual election. The school committee shall meet at least four times in every year.
The committee may alter and discontinue districts, shall locate all school
houses; one or more of its number shall visit every public school in the town at least twice during each term, once within two weeks of its opening and once within two weeks of its close, examining the register, schoolhouse, library, studies, books, discipline, modes of teaching and of improving the school. They shall make rules and regulations for the attendance and classification of the pupils, for the introduction and use of text-books and works of reference, and for he instruction, government, and discipline of the public schools, and shall prescribe the studies to be pursued therein, under the direction of the commissioner of public schools, and they may suspend incorrigible children. They may consolidate two or more ungraded schools in order to make a graded school of two or more departments, and they may unite an ungraded school with a graded school. A bonus of $100 is granted for each department of a graded school formed as above, and the same sum is granted for each ungraded school united with a graded school. Authority to provide transportation of pupils in such cases is granted. No town's proportion of the annual State appropriation of $120,000 shall be reduced on account of any such consolidation.
Where a town is not divided into districts,a or shall vote to provide schools without reference to such division, the school committee shall manage and regulate such schools and draw orders for the payment of their expenses. Whenever the public schools are maintained by district organization, the committee shall apportion among the districts the town's proportion of the sum of $120,000 received from the State, and in addition at least one-fourth as much more from the town appropriation for the support of public schools; the remainder of the town appropriation and the moneys received from registry and dog taxes, from school funds, and other sources, shall be divided into two equal parts, one to be apportioned to the several districts according to the average attendance at the schools during the preceding year, the other to be apportioned at the discretion of the committee : Provided always, That the total apportionment shall not be less than $180, and the district shall have reported in legal manner and form that one or more schools have been taught by a competent teacher in an approved building, that the “teachers' money” of the preceding year has been wholly used in paying teachers, and that the register has been properly kept and deposited. The committee shall make a report annually to the State commissioner and may reserve not more than $10 to defray the expenses of printing it.
Superintendent of schools.--The school committee of each town shall elect a superintendent of the public schools of the town, to perform such duties and to exercise such powers as the committee shall assign him, and to receive such compensation as the committee may vote.
Any two or more towns the aggregate number of schools in all of which shall not be more than 60, may, by vote of the qualified electors of said several towns, unite for the purpose of the employment of a superintendent of schools.
District school trustees.-Each district a shall annually elect a moderator, a clerk, a treasurer, a collector, and either one or three trustees. The trustees shall provide and have the custody of the schoolhouse and other property and shall employ one or more qualified teachers for every 50 scholars in average daily attendance; shall see that the pupils are supplied with books, and shall provide the same at the expense of the district on failure of parent or guardian to furnish them. Whatever compensation is received by the trustees must be paid by tax levied on the district, and may not be taken out of State or town appropriations.
Truant officers.—The school committee of each city or town shall annually appoint and fix the compensation of one or more persons ils truant officers, who shall be clothed with the power of special constables, and who shall, under the direction of the school committee, inquire into all cases arising under the provisions of the compulsory-attendance act, and shall alone be authorized, in case of violation of any of the provisions of said act, to make complaint therefor; they shall also serve all legal processes issued in pursuance of said act, but shall not be entitled to receive any fees for such service: Provided, however, That in case of the commitment of any person under the provisions of any section of said act, or for default of payment of any fine and costs imposed thereinder, such oflicer shall be entitled to the regular fees allowed by law for similar service. (See also Schools-Attendance.)
a All districts abolished January 1, 1904.
Qualifications and duties-Preliminary training-Institutes. Appointment and qualifications.—No person shall be employed to teach as principal or assistant in any school supported wholly or in part by public money unless such person shall have a certificate of qualification issued by or under the authority of the State board of education. No school committeeman or trustee may teach in the schools of his own town. The teacher must be of good moral character and aim to implant in the minds of children committed to his care the principles of morality and virtue. He shall keep a register of the scholars, their names, sex, names of parents or guardians, time of entry and withdrawal, daily attendance, and note by date the visits of a school officer. Ile shall also prepare the return of the district to the school committee of the town.
Preliminary training.–The normal school shall be under the management of the board of education and commissioner of public schools as a board of trustees. Tuition is free to State pupils having passed the required examination and given satisfactory assurances of their intention to teach in the State public schools at least one year after leaving the school. Graduates in the regular course shall, on recommendation of the principal, receive a diploma. Pupils haying attended regularly one term, but living more than 5 miles distant from the school, may be allowed a sum not exceeding $25 for each quarter year for traveling expenses. The fund for such purpose, however, shall be limited to $4,000.
Institutes. A sum not exceeding $300 shall be annually allowed to defray the necessary expenses and charges for teachers and lecturers and for teachers' institutes; and a su not exceeding $300 shall be annually allowed, under the direction of the board of education, for publishing and distributing among the several towns educational publications, providing lectures on educational topics, and otherwise promoting the interests of education in the State.
Attendance-Character of instruction—Text-books-Buildings. Attendance.-Schools must be taught for at least six months by a qualified teacher in an approved schoolhouse.
Every child from 7 to 15 years of age, unless he has completed in the public schools the elementary studies taught in the first eight years of school attendance exclusive of kindergarten instruction provided for in the course of study adopted by the school committee of the city or town wherein such child resides, or unless he shall have reached 13 years of age and shall be lawfully employed at labor or at service or engaged in business, shall regularly attend some public day school during all the days and hours that the public schools are in session in the city, town, or district wherein he resides; and every person having under liis control a child as above described shall cause such child to attend school as required above, and for every neglect of such duty the person having control of such child shall be fined not exceeding $20: Provided, That if the person so charged shall prove that the child has attended for the required period of time an approved private day school or that the physical or mental condition of the child was such as to render his attendance at school inexpedient or impracticable, or that the child is over 12 years of age and has been excused in order to be employed by authority of the school committee upon the written recommendation of the truant oflicers and of the overseer of the poor, stating that the child's wages are necessary for the support of the family, or that the child was destitute of clothing suitable for attending school and that the person having control of said child was unable to provide suitable clothing, then such attendance shall not be obligatory, nor shall such penalty be incurred. For these purposes the school committee shall approve a private school only when they are satisfied that the period of attendance of the pupils in such school is substantially equal to that required by law of a child attending a public school in the same city or town; that the teaching in such school in all studies except foreign languages and any studies not taught in the public schools is in the English language; that such teaching or instruction is thorough and ethicient; and that registers are kept and returns to the school committee and truant officers in relation to the attendance of pupils are made the same as by the public schools.