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"BE SURE YOU ARE RIGHT, THEN GO AHEAD."

The granting of loans from the trust funds of the state for the purpose of aiding in the erection of schoolhouses is frequently delayed on account of errors and omissions in the application and accompanying papers. To aid school district officers to avoid errors and facilitate the granting of loans, the following statements are given:

1. The law requires that the authority to borrow money must be given by vote at an annual or lawfully called special meeting.

2. That the resolution to be voted on shall be in writing and shall specify the amount to be borrowed, the rate of interest, and the time and manner of payment.

3. The resolution to be voted on shall be read to the meeting and the vote thereon taken by ballot.

4. The ballots shall be written or printed; those in favor, "for the loan;" those opposed, "against the loan.”

5. The resolution and the vote shall be recorded.

6. If the resolution is adopted the meeting shall also levy a tax to be annually collected to pay the interest and principal of such loan as they become due.

Section 427, Wisconsin statutes, gives the law relating to special school district meetings. That statute' and the comments thereon should be very carefully studied before any steps are taken toward calling a special meeting for the purpose of securing a loan from the state. In order that the essential points may not escape your notice, they are also placed here:

1. The special meeting must be called on the written request of at least five legal voters.

2. Notices for such special meetings must be posted at least 6 full days before the date on which the meeting is to be held in four or more public places in the district; one notice shall be affixed to the outer door of the schoolhouse.

3. If a loan is to be authorized, tax levied, or debt contracted, notice of the meeting must be served on at least three-fourths of the legal voters (men and women), either personally or by written notice left at their place of residence, stating the time and place, and objects of the meeting, and specifying the amount proposed to be voted, at least six days before the time appointed therefor, exclusive of the day on which the meeting is to be held.

4. A record of the proceedings of the special meeting must show that every requirement of the statutes has been observed.

The following outline which may be modified to conform to the facts, will serve as a guide to aid in making a sufficient record of the proceedings of the special meeting, and a certified copy of such record must accompany all applications made to the Commissioners of Public Lands for loans from trust funds: Minutes of the proceedings of a special meeting of

school district No. of the town of

in

county, Wisconsin, held at the schoolhouse in said district on the

day of -, 194, at eight o'clock in the afternoon. The meeting was called to order by

Mr.

was elected chairman and the school district clerk acted as clerk. Mr.

school district clerk, read an affidavit showing that the meeting was called on the written request of at least five legal voters of the district, and that notices thereof were posted in the manner prescribed for calling the annual meeting, and that at least three-fourths of the legal voters (men and women) had been notified either personally or by a written notice left at their places of residence, stating the time, place and objects of the meeting, and specifying the amount proposed to be voted, at least six days before the time appointed therefor, exclusive of the day on which the meeting was to be held, which said affidavit is in the words and figures following, to-wit:

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County.—Ss.

being first duly sworn, on oath, deposes and says that he is the duly elected and acting clerk of school district No. of the town of

in county, Wisconsin; that on the

day of

194, a request in writing was filed with this deponent, requesting deponent to call a special district meeting on the day of

19 at eight o'clock in the afternoon, which said request is in the words and figures following, to-wit:

(Here give request in full.) That thereafter on the

day of --, 194, deponent posted notices in public places in said district, one of which was affixed to the outer door of the schoolhouse in said district, of which the following is a true copy:

(Here give notice in full.) That on the

day of - 19-, this deponent notified the following named legal voters of said district personally, by reading the said notice to them: (Here give names of voters personally notified.)

And on the same day deponent notified the following named legal voters of said district by leaving a true copy of said notice at their places of residence:

(Here give names of voters so notified.)

That the persons on whom such notice was served as aforesaid constituted at least three-fourths of all the legal voters of the district.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this

day of

194

Justice of the Peace. The following resolution was read to the meeting:

Resolved, That the school district board be and it is hereby authorized to make application for a loan of

dollars from the state trust fund, payable in years, with interest at the rate of 4 per cent per annum, payable annually.

(See Sections 261 to 262a) for the purpose of building a schoolhouse."

The question being on the adoption of the resolution, a vote was taken by written ballots, which resulted as follows:

For the loan-
Against the loan-
Majority for the loan-

The following resolution was then offered and adopted:

Resolved, That a sum sufficient to pay the interest and principal of the loan as it becomes due, be and the same is hereby levied upon the taxable property of the district. I,

clerk of the school district above named, do hereby certify that the above and foregoing is a true copy of the record of the proceedings of the meeting therein referred to; that I have compared the same with the original record in my custody and that it is a true copy thereof and of the whole of such original record. Dated 194

District Clerk. The form of request to the clerk to call a special meeting is given in this connection for the convenience of school officers and electors. The electors may at the meeting vote to borrow a smaller sum than that named in the call but cannot vote to borrow a larger amount.

:

Request to District Clerk to Call a Special Meeting. To

Clerk of - School District No. of the Town of SIR:—You are hereby requested to call a special meeting of the above district on the day of

19—, at eight o'clock in the afternoon for the purpose of voting on the following propositions, viz.: 1st. To authorize the school board to make application for a loan of

dollars from the State Trust Funds, payable in

years, with interest at the rate of 4 per cent per annum, payable annually, for the purpose of building a schoolhouse.

2nd. To raise by tax a sum sufficient to pay the principal and interest of such loan as it becomes due.

Signed:

The form of notice for a special school meeting given herewith is one ad opted by the land commissioners, and the district clerk should, as far as possible, make copies to be posted, agree with this form.

It must not be forgotten that copies of the notice must be served upon at least three-fourths of the electors (men and women) of the district, at least six days before the meeting and exclusive of the day on which the meeting is to be held. Any failure to follow the direction given in section 427, of this code, is likely to inva lidate all proceedings of the electors at said special meeting.

(Form of Notice for Special School Meeting.) Nctice is hereby given to the qualified voters of

School District No. , town of

that a special school meeting of said district will be held at in said district on the

day of

194, at eight o'clock P. M., for the purpose of voting the following propositions, viz.: 1st. To authorize the school board to make application for a loan of

dollars from the State Trust Funds, payable in years, with interest at the rate of 4 per cent per annum, payable annually, for the purpose of building a schoolhouse.

2nd. To raise by tax a sum sufficient to pay the principal and interest of such loan as it becomes due.

(Signed) Dated

District Clerk. Persons interested in securing money from the trust funds for building purposes or for paying off old district indebtedness should carefully study the above directions to be followed in cases where a proposition to "borrow money” is to come before the district electors. The school board and three or four other interested persons should hold an informal meeting for the purpose of informing themselves in regard to the law, and the method to be followed as outļined above. The amount needed as well as the particular purposes for which it is to be used should be well thought out and such information secured relating to the cost of building, or the amount and character of the indebtedness as will enable a clear presentation of facts to be placed before the electors when the annual or special meeting is held. This plan will avoid oversights, errors, and misunderstandings and will expedite business, prevent irritation and delay and be a source of satisfaction to the district generally if dons from proper motives.

Sections 477 to 484. The foregoing sections embody the laws in force as to the establishment of schoolhouse sites. The town board is to be called upon, not to select or designate a site in any case, but to locate and establish the same or any addition thereto, when the district cannot obtain it on reasonable terms, or because the owner is a nonresident.

All sites now selected must be on a public highway. In cases where schoolhouses are not on a public highway, the supervisors may be compelled to lay a highway to the house. (See section 1275 m.)

Section 489. The property belonging to the district is not liable to levy or sale upon an execution. Under the rendition of any judgment against a school district, a transcript of the same is to be filed with the town clerk, or, if the district be a joint district, with the clerk of each town in which such district is in part situated. The town clerk is then required to assess the amount of the judgment, with interest thereon, in a separate column, in the next assessment roll, and the tax, when collected, shall be paid to the party entitled thereto.

FREE HIGH SCHOOLS.

Section 493. The officers, if elected, are to bear the same names and are elected for the same terms as like officers, in school districts. In cities independent of the county superintendent, the board of education, and in single districts, the district board, becomes the free high school board, without action on the part of the people at the time of the adoption of the system.

The duties of the several officers and of the boards are similar to those of district officers and boards. The clerk is to report directly to the county superintendent, but in cities independent of that officer, the report must be made by the city superintendent or by the board of education, and incorporated in the report of other matters to the state superintendent. Section 496 provides for a financial report to be made in du; plicate for each free high school directly to the state superintendent.

Section 494a. This section provides for the establishment of a new and peculiar department in connection with a free high school. Its purpose is to offer opportunities for persons who, owing to circumstances, cannot take the regular high school work to improve themselves along educational lines. It will be noted that the teacher having charge of this school must possess high and satisfactory qualifications. Graduates of country schools who can only give a part of the winter to school work will find this a popular, helpful and valuable department.

Section 495. If the amount to be raised is legally apportioned to the town, the clerk thereof must include it in the tax roll, notwithstanding directions from the town board and the electors at the town meeting to the contrary. “The refusal of one town or any number of towns (at least any number less than the whole), in a joint free high school district, to levy and collect taxes on the taxable property in any such town to pay its due proportion of the expenses of maintaining the school when such proportion has been lawfully ascertained cannot disorganize or dissolve the joint district or relieve the clerk of any such defaulting town of the duty of inserting the proper sum in the tax roll of his town.State v. Lamont, 86 Wis., 563.

Section 495a. This law was passed for the purpose of authorizing the electors of the town, assembled at some special or annual town meeting, to vote a tax for the purpose of providing funds for the erection and equipment of a town high school building and for purchasing a site. This law does not give the electors the power to select or designate the location of the free high school site.

Section 431a provides a most excellent plan for holding annual school meetings in village and city high school districts. Study this section. The plan has so far worked well in the places where it has been adopted.

Section 496k. This section increases the nonresident fee for attendance upon free high schools from fifty cents a week to one dollar a week; said tuition to be paid by the town or village in which said pupil resides. In levying a tax to pay this tuition, attention must be given to the boundaries of the free high school district. Any lands or property lying within a free high school district cannot lawfully be taxed for the purpose of providing for the tuition of nonresident pupils.

{ Section 4960. The law permits persons (a) of school age (b) not residing in a high school district, (c) possessed of proper evidence of having completed a common school course of study, to attend any free high school in Wisconsin, where (d) facilities for instruction are sufficient, and (e) subject to the rules and regulations of such school and makes their tuition not to exceed one dollar a week, chargeable to the town, city or village in which they reside.

Under “(c)” above the following points are to be noted:

1. The course of study to be completed must be prescribed by the state superintendent, and it is left to him to determine what shall constitute a completion hereof. The course prescribed by him is found in the manual for common schools.

2. Except in city superintendent districts, all public schools except free high schools, are under the supervision of some county superintendent, and all diplomas issued by such schools must receive his sanction in order to be received as evidence that the common school course of study has been completed. He may insist upon examination in all cases, or, as in the case of a system of graded schools under the supervision of a high school principal, he may accept the certificates of the principal without examination.

3. It follows, therefore, that whereas the principal, acting under direction of the board has heretofore had the power to determine the qualifications for admission, the power to do so now rests solely with the county superintendent.

It would seem that in all cases where a pupil has been in attendance upon a free high school and has completed the work of any year of said high school, the records may be taken by the county superintendent as sufficient evidence of the qualifications of the pupil to continue high school work, and of his right, if he so desires, to have his tuition made a charge upon the town or village in which he resides. It would also seem that in cases where nonresident pupils complete the work in the 8th or 9th grade in any district having a free high school, the record of such department may be accepted by the county superintendent as evidence of the fitness of such pupil to enter the high school with other pupils of the same class and grade, who are residents of the free high school district.

4. In order that charges for tuition may be collected by a free high school board from the town in which any nonresident student resides, the secretary must, before the first day of July in each year, file a sworn statement with the clerk, giving residence, name, age, date of entrance and number of months' attendance at school of each person so admitted from his town, city or village, together with the amount of tuition charged, such charge not to exceed one dollar per week.

5. This statement must be accompanied by a diploma, or copy of diploma, or certificate from one who has signed the diploma, or a certificate from the county superintendent. As above shown, this diploma, if from a public school under the supervision of the county superintendent, must have been issued by the county superintendent, or have received his sanction in order that it may be received as evidence that the common school course of study has been completed.

When a certificate or diploma as above described, or a certified copy of either, has once been filed with the clerk, the law will doubtless be satisfied thereafter if other copies are not filed with him with the bill for tuition.

UNION FREE HIGH SCHOOLS

Sections 495–1 to 495-20. The union free high school law provides an opportunity more elastic than that offered by the town free high school for the purpose of forming large high school dis

tricts. This law applies to any town no matter whether it contains 36 sections or more. It also applies to cases where it is desired to unite two or more towns in their entirety. Furthermore, it permits the electors residing on territory, parts of two or more towns, etc., to establish a large free high school district without reference to town lines. The plan of organization and the plan of conducting the school affairs. are more popular than are the plans of formation and organization of town free high school districts. Indeed, since this law has been understood, it has taken the place of the town free high school law in practically every instance where enlarged high school districts have been formed.

Parties contemplating the organization of a town free high school or a union free high school district should carefully consider which plan is best adapted to existing conditions. It is a good plan to have a number of the electors of the district get together for the purpose of studying the laws and determining the method of procedure before any steps are taken under the statute towards the formation of the district. It must be understood that the special aid coming to the district and the general laws governing admission of students, both nonresident and local, qualifications of the teacher, inspection of high school inspector, etc., apply to union and town free high schools alike. It is also the privilege of electors of a union free high school to authorize the union free high school board to unite with the board of an ordinary school district in the erection of a building suitable for housing both high school and district school children.

The annual union free high school district meeting is held on the third Monday in March, and the fact that a village may form part of the union free high school district does not deprive the electors of both village and surrounding towns from meeting in common for the purpose of considering all matters pertaining to the government and welfare of the union free high school district. It is more democratic in its government than is the town free high school.

Section 496d. Under this chapter teachers who hold second grade certificates and who have had at least two years' successful experience may be legally engaged as principals of state graded schools of the second class. A teacher who holds a first grade certificate must have had at least one year's successful experience. The word "year" now means at least eight months. The testimonial of successful experience must be certified to by the county superintendent of the county in which the school to be taught is located, and a copy filed with the clerk of the district subject to examination by the state graded school inspector.

Section 496e. It is intended that these special state aids granted to state graded schools shall encourage the electors and school officers of such district to engage thoroughly efficient teachers and to make adequate and liberal provision for better schoolrooms, better and properly lighted and seated and better equipped with good blackboards, maps, etc., etc. Ample playground should also be provided. A playground is now recognized as a necessary adjunct to an up-to-date school plant. Ample provision should be made for heating and ventilation, and the outbuildings should be properly erected, screened and maintained. It is not the intention of these special aids to simply reduce the school burden that might otherwise fall upon the taxpayers. The prime motive is betterment of school conditions and better school advantages and conveniences for teachers and school.

A district having a school of but one department, with a large attendance may, under this law, find it decidedly advantageous to organize an additional department, properly grade the school, and by so doing become entitled to special aid from the state, to the amount of $ 200 or $300 per annum, as the case may be. Applications for place upon the graded school list should be made before the first day of September, in any year. The following directions and suggestions are given for the consideration of sch ol boards of districts interested in securing special aid under this chapter.

1. Write to the state superintendent for a special application blank.

2. When the blank is received, call a meeting of the school board in accordance with law, make a motion to apply for state aid, record this motion and the vote upon it as a part of the minutes of the meeting, then fill out the application which must be signed by at least a majority of the members of the board, and return it to the state superintendent.

If it is proposed to organize an additional department to your school for the coming year, you should plan to recommend the levying of a tax sufficient to meet such charges as may be necessary, to the electors at your annual school district meeting to be held the first Monday in July. Provision must also be made for nine months of school during the year.

The application for the state aid, properly signed, must be in the hands of the state superintendent before September 1 of any year.

In the employment of teachers, the board must see that each teacher holds an unexpired certificate of a grade demanded for the department of which each teacher is to take charge.

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