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2. The written notice required by this section, need not contain a description of the boundaries of the district. It is sufficient if it specify the time and place of meeting, and if it is served at least five days before the meeting.
The following form may be used, viz: TO AB
SIR-School district No. of the township of -, having been formed by the inspectors, you are hereby notified, as a qualified voter therein, that the first meeting thereof will be held at on the day of
A. D. 185, at o'clock in the Dated this day of , 185. (Signed) 3. If in notifying the qualified voters, by any unavoidable aceident, or in consequence of the fact that a single person has not been notified, or several persons, who were not believed to be a resident or residents of the district, or by reason of an impossibility to notify such
person or persons, from the absence of himself, or the want of a place of residence temporarily, such want of notice does not affect the validity of the organization by the majority of the qualified voters. The law is imperative upon the inhabitant serving the notice, to notify every qualified voter, and the failure to do so affects him personally, and the proceedings of the district also, only where the omission has been wilful or fraudulent. See section 14.
Sbc. 3. The said inhabitant, when he shall have notified the qualified voters as required in such notice, shall endorse thereon a return, showing such notification, with the date or dates thereof, and deliver such notice and return to the chairman of the meeting.
The following FORM OF ENDORSEMENT is recommended. If the qualified voters are all notified in one day, the form may be varied, but it will be found to be more satisfactory, and often save trouble, to give the names and dates of notification according to the form, and also for the greater facility it will afford to the director to record it, as required by section 4:
I, A-B-, hereby return the within (or annexed) notice, and have notified the qualified voters of the district as follows:
HOW NOTIFIED. A B
January 1, 1852. Personally. C D
do do Written notice.
1. Every chairman of the first district meeting, who wilfully neglects or refuses to perform the duties enjoined on him in this and the following sections, or in the chapter relating to primary schools, shall forieit the sum of $5. See section 129.
2. The meeting must organize by the appointment of a chairman; and must then choose its district officers. The acceptance of any two of the officers elected duly organizes the district, and these may be filed forthwith, in pursuance of section 6. Section 130 imposes a penalty for neglect or refusal, without sufficient cause, to accept any such office, and serve therein. If the notice has not been given, or the qualified voters fail entirely to attend, when notified, the notice must be renewed, but no particular number is requisite to enable the district to effect its organization, after proper notice.
Sec. 4. The said chairman shall deliver such notice and return to the director chosen at such meeting, who shall record the same at length in a book to be provided by him at the expense of the district, as a part of the records of such district.
1. By section 9 the record here required is made prima facia evidence of the facts set forth, and of the legality of all proceedings in the organization of the district, prior to the first district meeting. It is important that it should be correct and complete. In case of the want of this record, its destruction or loss, it cannot be supplied. But if the district has exercised the franchises of a district, that is, elected officers, voted tax, employed teachers, made reports, &c., for two years, (section 10,) its organization is presumed to be legal.
Sec. 5. The qualified voters of auch district, when assembled pursuant to such previous notice, and also at each annual meeting, shall choose a moderator, director, and assessor, [who shall be residents of such district, and) who shall, within ten days after such meeting, severally file with the director a written acceptance of tho offices to which they shall have been respectively elected, which shall be recorded by said director.
1. The qualified voters at this meeting, after having elected district officers, cannot proceed to transact any other business, by voting a tax, or for any other purpose than the organisation of the district. This is a meeting to choose a moderator, director and assessor. An addition to section 92 provides that in districts containing more than one hundred scholars between the ages of four and eighteen, the district board may be enlarged by adding thereto four trustees, provided the district determine to do so, at any annual meeting, by a twothirds vote. This vote cannot be taken at the first meeting of the district.
2. The law is not definite as to the form of the
It must be in writing, and filed with the director within ten days after the meeting. Every acceptance should specify the office to which the person has been chosen. Each should be filed separately, to avoid confusion and error. The fact of the filing by the person elected to a given office, and the date of filing, are matters of record, to be made by the director. A mere clerical error, in the acceptance, will not vitiate it. If it is not in the precise words of the prescribed form, it is not the province of the director to decide upon its sufficiency or insufficiency, in case of question. In case of doubt, how . ever, it would be a safe course for the person chosen to the office to decline serving, for the reason that if he has not filed his acceptance legally, he could not bind the district by his acts, but would himself be bound by his own acts.
3. After filing acceptance, the new officers supercede the old ones at once. District officers are not required to file an oath of office. Section 130 imposes a penalty for neglect or refusal of district officers to serve without sufficient cause, or for neglecting or refusing to perform any duty required by virtue of their offices.
4. If a newly elected district officer fails to file his acceptance, the previous officer holds over, and there is no vacancy to fill, unless the previous director has been in office ten days beyond the time of a second annual meeting after his election or appointment.
FORM OF ACCEPTANCE. I accept the office of of school district No. of the township of Dated this
A _B On the back of this should be endorsed: “Filed this day of
CD Director." Sec. 6. Every such school district shall be deemed duly organized when any two of the officers elected at their first annual meeting shall have filed their acceptance as aforesaid.
Sec. 7. In case the inhabitants of any district shall fail to organize the same in pursuance of such notice as asoresaid, the said clerk shall give a new notice in the manner hereinbefore provided, and the same proceedings shall be had thereon as if no previous notice had been delivered.
Sec. 8. Every school district organized in pursuance of this chapter, or which has been organized and continued under any previous law of the State or Territory of Michigan, shall be a body corporate, and shall possess the usual powers of a corporation for public purposes, by the name and style of “School District number (such number as shall be designated in the formation thereof by the inspectors) of >" (the
name of the township or townships in which the district is situated,) and in that name shall be capable of suing and being sued, and of holding such real and personal estate as is authorized to be purchased by the provisions of this chapter, and of selling the same.
Sec. 9. The record made by the director, as required in the fourth section of this chapter, shall be prima fucia evidence of the facts therein set forth, and the legality of all proceedings in the organization of the district prior to the first district meeting; but nothing in this section contained shall be so construed as to impair the effect of the record kept by the school inspectors, as evidence.
Sec. 10. Every school district shall, in all cases, be presumed to have been legally organized, when it shall have exercised the franchises and privileges ot a district for the term of two years.
The last above five sections, in addition to those wbich precede them, relate entirely to the formation and organization of school districts, each step being carefully taken. Section 8 provides that the district shall be a body corporate, possessing also the powers of a corporation for public purposes, and capable, under the name and number designated by the inspectors, of suing and being sued, and holding real and personal estate, and selling the same, as provided in this chapter. The statute nowbere contemplates the dissolution -of a school district, nor does it directly confer upon any board the power to dissolve the body corporate. Nor can the board of inspectors, under the provisions of section 71, which authorize them “to divide the township into such number of school districts as may from time to time be necessary; (the boundaries of wbich districts they may alter and regulate, as circumstances shall render proper,”) tuke any action in relation to the dissolution of a district, so as to work any change of the previous liability of the district, except in the manner pointed out in the formation of a new district, by sections 75, 76, 77 and 78. In 1813, the possible dissolution of a district was sought to be guarded against, and to prevent it in any way, penalties were sought to be and were subsequently imposed upon school offi. cers who neglected to perform, or refused to do their duty, or serve in the offices to which they were chosen. Applications to dissolve these corporate bodies have in several instances been made to the Legislature, which has acted specifically upon them, but which has not conferred upon the board of school inspectors such a power. The revised constitution has provided that the Legislature may confer upon townships, cities and villages, and boards of supervisors, such powers of a local, legislative or administrative character as it may
deem advisable; but the Legislature not having seen fit to enact any law upon the subject, the power of dissolving school districts is still vested in the Legislature.
The division of a township by an act of the Legislature, when no provision is made otherwise, does not dissolve nor alter the boundaries of a school district. The imaginary township line changes no residence of the district officers, but upon such division of townships or counties, single or whole districts are by operation of law transformed into joint school districts, and become of necessity subject to. the provisions applicable to such districts. But a single instance of this kind is believed to have occurred, however, in this state.
DISTRICT MEETINGS. Sec. 11. The annual meetings of such (each) school district shall be held on the last Monday of September in each year, and the school year commence on that day.
1. The annual meetings of school districts are the most important occasions which the law provides for the regulation of all matters pertaining to the schools. It has been justly remarked that "the opportunities afforded by the coming together of the inhabitants of each district, for deliberation and consultation in relation to their schools, and the various interests connected therewith, are calculated to exert a most beneficial influence in favor of education; to promote union, harmony and concert of action in the several districts; and to cement the ties of friendly, social intercourse between those having a common interest in the moral and intellectual culture of their children. It is therefore of the utmost importance that they should not be neglected; that the inhabitants should be prompt and uniform in their attendance, and that the proceedings should be invariably characterized by that order, regularity, dignity and decorum which can alone command respect and efficiently attain the objects to be accomplished.”
The powers of the qualified voters at the annual meetings, are fully prescribed in sections 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27. The moderator presides at all meetings when present, and sections 30 and 31 give to the moderator, or person presiding, (see section 29,) the power to preserve order and prevent disturbance. Section 87 makes the director clerk of the meeting, but in his absence the qualified voters appoint a clerk, who is to certify the proceedings of