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dividual or society subserved. For the protection of all parties in such cases, writings of the proper character should be carefully and legally drawn.
5. District officers, when directed by the district to contract for building the school house, should not let the contract to themselves. They may, when so directed by the district, proceed to procure materials and build the house under their own control and management, and in such manner as shall be for the interest of the district. The district may, if the voters see fit, appoint a building committee. The directions of the district to the board, or to the committee, may either be general or specific.
Sec. 23. Such qualified voters, when assembled as aforesaid, may from time to time impose such tax as shall be necessary to keep their school house in repair, and to provide the necessary appendages, and to pay and discharge any debts or liabilities of the district lawfully incurred; and in districts containing more than fifty scholars between the ages of four and eighteen years, may raise a sum noi exceeding twenty dollars in any one year for the purchase of globes, outline maps, or any apparatus tor illustrating the principles of (astronomy, natural philosophy and) agricultural chemistry or the mechanic arts.
1. The effect of this section is to limit the power of school districts having less than 50 scholars. In districts having less than that number, a tax cannot be raised for the purposes mentioned in the last clause. This provision is a useful and important one. Outline maps, globes, apparatus, &c., for illustrating the studies pursued, are important and indeed indispensable elements of success in teaching and in learning. The views of the Deputy Superintendent of the State of New York (Mr. Randall) meet with the hearty concurrence of this department of public instruction. He says, with truth, that “the principal facts in Geography (for instance) are better learned by the eye than in any other manner, and there ought to be in every school room, a map of the world, of the United States, of the State, and of the county. Globes are also desirable, but not so important as maps. Large black boards in frames or plaster are indispensable to a well conducted school. The operations in arithmetic performed on them, enable the teacher to ascertain the degree of the pupil's acquirement better than any results exhibited on slates. He sees the various steps taken by the scholar, and can require him to give the reason for each. It is in fact an exercise of the entire dass; and the whole school, by this public process, insensibly ac
quires a knowledge of the rules and operations of this branch of study."
2. The above views are earnestly commended to district officers, as philosophical and sound. The object had in view by the Legislature, in enacting this clause of the school law, is worthy of more attention than it has hitherto received. The subjects of agricultural chemistry and the mechanic arts are yet destined to become more important branches of instruction in our primary schools. Public attention is directed to them with greater carnestness, as they constitute, and will continue to constitute, the foundation of the two great practical pursuits of the citizens of this country.
3. Under this section a tax may be voted and raised for a fence, woodhouse, and necessary out-buildings, for a bell, if the voters desire to have one, for water-pail, cup, for washing apparatus, sink and drain; and in short, for all such appendages as are necessary to secure the health, comfort and convenience of the children while attending school, and to afford the usual and best facilities which can be afforded for keeping a good school, in all respects.
Sec. 24. They may also determine, at each annual meeting, the length of time a school shall be taught in their district during the ensuing year, which shall not be less than three months; and whether by male or female teachers, or both; and whether the moneys apportioned for the support of the school therein shall be applied to the winter or summer term, or a certain portion of each.
1. The month, as fixed by the laws of the State, is to be construed to mean a calendar month. This gives four and one-third weeks, or twenty-six days for a month, exclusive of Sundays. By a custom which is time-honored and pearly universal, the teacher should be permitted to dismiss bis school on the afternoon of every Saturday, or all day every other Saturday, without loss of time. He should also be allowed to dismiss his school upon all holydays-on the 4th of July, New Year's, Thanksgiving, Christmas, days of fasting and prayer, sct apart by the Chief Magistrate, Washington's birth day, and general biennial election days, without loss of time. (See note to section 39, and the form of contract for teacher.)
Sec. 25. In case any of the matters in the preceding section mentioned, are not determined at the annual meetings, the district board shall have power, and it shall be their dury, to determine the same.
1. The determination of the board is binding on the district until the next annual meeting.
Sec. 26. Said qualified voters may also, at any regular meeting, authorize and direct the sale of any school house, site, building, or other property belonging to the district, when the same shall no longer be needed for the use of the district.
1. See note 4 to section 19, page 351.
Sec. 27. They may also give such directions, and make such provisions as they shall deem necessary, in relation to the prosecution or defence of any suit or proceeding in which the district may be a party or interested.
1. The qualified voters may, under this section, employ counsel, and vote a tax to pay for such services, if they do not choose to leavo the control of such matters to the officers designated by the law to attend to them.
DISTRICT OFFICER-THEIR POWERS AND DUTIES.
Sec. 28. The officers of each school district shall be a moderator, director and assessor, who shall hold their respective offices until the annual meeting next following their election or appointment, and until their successors shall have been chosen and Sled their acceptance, but not beyond len days after the time of a second annual meeting after their election or appointment, without being again elected or appointed.
1. District officers cannot hold over their offices beyond ten days after the time of a second annual meeting after their election or appointment. If, after the district officers are once chosen, the district neglects to hold its next annual meeting, and holds its subsequent second annual meeting, without electing officers, or adjourns its meeting beyond ten days after the time of the last meeting, the terms of the old officers then expire, and the district is without officers. The mode of procedure under such circumstances is the same as that which is required in the formation of a new district.
SBc. 29. The moderator shall have power, and it shall be his daty, to preside at all meetings of the district, to sign all warrants for the collection of rate bills after they shall have been prepared and signed by the director, and to countersign all orders upon the assessor for moneys to be disbursed by the district, and all warrants of the director upon the township treasurer for moneys raised for district purposes, or apportioned to the district by the township clerk; but if the moderator shall be absent from any district meeting, the qualified voters present may elect a suitable person to preside at the meeting.
1. The person appointed to preside at the meeting has only the power to act for that meeting. It will not vitiate the proceedings of the meeting if such person prove to be a minor. This question has been repeatedly raised, but it would be well to avoid the raising of the question, by appointing a person who, beyond any exception which may be raised, has the legal qualifications of a voter.
2. The moderator is not bound to countersign orders drawn by the director, where they are not drawn in pursuance of law, or where they are drawn for any purpose other than the objects for which the money raised was appropriated. He would not render himself liable for refusing to countersign an order drawn by the director, to pay the “public money” to a teacher who is not a qualified teacher, such as the law requires. Instances have come to the notice of this department, where orders have been drawn by directors to pay teachers who were not "qualified teachers.” The moderator in such cases may, and should, refuse to countersign the order. He, however, should be careful, to ascertain that the teacher is in fact not a " qualified teacher.” It should appear clearly and legally that he was not so, to authorize the moderator to refuse his counter-signature.
Sec. 30. If, at any district meeting, any person shall conduct himself in a disorderly manner, and after notice from the moderator or person presiding, shall persist therein, the moderator or person presiding may order him to withdraw from the meeting, and on his refusal, may order any constable or other person or persons to take him into custody until the meeting shall be adjourned.
Sec. 31. Any person who shall refuse to withdraw from such meeting, on being so ordered as provided in the preceding section, or who shall wilfully disturb such meeting, shall, for every such offence, forfeit a sum not exceeding twenty dollars.
Sec. 32. The assessor shall pay over all moneys in his hands belonging to the district, on the warrant of the director, countersigned by the moderator; and shall collect all rate bills for tuition and fuel, in obedience to the command contained in the warrant annexed thereto.
1. In collecting the rate bill, the assessor proceeds in the same manner as the township treasurer does in the collection of other taxes.
2. When a judgment is obtained against a school district, it is the duty of the assessor to notify the supervisor of the amount. (Section 125.)
Sec. 33. In case any person shall neglect or refuse to pay the amount on such rate bill for which he is liable, on demand, the assesser shall collect the same by distress and sale of any goods or chattels of such person, wherever found within any county in which the district, or any part of it, is situated.
1. The form of procedure under this section, in case of neglect or refusal, is similar to that of a constable upon sale and execution. Notice should be given in the same way; and property may be sold as it is in the collection of any other tax assessed and collected by law.
Sec. 31. The assessor shall give at least ten days' notice of such sale, by posting up writteu notices thereof in three public places in the township where such property shall be sold.
Sec. 35. At the expiration of his warrant, the assessor shall make a return thereof, in writing, with the rate bill attached, to the director; stating the amount on said rate bill collected, the amount uncollected, and the names of the persons from whom collections have not been made.
1. For form of warrant see section 45. The return, which should be made upon a separate sheet of paper, with warrant and rate bill
be in the following form: I, A- B- assessor of school district No. township of
do hereby make this my return of the annexed warrant with rate bill attached, and certify the amount collected on said rate bill to be the sum of dollars and cents; the amount uncollected, dollars and cents; and that the following are the names of persons from whom collections have not been made, and the amounts which are uncollected from each person:
A. D. 185. (Signed,)
A- B- Assessor The assessor's warrant runs from the time it was placed in his hands for collection. In case the assessor fails to execute his bond, see section 67.
FORM OF ASSESSOR'S BOND. Know all men by these presents, that we, A- B- (the assessor of school district No. -, in the township of D- and E-F- (bis surety,) are held and firmly bound unto the said district, in the sum of (here insert a sum of double the amount to come into the assessor's bands,] to be paid to the said district; for the payment of wbich sum well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents. Sealed with our seals, and dated this - day of
-- A. D. 185. The condition of this obligation is such, that if A-B. sessor of said district, shall faithfully apply all moneys that shall come into his hands by virtue of his office, then this obligation shall be void; otherwise of full force and virtue.
L. Signed, sealed and delivered in presence
of (two witnesses.)