Notes: 1. When organize. The first board will enter upon its duties as
soon as qualified and will organize by choosing a president and a secretary.
The term of office of the president will expire on the third Monday in the fol-
lowing March, that of the secretary on the first day of July following. In
cities and towns a treasurer, to serve until the first day of the following
July, will be chosen at the time the directors are chosen.
2. Certificate of organization. The secretary should immediately file with
the county superintendent, auditor and treasurer, each, a certificate showing
the officers of the board, and their postoffice address. All subsequent changes
made in the officers of the board should be reported. Section 2766.
3. Officers â€” when qualify. The secretary and treasurer must qualify
within ten days. Section 2760'.
4. Record of organization. All proceedings connected with the organiza-
tion of the new district should be recorded by the secretaries in the records
of the districts from which territory is taken, so that the facts concerning
its formation and organization may be readily obtained, in case the validity
of the proceedings is ever questioned.
5. Division of assets and liabilities. As soon as the board of the new in-
dependent district has been organized, it may join with the boards from
which territory has been taken in making a division of the assets and liabil-
ities. Section 2802.
6. Validity of organization. See note 5, section 2 7 43.
Sec. 2796. Taxes certified and levied. The organization of such
independent district shall be effected on or before the first day of
August of the year in which it is attempted, and, when completed, all
taxes certified for the school township or townships of which the inde-
pendent district formed a part shall be void so far as the property
within the limits of the independent district is concerned, and the board
of such independent district shall fix the amount of all necessary taxes
for school purposes, including schoolhouse taxes, at a meeting called
for such purpose at any time before the third Monday of August, which
shall be certified to the board of supervisors on or before the first
Monday of September, and it shall levy said tax at the same time and in
the same manner that other school taxes are required to be levied. [C.
'73, Â§ 1804.]
Notes: 1. When organization completed. ' This section is construed to
mean that the organization contemplated must be made between January
first and the first of August. This limitation as to time is directory only, and
does not apply when an appeal is taken. 110 Iowa, 652. Decisions, 74.
2. Taxes. When a new independent school district is organized as pro-
vided by this section, the board has authority to determine and certify all
necessary taxes, for school purposes, for that year, including schoolhouse taxes.
3. Joint district â€” jurisdiction. An independent school district composed
of territory from two or more counties, belongs, for school purposes, to the
104 SCHOOL LAWS OF IOWA
county in which the school corporation, with wliose board the petition for
separate organization was filed and which conducted the elections for the
organization of the new corporation, is located. Certificates of the teachers
of such corporations must be registered with the superintendent of the same
Sec. 2797. Rural independent districts. At any time before the first
day of August, upon the written request of one-third of the legal voters
in each subdistrict of any school township, the board shall call a meet-
ing of the voters of the subdistrict, giving at least thirty days' notice
thereof by posting three notices in each subdistrict in each school town-
ship, at which meeting the voters shall vote by ballot for or against
rural independent district organization. If a majority of the votes cast
in each subdistrict shall be favorable to such independent organization,
then each subdistrict shall become a rural independent district, and
the board of the school township shall then call a meeting in each rural
independent district for the choice of three directors, to serve one,
two and three years, respectively, and the organization of the said rural
independent district shall be completed. [22 G. A., ch. 61.]
Notes: 1. When taken. The vote upon the change may be taken at'
any time of year, but the organization cannot be completed between August
2. Must carry in all. Unless each and every subdistrict in the school
township gives a majority vote favoring the change in form, the township
remains a school township.
3. Town or village may orjianize. A single subdistrict may be organized
independent only when a village, town or city is included. Section 2794.
4. Assets and liabilities. When the new boards are organized, they
should meet as soon as possible, and make settlement of assets and liabilities,
as directed by section 2802.
5. Suit. Suit against the new districts on indebtedness of the old dis-
trict must be brought in equity. Fairfield v. Rural Ind. School Dist., Ill
6. Agreement. If the new districts have by agreement divided and ap-
portioned between them the indebtedness of the old district, then an action
against them may be at law. Fairfield v. Rural Ind. School Dist., Ill Fed., 453.
7. One subdistrict may not. One subdistrict cannot be changed to a
rural independent district unless all the subdistricts of the school township
vote to become rural independent districts.
8. Validity of organization. See note 5, section 2 743.
Sec. 2798. Subdivision of independent districts. Independent dis-
tricts may subdivide for the purpose of forming two or more indepen-
dent districts or have territory detached to be annexed with other ter-
ritory in the formation of an independent district or districts, the board
of directors of the original independent districts to establish the boun-
daries of the districts thus formed, such new districts to contain not
less than four government sections of land each ; but in case a stream
or other obstacle shall debar a number of children of school privileges,
an independent district may be thus organized containing less terri-
tory; or, if such new district shall include within its territory a town
or village with not less than one hundred inhabitants, it may in like
manner be made up of less territory; but in neither case shall the new
SCHOOL LAWS OF IOWA 105
district contain less than two government sections of land, nor be or-
ganized except on a majority vote of the electors of each proposed
district, and the proceedings for such subdivision shall in all respects
be like those provided in the section relating to organizing cities and
towns into independent districts so far as applicable. [18 G. A., ch.
131; 17 G. A., ch. 133, Â§Â§ 1-4.]
Notes: 1. Township lines not a bar. The provisions of this section ap-
ply to all independent districts, and civil township lines are not a bar.
2. Area. The amount of territory cannot be less than an equivalent of
four government sections, unless the provision of this section apply.
3. When less than four sections. An independent district containing ter-
ritory amounting to less than eight government sections may be divided into
two independent districts, if an unbridged stream or other obstacle prevents a
considerable number of scholars from attending school, or if one portion con-
tains a village of not less than one hundred inhabitants. The district so
formed must contain territory amounting to not less than two government
sections, and a majority of the votes cast in each contemplated district must
be cast for the division.
4. Minimum. When an independent district is subdivided under this sec-
tion the one of the districts not formed in accordance with the exception made
must have at least four sections.
5. Validity of organizations. See note 5, section 2 743.
6. New boards necessary. Attorney general, report 1906, page 194;
notes 2, section 2793, and 22, section 2802.
7. It was not the intention of the legislature to invest school boards with
power to form new independent districts without a vote of the electors. Deci-
Sec. 2799. Uniting independent districts. Independent districts lo-
cated contiguous to each other may unite and form one and the same
independent district in the manner following: At the written request
of any ten legal voters residing in each of said independent districts, or,
if there be not ten, then a majority of such voters, their respective
boards of directors shall require their secretaries to give at least ten
days' notice of the time and place for a meeting of the electors residing
in each of such districts, by posting written notices in at least five public
places in each of said districts, at which meeting the electors shall vote
by ballot for or against a consolidated organization of said independent
districts, and, if a majority of the votes cast at the election in each dis-
trict shall be in favor of uniting said districts, the secretaries shall give
similar notice of a meeting of the electors as provided for by law for
the organization of independent districts including cities and towns.
[22 G. A., ch. 63, Â§ 1 ; C. '73, Â§ 1811.]
Notes: 1. Vote separately. The proposition to consolidate independent
districts must be separately voted upon in each of the districts affected. Un-
less a majority of the votes cast at such election in each district is in favor
of such consolidation, it fails.
2. Application. The provisions of this section also apply to rural inde-
pendent districts. Opinion of attorney general, report 1902, page 161.
3. Times for elections. It is not essential for the consolidation of two
school districts that the election in each district be held at the same time, as
code section 2799, governing such elections, is only directory. 130 Iowa, 100.
4. Validity of organization. See note 5, section 2743.
106 SCHOOL LAWS OF IOWA
Sec. 2800. Rural independent districts united into school township.
A township which has been divided into rural independent districts
may be erected into a school township by a vote of the electors, to be
taken upon the written request of one-third of the legal voters resid-
ing in such civil township. Upon presentation of such written request
to the township trustees, they shall call a meeting of the electors at
the usual place or places of holding the township election, upon giv-
ing at least ten days' notice thereof by posting three written notices
in each rural independent district in the township, and by publication
in a newspaper, if one be published in such township, at which meeting
the said electors shall vote by ballot for or against a school township
organization. If a majority of the votes cast at such election be in
favor of such organization, each rural independent district shall be-
come a subdistrict of the school township, and shall organize as such
on the first Monday in March following, by the election of a director,
notice of which shall be given as in other cases by the secretary of each
of the rural independent districts, and the directors so elected shall
organize as a board of directors of the school township on the first day
of July following, unless that date falls on Sunday, in which case on
the dav following. [31 G. A., ch. 136, Â§ 11 ; 16 G. A., ch. 155; C. '73,
Notes: 1. Wlio may net. The electors of any civil township which has
adopted the rural independent school district organization, may vote upon
the question of returning to the school township organization.
2. Petition â€” to whom presented. The petition provided for in this sec-
tion may he presented to the trustees and the vote ordered at any time of the
year. When a proper petition is presented, the law makes it mandatory upon
the township trustees to call and hold an election.
3. A school township nieetinar. The meeting held to determine the ques-
tion of school township organization, is a township meeting; if the vote is
in the affirmative, each and every rural independent school district in the
township becomes a subdistrict of the school township.
4. Election of judsces. The township trustees may act as judges of this
election, but in their absence the electors assembled may choose a chairman
and one or two secretaries to act as judges.
.5. WTien oi'sfanization completed. The board of each rural independent
school district will continue to act until the first day of July following the
election, at which time a full statement of all assets and liabilities of the dis-
trict should be reported to the board of the school township when organized.
6. ToA\Tiship as a single district. The first board of a school township
formed from a township organized as a single rural district, will consist <Df
three directors elected by the whole township. Section 2752. If this board
chooses to subdivide the township it may do so. Section 2801.
7. Township meeting. The school township meeting is held on the sec-
ond Monday in March, to vote the necessary school house taxes as provided in
8. Avithority of hoards. Between the time of the election provided for
and the first day of July following, the boards of the several rural independent
school districts have authority to perform all necessary acts relating to the
affairs of their districts, but they cannot incur any indebtedness, nor make
any contracts, except such as may be necessary to maintain the usual schools
of their districts.
SCHOOL LAWS OP IOWA , 107
9. Duty of secretary. Upon the organization of the school township, the
secretary should file with the county auditor and treasurer a certified plat of
the district, and report to the county superintendent, auditor and treasurer,
the name and address of each officer of the new board. Section 2766.
10. Assets and liabilities. The school township receives all the assets and
assumes all the liabilities of the several rural independent school districts.
In case a rural independent school district has issued bonds or otherwise
incurred an indebtedness, for the erection of a schoolhouse and the electors
have failed to provide for the payment thereof, the board of the school town-
ship has authority to apportion school house taxes for the payment of such
indebtedness, from time to time, as justice and equity may require. Sec-
11. Validity of organization. See note 5, section 27 43.
Sec. 2801. Division of school township into subdistricts. The board
of any school township may by a vote of a majority of all the members
thereof, at the regular meeting in July, or at any special meeting called
thereafter for that purpose, divide the school township into subdistricts
such as justice, equity and the interests of the people require, and may
make such alterations of the boundaries of subdistricts heretofore
formed as may be deemed necessary, and shall designate such sub-
districts and all subsequent alterations in a distinct and legible manner
upon a plat of the school township provided for that purpose, and shall
cause a written description of the same to be recorded in the records' of
the school township, a copy of which shall be delivered by the secretary
to the county treasurer and also to the county auditor, who shall
record the same in his office. The boundaries of subdistricts shall con-
form to the lines of the congressional divisions of land, and the forma-
tion or alteration of subdistricts as contemplated in this section shall
not take effect until the first Monday in March thereafter, at which
time a director shall be elected for any subdistrict newly formed. [31
G. A., ch. 136, Â§ 12; 21 G. A., ch. 124; 16 G. A., ch. 109; C. '73, Â§Â§
1725, 1738, 1796; R., Â§ 2038.]
Notes: 1. Compliance. All changes in subdistrict boundaries must be
made in strict conformity with this section.
2. Vote necessary. Subdistrict boundaries can be changed only by af-
firmative vote of a majority of all the members of the board.
3. When made. While this section provides that boards may change
subdistrict boundaries at the regular meeting in July, or at a special meet-
ing called for that purpose, it must be understood that such change cannot
be made so late as to prevent the notices of election from being given at
least five days previous to the subdistrict elections, as required by section
4. Change of civil township â€” effect of. When new civil townships are
formed, the corresponding changes in school township boundaries take effect
at the next subdistrict election. Section 2790.
5. All territoi'y in some corporation. All territory must be included
within some school corporation, and all of a school township must be included
in some subdistrict, when the territory is so subdivided. Decisions, 33, S. Law
6. Subdistrict not a corporation. A subdistrict is not a corporate body
and has no financial claims, nor can it be held liable for debts, except as a"
part of the school township. Decisions, 14.
108 . SCHOOL LAWS OF IOWA
7. Redistricting. The board may discontinue or abolish any subdistrict
by a readjustment of boundaries, and it may provide that there shall be no
subdistricts and that the schools of the corporation shall be governed by a
board of three directors chosen from the township at large. Section 2752.
8. County ofTicers notified. It is especially important that the county
auditor and treasurer be officially notified by the secretary, whenever any
changes are made in the district boundaries, by the formation of independent
districts or otherwise, to enable these officers to perform their duties in the
levy of taxes, and the apportionment and disbursement of school funds.
9. Congressional divisions. By congressional divisions of land is meant
those divisions authorized by congress in government surveys, of which the
smallest is, in general, one-sixteenth of a section, or a tract of forty acres in
a square form. Government lines, however, sometimes meander along streams
and other bodies of water, and divisions of land are thus formed of less than
forty acres. Decisions, 33, S. Law 1907.
10. JV umber necessary for new subdistrict. There is nothing in the law
fixing the number of persons of school age necessary for a new subdistrict,
nor is the exact amount of territory to be included determined by the law.
11. Entire corporation considered. When establishing subdistrict bound-
aries the interests of the entire corporation must be considered. Decisions, 97.
Sec. 2802. Changes of boundaries â€” division of assets and liabilities.
When any changes are made in the boundaries of any school corpora-
tion the new corporation shall elect a board of directors in accordance
with the new boundaries, and such new boards shall organize as pro-
vided in section twenty-seven hundred fifty-seven (2757) of this chap-
ter. The boards of directors in office at the time the changes are made
in the boundaries of the school corporation, shall continue to act until
the boards of directors representing the newly formed districts have
been duly organized, whereupon the new boards shall make an equita-
ble division of all assets and liabilities of the corporations affected ;
and, if they cannot agree, the matters upon which they differ shall be
decided by disinterested arbitrators, one selected by each board having
an interest therein, and if the number thus selected is even, then one
shall be added by the county superintendent, and the decision of the
arbitrators shall be made in writing, either party having the right to
appeal therefrom to the district court. [31 G. A., ch. 136, Â§ 13; C.
'73, Â§ 1715.]
Notes: 1. Assets and liabilities. Assets include schoolhouses, sites and
all other property and moneys belonging to the district. Liabilities include
all debts for which the district in its corporate capacity is liable. In deter-
mining the assets, school property should be estimated at its present cash
2. Assetsâ€” apportionment of. The division of assets will relate to the
schoolhouse and other property, moneys in all funds on hand, and uncol-
lected taxes. The territory transferred carries with it such a part of the
assets and liabilities of the corporation to which it belonged as the assessed
valuation of such territory is part of the assessed valuation of the property
of the corporation.
3. Teachers' fund â€” apportionment. Any portion of the teachers' fund
derived from the semi-annual apportionment, should be divided in propor-
tion to the number of persons between five and twenty-one years of age, ac-
cording to the last enumeration.
SCHOOL LAWS OF IOWA 109
4. Schoolhouse â€” where belong. Schoolhouses will usually become the
property of the district in which they are situated. If their value exceeds
the amount justly due that district, and there is not sufficient schoolhouse
fund on hand to equalize the division, the boards should fix the amount each
district should receive or pay.
5. Equitable division desired. An equitable arrangement mutually sat-
isfactory to the parties in interest will be in accordance with the intent of
the law. Any agreement should be reduced to writing, and entered upon the
records of each district.
6. Claim. The districts, after the division, which do not receive their
just proportion of school house property, have a claim against those that do
obtain more than a due share. The last are indebted to the first in the
difference. 36 Iowa, 216.
7. Unpaid and delinquent taxes â€” apportionment. A simple and just
method to dispose of unpaid and delinquent taxes, also of all funds in the
hands of the county treasurer, is to direct the payment of these funds in
such manner that taxes derived from any part of the territory shall be paid
to the district to which such territory will then belong.
8. Kecovery. If money is received which belongs to another, the rule
is a general one that the law implies a promise on the part of the receiver
to pay it over. Based upon this promise an action may be maintained for
its recovery. 11 Iowa, 506; 80 Iowa, 495.
9. Injunction as a test. Any conflict between districts with regard to
boundaries will be best determined by the one aggrieved asking a court to
restrain the county treasurer from paying taxes to the other district, on the
ground that the district complaining is entitled to receive said taxes.
10. Scope of the law. Section 27 93 provides for a change of boundaries
between adjoining independent districts and for consolidation.
11. Change of boundaries. If the boundary between an independent dis-
trict and a school township is the line of the civil township, it cannot be
changed, under section 2793-a, except there be an incorporated town, and
then only by the extension of the corporate limits of such town. If the inde-
pendent school district includes a portion of a civil township, the remainder
of which is a school township, the boundary between the districts may be
12. Concurrence â€” appeal. Where a change of boundaries between dis-
tricts is desired, and one of the boards acts favorably, a petition may be
presented to the other board to concur in that action, although it formerly
may have refused to grant a similar petition. From the action of the latter
board upon the request an appeal may be taken.
13. Initiatory â€” no appeal. No appeal can be taken from an action of
the board taking the initiatory step, while it requires the concurrence of
another board to complete the action. The concurrence or refusal of the
second board is the order from which an appeal may be taken. Decisions,
14. Power of county superintendent. When an appeal is taken from the
proper board, the county superintendent must affirm the action of one board
or the other, but cannot himself modify the action of the board acting first.
15. Assets and liabilities. Territory transferred from one district to an-
other carries with it an equitable proportion of the assets and liabilities of
the district from which it is taken, the district accepting it becomes respon-
sible for such liabilities.
16. Initiatory â€” immaterial. It is not material which board takes the
first action with regard to the transfer of territory. Usually it is desirable
to secure the action of the board with regard to which there is no doubt, and
afterward to endeavor to induce the other board to take the same action.
If the board last acting takes an action different in kind it may be regarded
as initiating a new order, which in turn must go to the other board for adop-