public instruction, on the last Tuesday in August.
Sec. 2770. Surrendering office to successor. Each school officer,
upon the termination of his term of office, shall immediately surrender
to his successor all books, papers and moneys pertaining or belonging
to the office, taking a receipt therefor. [C. '73, Â§ 1791; R., Â§ 2080.]
Note: 1. What included. The language of this section includes copies
of the school laws, reports, and all other publications which may be received by
virtue of being a school officer.
Sec. 2771. Quorum of board â€” filling vacancies. A majority of the
board of directors of any school corporation shall constitute a quorum
for the transaction of business, but a less number may adjourn from
time to time. Vacancies occurring among the officers or members shall
be filled by the board by ballot, and the person receiving the highest
number of votes shall be declared elected, and shall qualify as if
originally elected or appointed. When the board is reduced below a
quorum, by resignation or otherwise, the secretary of the board, or
if there be no secretary, the county superintendent shall call a special
election to fill the vacancies, giving notice in the same manner as for
the annual meeting on the second Monday in March. [32 G. A., ch.
150; 28 G. A., ch. 106; 24 G. A., ch. 19; C. '73, Â§Â§ 1730, 1738; R.,
Notes: 1. Necessary to carry- In the absence of a direct provision of
law, or of a by-law requiring majority vote of all the board, a majority of the
votes of a quorum will carry a measure.
2. Removal. Boards have no authority to remove any member or officer
of the board. Such removal may be made onI> by the courts. Code, section 1251.
3. Neglect â€” misdemeanor. Willful neglect to perform duty is a misde-
meanor. Code, sections 4904, 4906.
4. Neglect â€” punishment. If a director habitually or wilfully neglects
the duties of his office he may be compelled by mandamus to perform them.
Section 2822. 50 Iowa, 648.
5. Vacancy â€” how created â€” how filled. A vacancy can be created only
by death, removal, resignation, or failure to elect at the proper election, there
being no incumbent to continue in office. Code, section 1266. A failure to elect
or qualify does not create a vacancy, for the incumbent, whether elected or ap-
pointed, continues in office "until his successor is elected and qualified." Code,
section 1265. If the incumbent does not qualify, a vacancy exists. A vacancy
may be filled by appointment of the board. This appointment must be made by
ballot. The president of the board may not appoint in session of the board or
out. The ballot to fill vacancy must be taken at a duly called meeting of the
SCHOOL LAWS OF IOWA 63
6. Resignation. School directors may resign at any time. A verbal or
written resignation may be tendered to the board when in session, or a written
resignation may be handed to some member to be presented at a subsequent
meeting, for acceptance by the board.
7. Change in siibdistrict. If a subdistrict is divided, so as to form a new
one, the resident director will continue to act as though no change had been
made, until the organization of the new board in July following the next regular
annual election. However, on the first Monday in March, directors shall be
chosen according to the new subdistrict boundaries. Section 2802.
8. Legality of acts of de facto officers. If a person without the requisite
qualifications, is elected a member of the board and acts with the board, being
a member de facto, his acts will be valid, but when his disqualification becomes
known, the board shall declare the place vacant and appoint his successor. 23
Iowa, 96; 110 Iowa, 382.
9. Ratification of acts of de facto oft'icers. A board may ratify or adopt
such acts of officers de facto as the law would permit officers de jure to perform.
10. Qualification of officers. See section 2758.
11. Elections â€” regular. Sections 2746, 2751, 2754, 2756.
12. Vacancy â€” term. See notes, sections 2745 and 2758.
See. 2772. Temporary oflficers â€” course of study â€” ^regulations â€” use
of tobacco prohibited. The board sliall appoint a temporary president
and secretary, or either of them, in the absence of the regular officers,
and shall prescribe a course of study for the schools of the corporation,
make rules and regulations for its own government and that of the
directors, officers, teachers and pupils, and the care of the schoolhouse,
grounds and property of the school corporation, and aid in the en-
forcement of the same, and require the performance of duty by said
persons not in conflict with law and said rules and regulations, and
such rules and regulations shall prohibit the use of tobacco in any
form by any student of such schools and such board may suspend or
expel such student for any violation of such rule. [35 G. A., ch. 241,
Â§ 2; C. '73, Â§Â§ 1730, 1737; R., Â§ 2037.]
Notes: 1. Course of study. The board of every district should adopt
a carefully prepared course of study, to which the electors may add other
branches. This department recommends and urges that the state course of
study which has been published and used for about 25 years be adopted in all
the rural schools.
2. Rranches required. The law does not prescribe clearly the several
branches that shall be taught in the public schools, further than to require most
teachers to be qualified to teach certain branches enumerated (section 2734-d),
and to require pupils of the ages of seven to fourteen to attend some school in
which the common branches are taught. Sections 2823-a to 2823-i.
3. Branches implied. It is plainly implied that the common branches,
including music, are to be included in every course of study. Section 2823-a.
4. Special branches. The board of every district shall include manual
training, agriculture, domestic science, and may include drawing or any other
branch, in the course of study.
5. Added branches. It is the province of the electors to decide what
branches beside those named by the board shall be included in the course of
study and taught in the schools. Section 2749.
6. Different course for different schools. If it is desired that higher
arithmetic, or any other advanced study, shall be taught in one or more schools
in the district, the board should include such branch in the course of study for
such school or schools.
64 SCHOOL LAWS OP IOWA
7. Electors may not restrict. The electors may not limit nor restrict the
board as to a course of study. The most that the electors may do is to compel
the board to provide for giving instruction in the branches ordered by the elec-
tors to be taught during the year. 44 Iowa, 564.
8. Rhetorical and graduating exercises. The board of directors may
adopt rhetorical exercises as a part of the course of study, and teachers and
scholars will be governed thereby. Graduating exercises are a part of the course
of study and the board may direct what exercises shall be held in connection with
the closing days of school.
9. Classification. In mixed schools a close classification is very desirable.
Time is saved, larger classes are secured, and the efficiency and discipline of the
school are promoted by such a plan.
10. Half -day attendance. A condition may exist when for a short time
a board may be compelled to provide by regulation that certain pupils shall at-
tend only cne-half of the day, and others of the same grade the other half. But
such arrangement should not be a permanent one.
11. Equal school facilities. A board is discharging the duty incumbent
upon it to provide equal school facilities for all when it does the very best possi-
ble to overcome difficulties, and leaves nothing undone which it might properly
be expected to do.
12. Board as managers. Legally speaking, the management of the schools
in every essential respect is entirely within the control of the board. Teachers
and scholars are governed by the reasonable rules and regulations adopted by
the board. In the absence of a rule upon any special subject the action of a
teacher is supposed to be in effect the act of the board until such action is set
aside or disclaimed by an order of the board directing otherwise. Decisions, 17,
33, sections 2745, 2782.
13. Control of property. Each board has exclusive control of the school-
houses in its district, unless the school township meeting has otherwise ordered.
Sections 2745, 2782, 2749.
14. Trespassing. In an extreme case it may be necessary to bring an
action in the name of the state before a peace officer against any person or per-
sons wilfully or unlawfully persisting in trespassing upon the schoolhouse
grounds or wilfully interfering with or distributing the quiet and uninterrupted
progress of a public school. See note 22.
15. Entering unoccupied schoolhouses. If any tramp or vagrant, with-
out permission, enter any schoolhouse or other public building in the nighttime,
when the same is not occupied by another or others having proper authority to
be there, or, having entered the same in the daytime, remain in the same at
night when not occupied as aforesaid, or at any time commit any nuisance, use,
misuse, destroy or partially destroy any private or public property therein, he
shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary not more than three years, or be fined
not exceeding one hundred dollars and imprisoned in the county jail not more
than one year. Code, section 4793.
16. Security for use. The board should require from parties desiring
to use the schoolhouse, security for its proper use and protection from other in-
jury than natural wear.
17. Use â€” public worship. It is proper to permit the use of schoolhouses
for the purpose of public worship on Sunday, or for religious services, public
lectures on moral or scientific subjects, or meetings on questions of public inter-
est, on the evenings of the week, or at any time when such use will not interfere
with the regular progress of the school. Especially is this so where abundant
provision is made for securing any damages which the taxpayer may suffer by
reason of the use for the purposes named. The use of a schoolhouse for such
purposes, when so authorized, is not prohibited by section 3, article 1, of the
constitution. 35 Iowa, 194; 50 Iowa, 11.
SCHOOL LAWS OF IOWA 65
18. Charge for admission. It is not in accordance with the meaning of
the law and the decisions of the courts to allow a schoolhouse to be used for a
purpose requiring an admission fee. This does not prevent a contribution being
taken up, but we think free admission should not be denied.
19. None excluded. It is believed that no discrimination should be made
as to who may attend meetings held in a schoolhouse. To make membership in
a particular society a test for attendance upon the meeting would seem to be in
conflict with the intention of the law.
20. Voting place. In precincts outside of cities and towns the election
shall be, if practicable, held in the public school building, for the use of which
there shall be no charge, but all damage to the building or furniture shall be
paid by the county. Code, section 1113.
21. -Defacing. If any person wilfully write, make marks or draw char-
acters on the walls or any other part of any church, college, academy, school-
house, courthouse or other public building, or on any furniture, apparatus or
fixtures therein; or wilfully injure or deface the same, or any wall or fence in-
closing the same, he shall be fined not exceeding one hundred dollars, or im-
prisoned in the county jail not more than thirty days. Code, section 4802.
22. Distui'bing school. If any person wilfully disturb any assembly of
persons met for religious worship by profane discourse or rude and indecent be-
havior, or by making a noise, either within the place of worship or so near as to
disturb the order and solemnity of the assembly, or if any person wilfully dis-
turb or interrupt any school, school meeting, teachers' institute, lyceum, literary
society or other lawful assembly of persons, he shall be punished by imprison-
ment in the county jail not more than thirty days, or by fine not exceeding
one hundred dollars. Section 4959.
23. Rules adopted by boards â€” interference. A rule adopted by a school
board for the government of the school will not be interfered with by the courts
unless it is so unreasonable as to amount to an abuse of power. 129 Iowa, 441.
24. Violation of rules. The determination by a school board that a rule
which it had power to make for the government of the school had been violated
will not be reviewed by the courts. 129 Iowa, 441.
25. Special classes. The parent cannot expect that a class shall be formed
whenever asked for at any time in the school year, for the special accommoda-
tion of one or more to the disadvantage of the many and to the detriment of the
school. Section 2772.
2 6. Classification necessary. It is quite necessary to carry out carefully
a close plan of classification and instruction, and to provide what time in the
year certain classes shall begin the study of the branches to be taught during
that portion of the year. To this end this department recommends and urges the
adoption of the state course of study in all ungraded schools.
27. Beginners. Authority to prescribe the courses of study confers the
power to determine when classes in any subject may be organized. Under this
authority, school boards may determine when beginning classes in primary work
shall be organized.
2 8. Admission of beginners. All persons of the ages of five to twenty-
one who are actual residents of a school corporation may attend some school in
said corporation, provided they are able to be classified under the course of study
and rules prescribed by the board. Those who have never attended school, or
who have not received sufficient instruction to enable them to take the work of
some class already organized, may demand admission only when a beginning
class is organized.
2 9. Branches completed before promotion. It is within the power of
a board to require the study of the common branches, or of other elementary
studies that are in the course of study adopted by the board, before advancing
the scholar to other more difficult subjects.
66 SCHOOL LAWS 0'^ lOWA
30. Attendance denied. If a child becomes the source of undue annoy-
ance to others, although through no fault of his own, he may, if absolutely neces-
sary for the good of the school, be forbidden attendance. 31 Iowa, 562, top of
page 569. Section 2782.
31. Purpose of the law. On the other hand the spirit of our laws does
not support an interference with personal or individual rights except when such
control or restriction may become absolutely necessary in order to protect others
in the enjoyment of the rights guaranteed to them by the law. The true idea
is to bring all of school age within the salutary influence of the school and to
keep them there if possible.
32. Control of pupiL Undoubtedly the parent and teacher have joint
control over the scholar on his way to and from school. The pupil becomes sub-
ject to the control of the board as soon as he leaves home for school and con-
tinues within such control until he again reaches the home of the parent. It is
very desirable that co-operation and a mutual desire to promote the best good of
the scholar should be sought by the parents and the school authorities. 129
33. Teacher to determine subjects. It is the duty of the teacher, under
the direction of the board, to determine what branches can best be pursued by
each scholar. Section 2772.
34. Branches understood in course. Without special mention in the
teacher's contract, it is understood that only the usual common branches and
those included in the course of study for the school are expected to be taught.
35. Subjects must be inchided. If it is desired that higher arithmetic
or any other advanced study, shall be taught in one or more schools in the dis-
trict, the board should include such branch in the course of study for such
school or schools, and require the teacher to obtain a valid certificate in such
branch before beginning school. Sections 2749, 2772.
3 6. Subjects not in course- It is not within the province of individual
persons to demand instruction outside the branches in the course of study.
37. Music and physiology mandatory. Every scholar must study music,
physiology and hygiene, including the effects of stimulants and narcotics, until
the outline upon that branch, as prepared by the board has been completed. Sec-
tion 2823-s, 2775.
38. Follow course. It becomes the duty of every teacher to follow the
plan of work indicated in the course of study. When difficulties are met, if no
other person has general supervision, the matter may be brought to the atten-
tion of the board. Section 2772.
39. Board has control of classification. As regards classification, the
board has absolute control. But as the teacher is by common consent presumed
to know what will be best for all, custom has left to him the making of the pro-
gram and the placing of scholars in the proper classes. Section 2772.
40. "When not entitled to promotion. If a scholar is found to be so
deficient in the common branches that he is unable to take the work in a class
more advanced, without detriment to the class and to himself, it is plain that he
may be classified in each branch where he is likely to receive the greatest good.
The penalty for not pursuing a suitable course of study will be found in the fact
that such scholars may be denied promotion, and may not be allowed to grad-
41. Aids and apparatus. In connection with the course of study, the
board should designate the teaching helps and apparatus to be used, and should
also arrange to furnish such appliances as soon as they are needed.
42. Compulsory attendance. Sections 2823-a to 2823-i.
43. Power to make a rule â€” how determined. While the review of the
action of a school board with reference to a matter within its jurisdiction is by
SCHOOL LAWS OF IOWA 67
appeal to the county superintendent, yet the question as to whether the board
had power to make the rule can be reviewed by the court in a mandamus pro-
ceeding 129 Iowa, 441.
44. Expulsion of scholar â€” dismissal of teacher â€” enforcement of regula-
tions. Section 2 782.
45. Use of tobacco. School boards must make regulations governing the
use of tobacco on the part of pupils. They may regulate its use on the play-
ground or at other times.
Sec. 2773. Schoolhouse site â€” division of district â€” length of school.
It may fix the site for each schoolliouse, taking into consideration the
geographical position, number and convenience of the scholars, provide
for the fencing of schoolhouse sites, determine the number of schools to
be taught, divide the corporation into such wards or other divisions
for school purposes as may be proper, determine the particular school
which each child shall attend, and designate the period each school shall
be held beyond the time required by law. Every school shall be free
of tuition to all actual residents between the ages of five and twenty-
one years, and each school regularly established shall continue for at
least twenty-four weeks of five school days each, in each school year com-
mencing the first day of July, unless the county superintendent shall
authorize the board to shorten the period in any one or more schools,
when in his judgment there are sufficient reasons for so doing. No school
shall be in session during the time of holding a teachers' institute except
by written permission of the county superintendent. [31 G-. G., ch. 136,
M; 19 G. A., ch. 172, ^ 21 ; 17 G. A., ch. 54; 15 G. A., ch. 57; C.
'73, Â§Â§ 1724, 1727, 1769; R., Â§Â§ 2023, 2037.]
Notes: 1. Power to locate school site. The power to locate site for
schoolhouses is vested originally, exclusively in the board. This authority
should be exercised with great care and without prejudice. The electors may
not definitely limit a board by vote or instructions. If, however, taxes or bonds
have been voted to build upon a particular site, the board may not disregard
such vote. 100 Iowa, 317. Decisions, 20, 27, 34. 135 Iowa, 95.
2. Change of site. The directors of a school township have the power
under code, section 2773, to change the site of a schoolhouse without authority
by vote of the electors of the district. 123 Iowa, 199; 135 Iowa, 95.
3. Expediency of removal. The expediency of removal cannot be con-
sidered upon an application for injunction; nor will the action of the board be
considered on a simple allegation that it was surreptitiously taken in the ab-
sence of a statement of facts upon which the complaint was based. 123 Iowa,
199. See also Kinney v. Howard, 133 Iowa, 94.
4. Removal of schoolhouse. The removal of a schoolhouse to another site
within the same subdistrict is entirely within the control of the board, and a
vote of either the electors of the subdistrict or of the school township will be
only suggestive. 81 Iowa, 335.
5. Wishes of electors considered. The wishes of the people, for whom
the house is designed, should be consulted as far as practicable, taking into ac-
count prospective as well as present needs of all the people of the district. De-
cisions. 20 and 24.
6. Reasonable distance. There is nothing in the law fixing a standard
as to what is to be considered a reasonable distance for children to travel to
school, jvttendance in an adjoining district under such circumstances as to se-
cure the payment of tuition to the adjoining district is governed by the pro-
visions of section 2803. Decisions, 82.
68 SCHOOL LAWS OF IOWA
7. Removal of schoolhouse from subdistrict. The removal of a school-
house from the suhdistrict must be first ordered by the electors, at the township
meeting. Decisions, 15.
8. Site on highway. There are many obvious reasons why a schoolhouse
site should not be located away from the highway. It is highly desirable that
the necessary highways to a new site should be open before a schoolhouse is
placed upon such site.
9. Suggestive votes not mandatory. A vote of the electors upon matters
which by the law are to be determined by the board, is not binding upon the
board, but is only suggestive to it. In such matters the board will still be left
free to exercise the large discretion vested in it by the law. 81 Iowa, 335.
10. Removal in case of change in district. As a change of boundaries
between subdistricts does not take effect until the organization of the new
board elected in March following the change, the board may not move the school-
house to accommodate the proposed new conditions until after that time.
11. Should own sites. If possible, the district should own the sites. A
perfect title should be secured, and the warranty deed recorded, before commenc-
ing to build. The property should be conveyed to the district in its corporate
name. The deed should be recorded and afterwards filed with the president.
12. Objections to location. In selecting the site of a schoolhouse the
board is controlled by the provision of code section 2814 as to the acquisition of
a site within thirty rods of the residence of an owner who objects to such loca-
tion. Mcndenhall v. Board of Directors, 137 Iowa, 554.
13. County supeHntendent's decision final if not appealed. The action of
the board of directors in fixing a new schoolhouse site is subject to the review
of the county superintendent; and if the action of the board is reversed on such
appeal the district has no longer authority to hold or use the site purchased for
the purpose, and a conveyance of property for such new site becomes invalid and
inoperative without any action for rescission on the part of the board. Ind.
School Di&t. V. McClure, 136 Iowa, 122.
14. Abstract. The title to property which school boards acquire is sub-
ject to the reversal of the action of the board. 135 Iowa, 122. In purchasing the
grounds for schoolhouse purposes the president should require an abstract of
title and satisfy himself that the property is free from incumbrance.
15. Public square as site. A public square, of a town located wholly
within an independent district, may be transferred to such district for school
purposes. Code, sections 931, 932.
16. Size of rural site. A rural site should contain not less than one acre
of ground, ordinarily, and this exclusive of highway. In consolidated corpora-
tions (section 2794-a) and school townships owning but two sites, not to exceed
four acres may be acquired. Section 2814.