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Article VIII. State Officers 1-3

Article XIII. Education 4-15

Article XIV. Finance and Taxation , 16


Primary School System

(a) Superintendent of Public Instruction 17-23

(b) Formation, Alteration, Meetings and Powers of Districts ...... 24-43

(c) District Board and Officers ' 44-69

(d) Township Officers 70-91

(e) County Clerk and Treasurer 92-94

(f) Bonded Indebtedness of Districts 95-98

(g) Suits and Judgments against Districts 99-105

(h) Sites for Schoolhouses 4 . . . 106-120

(i) Appeals from Action of Inspectors 121-123

(j) Graded School Districts 124-129

(k) Libraries 130-142

(1) Penalties and Liabilities 143-152

Miscellaneous Provisions relative to Education^and the Schools

(a) Free Text-Books 153-158

(b) Agricultural College Course 159

(c) Kindergarten Method 160-163

(d) Teaching of Dangerous Communicable Diseases 164-165

(e) Appropriation for Teaching of above 166-167

(f) Publication of the Proceedings of Annual School Meetings 168-.169

(g) Purchase and Display of United States Flag 170

(h) Returns from Incorporated Institutions 171

(i) Teachers' Certificate from U. of M 172

(j) State Teachers' Certificates 173-175

County Commissioners and School Examiners 176-188

Examination of Candidates for Admission to Agricultural College 189-190

Township School Districts in Upper Peninsula 191-208

Teachers' Institutes 209-216

Compulsory Education 217-222

Miscellaneous Offenses Crime and Truancy 223-225

Protection of Children : 226

Powers, Duties and Officers of Townships School Inspectors 227-231

Teachers' Associations ' 232-234

State Accounts Safe Keeping of Public Moneys 235-2-42

State Lands Apportionment of Dog Tax , 243




State Normal Schools 244-278

Granting of Diplomas by State Board of Education in Connection with State

Normal Schools 279

Loan Funds for Students 280-286

State Library Commission 287-291

Publication and Distribution of Laws and Public Documents 292-296

Rural High Schools 297-304

Qualifications of Kindergarten Teachers 305-307

Annual Reports by Librarians 308-309

Providing for Tuition and Transportation of Certain Pupils 310-311

Establishment of County Normal Training Classes 312-318

Day Schools for the Deaf 319-324

To Insure Payment of Subcontractors 325-328

Cities of the Fourth Class School Districts, and Board of Education 329-330

Appendix Forms for Proceedings under the School Laws 331-368

NOTE: The section numbers in parentheses, ( ), are Compiler's Sections, and are consecutive
throughout this compilation. Section numbers of the Compiled Laws of 1897 precede each section
and are indicated by the Section Mark, (). Notes following the Sections indicate the Amendments,
Supreme Court Decisions, etc. Sec. or Section the section of the law. Annotated with Supreme
Court Decisions to and including the 134th Mich, report. COMP.






(1.) SECTION 1. There shall be elected at each general state officers
biennial election a Secretary of State, a Superintendent of u
Public Instruction, a State Treasurer, a Commissioner of the
Land Office, an Auditor General, and' an Attorney General for
the term of two years. They shall keep their offices at the whereto
seat of government and shall perform such duties as may be kee P mces
prescribed by law.

(2.) SEC. 2. Their term of office shall commence on the Term of
first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and fifty- mce -
three, and of every second year thereafter.

(3.) SEC. 3. Whenever a vacancy shall occur in any of the vacancy,
State offices, the Governor shall fill the same by appointment, how filled -
by and with the advice and consent of the Senate if in session.



(4.) SECTION 1. The Superintendent of Public Instruc- Duties of
tion shall have the general supervision of public instruction, SStrf^ubiic
and his duties shall be prescribed by law.

(5.) SEC. 2. The proceeds from the sales of all lands that school fund.
have been or hereafter may be granted by the United States
to the State for educational purposes, and the proceeds of all



Free schools.


conducted in





lauds or other property given by individuals or appropriated
by the State for like purposes, shall be and remain a perpetual
fund, the interest and income of which, together with the
rents of all such lands as may remain unsold, shall be in-
violably appropriated and annually applied to the specific
objects of the original gift, grant, or appropriation.

(6.) SEC. 3. All lands, the titles to which shall fail from a
defect of heirs, shall escheat to the State; and the interest on
the clear proceeds from the sales thereof shall be appropriated
exclusively to the support of primary schools.

(7.) SEC. 4. The Legislature shall, within five years from
the adoption of this constitution, provide for and establish a
system of primary schools, whereby a school shall be kept
without charge for tuition at least three months in each year
in every school district in the State, and all instruction in
said schools shall be conducted in the English language.

(8.) SEC. 5. A school shall be maintained in each school
district at least three months in each year. Any school dis-
whende- trict neglecting to maintain such school shall be deprived, for
public money, the ensuing year, of its proportion of the income of the primary
school fund and of all funds arising from taxes for the sup-
port of schools.

Election of (9.) SEC. 6. There shall be elected in the year eighteen
umversity. the hundred and sixty-three, at the time of the election of a Justice
of the Supreme Court, eight Regents of the University, two
of whom shall hold their office for two years, two for four
years, two for six years, and two for eight years. They shall
enter upon the duties of their office on the first of January
next succeeding their election. At every regular election of
a Justice of the Supreme Court thereafter there shall be
elected two Regents whose terms of office shall be eight years.
When a vacancy shall occur in the office of Regent, it shall
be filled by appointment of the Governor. The Regents thus
elected shall constitute the Board of Regents of the University
of Michigan.

(10.) SEC. 7. The Regents of the University and their
successors in office shall continue to constitute the body cor-
porate, known by the name and title of "The Regents of the
University of Michigan."

(11.) SEC. 8. The Regents of the University shall, at their
first annual meeting, or as soon thereafter as may be, elect a
president of the University, who shall be ex officio a member
of their board, with the privilege of speaking, but not of vot-
ing. He shall preside at the meetings of the Regents ^nd
university be the principal executive officer of the University. The
nd> Board of Regents shall have the general supervision of the
University, and the direction and control of all expenditures
from the University interest fund.

state board of (12.) SEC. 9. There shall be elected at the general election

education. in tbe year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two three

members of the State Board of Education : one for two years,

how filled.

Regents a
body corpo-

of the


one for four years, and one for six years; and at each suc-
ceeding biennial election there shall be elected one menflber
of such board, who shall hold his office for six years. The superintcnd-
Superintendent of Public Instruction shall be ex officio a
member and secretary of such board. The board shall have
the general supervision of the State Normal School, and their
duties shall be prescribed by law.

(1&.) SEC. 10. Institutions for the benefit of those inhabi- Asylums.
tants who are deaf, dumb, blind or insane, shall always be
fostered and supported.

(14.) SEC. 11. The Legislature shall encourage the pro- Agricultural
motion of intellectual, scientific and agricultural improve- sc
ment ; and shall, as soon as practicable, provide for the estab-
lishment of an agricultural school. The Legislature may appro-
priate the twenty-two sections of salt spring lands now un-
appropriated, or the money arising from the sale of the same,
where such lands have been already sold, and any land which
may hereafter be granted or appropriated for such purpose,
for the support and maintenance of such school, and may
make the same a branch of the University, for instruction in
agriculture and the natural sciences connected therewith, and
place the same under the supervision of the Regents of the

(15.) SEC. 12. The Legislature shall also provide for the Libraries,
establishment of at least one library in each township and
city, and all fines assessed and collected in the several coun- Penal fines to
ties and townships for any breach of the penal laws shall be be applie
exclusively applied to the support of such libraries, unless
otherwise ordered by the township board of any township
or the board of education of any city : Provided, That in no proviso.
case shall such fines be use$ for other than library or school



(16.) SECTION 1. All specific State taxes, except those re- Specific
ceived from the mining companies of the upper peninsula, taxes '
shall be applied in paying the interest upon the primary
school, university and other educational funds, and the in-
terest and principal of the State debt, in the order herein
recited, until the extinguishment of the State debt, other
than the amounts due to educational funds, when such spe-
cific taxes shall be added to, and constitute a part of The pri-
mary school interest fund. The Legislature shall provide for Tax for state-
an annual tax, sufficient with other resources, to pay the esti- ex P enses -
mated expenses of the State government, the interest of the
State debt, and such deficiency as may occur in the resources.




An Act to revise and consolidate the laws relating to public instruc-
tion and primary schools, and to repeal all statutes and acts con-
travening the provisions of this act.

[Act 164, 1881.]


To have
supervision of

Duty of.

Have super-
rision of
normal train-
i ng classes.

May examine
and audit
accounts, etc.

districts to

When may re-
quest removal
of certain

File statement
of charges.


(17.) 4639. SECTION 1. The Superintendent of Public
Instruction shall have general supervision of public instruc-
tion and of all State institutions other than the University that
are essentially educational in their character, and it shall be
his duty among other things to visit the University, the Agri-
cultural College, the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, the
School for the Blind, the State Industrial School for Boys, the
State Industrial Home fo? Girls, and the State Public School
for Dependent and Neglected Children, and to meet with the
governing boards of said institutions at least once in each
year. He shall have supervision of all county normal training
classes and may prescribe general rules for their management.
In his supervision of the public schools it shall be his duty to
require boards of education to observe the laws relating to
schools and to compel such observance by appropriate legal
proceedings instituted in courts of competent jurisdiction by
direction of the Attorney General. He may examine and audit
the official records and accounts of any school district and re-
quire corrections thereof when necessary. It shall be his duty
to require all school districts to maintain school for at least
the statutory period and to provide educational facilities for
all children resident in such district. The Superintendent of
Public Instruction may request the Governor to remove from
office any county commissioner of schools or member of board
of school examiners when he shall be satisfied from sufficient
evidence submitted to him that said officer does not possess
the qualifications required by law entitling him to hold the
office, or when he is incompetent to execute properly the
duties of his office, or has been guilty of official mis-
conduct, or of wilful neglect of duty, or of drunkenness. In
case said superintendent shall determine that the charges sub-
mitted to him are well founded he shall file with the Governor


a statement that he believes the charges to be true and that

in his opinion the case demands investigation, which statement

shall take the place of the statement of the prosecuting attor-

ney of the county in which said officer is acting; whereupon

the Governor shall proceed to investigate the case as the stat-

ute provides. Said superintendent shall also prepare annually, File annual

and transmit to the Governor, to be by him transmitted to the report<

legislature at each biennial session thereof, a report contain-


First, A statement of the condition of the University and Report, what
of each of the several State educational institutions, all incor- t(
porated institutions of learning, and the primary, graded and
high schools;

Second, Estimates and amounts of expenditures of all edu-
cational funds;

Third, Plans for the management of all educational funds,
and for the better organization of the educational system, if,
in his opinion, the same be required;

Fourth, The annual reports and accompanying documents,
so far as he shall deem the same of sufficient public interest, of
all State institutions of educational character;

Fifth, Abstracts of the annual reports of the school inspec-
tors of the several townships and cities of the State;

Sixth, All such other matter relating to his office and the
subject of education generally as he shall deem expedient to

Am. 1905, Act 72.

As to superintendent of public instruction, see Chapter 116, C. L. 1897 ;
Const, xiii, 1.

(18.) 4640. SEC. 2. He may appoint a deputy superin- Deputy super-
tendent of public instruction and revoke such appointment in m
his discretion, and such deputy shall take the constitutional
oath of office, which, with his appointment, shall be filed with
the secretary of state. Said deputy may execute the duties of Duties of.
the office in case of a vacancy or the absence of the superin-

(19.) 4641. SEC. 3. The superintendent of public in- May prepare
struction may prepare and have printed general rules and reg- management
illations for the management of township and district libra- of libraries.
ries, a general course of study for the schools of the "State, and
he shall transmit all these documents to the several school offi-
cers entrusted with the care and management of the public

Am. 1905, Act 72.

(20.) 4642. SEC. 4. He shall semi-annually, on receiv- Apportion-
ing notice from the auditor general of the amounts thereof, 1
and between the first and tenth days of May and November, school fund,
apportion the primary school interest fund among the several
townships and cities of the State, in proportion to the number
of children in each between the ages of five and twenty years,



as the same shall appear by the reports of the several boards
of school inspectors made to him for the school year closing
prior to the May apportionment and shall prepare a statement
of the amount in the aggregate payable to each county, ami
shall deliver the same to the auditor general, who shall there
upon draw his warrant upon the state treasurer in favor of tin-
treasurer of each county for the amount payable to each
county. He shall also send written notices to the
clerks of the several counties of the amount in the aggregate
to be disbursed in their respective counties, and the amouni
payable to the townships and cities therein respectively.

Moiles v. Watson, 60 / 417.

Warrant for,
how drawn.

Notice to
county clerks.

Proceedings (21.) 4643. SEC. 5. Whenever the returns from any
d n efec s t!ve f county, township, city, or district, upon which a statement of
returns. the amount to be disbursed or paid to any such county, town-

ship, city, or district shall be so far defective as to render il
impracticable to ascertain the share of primary school interest
fund which ought to be disbursed or paid to such county, town
ship, city, or district, he shall ascertain by the best evidence in
his power the facts upon which the ratio of such apportion
rnent shall depend, and shall make the apportionment accord

Whendefi- (22.) 4644. SEC. 6. Whenever any county, township,

apportioned be t,Y, or district, through failure or error in making the proper
the next year, report, shall fail to receive its share of the primary school in-
terest fund, the superintendent of public instruction, upon
satisfactory proof that said county, township, city, or district'
was justly entitled to the same, shall apportion such deficiency
in his next apportionment ; and whenever it shall appear to the
satisfaction of said superintendent that any district has had
three months' school, but failed to have the full time of school
required by law, through no fault or negligence of the distric!
or its officers, he may include such district in his apportion
ment of the primary school interest fund in his discretion.

Moiles v. Watson, 60 / 417.

Other duties
of superin-

(23.) 4645. SEC. 7. The Superintendent of Public In
struction shall perform such other duties as are or shall be re-
quired of him by law, and at the expiration of his term of
office deliver to his successor all property, books, documents,
maps, records, reports, and all other papers belonging to his
office, or which may have been received by him for the use of
his office.


Inspectors to
form districts.


(24.) 4646. SECTION 1. The township board of school
inspectors shall divide the township into such number of school
districts as mav from time to time be necessary, which dis-


triets they shall number, and they may regulate and alter the May alter
boundaries of the same as circumstances shall render proper ; b(
and each district shall be composed of contiguous territory,
and be in as compact a form as may be.

Am. 1901, Act. 37.

On the subject of primary schools, see chapter 116, C. L. 1897.

PRIMARY SCHOOL SYSTEM : The whole primary school system was con-
fided by the constitution to the legislature and it cannot be said that the
officers of school districts chosen pursuant to the system adopted by the leg-
islature, are constitutional officers. Belles v. Burr, 76/11. The constitution
of 1850 left to the legislature, as did the preceding constitution, the establish-
ment of a system of primary schools, restricting the legislature only by pro-
viding that a school shall be kept, without charge for tuition, at least three
months in each year, and that all instruction shall be conducted in the Eng-
lish language. All other matters seem to be within the discretion of the
legislature. Perrizo v. Kesler, 93 / 283 ; People v. Hewlett, 94 / 168 ; Pingree
v. Board of Education. 99 / 408. Our primary school system is the pride of
the state. People v. Hewlett, 94 / 169.

FORMATION OF DISTRICTS : The township board of school inspectors is
authorized to divide the township into such number of school districts as they
may consider necessary from time to time, and may regulate and alter the
boundaries of the same as circumstances shall render proper, subject to cer-
tain restrictions. Doxey v. Sch. Inspectors, 67 / 603 ; Brody v. Penn. Twp.
Board. 32/273: Sch. Dist. v. Sch. Dist, 81 / 343 ; Simpkins v. Ward, 45/561.
See Briggs v. Borden, 71 / 89-90. They may dissolve a school district and
annex it to another. People v. Davidson, 2 Doug. 121 : Brewer v. Palmer,
13 / 107. When two districts are annexed without any other change in their
boundaries, the mere fact that one number is preferred to another does not
change the real character of the annexation. Brewer v. Palmer, 13/109.
When one district is annexed to another, its corporate existence ceases and
it cannot be sued for debts ; the new district must be held responsible for
them. Id. But when a district is parceled out among several other dis-
tricts, the latter cannot be held jointly liable for the debts of the former ;
whatever they are bound to pay is a several and not a Joint obligation. Hal-
bert v. Sch. Distsr, 36 / 421. But the inspectors cannot change a district
formed by special act of the legislature. Sch. Dist. v. Dean, 17 / 223. The
organization of a new township severs its territory from the school district
within which it was formerly embraced. People v. Ryan, 19 / 203. See
Section 4654.

INTEREST OF INSPECTORS : Where the interest of the inspectors in the
formation of a school district is no greater than that of other taxpayers and
residents, they are not disqualified from acting. Clement v. Everest, 29 / 19.
The interest which disqualifies. Stockwell v. White Lake Twp. Board, 22 / 341 ;
Peninsular Ry. Co. v. Howard, 20 / 18.

QUESTIONING REGULARITY: The regularity of the proceedings for the
formation of a district and the 1 existence of it cannot be questioned collaterally,
but only in direct proceedings. Clement v. Everest, 29 / 19. See Sch. Dist. v.
Inspectors, 27 / 3 ; Stuart v. Sch. Dist., 30 / 69 ; Lord v. Every, 38 / 405 ; Bird
v. Perkins, 33 / 30 ; Stockle v. Silsbee. 41 / 621 : Keweenaw Ass'n v. Sch. Dist.,
98 / 437. The legality of the organization and existence of the district can-
not be tested by certiorari. Jaquith v. Hale, 31 / 430. Certiorari to review
the proceedings in organizing a district will not lie after the district is
actually organized and has assumed the functions of a corporation ; its cor-
porate existence must then be tested by quo warranto. Sch. Dist. v. Inspectors,
27 / 3 ; People v. Gartland, 75 / 143. But there should be some special and
extraordinary reason to justify interference by quo warranto with the organi-
zation of a school district, as the statutes provide a speedier remedy by an
appeal from the district board to the township board. Lord v. Every, 38/405.
And the supreme court will not meddle with the concerns of school districts,
on mandamus, except on things of substance. Sch. Dist. v. Riverside Twp.,
67 / 4Q6.

Where a board of school inspectors, by a vote of two for and one against
created a new school district, which action is sought to be reviewed on
certiorari, the return of the clerk and one inspector that due notice was
given, and that proof of posting the notices was on file with the clerk when
the action was taken, must be taken as the return of the board, though con-
tradicted by a separate return of the third member. Smelzer v. Board of
School Inspectors of Big Prairie Township. 125/666.

The facts in regard to the notices and proof of posting are sufficiently
established if set out in the return of the board, though not appearing In the
clerk s minutes of the proceedings. Id.

The action of school inspectors in detaching territory from two school
districts and forming a new district by one and the same motion, after
parties interested have had ample opportunity to be heard on both questions,

(25.) 4647. SBC. 2. Whenever the board of school in-
spectors of any township shall form a school district therein,
it shall be the duty of the clerk of such board to deliver to a to



taxable inhabitant of such district a notice in writing of the
formation of such district, describing its boundaries, and speci-

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Online LibraryMichiganGeneral school laws : with an appendix of blank forms → online text (page 1 of 20)