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An act to establish and maintain a system of free schools online

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AN ACT

TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN



s. s. yi^^Uj^



A SYSTEM OF ESEE SCHOOLS,



PASSED BY THE



LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,



FEBRUARY 15, 1855.



SPRINGFIELD:

LANPHIER & WAi.KF.R, PRliNFTERS.

leoo.



t%



H^^-i^ii^if .::!;^



m RXCHAVG'



AN ACT '. ■

TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAm A SYSTEM OF FREE SCHOOLS.



STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC IN- ^^^^85^''''
STRUCTION— ^is Eledion and Duties.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the jjecjiU of the State of
Illinois, reprdsented in the General Assembly ^ That at Election ot su-
tlie election to be held on Tuesday after the first Monday P«™t'^«'^««'-
of November, A. D. 1856, and biennially thereafter, there
shall be elected, by the legal voters of this state, a state
superintendent of public instruction, who shall hold his
office foi two years, and until his successor is duly elected
and qualified.

§ 2. Before entering:;tipon his duties he shall take and To give boud.
subscribe the usual oath of. office, a^id shall also *^xecute a
bond in the penalty of twenty-five*thonsand dollars, pay-
able to the state of Illinois, with sureties to be approved
by the governor, conditioned for the prompt discharge of
his duties as superintendent of public instruction, and for
the faithful application and disposition, according to law,
of all school moneys that may come into his hands by vir-
tue of his office ; said bond and oath shall be deposited \yith '
the secretary of state, and an action may be maintained
thereon by the state, at any time, for a breach of the con-
ditions thereof.

§ 3. It shall be his duty to keep an office at the seat '^S ofgovUn!
of government of the state, and^to file ail papers, reports i^ent.
and public documents transmitted to him by the school of-
ficers of the several counties, each year separately, and
to keep and preserve all other public documents, books
and papers relative to schools coming into *his hands as
state'superintendent, and to hold the same in readiness to
be exhibited to the governor, or to any committee of either
house of the general assenjblj^and shall keep a fair record
of all matters pertaining Xb me business of his office.

§ 4. He shall, without delay, pay over all sumsof mon- layover moneys.
ey which may come into his hands by virtue of his office,



1855.



J



Advi
teaclierf .



Supervision of
cummuu schools



to tlie officer or persons entitled to receive the same, in
such manner as may be prescribed by law.

§ 5. He shall counsel and advise, in sucli manner as
he may deem most advisable, with experienced and prac-
tical school teacliers, as to the best manner of conducting
common schools, and as to the most approved text books,
maps, cJiarts, apparatus, &C.5 to be used in common schools.

§ 6. Said superintendent shall have the supervision ol|
all tlie common ajid'])ub!ic schools iu the state, and shall
be tl'.e gen<ral adviser and assistant of school commission-
ers in the state ; he shall, from time to time, as he shall
deem for the interest of schools, address circular letters to
said c(mimissionerg^giving advice as to thf'best manner of
conducting schools, constructing school houses, furnishing
the same, and procuring coinpetent teachers ; he shall re-
comm'i'ud the most ap[)r(ived text books, maps, charts and
apparatus, and uniformity in the use of the same, as well
as in the manner of conducting schools throutrhout the

o o

state-
To visit countieB. § 7. He sliall visit every county in the state at least,
once during his term of office, confer freely with the school
ij, officers as to the manner of conducting schools, and sJiall

deliver a public lecture to the teachers and j)eople of each
county on the subject of education, if deemed practicable,
and ])erform generally such duties as may tend to advance
the interest of education. ,

§ 8. Said state superintende.»t,shall, before the fifteenth
day of December of every year-'^receoing that in which
shall be holdi^n a reguHir sessioji of tiie general assembly,
report to the goxevnor the condition of schools in the sev-
eral counties of the state, the whole number of schools
wliich have been tauglit in each county in each of tie pre-
ceding years, commencing on the first Monday of Octo-
ber ; what part of said numher iiave been taught by males
exclusively ; what part by females exclusively ; what part
of said wSiole number have ht^en taugist by males and fe-*
males at the same time; and what part by males and fe-
males at ditfcjrent periods ; the nuuiber*of scholars in at-
tendance at said schools ; th^e^^iunher of wlute persons in
each county under twenty-oiV^ years of age ; the^mount
of township and county fund ; the amount of the interest of
the state or common school fund, and of the interest of the
township and of the county fund annually paid out; the
amount raised by -Anad vaJ.oreni 'ax ; the whole amount an-
nually expended for schools ; th<^ number of school houses,
th';ir kind and condition ; the num'ier of tovv^nships and parts
of Jfiwnships in each county ; the number and description
of Woks and apparatus pn''ch«l<ed for the use of schools and
school libraries under the provisions of this act, the prices
paid for the same, and total an ount purchased, and what



RepoTt to gov-
ernor.



5 1855.

qaanlity and how distributed; and the number and condition "

of the libraries, togetiier with suijh oilier information and
suggestions ai' he may deem important in relation to tlie
school laws, schools, and the means of promoting education
througliout the state; which report shall be laid before the
general assembly at each regular session.

5 9. The said stite superintendent of public instruc- wai^e mies and

..^,,, , ,, i"^-, ,,. ^, 1-1 'regulations.

tion shall make such rules and regulations as he may think
necessary and expedient to carry into full effect the pro-
visions of this act, and of all the laws whicii now are or
may hereafter be in force for establishing and maintaining
schools in this state ; and tlie said superintendent shall have
power, and it shall be his duty, to explain and interpret '^° interpret the

',■■ . till •'..' ,. ' meaning of tbls

and determine to all school commissioners, directors, town- act.
ship and otlier school officers, the true intent and meaning
of this act, and their several duties enjoined thereby, and
his decision shall be final, unless otherwise directed by the
legislature, or reversed by a court of competent jurisdic-
tion.

§ 11. The said state superintendent sliall have power '^commSoner'lTo
to direct and cause the school commissioner of any county, vvnuboid fu..ni8.
directors or board of trustees or township treasurer of any,
townsliip, or other school officer, to withhold from any offi-
cer, or township, or teacher, any part of the common school,
or township, or other school fund, until such officer, town-
ship, or teacher, shall have cb-npiied with all the provisions
of this act relating to his, her or their duties, and such
rules and regulations as the state superintendent may pre-
scribe, not inconsistent v/ith this act ; and the state super-
intendent may forbid the payment of any part of the com-
mon school, township, county, or other school fund, to any
district in which the school or schools have not been kept
according to law, or in which no school has been kept for
six months during the year next preceding the demand for
payment.

§ 12. And the said state superintendent shall receive ^i^'fen^gnt^"''^'''
annually the sum of fifteen hundred dollars, to be paid
quarterly, as a salary for the services required under the
provisions of this act, or any other law that may be pas-
sed, and also for all necessary contingent expenses, for
books, postage and stationery pertaining to his office, to
be audited and paid by the state, as the salaries and con-
tingent expenses of other officers are paid.

SCHOOL COMMISSIONERS— r/iC2> Election and Du-
ties.

5 13. On the Tuesday next after the first Monday in Election oi school

Ni. , 1 /i rn ^ . c^ .1 h 1. commissioners.

ovember next, and on the luesaay next alter the first

Monday in November, every two years thereafter, there



1855. 6

shall be elected, by the qualified voters of each and every
county in tiiis stale, a school commissioner, who shall ex-
ecute the duties lierein required. He shall, before enter-
ing upon his duties, take an oath for the faitliful discharge
Commissioner to of his duties» He Shall, before entering upon his duties,
execute a bond, payable to the state of Illinois, with two
or more responsible freeholders as security, to be appro-
ved by the county court, in a penalty of not less than twelve
thousand dollars, to be increased at the discretion of said
court, in proportion to his responsibilities, conditioned that
he will faithfully perform all the duties of school commis-
sioner of said county, according to the laws wluch are or
may be in force ; by which bond tiie obligors shall be bound
jointly and severally, and upon which an action or actions
may be maintained by the board of trustees of the proper
township, tor tlie use of any township or fund injured by
any breach thereof; and joint action may be had for two
or more funds.

§ 14. The bond required in the foregoing section shall
be in the following form, viz :



Sta^e uf li/inois,

Count I/.



ss.



pi>r!!i of ooud. Know all men by these presents, that we, A B, C D, and
E F, are held and firmly bound, jointly and severally, un-
to the people of the state of Illinois, in the penal sum of
dollars, to the payment of which we bind our-
selves, our heirs, executors and administrators firmly by
these presents. In witness whereof we have hereunto set

our hands and seals, this day of , A. D. 185 .

The condition of the above obligation is such, tiiat if the
above bounden A B, school commissioner of the county
aforesaid, shall faithfully discharge all the duties of said
office according to the laws which now are, or may here-
after be in force, and shall deliver over to his successor in
office all moneys, books, papers and property in his hands
' as such school commissioner, then this obligation to be
void ; otherwise to remain in full force and virtue.

A B , [seal.]

C D , [seal.]

E F , [seal.]

And which bond shall be filed in the office of the county
court.
i,iai)ieton;muvai § 15. The Said Commissioner shall be liable to re-
moval by the county court for any palpable violation of
law, or omission of duty; and if a majority of said court
shall at any time be satisfied that his bond is iiisufficient,
it shall be Ins duty, on notice, to execute a new bond, to
be payable, conditioned and approved as the first bond j



7 1856.,

the execution of which shall not affect the old bond, or the
liability of the security thereon ; and when the office of
school commissioner shall become vacant by death, resig- office becoming
nation or otherwise, the county court or board of supervi- Ld°Ty %point-
sors shaii fill the same by appointment for the unexpired ™^"*-
term, and the person so appointed shaii hold his office un-
til liis successor shall be qualified.

§ 16. The said commissioner shall provide three well to provide books
bound books, to be known and designated by the letters A, comi of sales
B, C, for the following purposes : In book A he shall record moneys rec'f?."
at length all petiLions presented to him for the sale of com-
mon school lands, and the plats and certificates of valua-
tion made by or under the direction of the trustees of
schools, and the affidavits in relation to the same. In [email protected]
B he shall keep an account of all sales of common school
lands ; which account shall contain the date of sale, name
of purchaser, description of lands sold, and the sum sold
for. In book C he shall keep a regular account of all
moneys received for lands sold, or otherwise, and loaned
or paid out; the person of whom received, and on what
account, and showing whether it is principal or interest;
the person to whom loaned, the time for which the loan
was made, the rate of interest, the naraes of the securities
when personal security is taken, or if real estate is taken
as security, a description of said real estate, and if paid out,
to whom, when, and on what account, and the amount paid
out ; the list of sales, and the accounts of each tov/nship
fund to be kept separate. Said books shall be paid for
out of the county treasury of the counties in which they
are used.

§ 17. Whenever the bond of the township treasurer, ^sS^fe*^,^„*rT'
approved by the board of trustees of schools, as required
by law, shall be delivered by the trustees of schools, or
either of them, to the school commissioner, he shall receive
and file the same v/ith the papers of his office. He shall
then, on demand, deliver to said township treasurer, who
shall receipt therefor, all moneys in his hands belonging to
said township ; also, all bonds, mortgages, notes and secu-
rities of every description, for money or property due or
to become due the township, and all papers of every de-
scription belonging or in anywise pertaining to the rights
or interests of said township; and the receipt of said trea-
surer to the school commissioner shall be carefully pre-
served, and shall be evidence of the facts therein stated,
as well in favor of the school commissioner as against the
township treasurer.

S 18. Upon the receipt of the amount due upon the school commis-

J . I s. . . . *■ I sionei to appor-

auditor s warrant, as provided m section sixty-nine here- uon state lunde.
of, the school commissioner shall apportion said amount,
(except the amount allowed said commissioner, as provi-



1855. 8

dec! for in section seventy-five hereof,) to the several
townships and fractional townships in liis county, accord-
ing to the number of white children under twenty-one
years of age, returned to him, (as provided for in section
thirty-eight hereof,) and in which townsliips or jjarts of
townships schools have been kept in accordance with the
provisions of tins act. and with the instructions of the
state and county superintendents, and shall pay over the
distributive share belonging to each township and frac-
tional township, as aforesaid, to the respective township
treasurers, or other authorized persons, annually. When
there is a county fund in the hands of any school commis-
sioner, it shall be loaned, and the interest applied as pro-
vided in this section with respect to the interest on the
state fund,
flchooi commis- § 19. The school commissioner shall, also, on or be-
to^s'uperintTnd- fore the second Monday of November before each regular
™'" session of the general assembly, or annually, if so required

to do by the state superintendent, communicate to said
state superintendent all such information and statistics
upon the subject of schools in the county as the said state
superintendent is bound to embody in his report to the
governor, (as provided for in section eight hereof,) and
such other information as the state superintendent shall
require ; and tlie said school commissioner shall also com-
municate the aforesaid information and statistics to the
county convention of his county, at its biennial meetings,
and at such other meetings as said convention may re-
quire.
To .iciiver over § 20. The scliool commissioner, upon his removal or
properly to sue- resignation, or at the expiration of his term of service,
cesser. ^ qj. j,j ^ggg of h^g death, his representatives,) shall deliver

over to his successor in office, on demand, all moneys,
books, papers, and personal property, belongijig to the
office, or subject to the control or disposition of the school
com.missioner.
School commis- § 21. The school commissiouer may loan any money,

Blouer to loan ?., -ii • x-i xri i. ^

fiiuds. not interest, belonging to the county tuna, or to any town-

ship fund, before the same is called for according to law
by the township treasurer, at the same rate of interest,
upon the same security and for the same length of time
as is provided by this act in relation to tlie township
treasurers ; and notes and mortgages taken in the name
of the '-school commissioner" of the proper countj-, shall
be, and all loans heretofore made in ti-e name of " school
commissioners," are hereby, declared to be as valid as if
taken in the name of " trustees of schools" of the proper
township, and suits may be brought in the name of " school
commissioners," on all notes and mortgages heretofore or
hereafter made payable to school commissioners.



9 1855.

§ 22. It shall he the duty of the school comrmissioner commissioner to

• -i .V /• 'l.1 i-t I 1 > 1' t • ■^■'S'^ schools In

to Visit, as olten as practicable, tae several schoo.s ot hiS iiiscoumy.
county, and to note the common method of instruction and
branches taught, and give such directions in the art of
teaching, and the method thereof, iw each school, as to
him, together wiih the directors, shall be deemed expe-
dient and necessary, so that each school shall be equal to
the grade for whicli it was established, and that there may
be, as far as practicable, uniformity in ttie course of stu-
dies in the schools of the several grades r< spectively, and
shall carry out the advice and instructions of the state su-
perintendent.

§ 23. In all cases where the township board of trus- Duty of commis-

^ ,.,,,., -I r 1 sionerin case ol

tees 01 any tovvnsliip snaii tail to prepare and lorvvard, or laiiure to maka
cause to be prepared and forwarded, to the school com- '^^'""^®*
missioner, the information and statistics required of them
in section tliirty-eight (38) of this act, it shall be the du-
ty of said {■chool commissioner to employ a competent
person to take the enumeration, and furnish said statisti-
cal statement, as far as practicable, to the commissioner}
and said person so employed shall have free access to the
books and papers of said township, to enable him to make
such statement ; and the township treasurer, or other of-
ficer or person in whose custody such books and papers
may be, shall permit said person to examine such books
and papers, at such times and places as such person may
desire, for the purposes aforesaid ; and tlie said school
commissioners shall allow, and paj', to the person so em- Compensation.
ployed by him, for the services, such amount as lie may
judge rtasonable, outof any money which is or may c< me
into said commissioner's hands, apportioned as the sliare
of or belonging to such township; and the said school
commissioner shall proceed to recover and collect the
amount so allowed or paid for such services, in a civil ac-
tion betoie any justice of the peace in the county, or be-
fore any court having jurisdiction, in the name of the state
of Illinois, of and against the trustees of schools of said
township, in their individual capacity; and in such suit or
suits the said school ccmm.issioner and townsliij) treasurer
shall be competent witnesses; and the money so lecover-
ed, when collected, shall be paid over to the school com-
missioner, for the benefit of said township, to replace the
money taken as aforesaid.

§ 24. When any real estate shall have been taken for comm'er author-
debts due to any school fund, the title to which real estave ieai est^ate?^^
has become vested in any school commissioner, or trustees
of schools, for the use of the inh.abitants of two or more
towuMiij'S, the school commissioner may re-sell such real
estate for the bentfit of said townships, under tlie provi-
sions of this act regulating the sale of the common school



1855. 10

lan^s ; and the said commissioner is hereby authorized to.
execute convey ances to purchaser-^ ; and said commission-
er sljall be entitled to retain the same per centege on the
amount of such sale, out of tiie assets thereof, as he is en-
titled to for selling common school lands.

TOWNSHIPS— 7Vw.s^re5 of Schools.

Townahips. § 25. Eacli Congressional township, as surveyed and

laid off by authority of the United States, is hereby estab-
lished a township for school purposes. The business of

Trustees elected, the township sliall be done by three (rustees, to be elected
by the legal voters of the township ; and the said town-
ship, upon the election of trustees as aforesaid, as herein-
after provided for, shall be a body corporate and politic.

Name, style, &c. by the name and style of " trustees of schools, of town-

sliip , range ," according to the number. The

said corporation shall have perpetual existence, and shall

Powers. have power to sue and be sued, to plead and be implead-

ed, in all courts and places where judicial proceeding,; are

Tenure ojtiu!.tees had. Said trustees of schools shall continue in office two
years, and until others are elected and enter upon tiie du-
ties of their office.

QuaiiQcations of ^ 26. No pei'son shall be eligible to the office of trus-
tee of schools, unless he shall be twenty-one years of age,
and a resident of the township.

Election of trus- § 27. The election of trustees of schools shall be on

**'®*" the second Monday of January, biennially, but in town-

ships where such election has not been heretofore had, or
where there are no trustees of schools, the election of
trustees of schools may be holden on any Monday ; notice
being given as hereinafter in this section required. The
first election shall be ordered, if in townships already in-

Nouce. corporated, by the trustees of schools of the township,

the township treasurer giving notice of the time and place,
by posting up notices of t!ie same at least ten days pre-
vious to the day of election, at or in the school house, or

Countycierkmay in the most pubJic place in every sch.oul district in the

give notice. township. If there are no trustees of schools in a town-
ship, tiie clerk of the county court shall cause the notice
to be given as aforesaid. For all subsequent elections,
the like notices shall be given by the trustees of schools,

proviao. througli the township treasurer : Provided, that if, upon

any day appointed as aforesaid, for election aforesaid, the
said trustees of schools, or judges, shall be of opinion,
that, on account of the small attendance of voters, the
public good requires it, or if the voters present, or a ma-
jority of them, shall desire it, they shall postpone said
election until the next r»ionday, and at the same place
and hour J at which meeting the voters shall proceed as if



11 1855.

it were not a postponed or adjourned meeting; And 'pro-
vided^ also, that if notice shall not have been given as
above required, then, and in tliat case, said elt'clion may
be ordered as aforesaid, and holden on the fust Monday in
February, or any otlier Monday 5 notice thereof being giv-
en as aforesaid.

§ 28. Two of the trustees of schools of incorporated officers of eiec-
townships, if present, shall act as judges, ai.d one as
clerk of said election. If said trustees shall fail to attend,
or reAise to act when present, and in townships unincor-
porated, the qualified voters present shall choose from
amongst themselves three judges and a clerk to open and
conduct said election.

§ 29. The time and manner of opening, conducting. Mode of eiec-
and closing said election, and the several liabilities apper-
taining io the judges and clerks, and to the voters sepa-
rately and collectively, and the manner of contesting said
elections, shall be the same as prescribed by the general
election laws of this state, defining the manner of elect-
ing magistrates and constables, so far as applicable, sub-
ject to the provisions of this act : Provided, the judges
may close said election at four o'clock, p. m.

§ 30. No person shall vote at said election unless he voters,
possesses the qualification of a voter at a general election.
In case of a tie at such election, it shall be determined me.
by lot, on the day of election, by the judges thereof.

§ 31. When a vacancy or vacancies siiall occur in the vacancy.
board of trustees of schools, the remaining trustee or trus-
tees shall order an election to fill such vacancy, upon any
Monday ; notice to be given as required in section twen-
ty-seven hereof.

§ 32. Upon the election of trustees of schools, the pou-doou deiir
judges of the election shall cause the poll-book of said
election to be delivered to the school commissioner of the
county, with a certificate thereon, showing the election of
said trustees, and names of the persons elected ; which


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