SCHOOL LAW OF ILLINOIS
ENACTED BY THE
Forty-Sixth General Assembly
FRANCIS G. BLAIR
Superintendent of Public Instruction.
ILLINOIS STATE JOURNAL Co., STATE PRINTERS
SCHOOL LAW OF ILLINOIS
ENACTED BY THE
Forty-Sixth General Assembly
FRANCIS G. BLAIR
Superintendent of Public Instruction.
ILLINOIS STATE JOURNAL Co., STATE PRINTERS
L ii M
GENERAL SCHOOL LAW.
AN ACT to establish and maintain a system of free schools.
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, rep-
resented in the General Assembly: That on Tuesday next after the first
Monday in November, 1910, and quadrennially thereafter, there shall
be elected by the qualified voters of this State a Superintendent of Public
Instruction, who shall hold his office for four years from the second
Monday in January next after his election.
2. Before entering upon his duties he shall take and subscribe the
oath of office prescribed by the Constitution, and execute a bond in the
penalty of $25,000.00, payable to the People of the State of Illinois,
with securities to be approved .by the Governor, conditioned upon the
faithful discharge of his duties. Such bond and oath shall be deposited
with the Secretary of State.
3. The duties of the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall be:
First To have his office at the seat of government, and to keep a
record of all matters pertaining to the business of his office.
Second To file all papers, reports and public documents transmitted
to him by the school officers of the several counties, for each year sepa-
rately; and to keep and preserve all other public documents, books and
papers relative to schools, coming into his hands as Superintendent of
Third To supervise all the common and public schools in the State.
Fourth To counsel and confer, in such manner as he may deem
best, with experienced and practical teachers as to the best manner of
conducting common schools.
Fifth To advise and assist county superintendents of schools, address-
ing to them, from time to time, circular letters relating to the best
manner of conducting schools, constructing school houses, furnishing
the same, and examining and procuring competent teachers,
Sixth To be ex officio a member of the board of trustees of the
Southern Normal University.
Seventh To make such rules and regulations as may be necessary to
carry into efficient and uniform effect the provisions of this Act, and of
all laws for establishing and maintaining free schools in the State.
Eighth To be the legal advisor of school officers, and, when requested
by any school officer, to give his opinion in writing upon any question
arising under the school laws of the State.
Ninth To hear and determine all controversies arising under the
school laws of the State, coming to him by appeal from a county superin-
tendent of schools.
Tenth To grant certificates to such teachers as may be found qualified
to receive them, and to suspend the operation of any State certificate for
immorality or other unprofessional conduct.
Eleventh To visit such of the charitable institutions of the State as
are educational in their character, to examine their facilities for instruc-
tion, and to prescribe forms for such reports as he may desire from their
Twelfth To report to the Governor, on or before the 1st of November,
preceding each regular session of the General Assembly, the condition
of the schools in the several counties of the State ; the number of schools
which have been taught in each county in each of the preceding years.,
commencing on tjie 1st of July; the number taught by men and women
respectively; the number of pupils in attendance; the number of persons-
in each county under 21 years of age, and the number of persons between
the ages of 12 and 21 years unable to read and write; the amount of
township funds; the amount of interest on the State or common school
fund, and on the township fund, annually paid out; the amount raised
by an ad valorem tax; the amount annually expended for schools; the
number of school houses, their kind and condition; the number of
townships and parts of townships in each county; the number of books
purchased for the use of schools and the cost of the same; the value of
apparatus purchased; the number of district libraries; together with
such other information and suggestions as he may deem important in
relation to the schools and school laws, and the means of promoting
education throughout the State; which report shall be submitted to the
General Assembly at each regular session.
4. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall have the follow-
ing powers :
First To designate the particular statistics relating to public schools
which school officers are required to report to the county superintendent
Second To authorize the county superintendent of schools to procure
such assistance as may be necessary to conduct teachers' institutes.
Third To require the county superintendents of schools to furnish
him with such information as he may desire to include in his report to
the General Assembly.
Fourth To require the trustees of schools of each township to
make, at any time, a report similar to that required of trustees of
schools, on or before the 15th day of July preceding each regular session
of the General Assembly.
Fifth To require annual reports from the authorities of townships,
cities or districts maintaining schools by authority of special charters.
Sixth To remit, upon the recommendation of the county superin-'
tendent of schools, or for other good and sufficient reasons, the forfeiture
of the school fund by any township which may have failed to make the
reports required by law.
Seventh To require the Auditor of Pubic Accounts to withhold from
the county superintendent the amount due his county from the State
school fund, or the said county superintendent for Ms compensation,
until the report provided for in section 7 of this Act shall have been
furnished as therein required.
Eighth To request the president, principal or other proper officer of
-every organized university, college, seminary, academy or other educa-
tional institution, whether incorporated or unincorporated, to submit
such report as he may require, in order to lay before the General Assembly
a full exhibit of the affairs and conditions of such institutions and of
the educational resources of the State.
Ninth To require the county .superintendent of schools, trustees,
township treasurer, directors or other school officer to withhold from
any township, district, officer or teacher any part of the common school
township or other school fund, until such treasurer, officer or teacher
shall have made all schedules, reports and returns required of him by
this Act, and until .such officer shall have executed and filed all official
bonds and accounted for all common school, township or other school
funds which have come into his hands.
COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS.
5. On Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, 1910,
and quadrennially thereafter, there shall be elected by the qualified voters
of every county in this State a county superintendent of schools, who
shall enter upon the discharge of his duties on the first Monday of
December after his election.
6. Before entering upon his duties he shall take and subscribe the
oath prescribed by the Constitution, and execute a bond payable to the
People of the State of Illinois, with two or more responsible freeholders
as security, to be approved by the county board or by the judge and
clerk of the county court, in a penalty of not less than $12,000.00, condi-
tioned upon the faithful discharge of his duties. The bond shall be in
the following form, to wit :
STATE OF ILUNOIS, ]
Know All Men by These Presents: That we, A B, C D, and E F, are held
and firmly bound, jointly and severally, unto the people of the State of Illi-
nois, in the penal sum of dollars, to the payment of which we
bind ourselves, our -heirs, executors and administrators firmly by these
In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals this
day of , 1
The condition of this obligation is such that if A B, county superintendent
of schools of the county aforesaid, shall faithfully discharge all the duties
of his office, according to law; and shall deliver to his successor in office
all moneys, books, papers and property in his hands as such county superin-
tendent of schools, then this obligation to be void, otherwise to remain in
full force and virtue.
A '. B [Seal]
C D [Seal]
E P [Seal]
This bond shall be filed in the office of the county clerk,, and action or
actions upon it may be maintained by any corporate body interested, for
the benefit of any township or fund injured by any breach of its
7. On or before the 15th of August, annually, the county super-
intendent of schools shall present to the Superintendent of Public
Instruction such information relating to schools in his county as the
Superintendent of Public Instruction may require.
8. The county superintendent shall present under oath, or affirma-
tion, to the county board, at its annual meeting in September, and as
near quarterly thereafter as such board may have regular or special
meetings, a report of all his acts as county superintendent, including a
list of all the schools visited, with the dates of visitation.
9. The county superintendent shall report, in writing, to the
county board, at its regular meeting in September of each year, stating,
first, the balance on hand at the time of the last report, and all receipts
since that date, with the sources from which they were derived; second,
the amount distributed to each of the township treasurers in his county ;
third, any balance on hand. At the same time he shall present for
inspection his books and vouchers for all expenditures, and submit in
writing a statement of the condition of the institute fund and of any
other funds in his care, custody or control.
10. The county superintendent shall keep three books, to be known
and designated by the letters A, B, and C, for the following purposes:
In book A he shall record at length all petitions presented to him for
the sale of common school lands, the plats and certificates of valuation
made by or under the direction of the trustees of schools, and the affida-
vits in relation to the same. In book B he shall keep an account of all
sales of common school lands, including the date of sale, name of
purchaser, description of land sold and the selling price. In book C
he shall keep a regular account of all moneys received or paid out; from
whom received, on what account, showing whether it is principal or
interest, the rate of interest, and a description of the real estate taken
as security; if paid out, to whom, when, and on what account, and the
amount of the list of sales and the account of each township fund to
be kept separate.
11. At the regular meeting of the county board, in each year, the
county superintendent shall present, first, a statement showing the sales
of school lands made subsequent to the first regular term of the previous
year, which shall be a true copy of the sale book (book B) ; second, a
statement of the amount of money received, paid, and in hand, belonging
to each township or fund under his control, the statement of each fund
to be separate; third, a statement copied from his loan book (book C),
showing all the facts in regard to loans which are required to be stated
in the loan book.
12. In all cases in which the trustees of schools of any township
shall fail to prepare and forward, or cause to be prepared and forwarded,
to the county superintendent the information required of them by this
Act, it shall be the duty of the county superintendent to employ a com-
petent person to take the enumeration and furnish such information, as
far as practicable. The person so employed shall have access to the
books and papers of the township to enable him to make such statement;
and the township treasurer, or other officer or person in whose custody
such books and papers may be, shall permit such person to examine such
books and papers at such times and at such places as such person may
desire for the purposes aforesaid. For such services the county superin-
tendent shall pay to the person so employed by him such amount as he
may judge reasonable, out of any money which is or may come into
his hands, apportioned as the share of or belonging to such township;
and the county superintendent shall proceed to recover and collect the
amount so allowed or paid in a civil action before any justice of the
peace in the county, or before any court having jurisdiction, in the
name of the People of the State of Illinois, of and against the trustees-
of schools of the township in their individual capacity ; and in such suit
or suits the county superintendent and the township treasurer shall be
competent witnesses. The money so received, when collected, shall be
paid to the county superintendent for the benefit of the township, ta
replace the money taken as aforesaid.
13. Whenever the bond of any .township treasurer, approved by the
trustees of schools, as required by law, shall be delivered to the county
superintendent of schools, he shall carefully examine the same, and if
the instrument is found to be in all respects according to law, and the.
securities good and sufficient, he shall endorse his approval thereon, have
it recorded in the recorder's office, and file the same with the papers
of his office ; but if the bond is in any respect defective, or if the penalty-
is insufficient, he shall return it for correction. When the bond shall'
have been received and filed, the superintendent shall, on demand, deliver
to the township treasurer a written statement certifying that his bond
has been approved and filed, and that the township treasurer is entitled
to the care and custody, on demand, of all moneys, bonds, mortgages,,
notes and securities, and all books, papers and property of every descrip-
tion belonging to the township.
14. Upon receipt of the amount due the county from the State
school funrl, the county superintendent shall apportion the same, together
with other funds held for distribution, to the townships and parts of
townships in his county in which schools have been -maintained, as pro-
vided by law, according to the number of persons under 21 years of age
returned to him, and shall pay the distributive share belonging to each
township and fractional township to the respective township treasurers,
or other authorized persons, annually : Provided, however, that no part
of the State or other school fund shall be paid to any township treasurer,
or other person authorized to receive it, unless such treasurer shall have
filed his bond/or, if reflected, shall have renewed his bond and filed the
same as required by law.
15. It shall further be the duty of each county superintendent of
First To execute, upon notice by the county board, a new bond., con-
ditioned and approved as the first bond.
Second To sell township fund lands, issue certificates of purchase,
report to the county board and Auditor of Public Accounts, and perform
all other duties pertaining thereto.
Third To register the names of all applicants for normal school and
university scholarships; to hold, or cause to be held, examinations for
the same, and to perform such other duties as pertain thereto.
Fourth To visit each public school in the county at least once a year,
noting the methods of instruction, the branches taught, the text books
used, and the discipline, government and general condition of the
schools; in the performance of which duty he shall spend at least half
his time, and more, if practicable, in visiting ungraded schools.
Fifth To give teachers and school officers such directions in the
science, art and methods of teaching, and in regard to courses of study,
as he may deem expedient,
Sixth To act as the official adviser and constant assistant of the
school officers and teachers of his county. In the performance of this
duty he shall faithfully carry out the advice of the Superintendent of
Seventh To conduct a teachers' institute, to aid and encourage the
formation of other teachers' meetings, and to assist in their management.
Eighth To labor in every practicable way to elevate the standard of
teaching, and improve the condition of the common schools of his
Ninth To examine at least once each year all books, accounts and
vouchers of every township treasurer in his county, and, if he finds any
irregularities in them, to report the same at once, in writing, to the
trustees, whose duty it shall be to take immediately such action as the
Tenth To examine all notes, bonds, mortgages, and other evidences
of indebtedness which the township treasurer holds officially, and if he
finds that the papers are not in proper form, or that the securities are
insufficient, he shall so state, in writing, to the board of trustees.
Eleventh To give notice of the election of trustees in such cases as
are specified in section 24 of this Act.
Twelfth To give notice of any regular or special election as required
by section 107 of this Act.
Thirteenth To investigate and determine all matters pertaining to
changes in the boundaries of school districts which may come to him
by appeal from the decision of the trustees of schools, and to inform
the township treasurer from whom the papers relating to the matter were
received of his decision.
Fourteenth To file and keep all the poll books and returns of elections
required to be returned to him and the reports and statements returned
by township treasurers and trustees of schools.
Fifteenth To hold meetings, at least quarterly, for the examination
Sixteenth To grant certificates of qualification to teach to such per-
sons as may be qualified to receive them, and to keep a record of all
teachers to whom certificates have been granted, and of all teachers
employed in his county.
Seventeenth To notify the presidents of boards of trustees and the
clerks of school districts, on or before September 30, annually, of the
amount of money distributed by him to the township treasurer, with
the date of distribution.
Eighteenth To keep in his office a map of his county on a scale of
not less than two inches to the mile, and to indicate thereon the boundary
lines and numbers of all school districts. Districts shall be numbered
consecutively. In case of the formation of a new district composed of
parts of two or more counties, the county superintendents of such counties
shall agree upon a number by which such district ehall be designated,
which number shall not be a duplicate of any number in either of such
Nineteenth To furnish the township treasurers a list of the districts
in their .respective townships with the consecutive numbers of the same.
16. The county superintendent shall have power :
First To require the trustees of each township in his county to
make, at any time he may desire, the report provided for in section 36
of this Act.
Second To recommend to the Superintendent of Public Instruction
the remission of the penalty provided for a failure of the trustees of
schools to make the report required by law.
Third To renew teachers' certificates at their expiration by his
Fourth To revoke the certificate of any teacher for immorality,
incompetency or other just cause.
Fifth To direct in what manner township treasurers shall keep their
oooks and accounts.
Sixth To bring suit against the county collector for failure to pay
the amount due upon the Auditor's warrant.
Seventh To remove any school director from office for wilful failure
to perform his official duties.
Eighth To employ, with the approval of the county board, such
assistant or assistants as he needs for the full discharge of his duties.
Such assistants shall be persons of good attainments, versed in the prin-
ciples and methods of education, familiar with public school work, and
competent to visit schools.
Ninth To demand of the trustees of schools certified copies of maps
and records of school districts as organized. In case of discrepancies
or defects in defining the boundaries of school districts the" county
superintendent, or, in case of a district lying in two or more counties,
the county superintendents of such counties acting jointly, shall be
authorized to define such boundaries in conformity with what may appear
to have been the intention of the trustees of schools wnen such boundaries
17. In all controversies arising under the school law., the opinion
and advice of the county superintendent shall first be sought, whence
appeal may be taken upon a written statement of facts certified by the
county superintendent to the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
18. The county superintendent, upon his removal or resignation,
or at the expiration of his term of office, or in case of his death his
representatives, shall deliver to his successor in office, on demand, all
moneys, books, papers and personal property belonging to the office or
subject to the control or disposition of the county superintendent,
TRUSTEES OF SCHOOLS.
19. Each Congressional township is hereby established a township
for school purposes. When a fractional Congressional township contains
fewer than two hundred persons under 21 years of age, the trustees of
schools, upon petition of a majority of the adult inhabitants of such
fractional township, may, by written agreement with the trustees of any
adjacent township, consolidate the territory, school funds and other
property of such fractional township with such adjacent township. Such
territory, school funds and other property shall thereafter be managed
by the trustees of such adjacent and consolidated township in accordance
with the terms of such agreement, in the manner provided by law. The
agreement shall be signed by a majority of the trustees of each township,
and filed for record in the office of the county clerk of the county
in which such consolidated township, or the greater part thereof, is
20. The school business of the township shall be transacted by
three trustees, to be elected by the qualified voters of the township, as
hereinafter provided. Such trustees shall be a body politic and corpo-
rate, by the name of "trustees of schools of township No. .-. . . .1. .......
range No. .....;.,. .," according to the number. Such corporation shall
have perpetual existence, with power to sue and be sued, and to plead
and be impleaded, in all courts and places where judicial proceedings
21. No person shall be eligible to the office of trustee of schools
who is not a resident of the township, and at least 21 years of age. In
case there are three or more school districts in a township, no two
trustees shall reside, when elected, in the same school district, nor shall
a person be eligible to the office of trustee of schools and school director
at the same time.
22. The election of trustees of schools shall be held, in townships
whose boundaries do not coincide with those of towns, on the second
Saturday of April, annually. In townships whose boundaries do coincide
with those of towns as established under the township organization
laws, the trustee or trustees shall be elected at the same time and in the
same manner as town officers. In townships in which no election for
school trustees has heretofore been held, or in townships in which from
any cause there are no trustees of. schools, or in case of a vacancy or
vacancies, the election of trustee or trustees, of schools may be held on
23. Notice of the election of trustees shall be given by the township
treasurer, upon the order of the trustees of schools, or, in case of a first
election, by the county clerk, by posting notices, at least ten days previous
to the time of such election, in not less than five of the most public
places in the township, which notices shall specify the time, place and
object of the election, and may be in the following form, to wit:
NOTICE OF ELECTION.
Notice is hereby given that on Saturday, the day of April, 1 ,