Thomas E. (Thomas Edward) Finegan.

A text book on New York school law, including the revised education law, the decisions of courts and the rulings and decisions of state superintendents and the commissioner of education, prepared for the use of normal schools, training classes, teachers and school officers online

. (page 21 of 25)
Online LibraryThomas E. (Thomas Edward) FineganA text book on New York school law, including the revised education law, the decisions of courts and the rulings and decisions of state superintendents and the commissioner of education, prepared for the use of normal schools, training classes, teachers and school officers → online text (page 21 of 25)
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[Article 43a]

General Statement. — The legislature of 1910 enacted a civil
service retirement law. It is the first law of this character
enacted in the history of the State. It applies to teachers em-
ployed for a certain period of time in a college, university, school
or institution maintained and supported by the State and to
teachers in schools for the deaf and dumb and the blind receiving
pupils whose instruction and support are paid for by the State.
It was more particularly enacted, however, in the interests of the
teachers employed in the State normal schools. Teachers are
therefore the first of the civil employees of the State to receive
recognition under a retirement fund.

Who May Retire or be Retired. — A person who has taught
in the aggregate thirty years either in this State or elsewhere
and for ten years immediately preceding application for retire-
ment taught in one of the State institutions above described
and must on his request be retired. Service in teachers insti-
tutes may be countea the same as teaching.

2. A teacher of like age and experience who does not make
application for retirement may on the order of the Commis-
sioner of Education be retired.

3. A teacher of like experience without qualification as to
age who has become incapacitated physically or mentally and
such fact is certified by a majority of the board or governing
body in charge of the school or institution in which he is em-
ployed may on the order of the Commissioner of Education
be retired.

4. A teacher who has taught ten years in one of these insti-
tutions and who has taught an aggregate period of twenty years
and who has become physically or mentally incapacitated and
such fact is certified by the board in charge of the institution in
vrhic'li he is teaching may on the order of the Commissioner of
Ldication be retired.

Retirement Certificate. — A teacher who is entitled to retire
or ro be retired under either of the first two provisions defined



in the preceding paragraph should execute an affidavit setting
forth the number of years of employment, the places where
employed and the salary received at the time. Such affidavit
should be filed with the Commissioner of Education. The Com-
missioner of Education if satisfied that the affidavit is truthful
should • issue a certificate to such teacher to the effect that he
has been retired from active service.

If a teacher is retired on the order of the Commissioner of
Education he should also issue to such person a retirement

Amount to be Paid to Retired Teacher. — A teacher retired
rnder this law is entitled to be paid one-half his salary at the
Time of retirement but the amount paid shall in no case exceed
0,000. In no case shall the amount be less than $300.

Time of Payment. — The law provides that payment shall be
made quarterly commencing with the first quarter after the date
of the issuance of the retirement certificate.


How many normal sciiools are there in the State? When was the
first one established? Where? When was it made permanent? What
change was made in this school in 1890? How many persons have been
graduated from these institutions? What is the annual attendance?
What does it. cost annually to maintain them ? What is the value of
their property? What is the object of these institutions? How are they
established ?

Who has general supervision of these schools? What local authority
has supervision of these schools? How is the local board chosen? For
what period? Who is the executive officer of the board? Of how many
members does the local board consist? How may members of this board
be removed? What is the board in charge of the State normal college
called? Of how many members does it consist? What are the duties
of the local board in relation to establishing regulations? In submitting
reports to legislature? In caring for buildings and other property? In
appointing special policemen? In supplying schools with equipments?
In accepting gifts made to the schools for the State? In employing
teachers? In dismissing teachers? State fully the powers and duties of
the Commissioner of Education.

Who may be admitted to these schools? By whom are appointments


made? By whom approved? What certificates of proficiency are
accepted ?

To what privileges are pupils entitled? Who may dismiss pupils? For
what reasons? Upon what conditions are non-resident pupils admitted?
Who are non-resident pupils? What amount is the State Comptroller
authorized to pay each year for the support and education of Indian
youth in these schools? How many of such youth may be educated from
such fund? How are they chosen? What must be their age? How
many years may they attend these schools? Who is made guardian of
these pupils? What amount may be expended each year upon these

What courses of study do these school have? Are these courses
uniform? By whom are they prescribed? Who receive diplomas from
these schools? By whom are such diplomas prepared? By whom are
they signed? What privilege do such diplomas confer? For what may
they be revoked?

How may tuition money be expended? Where must money derived
from insurance be deposited? What application may be made of such
money? What are academic departments in these schools? How were
they created? Who may attend these departments? Can non-resident
pupils be admitted? How may a teacher be removed? Give details of
the case relating to the removal of Principal Hoose, of Cortland.

What was the first law authorizing the retirement of State civil em-
ployees enacted in this State? To whom does it apply? Name the
various conditions under which such teachers may retire or be retired.
By whom is a retirement certificate issued? When? What amount is to
be paid a retired teacher? The maximum to a supervising official or a
princ'pal? To a teacher? The minimum amount? When is it payable?



[Article 36]
Where Established. — Previous to September i, 1900, the
school authorities of any city or of any incorporated village,
the schools of vvhich were organized under the union free-school
law or under special acts, possessed the power to establish
schools for colored children. The legislature of 1900 amended
the law relating to colored schools by repealing section 28. of
title 15 of the Consolidated School Law. The school authorities
of the cities and incorporated villages of the State are, there-
fore, prohibited from establishing schools for colored children.
This repealing act also contained a provision that no person
should be refused admission into or be excluded from any public
school in the State on account of race or color.

The only school districts, therefore, in which schools for col-
lored children may be established are union free-school districts
outside of cities and incorporated villages, and common-school
districts outside of cities and incorporated villages, which are
organized under special acts. Schools for colored children may
be organized in these districts when the inhabitants so direct by
a resolution at an annual meeting or special meeting regularly
called for that purpose.

Children Who May Attend. — When a separate school is
established for colored children in any district, the colored chil-
dren residents of such district between the ages of five and
twenty-one years are entitled to attend such separate school.


How Supported. — When separate colored schools are estab-
lished in any district such schools must be supported in the
same manner and to the same extent that schools are supported
in such districts for white children.

Equipment of Schools. — Colored schools are subject to the
same rules and regulations that control white schools, and the
facilities for instruction in colored schools must be equal to those
in the schools for white children.

Teachers. — The teachers employed in colored schools must
be legally qualified teachers.

[Article 35]

The schools of all the incorporated orphan asylum societies
in this State, except those in the city of New York, are subject
to the rules and regulations of the common schools of the city
or district in which such societies are located, but such schools
are under the immediate management and direction of such

These schools are entitled to participate in the apportionment
of the school moneys in the same manner and to the same
extent, in proportion to the number of children educated therein,
as are the common schools in the districts in which such societies
are located.

The presiding officer of each asylum maintaining a school
must make an annual report to the Commissioner of Education,
showing the number of pupils therein, the studies pursued by
them, the time devoted thereto, and the manner in which public
funds apportioned it have been expended.

[Article 37]
General Statement. — There are eight Indian reservations in
this State. On these reservations thirty-three Indian schools are


maintained, in which are employed thirty-six teachers. The
following tables gives important information relative to these
reservations for 1912:

Name of Reservation County of Location

Allegany Allegany 127

Cattaraugus Cattaraugus and Erie 140

Onondaga Onondaga 98

St. Regis Franklin and St. Lawrence 185

Shinnecock Suffolk 30

Ton-Rwanda Erie 87

Tusc rora Niagara 41


Duty of Commissioner of Education. — The Commissioner of
Education is charged with general supervision of the Indian
schools. He should ascertain the needs and character of the
education of the various Indian bands in the State, and provide
schools in such places as he deer.s necessary. He employs all
necessary teachers, truant officers, and other assistants and
employees and fixes their salaries. He erects school buildings
when funds are appropriated therefor.

Co-operation of Indians. — The Commissioner of Education
is charged with obtaining the co-operation of the several bands
of Indians in supporting the schools established for their benefit.
He is required to visit their reservations, or delegate some repre-
sentative to vi>t them, to discuss means of improvement and
education with them in public assembly and to induce them,
if possible, to donate land, material, labor, and public funds for
the erection of suitable buildings.

Protection, to Title. — When any of the Indian land shall have
been given for occupancy or use for school purposes the right
or title of Indians to such land should be protected. The right
of the State to rei^ove or otherwise dispose of all improvements



made at the expense of the State should be reserved in all

Annual Appropriation. — For the purpose of executing the
provisions of law relating to Indian schools, the legislature makes
an annual appropriation. This money is paid by the State
Treasurer on the warrant of the Comptroller to the order of
the Commissioner of Education, from time to time, as such
money is needed. Special appropriations from the general fund
are sometimes made by the legislature for repairs and improve-
ments on the school property of reservations.

Vouchers and Receipts. — The Commissioner of Education is
required to file in his office vouchers and receipts for all ex-
penditures made under the provisions of this chapter.

Report to Legislature. — The Commissioner of Education is
required to report annually to the legislature the condition of
Indian schools.

[Article 38]

Duty of Commissioner of Education. — All institutions for
the instruction of the deaf and dumb and blind, and all other
similar institutions incorporated under the laws of this State
are under the inspection and supervision of the Commissioner
of Education. He should ascertain the expenditures of each
institution, the system of instruction pursued therein, and the
condition of the lodgings and acco imiodations of the pupils.

He should ascertain by comparing these institutions with
similar institutions whether improvements in instruction and
discipline can be made. For this purpose he may appoint per-
sons to visit these institutions. He should also suggest to the
directors of these institutions and to the State legislature those
improvements and changes which in his judgment are deemed

Annual Report. — The Commissioner of Education is required
to make an annual report to the State legislature on all matters


relating to these institutions ; particularly to the condition ot
the schools, the improvement of the pupils, and their treatment
in respect to board and lodging.

Eligibility of Appointments of Deaf and Dumb Persons.
— A deaf and dumb person to receive an appointment as a State
pupil to an institution for the deaf and dumb must possess the
following qualifications : Such person must be upwards of twelve
years of age and have been a resident of the State for one year
immediately preceding his or her application for admission to
such institution ; or, if a minor, the parent or parents, or if an
orphan, the nearest friend must have been a resident of this
State for one year immediately preceding the application for an
appointment as a State pupil.

Eligibility of Blind Persons for Appointment as State
Pupils. — All blind persons of suitable age (no specific age re-
quired by law) who possess the same qualifications in regard
to residence as deaf and dumb candidates, may be appointed
State pupils as follows:

All those who are residents of Nassau, New York, Kings,
Queens, Suffolk, Richmond, Westchester, Putnam, and Rock-
land shall be appointed to the Institution for the Blind in New
York city. Those residing in all other counties in the State
should be appointed to the Batavia institution.

By Whom Appointments are Made. — Appointments of State
pupils to any of these institutions, except the Institution for the
Blind in Batavia, are made by the Commissioner of Education
upon application. In making such appointments the Commis-
sioner of Education may impose the condition, in the case of
parents or guardians or friends who have sufficient means, that
some portion of the expense of educating and clothing such
pupil shall be borne by the parent, guardian or friend. The Com-
missioner also has the authority to modify such conditions when-
ever he deems it wise to do so. Appointments to the Batavia
institution are made to the board of trustees, and must be
approved by the county judge or county clerk of the county or


the supervisor or town clerk of the town or the mayor of the
city in which the apphcant resides.

Support of State Pupils. — A State pupil appointed to any
of these institutions must be provided vvirh board, lodging, and
tuition. The Deaf and Dumb institutions and the Blind institu-
tions are entitled to receive such sum for each puph to be paid
quarterly as the legislature appropriates. State pupils who are
children of indigent parents or guardians are supplied with
clothing by the counties from which they are appointed.

The treasurer of each institution should present a bill showmg
the number of pupils and the time each pupil attended, to the
State Comptroller for audit and payment.

This bill must b^ signed and verified by oath of the president
and secretary of the institution. The bill is paid by the State
Treasurer on the w^arrant of the Comptroller.

Term of Instruction. — The regular term of instruction for
each pupil is five years, but th^ Commissioner of Education may
extend such time not to exceed three years. He may also ex-
tend the term to cover three years of instruction beyond the ele-
mentary course.

Regulations for Admission of Pupils. — The Commissioner
of Education may establish regulations to require the admission
of pupils at these institutions at regular periods.

The legislature of 1897 authorized the Albany Home School
for the Oral Instruction of the Deaf to receive deaf and dumb
persons who are eligible to appointment, and who are more than
twelve years of age. The Commissioner of Education is also
authorized to make appointments to this institution.

County ..vast Supply Clothing. — If a parent or guardian of
a State pupil in any of the institutions for the deaf and dumb
is unable to furnish such pupil clothing, the board of super-
visors of the county from which such pupil was appointed must
raise each year for each of such pupils the sum of $30 for
supplying clothing to such pupils.

Payment for Aid to Blind Pupils Attending College. — The
trustees of any college, university, technical or professional
school located in this State, authorized to confer degrees


except an institution for the instruction of the bhnd, may
designate bhnd students in attendance upon such institu-
tions who are residents of this State as tit persons to
receive special aid in doing the work required in such institution.
Persons may be employed to read to such blind students from
the text books or pamphlets used by such students in their
studies at a compensation of $300 per year.

The treasurer of any of such institutions after the beginning
of a school year may present to the State comptroller a verified
statement showing the number of blind students regularly
matriculated and working for a degree. No other student can
be included. The Comptroller will issue his warrant and thereon
the State Treasurer will pay to the treasurer of such institution
the amount to which the institution is entitled. The trustees of
the institution will then disburse the moneys for the purposes

Instruction for Blind Babies, etc.— The Commissioner of
Education may in his discretion appoint children twelve years
of age and under as State pupils in one of the homes for blind
babies and children maintained by the International Sunshine
Society, Brooklyn Home for Blind, Crippled and Defective
Children and the Catholic Institute for the Blind. When these
children are thus appointed to one of these homes the home re-
ceiving them is entitled to the same compensation that other in-
stitutions receive which may accept State blind pupils.


In what school districts may a board of education establish schools
for colored children without a vote of the district? In what districts
is a vote required before a board can establish such schools? Who are
entitled to attend such colored schools? How are such schools sup-
ported? How should such schools be equipped? What teachers must
be employed?

How are the schools of the incorporated orphan asylum societies
related to the public school system? To what public money are they
entitled? What report must be filed with the Education Department?
What is the duty of the Commissioner of Education in relation to
Indian schools? When may he CRuse school buildings to be erected
on Indian reservations? What co-operation of the Indians should he
enlist? What protection to title should be given to Indians when their


land is used for school purposes? What right should be reserved to
the State? What amount is annually appropriated for this purpose?
How is this money paid? What s done with the vouchers and receipts?
What reports must be maue in relation to Indian reservations?

What jurisdiction has the Commissioner of Education over Deaf and
Dumb and Blind institutions? What knowledge of the work of these
institutions should he possess? What report in relation to these insti-
tutions must be made? Who are eligible to appointment as State deaf
and dumb pupils? Who are eligible to appointment as S:ate pupils
to blind institutions? By whom are these appointments made? In
making these appointments what conditions may the Commissioner ot
Education impose? How are these State pupils supported? To whom
are bills for these expenses presented? In what form? By whom
are they paid? What is the regular period of instruction? What ex-
tension may be granted'. Who adopts the regulations for admission of
these pupils? What institution was authorized by the legislature of
1897 to receive deaf and dumb pupils for instruction? When must a
county provide pupils with clothing? Explain the conditions under
which payments will be made by the State to assist blind pupils in at-
tendance upon college?


[Article 34]

Who May Appeal. — Any person considering himself aggrieved
under the provisions of this title of the Education Law may
bring an appeal to the Commissioner of Education for judicial

Action Appealable. — Any action of a school district meeting,
of a trustee of any school district, of a supervisor in relation
to school moneys, of a district superintendent or other officer
relating to the boundaries of school districts, or an apportion-
ment of school moneys, or the action of any of the foregoing
concerning any other matter under the Education Law, or per-
taining in any way to the common-school system, may be re-
viewed by the Commissioner of Education on appeal to him in
due form.

Judicial Authority. — The Commissioner of Education is a
judicial as well as an executive officer. The administration of
the school system through local officers and the action of school
district meetings give rise to numerous questions which must
be settled by some judicial authority. It is important that these
numerous questions shall be settled at an early date and with
the least expense possible. To meet this situation, the State
legislature has conferred upon the Commissioner of Education
the power to hear and determine questions of this kind in the
same manner that they are heard and determined by courts.
Several hundred appeals are decided by the commissioner each
year, and since vesting this power in the chief officer of the
education system over 10,000 appeals have been decided by him.

Powers of Commissioner. — Under this title of the education
law the Commissioner of Education is given power to regulate


the practice under which appeals shall be brought under his
jurisdiction. He may render a decision on the law and the facts
submitted and make any order necessary to give force and effect
to his decision.

Decision Not Reviewable. — The decision of the Commissioner
of Education on an appeal brought before him by an aggrieved
party from any decision made by a school district meeting,
by any school district officer, by a supervisor in relation to pay-
ment of school moneys, or an appeal brought before him by
any other official act or decision pertaining to the school system
of the State, is final and conclusive and cannot be reviewed by
any court.

Decision Reviewable. — An original application to the Com-
missioner of Education to act in a case where no action has
been taken before, is not an appeal to the Commissioner of Edu-
cation from any decision of an officer or body. It is a direct
application to the commissioner to exercise a power which is
original and not appellate. An application, therefore, to the
commissioner to remove a trustee of a school district is not
an appeal in the sense in which this term is used in the education
law. The action of the commissioner in a case of this kind
was held to be reviewable by the courts. (159 N. Y. 162.)

The law was amended in 1910 providing that the Commis-
sioner of Education could institute such proceedings as the
education law authorizes and that his decision in any such
proceeding or in any case brought to him for determination on
petition or appeal should be final and not subject to review. The
decision of the commissioner therefore in a case where he acts
originally would seem to be final and not reviewable by the

Rules of Practice. — The Commissioner of Education has pre-
scribed the following rules to govern the practice of appeals :

I. An appeal must be in writing, addressed " To the Com-
missioner of Education," stating the grounds upon which it is
taken, and signed by the appellant or appellants. The appeal
must be verified by the oath of the appellant or appellants.


When the appeal is made by the trustees of a district, it must

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Online LibraryThomas E. (Thomas Edward) FineganA text book on New York school law, including the revised education law, the decisions of courts and the rulings and decisions of state superintendents and the commissioner of education, prepared for the use of normal schools, training classes, teachers and school officers → online text (page 21 of 25)