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; online

. (page 21 of 24)
Online LibraryThomas 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; → online text (page 21 of 24)
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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.

ORPHAN SCHOOLS
[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
societies.

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.

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



254



NEW YORK SCHOOL LAW



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

o ec
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- wanda Erie 87

Tuscarora Niagara 41

708

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 deems 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 visit 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 remove or otherwise dispose of all improvements



SCHOOLS FOR DEAF AND BLIND 255

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

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.

DEAF AND DUMB AND BLIND INSTITUTIONS
[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 accommodations 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
wise.

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



256 NEW YORK SCHOOL LAW

relating to these institutions ; particularly to the condition of
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, Xew York, Kings,
Oueens, SufTolk, 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



SCHOOLS FOR DEAF AND BLIND 257

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

Support of State Pupils.— A State pupil appointed to any
of these institutions must be provided with board, lodging, and
tuition. The Deaf and Dumb institutions and the Blind institu-
tions are entitled to receive such sum for each pupil 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 showing
the number of pupils and the time each pupil attended, to the
State Comptroller for audit and payment.

This bill must be signed and verified by oath of the president
and secretary of the institution. The bill is paid by the State
Treasurer on the warrant of the Comptroller.

Term of Instruction.— The regular term of instruction for
each pupil is five years, but the 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 Most Supply Clothing.-If a parent or guardian of
a State pupil ln any of the institutions for the deaf and dumb
$ 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



258 NEW YORK SCHOOL LAW

except an institution fur the instruction of the blind, may
designate blind students in attendance upon such institu-
tions who are residents of this State as fit 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. Xo 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
aforesaid.

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 hemes the home re-
ceiving them is entitled to the same compensation that other in-
stitutions receive which may accept State blind pupils.

REVIEW QUESTIONS

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 tiled with the Education Department?
What is the duty of the Commissioner of Education in relation to
Indian schools? When may he cause 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



REVIEW QUESTIONS 259

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 is done with the vouchers and receipts?
What reports must be made 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 State pupils
to blind institutions? By whom are these appointments made? In
making these appointments what conditions may the Commissioner of
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?



CHAPTER XXVI

APPEALS TO THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION
[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
determination.

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



APPEALS TO THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION 261

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
courts.

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

1. 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.



262 NEW YORK SCHOOL LAW

When the appeal is made by the trustees of a district, it must
be signed by all the trustees, or a reason must be given for the
omission of any, verified by the oath of the appellant, or of
some person acquainted with such reason.

2. A copy of the appeal, and of all the statements, maps and
papers intended to be presented in support of it, with the
affidavit in verification of the same, must be served on the officer
or officers whose act or decision is complained of, or some of
them ; or if it be from the decision or proceeding of a district
meeting, upon the district clerk or one of the trustees, whose
duty it is to cause information of such appeal to be given to
the inhabitants who voted for the decision.

3. Such service must be made by delivering a copy of the
appeal to the party to be served personally, or, in case he cannot
be found in the supervisory district in which he resides, after
due diligence, by delivering and leaving the same at his resi-
dence, with some person of suitable age and discretion, between
six o'clock in the morning and nine o'clock in the evening.

4. Immediately after the service of such copy, the original,
together with an affidavit proving the service of a copy thereof
and stating the time and manner of the service and the name
and official character of the person upon whom such service was
made, must be transmitted to the Education Department at
Albany.

5. Such original appeal and all papers, etc., annexed thereto,
with proof of service of copies, as required by rules 3 and 4,
must be sent to the Education Department within thirty days
after the making of the decision or the performance of the
act complained of or within that time after the knowledge of the
cause of complaint came to the appellant, or some satisfactory
excuse must be rendered in the appeal for the delay. If an
answer is received to an appeal which has not been transmitted
to the Department, such appeal will be dismissed.

6. The party upon whom an appeal shall be served must,
within ten days from the time of such service, unless further



APPEALS TO THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION 263

time be given by the Commissioner of Education, on application,
answer the same, either by concurring in a statement of facts
with the appellant or by a separate answer, and of all affidavits,
papers, maps, etc., in support thereof. Such statement and
answer must be signed by all the trustees or other officers whose
act, omission or decision is appealed from, or a good reason,
on oath, must be given for the omission of the signature of any
of them. Such answer must be verified by oath and a copy
thereof and of all the statements, maps, papers, etc., intended
to be presented in support thereof, served on the appellants or
some one of them, in like manner as is provided in rule 3 for
the service of a copy of an appeal.

7. Immediately after the service of a copy of such answer
and the statements, papers, etc., presented in support thereof,
the original answer and papers, etc., together with an affidavit
of the service of such copy and stating the time and manner
of the service and the name and official character of the person
upon whom such service was made, as hereinbefore provided
for the service of a copy of an appeal, must be transmitted to
the Education Department, at Albany.

8. No reply, replication or rejoinder shall be allowed, except
by permission of the Commissioner of Education in which case
such reply, replication and rejoinder must be duly verified by
oath, and copies thereof served on the opposite party. Imme-
diately after the service of such copy, the original, together with
an affidavit of such service, and stating the time and manner
of the service and the name and official character of the person
upon whom such service was made, must be transmitted to the
Education Department, at Albany.

9. So far as the parties concur in a statement, no oath will
be required to it. But all facts, maps or papers, not agreed upon
by them and evidenced by their signature on both sides, must
be verified by oath.

10. When any proceeding of a district meeting is appealed
from, and when the inhabitants of a district generally are inter-



264 NEW YORK SCHOOL LAW

ested in the matter of the appeal and in all cases where an
inhabitant might be an appellant had the decision or proceeding
been the opposite of that which was made or had, any one or
more of such inhabitants may answer the appeal, with or without
the trustees.

11. When the appeal has relation to the alteration or forma-
tion of a school district, it must be accompanied by a map, ex-
hibiting the site of the school-house, the roads, the old and new
lines of districts, the different lots, the particular location, and
distance from the school-houses of the persons aggrieved, and
their relative distance, if there are two or more school-houses
in question; also, a list of all the taxable inhabitants in the dis-
trict or territory to be affected by the question, showing in
separate columns the valuation of their property, taken from
the last assessment-roll, and the number of children between
five and twenty-one belonging to each person, distinguishing the
districts to which they respectively belong.

12. An appeal, of itself, does not stay the proceedings. If
the party desires such stay he should apply for it by petition,
stating the facts why such stay should be made, duly verified.
The commissioner will grant a stay, or not, as in his judgment
it may be proper, or may subserve the interests of either party
or the public ; and may direct a copy of the petition to be served
on the opposite party and a hearing of both sides before deciding
upon the application.

13. The affidavit of verification, required by these rules to
an appeal, answer, reply, replication and rejoinder, must be to
the effect that the same is true to the knowledge of the affiant,
except as to the matters therein stated to be alleged on informa-
tion and belief, and that as to those matters he believes it to
be true.

14. All oaths required by these rules may be taken before
any person authorized to take affidavits.

15. All appeals and other papers therein must be fairly and
legibly written ; and if not so written, may, in the discretion
of the commissioner, be returned to the parties.



REVIEW QUESTIONS 265

16. When any party, appellant or respondent, is not repre-
sented on the appeal by any attorney, the name of such party,
with the names of the district, town and county and his post-
office address must be indorsed upon each paper of the party so
represented, filed in the Department on such appeal ; and when
represented by an attorney, the name of such attorney, with
name of the district, town and county affected and his post-office
address, must be so indorsed upon each paper of the party so
represented, filed in the Department on such appeal.

17. Submission of appeals may be made upon the papers filed
therein, with or without oral argument, or the filing of briefs,
as the commissioner, upon application, may determine.

18. The decision of the commissioner in every case will con-
tain the order, or directions, necessary and proper for giving
effect to his decisions.

19. A decision upon an appeal will be forwarded by the
commissioner to the clerk of the school district in which the
appeal arose, or the town clerk of the town, when the appeal
relates to the alteration of a district in which the order appealed
from is filed, w r hose duty it will be to file the same in his office
as a public record.

The Appellate Division of the Third Department held in
Walrath vs. The Board of Education of the City of Troy, in
March, 1906, that a writ of certiorari could not be issued to
review the action of the Board in dismissing Walrath as prin-


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Online LibraryThomas 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; → online text (page 21 of 24)