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 9 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 9 of 24)
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election, of a union free-school district whose boundaries do not
coincide with those of an incorporated village or a city, must
occur at the annual meeting of such district, which takes place
on the first Tuesday in May in each year, except in districts hav-
ing over 300 children of school age, when the election may be
held as hereinafter stated.

The election of trustees in a union free-school district zvhose
boundaries do coincide with those of an incorporated village or
a city, must occur on the date of the annual charter election of
such incorporated village or city. The trustees in these districts
should be elected in the same manner as the other officers of
such incorporated village or city arc elected. The ballots used
in Mich election must be separated from the ballots for the other
officers to be chosen at such election and must be endorsed
" School Trustees."

Method of Election. — These officers must be chosen by ballot.
The ballots may be printed or written or partly printed and partly
written. Ballot-boxes should be provided for the purpose. In-
spectors should be chosen by the meeting, who should receive
all the ballots, deposit them in the ballot-boxes, and, after the



UNION FREE-SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICERS H3

polls have closed, canvass the votes and announce the result. The
candidate receiving a majority of all votes cast is duly elected.

Classification of Trustees. — When a union free-school district
is organized, the officers chosen at the first election shall be
divided into three classes to be known as the first, the second,
and the third class. The first class shall hold office for one year
from the next annual meeting, if the district is one whose boun-
daries do not coincide with those of an incorporated village or a
city ; and if the district is one whose boundaries do so coincide,
then such first class shall hold office for one year from the date
on which the next annual charter election of such incorporated
village or city occurs. The second and the third class shall like-
wise hold office for two and three years respectively from these
dates, according to the boundaries of the district.

Term of Office. — After the expiration of the term of office
of trustees elected at the first meeting of a union free-school dis-
trict newly organized, the term of office of trustees of such dis-
trict is three years from the date of their election. A year in
this sense means from the first day of August to the thirty-first
day of July following.

Trustees Form a Board of Education. — The trustees of union
free-school districts constitute the boards of education for those
districts. The board of education of a district is known and
designated as the " Board of Education of district number



of the town of "

Eligibility of Trustees. — In order to be eligible to hold the
office of trustee, or to become a member of a board of education
in a union free-school district, a person must be a citizen of the
United States, and a voter of the district in which such person
is elected, and must also be able to read and write. Women
possessing these qualifications are eligible the same as men. Not
more than one member of a family can serve on a board of edu-
cation in any district at the same time.

A district superintendent or supervisor is not eligible to be a
member of a board of education. Hence, if a member of a board



LLA NEW YORK SCHOOL LAW

of education should accept either of these offices he would thus
vacate his office as such member.

Vacancies — How Filled, etc. — Vacancies in boards of educa-
tion in any union free-school district may occur by death, by
resignation, by refusal to serve, by removal from district, or by
removal from office. When a vacancy does occur from any of
these catises^ the board of education should fill such vacancy at
once by appointment. If the board of education should fail to
fill such vacancy within thirty days from the date on which it
occurred and if such vacancy is not filled by special election of
the district within that time, the district superintendent having
jurisdiction may appoint a qualified person to fill such vacancy.
The Commissioner of Education has the authority to order a
special election to fill a vacancy in a board in any district, and
when such special election has been ordered, the vacancy shall
not be supplied in any other manner.

Removal from Office. — A board of education has the author-
ity to remove any member of the board for official misconduct.
The member charged with such conduct should be furnished with
a written copy of specific charges, at least ten days before the
date fixed for the hearing. The accused member should also be
allowed a fair and impartial opportunity to refute the charges
preferred against him.

A member of a board of education may also be removed by
the Commissioner of Education for sufficient cause.

In this procedure also, the accused member must receive notice
of the charges standing against him and must have a fair chance
to refute or disprove them. A willful failure to perform any
duty required of him by the Commissioner of Education or a
lack of proper diligence in obeying an order of such Commis-
sioner, or any other willful violation or neglect of duty is suffi-
cient cause for removal from office by such Commissioner.

Boards Bodies Corporate. — All boards of education are cor-
porate bodies, and all school districts municipal corporations.

Annual Meetings of Boards of Education. — The annual meet-



UNION FREE-SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICERS 115

ing of a board of education of a union free-school district whose
boundaries do not correspond to those of an incorporated village
or a city, is held on the first Tuesday in August of each year.

But the annual meeting of a board of education of a district
whose boundaries correspond to those of an incorporated village
or a city is held on the first Tuesday following the date on which
the annual charter election of such village or city is held.

Boards Select Their President. — At the first meeting of a
board of education and at each annual meeting thereafter, such
board shall elect one of their number president.

Appointment of Clerk of the Board. — The board of educa-
tion of a district whose boundaries do not coincide with those
of an incorporated village or a city may appoint one of their
number, or some other qualified voter of the district, who is not
a teacher employed therein, clerk of the board of education.
The clerk must perform the clerical work of the district and
of the board, and is entitled to the compensation fixed by the
district meeting. If the district meeting fails to fix the com-
pensation of the clerk, the board of education should fix it.

If a vacancy occurs in the office of clerk, such vacancy may
be supplied by appointment by the board of education.

In a union free-school district whose boundaries coincide with
those of an incorporated village or a city, the clerk of such
village or city usually acts as clerk of the board of education.

Appointment of Treasurer and Collector. — The board of
education of a union free-school district whose boundaries do
not correspond to those of an incorporated village or a city, has
authority to appoint a district treasurer and a collector. These
officers hold their appointments subject to the pleasure of the
board. The treasurer is to hold and disburse upon the orders
of the board the moneys of the district. The collector should
collect the taxes on all tax-lists placed in his hands for that
purpose and pay over such money to the treasurer.



HO NEW YORK SCHOOL LAW

In a district whose boundaries do coincide with those of an
incorporated village or a city, the treasurer and the collector
of such village or city act as the treasurer and the collector of
such district.

Bonds of Treasurer and Collector. — The treasurer and the
collector shall each within ten days after written notice of their
appointment, and before entering upon the discharge of their
duties, execute and deliver to the board of education in the
amount which they may require, a bond with proper penalties
and sureties for the faithful discharge of their duties.

Failure to Execute Bonds. — If either the treasurer or the
collector should fail to execute the required bond within the
specified time, the office becomes vacant and the board should
iill it by appointing another person.

Librarian. — Boards of education have authority to appoint
from time to time such librarians as in their judgment are neces-
sary to take proper care of the libraries of the district.

Who May Vote for Officers in Union Free-School Districts.
— Where no provision is made by special enactment, the general
law defines the qualifications of voters at union free-school dis-
trict meetings. (See chapter on "Qualifications of voters.")
Persons coming within these provisions may vote for officers
at elections in these districts.

The right of women to vote for the election of officers in a
union free-school district whose boundaries coincide with those
of an incorporated village or a city, is frequently claimed. The
charters of cities or villages, or the special school acts govern-
ing the schools therein, in some eases contain a provision defining
who may vote for members of the board of education. In such
cases this special provision governs instead of the general law,
and by it women rnighl be debarred from voting. A provision
that persons entitled to vote for members of assembly in such
cities or villages would lie qualified to vote for school officers,
would exclude women ; but in the absence of any such special



UNION FREE-SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICERS II 7

provision women, as well as men, may vote for school officers,
if they possess the requisite qualifications.

Changing Number of Trustees.— I. If fifteen resident tax-
payers of a union free-school district whose limits correspond to
those of an incorporated village or city petition their board of
education for a special meeting to decide to change the number
of members of such board such special meeting must be called
at least 30 days prior to the annual charter election. If the
proposition to increase the number of members is adopted, such
additional members shall be elected at the next annual election.
If the proposition to decrease the number should be adopted no
member shall thereafter be elected until the number of members
is less than the number determined upon at such special meeting.

2. In a union free-school district whose boundaries are not
coincident with those of an incorporated village or a city the
board of education must include in its notice of the annual
meeting a statement that the proposition to increase or to decrease
the number of trustees will be voted upon at such annual meet-
ing if fifteen voters of the district file a request therefor with
such board. If the board fails or refuses to give such notice,
it may be given in the manner directed by the Commissioner of
Education. The question can not be legally voted upon unless
the notice is given.

If it is decided at the annual meeting to increase the number
of trustees, the meeting should elect the additional number agreed
upon and divide such number into classes whose terms expire
in one, two and three years respectively.

If it is decided to decrease the number of such trustees no
trustee shall be elected until the number is reduced to that deter-
mined upon at the annual meeting.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS IN DISTRICTS HAVING MORE THAN 3OO

CHILDREN

Action of District. — In a union free-school district having
more than 300 children of school age, which fact must be shown



Il8 NEW YORK SCHOOL LAW

by the last annual report of the board of education to the district
superintendent, a majority of the qualified voters at any annual
meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose, may
decide that the election of trustees shall be held on the Wednes-
day next following the date fixed by law for holding the annual
meeting of such district. L ntil such decision of the district
shall be changed, the time for holding the election of officers of
such district shall occur on such Wednesday, between the hours
of twelve o'clock noon and four o'clock p. m., and the trustees
may by a resolution extend the time of such election until sunset.

When Notice is Required. — When the holding of such elec-
tion is to be at some place other than the public school-house,
the trustees shall give notice of the place at which the election
is to be held, at least one week before the time for holding such
election. This notice must be given by publishing the same in
some newspaper of the district or by posting it in three con-
spicuous places in the district.

The election of members of the board of education in these
districts must not be confounded with the annual meeting. The
annual meeting of such districts must occur on the first Tuesday
in .May in each year, as required by law. All the business of
the district to be transacted at the meeting of such district must
be transacted at the annual meeting. The election of members
of the board of education only, must occur on the Jl'ednesday
following the annual meeting and no other business can be trans-
acted at that time.

Inspectors of Election. — The board of education shall act as
inspectors of election. If a majority of the members of the
board should not be present at the time the polls should open,
those members present may appoint any of the legal voters of
the district who are present to act as inspectors in the absence
of the members of the board. Tf none of the members of the
board are present at the time the polls should open, the legal
voters present may choose three of their own number to act
as inspectors.



UNION FREE-SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICERS II 9

Record of Voters. — The clerk of the board of education is
required by law to keep a record in a book provided for that
purpose of the names of all voters who deposit their ballots at
such elections.

Refusal to Keep Record. — Any such clerk who shall refuse
to keep such record or who shall neglect to perform his duties
in this respect shall forfeit a sum of twenty-rive dollars, to be
sued for by the supervisor of the town.

Challenge of Voters. — Any qualified voter at such elections
may challenge the right of any person to vote whom he has reason
to think is not entitled to vote at such election. Any person
thus challenged must make the following declaration before his
ballot can be accepted : "I do declare and affirm that I am and
have been for thirty days last past an actual resident of this
school district and that I am legally qualified to vote at this
election."

Upon a challenged party's making such declaration, the in-
spectors of election must accept his ballot.

Penalty for Illegal Voting. — Any person, who, being chal-
lenged, shall willfully make a false declaration of his right to
vote, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person not legally qualified
who shall vote at such election or district meeting, without being
challenged, shall forfeit the sum of ten dollars, to be sued for
by the supervisor of the town for the benefit of the school or
schools of the district.

Ballot-Boxes. — The board of education should provide at the
expense of the district suitable ballot-boxes, in which the ballots
of voters shall be deposited.

Ballots. — These officers must be elected by ballot. The ballots
used must be either printed or written, or partly printed and
partly written.

Canvass of Votes. — The inspectors shall count the votes cast,
after the polls have closed. If the number of ballots exceeds
the number of names on the poll-list kept by the clerk, the
inspectors shall withdraw ballots enough to make them corre-



120 NEW YORK SCHOOL LAW

spond. The inspectors shall then count the votes and announce
the number cast for each candidate. Those receiving a plurality
of the votes cast, are elected to the various offices for which they
received votes. The clerk should make a record of the result
announced by the inspectors.

Special Election. — Whenever the time passes on which an
election should be held, without the election's taking place, the
board of education may call a special meeting for such election.
If tiie board fails to call such election within twenty days after
such time has passed, the district superintendent having jurisdic-
tion, or the Commissioner of Education, may order any inhabi-
tant of the district to give notice of a special meeting for such
election. This notice must be given by being published in two
newspapers of the district once each week for four weeks, and
if two newspapers are not published in the district, but one is,
the notice may be published in such paper. If no paper is pub-
lished in the district, then such notice must be posted in at least
twenty of the most public places in the district at least twenty
days prior to the date on which the meeting is to be held.

Terms of Officers Chosen at Special Election. — The officers
chosen at a special election shall Serve three years from the date
of such election and until their successors shall have been elected
and qualified.

Settlement of Election Disputes. — .Ml disputes relating to
the regularity of these elections and to any acts of the inspectors
or clerk should be referred to the (Commissioner of Education
for settlement. Mis decision in such matters is final.

Limitation of These Provisions. — These provisions do not
apple to union free-school districts in cities, nor to any union
free-school district whose boundaries coincide with those of an
incorporated village. Nor can such provisions apply to any
union free-school district organized by a special art in which
the time and method of electing officers in such district shall be
fixed by a special provision which differs from the general law.
Nor do these provisions apply to any of the nnion free-school



REVIEW QUESTIONS 121

districts of the counties of Suffolk, Chenango, Warren, Erie,
and St. Lawrence. The election of officers in any union free-
school district of any of these counties, whose boundaries do
not coincide with those of an incorporated village or a city,
must be held on the first Tuesday in May, the date of the annual
meeting.

REVIEW QUESTIONS

How many trustees in a union free-school district? How is the number
determined ? When does the election of trustees in union free-school
districts whose boundaries do not coincide with the boundaries of an
incorporated village or a city occur? When in districts whose boundaries
do thus coincide? In the latter case how are such trustees elected?
What is the requirement relative to ballots ? In all cases how must
trustees be chosen? What kind of ballots must be used? How are
inspectors chosen at such election? What are their duties? How should
the first trustee of a union free-school district be classified ? For what
period does each class hold office? What is the regular term of office?
What is one year in this meaning?

What constitutes a board of education? How is a board of education
named? Who are eligible to membership on a board of education? Are
women eligible? When? How many members of a family may serve
on the same board? Is a school commissioner eligible? A supervisor?
If a member of a board of education should accept either of these
offices, what would be the result ? How may vacancies on a board
occur? When a vacancy does occur how should it be filled? Who
may order a special election to fill such vacancy? If it is not filled by the
board of education within twenty days and if a special meeting is not
called within that time, how may such vacancy be filled?

For what reasons may a board remove any of its members? What
are the proceedings in such cases? What privileges should be allowed the
accused member? By what other authority may a member of a board
be removed? What are considered sufficient causes for removal? What
are the proceedings in such cases? When is the annual meeting of a
board of education held? How is the president of a board of education
chosen? When?

How is a clerk chosen? What are the qualifications of a clerk?
What are a clerk's duties? Who determines the compensation of a clerk?
Who is clerk of the board of education of a union free-school district
whose boundaries coincide with those of an incorporated village or a city?

How is a treasurer chosen in a district whose boundaries coincide
with those of an incorporated village or a city? A collector? Who are
eligible to these offices? For what period are they appointed? What
is the dutv of the treasurer? Of the collector? What bond must each



122 YORK SCHOOL LAW

of these officers give? Within what period? For what amount? What
is the effect if these bonds are not given? How are such vacancies ruled?
What is the duty of a board in relation to librarians ?

Who arc entitled to vote for officers in union free-school districts?
In what cases may ■women vote for these officers? In what cases are
they not entitled to vote? Explain fully how the number of trustees
may be changed in each class of union free-school districts.

What union free-school districts may elect officers on the Wednesday
following the annual meeting? When? Between what hours must such
election occur? Until what time may the election be extended? Where
is such election held? When may it be held elsewhere? W'hat notice
irmst be given of such change of place ? W nat business only can be
transacted at such election? When must the annual meeting of such
district be held?

Who act as inspectors at such election? If a majority of the board
are not present at the opening of the polls, how are such vacancies filled?
If none of the members of the board are present, how are inspectors
chosen? What poll-list should be kept? By whom? What is the penalty
for refusal to serve in this capacity ?

Who may offer a challenge at such election? What affirmation must the
challenged person make? Upon his making such affirmation what must
the inspectors do? What is the penalty for making a false declaration?
What is the penalty for illegal voting when not challenged? How is
such fine collected? For what purpose should it be used?

By whom should ballot-boxes be supplied? Flow must officers be
elected at these elections? What kind of ballots may be used? Describe
bow the votes cast should be counted?

When should a board of education call a meeting for a special election?
When may a district superintendent order such election? The Com-
missioner of Education? What notice must be given of such election?
For what period are the officers elected at such special meeting chosen?'
How are all disputes relating to such elections settled? To what dis-
tricts do not these provisions for election of officers apply?



CHAPTER XIII

BOARD OF EDUCATION — POWERS AND DUTIES
[Article n]

Adopt By-Laws for its Government. — A board of education
has authority under the law to adopt such by-laws and rules
for its government as it shall deem necessary to discharge prop-
erly the duties imposed upon it by law.

Adopt Regulations for Schools. — A board has authority also
to adopt such rules and regulations as it shall deem wise and
necessary for the promotion of the educational interests of the
district, for the preservation of order and discipline in the
schools, and for the protection of the district's property.

While a board has authority to adopt general rules to govern
a school and to aid in the discipline thereof, such authority must
not be construed as giving the board absolute power to control
the discipline and order of the school. General rules may be
adopted by the board, but the teacher is the authority to execute
such rules, and may determine a mode of punishment not in
conflict with the rules of the board. A teacher has authority
also to establish such rules for the preservation of order as
are not in conflict with the rules adopted by the board.

Courses of Study. — It is the duty of boards of education to
arrange courses of study for the schools under their jurisdic-
tion, to determine in what manner pupils shall be graded or
classified, and to determine the basis upon which pupils shall be
promoted from grade to grade, or from one department to an-
other department.

By special provision of law, boards of education are required
to provide for instruction in physiology and hygiene, with



124 NEW YORK SCHOOL LAW

special reference to the effects of alcoholic stimulants and nar



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 9 of 24)