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Code of Public Instruction
Opinions of the Attorney Generals, Citations from
for the guidance of
One of the duties of the Superintendent of Public Instruction is the publication at timely seasons of the laws of the state relating to the administration of the public schools. It is now four years
since the Code of Public Instruction was issued. In the two subsequent sessions of the legislature, while the school laws were not materially changed, important amendments were made and new legislation enacted rendering imperative the general demand for a new edition of the school code. Accordingly this Code of Public Instruction has been compiled and issued for the benefit of the school officers of the state.
Since a full knowledge of the school laws of the state is necessary before officers responsible for the administration of the schools can properly discharge their duties, it has seemed wise to prepare not only a complete code, but to prepare it in such a way that the use of the code may be facilitated in every possible manner. This code, therefore, has followed the regular method of the codification of laws. All the laws dealing with the common schools, the higher institutions of learning, the state charitable institutions, and relating to the control of children have been compiled and fully annotated. After each section, has been placed all matter that explains or modifies the meaning of the section, including the opinions of the Attorney Generals or their assistants, citations from decisions of the Supreme Court, and cross references to related sections in the laws. In this respect it differs from preceding editions of the code. It is the hope and belief, however, that this arrangement will prove most helpful to all persons who make frequent use of the code.
No such complete edition could have been prepared had not Attorney General W. V. Tanner graciously offered the services of his department in the preparation of the code. The work of compiling and editing has been done by Mr. William J. Coyle, of the Attorney General's office. The conscientious and thor
ough way in which Mr. Coyle has performed his task is attested all through the work and has earned for him a high tribute of praise from school officers.
Among the changes made in the 1911 and 1913 sessions of the legislature, which are specially important, are the following:
1. An act providing for the wider use of the school plant.
to be accepted from certificates granted in certain other
3. An act allowing union high school districts to be dis
solved by a three-fifths vote at any time after five years
from date of organization.
of school age attending private schools be credited to
5. A new Juvenile Court law.
6. A new act governing the State Institution for the Fee
7. An act making a division of the State School for the
Deaf and Blind into the State School for the Blind and
8. A law requiring county commissioners to levy a sinking
fund at the expiration of one-half the time for which
bonds are issued.
for school districts in all actions involving legal proced
I wish to urge all county superintendents and school district officers to familiarize themselves thoroughly with this code. We are called upon to answer hundreds of questions on the school law where the inquirer has simply failed to look up the matter in the code. A full index has been provided so that all points of law may be quickly referred to. School officers should study carefully the special portions of the code treating of their duties. In addition they should read the other provisions of the laws relating to the common schools. Time spent in a careful perusal of the law is time employed most profitably. Especially is this true with regard to laws governing the expenditure of funds.
The State Superintendent will answer legal questions from county superintendents. District officers and school patrons desiring information on points of school law should communicate with their county superintendent rather than with the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Superintendent of Public Instruction. Olympia, Washington, August 1, 1913.