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See EDUCATION; MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS.
I. DEPARTMENT OF COMMON SCHOOLS. 46. How property to be divided on formation of a
new district. 1. Superintendent of common schools to be ap
47. Formation of new districts to be certified. pointed. Removal. Vacancies. Governor to commu
48. Power of the courts to change school districts. nicate causes of removal.
49. Proceedings by view and review. 2. Salary.
50. When decree may be vacated. 3. Security. Duties, &c.
51. Court may vacate decree annexing land for 4. To settle controversies.
school purposes. 5. To give information relative to school laws. 6. To sign orders for state appropriation.
V. INDEPENDENT DISTRICTS. 7. To prepare forms, and forward them for distribution.
52. Independent districts abolished. 8. To make annual reports to the legislature.
53. When act abolishing independent districts to 9. To procure a seal, and appoint clerks.
take effect. 10. To remove county superintendents, in certain
54. Proceedings to continue independent districts.
How rights of property to be determined. Notice. 11. Pennsylvania School Journal to be official
55. Duties of assessors. organ.
56. Election of school directors in independent dis
tricts. II. STATE APPROPRIATION,
57. How independent districts may be formed. 12. Basis of distribution.
Costs. 13. Failure of commissioners to forward certifi
58. Proceedings upon erection of independent dis
tricts. cate. 14. Error in certificate.
59. Duties of county commissioners. 15. Formation of new district.
60. Construction of act 8 May 1855. Court may 16. Non-accepting districts which have put schools
vacate decree erecting independent district. in operation to be entitled to back appropriations.
61. When independent districts may be abolished. 17. And those that shall do so prior to 1870.
62. Elections in independent districts regulated. 18. Additional state appropriation.
19. Appropriations to districts formed after tri- VI. EXECUTION AGAINST SCHOOL DISTRICTS. ennial assessments.
63. How judgment creditors may have execution. 20. Basis of distribution.
VII. COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS.
64. Duty of county superintendents. 21. Assessment of school tax. Amount thereof. 65. To see that certain branches are taught. To
22. County commissioners to furnish adjusted val. provide competent teachers. uation.
66. Election of county superintendent. 23. Apportionment of tax.
07. Salary. Directors may increase. 24. Tax ollectors to be appointed. Compensa- 68. Repealing clause. tion. Warrant. Abatements. Constable or treasurer 69. Examination of teachers. Certificates. may be appointed. Penalty for refusal to act.
70. Annual reports. 25. Collectors to give bond.
71. Superintendent of common schools to give 26. Special tax may be assessed for building school- notice of the triennial convention of directors. houses.
72. Vacancies. 27. Tax on unseated lands.
73. Increase of salary of county superintendent. 28. Duty of assessors.
74. Oath. 29. When warrant to issue for state appropriation. 75. Name and address to be certified to the super
30. Boroughs and townships to assess separate intendent of common schools. Commission. Contested school taxes. Duties of officers.
election. 31. What property to be liable to taxation.
76. Qualifications. Evidence of qualification to be 32. Tax collectors to be township officers, &c. furnished with certificate of election. Commission. Directors, &c., to be exempt from serving as collectors. 77. Ottice to be provided for county superintend33. Taxes on watches and carriages.
ent. 34. On trust property.
78. Repealing clause. 35. Balances due by collectors may be filed. Effect 79. County superintendent not to engage in teachthereof. Execution.
ing. 36. Collection of school tax.
80. Violation to be cause of removal. 37. Duties of treasurer. Abatements. 38. Warrants to issue against defaulters. Com
VIII. CITY AND BOROUGH SUPERINTENDpensation of collector. 39. Exceptions.
ENTS. 40. No tax to be assessed for certain purposes, 81. Election authorized. Qualifications. Term. pending proceedings for the division of a district, &c. 82. Certificate of election. Commission.
83. Not to be subject to county superintendent. IV. COMMON SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
State appropriation. Directors not to vote for county
superintendent. 41. Common school system declared general. What 81. Separate annual teachers' institutes. Comcomposes a school district. Common school fund es
mittee on permanent certificates. tablished.
85. Oath. Duties. 42. School districts divided into wards. Powers to be exercised by controllers. When such districts to
IX. SCHOOL DIRECTORS AND CONTROLLERS. be consolidated. 43. When new districts to be recognized.
86. When and how directors to be elected. Term 4. Balance of funds, how divided, on formation of of office. new district.
87. Returns, how made. Persons elected to be 45. When alteration of districts to take effect. notified. Contested elections, how decided. Effect thereof. Division of property. Decree and 88. How vacancies to be filled. execution.
89. When seats of electors may be declared vacant. 191. To be opened without delay. Contiguous dis131. Duties.
90. When all the directors refuse to perform their 137. Power to hold real and personal estate. duties, the court to appoint.
138. Trustees to make annual reports to superin91. To be exempt from certain offices, and militia tendent. Visitations. duty.
139. Requisites of such schools. Buildings, &c. 92. To receive no compensation.
140. Hall, lodging-rooms and refectories. 93. Election of directors, &c., in case of a tie. 141. Library. Elections to fill vacancies.
142. Professors. 94. School directors to be sworn.
144. Model schools. X. OFFICERS AND MEETINGS OF THE BOARD. 145. Qualifications for admission.
146. Text-books. 95. Organization of directors and controllers.
147. What students to be received. Examination. 96. Duties of the president.
148. Compensation from other students. 97. Duties of the secretary. Compensation.
149. Admission of teachers from common schools. 98. When president or secretary pro tem. may be 150. Examinations for graduation. chosen.
151. Power to expel. 99. Treasurer to give bond. His powers and duties.
152. Examination of schools claiming to be ad100. Meetings of directors and controllers.
mitted to the privileges of normal schools. 101. Settlement of treasurer's account.
153. Proceedings where two or more schools make 102. Auy tax-payer may appeal.
application. 103. Meetings regulated. 104. No action to be had, in certain cases, except thereof. When additional certificate may be granted.
154. Certificates of scholarship to be issued. Effect on vote of a majority of the board. Duties of the
155. When certificates of graduation to be issued. secretary
On what proof. 105. How special meetings may be called, on neglect
156. No certificate to be issued for less degree of of president. 104. In cities of the second class, director or con
scholarship. Principal may certify time of attendtroller not to hold office of secretary or be employed 157. Graduates to devote three years to teaching in by the board.
the public schools. 107. Repealing clause.
158. Duty of superintendent.
159. When normal schools to go into operation. XI, CORPORATE NAME AND POWERS OF
160. Requisites for establishment of a normal SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
161. State trustees. 108. Corporate powers. To hold real and personal
162. Classes and examinations. property, &c. Real estate held in trust. 109. Deeds, how executed.
164. Elections. 110. Suits by and against school districts.
165. Nomination and appointment of state trustees. XII. POWER TO CONTRACT LOANS.
166. First election and appointment.
167. Quorum. 111. When directors may contract loans. Limita- 168. Powers of trustees. tion of indebtedness.
169. Distribution of state appropriation. 112. How loans may be contracted by school dis- 170. Limitation of indebtedness. tricts.
171. Graduates. 113. Loans may be authorized without the consent 172. Course of study. of the electors.
173. Powers of trustees, at a meeting of the board. XIII. GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES OF
XVI. HIGH SCHOOLS.
174. Powers of controllers or directors in districts, 114. Powers and duties of directors, &c.
composed of cities or boroughs, divided into wards for 115. To establish schools for minors of certain ages.
school purposes, or boroughs not divided into wards for 116. To purchase or rent lots, and erect school
school purposes, having a population of tive thousand
and over. houses. May establish joint schools. 117. Certain conveyances to be valid.
175. May establish a high school. 118. To visit monthly.
176. Who shall be admitted. 119. To appoint and dismiss teachers, and fix sala
177. Supervision over high school. Powers over ries.
teachers and pupils.
178. Visitation. 120. To direct studies, and expel pupils for misconduct.
179. Branches and books. 121. To pay school expenses.
180. Qualifications of teachers.
181. Maximum length of term. Expenses. 1:22. To make annual reports to county superintendent.
182. Power to purchase and convey real estate. 12. To establish schools of different grades - de
183. Grounds and buildings.
184. Power of eminent domain. Bond. termine to which pupils be admitted and make arrangements with other districts.
185. Petition for appointment of viewers. Meet124. To administer oaths to teachers.
ing. Report. Judgment for damages. Compensation
of viewers. 125. Directors may take conveyances from trustees 186. Councils may levy tax. of school property. Admission to high schools regulated.
187. May borrow money and issue bonds therefor. 126. Appointment of trustees of property conveyed by academy to common school district.
XVII. JOINT SCHOOLS. 127. Bonds of trustees.
188. School directors of different districts may
establish joint schools. XIV. SCHOOL DIRECTORS' ACCOUNTS.
189. Joint meeting of boards. 128. Statements to be furnished to auditors. Pub
XVIII. EVENING SCHOOLS. 129. Repealing clause.
190. When evening schools to be opened. Branches 130; Three auditors to be elected in each independ- to be taught. Term. ent school district.
tricts may unite. 132. ('ompensation.
192. Qualifications of teachers.
193. Expenses. XV. NORMAL SCHOOLS.
19. Evening high schools. Curriculum.
195. Who not to be admitted. 133. Normal school districts.
196. Additional teachers. 131. Thirteenth district erected.
197. Proceedings on refusal to establish evening 135. Establishment of normal schools.
schools. Duties of the court. 136. Board of trustees. Votes.
198. When act to take effect.
XIX. SITES FOR SCHOOL-HOUSES.
228. Repealing clause. 199. Right of eminent domain. How damages to
229. Monthly report of teachers. be assessed. Reviews.
230. Teachers to be paid for attendance at county 200. Lands owned by county may be taken for
institute. educational purposes.
231. Compensation to be based on daily attendance. 201. Damages, how secured.
232. Amount of compensation. 202. Appointment of viewers. Assessment of
XXIII. TEACHERS' INSTITUTES. damages. 203. Compensation of viewers.
233. Organization of teachers' institutes. 204. Repealing clause.
234. Roll of members. Appropriation for lectures, 205. Public burial-ground may be taken. Excep- books, &c. Attendance of teachers. Penalty for tion.
neglect. 206. Appointment of viewers. To determine quan- 235. Accounts of superintendents. tity of land to be taken, and estimate damages. Col- 236. Report of adjournment. lection of damage. Pay of viewers.
237. Teachers to be allowed wages whilst attending 207. Appeal from report. Form of issue. Trial institutes. and appeal to the supreme court.
238. Superintendents to give certificates. 208. When land may be occupied. Removal of bodies. Expenses.
239. No distinctions by reason of race or color. XX. SCHOOL-HOUSES.
240. Repealing clause. 209. Superintendent to procure plans for school. districts outside of where their parents or guardian
241. Children of soldiers entitled to admission in houses.
reside. 210. Water-closets to be provided for each school. How arranged.
XXV. INSTRUCTION. 211. Failure to comply to be cause for removal.
242. Physiology and hygiene to be taught. 212. Appointment of inspectors. His duty. To
243. Neglect to be reported. report to the court the result of his personal inspec
244. In cities of the second class, schools of metion.
chanical arts may be established. 213. To hear allegations and proofs. Rule upon directors to show cause why they should not be schools.
245. Rules and regulations. Admissions. Evening removed.
246. Course of instruction. XXI. SCHOOL TERM.
XXVI. SCHOOL-BOOKS. 214. Minimum school term fixed at six months.
215. Twenty days'actual teaching to constitute a 247. Directors and controllers to select. school month.
248. Books for blind scholars. 216. Days for improvement of teachers.
249. Officers not to sell school-books. 217. Presidents of boards to certify to the county 250. Not to be interested in the furnishing of books superintendent as to the whole number of months or other supplies. schools have been kept open, and that no teacher has 251. School-books not to be changed oftener than been employed without a valid certificate. County once in three years. superintendents to transmit to state superintendent. 252. Penalty for violation. Warrants for state appropriation.
253. Not oftener than six years in cities of the sec
ond and third classes. XXII. TEACHERS.
254. Price lists to be furnished and adopted.
255. Awarding of contracts. 218. Qualifications of teachers.
256. Penalty for violation. 219. Grades. Provisional certificates. Professional
257. Books and supplies to be furnished free of certificates. Renewals. Permanent certificates. To
cost. Return at close of annual term. wbom granted. Effect thereof. When and how an
258. Separate account to be kept. nulled. 220–1. Permanent certificates to be issued, in cer
XXVII. SCHOOL LIBRARIES. tain cities,
222. Examinations to be by written questions and 259. Establishment of district libraries. answers. To be approved by superintendent.
260. Purchase of books. Annual accounts. 223. Where permanent certificates to be valid. 261. Title. Larceny of books, &c., punished. BurgExceptions.
221. Teachers to pass examination in physiology 262. Use of books regulated. Liability for lost and hygiene.
books. Evidence of issue, 225. May be employed for two or three years. 263. Rules and regulations to be established. Dismissal for cause.
264. Librarian and assistant. 226. Permanent teachers' certificates to be granted 265. School libraries and purchase of books. to graduates.
266. Use of school libraries. 227. Superintendent of public instruction to deter- 267. Title. Issue list. mine the certificates to be issued. May annul cer- 268. School directors may receive bequests for tificates.
I. Department of common schools. 18 April 1857 $ 1. 1. The department of common schools shall be detached and remain separate P. L. 203.
from the office of the secretary of the commonwealth, and a superintendent of comSuperintendent of mon schools shall be appointed by the governor, every third year, by and with the common schools to advice and consent of the senate, and shall hold his office from the first Monday be appointed.
of June, for and during the term of three years, if he shall so long behave himRemoval.
self well, and he shall be liable to be removed from office by the governor for misVacancies.
behavior or misconduct, at any time during his term; and any vacancy that may
occur in said office of superintendent shall be supplied by a new appointment Governor to com- for the unexpired term of the former incumbent: Provided, That in the event of municate causes of any such removal, the governor shall, at the time, communicate his reasons therefor, removal,
in writing, to the superintendent thus displaced, and also to the senate, if in session,
and if not, within ten days after their next meeting.(d) (d) The constitution of 1874, art. IV. $ 20, providesercise all the powers and perform all the duties of the that the superintendent of public instruction shall ex
superintendent of common schools, subject to such
P. L. 263.
P. L. 627.
2. The superintendent first appointed under this act, shall hold his office 18 April 1857 $ 2. from the first Monday in June, Anno Domini 1857; and shall receive an annual salary of fourteen hundred dollars, payable quarterly.
Salary. 3. The superintendent of common schools, and his successors in office
Ibid. $ 8. appointed under this act, shall furnish the same security, exercise the same func- Security. tions, and be charged with the same duties and responsibilities that are now by
Duties, &c. law required of and devolved upon the superintendent of common schools.
4. I. He shall decide without appeal,(e) and without costs to the parties, all 8 May 1854 $ 16. controversies or disputes that may arise or exist among the directors or controllers of any district, between directors or controllers of adjoining districts, or between To settle controcollectors or treasurers and directors or controllers, concerning the duties of their versies. respective offices; the facts of which controversies or disputes shall be made known to him by written statements, by the parties thereto, acting in their official capacities, veritied by oath or affirmation, if required, and accompanied by certified copies of all necessary minutes, contracts, orders or other documents.
5. II. He shall, whenever required, give advice, explanation, construction To give informaor information to the district officers, and to citizens, relative to the common tion relative to school law, the duties of common school officers, the rights and duties of parents, guardians, pupils and all others, the management of the schools, and all other questions and matters calculated to promote the cause of education.
6. III. He shall sign all orders on the state treasurer for the payment of To sign orders for such moneys to the treasurers of the several school districts as they may be en- state appropriatitled to receive from the state, and for all other moneys to be paid out of the appropriation to common schools made by this act.
7. IV. He shall prepare blank forms for the annual district reports, with to prepare forms ; suitable instructions and forms for conducting the various proceedings and details and forward them
for distribution. of the system, in a uniform and efficient manner, and forward the same to the county superintendents; who shall distribute them to and among the proper district officers of their respective counties.
8. V. He shall prepare and submit to the legislature, an annual report, con- To make annual taining a full account of the condition of the common schools in the state, the reports to the
legislature. expenditures of the system during the year, estimates of the sums requisite for the ensuing year, the whole number of pupils, the cost of teaching each, the number of districts, plans for the improvement of the system, and all such matters relating to the concerns of common schools, and to the duties of his office, as he may deem it expedient to communicate.
9. VI. He shall provide a seal, with suitable device, for the use of the depart- To procure a seal ment of common schools, by which copies of papers deposited or filed therein, and and appoint clerks, all official acts and decisions, may be authenticated, under said seal; and when so authenticated, shall be evidence equally, and in like manner, as the originals: he may also designate and appoint one of the clerks employed by him to be his general deputy, who may perform all the duties of superintendent of common schools, in case of his absence, or a vacancy in his office.
10. VII. He shall have the power of removing any county superintendent for To remove county neglect of duty, incompetency or immorality, and to appoint another in his stead superintendents in until the next triennial convention of directors.
11. The Pennsylvania School Journal shall be recognized as the official organ 8 May 1855 $ 9. of the department of common schools, of this commonwealth, in which the current decisions made by the superintendent of common schools shall be published, Pennsylvania free of charge, together with all otficial circulars, and such other letters of explana- School Journal to tion and instruction as he may find it necessary or advisable to issue from time to of the department. time, including his annual report; and the superintendent is hereby authorized to subscribe for one copy of said School Journal, to be sent to each board of school directors in the state, for public use, and charge the cost thereof to the contingent expenses of the department of common schools.
P. L. 511.
P. L. 61.
II. State appropriation. 12. It shall be the duty of the commissioners of each county to ascertain 17 April 1865 $ 1. triennially, with the assistance of the respective assessors, the exact number of taxable citizens residing in each school district, in their several counties, and to Basis of distribucertify the same, under their hands and seals of office, to the superintendent of tion of state
appropriation, common schools, who is hereby directed to adopt the number of taxables thus certified to him, as the basis of distribution of the state appropriation; which said certificate shall be prepared and transmitted, on or before the first Monday of June. in every third year, commencing with the first Monday of June, Anno Domini 1865.
13. And if the commissioners of any county shall neglect to forward such cer
8 May 1854 $ 47.
P. L. 628.
changes as shall be made by law. By $ 8, he is to be (e) See decisions of the superintendent, collected in appointed by the governor, by and with the advice 2 Wh. Dig. 604-13. He has no authority to decide a and consent of two-thirds of all the members of the question of contested election. Mershon v. Baldridge, senate, for the term of four years.
✓ W. 500.
P. L. 625. Failure to forward certificates.
When new district is formed,
P. L. 76.
And those that
S May 1894 $ 47. tificates on or before said day, the superintendent may, in such case, adopt the
number of taxables set forth in the next preceding certificate or return.
14. If any error in the certificate of taxables shall occur, whereby i district shall Ibid. § 48.
receive more or less of the state appropriation than is justly due said district, the
county commissioners shall have authority, and they are hereby required, immediErrors, how
ately to forward to the superintendent a correct list of taxables, and the superin
tendent shall thereupon make it the basis of the appropriation due said district. Ibid. § 19.
15. Whenever any new district shall be formed in any county of this conmonwealth, it shall be the duty of the commissioners thereof to certify to the
superintendent of common schools, before the commencement of the next sucnumber of taxables ceeding school year, the number of taxable inhabitants therein, and also the therein and in the number in the district or districts from which it was taken, separately, according
to the last preceding triennial enumeration of taxables made for school purposes, so that the whole number in such new district, and in that or those out of which it was taken, being added together, shall be neither greater nor less than the number that was therein before the change was made, and according to the last trien
nial certificate or return of taxables thereof made by said commissioners. 9 April 1865 $ 1. 16. All school districts in this commonwealth, previously non-accepting, which
have put in operation a system of common schools, according to law, at any time Non-accepting dis- since the year 1800, are hereby declared entitled to the same state appropriations tricts which have for school purposes which they would have received had they complied with the eration to be entir law in reference to common schools, during and since that year; and the supertled to back intendent of common schools is authorized and required to pay out of the appropriappropriations.
ation to common schools for the year 1869, by warrants upon the state treasury, all
sums found to be due to such districts by the provisions of this act. Ibid. $ 2. 17. All school districts in this commonwealth, now non-accepting, which shall
put in operation a system of common school according to law, on or before the shall do so prior to year 1870, shall be entitled to all the state appropriations for school purposes they
would have received during and since the year 1860; and the superintendent of common schools is authorized and required to pay out of the appropriations to common schools for the year following that during which any such district shall put the school system in operation, by his warrant upon the state treasury, in favor of such district, the whole amount to which it would be entitled as herein
provided. 12 April 1878 $ 1. 18. Whenever the commissioners of any county of this commonwealth shall
certify, under their hands and seals of office, to the superintendent of public in
struction, that more taxable citizens actually resided in any school district of their appropriation. respective counties, at the time of the last triennial enumeration of taxables, than
were then certified and returned by them, in compliance with the act of April 17th, 1865, the superintendent of public instruction shall draw his warrant upon the state treasurer for whatever additional state appropriation such district or districts may be entitled, under the distribution made for the year or years for which such incomplete enumeration was returned: Provided, That under this act, no district shall be entitled to additional appropriation, for any year preceding 1870, and hereafter, for no year prior to the year in which the next preceding triennial enumera
tion of taxabies was made. 28 May 1891 $ 1.
19. The superintendent of public instruction be and he is hereby authorized P. L. 114. to draw his warrant for the payment of the amount or portion of the state apState appropria
propriation to common schools equitably due school districts formed after any
triennial assessment, by reason of rapid growth of population, and which under formed after trien. the present law can get no portion of the state appropriation until after the next
succeeding triennial return of resident taxables. Ibid. $ 2. 20. That the basis of distribution in such cases, shall be the number of resident
taxables as shown by the next preceding annual assessment, and returned by the county commissioners to the department of public instruction.
P. L. 13.
tions to districts
Basis of distribution.
III. School taxes. 8 May 1854 $ 28. 21. The school directors or controllers of every district(9) shall, annually, on or P. L. 628.
before the first Monday of May,(h) and by the votes of not less than a majority(i)
of the members of the board, determine the amount of school tax which shall be Assessment of school tax. levied on their district, for the ensuing school year, which shall, together with such
additional sums as the district may be entitled to receive out of the state appropriation and from other sources, be sufficient and necessary to keep the schools of the district in operation, not less than four(k) nor more than ten months in the
year.(l) (9) See act 14 April 1863, as to Allegheny city. until after the organization of the new board of diP. L. 434.
rectors, nor before the 1st July; but this act does not (h) If, for any cause, the directors have not levied extend to the cities of Philadelphia, Reading and Lanthe tax, within the time specified, they may levy it at caster, nor to the county of Allegheny. P. L. 523. a future period. 2 Wh. Dig. 610, pl. 86. After the (i) A tax levied by the votes of less than four ditax has been so levied, no other tax can be assessed by rectors is illegal, and cannot be enforced. 2 Wh. Dig. the directors for the same year. Ibid. 610, pl. 85. By 610, pl. 81. act 22 April 1863, the school tax is not to be levied, (k) To be kept open five months in each year, ex.