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Oath to be taken by said commissioners.
County to be divided into school districts.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That each of the said commissioners, before he enters upon the execution of his office, and within fifteen days after notification of his appointment by the said levy court, shall take and subscribe an oath before some justice of the peace of the said county, in the form following, that is to say: I, —————, do solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, (or affirm, as the case may be,) that I will in all things, to the best of my knowledge and ability, well and truly execute the trust reposed in me as commissioner of primary schools for the county, without favor or partiality; and every justice of the peace before whom such oath shall be taken, shall, without fee or reward, certify the same in writing, and, within eight days thereafter, transmit or deliver said certificate to the clerk of the levy court for record.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the commissioners of primary schools, or a majority of them, to divide the county into seven suitable and convenient school districts, two of which shall be located west of Rock Creek; three between Rock Creek and the Eastern Branch, and two east and south of the Eastern Branch, and May be al- to alter and regulate the same as hereinafter provided. And it shall be tered and regn- the further duty of the commissioners of primary schools aforesaid, immediately after the formation or alteration of any such school districts Description in said county, to describe and number the same, and deliver the descripand number to tion and number thereof, in writing, to the clerk of the levy court, who is hereby required to receive and record the same in the records of that Farms not to court without fee or reward; and Provided, That in laying off said school in districts, or in altering the same, no tracts, or parts of tracts, of land lying contiguous and forming one farm, shall be divided so that portions of the same property shall be included in two separate districts.
constituting said districts.
County collector to notify
officers of their appointment.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That the said commissioners may alter and change the school districts, with a view to their better arrangement and the more general convenience of the people: Provided, however, That unless the trustees of the districts so to be altered or changed shall assent thereto, no such alteration or change shall be made.
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the county collector to notify the different officers to be appointed, in virtue of the provisions of this act, of their appointments, within ten days after his having received notice of such appointments from the appointing power, whose duty it shall be to give such notice to the county collector aforesaid.
Meetings of SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That the said commissioners shall commissioners. hold two stated meetings in each year, which meetings shall be held at such place and at such times as shall be determined on by said commissioners, and of which they shall give public notice in each of said school districts, and such other meetings as circumstances may from time to time require; but if less than three members attend any meeting, no business shall be transacted thereat, except that of adjourning to some time and place, to be agreed on by the commissioners present; and at all Treasurer to meetings of said commissioners, the treasurer of the school fund of the county, hereinafter to be appointed, shall attend and lay before them his books and accounts for their inspection and examination.
Record to be kept.
SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That the said commissioners shall cause to be kept a regular record of all their acts and proceedings in a book to be kept for that purpose, and said record, or a copy thereof, certified to be correct under the hands and seals of a majority of said board of commissioners, shall be considered evidence of their acts and proceedings in all judicial proceedings. And the board of commissioners aforesaid shall have power to appoint a clerk, prescribe his duties, and pay him a salary, and also to allow the treasurer of the school fund, hereinafter to be appointed, an annual compensation for his services out of the general school fund, hereinafter to be provided: Provided, That neither
the said clerk nor treasurer shall be paid more than one hundred dollars per annum.
Examination of teachers.
SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That on or about the second Mon- In May, 1857, day in May, in the year eighteen hundred and fifty-seven, and annually and afterwards, thereafter, the said levy court shall appoint one of said board of com- er to be appointmissioners from each primary school district; and the said commissioners ed from each appointed as aforesaid shall, each acting in his respective district, examine all persons who shall offer themselves as candidates for teaching in such district; and in such examination it shall be the duty of the commissioners aforesaid to inquire, and, so far as he shall be enabled thereto, to ascertain and inform himself as to all the qualifications mentioned and contained in the certificate hereinafter specified and given in form, and if he shall be satisfied as to the sufficiency of such qualifications, he shall certify in writing, under his hand, and deliver such certificate to the person so examined by him as aforesaid, in form and substance following, viz: I, the undersigned, resident commissioner of primary schools of Certificate. district No. -, do certify that I have examined believe he (or she, as the case may be) is of a good moral character, and of sufficient learning and ability, and in all other respects well qualified to teach a primary school. Given under my hand the
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and commissioner of primary school district No. And disCommissionmiss any intemperate, cruel, negligent, or immoral teachers, and cause ers may dismiss teachers, and to be put up in every school-house such general system of rules and reg- make rules and ulations as may be adopted by the board of commissioners, which board regulations. shall also direct what books shall be used, and what branches shall be taught; and the resident commissioners aforesaid shall visit the schools in each of their respective districts at least twice a year, exercise a general supervision, and endeavor to promote a full, equal, and useful instruction of the youth of said county.
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That whenever any school district shall be formed by the commissioners of primary schools as aforesaid, the districts. it shall be the duty of the said commissioners, within twenty days thereafter, to make a notice in writing, describing the metes and bounds of such district, and appoint a time and place for the first district meeting, and notify the taxable inhabitants residing in such district as aforesaid, by public advertisements to be put up at the most public places of the said district, at least six days before the time of such meeting; and in case such notice shall not be given as aforesaid, or the inhabitants of such district, when so notified, shall neglect or refuse to assemble or form a district meeting in pursuance of such notice, or in case any district, having been formed or organized in pursuance of such notice, shall, in the opinion of the commissioners aforesaid, be dissolved by adjournment without day, or from any other cause whatever, it shall and may be lawful for the commissioners aforesaid, or any one of them, at any time thereafter, to renew such notice, and the inhabitants of such district liable to pay taxes as aforesaid shall assemble together in pursuance of such notice, and when so assembled in district meeting it shall and may be lawful for them, or a majority of such of them as shall be present at such district meeting, to adjourn to any other time or place, and at such first or any future legal district meeting it shall and may be lawful for them, or a majority of them as shall be present as aforesaid, to adjourn from time to time as occasion may require, to fix on a time and place for holding their future annual meetings, which annual meetings they are hereby authorized and required to hold; to choose by ballot three trustees to manage the concerns of such school district, and one district collector; also to designate a suitable and central site for a school-house, to vote a tax on the property in such school district sufficient, in addition school-houses. to the proportion of the school fund (hereinafter to be provided for)
Other powers. allotted to such school district; to purchase, lease or rent a site for a school-house; to build, lease or rent, and keep in repair said house; to supply fuel, books, stationery, and furniture; to pay the salary of a teacher, and all other necessary expenses: Provided, however, That no location of a school-house shall be fixed upon unless the same be approved by a majority of the commissioners, and no change shall be made after such school-house shall have been built but by consent of a majority of said commissioners consenting thereto; all the expenses incurred by making such change shall be defrayed by donation or by levies authorExpenses how ized to be made by a majority of the citizens of such school district upon to be paid. the assessable property therein.
commissioners required to fixing or changing site school-house.
Clerk of levy SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That the clerk of the levy court court to make shall annually, without fee or reward, make out for the trustees of priout copies of
assessable prop- mary school districts, or such of them as shall apply for the same, copies from the assessment books of said county of all the assessable property in said district or districts.
SEC. 11. And be it further enacted, That all meetings of the school clerk of district districts, held for the purpose aforesaid, shall be organized by appointing a president and clerk pro tempore, who shall take minutes of the proTaxes to be ceedings, specifying particularly the amount of tax voted by said meetings, and deliver the same, certified under their hands and seals, within ten days after such meeting, to the commissioners of primary schools, or any one of them, to be delivered by them or him to the clerk of the commissioners, and by him to be recorded in a book kept for that pur
Taxes, how assessed.
Levy court to assess a tax out
side the cities of
SEC. 12. And be it further enacted, That all tax to be voted by the citizens of any and every school district in said county, under and by virtue of this act, shall be levied on all the assessable property in said district, agreeably to the assessments of the last preceding county tax, excepting, nevertheless, the property assessed to and actually owned by free people of color.
SEC. 13. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the levy court of the county aforesaid, at their first meeting after the passage Georgetown and of this act, and in each succeeding year thereafter, when the annual Washington. county levy is made, to impose and levy a school tax of one eighth of one per cent. on all the assessable property of said county, without the limits of the cities of Washington and Georgetown, for the support of primary schools hereby authorized in said county, which tax shall be due at the same time, and shall be collected by the county collector in the same manner and under the same regulations and restrictions as are prescribed by law in relation to the collection of other county taxes, and which are hereby made applicable to the collection of the school tax imposed by this act, and when collected shall be paid to the treasurer of Treasurer of the levy court, who is hereby constituted and appointed treasurer of the primary school fund for said county, and who shall qualify by making oath or affirmation that he will well and faithfully discharge the duties required of him by law as treasurer of the school fund for said county, and not use the same to his own use or advantage, and he shall also give bond to the United States, with two good and sufficient sureties, conditioned for the faithful discharge of the duties required of him by this act, which bond, being approved by the commissioners of primary schools aforesaid, shall be filed with the clerk of the circuit court of the District of Columbia, who is hereby required to file the same without fee or reward, and a copy of the said bond, under seal of said court, shall be sufficient evidence of the making thereof.
Trustees to purchase a site for, and build and repair school-house,
SEC. 14. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the trustees of each school district, whenever a district meeting shall have voted a sufficient tax for that purpose, to purchase a suitable site for their school-house, and to build, keep in repair, and furnish such school-house
with necessary fuel, books, stationery, and appendages; and it shall be and employ the further duty of the trustees aforesaid to agree with and employ all teachers. teachers to be employed in such district: Provided, That no teachers shall be employed by them who shall not have received the certificate Certified teachof approbation from the commissioners of primary schools aforesaid, as ers only to be employed. hereinbefore provided; and it shall be the further duty of the trustees to pay the salaries of teachers out of the apportionment of the school fund for their respective districts, which shall come into their hands through paid. the commissioners aforesaid, so far as the same shall be sufficient for that purpose.
Oath of trus
SEC. 15. And be it further enacted, That before the trustees of any school district shall enter upon the duties of their office, they shall each tees. take an oath or make affirmation before a justice of the peace of said county, or one of the commissioners of primary schools, who is hereby authorized to administer the same, that he will well and truly discharge the duties pertaining to his said office of trustee without prejudice or partiality; and it shall be the duty of the said trustees of each of said school districts, or a majority of them, to furnish, at the expiration of To furnish a their term of service, to the commissioners aforesaid, a correct statement of all money transactions done by them in virtue of their office as trustees of said primary school district.
statement of their money
SEC. 16. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Apportionment of school moneys commissioners of primary schools aforesaid to apportion all moneys and payment. which shall come into the hands of the treasurer of the school fund aforesaid, under and by virtue of the provisions of this act, after paying the salaries of the clerk of the commissioners and the treasurer of the school fund, for the use of primary schools aforesaid, as soon as may be after such moneys shall be received by the said treasurer, equally among the several school districts in said county, which shall have complied with the provisions of this act; and all moneys so to be apportioned by the commissioners, as aforesaid, shall be caused to be paid by them, according to such apportionment, to the trustees of the district to which such moneys shall be apportioned, as aforesaid, whose receipts therefor shall be good and sufficient evidence of such payment, which moneys, so to be received by the trustees, as aforesaid, shall be applied and expended by them, after the apportionment for the first year, in paying the salaries of the teachers to be employed by them, and for no other purpose: Provided, That no moneys apportioned, as aforesaid, except the Provisos. apportionment made for the first year, shall be paid by the commissioners aforesaid, until the white taxable inhabitants, and the trustees of the district to which such moneys shall be apportioned, as aforesaid, shall have substantially complied with the provisions of this act; And provided further, That it shall not be lawful for the commissioners aforesaid to draw any moneys from the hands of the treasurer of the school fund aforesaid, after paying the salaries of the clerk of the commissioners and the treasurer of the school fund aforesaid, except by draft, in favor of the trustees of the school district to which such moneys shall be apportioned, as aforesaid; and all moneys which shall be apportioned by the commissioners, as aforesaid, and which shall remain unpaid for the space of two years thereafter, either from the omission or neglect of the trustees of the primary school district entitled to receive the same, to apply therefor, and to make the necessary certificates to entitle them to the same, or from any defect in such certificates, said moneys shall, after the expiration of said term, be added to the moneys next thereafter to be apportioned by the said commissioners, and shall be apportioned and paid together with such moneys, as aforesaid.
Term of office
SEC. 17. And be it further enacted, That the trustees of each school district shall hold their office till their successors shall be elected and of trustees. qualified, and in case of vacancy such vacancy shall be filled by the
remaining trustees within one month, and in case the said trustees shall fail to fill such vacancy within that time, then it shall be the duty of the commissioners of primary schools as soon as may be thereafter.
SEC. 18. And be it further enacted, That if any trustee of any prifalse certificates mary school district shall make a false certificate or report, by means whereof any moneys shall be fraudulently obtained from the commissioners aforesaid, such trustee signing such certificate or report shall forfeit and pay double the amount so fraudulently obtained to the commissioners of primary schools, to be recovered, with costs of suit, by action of debt before any court of justice, or any justice of the peace, having cognizance thereof, in the name of said commissioners; and such sum, exclusive of the cost of suit, shall be applied, when recovered, to the use of the primary school in such district.
SEC. 19. And be it further enacted, That the said trustees shall keep trustees, how to an account of their proceedings in a book kept for that purpose, and shall be kept. also keep an account against the district collector for the sums authorized to be collected, and for other sums paid into his hands, and shall give him credit for the sums legally paid by him, also for his legal commissions, and for such taxes as cannot be collected by legal steps and proper diliCollector to gence; and that said collector shall have the keeping of all moneys colkeep funds, sub- lected by him, and other sums. paid into his hands, subject to the written ject to order. order of a majority of the trustees, drawn in favor of such persons having claims against said school, and he shall report to the trustees whenever required the amount of funds in his hands and a full statement of his accounts.
SEC. 20. And be it further enacted, That the trustees of any primary require payment school district in said county shall be, and they are hereby, authorized in from scholars. their discretion to require from any child attending school the payment of any sum of money not exceeding one dollar a month, to be applied to the payment of the expenses of said district school, and in the exercise of this power the trustees aforesaid may, from time to time, discontinue the payment thereof altogether, or may graduate the payments according to the ability of the children and the exigencies of the school.
SEC. 21. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the trustees of each school district, whenever a district meeting shall have voted a district tax, as soon as may be, to make a rate bill or tax list, which shall raise the sum voted for, in due proportion on all the taxable property in such district, agreeably to the assessment of the last preceding county tax, and to annex to such tax list or rate bill a warrant, and to deliver the same to the collector of such district, which warrant shall be substantially as followeth :
COUNTY OF WASHINGTON, D. C., ss. To collector of the district in the county aforesaid, greeting: You are hereby required and commanded to collect from each of the inhabitants of said district the several sums of money written opposite to the name of each of said inhabitants in the annexed tax list, and within sixty days after receiving this warrant to pay the amount of the moneys by you collected to the order of the trustees of said district, or a majority of them; and if any one or more of said inhabitants shall neglect or refuse to pay the same, you are hereby further commanded to levy on the goods and chattels of each delinquent, and make sale thereof according to law. Given under our hands and seals this day of A. D.
And if the sum or sums payable by any person named in such tax list or rate bill shall not be paid by him or collected by virtue of said war