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CASE OF SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. THREE, NORTH PROVIDENCE.
In the case of the appeal of the Trustees of School District, No. 3, in North Providence, from a vote of the School Committee of said town, passed January 24, 1852, refusing to allow certain bills presented by said trustees, viz.: Anson H. Cole, for $48 12, for teaching school to January 8th, and Hannah T. Smith's, for $18 00, for teaching school to January 23, 1852.
The parties were heard before the Commissioner of Public Schools on Saturday, March 13, 1852; the trustees, Randall and Shepard, and Messrs. Sisson and Willard, chairman and clerk of the School Committee, being present.
It appears, that by vote March 9th, 1850, the School Committee recommended the district to build or lease a room for a primary school, in the south part of the district that at a meeting of the district, August 6, 1851, the following resolution was offered:
"Resolved, that in the opinion of this meeting, the wants of the district imperatively demand the establishing of a primary school in the southerly part thereof; I move that a school house for the use of the public schools of this town be built agreeably to the recommendation of the School Committee of the town, the building of which school house not to exceed $1000."
And it was passed. A school house was built.
Of the teachers employed, Mr. Cole had a general certificate, and Miss Smith a certificate for the primary school, near Corlis & Nightingale's, the new house being intended.
The trustees changed the teachers, and directed Mr. Cole to keep the school in the new house, and Miss Smith the school in the old school house.
The chairman, and clerk of the committee, by letter Jan. 2, 1852, notified the trustees that the teachers should be restored to their former schools, and that unless the change was made on the following Monday, their bills would not be allowed. The change was not made, and when the bills were presented, the committee voted to allow only so much of them, viz.; ($43 75 to one teacher, and $3 60 to the other,) as was incurred before Monday, January 5th, "at which time the certificates of the said teachers were formally annulled."
It further appears, that the committee, by vote, October 18, 1851, authorized their chairman and clerk, severally, in the absence of the board," to order bills, approve taxes, school regulations, &c. for the.
several school districts, and transact all other business legally transferable into their hands."
The appellants contend that the district schools had never been graded, that the committee had no power to grant conditional certificates, and that the committee had never legally annulled the certificates, (sec. 14,) or dismissed the teachers. (Sec. 56.)
On full consideration of the points presented, and which were ably argued by Col. Rivers and Mr. Sherrod, for the trustees, and by Mr. Willard, for the committee, I am of opinion,
First. That the School Committee may promote by advice and recommendation, but have no power to compel a gradation of schools by a district.
Second. That the vote of the district (as explained by the vote of the committee, which is referred to in it, and thus made a part of it,) does appropriate the new house for a primary school.
Third. That the committee have the power to limit and explain their certificates. To construe the law to require perfection in the branches named in Sec. 54, would be unreasonable, and, indeed, it is impossible to make a perfectly definite standard. If so, there is no reason why the certificate should not express the degree of qual ification.
Fourth. That the committee cannot delegate their general powers. The powers of visiting schools and examining teachers they are specially authorized to delegate. There can be no objection, also, to a committee authorizing its officers to draw orders for payment of bills, upon the performance of certain conditions, as on making a return, &c. But to delegate a power, which is supposed to imply the exercise of a discretion in the committee, seems contrary to the intention of the law in giving such power to the committee.
The committee have the undoubted right to annul a certificate, or dismiss a teacher, for good cause. No particular form is necessary for doing this. But the trustees should be plainly informed that the certificate is annulled, or the teacher dismissed. And the teacher should be notified, that he may have a chance to defend himself.
I see no reason, therefore, why Mr. Cole's bill should not be paid, he having a general certificate; and from considerations of equity, *By the School Law or 1839, the committee were expressly authorized to delegate ALL their powers, and the practice was productive of great evil.
and believing that the trusteess did not consider that they were violating the law, or the lawful regulations of the committee, I think that Miss Smith's bill also, should be paid.
The town treasurer of the town of North Providence, is hereby authorized and required to pay out of any money in his office standing to the credit of said district No. 3, (or if not apportioned, then out of any school money in his office,) the sum of forty-eight dollars and twelve cents, to Anson H. Cole, and the sum of eighteen dollars to Miss Hannah T. Smith; and in case the trustees have paid the same, or either of them, then to pay it to said trustees, and for so doing this shall be his sufficient warrant. E. R. POTTER,
Providence, March 23, 1852.
Commissioner of Public Schools.
MAP OF THE STATE.
Our readers will be glad to learn that the Legislature, at its last session, made provision for furnishing every school house in the State with a new and complete map of this State, to be executed by H. F. Walling. Mr. Walling has already published maps of the counties of Providence, Newport, Bristol, and part of Kent. These are on a large scale, and very handsomely finished. A portion of the south part of the State is yet to be surveyed.
While on the subject of maps, we recommend to our school officers to examine the new and beautiful map of the world, recently published by J. H. Colton, of New York. Mr. Colton's large map of the world is a most excellent one. But the one we now refer to, is of smaller size. America is in the centre, Europe and Africa on the right hand, (as you stand facing the map,) and Asia on the left, thus exhibiting the commercial relations between our western coasts and Asia, which have lately become so important, and which cannot be well understood from common maps. The price is very low.
REPORTS OF SCHOOL COMMITTEES.
Any of the School Committees who will send us their manuscript reports, by paying the same amount which they would pay elsewhere for printing them, may have them inserted in the Magazine. We wish to make the Magazine a repository of all the educational documents of the State.
ERROR IN DISTRICT RETURNS.
In printing the last blanks for returns from Trustees to School Committees, at the close of the third division, the following line was accidentally omitted.
No. of children over 4 and under 16 years of age, who attended no school, public or private, during the term.
Committees, therefore, who are anxious to obtain this information, must take care to insert it in the blanks which they furnish to the trustees.
ERRORS IN PRONUNCIATION.
MANY years ago, John Neal published an article under the title of "Yankee mispronunciation," containing a list of the words which he had observed to be incorrectly pronounced in common usage. Many of the errors and yankeeisms of Maine, however, are not found among us. We selected from his list such words as we thought deserved most attention, and we have for several years added to it from the results of our own observation. We give our list below :