Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, The State Superintendent of Education shall be elected at each general election in the same manner as other State officers, and shall enter upon the duties of his office at the time prescribed by law. Before entering upon the duties of his office he shall give bond for the use of the State of South Carolina in the penal sum of five thousand ($5,000) dollars, with good and sufficient sureties, to be approved by the Governor, conditioned for the faithful and impartial performance of the duties of his office; and he shall also at the time of giving bond take and subscribe the oath prescribed in Section 26 of Article III of the Constitution of the State, which shall be endorsed upon the back of said bond; and the bond shall be filed with and preserved by the Secretary of State. The Superintendent of Education shall receive as compensation for his services the sum of nineteen hundred dollars per annum, payable monthly out of the State Treasury; and his traveling expenses, not exceeding three hundred dollars, shall be paid out of the State Treasury upon duly itemized accounts rendered by him.
Section 2. He shall have general supervision over all the schools of the State supported in whole or in part from the public school funds, and it shall be his duty to visit every County in the State as often as practicable for the purpose of inspecting the schools, awakening an interest favorable to the cause of education, and diffusing as widely as possible by public addresses and personal coramunications with school officers, teachers and parents a knowledge of existing defects and of desirable improvements in the government and instruction of the said schools. He shall secure, by and with the advice of the State Board of Education, uniformity in the use of text books throughout the free public schools of the State, and shall forbid the use of sectarian or partisan books and instruction in said schools. He shall prepare and transmit to the several County Superintendents of Education school registers, blank certificates, reports and such other suitable blanks, forms and printed instructions as may be necessary to aid school officers and teachers in making their reports and carrying into full effect the various provisions of the school laws of this State; and shall cause the law relating to the free public schools, with such rules, regulations, forms and instructions as shall be legally prescribed, to be printed, together with a suitable index, in pamphlet form, at the expense of the State; and he shall cause copies of the same to be transmitted to the several County Superintendents of Education for distribution. He shall collect in his office such school books, apparatuses, maps and charts as can be obtained. He may certify copies of all papers filed in his office, and such certified copies shall be competent evidence thereof.
Section 3. He shall make a report through the Governor to the General Assembly at each regular session thereof, showing: 1st. The whole number of pupils registered in and the number enrolled as hereinafter defined in the free common schools of this State during the year ending the thirtieth day of the last preceding June, and the number in each County registered in and the number enrolled as hereinafter defined during the same period. 2d. The number of whites and the number of colored of each sex attending the said schools. 3d. The number of free schools in the State. 4th. The number of pupils studying each of the branches taught. 5th. The average wages paid to teachers of each sex and to the principals of schools and departments in said schools. 6th. The number of school houses erected during the year, and the location, material and cost thereof. 7th. The number previously erected, and the material of their construction, and their condition and value, and the number with the grounds enclosed. 8th. The Counties in which Teachers Institutes were held and the number attending the Institutes in each County. 9th. Such other statistical information as he may deem important, together with such plans as he may have matured and the State Board of Education may have recommended for the management and improvement of the school fund and for the more perfect organization and efficiency of the free public schools. All State institutions of higher learning shall make an annual report on or before the first day of September of each year to the State Superintendent of Education, embracing a detailed account of the operations of such institutions, including the expenditure of the public moneys for the current scholastic year, which reports the State Superintendent of Education shall include in his annual report to the Legislature. All Acts or parts of Acts requiring annual reports to be made to other authorities are hereby repealed.
Section 4. The sum of nine hundred dollars shall be allowed to the Superintendent of Education for the purpose of defraying the expenses of clerk hire in his office.
Section 5. The State Treasurer shall take and hold in trust
for the State any grant or devise of lands and any gift or bequest
of money or other personal property made to him for educational
purposes, all gifts to the State where the purpose is not designated,
all escheated property, the net assets or funds of all estates
or copartnerships in the hands of the Courts of the State where
there have been no claimants for the same within the last seventy
years, and other money coming into the Treasury of the State
by reason of the twelfth Section of an Act entitled "An
Act to provide a mode of distribution of the moneys as direct
tax from the citizens of this State by the United States in trust
to the State of South Carolina," approved the twenty-fourth
day of December in the year eighteen hundred and ninety-one,
together with such other means as the General Assembly may provide.
The State Treasurer shall from time to time invest in bonds of
this State or of the United States all such money in the name
of the State, as a permanent State school fund, and shall pay
out the income derived therefrom to the County or the Counties
of the State as the same may be apportioned among said Counties
by the State Board of Education: Provided, That no disposition
shall be made of any property, grant, devise, gift, or bequest,
inconsistent with the purposes, conditions or terms thereof.
For the faithful management of all property so received by the
State Treasurer, he shall be responsible upon his bond to the
State as for other funds received by him in his official capacity:
Provided, however, That the Trustees of any school district of
this State may take and hold in trust for their particular school
district any property granted, devised, given or bequeathed to
such school district, and apply the same in the interest of the
schools of their district in such manner as in their judgment
seems most conducive to the welfare of the schools when not otherwise
directed by the terms of the grant, devise, gift or bequest:
And provided, further, That before said Trustees shall assume
control of any such grant, devise, gift or bequest they shall
give a bond, to be approved by the County Board of Education
of the County in which such grant, devise, gift or bequest is
made, conditioned for the faithful discharge of the trust reposed
in them in respect to said property, which bond shall be deposited
with the Clerk of the Court of said County. The said Trustees
are hereby invested with the care and custody of all school houses
or other school property belonging to their school districts,
with full power to control the same in such manner as they may
think will best subserve the interest of the free public schools
Section 6. The State Superintendent of Education shall discharge such other duties as may be provided by law; and he shall deliver to his successor, within ten days after the expiration of his term of office, all books, papers, documents and other property belonging to his office.
Section 7. In case a vacancy occurs in the office of State Superintendent of Education, from any cause, such vacancy shall be filled by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and the persons so appointed shall qualify within fifteen days from the date of such appointment, or else the office shall be deemed vacant. If the vacancy occur during the recess of the Senate, the Governor shall fill the same by appointment until the Senate can act thereon.
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
Section 8. The Governor, the Superintendent of Education, and seven persons to be appointed by the Governor, who shall hold office for four years, and until their successors may be appointed, unless sooner removed by the Governor, shall constitute the State Board of Education. Of this Board the Governor shall be ex officio Chairman, and the State Superintendent of Education shall be Secretary of the Board. The Secretary shall be custodian of its records, papers and effects, and shall keep minutes of its proceedings; and said records, papers and minutes shall be kept in the office of the State Superintendent of Education and shall be open to inspection by the public.
Section 9. The said Board shall meet on the call of its Chairman, or upon the request of a majority of its members, at the office of the State Superintendent of Education, or at such other place as may be designated in the call. A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum for transacting business. The official seal of the State Superintendent of Education shall be used for the authentication of the acts of the State Board. The members of the State Board of Education appointed by the Governor shall receive as compensation the same mileage and per diem as is pro vided for members of the General Assembly, not exceeding twenty days in any one year.
Section 10. The State Board of Education shall constitute an advisory body, with whom the State Superintendent of Education shall have the right to consult when he is in doubt as to his officiai duty; and shall have power to review on appeal all decisions of the County Boards of Education, as hereinafter provided for. Appeals to the State Board of Education must be made through the County Boards of Education in writing, and must distinctly set forth the question of law as well as the facts of the case upon which the appeal is taken, and the decision of the State Board shall be final upon the matter at issue.
Section 11. The State Board of Education shall have power: 1st. To adopt rules and regulations not inconsistent with the laws of the State for its own government and for the government of the free public schools. 2d. To prescribe and enforce rules for the examination of teachers. 3d. To prescribe a standard of proficiency before County Boards of Education which will entitle persons examined by such Boards to certificates as teachers. 4th. To prescribe and enforce the course of study in the free public schools. 5th. To prescribe and to enforce, as far as practicable, the use of a uniform series of text books in the free public schools of the State; to enter into an agreement with the publishers of the books prescribed, fixing the time of prescription and the price above which the books shall not be retailed during the period of prescription, and a rate of discount at not less than which the books shall be furnished to the retail dealers in this State; to require the publishers, in the discretion of the Board, to establish in each County one or more depositories of their books within the State at such place or places as the Board may designate and where such books may be obtained without delay; and to exact of the publishers a bond in the sum of not more than five thousand dollars conditioned for the faithful performance of the agreement and with a penalty of twenty-five dollars for each violation of the agreement, the form and execution of the bond to be approved by the Attorney-General of the State, which agreement and bond shall be deposited with the State Treasurer, all recoveries thereon to go into the State Treasury for school purposes: Provided, That the State Board of Education shall not have power, without permission of the General Assembly of the State, to change a text book within five (5) years from the date of its adoption, except for violation of the agreement entered into by its publisher with the State Board of Education, for which cause it may be changed by the said Board, and it shall be unlawful for any teacher drawing public school money to use any book not prescribed by the State Board of Education without the consent in writing of said Board. 6th. To grant State teachers' certificates and to revoke them for immoral or unprofessional conduct, profanity or evident unfitness for teaching. 7th. To review on appeal an order revoking a County certificate: Provided, That no certificate be required of examination or proficiency from any applicant for teachers in city schools of Charleston having diplomas from the Memminger Normal School in the city of Charleston, whether regular or extra teachers, but they shall be alone subjected to such examinations and conditions as may be retluired by the Board of Commissioners of the city public schools of Charleston. 8th. To award scholar ships created by the General Assembly in the institutions of learning supported in whole or in part by the State.
Section 12. No child shall be counted in the enrollment more than once, nor in more than one school district in any one school year, and the school officer charged with the duty of enrollment willfully violating this provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. The teacher or principal of every school shall keep and furnish annually to the Trustees of the school district a list of all pupils that have attended the school during the preceding scholastic year, showing the names of the pupils, their respective places of residence and the number of days each pupil has attended which list shall be certified to the County Board of Education by said Trustees on or before the 1st day of August in every year.
Section 13. At the expiration of the terms of office of the School Commissioners of the several Counties of the State, there shall be elected by the qualified electors of the County a County Superintendent of Education for each County who shall hold his office for the term of two years and until his successor is elected and qualified. He shall, before being commissioned and entering upon the duties of his office, give bond to the State, for the use of the County in which he is elected, for educational purposes, in the penal suua of one thousand dollars, with good and sufficient sureties to be approved by the County Board of Commissioners, conditioned for the faithful and impartial discharge of the duties of his office, and shall take and subscribe the oath of office prescribed in Section 26, Article III, of the Constitution of this State, which he shall file in the office of the Secretary of State. When commissioned he shall immediately enter upon the discharge of his duties. His failure to qualify within thirty days after notice of his election shall create a vacancy.
Section 14. The State Board of Education shall fill all vacancies in the office of County Superintendent of Education for the unexpired term.
Section 15. The salary of the County Superintendent of Education of each County shall be the same as that now fixed or hereafter to be fixed by law for the School Commissioner thereof except in Chester County, in which the salary shall be five hundred dollars, payable monthly by the County Board of Commissioners out of the ordinary County funds; and he shall be allowed one hundred dollars per annum for traveling expenses, if so much be necessary, payable in the same manner, upon an itemized statement of such expenses being filed with said Board: Provided, Nothing shall be allowed for traveling expenses in the Counties of Saluda, Edgefield, Darlington and Berkeley.
Section 16. It shall be the duty of each County Superintendent of Education to visit the schools in his County at least once in each year, and oftener if practicable, and to note the course and method of instruction and the branches taught, and to give such recommendation in the art of teaching and the method thereof in each school as shall be necessary, so that uniformity in the course of studies and method of instruction employed shall be secured as far as practicable in the schools of the several grades, respectively. He shall acquaint himself as far as practicable with the character and condition of each school, noting any deficiencies that may exist, either in the government of the school or the classification of its pupils or the method of instruction employed in the several branches, and shall make such suggestions in private to the teachers as to him shall appear necessary to the good order of the school and the progress of the pupils. He shall note the character and condition of the school houses, the sufficiency or insufficiency of the furniture, and shall make such suggestions to the several Boards of Trustees as in his opinion shall seem conducive to the comfort and progress of the several schools. It shall be the duty of each County Superintendent of Education to aid the teachers in all proper efforts to improve themselves in their profession. For this purpose he shall encourage the formation of associations of teachers for common improvement and conduct teachers' institutes. He shall attend the meetings of such associations and give such advice and instruction in regard to their conduct and management as in his judgment will contribute to their greater efficiency.
Section 17. The County Superintendent of Education shall attend the annual settlement of the County Treasurer with the Comptroller-General.
Section 18. The annual report of the County Board of Education shall contain the complete statistics of all schools within his County supported in whole or in part from the public funds, as may be required of him by the State Superintendent of Education.
Section 19. The County Superintendent of Education shall make an annual report of all claims filed, audited, allowed and ordered paid by them during each school year to the presiding Judge at the second term of the Court of General Sessions for each County which shall be held after the first day of January in each year, which report shall be submitted by said Judge to the grand jury for their examination: Provided, After examination the grand jury shall report thereon to the presiding Judge any matter growing out of or pertaining to said annual report which to them may seem worthy of the attention of the Court. The said report shall thereupon be filed by the Clerk of said Court and kept as papers of said Court, for inspection by any citizen desirous of examining the same.
Section 20. The County Board of Commissioners of each County are authorized and required to furnish the County Board of Education of their County with a comfortable and convenient office and suitable office furniture, and to supply said office with fuel, lights, stationery, postage and such other incidentals as are necessary to the proper, transaction of the legitimate business of his office.
Section 21. It shall be the duty of the County Superintendent of Education, on or before the fifteenth day of July in each year, to report to the County Treasurer, by school districts, all school claims approved by him for the school year last preceding, and the County Treasurer shall thereupon close the school accounts for that year, carrying over any balance to the credit of each school district of the then current fiscal year.
Section 22. The County Superintendent of Education shall keep a register of all claims approved by him and of such other matters as the State Superintendent of Education shall require of him, and in the form prescribed by the State Superintendent.
Section 23. The County Superintendent of Education shall furnish the School Trustees of his County with copies of the reports made to him by the County Auditor and County Treasurer as to the persons listed and paying poll tax, and shall aid the Trustees in making all proper corrections.
Section 24. The County Superintendent of Education shall keep in their office a die, in a circular form, upon the centre of which shall be engraved, in capital letters, the word "seal," and on the circumference the proper words indicating the office, which shall be regarded as the seal of the office, and which the County Superintendent of Education shall be required to impress upon all papers issued from his office, and affix his name to such paper. And it shall be the duty of the County Board of Commissioners in each County to furnish the County Superintendent of Education of their respective Counties with such seal.
COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
Section 25. There shall be a County Board of Education in each County composed of the County Superintendent of Education and two other persons to be appointed by the State Board of Education, who shall hold office for the term of two years from the time of their appointment and until their successors shall be qualified, unless sooner removed by the State Board of Education. No person shall be appointed a member of the County Board of Education who is not competent to teach a first grade school.
Section 26. The County Board of Education shall examine all candidates for the position of teacher and give to each person found qualified a certificate, setting forth the branches of learning he or she may be capable of teaching and the percentage attained in each branch; said certificate to be valid for a term of two years unless sooner revoked, and it may be renewed with or without examination, at the discretion of the Board, all of which shall be done under such regulations as the State Board of Education may prescribe. No teacher shall be employed in any of the free public schools without a certificate from the County Board of Education or the State Board of Education: Provided, That no examination as to qualification shall be made in the case of any applicant who produces a full diploma from any chartered college or university of this State or Memminger Normal School of Charleston and furnishes satisfactory evidence of good moral character. The two members of the Board appointed by the State Board of Education shall receive for the services rendered by them compensation at the rate of three dollars per diem for not exceeding seven days in each year and mileage of five cents for each mile of necessary travel, the same to be paid by the County Board of Commissioners out of the ordinary County funds.
Section 27. It shall be the duty of the County Board of Education and the Boards of Trustees hereinafter provided for to see that in every school under their care there shall be taught, as far as practicable, orthography, reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, English grammar, the elements of agriculture, history of the Upited States and of this State, the principles of the Constitution and laws of the United States and this State, morals and good behavior, algebra, physiology and hygiene, and especially as to the effects of alcoholic liquors and narcotics upon the human system, English literature, and such other branches as the State Board may from time to time direct.
Section 28. The County Boards of Education of the several Counties of this State shall levy an annual tax of three mills on the dollar upon all the taxable property in their respective Counties, which tax shall be collected at the same time and by the same officers as the other taxes for the same year, and shall be held in the County treasury of the respective Counties; and on the first day of July of each year, or as soon as practicable thereafter, the said fund shall be apportioned by the said County Boards respectively among the school districts of their respective Counties in proportion to the number of pupils enrolled in the public schools of such school districts; and the said County Boards shall ascertain the amount of poll taxes collected in and for each school district of their respective Counties, and shall notify the County Treasurer and the Trustees of each school district of the amount of such poll taxes, as well as of the amount of the aforesaid fund apportioned by them to each school district.
The school funds of each school district shall be distributed and expended by the Board of Trustees for the best interests of the school district, according to the judgment of the Board of Trustees, on their warrant approved by the County Superintendent of Education. For the purpose of said apportionment pupils shall not be deemed enrolled until after an attendance of at least ten school days during the preceding scholastic year: Provided, That the apportionment of funds until the expiration of the fiscal year of 1896 shall be as now provided by law.
Section 29. The County Board of Education shall constitate an advisory body with whom the County Superintendent of Educaton shall have the right to consult when he is in doubt as to his official duty, and also a tribunal for determining any matter of local controversy in reference to the construction or administration of the school laws, with the power to summon witnesses and take testimony if necessary, and when they have made a decision said decision shall be binding upon the parties to the controversy: Provided, That either of the parties shall have the right to appeal to the State Board of Education, and said appeal shall be made through the County Board of Education in writing, and shall distinctly set forth the question in dispute, the decision of the County Board and the testimony as agreed upon by the parties to the controversy, or, if they fail to agree, upon the testimony as reported by the County Board.
Section 30. The County Board of Education shall meet for the purpose of examining applicants for teachers certificates, and the transaction of other business, at least twice a year, at such places and at such times as the State Board of Education shall appoint. The County Superintendent shall be Chairman and Clerk of the Board, and shall keep a fair record of their proceedings, and register of the name, age, sex, color, residence and date of certificate of each person to whom a certificate is issued, and in case the certificate be cancelled shall make a proper entry of the same. The Board shall have power to revoke any certificate granted by them, for immoral or improper conduct, or evident unfitness for teaching. The Board shall hold as many additional meetings during the year as the interest of the free public schools of the County may require, subject to regulations prescribed by the State Board of Education.
Section 31. The County Boards of Education shall divide their Counties into convenient school districts, as compact in form as practicable, having regard to natural boundaries, and not to exceed forty-nine nor be less than nine square miles in area: Provided, That in cities of ten thonsand inhabitants and over this limitation of area shall not apply: Provided, further, That when any school district laid out under this Section shall embrace cities or towns already organized into special school districts in which graded school buildings have been erected by the issue of bonds, or by special taxation, or by donation, all the territory included in said school district shall bear its just proportion of any tax that may be levied to liquidate such bonds or support the public schools therein. The present division of the Counties into school districts shall remain until changed by the County Boards of Education. The County Boards of Education are authorized and empowered to make contracts for the purpose of dividing their Counties into proper school districts, and to provide for the payment of the expenses thereof out of the school funds of the County. Every school district now organized, or to be hereafter organized in pursuance of this Section, is, and shall be, a body politic and corporate, by the name and style of School District No. ___ (such number as may be designated by the County Board of Education) of ___________ County, (the name of the County in which the district is situated) the State of South Carolina, and in that name may sue and be sued, and be capable of contracting and being contracted with to the extent of their school fund, and holding such real and personal estate as it may come into possession of, by will or otherwise, or as is authorized by law to be purchased, all of which shall be used exclusively for school purposes.
Section 32. Each school district shall be under the management and control of the Board of Trustees hereinafter provided for, subject to the supervision of the County Board of Education.
Section 33. The school districts of the several Counties of the State are hereby made and declared to be the divisions of the Counties for taxation for all school purposes.
Section 34. That the voters of any school districts who return real or personal property of the value of one hundred dollars for taxation are authorized to levy and collect an annual tax to supplement any Constitutional or other tax for like purposes; and all electors voting in such election imposing such extra levy of tax for school purposes shall exhibit their tax receipts and registration certificates as required in other general elections; and for said purposes the Trustees of said school districts, upon the written request of six resident freeholders of the age of twenty-one years, shall call a public meeting of said taxpayers at any time before the first day of June of any fiscal year, which meeting must be advertised in a newspaper published in such city, incorporated town or village, once a week for two weeks, or posted in three conspicuous places in such school district for said length of time; and when assembled a ballot shall be had, and if a majority shall vote to levy such special tax, not exceeding four mills, the Trustees shall, after having notice of same posted in at least three public places within the district for not less than ten days, order an election, at which election only such taxpayers as above mentioned shall vote. That within ten days after such election, if a majority of those voting shall vote for such levy, the Board of Trustees shall furnish the County Auditor with a statement of the amount so levied, and the Auditor shall enter the same in the tax duplicates, and he shall annually each year thereafter enter said amount in the tax duplicates, until the same is increased, decreased or repealed by said taxpayers, at a meeting called for that purpose, and he is notified that the same has been increased, decreased or repealed, and, if increased or decreased, he shall annually enter it as before, which meeting shall be called and notice given in the same way and manner as is herein provided for the calling of meetings to make the levy and the giving of the notice that it has been made, and the County Treasurer shall collect the same as other County and State taxes. Such levy shall be a lien on the property in such school district, which shall be subject thereto in case of default of payment. That said tax so collected shall be paid out by the County Treasurer upon warrants drawn by the Board of Trustees, countersigned by the County Superintendent of Education: Provided, That any surplus of such levy remaining in the hands of the County Treasurer at the expiration of any fiscal year shall be paid out as other school funds of the district. Each taxpayer, when he pays any tax for school purposes voted under the provisions of this Section, shall have the right to designate to which school in said school district he wishes the money paid by him to go; and the Treasurer shall keep a note of such designation, and the money be applied as thus designated. When no designation is made by the taxpayer at the time of such payment the money shall be expended as other school funds in such district: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to change the manner now provided by law for the collection and paying out of special taxes in any school district now established by any special Act of the General Assembly and organized thereunder.
Section 35. That whenever it shall happen that by reason of the location of special school districts portions of two adjacent Counties should for convenience be included in one school district, the County Boards of Education of such Counties are hereby authorized and directed in joint conference to make such regulations as will enable such sections to be established into a separate school district.
Section 36. Each County Board of Education on the first Tuesday of July, 1896, and on the first Tuesday in July in every two years thereafter shall appoint for each school district in their County three School Trustees from the qualified electors and taxpayers residing within the district, who shall hold their office for two years, and until their successors are appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the County Board of Education. The County Board of Education shall have power to fill, from time to time, all vacancies in Boards of Trustees. The School Trustees shall meet as a Board, as soon and as often as practicable, after having been appointed and qualified, at such place as may be most convenient in the district, and at their first meeting they shall organize by electing one of their number Chairman of the Board, who shall preside at the official meetings of the Board, and another clerk of the Board, who shall record their proceedings in a book provided for that purpose. Each member of the Board of Trustees shall be duly notified of all meetings of the Board by the clerk of the Board. The terms of office of all Trustees now in office shall expire on the 31st day of December, 1896: Provided, That the foregoing provisions of this Section shall not apply to special and graded school districts created by special Acts, but that the Trustees and School Commissioners of all special and graded school districts shall remain the same in number and shall be elected or appointed in the same manner, and shall hold office for the same time as is provided for in the respective special Acts, except that in the special schools districts where the Trustees or their successors are appointed by the State Superintendent of Education under the provisions of the special Acts the Trustees shall hold office until the first Tuesday in July, 1896, on which day and on the same day every two years thereafter the Trustees shall be elected by the qualified electors of such school district. The election of all Trustees for all such school districts shall be by ballot and shall be conducted under the supervision of three qualified electors residing within the district who shall be appointed by the County Board of Education at least ten days prior to the holding of the election. The Manager shall report the result of the election to the County Board of Education within ten days thereafter, which Board shall commission the Trustees so elected. The Board of Trustees of each special or graded school district shall elect from their number a Chairman, who shall preside at their meetings, and a Secretary, or a Secretary and Treasurer, who shall record the proceedings of the Board and who shall keep a full and accurate account of all moneys received and expended, showing the source and disposition of each item, and who shall make a complete itemized report of the receipts and disbursements for each scholastic year to the County Superintendent of Education on or before the fifteenth day of July of each year. The books and vouchers of the Secretary and Treasurer shall be open at all times to inspection by the public. No Trustees of any public school district or any graded school district shall be a Trustee of, or stockholder in, any private or other school or institution for higher education in this State.
Section 37. The Board of Trustees in each school district shall take the management and control of the local educational interests of the same and shall visit each school district at least once in every school term, and shall be subject to the sppervision and orders of the County Board of Education.
Section 38. The Board of Trustees shall hold a regular session in their school districts at least two weeks before the commencement of any or every school term for the transaction of any and all business necessary to the prosperity of the schools, with power to adjourn from time to time and to hold special meetings at any time or place when called upon by the Chairman or any two members of the Board.
Section 39. The School Trustees of the several school districts are authorized and empowered to sell any school property, real or personal, in their school districts whenever they deem it expedient to do so, and to apply the proceeds of sale or sales to the school fund of the district wherein such sale is made: Provided, That the consent of the County Board of Education be first obtained by the Trustees desiring to make such sale. That it shall be the duty of the said Board of Trustees, within thirty days after said sale, to enclose a report of the same to the County Board of Education, setting forth the terms and amount of said sale.
Section 40. When it shall so happen that persons are so situated as to be better accommodated at the school of an adjoining school district, whether special or otherwise, the Board of Trustees of the school district in which such persons reside may transfer such persons for education to the school district in which such school is located; and the Trustees of the school district where the school is located shall receive such persons into the school as though they resided within the district: Provided, That children shall not be transferred from a school district in one County to a school district in an adjoining County without the consent of the Board of Education of the respective Counties in which the transfer is made: Provided, further, That if any taxpayer pays taxes in two or more Counties he shall have the right to send his children to the school of any one of said Counties.
Section 41. Each school teacher shall make out and file with the clerk of the Board of Trustees at the expiration of each school month a full and complete report of the whole number of pupils admitted to the school during each month, distinguishing between male and female, the average attendance, the branches taught, the number of pupils engaged in studying each of said branches, and such statistics as he or she may be required to make by the County Board of Education: Provided, That whenever a teacher is unavoidably prevented from filing said report at the expiration of any school month, the Board of School Trustees may have authority to receive the report within a reasonable time thereafter, if, in their opinion, the reasons for the delay are good and sufficient. On the filing of the teacher's report and its approval by the Board of Trustees, their clerk shall draw an order in duplicate on the County Treasurer for the amount due such teacher, which shall be signed by the Board, which order if accompanied by a copy of said monthly report and approved by the County Superintendent of Education shall be countersigned by him and the duplicate filed in his office.
Section 42. All claims, of every description whatsoever, which are chargeable against the fund raised for the support of the free public schools of the State, except such as are otherwise provided for by law, must be signed by at least a majority of the Board of Trustees of the school district against which the claims are chargeable; and the correctness and legality of the same shall be sworn to and subscribed by the person presenting such claim before it shall be approved by the person or persons authorized by law to give such approval. School Trustees and County Superintendents of Education shall, free of charge, administer oaths to persons presenting the claims contemplated by this Section.
Section 43. It shall be unlawful for a School Trustee to receive pay as a teacher of a free public school.
Section 44. The Board of Trustees shall also have authority, and it shall be their duty:
1st. To provide suitable school houses in their districts, and to make the same comfortable, paying due regard to any school house already built or site procured, as well as to all other circumstances proper to be considered so as best to promote the educational interests of their district.
2nd. To employ teachers from those having certificates from their County Board of Examiners or from the State Board of Education, and fix their salaries, and to discharge the same when good and sufficient reasons for so doing present themselves, subject to the supervision of the County Board of Education.
3rd. To suspend or dismiss pupils when the best interest of the schools make it necessary.
4th. To call meetings of the qualified electors of the district for consultation in regard to the school interests thereof; at which meetings the Chairman or other member of the Board shall preside, if present.
5th. To take care of, manage and control the school property of the district.
6th. To visit the free public schools within their district from time to time, and to take care that they are conducted according to law and with the utmost efficiency.
7th. They shall be allowed to cross all bridges or ferries free of charge when they are traveling on official business.
Section 45. The County Auditor shall require each taxpayer to return the number and name of the school district in which he resides when he makes his tax return, and the Auditor shall state the same in a separate column in the tax duplicates.
Section 46. The County Auditor when he has completed the tax duplicates shall report to the County Superintendent of Education, by school districts, the names listed for poll tax, and the amount of taxable property where there is a special levy.
Section 47. The several County Treasurers shall retain the poll tax collected in their respective Counties; and it is hereby made the duty of the said Treasurer in collecting the poll tax to keep an account of the exact amount of said tax collected in each school district in his County, and the poll tax collected therein shall be expended for school purposes in the school district from which it was collected; and any violation of this Section by the County Treasurer shall constitute, and is hereby declared, a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof the said County Treasurer shall pay a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, to be used for school purposes in the County suffering from such violation, or imprisonment, in the discretion of the Court.
Section 48. That each County Treasurer, when he has finished the collection of taxes for his County, shall report to the County Superintendent of Education the names of the persons in the respective school district who have paid their poll tax.
Section 49. It shall be the duty of each County Treasurer to report monthly, on the fifteenth day of each month, to the County Superintendent of Education of his County the amount of collections and disbursements made by him for the month on account of school tax and all other school funds; and it shall be a misdemeanor on the part of any County Treasurer to neglect, fail or refuse to make such report, and on conviction thereof he shall pay a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, the same to be used for school purposes in his County.
Section 50. All moneys disbursed by any County Treasurer on account of school funds, taxes or other school funds shall be paid on the order of the Board of School Trustees, countersigned by the County Superintendent of Education or as otherwise directed by law.
Section 51. Each County Treasurer shall make out and forward to the State Superintendent of Education annually on the first day of November a certified statement showing (by school districts) the amount of poll tax and the amount of all other school taxes collected by him for the fiscal year ending on the 31st day of December next preceding; and should any County Treasurer fail or neglect or refuse to make and forward the statement as herein required, the State Superintendent of Education shall make a written complaint to the Circuit Solicitor for the County in which the said Treasurer resides, who shall prosecute the said County Treasurer for the same, and on conviction thereof he shall be subject to a fine not more than five hundred dollars, the same to be used for free public school purposes in his County.
Section 52. The County Treasurer shall carry forward all sums in his hands collected for any previous year or years for school purposes and unexpended to the next fiscal year and credit the same to the school district respectively for which it was apportioned, and he shall report the same to the County Superintendent of Education.
Section 53. It shall be unlawful for any County Treasurer, County Auditor, member of County Board of Education or School Trustee to buy, discount or shave, directly or indirectly, or be in any way interested in, any teachers pay certificate or other order on the school fund except such as are payable to him for his own services. If any of the officers aforesaid shall violate the provisions of this Section he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall pay a fine of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand dollars, to be used for school purposes in his County, and shall be imprisoned at the discretion of the Court, or either or both, and shall forfeit the amount of such claim or of his interest in such claim. And the County Board of Education shall regulate the opening and closing of the school terms so as best to promote and subserve the educational interest of the different sections of their Counties: Provided, That all contracts which Boards of Trustees may make in excess of the funds apportioned to their district shall be void.
Section 54. It shall not be lawful for any person who is less than six or more than twenty-one years of age to attend any of the free public schools of this State.
Section 55. The members of the State Board of Education appointed by the Governor, members of the County Boards of Education appointed by the State Board of Education and members of the Boards of Trustees shall be exempt from militia duty, and members of the Boards of Trustees shall also be exempt from road duty.
Section 56. If a member of any County Board of Education in any County of the State, or a Trustee of any school district, shall attempt to act or discharge the duties of either of said officers after he shall have been removed, or after his successor shall have qualified, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and after conviction be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred and one dollars or imprisonment for not less than thirty-one days, or both, at the discretion of the Court.
Section 57. That it shall be unlawful for any teacher of a school supported in whole or in part from the public school funds of this State, or any Trustee of any such school, or any other school officer, to become an active or silent agent of any school book publisher, or be in any wise pecuniarily interested in the introduction of any school book or books into any school in this State. Any person violating any of the provisions hereof shall, upon conviction thereof, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and be subject to a fine of not less than one hundred dollars or imprisonment in the County jail for a period of not less than thirty days, or both, at the discretion of the Circuit Judge.
Section 58. It shall be unlawful for pupils of one race to attend the schools provided by Boards of Trustees for persons of another race.
Section 59. That should the amount raised by the three mill tax and the poll tax and the net income to the State from the sale or license for the sale of alcoholic liquors for school purposes not yield at any time within the next three fiscal years, beginning with January 1st, 1896, an amount equal to three dollars per capita of the number of children enrolled in the public schools of each County for the scholastic year ending October 31, 1895, as it appears in the report of the State Superintendent of Education for such scholastic year, the Comptroller-General shall for the three next ensuing fiscal years, on the first day of each year, levy such an annual tax on the taxable property of the State as he may determine to be necessary to make up such deficiency, to be collected in the same manner as other State taxes, and apportion the same among the Counties of the State in proportion to the respective deficiencies therein. The sum so apportioned shall be paid by the State Treasurer to the County Treasurers of the respective Counties in proportion to the respective deficiencies therein on the warrant of the Comptroller-General, and it shall be apportioned among the school districts of the Counties and be disbursed as other school funds; and from and after the 31st day of December, 1898, the General Assembly shall cause to be levied annually on all the taxable property of the State such a tax in addition to the three-mill tax and poll tax, together with the net income for school purposes from the sale or license for the sale of alcoholic liquors, as may be necessary to keep the schools open throughout the State for a period of not less than five months in each scholastic year, such tax to be apportioned among the Counties in proportion to their deficiencies and be disbursed as other funds.
Section 60. The scholastic year shall begin on the first day of July of each year and end on the thirtieth day of June following.
Section 61. The State Superintendent of Education may advertise for bids for all printing required under this Act, and shall let the same to the lowest bidder therefor, who shall be required to file with his bid a bond in double the amount of his bid for the faithful performance of the contract.
Section 62. Nothing contained in this Act shall be construed to repeal the Act of the General Assembly creating special and graded school districts, and the provisions of said Acts shall apply to said school districts except the special graded school districts in the town of Blacksburg, which shall come under the provisions of this Act: Provided, That the Trustees of said school districts and Commissioners of the city schools of Charleston shall make annual reports to the State Superintendent of Education in such form and at such time as he shall prescribe: Provided, further, Whenever under the provisions of law any municipal corporation is authorized to levy a special tax for the support of public schools therein, any person not a resident of said municipal corporation shall be entitled to a credit upon fees for the tuition of his or her children by the amount of such special tax paid by such person.
Section 63. That the provisions of Article 7, Chapter XXV, Title IX, of Volume 1 of the Revised Statutes, relating to city of Charleston and the schools therein, being 1091 and 1094 inclusive, are hereby re-enacted and confirmed: Provided, That no general or special School Trustees shall hereafter employ any teacher who has not a certificate to teach in the free public schools of the State. This provision, however, not to affect the employment of any teacher now teaching in any of the schools of the special school districts: Provided, further, That the Trustees of any such school shall always have the right and power to impose any additional examinations and qualifications they may deem proper before or after employing any teachers: Provided, also, That all funds of the free public schools of this State other than those arising from the special levy of special school districts shall be paid out of the County treasury upon warrants duly vouched by the School Trustees of the respective schools or school districts or otherwise as provided by the laws governing any special school district.
Section 64. The trustees, officers or persons in charge of all literary, scientific or professional institutions of learning incorporated, supported or aided by the State, of all schools or private educational institutions, shall on or before the fifteenth day of July in each year make a report in writing to the State Superintendent of Education of such statistics as the Superintendent shall prescribe relating to the number of pupils and instructors, courses of study, cost of tuition and the general condition of the institution or school under their charge.
Section 65. The Superintendent shall prepare blank forms of inquiry for such statistics, and shall send the same to every such institution or school on or before the 10th day of May in each year; and so much of said information as he may deem proper be incorporated in his annual report.
Approved: March 9th, A.D. 1896.
John Gary Evans, Governor.