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extends entirely across the room, and should be elevated eight or ten inches above the main floor. The teacher's desk stands on the rostrum facing the central aisle.
Three feet space is left between the rear desks and the partition separating the school-room from the ante-rooms. The stove is placed in the centre near the partition, and the pipe should lead to a chimney in the rear end of the room, which if the building is made of brick or stone, should be built in the wall, if a framed building it may be supported by brackets fastened to the studding, and in all cases it should extend into the schoolrooin far enough to receive the pipe, which should never pass through the ceiling, much less through the roof, as it often does in country schoolhonses. The ante-rooms (one in each corner in front) are eight feet square -including the walls--and should be fitted up with shelves on one side and hooks on the other. They may be lighted by a sash over the outside doors.
The room between the entrances is twelve feet long by eight in width, and may be used for a library and apparatus room, or when the school is very full, it may be used as a recitation room, in which some of the more advanced papils who are preparing to teach may hear the recitations of the primary classes, and thus lighten the labor of the teacher and obtain some knowledge of the methods of communicating instruction before they assume the sole charge of a school.
We are now ready to ascertain the length of the building. Commencing in the rear we find the rostrom six feet; space between the rostrum and seats four feet; space occupied by seats and desks seventeen feet, between desks and partition three feet, ante-rooms eight feet, so that a building to accommodate sixty scholars should be thirty-eight feet long by twentyeight feet wide. The rear wall is included in the width of the rostrum, and the partition and front wall in the width of the ante-rooms. The spaces in the side walls are intended for windows, those in the partition for doors, the outside) ones in front for doors, and the middle ones for a double window. In our next issue we will consider the matter of furni. turo, blackboards, etc., and give estimates of the cost of the building.
A SEA WAVE.-If one could but introduce the image of a true sea wave, one massive fathom's height and rood's breadth of brine, passing by but once, dividing the Red-Sea, on right hand and left, setting close before our eyes for once, in inevitable truth, what a sea wave really is : its green mountainous giddiness of wrath; its overwhelming crest, heavy as iron, fitfal as flame, clashing against the sky in long cloven edge; its furrowed flanks all ghastly clear, deep in transparent death, but all laced across with larid nets of spume, and tearing open into meshed interstices their churned veil of silver fury, showing still the calm abyss below, that has no fury and no voice, but is as & grave always open, which he green sighing sounds do but hide for an instant as they pass !”-Ruskin.
OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION,
Madison, March, 18th, 1858. The following points of inquiry, and the opinions given, are taken from the correspondence of this Department for the last two months; and from the frequency with which most, if not all, have recurred, it is presumed they will prove of general public utility. Respectfully yours,
S. H. CARPENTER, Assistant Supt.
OPINIONS, ETC., FROM THE OFFICE OF THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT.
Q. If a person ineligible be duly elected, and acts officially, are his acts legal, if he should afterward be decided ineligible and his office declared vacant ?
A. If the election is made in good faith, and the officer proceeds regularly in good faith, his acts are legal, until he is decided ineligible, and his office declared vacant; but not afterward.
Q. Have the District Board the power to prescribe the studies to be pursued in school?
4. The School Law makes it imperative upon District Schools to have certain branches taught, but the same law gives the Board power to add such other studies as they may deem proper, such as writing compositions, declaiming, etc.
Q. If the Clerk of a District refuses to carry out the wishes of the School Board as to contracting with teachers, or approving bonds, what course shall the District Officers take?
A. Section 86 of the School Laws imposes a fine upon the Clerk, and other District Officers, for neglect of duty. The Clerk, and all District Officers, must be left to their own discretion in their action, but a persistent refusal to carry out the wishes of the Board, should vacate the office of the person who thus acts. Harmony of action should be preserved, or the efficiency of the school is very much impaired.
Q. How shall a decision of a Town Superintendent be treated during the pendency of an appeal to the State Superintendent?
A. The decision of a Town Superintendent is, in all cases, to be considered as valid and binding, until the same is reversed by the State Saperintendent, and his decision is filed with the Town Clerk.
Q. Can the State Superintendent divide a district ?
A. He can not; he can only decide a case on appeal.
Q. Can a teacher decide upon what studies are to be pursued in school, and enforce their recitation?
A. He can, with the advice of the Board. If the Board, knowing the facts, take no action, it may be construed into a tacit approval.
Q. Can the District Board dismiss a teacher, after a contract has been duly entered into ?
A. If, under such circumstances, the teacher is dismissed, the Board are liable for the teacher's wages for the full term for which he was hired. A teacher once hired should not be dismissed, except for imperative reasons, as it breaks up the regularity of the schools, and endangers the prosperity of the district, as it may not be possible to procure another teacher in time to meet the requirements of law. Several cases have already come to the knowledge of this Department, in which districts will be deprived of their apportionment for this reason.
Q. Can a Town Superintendent teach school?
A. I can not teach as a qualified teacher, as he can not qualify himself. If the Board hire an unqualified teacher, they are individually responsible. No school money can be received from the State if the school is taught by an unqualified teacher, and the Town Superintendent, while acting as such, can not be a qualified teacher. If he wishes to teach he must resign as Town Superintendent, and receive a proper certificate of qualification from his successor.
Q. Can the District Board forbid scholars from without the district attending school?
A. This matter rests entirely with the discretion of the Board. The first duty of the District Officers is to meet the wants of the children with. in their own district, and if they see fit they can admit others. In no case can a tuition fee be collected from scholars from without the district.
Q. Can the Director of a District enter a law-suit against the Clerk, or ony other person, without the consent of the Treasurer, or of the District ?
A, The Director has no such right to commence à suit agaiost the
Q. If a District Officer removes from the district, is his office vacant?
ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTION OF TAXES.
Q. If a district votes a tax, and the Clerk neglects to certify the tax to the Town Clerk, so that the tax is not levied, will the tax be put into the next assessment roll, if an annual meeting intervenes?
A. The language of the law is explicit: If the tax for any reason is
not levied the same year it is assessed, it must be put into the assessment roll of the next succeeding year. The fact that an annual meeting intervenes makes no difference whatever. The tax must go into the assessment roll of the next year.
Q. Can a tax which has been levied, but no further steps taken in regard to it, be rescinded at a special meeting?
A. If no further steps have been taken beyond the levy of the tax, it can be rescinded at a special meeting, provided every voter in the district has been notified of the meeting, and of the object of the meeting.
Q. Can a district vote a tax at any but an annual meeting?
A. The law is positive; an annual meeting only can levy a tax of any kind.
Q. Has a Town Treasurer a right to make up the State Tax from the School Tax?
A. The law is not very clear; yet we think he has no such right. The law reads: "The Town Treasurer shall pay over the full amount of State tax, though it may occasion a deficiency in the Town taxes.” The School tax is not strictly & Town tax, and the law further authorizes the Town Treasurer to pay over the School tax even before the time for the payment of the State and County taxes, or before it could be determined whether there was to be a deficiency or not.
Q. Is it the duty of the District Clerk to give a description of the lands in his district to the Town Treasurer for the purpose of District taxes ?
A. It is not; the duty of the District Clerk is to return a list of persons and corporations in his district liable to School tax.
Q. To whom shall the School District tax be paid when collected ?
Q. If a tax has been levied and collec:ed for a specific purpose, can the money be expended for any other purpose ?
A. It can, provided every voter in the district be notified of the meeting. Still, such changes should be avoided as far as possible.
Q. If a School District tax is returned to the county, is the district obliged to take county orders on settlement?
A. The law reads: The County Treasurer must collect it, and “pay over the money." The law never recognizes county orders as legal tender. No amount of them can ever legally settle & debt-they are like a promissory note, evidences of debt. Still it is customary to take county orders and wait until they can be cashed, but there is no law requiring a district to accept county orders, in lieu of cash on a final settlement.
Q. Is it obligatory upon a district to levy a district tax in addition to the tax levied by the County Board in order to receive the School money from the State?
A. The law only requires towns to raise the tax levied by the County Board. The other tax is beyond the requirements of the law, and is levied by the district to meet its necessities.
Q. Shall the School tax levied upon towns by the County Board, be paid to the County Treasurer, or to the Town Superintendent?
A. In regard to the payment of School taxes, the law is not very explicit, but still, the intent of the law is plain. No monies raised and col. lected in any town for school purposes, should be paid to the County Treasurer, but be retained by the Town Treasurer, and paid by him to the Town Superintendent on application. The School tax levied upon towns by the County Board, is not a County tax. The State makes the county its agent to distribute the School Fund, and hence requires the county to see that the requirements of law, in relation to the tax levied upon the towns, are complied with; but this power to superintend the tax-levy, does not make the tax a County tax; so that the taxes levied upon towns by the County Board, are not to be paid to the County Treasurer, but to the Town Superintendent; otherwise there woulâ be a percentage taken twice-once by the Town Treasurer, and once by the County Treasurer.
[We are obliged, for want of space, to omit many points of interest, which will hereafter appear in the Journal.]
[We would call the attention of Town Superintendents to the follow notice, republished from the February Namber of the Journal,]
Office of Supt. of Public Instruction,
MADISON, February 1st, 1858.
TO TOWN SUPERINTENDENTS,
You will confer a favor on this Department by returning to the Office of the Wisconsin Journal of Education, the names of the District Clerks elected in your several towns at the Annual Meeting in September last.
Each District Clerk is entitled to a copy of the Journal of Education, and in order to insure its regular receipt by those officers, it is necessary that the publishers of the Journal should have a complete list of their names and post office address.
LYMAN O. DRAPER,
Supt. of Public Instruction.