Sec.7. The school funds of many of the states have been largely increased by certain moneys received from the United States. In 1837, there had accumulated in the national treasury about thirty millions of dollars over and above what was needed for the support of the government. By an act of congress, this surplus revenue was distributed among the states then existing, to be kept by them until called for by congress. Although congress reserved the right to recall the money, it was presumed that it would never be demanded. That it never will be, is now almost certain. Many of the states have appropriated large portions of their respective shares for school purposes. From its having been said to be only deposited with the states, this fund is sometimes called the United States deposit fund.
Sec.8. School moneys coming from the state treasury, or state fund, are usually apportioned among the several towns of the state; and each town’s share of such moneys, together with what may come to the town by taxation or from its school lands, is divided among the several districts according to the number of children between certain ages in each district, or in such other manner as may be directed by law. If the moneys thus received are insufficient to pay the wages of teachers, a rate bill is made out in each district for the deficiency, and collected from the persons whose children have been taught in the schools.
Sec.9. The towns, or townships, are divided into districts of suitable size for schools, which are called district schools. From their being supported by a common fund, and designed for the common benefit, or from the lower or more common branches being taught in them, they are also called common schools. One or more trustees or directors are chosen in each district to manage its affairs; a clerk to notify meetings and record the proceedings of the same; and a collector to collect taxes for building and repairing school-houses, and all rate bills for the payment of teachers.
Sec.10. The highest school officer is the state superintendent of common schools, or, as he is sometimes called, superintendent of public instruction. The superintendent collects information relating to the schools; the number of children residing in each district, and the number taught; the amount paid for tuition; the number of school-houses, and the amount yearly expended in erecting school-houses; and other matters concerning the operation and effects of the common school system. If there is no other officer whose duty it is, the superintendent also apportions the money arising from the state funds among the several counties. He reports to the legislature at every session the information he has collected, and suggests such improvements in the school system as he thinks ought to be made.
Sec.11. There is in every county an officer who receives from the state superintendent the money apportioned to the county, and apportions the same among the towns; reports to the state superintendent the number of children in the county; and performs such other duties as the law requires. In some states, there is no such county officer; but the money is apportioned by the state superintendent among the towns; and the reports from the towns are made directly to the state superintendent.