CHAPTER 171*
TOWN MANAGEMENT

      *Scope of chapter. 103 C. 422.

Table of Contents

Sec. 10-240. Control of schools.
Sec. 10-241. Powers of school districts.
Sec. 10-241a. Taking of site by eminent domain.
Sec. 10-242. Meetings.
Sec. 10-243. Treasurer and clerk.
Sec. 10-244. Payment of expenses.
Sec. 10-245. Formation of school districts.
Sec. 10-246. Sale of property of former districts.
Sec. 10-247. Management of permanent funds.
Sec. 10-248. Payment of school expenses.
Sec. 10-248a. Unexpended education funds account.

      Sec. 10-240. Control of schools. Each town shall through its board of education maintain the control of all the public schools within its limits and for this purpose shall be a school district and shall have all the powers and duties of school districts, except so far as such powers and duties are inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1497; P.A. 78-218, S. 175.)

      History: P.A. 78-218 added phrase "through its board of education" to clarify how control of public schools maintained.

      Purpose and effect of consolidation. 82 C. 586; 86 C. 594. Former act had effect of compelling consolidation in certain towns. 122 C. 42. See note to Sec. 10-221. Cited. 149 C. 600. Cited. 152 C. 568. Each town is designated as a school district, and has the same powers as a school district to take land for school purposes. 168 C. 135. Present system of financing public education embodied in this section. Towns have been delegated duty to raise revenue by taxation. 172 C. 615. Cited. 182 C. 253. Cited. 210 C. 531. Cited. 218 C. 1. Cited. 237 C. 169. Cited. 238 C. 1.

      Cited. 6 CA 212.

      Authority to unite schools. 16 CS 336. This section insofar as it delegates to Canton the state's duty of operating and maintaining free public schools and raising taxes therefor, violates Article I, Sec. 20 and Article VIII, Sec. 1 of Connecticut Constitution. 31 CS 377. State's duty to provide education performed through towns, societies and districts. Id. Violative of Connecticut Constitution insofar as it purports to delegate duty of raising taxes to operate public education. Id. Local board of education is acting as agent of the town, not as agent of the state, in suit to recover damages for faulty construction of school building and doctrine of sovereign immunity is not applicable. 40 CS 141.


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      Sec. 10-241. Powers of school districts. Each school district shall be a body corporate and shall have power to sue and be sued; to purchase, receive, hold and convey real and personal property for school purposes; to build, equip, purchase and rent schoolhouses and make major repairs thereto and to supply them with fuel, furniture and other appendages and accommodations; to establish and maintain schools of different grades; to establish and maintain a school library; to lay taxes and to borrow money for the purposes herein set forth; to make agreements and regulations for the establishing and conducting of schools not inconsistent with the regulations of the town having jurisdiction of the schools in such district; and to employ teachers, in accordance with the provisions of section 10-151, and pay their salaries. When such board appoints a superintendent, such superintendent may, with the approval of such board, employ the teachers.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1498, 1507; 1953, S. 955d.)

      Annotations to former statutes:

      Every inhabitant of a school district is a party to a suit brought against it and his property may be taken on an execution issued against it. 10 C. 395. See 26 C. 527. A vote laying a tax is sufficiently definite if it is reasonably clear that the tax was imposed for legitimate purposes. 12 C. 437. Districts may sue by the name by which they are generally known. 13 C. 227. What is sufficient warning of meeting of school district. Id., 234. The records of a school district are evidence of its votes in a suit to which it is a party. Id., 235. The votes and proceedings of school districts, if within their jurisdiction, will be liberally construed. 15 C. 332; 454. The character and cost of school buildings, within broad limits, is left to the school district; courts will not interfere with this discretion except in clear cases of abuse. 25 C. 227; 63 C. 131. Extent of discretionary power of school district illustrated. 25 C. 227, 228. Schoolhouse may not be used for religious purposes against objection of taxpayers, and injunction will lie against such use. 27 C. 503; see Sec. 10-239. A school district has all necessary power to establish and maintain a school within its limits. 33 C. 304. District committee must obey the vote of the district as to rooms and teachers; the committee's authority is contingent on the district failing to act. Id. A debt owed by a school district may be taken by foreign attachment. 53 C. 509. Status of teacher as to district defined. Id. School districts are limited in power to raise and expend money for the sole purposes set forth in the statute. 60 C. 234. Right to build sewer and liability for neglect. 72 C. 564. Nature of school district. 73 C. 170; 85 C. 33. Power to borrow money carries with it power to issue negotiable bonds. 101 C. 261. Cited. 103 C. 420. Powers given cannot be circumscribed by vote at a town meeting. Id., 422. History of school district statutes; chapter applies only to towns which have not consolidated school districts. 122 C. 36; see also 77 C. 194.

      The town as the school district of the town of Stamford may be sued. 5 CS 301. Indemnification of a school officer for counsel fees incurred in a libel action. 9 CS 442. Board of education as agent of the state, when. 19 CS 158.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 149 C. 600. Cited. 170 C. 318. Present system of financing public education, principally embodied in section 10-240 and this section, insofar as it purports to delegate to the town of Canton the state's duty to operate and maintain free public schools and raise taxes therefor, violates Article I, Secs. 1, 20 and Article VIII, Sec. 1 of the Connecticut Constitution (See 31 CS 377). 172 C. 615. Cited. 237 C. 169. Cited. 238 C. 1.

      This section insofar as it delegates to Canton the state's duty to operate and maintain free public schools and raise taxes therefor, violates Article I, Sec. 20 and Article VIII, Sec. 1 of Connecticut Constitution. 31 CS 377. Duty to educate is that of state and delegating it will not discharge it. Id.


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      Sec. 10-241a. Taking of site by eminent domain. Any local or regional school district may take, by eminent domain, land which has been fixed upon as a site, or addition to a site, of a public school building, and which is necessary for such purpose or for outbuildings or convenient accommodations for its schools, upon paying to the owner just compensation, provided such taking is with the approval of the legislative body of the town, and in the case of regional school districts, subject to the provisions of section 10-49a, and in each case in accordance with the provisions of sections 8-129 to 8-133, inclusive. The board, committee or public officer empowered to acquire school sites in such school district shall perform all duties and have all rights prescribed for the redevelopment agency in said sections with respect to such taking. No school district or municipality shall take for school purposes the land of any ecclesiastical society, upon any part of which a church building has already been erected, without the consent of such ecclesiastical society, or any land devoted to or used for cemetery or burial purposes.

      (1967, P.A. 720, S. 1; P.A. 78-218, S. 176; P.A. 93-353, S. 22, 52.)

      History: P.A. 78-218 substituted "local" for "town" school districts, "school building" for "schoolhouse" and "municipality" for "city or town"; P.A. 93-353 corrected an internal reference, effective July 1, 1993.

      Town, after complying with this section, could delegate its power to condemn to board of education which had authority to exercise it. 168 C. 135. Where voters approved land acquisition "for school purposes" and referendum question included "general purposes" and "open space", and where evidence established site was to be used for school purposes, the taking was authorized by section and time limitation in Sec. 48-6 did not apply; "site...of a public building" is not limited to the footprint of the school building and related construction. 290 C. 668.

      Where referendum question stated that some property proposed to be acquired by eminent domain for a school project would be used for open space and general government, provisions of Sec. 48-6 requiring commencement of compensation process within six months of referendum apply. 103 CA 369.


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      Sec. 10-242. Meetings. The annual town meeting shall be the annual school district meeting and special meetings shall be called and held in the same manner as provided by law for special town meetings.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1499, 1539.)

      Cited. 9 CS 442. Town meeting not superior to board of education in business relating to public schools. 16 CS 339. See note to Sec. 10-241.

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      Sec. 10-243. Treasurer and clerk. The town clerk and treasurer of each town shall have all the powers and duties, respectively, of the clerk and treasurer of a school district, except so far as such duties are rendered unnecessary by the provisions of this chapter.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1505.)

      Cited. 95 C. 202. See note to Sec. 10-241.

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      Sec. 10-244. Payment of expenses. Section 10-244 is repealed.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1506; 1959, P.A. 615, S. 5.)

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      Sec. 10-245. Formation of school districts. No new school district shall be formed except as provided by part III of chapter 164.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1514; 1969, P.A. 698, S. 26.)

      History: 1969 act replaced absolute prohibition of formation of new school districts with qualified prohibition-"except as provided by part III of chapter 164".

      Town's authority to reestablish school districts revoked. 4 CS 36. See note to Sec. 10-241.

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      Sec. 10-246. Sale of property of former districts. Section 10-246 is repealed.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1542; P.A. 78-218, S. 211.)

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      Sec. 10-247. Management of permanent funds. If any school district, formerly existing in a town in which the school districts have been or shall be abolished or consolidated, has received a permanent fund for the support of a school or schools in such district, the treasurer of the town shall have charge of it and keep a separate account thereof; and the income of such fund shall be held subject to the order of the board of education, which shall apply it for the benefit of the school or schools within or nearest to the limits of the district formerly existing, in such manner as to carry out, as nearly as possible, the intent of the grantor of such fund.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1543; P.A. 78-218, S. 177.)

      History: P.A. 78-218 deleted "town" in phrase "subject to the order of the town board of education".

      See Sec. 10-258 re administration of trust funds.

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      Sec. 10-248. Payment of school expenses. The expenses of maintaining public schools in each town, which shall be incurred with the approval of the board of education, shall be paid by the town treasurer on orders drawn by said board, except so far as they may be met by the income from local school funds. Such orders may be signed by such persons on behalf of the board as the board by bylaw or special vote, certified by the secretary to the town treasurer, provides; and, in the absence of such bylaw or special direction, by the secretary.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1544; P.A. 78-218, S. 178.)

      History: P.A. 78-218 deleted "town" in phrase "with the approval of the town board of education".

      Cited 152 C. 568.

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      Sec. 10-248a. Unexpended education funds account. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, and each fiscal year thereafter, notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes or any special act, municipal charter, home rule ordinance or other ordinance, the board of finance in each town having a board of finance, the board of selectman in each town having no board of finance or the authority making appropriations for the school district for each town may deposit into a nonlapsing account any unexpended funds from the prior fiscal year from the budgeted appropriation for education for the town, provided such amount does not exceed one per cent of the total budgeted appropriation for education for such prior fiscal year.

      (P.A. 10-108, S. 32.)

      History: P.A. 10-108 effective July 1, 2010.

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