Nebraska Revised Statute 79-413

Chapter 79


School districts; creation from other school districts; change of boundaries; petition method; hearing; procedure; appeal.

(1) The State Committee for the Reorganization of School Districts created under section 79-435 may create a new school district from other districts or change the boundaries of any district that is not a member of a learning community upon receipt of petitions signed by sixty percent of the legal voters of each district affected. If the petitions contain signatures of at least sixty-five percent of the legal voters of each district affected, the state committee shall approve the petitions.

(2) Petitions proposing to change the boundaries of existing school districts that are not members of a learning community through the transfer of a parcel of land, not to exceed six hundred forty acres, shall be approved by the state committee when the petitions involve the transfer of land between Class III or IV school districts or when there would be an exchange of parcels of land between Class III or IV school districts and the petitions have the approval of at least sixty-five percent of the school board of each affected district.

(3)(a) Petitions proposing to create a new school district or to change the boundary lines of existing school districts that are not members of a learning community, any of which involves the transfer of more than six hundred forty acres, shall, when signed by at least sixty percent of the legal voters in each district affected, be submitted to the state committee. The state committee shall, within forty days after receipt of the petition, hold one or more public hearings and review and approve or disapprove such proposal.

(b) If there is a bond election to be held in conjunction with the petition, the state committee shall hold the petition until the bond election has been held, during which time names may be added to or withdrawn from the petitions. The results of the bond election shall be certified to the state committee.

(c) If the bond election held in conjunction with the petition is unsuccessful, no further action on the petition is required. If the bond election is successful, within fifteen days after receipt of the certification of the bond election results, the state committee shall approve the petition and notify the county clerk to effect the changes in district boundary lines as set forth in the petitions.

(4) Any person adversely affected by the changes made by the state committee may appeal to the district court of any county in which the real estate or any part thereof involved in the dispute is located. If the real estate is located in more than one county, the court in which an appeal is first perfected shall obtain jurisdiction to the exclusion of any subsequent appeal.

(5) A signing petitioner may withdraw his or her name from a petition and a legal voter may add his or her name to a petition at any time prior to the end of the period when the petition is held by the state committee. Additions and withdrawals of signatures shall be by notarized affidavit filed with the state committee.



  • 1. Change of boundaries

  • 2. Consolidation

  • 3. Procedure

  • 4. Miscellaneous

  • 1. Change of boundaries

  • A state committee's approval of a petition for reorganization, including a school district's reallocation of bonding authority, is a "change" within the committee's jurisdiction under subsection (4) of this section, subject to appeal, and it may not be collaterally attacked. Cumming v. Red Willow Sch. Dist. No. 179, 273 Neb. 483, 730 N.W.2d 794 (2007).

  • A state committee's approval of a petition for reorganization, including a school district's reallocation of debt, is a "change" within the committee's jurisdiction under subsection (4) of this section and is subject to appeal. Nicholson v. Red Willow Cty. Sch. Dist. No. 0170, 270 Neb. 140, 699 N.W.2d 25 (2005).

  • Authorization to change boundaries of school districts under sections 79-402 and 79-402.03 is not limited to lands in one compact contiguous area, nor is the transfer of land from one school district to another limited to land contiguous to the common boundary between the two districts. In re Proceedings re Hartwell and Minden School Dists. R-4 & R-3, 211 Neb. 453, 319 N.W.2d 68 (1982).

  • County superintendents of schools have the authority to create new districts or change the boundaries of existing districts under specific conditions. Moser v. Turner, 180 Neb. 635, 144 N.W.2d 192 (1966).

  • Districts affected by order are those districts whose boundaries will be changed. Lindgren v. School Dist. of Bridgeport, 170 Neb. 279, 102 N.W.2d 599 (1960).

  • Creation of new district requires petition by qualified voters. Clausen v. School Dist. No. 33 of Lincoln County, 164 Neb. 78, 81 N.W.2d 822 (1957).

  • Where proper petition is filed, it is the mandatory duty of county superintendent to order boundary change. Olsen v. Grosshans, 160 Neb. 543, 71 N.W.2d 90 (1955).

  • Order changing boundaries cannot be collaterally attacked. Cacek v. Munson, 160 Neb. 187, 69 N.W.2d 692 (1955).

  • Provisions of this section are mandatory and jurisdictional. State ex rel. Larson v. Morrison, 155 Neb. 309, 51 N.W.2d 626 (1952).

  • County superintendent cannot change or modify boundaries of a school district which are fixed by a special act of the Legislature. Plattsmouth Bridge Co. v. Turner, 128 Neb. 738, 260 N.W. 562 (1935).

  • Under former act, petition of one-third of voters necessary to change boundaries was necessary. Cowles v. School Dist. No. 6 of Jefferson County, 23 Neb. 655, 37 N.W. 493 (1888).

  • 2. Consolidation

  • Apportionment of assets of school districts upon partial or complete merger, division, or annexation decided. School Dist. No. 74 of Hall County v. School Dist. of Grand Island, 186 Neb. 728, 186 N.W.2d 485 (1971).

  • Consolidation of districts may be had without submission of plan to state committee. School District No. 42 of Hitchcock County v. Marshall, 160 Neb. 832, 71 N.W.2d 549 (1955).

  • Consolidation requires joint action of districts involved. Peterson v. Hancock, 155 Neb. 801, 54 N.W.2d 85 (1952).

  • 3. Procedure

  • Under this section, action by a county or state reorganization committee, approving or disapproving a school district reorganization plan, is advisory only and a recommendation which does not bind a county superintendent concerning a change in a school district's boundaries. When the county superintendent has determined that the reorganization petition has sufficient valid signatures, the superintendent's duty to carry out the petition reorganization is mandatory. Leibbrandt v. Lomax, 228 Neb. 552, 423 N.W.2d 453 (1988).

  • Under petition form of reorganization, the provisions of the statutes are mandatory and jurisdictional, and once a sufficient number of legal voters of each district have signed a petition the superintendent must act in accordance with the statutes. Eriksen v. Ray, 212 Neb. 8, 321 N.W.2d 59 (1982).

  • Legal school voters are entitled to judicial review of school district boundary changes and may intervene in district court proceeding brought by one of districts involved. School Dist. of Gering v. Stannard, 193 Neb. 624, 228 N.W.2d 600 (1975).

  • Validity and sufficiency of petition is to be determined as of date it is filed with county superintendent ten days after public hearing by county committee. Virka v. Knox, 187 Neb. 664, 193 N.W.2d 573 (1972).

  • Any person adversely affected by a ruling by the county superintendent hereunder may proceed either by appeal or by error. Cherry v. Lofgren, 187 Neb. 133, 187 N.W.2d 652 (1971).

  • Provision in this section for direct appeal limited to an order which required superintendent to act in a judicial manner. Kosmicki v. Kowalski, 184 Neb. 639, 171 N.W.2d 172 (1969).

  • In an error proceeding under this section, jurisdiction denied where appellant failed to file a properly authenticated transcript. Lemburg v. Nielsen, 182 Neb. 747, 157 N.W.2d 381 (1968).

  • Any person affected by changes of boundaries of district may appeal. Languis v. De Boer, 181 Neb. 32, 146 N.W.2d 750 (1966).

  • Any person adversely affected by changes made by county superintendent under this section may appeal to district court. School Dist. of Wilber v. Pracheil, 180 Neb. 121, 141 N.W.2d 768 (1966).

  • A legal voter may add name to petition at any time before petition is filed with county superintendent. Harnapp v. Bigelow, 178 Neb. 440, 133 N.W.2d 611 (1965).

  • Signatures to a petition for change of boundaries of a school district may be added after the time petition was originally circulated and before it was filed. Retzlaff v. Synovec, 178 Neb. 147, 132 N.W.2d 314 (1965).

  • Change of boundaries of school district may be made upon petitions signed by fifty-five percent of the legal voters of the district. Bierman v. Campbell, 175 Neb. 877, 124 N.W.2d 918 (1963).

  • Denial of petition for school district reorganization was final appealable order. Frankforter v. Turner, 175 Neb. 252, 121 N.W.2d 377 (1963).

  • Proceedings for reorganization under petition method are to be distinguished from proceedings under election method. Longe v. County of Wayne, 175 Neb. 245, 121 N.W.2d 196 (1963).

  • Proceedings under this section are to be distinguished from proceedings for reorganization of school districts. Arends v. Whitten, 172 Neb. 297, 109 N.W.2d 363 (1961).

  • Notice and hearing on change of boundaries of any class of school district is provided. Perkins County High School Dist. v. McQuiston, 167 Neb. 330, 93 N.W.2d 32 (1958).

  • Petitions of several districts affected must concur in requesting substantially identical action. Dovel v. School Dist. No. 23 of Otoe County, 166 Neb. 548, 90 N.W.2d 58 (1958).

  • Where proper petitions are filed, it is mandatory duty to hold hearing, and if petitions are sufficient, to change boundaries as requested. School Dist. No. 49 of Merrick County v. Kriedler, 165 Neb. 761, 87 N.W.2d 429 (1958).

  • Where signers of petition are numerous, one or more may sue or defend for all provided proper allegations of class action are made. Keedy v. Reid, 165 Neb. 519, 86 N.W.2d 370 (1957).

  • Under prior law, signer of petition could withdraw at any time before county superintendent acted thereon. State ex rel. Glenn v. Bennett, 156 Neb. 258, 55 N.W.2d 677 (1952).

  • 4. Miscellaneous

  • An accepted affiliation petition is not a contract; rather, it creates a new school system. The predecessor to this section, section 79-426.28, made clear the Legislature's intent to have all taxable property in the state within or at least affiliated with a school system that offers education in grades K through 12 by July 1, 1993. State ex rel. Fick v. Miller, 255 Neb. 387, 584 N.W.2d 809 (1998).

  • Former section 79-801.02 is limited to provisions of former section 79-801, and is not applicable to school district boundary changes under other statutes. Corcoran v. Boone County Board of Equalization, 196 Neb. 363, 243 N.W.2d 60 (1976).

  • Plan for voluntary dissolution of school district ceases to be available when provisions for mandatory dissolution are applicable and have been invoked. Nelson v. Robertson, 187 Neb. 192, 188 N.W.2d 720 (1971).

  • Unless rural organization committee acts promptly on petitions presented under this section or interested parties within reasonable time institute proceedings to force action, committee will lose jurisdiction to act. Chappell v. Carr, 185 Neb. 158, 174 N.W.2d 208 (1970).

  • The 1965 amendment of section independent of other statutes relating to same subject. Hall v. Simpson, 184 Neb. 762, 171 N.W.2d 805 (1969).

  • Validity and sufficiency of petitions for merger of school districts are determined by the county superintendent after notice and hearing. Reid v. Slepicka, 182 Neb. 485, 155 N.W.2d 799 (1968).

  • This section, with others, provides the basis for dissolution of school district and attachment of its area to other districts. Board of Education v. Winne, 177 Neb. 431, 129 N.W.2d 255 (1964).

  • Under former section, Class VI school district was validly created. State ex rel. Venango Rural High School Dist. v. Ziegler, 173 Neb. 758, 115 N.W.2d 142 (1962).

  • Part of 1957 amendment to this section was unconstitutional as not having been expressed in the title. State ex rel. Bottolfson v. School Board of School Dist. No. R1 of Cedar and Dixon Counties, 170 Neb. 417, 103 N.W.2d 146 (1960).

  • County high school district was not a district affected by detachment of an elementary school district within its territorial area. Halstead v. Rozmiarek, 167 Neb. 652, 94 N.W.2d 37 (1959).

  • Advice as to effect of this section did not work estoppel on reorganization of district. Nickel v. School Board of Axtell, 157 Neb. 813, 61 N.W.2d 566 (1953).