Depopulated districts; attachment to adjoining districts; notice; when authorized; waiver of requirements; findings; appeal; distribution of assets.
When, for a period of one school term, a school district (1) has less than three legal voters residing in the district or (2)(a) fails to maintain a public elementary school within the district in which are enrolled and in regular attendance for at least one thousand thirty-two hours one or more pupils of school age residing in the district, other than option students as defined in section 79-233, or (b) does not contract for the tuition and transportation of pupils of such district with another district or districts and have pupils attending school regularly for at least one thousand thirty-two hours under such contract or contracts, the State Committee for the Reorganization of School Districts shall, subject to the requirements of this section, dissolve such district and attach the territory of such district to one or more neighboring school districts. Before dissolving a district under this section, the state committee shall fix a time for a hearing and shall notify each legal resident of the district at least fifteen days before such hearing. When the dissolution will create extreme hardships on the pupils of the district affected, the State Board of Education may, on application by the school board of the district, annually waive the requirements of this section. Notification shall be by mail or by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the area.
If the state committee finds that the district is required by this section to be dissolved, it shall enter an order dissolving the district and directing the county clerk of the county in which such district is located to attach the territory of such district to one or more neighboring school districts. Appeals from the action of the state committee may be made to the district court of the county in which the depopulated district is located. The county treasurer shall distribute the assets of the closed district among the other district or districts to which the property has been attached in proportion to the taxable valuation of the property attached to such district or districts.
Source:Laws 1897, c. 62, § 2, p. 308; Laws 1909, c. 117, § 2, p. 455; R.S.1913, § 6723; C.S.1922, § 6261; C.S.1929, § 79-124; R.S.1943, § 79-137; Laws 1949, c. 256, § 59, p. 712; Laws 1953, c. 291, § 2, p. 989; Laws 1955, c. 308, § 1, p. 952; Laws 1955, c. 315, § 5, p. 975; Laws 1959, c. 386, § 1, p. 1336; Laws 1963, c. 478, § 1, p. 1534; Laws 1971, LB 211, § 2; Laws 1979, LB 187, § 225; Laws 1985, LB 633, § 1; Laws 1989, LB 183, § 19; Laws 1992, LB 719A, § 182; R.S.1943, (1994), § 79-420; Laws 1996, LB 900, § 247; Laws 1999, LB 272, § 69.
1. County superintendent's duties
1. County superintendent's duties
County superintendent has mandatory duty to dissolve Class I school district when precedent conditions in this section exist. In re Dissolution of School Dist. No. 22 of Madison County, 216 Neb. 89, 341 N.W.2d 918 (1983).
Statute contemplates that the county superintendent inform himself of the facts before fixing a time for the required public hearing. School Dist. No. 39 of Sarpy County v. Farber, 215 Neb. 791, 341 N.W.2d 320 (1983).
Where conditions precedent enumerated in this section exist, it is mandatory duty of county superintendent to take action unless valid waiver given. Chappell v. Carr, 185 Neb. 158, 174 N.W.2d 208 (1970).
Powers and duties imposed on county superintendent of schools are legislative in character. McDonald v. Rentfrow, 171 Neb. 479, 106 N.W.2d 682 (1960).
County superintendent has duty of attaching territory of district failing to maintain public school for two consecutive years to adjoining districts. State ex rel. Higgs v. Summers, 118 Neb. 189, 223 N.W. 957 (1929).
Action to dissolve district involving transfer of territory across county lines requires the joint action of both county superintendents involved. Lentz v. Saunders, 199 Neb. 3, 255 N.W.2d 853 (1977).
Notice was properly given of intention to dissolve district. Board of Education v. Winne, 177 Neb. 431, 129 N.W.2d 255 (1964).
Litigant who invokes statute to appeal county superintendent's decision to merge may not question its constitutionality in same action. In re Dissolution of School Dist. No. 22 of Madison County, 216 Neb. 89, 341 N.W.2d 918 (1983).
Subject to possible waiver when this section has been invoked, statutory plans for voluntary dissolution cease to be available. Nelson v. Robertson, 187 Neb. 192, 188 N.W.2d 720 (1971).
Amendment to prior act held unconstitutional for failure to provide for notice and an opportunity to be heard. Schutte v. Schmitt, 162 Neb. 162, 75 N.W.2d 656 (1956).