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Board of Education of Township of Lumberton v. New Jersey State Board of Education

Decided: December 31, 1940.

THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE TOWNSHIP OF LUMBERTON IN THE COUNTY OF BURLINGTON, PROSECUTOR,
v.
THE NEW JERSEY STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, LOUIS J. KASER, COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS FOR THE COUNTY OF BURLINGTON, AND THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE RANCOCAS VALLEY REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT, RESPONDENTS



On certiorari.

For the prosecutor, Davis & Davis.

For the respondent the Board of Education of the Rancocas Valley Regional High School District, Stanley K. Heilbron.

Before Brogan, Chief Justice, and Justices Parker and Perskie.

Perskie

The opinion of the court was delivered by

PERSKIE, J. The basic question requiring decision in this cause is whether the superintendent of schools of Burlington county properly apportioned the conceded sum of $2,700 of the state school moneys, for the school year 1935-1936, to the Rancocas Valley Regional High School District, or whether he should have apportioned the $2,700 to the Board of Education of the township of Lumberton.

Prosecutor, having no high school facilities of its own, sent its high school pupils, for many years, to the Mount Holly Township High School. During the school year 1934-1935 (July 1st, 1934, to June 30th, 1935), prosecutor sent forty-five of its high school pupils to the Mount Holly Township High School and paid for them at the rate of $60 a pupil, or a total of $2,700.

The legal voters of the school district of Lumberton, Easthampton, Hainesport, Mount Holly and Westhampton had voted, on January 7th, 1935, to provide joint high school facilities for the pupils embraced within the boundaries of the several school districts (R.S. 18:8-1, et seq.). In accordance with that vote and the applicable procedure, the Regional Board of Education, now known as the Rancocas Valley Regional High School District, was organized on January 21st, 1935.

Notwithstanding the creation of the new organization, and the written instructions of the county superintendent of schools to the contrary, prosecutor included the item of $2,700, which it had paid to the Mount Holly Board of Education for the school year of 1934-1935, in its budget for the school year of 1935-1936, as anticipated revenue, and, as so made up, adopted that budget on February 13th, 1935.

As of April 1st, 1935 (actually not until the latter part of November, 1935), the Burlington county superintendent of schools apportioned the $2,700 for the school year 1935-1936 not to prosecutor but to the newly organized body, Rancocas Valley Regional High School District.

Aggrieved at the action of the county superintendent, prosecutor appealed therefrom to the State Commissioner of Education. The latter held that the county superintendent had properly apportioned the $2,700 to the Rancocas Valley Regional High School District. Prosecutor then appealed from that holding to the State Board of Education which affirmed the State Commissioner of Education. The affirmance by the State Commissioner of Education and that of the State Board of Education was largely rested upon the premise that the apportionment, as made, was made ...


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