For the petitioner-respondent, Louis D. Champion.
For the respondents-prosecutors, William D. Charlton.
Before Justices Bodine, Perskie and Wachenfeld.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
BODINE, J. The writ in this case brings before us a decision of the State Board of Education holding that the Board of Education of the Township of Egg Harbor, Farmington, New Jersey, in awarding the contract for bus route No. 8 to Melissa H. Adams was unauthorized and illegal, with instructions to such board to call for new proposals and to award the contract in accordance with the state law to the lowest responsible bidder.
It appears from the testimony that a Mr. Moyer, a Ford dealer in Pleasantville, was requested by the prosecutor of the writ and by Mr. Rankin to procure a school bus. Such bus was procured complying with state regulations.
It appears that the local Board of Education at its meeting on May 14th, 1945, received two bids pursuant to its proposal: one from Melissa H. Adams for $6,400 and one from Jesse F. Rankin for $5,500. Both bids were rejected. Proposals were again received at the meeting on June 7th, 1945: Melissa H. Adams, $6,421.60; Jesse F. Rankin, $5,300. Both bids were rejected. On Tuesday, July 17th, 1945, proposals were received as follows: Melissa H. Adams, $6,421.60; Jesse F. Rankin, $5,500. The Rankin bid was rejected and the contract was awarded to Melissa H. Adams for a period of four years.
The local board had supplemented the state regulations with respect to bus transportation, claiming that it was in the interest of the safety of the traveling students.
It was claimed at the meeting, where Mr. Rankin's bid was rejected, that his bid did not meet with the specifications. It is clear, however, that it met with the state specifications. There was unchallenged testimony that in re-writing the specifications there had been a request to the Ford dealer from the husband of the successful bidder for a description of a school bus around which the specifications could be written and which bus she alone could procure and a competitor could
not duplicate. So the specifications were re-written. It was not denied that the plan was well executed.
The advertisement for bids for transportation of school children is provided for in R.S. 18:14-11. It would seem implicit from the statute that the State Board had the right of review, since it is called upon to ...