Article XIV, Alabama Constitution
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| Text of Section 256:
Duty of Legislature to Establish and Maintain Public School System; Apportionment of Public School Fund; Separate Schools for White and Colored Children.
The legislature shall establish, organize, and maintain a liberal system of public schools throughout the state for the benefit of the children thereof between the ages of seven and twenty-one years. The public school fund shall be apportioned to the several counties in proportion to the number of school children of school age therein, and shall be so apportioned to the schools in the districts or townships in the counties as to provide, as nearly as practicable, school terms of equal duration in such school districts or townships. Separate schools shall be provided for white and colored children, and no child of either race shall be permitted to attend a school of the other race.
| Text of Section 257:
Principal from Sale, Etc., of School Property to Be Preserved; Disposition of Income Therefrom.
The principal of all funds arising from the sale or other disposition of lands or other property, which has been or may hereafter be granted or entrusted to this state or given by the United States for educational purposes shall be preserved inviolate and undiminished; and the income arising therefrom shall be faithfully applied to the specific object of the original grants or appropriations.
| Text of Section 258:
Property Donated or Appropriated for Educational Purposes and Estates of Persons Dying without Will or Heirs to Be Applied to Maintenance of Public Schools
All lands or other property given by individuals, or appropriated by the state for educational purposes, and all estates of deceased persons who die without leaving a will or heir, shall be faithfully applied to the maintenance of the public schools.
| Text of Section 259:
Use of Poll Taxes for Support of Public Schools
All poll taxes collected in this state shall be applied to the support of of the public schools in the respective counties where collected.
| Text of Section 260:
Certain Income to Be Applied to Support and Maintenance of Public Schools; Special Annual Tax for Schools; Maximum Annual Levy on Taxable Property; Priority for Payment of Bonded Indebtedness of State
The income arising from the sixteenth section trust fund, the surplus revenue fund, until it is called for by the United States government, and the funds enumerated in sections 257 and 258 of this Constitution, together with a special annual tax of thirty cents on each one hundred dollars of taxable property in this state, which the legislature shall levy, shall be applied to the support and maintenance of the public schools, and it shall be the duty of the legislature to increase the public school fund from time to time as the necessity therefor and the condition of the treasury and the resources of the state may justify; provided, that nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to authorize the legislature to levy in any one year a greater rate of state taxation for all purposes, including schools, than sixty-five cents on each one hundred dollars' worth of taxable property; and provided further, that nothing herein contained shall prevent the legislature from first providing for the payment of the bonded indebtedness of the state and interest thereon out of all the revenue of the state.
| Text of Section 261:
Percentage of School Funds for Teachers' Salaries
Not more than four per cent. of all moneys raised or which may hereafter be appropriated for the support of public schools, shall be used or expended otherwise than for the payment of teachers employed in such schools; provided, that the legislature may, by a vote of two-thirds of each house, suspend the operation of this section.
| Text of Section 262:
Supervision of Public Schools Vested in Superintendent of Education
The supervision of the public schools shall be vested in a superintendent of education, whose powers, duties, and compensation shall be fixed by law.
| Text of Section 263:
School Funds Not to Be Used for Support of Sectarian or Denominational Schools
No money raised for the support of the public schools shall be appropriated to or used for the support of any sectarian or denominational school.
| Text of Section 264:
Board of Trustees of State University
The state university shall be under the management and control of a board of trustees, which shall consist of two members from the congressional district in which the university is located, one from each of the other congressional districts in the state, the superintendent of education, and the governor, who shall be ex officio president of the board. The members of the board of trustees as now constituted shall hold office until their respective terms expire under existing law, and until their successors shall be elected and confirmed as hereinafter required. Successors to those trustees whose terms expire in nineteen hundred and two shall hold office until nineteen hundred and seven; successors to those trustees whose terms expire in nineteen hundred and four shall hold office until nineteen hundred and eleven; successors to those trustees whose terms expire in nineteen hundred and six shall hold office until nineteen hundred and fifteen; and thereafter their successors shall hold office for a term of twelve years. When the term of any member of such board shall expire, the remaining members of the board shall, by secret ballot, elect his successor; provided, that any trustee so elected shall hold office from the date of his election until his confirmation or rejection by the senate, and, if confirmed, until the expiration of the term for which he was elected, and until his successor is elected. At every meeting of the legislature the superintendent of education shall certify to the senate the names of all who shall have been so elected since the last session of the legislature, and the senate shall confirm or reject them, as it shall determine is for the best interest of the university. If it reject the names of any members, it shall thereupon elect trustees in the stead of those rejected. In case of a vacancy on said board by death or resignation of a member, or from any cause other than the expiration of his term of office, the board shall elect his successor, who shall hold office until the next session of the legislature. No trustee shall receive any pay or emolument other than his actual expenses incurred in the discharge of his duties as such.
| Text of Section 265:
Annual Payment of Interest on Funds of University of Alabama; Authority to Abolish Military System at University
After the ratification of this Constitution there shall be paid out of the treasury of this state at the time and in the manner provided by law, the sum of not less than thirty-six thousand dollars per annum as interest on the funds of the University of Alabama, heretofore covered into the treasury, for the maintenance and support of said institution; provided, that the legislature shall have the power at any time they deem proper for the best interest of said university to abolish the military system at said institution or reduce the said system to a department of instruction, and that such action on the part of the legislature shall not cause any diminution of the amount of the annual interest payable out of the treasury for the support and maintenance of said university.
| Text of Section 266:
Board of Trustees of Alabama Polytechnic Institute
The Alabama Polytechnic Institute, formerly called the Agricultural and Mechanical College, shall be under the management and control of a board of trustees, which shall consist of two members from the congressional district in which the institute is located, and one from each of the other congressional districts in the state, the state superintendent of education, and the governor, who shall be ex officio president of the board. The trustees shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, and shall hold office for a term of twelve years, and until their successors shall be appointed and qualified. The board shall be divided into three classes, as nearly equal as may be, so that one-third may be chosen quadrennially. Vacancies occurring in the office of trustees from death or resignation, and the vacancies regularly occurring in the year nineteen hundred and five shall be filled by the governor, and such appointee shall hold office until the next meeting of the legislature. Successors to those trustees whose terms expire in nineteen hundred and three shall hold office until nineteen hundred and eleven; successors to those whose terms expire in nineteen hundred and five shall hold office until nineteen hundred and fifteen; and successors to those whose terms expire in nineteen hundred and seven shall hold office until nineteen hundred and nineteen. No trustee shall receive any pay or emolument other than his actual expenses incurred in the discharge of his duties as such.
| Text of Section 267:
Change of Location of Alabama Polytechnic Institute, Alabama Schools for the Deaf and Blind or Alabama Girls Industrial School
The legislature shall not have power to change the location of the state university, or the Alabama Polytechnic Institute, or the Alabama Schools for the Deaf and Blind, or the Alabama Girls' Industrial School, as now established by law, except upon a vote of two-thirds of the legislature taken by yeas and nays and entered upon the journals.
| Text of Section 268:
Provision for Taking School Census
The legislature shall provide for taking a school census by townships and districts throughout the state not oftener than once in two years, and shall provide for the punishment of all persons or officers making false or fraudulent enumerations and returns; provided, the state superintendent of education may order and supervise the taking of a new census in any township, district, or county, whenever he may have reasonable cause to believe that false or fraudulent returns have been made.
| Text of Section 269:
Special County School Taxes
The several counties in this state shall have power to levy and collect a special tax not exceeding ten cents on each one hundred dollars of taxable property in such counties, for the support of public schools; provided, that the rate of such tax, the time it is to continue, and the purpose thereof, shall have been first submitted to a vote of the qualified electors of the county, and voted for by three-fifths of those voting at such election; but the rate of such special tax shall not increase the rate of taxation, state and county combined, in any one year, to more than one dollar and twenty-five cents on each one hundred dollars of taxable property; excluding, however, all special county taxes for public buildings, roads, bridges, and the payment of debts existing at the ratification of the Constitution of eighteen hundred and seventy-five. The funds arising from such special school tax shall be so apportioned and paid through the proper school officials to the several schools in the townships and districts in the county that the school terms of the respective schools shall be extended by such supplement as nearly the same length of time as practicable; provided, that this section shall not apply to the cities of Decatur, New Decatur, and Cullman.
| Text of Section 269:
Applicability of Article to Mobile county
The provisions of this article and of any act of the legislature passed in pursuance thereof to establish, organize, and maintain a system of public schools throughout the state, shall apply to Mobile county only so far as to authorize and require the authorities designated by law to draw the portions of the funds to which said county shall be entitled for school purposes and to make reports to the superintendent of education as may be prescribed by law; and all special incomes and powers of taxation as now authorized by law for the benefit of public schools in said county shall remain undisturbed until otherwise provided by the legislature; provided, that separate schools for each race shall always be maintained by said school authorities.