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Powers and duties of trustees
Education (EDN) CHAPTER 16, TITLE 2, ARTICLE 33
§ 1604. Powers and duties of trustees. It shall be the duty of the
trustees of a common school district, and they shall have the power:

1. To call special meetings of the inhabitants of such district
whenever they shall deem it necessary and proper.

2. To give notice of special, annual and adjourned meetings in the
manner prescribed in this chapter, if there be no clerk of the district,
or he be absent or incapable of acting, or shall refuse to act.

3. To make out a tax-list of every district tax voted by a district
meeting, or authorized by law, which shall contain the names of all the
taxable inhabitants residing in the district at the time of making out
the list, and the amount of tax payable by each inhabitant, as directed
in article seventy-one of this chapter.

4. To purchase or lease such schoolhouse sites and other grounds to be
used for playgrounds, or for agriculture, athletic center and social
center purposes, and to purchase or build such schoolhouses, as a
district meeting may authorize; to hire temporarily such rooms or
buildings as may be necessary for school purposes; and to purchase such
implements, supplies and apparatus as may be necessary to provide
instruction in agriculture, or to equip and maintain play-grounds, and
to conduct athletic and social center activities in the district, when
authorized by a vote of a district meeting.

5. To have the custody and safe-keeping of the district schoolhouses,
their sites and appurtenances.

6. To insure the school buildings, furniture and school apparatus in
an insurance company created by or under the laws of this state, or in
an insurance company authorized by law to transact business in this
state, and to comply with the conditions of the policy, and raise by a
district tax the amount required to pay the premiums thereon.

7. To insure the school library in such a company in a sum fixed by a
district meeting, and to raise the premium by a district tax, and comply
with the conditions of the policy.

7-a. In their discretion to insure pupils against damage occasioned
because of accidental personal injuries sustained while participating in
physical education classes, intramural and interscholastic sports
activities, in such a company, and raise by district tax the amount
required to pay the premiums thereon.

7-b. In their discretion, to purchase insurance against accidents to
pupils occurring in school, on school grounds, while being transported
between home and school in a school bus as defined in section thirty-six
hundred twenty-one, and during sponsored trips.

8. To appoint and enter into contract with a superintendent of schools
as provided in, and consistent with, section seventeen hundred eleven of
this chapter, and to employ in accordance with, and subject to, the
provisions of section three thousand twelve of this chapter as many
legally qualified teachers as the schools of the district require; to
determine the rate of compensation of each teacher and to determine the
terms of school to be held during each school year, and to employ
persons to supervise, organize, conduct and maintain athletic,
playground and social center activities when they are authorized by a
vote of a district meeting as provided by law. The regular teachers of
the school may be employed at an increased compensation or otherwise,
and by separate agreement, written or oral, for one or more of such
additional duties.

9. To establish rules for the government and discipline of the schools
of the district.

10. To prescribe the course of studies to be pursued in such schools.
Provisions shall be made for instructing pupils in all schools supported
by public money, or under state control, in all subjects in which such
instruction is required to be given under the provisions of article
seventeen of this chapter.

11. To pay the schools moneys apportioned to the district by giving
orders on the county treasurer, or on the collector or treasurer of such
district when duly qualified to receive and disburse the same.

12. To collect by district tax an amount sufficient to maintain school
in the district for the current school year, including any judgment
rendered against the district, after deducting from the aggregate amount
required for this purpose the amount of school moneys in the hands of
the county treasurer, collector or treasurer of the district and to pay
the same by written orders on such district collector or treasurer.

13. To draw upon the county treasurer, the collector or treasurer of
the district, when duly qualified to receive and disburse the same, for
the school moneys, by written orders signed by the sole trustee, or
where there are three trustees, signed by a majority of said trustees;
provided, however, that in common school districts employing ten or more
teachers and having a treasurer and a board of three trustees, by
resolution duly adopted, the board may authorize one voucher-order check
to be drawn in the total amount of a duly certified payroll for the
salaries of regularly appointed employees and officers legally entitled
to be compensated for their services; the proceeds of such voucher-order
payroll check shall be credited to a payroll account from which checks
shall be signed only by the treasurer of the district and drawn payable
to individual employees or officers legally entitled to be compensated
for services.

14. To keep each of the schoolhouses under their charge, and its
furniture, school apparatus and appurtenances, in necessary and proper
repair, and make the same reasonably comfortable for use, but shall not
expend therefor without vote of the district an amount to exceed one
hundred dollars in any one year.

15. To make any repairs and abate any nuisances, pursuant to the
direction of the district superintendent as herein provided, and provide
fuel, stoves or other heating apparatus, pails, brooms and other
implements necessary to keep the schoolhouses and the schoolrooms clean,
and make them reasonably comfortable for use, when no provision has been
made therefor by a vote of the district, or the sum voted by the
district for said purposes shall have proved insufficient.

16. To provide for all janitorial work in and about the school
buildings, and pay reasonable compensation therefor.

17. To provide bound blank-books for the entering of their accounts,
the records of the district and the proceedings of district and trustee
meetings, and a list of the movable property of the district and they
shall deliver such books to their successors in office.

18. To expend in the purchase of a dictionary, books, reproductions of
standard works of art, maps, globes or other school apparatus, including
implements, apparatus and supplies for instruction in agriculture, or
for conducting athletic playgrounds and social center activities, a sum
not exceeding fifty dollars in any one year, without a vote of the

19. To establish temporary or branch schools in such places in the
district as shall best accommodate the children, and to hire rooms or
buildings therefor and to fit up and furnish such rooms or buildings in
a suitable manner for conducting school therein when it is shown:

a. That any considerable number of the children residing in a portion
of the district are so remote from the schoolhouse as to render it
difficult for them to attend school in such schoolhouse in inclement
weather, or

b. That the schoolhouse is overcrowded and proper accommodations are
not afforded all the children of the district, or

c. That for any other sufficient reason suitable and proper school
facilities are not provided by the existing school accommodations.

20. To provide transportation, home-teaching or special classes, as
defined under sections forty-four hundred one and forty-four hundred two
of this chapter for physically or mentally handicapped and delinquent
children. Such transportation, home-teaching or special classes, when
provided pursuant to this subdivision, shall be granted to all such
children irrespective of the school they legally attend.

21. To purchase and maintain, when authorized by a vote of the
qualified voters of the school district, a motor vehicle or vehicles to
be used for the transportation of the school children of the district.
Such motor vehicle or vehicles may be leased to another school district
when not needed for such transportation. Likewise when not so needed
such motor vehicle or vehicles may be leased to a school district or a
municipality as defined in section two of chapter five hundred fifty-six
of the laws of nineteen hundred forty-five, for the purpose of
transporting children and instructors in connection with (a) a
recreation project or a youth service project operated by one or more
municipalities or by a school district, if such project is authorized
and approved by the state youth commission, or (b) a youth bureau or
agency or activity or project of a county, town, city or village which
is devoted to the welfare of youth therein or to providing leisure-time
activities for youth or assistance to children, as authorized in section
ninety-five of the general municipal law, or (c) one or more playgrounds
and neighborhood recreation centers operated and maintained by one or
more cities except New York, Buffalo and Rochester, counties except Erie
and the counties within the city of New York, towns or villages, whether
or not any school board or district joins in such operating and
maintaining, as authorized in section two hundred forty-four-b of the
general municipal law. In any case when such motor vehicle shall be
leased as provided in this subdivision, public liability and property
damage insurance, fire insurance and compensation insurance of drivers
shall be provided and collision insurance shall be provided in the
amount of the value of the vehicle, to protect the lessor. The
additional cost of such insurance shall be paid by the lessee. No part
of the costs and expenses resulting from operation, maintenance and
repair of such vehicles during the leasing thereof shall be included in
determining the amount of any form of state aid received by such school

21-a. To lease a motor vehicle or vehicles to be used for the
transportation of the children of the district from a school district,
board of cooperative educational services or county vocational education
and extension board or from any other source, under the conditions
specified in this subdivision. No such agreement for the lease of a
motor vehicle or vehicles shall be for a term of more than one school
year, provided that when authorized by a vote of the qualified voters of
the district such lease may have a term of up to five years, or twelve
years for the lease of zero-emission school buses as defined in section
thirty-six hundred thirty-eight of this chapter. Where the trustee or
board of trustees enter into a lease of a motor vehicle or vehicles
pursuant to this subdivision for a term of one school year or less, such
trustee or board shall not be authorized to enter into another lease for
the same or an equivalent replacement vehicle or vehicles, as determined
by the commissioner, without obtaining approval of the qualified voters
of the school district.

21-b. a. The trustees are authorized to provide regional
transportation services by rendering such services jointly with other
school districts or boards of cooperative educational services. Such
services may include pupil transportation between home and school,
transportation during the day to and from school and a special education
program or service or a program at a board of cooperative educational
services or an approved shared program at another school district,
transportation for field trips or to and from extracurricular
activities, and cooperative school bus maintenance.

b. The trustees are authorized to enter into a contract with another
school district, a county, municipality, or the state office of children
and family services to provide transportation for children, including
contracts to provide such transportation as regional transportation
services, provided that the contract cost is appropriate. In determining
the appropriate transportation contract cost, the transportation service
provider school district shall use a calculation consistent with
regulations adopted by the commissioner for the purpose of assuring that
charges reflect the true costs that would be incurred by a prudent
person in the conduct of a competitive transportation business.

22. To pay any judgment levied against the district and in the event
there are no moneys otherwise available, to levy a tax upon the taxable
property of the district to pay the same.

23. To contract with any person, corporation or other school district
for the conveyance of pupils residing within the district, when
authorized to do so under subdivision nineteen of section two thousand
twenty-one, by vote of the inhabitants of the district entitled to vote,
or to contract for the operation, maintenance and garaging of motor
vehicles owned by the district, in accordance with such rules and
regulations as such trustees may establish, consistent with the
regulations of the commissioner of education. Upon authorization by a
school district meeting, every such contract of transportation may be
made for a period not exceeding five years, notwithstanding any
provision of any other law inconsistent herewith.

24. To furnish lighting facilities, janitorial care and supervision
for highway underpasses when authorized to do so by vote of a district
meeting under the provisions of subdivision twenty of section two
thousand fifteen of this chapter.

25. To provide school health services, as defined in subdivision two
of section nine hundred one of this chapter, to all children in
attendance upon schools under their supervision and to pay any expense
incurred therefor.

26. To establish a petty cash fund for the use of the principal,
teacher or clerk of the school district for the payment, in advance of
authorization, of properly itemized bills for materials, supplies or
services furnished to the school district under conditions calling for
immediate payment to the vendor upon delivery of any such materials or
supplies or the rendering of any such services. The amount of such a
petty cash fund and the method of handling same shall be in accordance
with regulations established by the commissioner of education.

27. To reimburse members of the teaching and supervising staff for
expenses actually and necessarily incurred in the performance of their
official duties and to make such rules and regulations in relation
thereto as they shall deem necessary and proper. Such rules and
regulations may include the establishment of a mileage rate for the use
of personally owned cars for such purpose in lieu of auditing and
allowing claims for actual and necessary expenses of travel.

28. To provide, maintain and operate a cafeteria or restaurant service
for the use of pupils and teachers while in school and for the use by
the community for school related functions and activities and to furnish
meals to the elderly residents, sixty years of age or older, of the
district. Such utilization shall be subject to the approval of the board
of education. Charges shall be sufficient to meet the direct cost of
preparing and serving such meals, reducible by available reimbursements.

29. To prescribe the text-books to be used in the schools, and to
compel a uniformity in the use of the same, pursuant to the provisions
of this chapter, and to furnish the same to pupils out of any moneys
provided for that purpose.

29-a. To develop a plan to ensure that all instructional materials to
be used in the schools of the district are available in a usable
alternative format for each student with a disability, as defined in
section forty-four hundred one of this chapter, and for each student who
is a qualified individual with a disability as defined in the
rehabilitation act of nineteen hundred ninety-three (29 U.S.C. 701) as
amended, in accordance with his or her educational needs and course
selection, at the same time as such instructional materials are
available to non-disabled students. As part of such plan the trustee or
board of trustees shall amend its procurement policies to give a
preference in the purchase of instructional materials to vendors who
agree to provide materials in alternative formats. For purposes of this
subdivision, "alternative format" shall mean any medium or format for
the presentation of instructional materials, other than a traditional
print textbook, that is needed as an accommodation for a disabled
student enrolled in the school district, including but not limited to
Braille, large print, open and closed captioned, audio, or an electronic
file in an approved format, as defined in the regulations of the
commissioner. When an electronic file is provided, the plan shall
specify how the format will be accessed by students and/or how the
district shall convert to an accessible format. Such plan shall identify
the needs of students residing in the district for alternative format
materials. Such plan shall also specify ordering timelines to ensure
that alternative format materials are available at the same time as
regular format materials. Such plans shall include procedures to address
the need to obtain materials in alternative format without delay for
disabled students who move into the school district during the school

30. To have in all respects the superintendence, management and
control of the educational affairs of the district, and, therefore,
shall have all the powers reasonably necessary to exercise powers
granted expressly or by implication and to discharge duties imposed
expressly or by implication by this chapter or other statutes.

31. To provide workmen's compensation coverage as provided in the
workmen's compensation law for all teachers and other employees for
injuries incurred in actual performance of duty.

31-a. In its discretion, to provide under a group insurance policy or
policies issued by any insurance company or insurance companies
authorized to do business in this state or under a group contract issued
by one or more corporations subject to article forty-three of the
insurance law, life insurance or accident and health insurance benefits
or medical and surgical benefits or hospital service benefits or any two
or more of such kinds of benefits to teachers and other employees of the
school district who participate in a plan or plans, as hereinafter
provided. The disbursing officer of the school district is authorized to
deduct from the salary of such participant with his prior consent, in
writing, the sums representing the participant's share of the premium or
premiums which are payable by such officer to such insurance company or
corporation. Such board of education is authorized to pay from such
moneys as are available for the purpose, a share of the cost of such
benefit or benefits in such amount as is required to be paid under such
group insurance policy or policies or group contract or contracts by the
board of education, as employer. The sum to be paid by the board of
education under such policy or policies or contract or contracts, in the
discretion of such board may be any percentage of the total cost of the
benefit or benefits including the whole thereof.

31-b. In their discretion, to purchase insurance against personal
injuries incurred by an authorized participant in a school volunteer
program, including but not limited to, those authorized participants who
assist on school buses, school sponsored transportation to and from
school, or on school sponsored field trips or any other school sponsored
activity; provided, however, that the injuries were incurred while the
authorized participant was functioning either within the scope of his or
her authorized volunteer duties or under the direction of the board of
education, trustee, or board of cooperative educational services, or

32. In its discretion, and with the written consent of any employee,
to deduct from the salary of such employee such amount as may be agreed
to by such employee for payment to any credit union doing business in
the state of New York as such employee may designate. Any such written
authorization may be withdrawn by such employee at any time.

33. In his discretion to contract with a social services district
pursuant to subdivision three of section four hundred ten of the social
services law to furnish day care for children on behalf of the social
services district.

34. To appoint a district clerk, and a district treasurer, where such
office is not filled by election pursuant to section two thousand
twenty-one of this chapter, to serve the district during each school
year, or until a successor is appointed.

35. a. In their discretion, to adopt a resolution establishing the
office of claims auditor and appoint a claims auditor who shall hold his
or her position subject to the pleasure of such trustees. In its
discretion, the trustees may adopt a resolution establishing the office
of deputy claims auditor who shall act as claims auditor in the absence
of the claims auditor. Such claims auditor shall report directly to the
trustees. No person shall be eligible for appointment to the office of
claims auditor or deputy claims auditor who shall also be:

(1) a trustee of the school district;

(2) the clerk or treasurer of the school district;

(3) the superintendent of schools or other official of the district
responsible for business management;

(4) the person designated as purchasing agent; or

(5) clerical or professional personnel directly involved in accounting
and purchasing functions of the school district.

b. Such claims auditor or deputy claims auditor shall not be required
to be a resident of the district, and the positions of claims auditor
and deputy claims auditor shall be classified in the exempt class of the
civil service. The trustees, at any time after the establishment of the
office of claims auditor or deputy claims auditor, may adopt a
resolution abolishing such office, whereupon such office shall be
abolished. When the office of claims auditor shall have been established
and a claims auditor shall have been appointed and shall have qualified,
the powers and duties of the trustees with respect to claims auditing,
and allowing or rejecting all accounts, charges, claims or demands
against the school district, shall devolve upon and thereafter be
exercised by such claims auditor during the continuance of such office.
The trustees shall be permitted to delegate the claims audit function to
one or more independent entities by using (1) inter-municipal
cooperative agreements, (2) shared services to the extent authorized by
section nineteen hundred fifty of this title, or (3) independent
contractors, to fulfill this function.

c. When the trustees delegate the claims audit function using an
inter-municipal cooperative agreement, shared service authorized by
section nineteen hundred fifty of this title, or an independent
contractor, the trustees shall be responsible for auditing all claims
for services from the entity providing the delegated claims auditor,
either directly or through a delegation to a different independent

36. In its discretion to provide that the proceeds of the sale or
appropriation of school district real property shall, after being used
for any legally required purpose be used to reduce real property taxes
in such district for a period not to exceed ten school years, or such
lesser period as it may direct. Such proceeds may be invested and any
interest obtained may also be used for such purpose. Such reserve fund
shall be invested and reinvested pursuant to the provisions of
subdivision two of section sixteen hundred four-a of this article.

37. In their discretion and in compliance with rules and regulations
of the commissioner promulgated pursuant to section one hundred one-a of
this chapter, to give written notice to the family court pursuant to
subdivision four of section seven hundred fifty-eight-a and subdivision
four of section 353.6 of the family court act of the desire of the
school district to act in the supervision of certain juveniles while
performing services for the public good.

38. To offer monetary rewards, in sums not to exceed one thousand
dollars, to individuals for information leading to the arrest and
conviction of any person or persons for felonies or misdemeanors
directly connected to vandalism of district property. Such rewards may
be offered on any conditions such trustees may determine, subject to
whatever qualifications it may deem appropriate.

39. a. Shall require, for purposes of a criminal history record check,
the fingerprinting of all prospective employees pursuant to section
three thousand thirty-five of this chapter, who do not hold valid
clearance pursuant to such section or pursuant to section three thousand
four-b of this chapter or section five hundred nine-cc or twelve hundred
twenty-nine-d of the vehicle and traffic law. Prior to initiating the
fingerprinting process, the prospective employer shall furnish the
applicant with the form described in paragraph (c) of subdivision thirty
of section three hundred five of this chapter and shall obtain the
applicant's consent to the criminal history records search. Every set of
fingerprints taken pursuant to this subdivision shall be promptly
submitted to the commissioner for purposes of clearance for employment.

b. Upon the recommendation of the superintendent, the trustees may
conditionally appoint a prospective employee. A request for conditional
clearance shall be forwarded to the commissioner along with the
prospective employee's fingerprints, as required by paragraph a of this
subdivision. Such appointment shall not commence until notification by
the commissioner that the prospective employee has been conditionally
cleared for employment and shall terminate forty-five days after such
notification of conditional clearance or when the prospective employer
is notified of a determination by the commissioner to grant or deny
clearance, whichever occurs earlier, and may not be extended or renewed
unless the commissioner issues a new conditional clearance after finding
that there was good cause for failing to obtain clearance within such
period, provided that if clearance is granted, the appointment shall
continue and the conditional status shall be removed. Prior to
commencement of such conditional appointment, the prospective employer
shall obtain a signed statement for conditional appointment from the
prospective employee, indicating whether, to the best of his or her
knowledge, he or she has a pending criminal charge or criminal
conviction in any jurisdiction outside the state.

c. Upon the recommendation of the superintendent, the trustees may
make an emergency conditional appointment when an unforeseen emergency
vacancy has occurred. When such appointment is made, the process for
conditional appointment pursuant to paragraph b of this subdivision must
also be initiated. Emergency conditional appointment may commence prior
to notification from the commissioner on conditional clearance but shall
terminate twenty business days from the date such appointment commences
or when the prospective employer is notified by the commissioner
regarding conditional clearance, whichever occurs earlier, provided that
if conditional clearance is granted, the appointment shall continue as a
conditional appointment. Prior to the commencement of such appointment,
the prospective employer must obtain a signed statement for emergency
conditional appointment from the prospective employee, indicating
whether, to the best of his or her knowledge, he or she has a pending
criminal charge or criminal conviction in any jurisdiction. An
unforeseen emergency vacancy shall be defined as: (i) a vacancy that
occurred less than ten business days before the start of any school
session, including summer school, or during any school session,
including summer school, without sufficient notice to allow for
clearance or conditional clearance; (ii) when no other qualified person
is available to fill the vacancy temporarily; and (iii) when emergency
conditional appointment is necessary to maintain services which the
district is legally required to provide or services necessary to protect
the health, education or safety of students or staff. The provisions of
subparagraph (i) of this paragraph shall not apply if the trustees find
that the district has been unable to fill the vacancy despite good faith
efforts to fill such vacancy in a manner which would have allowed
sufficient time for clearance or conditional clearance.

d. Shall develop a policy for the safety of the children who have
contact with an employee holding conditional appointment or emergency
conditional appointment.

40. Shall upon commencement and termination of employment of an
employee by the district, provide the commissioner with the name of and
position held by such employee.

41. Where the district has provided transportation to students
enrolled in such district to a school sponsored field trip,
extracurricular activity or any other similar event, it shall provide
transportation back to either the point of departure or to the
appropriate school in the district, unless the parent or legal guardian
of a student participating in such event has provided the school
district with written notice, consistent with district policy,
authorizing an alternative form of return transportation for such
student or unless intervening circumstances make such transportation
impractical. In cases where intervening circumstances make
transportation of a student back to the point of departure or to the
appropriate school in the district impractical, a representative of the
school district shall remain with the student until such student's
parent or legal guardian has been (a) contacted and informed of the
intervening circumstances which make such transportation impractical and
(b) such student had been delivered to his or her parent or legal

42. a. To enter into a lease, sublease or other agreement with the
dormitory authority providing for the financing or refinancing of all or
a portion of the school district capital facilities or school district
capital equipment in accordance with section sixteen hundred eighty of
the public authorities law and with the approval of the commissioner.
Such lease, sublease, or other agreement may provide for the payment of
annual or other payments to the dormitory authority, and contain such
other terms and conditions as may be agreed upon by the parties thereto,
including the establishment of reserve funds and indemnities. For
purposes of this subdivision, school district capital equipment shall
have the meaning ascribed thereto in section sixteen hundred seventy-six
of the public authorities law.

b. Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, the
dormitory authority and the trustee or board of trustees are hereby
authorized and empowered to perform any and all acts and to enter into
any and all agreements necessary or desirable to effectuate the purposes
of this subdivision.

* 43. To pass a resolution, in the discretion of the board of such
district, authorizing the entering of an agreement with a county, city,
village or town within such district, for the installation and use of
school bus photo violation monitoring systems pursuant to section eleven
hundred seventy-four-a of the vehicle and traffic law, provided that the
purchase, lease, installation, operation and maintenance, or any other
costs associated with such cameras shall not be considered an aidable
expense pursuant to section thirty-six hundred twenty-three-a of this

* NB Repealed December 1, 2029

44. To establish a charitable fund, by resolution of the trustees, to
receive unrestricted charitable monetary donations made to such fund for
use by the district for public educational purposes. The monies of such
charitable fund shall be deposited and secured in the manner provided by
section ten of the general municipal law. The monies of such charitable
fund may be invested in the manner provided by section eleven of the
general municipal law. Any interest earned or capital gain realized on
the money so invested shall accrue to and become part of such fund. At
such time and in such amounts as determined by the trustees, the monies
of such charitable fund shall be transferred to the school district's
general fund for expenditure consistent with the charitable purposes of
the fund, provided that the amount of taxes to be levied by the school
district for any school year shall be determined without regard to any
such transfer. The school district shall maintain an accounting of all
such deposits, interest or capital gain, transfers, and expenditures.

Any expenditure made or liability incurred in pursuance of this
section shall be a charge upon the district.