School District Legal Status
The legal basis for education is vested in the
will of the people as expressed in the New Hampshire Constitution,
the statutes* pertaining to education, court interpretation
of these laws, the powers implied in them, and the rules and
regulations of the State Board of Education.
In New Hampshire, School Districts are political subdivisions
of the state and, as such, are considered municipal corporations.
Clough v. Osgood. 87 N.H. 444 (1935) (school district as corporation);
School District policies are established by the School Board,
which serves as an agent of the School District. Funds for school
operating expenses are approved by a majority of qualified voters
present and voting at the annual School District meeting (RSA
197:1, RSA 40:13), except that bond issues require a two-thirds
vote. The administration of the schools is under the executive
direction of the Superintendent of Schools, who works under
the School Board policies in addition to State Board of Education
As evidenced by the statutory, regulatory and case law references
through these policies, the purpose of these policies is to
assist the Lyme School District and its School Board to comply
with applicable state and federal law. Anywhere these policies
do not obviously comply with applicable law, they should be
interpreted so that they do comply.
The Lyme School District will maintain as a reference available
to School Board members, administrators, staff and members of
the public one complete, updated set of New Hampshire's Revised
Statutes Annotated (RSA's) Relating to Public Schools.
ADOPTED: 12 November 1998
Statutory/Case Law References:
New Hampshire Constitution, Pt. 2 Article 83
Claremont School District vs. Governor. 138 N.H. 183 (1993)
(education is State duty)
RSA 40:13 (Official Ballot)
RSA 197:1 (Annual Meeting)
RSA Chapter 33 (Municipal Finance Act)
RSA 194:2 (Corporate Powers of School District)
*The majority of state laws on education are in RSA Chapters
186 through 200H.