At other times they constitute a court of appeal for the decision of affairs. In the State of New York judicial penalties are less used than in other parts as a means of administration; and the right of prosecuting the offences of public officers is vest-
- If any one conceives himself to be wronged by the
school-commissioners (who are town-officers), he can appeal to the
superintendent of the primary schools, whose decision is final.
Revised Statutes, vol. i. p. 487.
Provisions similar to those above cited are to be met with from time to time in the laws of the State of New York; but in general these attempts at centralization are weak and unproductive. The great authorities of the State have the right of watching and controlling the subordinate agents, without that of rewarding or punishing them. The same individual is never empowered to give an order and to punish disobedience; he has therefore the right of commanding, without the means of exacting compliance. In 1830 the Superintendent of Schools complained in his Annual Report addressed to the legislature, that several school-commissioners had neglected, notwithstanding his application, to furnish him with the accounts which were due. He added that if this omission continued, he should be obliged to prosecute them, as the law directs, before the proper tribunals.
the number. Revised Statutes, vol. i. p. 455. The Regents of the University annually visit the colleges and academies, and make their report to the legislature. Their superintendence is not inefficient, for several reasons: the colleges in order to become corporations stand in need of a charter, which is only granted on the recommendation of the Regents: every year funds are distributed by the State for the encouragement of learning, and the Regents are the distributors of this money. See Chap. xv. ‘Public Instruction,’ Revised Statutes, vol. i. p. 455.
The school-commissioners are obliged to send an annual report to the Superintendent of the Republic. Id., p. 488.
A similar report is annually made to the same person on the number and condition of the poor. Id., p. 631.