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AGO 1950 No. 371 - October 19, 1950
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

SCHOOLS ‑- TEACHERS' SALARIES ‑- PAYMENT IN TWO SCHOOL FISCAL YEARS

After the directors elected at the annual school election shall have entered upon the discharge of their duties, the board of directors of a school district may make a valid contract employing a teacher who is to receive compensation in twelve equal monthly installments beginning at the end of September in said year.

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                                                                October 19, 1950

Honorable W. E. Carty
Representative, Seventeenth District
Route 1, Box 19
Ridgefield, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 371

Dear Sir:

            In your letter of September 27, 1950, you ask the following question:

            May the board of directors of a school district employ a teacher under a contract whereby the teacher is to be paid for services in twelve equal monthly installments beginning in September in any given year?

            You are advised:

            After the directors elected at the annual school election shall have entered upon the discharge of their duties, the board of directors of a school district may make a valid contract employing a teacher who is to receive compensation in twelve equal monthly installments beginning at the end of September in said year.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            The question you ask contemplates a contract which would bind the district to pay a portion of the teacher's salary after the end of the school year (Rem. Rev. Stat. 4688), after the end of the fiscal year (Rem. Rev. Stat. 9963), and possibly after the expiration of the term of some of the members of the board.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            In the absence of express statutory limitation, a school board may contract with a teacher for a term extending beyond that of the board itself.

                        Taylor v. School District, 16 Wash. 365, 47 Pac. 758.

                        Splaine v. School District, 20 Wash. 74, 54 Pac. 766.

                        Tanner v. Auburn, 37 Wash. 38, 79 Pac. 494.

                        King County v. U.S.N. & S. Ins. Co., 150 Wash. 626, 274 Pac. 704, 47 Am. Jur. 379.

                        0 A.L.R. 794 (note).

                        49 A.L.R. 343 (note).

            The making of such a contract would not create a debt within the meaning of laws prohibiting the contracting of an indebtedness in excess of anticipated annual income.

                        Tate v. School District, 324 Mo. 477, 23 S.W. (2d) 1013, 70 A.L.R. 771.

            In our letter of March 13, 1929, to the Honorable C. W. Clausen, Supervisor of Municipal Corporations, we advised that we could find no inhibition against the extending of a twelve months teacher's contract into two school or school fiscal years, although we advised against it from the standpoint of a sound fiscal policy.

            In our letter of May 7, 1946, to Mr. Lawrence Hubble, Chief Examiner of the Division of Municipal Corporations, we advised that the contract with a school superintendent, entered into under the provisions of Rem. Rev. Stat. 4821 which authorizes a contract "* * * for a term of one year, or a term of two years as may be deemed best," referred to the definition of "year" contained in Rem. Rev. Stat. 4688, and therefore the contract with the superintendent should be for a year or twelve months beginning on the first day of July and ending with the last day of June.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            However, 4776 Rem. Supp. 1943 authorizes the employment of a teacher for less than one year and Rem. Rev. Stat. 4820 contemplates employment of teachers whose terms shall begin after the first Monday in August provided such employment is not made "* * * until after the directors elected at the annual school election in said year shall have entered upon the discharge of their duties."

            We express no opinion as to the advisability of entering into such a contract, the results which might follow, nor the difficulty in doing so in view of the provision of section 1, chapter 52, Laws of 1943 (4776 Rem. Supp. 1943), providing for the automatic reemployment of teachers on identical contractual terms in the event notice of intention not to renew is not given on or before April 15, and we simply advise that if such a contract is entered into it will be binding upon the district.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

E. P. DONNELLY
Assistant Attorney General

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