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January 13, 1971
Honorable James P. McNally
Pend Oreille County
Newport, Washington 99156
Cite as: AGLO 1971 No. 4 (not official)
This is written in response to your recent letter requesting our advice regarding the financial obligations of Pend Oreille county and the intermediate school district in which it is located ‑ arising out of the recent retirement, in June of 1970, of the county superintendent of schools of Pend Oreille county.
The first statute to be considered in connection with this situation is RCW 28A.21.180, which provides, in material part, as follows:
"The county commissioners of each county shall pay each year from their county current expense fund to the intermediate school district current expense fund of the intermediate school district in which the county is located not less than the amount which the county appropriated to the budget of any county and/or intermediate district superintendent for the year 1969. . . ." (Emphasis supplied.)
Under this statute, as indicated in AGO 1969 No. 16, Pend Oreille county is required, each year, to pay over to the intermediate school district in which it is located not less than that amount which the county appropriated to the budget of its county superintendent for the year 1969 ‑ an amount which, you have indicated, was approximately $13,000.
Prior to the enactment of § 2, chapter 84, Laws of 1970, Ex. Sess., which became effective when signed by the governor on February 24, 1970, the county was also obligated to pay the full salary of its county superintendent of schools for the remainder of his unexpired term ‑ unless, of course, he were to vacate his position in the meantime. [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] However, RCW 28A.21.070, which constituted the basis for this requirement, was amended by the aforesaid 1970 act to provide, instead, that:
". . . While holding such positions the existing superintendents within the intermediate school district shall continue to receive the salary of that office as prescribed by law existing immediately prior to April 25, 1969 to be paid by such intermediate school district. . . ." (Emphasis supplied.)
In addition, by § 3 of this 1970 amendment, now codified as RCW 28A.21.073, the legislature provided that:
"Whenever any board of county commissioners, prior to the effective date of this 1970 amendatory act, has paid to an intermediate school district not less that the amount required under section 18, chapter 176, Laws of 1969 ex. sess., and in addition thereto, has paid the salary of a county or intermediate district superintendent as required under section 7 of said act, moneys paid for such salary shall be an obligation owed by the intermediate school district to the board of county commissioners concerned and reimbursement shall be made to such board by the intermediate school district as soon as practicable hereafter."
Upon the basis of these three statutory provisions, it will thus be seen that while Pend Oreille county still is required, notwithstanding the retirement of its county superintendent of schools, to pay over to the intermediate school district in which it is located at least the full sum which the county appropriated for its county superintendent of schools in 1969, it is entitled to receive from the intermediate district, in return, full reimbursement for such amounts as the county paid to its superintendent as salary during the period between the effective date of chapter 176, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess. (which initially imposed the requirement for payment of the county superintendent's salary upon the county ‑ rather than by the intermediate district as provided for in the 1970 amendment) and the date of his retirement in June of 1970.
Presumably, with this statutory formula in mind, the net amount which is presently due and owing from Pend Oreille county to the intermediate school district in which it is located can be calculated on the basis of facts known to you and of record in the appropriate offices of your [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] county.
It is hoped that the foregoing will be of assistance to you.
Very truly yours,
FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Philip H. Austin
Deputy Attorney General