Cameron v. Lakeland Class A School Dist. No. 272, Kootenai County

Decision Date01 July 1960
Docket NumberNo. 8857,8857
Citation353 P.2d 652,82 Idaho 375
PartiesMilton CAMERON, Ladd W. Stone, Earl W. D. McDaniel, Joreen M. Bohn and Carol J. Meyer, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. LAKELAND CLASS A SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 272, KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho, and C. Weston Hatch, Robert Rickel, Walter S. Bates, Everett W. Dickey and Richard Blaisdell, as trustees of said school district, Defendants-Respondents.
CourtIdaho Supreme Court

Bandelin & Cogswell, Sandpoint, for appellants.

Herbert Nagel, Coeur d'Alene, for respondents.

McFADDEN, Justice.

Lakeland Class A School District No. 272, was duly organized in 1948, pursuant to provisions of I.C. § 33-501 et seq. The district is entirely within the boundaries of Kootenai County, Idaho, and includes the territory of approximately fifteen previously existing school districts of various types, including former Independent School District No. 31, located at Athol, Idaho. Respondents are the trustees of the Lakeland District No. 272, and appellants are school electors and residents of former Independent School District No. 31.

For a number of years prior to July 13, 1959, but subsequent to the organization of the Lakeland District No. 272, the only school in operation in former Independent School District No. 31, was an elementary school of the first six grades, located at Athol. On or before July 13, 1959, respondents, pursuant to action taken at a regular board meeting, voted to discontinue the first six grades at Athol, with the students comprising these grades to be transported by bus to and attend school at Spirit Lake, Idaho, nine miles distant. In addition, the board, at the same meeting, voted to transport all seventh and eighth grade students within District No. 272, to Athol, to attend school there, thereby discontinuing the junior high schools at Rathdrum and Spirit Lake, thus making a junior high school only at Athol.

School electors and residents of former Independent District No. 31 at Athol, instituted this action by Writ of Mandate to compel respondents, as trustees of District No. 272, to order an election to be held within former District No. 31, Athol, pursuant to I.C. § 33-522(b), at which election would be submitted to the school electors the question whether the first six grades previously maintained at Athol should be discontinued. The court issued the alternate writ of mandate. Respondents moved to quash the alternative writ prior to the time for its hearing, and after hearing, the court entered its judgment dismissing and quashing the writ. Appellants appealed from the judgment, assigning as error, first, the court's granting the motion to dismiss, and second, the court's failing to hold the last paragraph of I.C. § 33-522(b) unconstitutional as violative of Idaho Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 21, by depriving the people of the state of home rule of public schools. The portion of I.C. § 33-522(b) attacked reads as follows:

'Discontinuance of any attendance unit within the meaning of this section shall mean no longer maintaining a school at the location where previously maintained.'

Regarding appellants' first assignment the crucial issue is whether the action of respondents can be construed as discontinuance of 'a school at location where previously maintained.'

I.C. § 33-522(b), as amended, prior to the amendment of S.L.1951, Ch. 247, and S.L.1955, Ch. 107 provided:

'The Board of Trustees of any reorganized school district, except such as have already voted for or issued bonds in such district, or have sold or removed any school house or plant in such district, shall have the power to discontinue operation of any attendance unit situate within the boundaries of the district except as this power is limited in this sub-section:

'1. If five (5) qualified school electors of a previously organized school district, wholly situate within the boundaries of the reorganized district, and which maintained an attendance unit in full operation at the time of the organization of the reorganized district, or maintained an attendance unit in full operation in the school year immediately preceding organization of such reorganized district, shall, between June 1st and August 1st of any year, petition the Board of Trustees for an election within such previously organized district on the question of discontinuance of such previously organized district's attendance unit, the Board shall order an election to be held within ten days in such previously organized district and shall submit to the qualified school electors of such district a ballot which contains the following proposals:

'For Discontinuance of Attendance Unit

'Against Discontinuance of Attendance Unit

'If sixty percent of the qualified electors of such previously organized district voting in such election shall vote against discontinuance of such attendance unit, the Board of Trustees of the Reorganized district shall be without power to discontinue such attendance unit during that school year.'

In Andrus v. Hill, 1952, 73 Idaho 196, 249 P.2d 205, dealing with I.C. § 33-522(b) as amended S.L.1949, Ch. 129, set out above, the term 'attendance unit', as used therein was held to mean the full operation of the school as it was conducted at the time of reorganization of the district, i. e., if at the time of reorganization, there was in full operation an elementary school of eight grades, that constituted an 'attendance unit'. If there was in full operation a six grade elementary school, a three grade junior high school, or a three grade senior high school, each of them would constitute an 'attendance unit' within the meaning of the act.

S.L.1951, Ch. 247, added the following to the 1949 law:

'* * * provided, however, no attendance unit shall be deprived of its class room unit status as a separate school, or otherwise penalized for its action in maintaining its attendance unit.'

S.L.1955, Ch. 107 amended I.C. § 33-522(b) as amended to read:

'(b) The board of trustees of any reorganized school district * * * shall have the power to discontinue operation of any attendance unit situate within the boundaries of the district except * * * as hereinafter provided:

'* * *. If the board of trustees proposes to discontinue any attendance unit (1) which is located within the boundaries of what was a previously organized district which is now wholly situate within the boundaries of the reorganized district and (2) is an attendance unit which was maintained during the year previous to such proposed discontinuance, the board of trustees must give notice of such proposed discontinuance not later than July 1 preceding the beginning of the term for which such discontinuance is to become effective. Such notice shall be posted and published in the same manner notices are required to be posted and published, set forth in section 33-905, Idaho Code as amended.

'If five qualified electors of such previously organized district, at any time between June 1 and August 1, in any year shall petition the board of trustees for an election within such previously organized district on the question of discontinuance of such previously organized district's attendance unit, the board shall order an election to be held within ten days in such previously organized district and shall submit to the qualified school electors of such district a ballot which contains the following proposals:

'For Discontinuance of Attendance Unit

'Against Discontinuance of Attendance Unit

'If * two-thirds of the qualified electors of such previously organized district voting in such election shall vote against discontinuance of such attendance unit, the board of trustees of the reorganized district shall be without power to discontinue such attendance unit. * * *

'Discontinuance of any attendance unit within the meaning of this section shall mean no longer maintaining a school at the location where previously maintained.' (Emphasis supplied.)

I.C. § 33-1005(g), defines 'school' as:

'* * * a group comprising more than one school building, or a separate school building, or a unit of several grades in any one building, whenever such unit is the basis for computing classroom units according to the provisions of sections 33-1006 through 33-1007 as amended.' (Emphasis supplied.)

I.C. § 33-1006, as amended, provides in part:

'Classroom units--Elementary.--Elementary classroom units shall be allotted to each public school district on the basis of the average daily attendance of pupils receiving instruction in * * * grades...

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3 cases
  • Evans v. Andrus
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • June 25, 1993
    ...not to determine what the legislature may do, but to determine what it may not do." Cameron v. Lakeland Class A Sch. Dist. No. 272, Kootenai County, 82 Idaho 375, 382, 353 P.2d 652, 656 (1960). An act of the legislature is presumed to be constitutional. Bon Appetit Gourmet Foods, Inc. v. St......
  • Lang v. Board of Trustees of Joint School Dist. No. 251, Jefferson and Madison Counties
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • June 19, 1969
    ...in the past does not mean that the board action constituted a discontinuance of the school. See Cameron v. Lakeland Class A School District No. 272, etc., 82 Idaho 375, 353 P.2d 652 (1960) (somewhat analogous situation decided under an earlier, more restrictive statute). Since the school wa......
  • Roe v. Hopper
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • November 19, 1965
    ...included within the statute, control and dictate the meaning of those terms as used in the statute. Cameron v. Lakeland Class A School Dist. No. 272, etc., 82 Idaho 375, 353 P.2d 652. The definition of 'place' as used in the statute involved is free from any doubt. Under such circumstances ......

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