This section is from the book "Popular Law Library Vol8 Partnership, Private Corporations, Public Corporations", by Albert H. Putney. Also available from Amazon: Popular Law-Dictionary.
Section 35. Defined. Public instruction in this country is left entirely to the states, each of which frames and regulates its system of education by constitutional provisions and statutory enactments.14
A school district is a local subdivision of the State created for public purposes, and their organization and the extent of their powers is set out in the statutes of the various States. They belong to the lowest class of quasi-corporations and have no powers derived from usage, but only such powers as are expressly granted to them and such implied powers as are necessary to enable them to perform their functions.15
A school district is but an instrumentality of the State, incorporated, that it may more effectually discharge its appointed duty; it is a quasi-corporation of very limited powers, and acts through the medium of officers, or agents whose powers and duties are confined to special purposes, and no inference can be drawn from the general nature of its powers.16
13 Town of Cicero vs. City of Chicago, 182 III., 301.
14 By act of March 2, 1867, Congress established a department, since known as the Bureau of Education, "for the purpose of collecting such statistics and facts as shall show the condition and progress of education in the several states and territories, and of diffusing such information respecting the organization and management of school systems and methods of teaching as shall aid the people of the United States in the establishment and maintenance of efficient school systems, and otherwise promote the cause of education throughout the country." This bureau was subsequently attached to the Department of the Interior, by act of July 20, 1868.
15 Wilson vs. School District, 32 N. H., 118.
16 Harris vs. School Dist., 8 Foster (N. H.), 58.