N.Y. Education Law Section 2021
Powers of voters

The inhabitants entitled to vote, when duly assembled in any district meeting, shall have power, by a majority of the votes of those present and voting:


In common school districts, to appoint a chairman.


To appoint a clerk for the time if the district clerk is absent.


To adjourn from time to time as occasion may require, except that where a special district meeting shall have been called by a board of education for the purpose of voting upon an appropriation and the hours of voting shall have been fixed by the board as provided in subdivision three of § 416 (School taxes and school bonds)section four hundred sixteen of this chapter, the meeting shall not be adjourned until after the vote shall have been taken and canvassed upon the proposition submitted.


To elect one or three trustees as provided in section sixteen hundred two and a district collector, and in any district which shall so determine, as hereinafter provided, to elect a treasurer, at their first meeting, and so often as such offices or any of them become vacated, except as hereinafter provided.


To adopt by a vote of a majority of such voters present and voting at the first meeting, or at any subsequent annual meeting, or at any special meeting duly called for that purpose, such vote to be ascertained by taking and recording the ayes and noes, a resolution to elect a treasurer of said district. If such resolution shall be adopted, such voters shall thereupon elect by ballot a treasurer for said district. Any person elected treasurer at any meeting other than an annual meeting, shall hold office until the next annual meeting after such election, and until his successor shall be elected or appointed, and thereafter a treasurer shall be elected at each annual meeting for the term of one year.


To fix the amount in which the collector and treasurer shall give bonds for the due and faithful performance of the duties of their offices.


To designate a site for a schoolhouse, or for grounds to be used for playgrounds, or for agricultural, athletic center and social center purposes, or, with the consent of the district superintendent of schools within whose district the school district lies, to designate sites for two or more schoolhouses for the district. Such designation of a site for a schoolhouse, or for such grounds, can be made only at a special meeting of the district, duly called for such purpose by a written resolution in which the proposed site shall be described by metes and bounds, and which resolution must receive the assent of a majority of the qualified voters present and voting, to be ascertained by taking and recording the ayes and noes, or by ballot.


To vote a tax upon the taxable property of the district, to purchase, lease and improve such sites or an addition to such sites and grounds for the purposes specified in the preceding subdivision, to hire or purchase rooms or buildings for school rooms or schoolhouses, or to build schoolhouses; to keep in repair and furnish the same with necessary fuel, furniture and appurtenances, and to purchase such implements, apparatus and supplies as may be necessary to provide instruction in agriculture and other subjects, and for the organization and conduct of athletic, playground and other social center work.


To designate any former schoolhouse and appurtenances, or any part thereof, the title to which is vested in the board, as a public library building, and to vote a tax on the taxable property of the district, pursuant to § 255 (Establishment of a public library)section two hundred fifty-five of this chapter, to pay the cost of necessary alterations and equipment to convert such schoolhouse or part thereof to library use.


To vote a tax, not exceeding twenty-five dollars in any one year, for the purchase of maps, globes, reproductions of standard works of art, blackboards and other school apparatus, and for the purchase of text-books and other school necessaries for the use of needy pupils of the district.


To vote a tax for the establishment of a school library and the maintenance thereof, or for the support of any school library already owned by said district, and for the purchase of books therefor, and such sum as they may deem necessary for the purchase of a bookcase or bookcases.


To vote a tax to supply a deficiency in any former tax arising from such tax being, in whole or in part, uncollectible.


To authorize the trustees to cause the schoolhouses, and their furniture, appurtenances and school apparatus to be insured by any insurance company created by or under the laws of this state, or any other insurance company authorized by law to transact business in this state.


To alter, repeal and modify their proceedings, from time to time, as occasion may require.


To vote a tax for the purchase of a book for the purpose of recording their proceedings.


To vote a tax to replace moneys of the district, lost or embezzled by district officers; and to pay the reasonable expenses incurred by district officers in defending suits or appeals brought against them for their official acts, or in prosecuting suits or appeals by direction of the district against other parties.


To vote a tax to pay whatever deficiency there may be in teachers’ salaries after the public money apportioned to the district shall have been applied thereto.


To vote a tax to pay and satisfy of record any judgments of a competent court which may have been or shall hereafter be obtained in an action against the trustees of the district for unpaid teachers’ salaries, where the time to appeal from said judgments shall have lapsed, or there shall be no intent to appeal on the part of such district, or the said judgments are or shall be of the court of last resort.


To provide, by tax or otherwise, for the conveyance of pupils residing in a school district, (a) to the elementary or high schools, or both, maintained in such district and/or (b) to the elementary or high schools, or both, in any city or district with which an education contract shall have been made, and/or (c) to the elementary or high schools, or both, other than public, situated within the district or an adjacent district or city, whenever such district shall have contracted with the school authorities of any city, or with another school district, for the education therein of the pupils residing in such school district, or whenever in any school district pupils of school age shall reside so remote from the schoolhouse therein or the elementary or high school they legally attend, within or without the district, that they are practically deprived of school advantages during any portion of the school year.


To authorize the trustees or board of education, with the consent of the commissioner of transportation, to furnish lighting facilities and janitorial care for any highway underpass located within their distrct and supervision thereof during the time the same is used by pupils in arriving at or leaving the school premises, whenever such highway underpass has been constructed by the state and the use thereof is essential for the safety of pupils.


To vote a tax to provide funds which may be utilized to meet expenses during the first one hundred twenty days of the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which such tax is collected.

Source: Section 2021 — Powers of voters, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/EDN/2021 (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Jun. 15, 2024).

Notice of first meeting of district
Time and place of annual meeting
Notice of annual meeting in common school district
Notice of annual meeting in union free school district
Special meeting to transact business of annual meeting
Special meeting in common school district
Special meeting in union free school district
Call of special district meeting by district superintendent
Additional requirements of notice where tax to be authorized to be levied in installments
Effect of want of due notice of district meetings
Duty to attend district meetings
Qualifications of voters at district meetings
Registration of voters
Register to be filed
Review of registration procedure by supreme court or county judge
Division of union free school district into election districts
Nomination of candidates for the office of member of the board of education in all union free school districts or for the office of membe...
Absentee ballots for school district elections
Absentee ballots for school district elections by poll registration
Additional voting procedures
Military voters
Early mail ballots for school district elections
Declaration in case of challenge of voter
Voting by persons whose names are not in the registration poll ledgers
Penalty for false declaration or unauthorized vote
Powers of voters
Vote on school district budgets and on the election of school district trustees and board of education members
Levy of tax for certain purposes without vote
Limitations upon school district tax levies
Certification of compliance with tax levy limit
Reference to commissioner of education
Procedures at school district meetings
Poll list
Ballot box
Election of officers
Electioneering within one hundred feet of polling place prohibited
Ballots for election of school district officers
Voting after closing of polls
Canvass of votes
Use of voting machines at school district meetings or elections
Effect of failure to appoint or elect qualified voters as district meeting or election officials
Determination of meeting or election disputes
Application of article
Application of article

Jun. 15, 2024

Last modified:
Sep. 22, 2014

§ 2021’s source at nysenate​.gov

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