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plies, this officer has general supervision of the public schools of the county. He examines applicants for certificates of qualification to teach; visits all the schools annually, if possible; sees that the subjects specified by law are taught .according to approved methods; advises and directs the teachers; holds an annual institute for the teachers of the county; and makes an annual report as well as monthly reports to the State superintendent of public instruction.
The county superintendent may grant two kinds of certificates: the provisional and the professional. The former is good for one year only; the latter for the unexpired remainder of the superintendents term, and one year thereafter. Certain other duties, concerning the granting of permanent certificates and the examination of candidates for graduation at normal schools, pertain to his office under the direction of the State superintendent.
The county superintendent must have superior qualifications of physical endurance, moral character, scholarship, and skill in his profession. He takes oath to perform faithfully the duties of his office. The minimum salary paid is fixed by law at $1,500, and the maximum to be paid by the State at $2,000. The size of the county, the average length of the school term, and the number of schools determine the varying salaries between these limits. Any amount greater than the maximum stated above may be agreed upon by the school directors in the convention at which the superintendent is chosen; yet the excess in salary is not paid by the State, but is deducted from the county's share of the State appropriation.
Women are by the constitution made eligible to the office of superintendent of schools (166).
Directors of the Poor.-In those counties in which the commissioners have erected and furnished almshouses, three directors are elected to take care of and provide for the poor of the county with money obtained by taxation. In many counties the relief of paupers is still left in the hands of the township and city officers.
Inspectors of Prisons.-In nine counties, the courts or county commissioners appoint prison inspectors who serve for one year. They appoint the officials of the prison, and receive and pay out the funds used in carrying on the institution.
Jury Commissioners.—These officers, in connection with one of the judges, select from the qualified electors of the county a certain number of persons to serve as jurors in cases brought before the courts for trial during the year. There are two jury commissioners, and they cannot serve more than two terms in succession. The method of drawing juries is described under the chapters on the Judiciary. The law provides that two sober, intelligent, and judicious persons shall be chosen in each county to serve as jury commissioners for a period of four years. In order to secure representation on the board for more than one political party or faction, no elector can vote for more than one person to serve as jury commissioner. The two persons having the greatest number of votes are elected.
County Courts and Judges.—The county courts are the courts of the judicial districts into which the State is divided (105). The judges of the county courts are chosen by the voters of the whole district at the municipal election. The same judge or judges exercise jurisdiction in the courts of the different counties in the district, but each county has its own courts. (See Judiciary.) The county was organized from the beginning as a judicial district with courthouse, jail, judge, and sheriff.
Bound the county in which you live. When was this county organized ? How many counties in this State ?
Have the names of the counties any historical significance?
Name five county officers, their terms of office, and two duties of each.
Is the board of commissioners an executive or a legislative body? Is the county government in Pennsylvania a pure democracy? Why?
Who is the sheriff of this county? What are his duties? State the salary he receives. How was he chosen ? What is his term of service? Is the sheriff an executive or a judicial officer?
What are the duties of the following officers: commissioners, sheriff, district attorney, auditor, and mayor?
What aid does the National Government give to the State in cases of invasion or domestic violence ?
Name the three departments of government, and state the functions of each.
In a criminal case who is the plaintiff? What are the duties of the county superintendent? Name your county superintendent of schools.
Describe the county courts in brief. How are the judges chosen ?
What is the object of having more than one party represented on the board of county commissioners ?
Why should mortgages, deeds, and other like documents be officially recorded ?
If a man steals and is prosecuted, who becomes the plaintiff? Why should not a person be allowed to fill the office of county treasurer two or more terms in succession ?
Who would be keeper of the jail if the sheriff should be a prisoner? Why not one of the deputy sheriffs ?
Study carefully the derivation of the words auditor, sheriff, coroner, commissioner, supervisor, and superintendent.
If you had a bill against the county, how would you get your pay? To whom would a county auditor send his resignation if he desired to be relieved ?
THE STATE GOVERNMENT
Three Great Departments.—The State preserves the old threefold division of the powers of government into separate departments: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. It is the main framework of the State constitution, and in this respect the structure of the State government is identical with that of the National Government. The Constitution of the United States, by devolving certain duties upon the legislatures and governors of the several States, makes such a division necessary; for a State without such a division of governmental powers could not have a republican form of government within the meaning of the Constitution.
The Necessity for Such Division.—Experience has shown that the powers which belong to all governments can be most safely and satisfactorily exercised by dividing them. A “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”. must have a power to make the laws, and at the same time a separate power to carry them out, or they will be of no value whatever. Yet before the laws can be enforced and applied, they must be properly understood; so there arises the need of a power which shall explain and interpret them uniformly. Indeed, in enacting the law, the legislative body may not have regarded the constitution or fundamental law of the State. In that case there must be some power higher than either the legislative or the executive power, able to declare it uncon
stitutional. This highest power of government, to determine the meaning and constitutionality of laws, belongs to the judicial department and finds its greatest exponent in the Supreme Court.
The State Constitution.—The lawmaking power, as has been seen, has limits to its authority prescribed by a written document called the constitution. This is the highest law of the State. By its means the courts, the lawmaking power, and the executive are brought into the characteristic relations. which mark our republican form of government. During its existence as a State, Pennsylvania has had four constitutions.
The State constitution is in itself only a great law made directly by the people voting upon a draft submitted to them. The people in voting act as a primary body, just as if they were all summoned to meet in one place like the folkmotes of our forefathers. The enactment of our State constitution was an exercise of direct popular sovereignty.
Other Features of State Government.-Besides the features of self-government already considered,—the constitution and the three great departments,—the State has the other elements of legal independence which characterize all the States in the Union. These are:-a body of State laws; a system of local government, in counties, cities, townships, etc.; a system of State and local taxation; public debts ($2,643,917.02 on December 1, 1909); and certain requirements regarding suffrage and elections. There is no State debt, the sinking fund being $2,652,034.96, or $8,117.94 in excess of the debt.
Describe the threefold division of governmental powers.