Publication of Notices (24 P.S. § 1-106)

When publication of notice is required in one newspaper under this act, notice must be published in a newspaper of general circulation printed in the county. If notice is required to be published in more than one (1) newspaper, then it must be published in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation printed in the school district. If no newspapers of general circulation are printed in the school district, then notices may be published in a newspaper generally circulating in the district.

When the notice relates to any court proceeding, an election to increase indebtedness or the issue and sale of bonds to be paid by taxation, the notice must also be published in the legal newspaper for the county, if there is one. The following, however, are only to be published in newspapers of general circulation: auditors' statements, summaries of auditors' statements, advertisements inviting proposals for public contracts and for bids for materials and supplies, or lists of delinquent taxpayers.

Proof of publication must consist of a sworn printed or written statement (affidavit) by a publisher or his designated agent. The affidavit must state where and when the notice was published, and include a copy of the advertisement, exactly as published. The person making the affidavit may not be an interested party in the subject matter of the notice or the employee of an interested party.

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Classification of School Districts (24 P.S. § 2-202)

School districts in Pennsylvania are divided into five classes, as follows:

1. School districts of the first class have a population of 1.5 million or more.
2. School districts of the first class A have a population between 350,000 and 1.5 million.
3. School districts of the second class have a population between 30,000 and 350,000.
4. School districts of the third class have a population between 5,000 and 30,000.
5. School districts of the fourth class have a population of less than 5,000.

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First Class A School District Representation - Notice of Reapportionment for School Board (24 P.S. § 3-302.1(c)(7))

Any apportionment or reapportionment plan for school board representation (school director districts) in a first class A school district must be published by the county board of elections once in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation in the most populous municipality of the school district. The ad must include the following:

1. A map of the school district showing the complete apportionment or reapportionment of the school director districts.
2. The population of the school director districts which have the smallest and largest populations.
3. The percentage variation of these districts from the average population for districts within the entire school district.

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Cafeterias (24 P.S. § 5-504(d))

School boards may authorize the purchase of perishable foods for cafeterias without advertising for bids.

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Annual Budget - First Class School Districts (24 P.S. § 6-664)

The board of education for each school district of the first class must prepare an annual budget. At least 15 days before final action is taken on any budget, the board of public education must publish an advertisement that the proposed budget is open to public inspection at the office of the board of public education. The advertisement must be published at least once in two (2) newspapers of general circulation printed in the munici-pality in which the school district is located. This advertisement must include notice of a public hearing on the proposed budget, to be scheduled at least ten (10) days before final action is taken on any budget.

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Annual Budget - Second, Third and Fourth Class School Districts (24 P.S. § 6-687(a),(b))

At least 30 days prior to the adoption of the annual budget, the board of school directors for school districts of the second, third and fourth classes must prepare a proposed budget. The board may not take final action on a proposed budget in which estimated expenditures exceed $2,000 until after ten (10) days public notice. The proposed budget must be printed, or otherwise made available, for public inspection at least 20 days before the date set for the adoption of the budget.

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Referendum or Public Hearing Required Prior to Construction or Lease in School Districts of the Second, Third or Fourth Classes (24 P.S. § 7-701.1)

The board of school directors of a school district of the second, third or fourth classes may not construct or enter into a contract to lease a new school building or a substantial addition to an existing building without either the consent of the voters or a public hearing on the matter. The public hearing must be held not later than 30 days before initial cost estimates are submitted to the Department of Education for approval. Notice of such a hearing must be given not less than 20 days prior to the hearing date. Notice is not required when voter approval has already been obtained.

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Sale of Unused and Unnecessary Land and Buildings (24 P.S. § 7-707)

The board of school directors of any district may sell unused and unnecessary land and buildings by any of the following methods: (the number indicates the subsection number of the statute)

(1) By public auction after notice by publication in one or more newspapers of general circulation published within the county or the school district and in the legal newspaper in the county, if one exists, once a week for three (3) successive weeks before the date fixed for the sale.
(2) By sealed bids, with notice requirements the same as in subsection (1).
(3) By private sale, subject to the approval of the court of common pleas. Before the court may grant permission for the sale, a hearing must be held on the matter. Public notice of the hearing date shall be given in the same manner as in subsection (1).
(4) In school districts of the first class, by public or private auction in cases where the land is acquired through unpaid taxes or a municipal claim. Advertisement in a newspaper and further proceedings or confirmation by the court is not necessary.
(8) Any school district of the second, third or fourth class, with the approval of two--thirds of the board of school directors, may convey any unused or unnecessary lands or buildings to a city, borough, town or township with which it shares boundaries or to a volunteer fire company, volunteer ambulance service or volunteer rescue squad in the district without advertising or court approval.
(10) Any school district may convey any unused and unnecessary land and buildings which are of historical significance to an historical society without advertising or court approval.
(11) Any school district, with the approval of two-thirds of the members of the board of school directors, may convey any unused and unnecessary land and buildings to a community college, or to an authority with which it has entered into or is about to enter into a lease rental agreement, without advertising or court approval.

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Condemnation of Land (24 P.S. § 7-721 and 7-723)

When the board of school directors condemns land for school purposes, but the land owners and school board cannot agree on the terms of purchase, either party may petition the Court of Common Pleas for a jury of viewers to make a report of findings. The viewers must meet between 10 and 30 days after their appointment. Five (5) days notice of the time and place of the viewers' first meeting must be given to interested parties. If personal notice cannot be given for whatever reason, notice must be given by registered letter, advertisement or otherwise, as the court directs.

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Construction Contracts (24 P.S. § 7-751)

All construction, repairs or maintenance exceeding $10,000 in total cost requires public notice inviting competitive bids and must be contracted for separately. However, a prefabricated unit may be advertised as a single unit for a single bid. In an emergency situation in which a school building or part of a building becomes unusable, bids for repairs or replacements may be awarded without advertising by soliciting bids from at least three (3) responsible bidders and obtaining the approval of the Secretary of Education.

Three (3) bids must be solicited and written records kept for construction contracts between $4,000 and $10,000. Advertising is not required for such contracts.

The board’s own maintenance personnel may perform any construction or repair work costing $5,000 or less. The board may authorize the secretary of the board or another executive to award construction contracts for less than $10,000.

No board of school directors may evade the provisions of this section as to advertising for bids or purchasing materials or contracting for services piecemeal in order to obtain prices under $10,000 when such transactions should reasonably be conducted as a single transaction.

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Closing a School (24 P.S. § 7-780)

In the event of a permanent closing of a public school, a public hearing must be held at least three (3) months before the decision of the board relating to the school closing. Notice of the hearing must be given in a newspaper of general circulation in the school district at least 15 days prior to the hearing date.

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Purchase of Supplies (24 P.S. § 8-807.1)

Before school supplies costing $10,000 or more may be purchased, public notice by advertisement must appear once a week for three (3) weeks in not less than two (2) newspapers of general circulation. If a newspaper is not published in the district, notice may be posted in at least five (5) public places.

For purchases between $4,000 and $10,000, three (3) bids must be solicited and written records kept. Advertising is not required for such purchases.

The following are exempt from the above provisions: maps, music, globes, charts, educational films, filmstrips, prepared transparencies and slides, prerecorded tapes and discs, textbooks, games, toys, kits, models, flannel board materials, flash- cards and teacher demonstration devices.

No board of school directors may evade the provisions of this section as to advertising for bids or purchasing materials piecemeal in order to obtain prices under $10,000 when such transactions should reasonably be conducted as a single transaction.

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School District of the First Class - Annual Financial Statements (24 P.S. §§ 21-2129, 21-2131)

On or before the tenth day of January of each year, the school controller for districts of the first class or first class A must submit an annual itemized statement of the finances of the district for the past year. Notice that the controller's annual financial statement is available for public inspection at the business office of the district must be published by the board of public education in two (2) newspapers designated by the board. Notice shall be published once a week for three (3) successive weeks, beginning the first week after the report has been filed by the controller.

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School District of the Second and Third Class - Notice of Audit (24 P.S. §§ 24-2431, 24-2432)

For school districts of the second and third classes, the auditors will begin their audits on the first day of July of every year and within 30 days thereafter audit the accounts of the school district. Within 10 days after completing their annual audit, the auditors must advertise a notice that the audit report for the district has been filed and is available for public inspection at the business office of the district. The notice must be published once a week for three (3) successive weeks in one (1) newspaper of general circulation published or circulating generally in the district, and must state the date the report was filed and give notice that unless the report is appealed within 30 days of its filing, it will be confirmed absolutely. Auditors neglecting or refusing to comply with these provisions are subject to fines and costs or imprisonment for not more than ten (10) days.

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School District of the Fourth Class - Publication of Audit (24 P.S. § 24-2441)

Auditors for school districts of the fourth class shall meet annually with the board of school directors on the first day of July (or within 5 days of the first) and within 30 days audit the financial accounts of the district for the past year. Notice that the annual audit report of district finances has been filed and is available for public inspection at the district's business office must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the district. The notice must be published once a week for three (3) successive weeks, beginning the first week after the auditors file the report. In the alternative, notice may be given by promptly posting, in at least six (6) public places in the district, the same information.

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Compensation of Auditors and Certified Public Accountants (24 P.S. § 24-2443)

The auditors required to audit the accounts of a school district of the fourth class shall be allowed to be paid ten dollars ($10) per day for their services, which, in addition to the cost of advertising their report, will be paid by the school district.

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Notice of Audit in Districts Not Electing Auditors (24 P.S. § 24-2442)

In school districts of the fourth class that do not elect auditors, the prothonotary of the court in which the auditors' report is filed shall advertise a concise summary of the report in one newspaper published or circulating generally in the district, once a week for three (3) successive weeks, beginning within a week after the report is filed. The advertisement must include the assets and liabilities of the district. The advertisement must also state the date the report was filed and give notice that unless the report is appealed within 30 days of its filing, it will be confirmed absolutely.

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MISCELLANEOUS LAWS

Use of Borrowed Money for Other Purposes (24 P.S. §§ 651-652)

When a school district of the fourth class has borrowed money, but the purpose for which the money was borrowed or authorized to be borrowed has become imprac-tical, the money may be used for another purpose, following an election on the matter. Notice of the election must be given for at least 30 days by weekly advertisements in not more than three (3) newspapers in the district. If no newspaper is published in the district, notice may be given by at least 20 printed handbills posted in public places in the district.

The notice must state the following:

1. The place or places for holding the municipal elections
2. The date of the election
3. The amount of money bor-rowed or authorized to be borrowed
4. The purpose for which the money was originally authorized
5. The reason why the money may not be used for the original purpose
6. The new purpose

A certified copy of the board's resolution to use the money for another purpose and a copy of the election notice must be filed with the clerk of the court of common pleas.

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Sale of Public School Building Authority Bonds (24 P.S. § 791.6(a))

After notice by public advertising, Public School Building Authority bonds used to finance public school, educational broadcasting, and community college construc-tion and operations, may be sold at private sale or to the highest responsible bidder. The advertisement must include the following:

1. A general description of the bonds;
2. The manner, place and time of the sale or the time limit for the receipt of bids;
3. The name of the officer to whom bids must be delivered; and
4. A statement of the terms and conditions of sale.

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Refunding Bonds (24 P.S. § 791.6a)

Refunding bonds used to retire bond issues closed by the Public School Building Authority during 1975 only, may be sold at private sale, without advertise-ment or competitive bidding, for prices determined by the Authority.

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Construction Contracts Under the Public School Building Authority (24 P.S. § 791.10)

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