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Lifelong Learning
Name and Legal Status of Moorhead Area Public Schools
Type: School Board Policy
Code: 101
Adopted Date: 8/27/2001
Revised Date(s): 10/10/2005, 10/12/2009, 11/12/2013, 05/08/2017, 04/21/2020, 05/12/2020
Reviewed Date(s): 10/10/2005, 10/12/2009, 11/12/2013, 05/08/2017, 04/21/2020


The purpose of this policy is to clarify the legal status, boundaries and name of Moorhead Area Public Schools.


A. A primary principle of this nation is that the public welfare demands an educated and informed citizenry. The power to provide public education is a state function vested in the state legislature and delegated to local school districts. 
B. The Moorhead Area Public Schools is a public corporation subject to the control of the legislature, limited only by constitutional restrictions. The school district was created for educational purposes.
C. The legislature has the authority to prescribe the school district's powers and privileges, its boundaries and territorial jurisdictions.
D. The school district has only the powers conferred on it by the legislature; however, the school district's authority to govern, manage, and control the school district, to carry out its duties and responsibilities, and to conduct the business of the school district includes implied powers in addition to any specific powers granted by the legislature.
A. The Moorhead Area Public Schools is a separate legal entity.
B. It is coordinate with and not subordinate to the county(ies) in which it is situated or provides services.
C. The school district is not subservient to municipalities within its territory.
A. Funds
1. The Moorhead Area Public Schools, through its School Board, has the authority to raise funds for the operation and maintenance of its schools and school property and authority to manage and expend such funds as applicable to law.
2. The school district has wide discretion over the expenditure of funds under its control for public purposes, subject to the limitations provided by law.
3. School district officials occupy a fiduciary position in the management and expenditure of funds entrusted to them.

B. Raising Funds
1. Moorhead Area Public Schools shall, within the limitations specified by law, provide by levy of tax necessary funds for the conduct of schools, payment of indebtedness, and all proper expenses.
2. The school district may issue bonds in accordance with the provisions of Minn. Stat. Ch. 475, or other applicable law.
3. The school district has authority to accept gifts and donations for school purposes, subject to applicable law.

C. Property
1. Moorhead Area Public Schools may acquire property for school purposes. It may sell, exchange, or otherwise dispose of property which is no longer needed for school purposes, subject to applicable law.
2. The school district shall manage its property in a manner consistent with supporting the educational functions of the district.
3. The school district may permit the use of its facilities for community purposes which are not inconsistent with, nor disruptive of, its educational mission.
4. School district officials hold school property as trustees for the use and benefit of students, taxpayers, and the community.

D. Contracts
1. Moorhead Area Public Schools is empowered to enter into contracts in the manner provided by law.
2. The school district has the authority to enter into installment purchases and leases with an option to purchase, pursuant to Minn. Stat. 465.71 or other applicable law.
3. The school district has the authority to make contracts with other governmental agencies and units for the purchase, lease, or other acquisition of equipment, supplies, materials, and other property, including real property.

4. Moorhead Area Public Schools has the authority to enter into employment contracts. As a public employer, the school district, through its designated representatives, shall meet and negotiate with public employees in an appropriate bargaining unit and enter into written collective bargaining agreements with such employees, subject to applicable law.

E. Textbooks, Educational Materials and Studies
1. Moorhead Area Public Schools, through its School Board and administration, has the authority to determine what textbooks, educational materials, and studies should be pursued.
2. The school district shall establish and apply the school curriculum.

F. Actions and Suits
Moorhead Area Public Schools has the authority to sue and to be sued.


A. Pursuant to statute, the official name of the school district is Independent School District No. 152. However, the school district is often referred to by other informal names (Moorhead Public Schools, Moorhead Area Public Schools, Moorhead Independent School District 152, etc.). In order to avoid confusion and to encourage consistency in school district letterheads, signage, publications and other materials, the name Moorhead Area Public Schools will be used to refer to the school district.

B. In official communications and on school district ballots, the school district shall be referred to as Independent School District 152 Moorhead Area Public Schools, but inadvertent failure to use the correct name shall not invalidate any legal proceeding or matter or affect the validity of any document executed in the past, present or future.
Legal References:
Minn. Const. art. 13, 1
Minn. Stat. Ch. 123B (School Districts, Powers and Duties)
Minn. Stat. 465.035 (Conveyance or Lease of Land)
Minn. Stats. 465.71; 471.345; 471.6161; 471.64 (Rights, Powers, Duties of Political Subdivisions)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 179A (Public Employment Labor Relations)
Minnesota Association of Public Schools v. Hanson, 287 Minn. 415, 178 N.W.2d 846 (1970)
Independent School District No. 581 v. Mattheis, 275 Minn. 383, 147 N.W.2d 374 (1966)
Village of Blaine v. Independent School District No. 12, 272 Minn. 343, 138 N.W.2d 32 (1965)
Huffman v. School Board, 230 Minn. 289, 41 N.W.2d 455 (1950)
State v. Lakeside Land Co., 71 Minn. 283, 73 N.W.970 (1898)
Cross References:
Moorhead School Board Policy 201: School Board Legal Status
Moorhead School Board Policy 601: Curriculum and Instruction Goals for Moorhead Area Public Schools
Moorhead School Board Policy 620: Selection of Textbooks and Instructional Materials 
Moorhead School Board Policy 702: Equal Access to Moorhead Area Public Schools Facilities
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 704 (Development and Maintenance of an Inventory of Fixed Assets and a Fixed Asset Accounting System) 
Moorhead School Board Policy 834: Public Gifts to the School District
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 101: Legal Status of the School District
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 101.1: Name of the School District
MSBA Service Manual, Chapter 3, Employee Negotiations
MSBA Service Manual, Chapter 13, School Law Bulletin "F" (Contract and Bidding Procedures)