Appeals from decrees of Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Nos. 3984 and 4850 of 1967, in case of Ernest P. Schofield and James M. Hermann on behalf of themselves and others v. Robert V. Donato, William Taylor, Jr., Pleasanton H. Ennis et al., individually and as Board of Trustees of Community College of Delaware County; and James M. Hermann on behalf of himself and others v. Springfield Township School Board of School Directors.
D. Barry Gibbons, with him Reed, Gibbons & Buckley, and William C. Sennett, Attorney General, with him Edward Friedman, Counsel General, for appellants.
Donald W. Lehrkinder, with him Lehrkinder & Gillingham, for school board, appellant.
Joseph A. Damico, Jr., with him Chadwick, Petrikin, Ginsburg and Wellman, for appellees.
Harold E. Craig, Andrew L. Herster, Jr., Robert K. Young, Francis B. Haas, Jr., Nathan W. Stuart, and Gross & Herster, and Wiener & Young, and McNees, Wallace & Nurick, and Stuart, Murphy, Hager & Smith, for amici curiae.
Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Cohen.
These appeals involve a further attack upon activities taken under the Act of August 24, 1963, P. L. 1132,
as amended, the "Community College Act of 1963."*fn1 Here, certain citizens and taxpayers of Delaware County have sought to enjoin the designated Board of Trustees of the Community College of Delaware County and the Board of School Directors of Springfield Township, Delaware County (one of the sponsors of the Community College) from proceeding with the establishment of the Community College in that county.
In Delaware County the Community College was formed by twenty-one school districts each of which passed resolutions authorizing the enacting district to be a local sponsor of the college and approving a joint agreement and plan of sponsorship for the college. The State Board of Education subsequently approved the sponsorship, and the local sponsors then elected a board of trustees.
Under the agreement entered into by and among the twenty-one school districts the annual budget submitted to them as the "local sponsor" is approved if adopted by two-thirds of these school boards (voting separately) and by a majority of all of the school directors of all the boards. The agreement also provided that it was to remain in effect until all obligations incurred by the various boards or any authority in financing capital expenditures were paid in full; thereafter, it could be extended by agreement of the parties.
The present controversy centers upon the budget approval procedure outlined above. In sustaining the plaintiffs' contention in this regard, the lower court noted our decision in Rettig, supra, in which we sustained the Community College Act's fiscal provisions against an attack based upon ...