Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County in case of Community College of Beaver County, a Community College, v. School District of the Borough of Aliquippa, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, a School District, No. 1136 of 1968.
H. Beryl Klein, for appellant.
Harold E. Craig, with him Craig & Ruffner, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Manderino, Mencer and Rogers. Judge Wilkinson, Jr., disqualified himself. Judge Manderino did not participate in the decision. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
This appeal comes to us from the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County where judgment was entered for appellee, Community College, for $60,653.53. Appellee complained in assumpsit that this amount was owed by appellant as its pro rata share of appellee's school subsidy 1967-68 budget. The essence of the complaint is that appellant is a member of Community College's local sponsorship organization together with other area school districts and that this obligation came into being as a result of a plan of sponsorship which joined appellant with the other members of the sponsorship organization.
The following sequence of events developed this litigation: A proposed plan for a Community College of Beaver County was prepared and approved by the State Board of Education. The plan included provisions for allocating financial responsibility for the Community
College among the members of the local sponsor.*fn1 Appellant, by proper action of its Board of School Directors on February 10, 1966 and April 19, 1966, endorsed the plan and constituted itself as a constituent member of the local sponsor of the Community College. The total number of school districts constituting the local sponsor numbered 25.
In July of 1966, a convention of the constituent members of the local sponsor was called and was attended by 59 of the 157 directors of the local school districts, including six Board members of the appellant school district. Having received the highest number of votes cast by the members present at the convention, a Board of nine Trustees was declared to have been elected. The Board requested payment by the sponsor of the College's expenses for the period expiring June 30, 1967 which was a part of the plan. Appellant's share was $12,075 which was paid in installments. The Board of Trustees then proceeded with the organization and operational plans of the Community College.
In January of 1967, the Community College submitted articles of agreement purporting to serve as a formal delineation of the financial responsibilities of each school district as set forth in the initial agreement which formed the sponsorship organization. These proposed articles were amended in February of 1967. At this point, appellant, the school district, refused to approve either the original or the amended articles of agreement.
The Board prepared a budget for the school year 1967-68 and submitted the same ...