Chapter 1
State Administration

Part 1
General Provisions

49-1-101. System established.

There is established a system of public education.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 1; Shan. Supp., § 1487a15; mod. Code 1932, § 2306; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-101.

Cross-References. English deemed official and legal language, § 4-1-404.

Establishment of department of education, §§  4-3-101, 4-3-801.

General assembly to provide for system of free public schools, Tenn. Const. art. XI, § 12.

Schools and teachers in loco parentis, § 49-6-4203.

Volunteer public education trust fund, title 49, ch. 3, part 4.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 19 Tenn. Juris., Municipal, State and County Securities, § 10; 22 Tenn. Juris., Schools, §§ 1, 4.

Law Reviews.

Education and the Court: The Supreme Court's Educational Ideology, 40 Vand. L. Rev. 939 (1987).

Federalizing Education by Waiver?, 68 Vand. L. Rev. 607  (2015).

The Demise of Equal Access and a Return to the Early-American Understanding of Student Rights, 43 U. Mem. L. Rev. 557 (2012).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Effect of Statute on Prior Laws.

This section, repealing by implication only those provisions of earlier acts affecting schools which are irreconcilably inconsistent or repugnant, does not repeal that part of an act which provides for the removal of the county superintendent [now director] of schools for cause. Rhea County v. White, 163 Tenn. 388, 43 S.W.2d 375, 1931 Tenn. LEXIS 128 (1931).

2. Private Act Constitutionality.

Private Acts 1935, ch. 620, as amended by Private Acts 1935 (E.S.), ch. 82, which by population designation relates only to Hamilton County, and purports to fix minimum graduated salaries to be paid to the teachers in the schools of the county, is unconstitutional. State ex rel. Bales v. Hamilton County, 170 Tenn. 371, 95 S.W.2d 618, 1935 Tenn. LEXIS 144 (1936).

Private Acts 1949, ch. 822, which radically changed the allocation of funds from that provided by this chapter, is unconstitutional. Davidson County v. Nashville, 190 Tenn. 136, 228 S.W.2d 89, 1950 Tenn. LEXIS 430 (1950).

3. Teacher Contracts.

Employment contracts in education fall outside the reach of T.C.A. § 7-51-903, because the legislature specifically addresses issues relating to employment within the educational system, pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-1-101 et seq.Arnwine v. Union County Bd. of Educ., 120 S.W.3d 804, 2003 Tenn. LEXIS 1087 (Tenn. 2003).

49-1-102. Administration generally.

  1. The system of public education in this state shall be governed in accordance with laws enacted by the general assembly and under policies, standards, and guidelines adopted by the state board of education that are necessary for the proper operation of public education in kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12). The policies, standards and guidelines shall be formulated by the state board of education, with such assistance from the commissioner of education as the state board may request.
  2. The commissioner shall perform such duties as are assigned to the commissioner by law and is responsible for the administration, implementation, supervision and enforcement of the policies, standards and guidelines of the state board of education.
  3. There shall be a local public school system operated in each county or combination of counties. There may be a local public school system operated in a municipality or special school district. Any local public school system shall be administered by:
    1. A local board of education; and
    2. A director of schools.
  4. In the event the local public school system is a multi-county system, the system shall be administered by an elected nine-member board of education and a director appointed by the board.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 2; Shan. Supp., § 1487a16; Code 1932, § 2307; Acts 1974, ch. 654, § 1; 1979, ch. 20, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-102; Acts 1984 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 6, § 2; 1992, ch. 535, § 63.

Cross-References. Commissioner of education, § 4-3-802.

State board of education, title 49, ch. 1, part 3.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 22 Tenn. Juris., Schools, §§ 4, 6.

Attorney General Opinions. Application for and administration of federal funds, OAG 97-086, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 93 (5/28/97).

Municipality must offer new grade levels to all eligible children, OAG 98-090, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 90 (4/15/98); OAG 98-132, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 132 (7/28/98).

The General Assembly has authorized the state Board of Education to establish policies, guidelines, and minimum standards that govern Tennessee’s system of public education, and the General Assembly has required local boards of education to comply with the state Board’s policies, guidelines, and standards in managing the public school systems in their respective jurisdictions. OAG 18-34, 2018 Tenn. AG LEXIS 33 (7/30/2018).

49-1-103. Title definitions.

As used in this title, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Board,” “local board,” or “local board of education” means the board of education that manages and controls the respective local public school system; and
  2. “Local education agency (LEA),” “school system,” “public school system,” “local school system,” “school district,” or “local school district” means any county school system, city school system, special school district, unified school system, metropolitan school system or any other local public school system or school district created or authorized by the general assembly.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 2; Shan. Supp., § 1487a16; Code 1932, § 2307; Acts 1974, ch. 654, § 1; 1979, ch. 20, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-102.

Law Reviews.

Symposium – Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Attorney General Opinions. City’s Use of Payments Received Through Industrial Development Corporation to Fund Workforce Training Programs. OAG 15-43, 2015 Tenn. AG LEXIS 66 (4/30/15).

49-1-104. Maximum class size — Waiver — Split-grade classes.

  1. It is the intent of the general assembly that every LEA move expeditiously and promptly toward the goals established in this section, and to that end, neither the commissioner nor the state board of education shall grant waivers from the maximum class sizes established in this section. Every public local school system shall have as a policy that pupil-teacher ratios should not exceed the averages prescribed in this section. In no school building shall the average size of any grade level unit prescribed in this section exceed the stated average, though any individual class within that unit may exceed the average; provided, that no class shall exceed the prescribed maximum size.

    Grade Level Average Maximum Class Size K-3 20 25 4-6 25 30 7-12 30 35 Career and Technical Education 20 25

    Click to view table.

  2. The state board of education, in consultation with the state department of education, shall establish class size standards and case load standards for instructional personnel and teachers having the primary responsibility for the development, implementation and updating of a student's individualized education plan (IEP). In addition to case load requirements, these standards shall address class size in all classrooms that include students with disabilities and students eligible for special education services.
  3. The average pupil/teacher ratios in this section shall establish the minimum number of regular classroom teaching positions in a school exclusive of the principal, assistant principal, counselor, elementary art, elementary music, elementary physical education, librarian, special education or other specialized positions.
  4. Class size limits may be exceeded in such areas as typewriting, junior reserve officers' training corps (JROTC) and instrumental and vocal music classes; provided, that the effectiveness of the instructional program in these areas is not impaired.
    1. No local school system shall establish split-grade classes for the purpose of complying with this section. This subsection (e) does not prevent school systems from using transitional, ungraded or unstructured classes.
    2. No local school system shall establish split-grade classes for any purpose without the approval of the local board of education.
    3. The average size specified for the grade levels involved in split-grade classes will be the maximum size allowed in such classes, notwithstanding the maximum size otherwise allowed by this section.
  5. In the event of a natural disaster that results in the enrollment of displaced students, the commissioner of education may grant a waiver from the maximum class sizes established in this section.
    1. LEAs that use the career academy or small learning community model may extend class sizes in career and technical education (CTE) classes in grades nine through twelve (9-12); provided, that the CTE class sizes do not exceed the maximum class size set for general education classes in grades seven through twelve (7-12).
    2. LEAs may seek a waiver from the commissioner of education to extend the CTE class size average in grades nine through twelve (9-12); provided, that the CTE class sizes do not exceed the maximum class size set for CTE classes.
  6. Any LEA operating a virtual school or virtual education program shall not exceed the teacher/pupil ratio for virtual schools set by the state board of education.
    1. Notwithstanding subsection (a), the commissioner, upon request by an LEA, may grant a waiver from the average class sizes established in this section to assist the LEA in funding a grow your own program pursuant to criteria established by the department.
    2. As used in this section, “grow your own” means a partnership between an educator preparation provider, approved by the state board of education, and one (1) or more LEAs to coordinate a program for the preparation and licensure of teachers that integrates education content with a public school classroom internship that includes structured feedback and coaching from an experienced teacher serving as a mentor.

Acts 1984 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 7, § 100; 1992, ch. 535, § 37; 2001, ch. 374, § 1; 2006, ch. 579, § 1; 2007, ch. 313, § 1; 2008, ch. 993, § 1; 2010, ch. 696, §§ 1, 2; 2012, ch. 558, § 1; 2012, ch. 999, § 1; 2015, ch. 55, § 2; 2015, ch. 182, § 7; 2018, ch. 669, § 1; 2018, ch. 725, § 1; 2020, ch. 587, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2018, ch. 669, § 2 provided that the act, which amended this section,  shall apply to the 2018-2019 school year and each school year thereafter.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment added (i).

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 587, § 2. July 1, 2020.

Attorney General Opinions. Construction of subsection (a), OAG 97-006, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 4 (1/27/97).

49-1-105. Completion of school year when parent relocated.

It is the intent of the general assembly that every child have an opportunity to succeed educationally. An LEA may permit a child who is legally enrolled in a school within the LEA to complete the year in that school when, during the school year, the custodial parent or parent's residence has been relocated due to active military duty or other hardship and is to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the LEA.

Acts 2004, ch. 686, § 1.

49-1-106. Best practices clearinghouse.

  1. The general assembly finds and declares that teaching practices in educational institutions that receive public funding for kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) education should embrace and implement the best practices of models of K-12 education reform including those developed by charter schools, virtual schools, schools participating in voucher programs and other reform models that may arise. Such best practices should be implemented to:
    1. Encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods proven to be effective through education reform models;
    2. Improve learning opportunities for all students; and
    3. Close the achievement gap between high-performing and low-performing students.
  2. In order to effectively identify and disseminate best practices of education reform, the state board of education, the department of education and the office of research and education accountability in the office of the comptroller of the treasury, shall confer with other education stakeholders and determine the best means of organizing and operating a best practices clearinghouse.
  3. The purpose of the best practices clearinghouse shall be to collaborate and cooperate with schools using models of education reform to identify their best practices, to implement a system for dissemination of such practices, to permit all public schools to learn from these best practices, and to assist public schools in the use of best practices. The best practices clearinghouse shall be charged with studying models of education reform to identify, develop and share best practices of these models with public schools.

Acts 2014, ch. 811, § 1; 2015, ch. 182, § 8; 2016, ch. 684, § 3; 2018, ch. 725, § 2; T.C.A. § 49-1-107.

Code Commission Notes.

This section was renumbered from § 49-1-107 to § 49-1-106 by authority of the Code Commission in 2020.

49-1-107. Commission on education recovery and innovation — Role — Membership — Reporting — Termination. [Effective until July 1, 2022.]

  1. The Tennessee commission on education recovery and innovation is created to examine the short-and long-term systemic effects that the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters of 2020 have had on the state's educational systems.
  2. The commission shall advise and make recommendations to the general assembly, the state board of education, the department of education, the Tennessee higher education commission, and the state institutions of higher education on strategies to close educational gaps resulting from school closures, and to modernize the state's educational structure from kindergarten to career in order to create more flexibility in the delivery of education to students.
  3. The commission is composed of the following nine (9) members:
    1. Three (3) persons appointed by the governor;
    2. Three (3) persons appointed by the speaker of the senate; and
    3. Three (3) persons appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.
    1. In making appointments, the appointing authorities shall strive to include directors of schools, leaders of higher education institutions, educators, and community and major business leaders.
    2. In the event of a vacancy on the commission, the respective appointing authority shall appoint a new member to fill the vacancy.
  4. The commission shall submit an initial assessment of the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Tennessee's educational systems to the general assembly no later than January 1, 2021. The commission shall submit a report on the commission's actions, findings, and recommendations to the general assembly no later than January 1, 2022, and shall submit a final report on the commission's actions, findings, and recommendations to the general assembly no later than June 30, 2022.
  5. The commission is administratively attached to the state board of education.
    1. The executive director of the state board of education, or the executive director's designee, shall call the first meeting of the commission, at which time the commission shall elect a chair,
    2. The commission shall meet at least quarterly, give public notice prior to each meeting, and ensure that all meetings are open to the public.
  6. Commission members shall not receive compensation or travel reimbursement for serving on the commission.
    1. The commission ceases to exist on June 30, 2022.
    2. This act is repealed on July 1, 2022.

Acts 2020, ch. 792, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. For the Preamble to the act concerning the events of 2020 related to the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters, see Acts 2020, ch. 792.

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 792, § 2. July 15, 2020.

Cross-References. Tennessee Open Meetings Act, T.C.A. § 8-44-101 et seq.

Part 2
Department of Education

49-1-201. Powers and duties of the commissioner.

  1. The commissioner of education is responsible for the implementation of law or policies established by the general assembly or the state board of education.
  2. The commissioner shall attend all meetings of the state board of education and may speak at the meetings and make recommendations. Any recommendations made by the commissioner shall be made a part of the minutes of the meeting.
  3. The commissioner shall provide direction through administrative and supervisory activities designed to build and maintain an effective organization as follows:
    1. Employ and supervise the personnel within the department;
    2. Collect and publish, in accordance with the rules, regulations, policies and procedures of the state publications committee, statistics and other information relative to the public school system;
    3. Make tours of inspection and survey among the public schools throughout the state and to direct supervision through the divisions of the department;
    4. Require all teachers to attend county institutes or educational meetings on the date, at the hour and place designated by the county director of schools; provided, that schools shall not be suspended for more than ten (10) days in one (1) year; and provided further, that the place of the meeting shall be in the county where the school is located;
    5. See that the school laws and the regulations of the state board of education are faithfully executed;
    6. Prepare and distribute blank forms for all reports required by law or by the commissioner to be made by teachers, boards of education, directors of schools, county trustees and all other state, county and city officers;
    7. Distribute in electronic format to the local boards of education, at the conclusion of each regular session of the general assembly, copies of newly enacted public chapters pertaining to public education;
    8. Require all state and local public school officers and heads of state educational institutions under the department or the state board of education to submit detailed reports annually; and, in case of emergency, the commissioner may require special reports at any time of any officer connected with the public school system;
    9. Appoint someone to make reports required to be made by the state or local public school officers and heads of state institutions named in this section when such officers fail to make full and accurate reports at the time designated, and to allow the appointee compensation not to exceed five dollars ($5.00) per day for the time actually employed in making the reports for the appointee's service, which shall be paid by the delinquent public school officer or the head of the state educational institution. Upon the refusal of the delinquent officer or head of the state educational institution to pay the compensation, the commissioner shall deduct that amount out of the state supplement to the delinquent officer's or head's salary or compensation and require the county trustee or other custodian of public school funds to withhold that amount out of any salary that may be due the delinquent officer;
    10. Preserve in the commissioner's office all official documents and matters in relation to educational subjects that may come into it;
    11. Report to the comptroller of the treasury, on July 1 of each year, the average daily attendance of the preceding year, as determined and taken from the daily attendance reports of the teachers and other officers of the various cities and counties, and on July 1 of odd years, biennially, the school census, as determined by the scholastic census enumeration;
    12. Submit annually to the governor a detailed report of the commissioner's official acts for the year ending June 30 preceding, exhibiting a full statistical account of the receipts and disbursements of the public school funds, the condition and progress of the public schools and making recommendations for improvements of the public school system;
    13. Prepare and furnish high school diplomas for graduates of senior, public high schools, approved by the state board of education;
    14. Revoke, when charges are made and approved by the director of schools and local board of education upon sufficient evidence, the license of any teacher, principal, supervisor or other school official who is guilty of immoral conduct; provided, that the teacher, principal, supervisor or other official shall be given ten (10) days' notice in writing and an opportunity to appear in defense;
      1. Whenever it appears to the commissioner from the report of any school official or from any other reliable source that any portion of the school fund has been lost, misappropriated or in any way illegally disposed of or not collected, or is in danger of loss, misappropriation, illegal disposition or failure of collection, the commissioner may call upon the district attorney general, the county mayor or the county attorney to protect, recover or force collection of the funds; provided, that the governor shall first give approval to such action. This subdivision (c)(15)(A), however, shall not prohibit suits by one political subdivision against another political subdivision in the same county, or against the county, when the consent of the commissioner and the governor has not been obtained. The commissioner, with the consent of the governor and with the approval of the attorney general and reporter, is authorized to employ private legal counsel in order to protect, recover or force collection of any school funds; and
      2. The commissioner has authority to send a supervisor or supervisors, as provided for in this section, to any local school system to make investigation of public school accounts, records and files of any official handling the school funds or administering the public school system, and to enforce all school laws and regulations of the commissioner; provided, that the duty of the commissioner shall not be exercised until the local board of education has requested the investigation;
    15. Supervise high schools and furnish blank forms in accord with this title;
    16. Prescribe regulations regarding the display of flags on public school buildings;
    17. Require the heads of divisions under the commissioner's direction who handle state funds to give bonds sufficient to cover any liability to the state;
    18. Inspect, approve and classify such private schools of grades one through twelve (1-12), as well as nursery schools or kindergartens, or any combination of these, as shall request such inspection, approval and classification; provided, that the same standards as are used for the approval and classification of the public schools shall be used for such inspection, approval and classification;
      1. Prepare and present to the state board of education for its approval, disapproval or amendment rules and regulations that are necessary to implement the policies, standards or guidelines of the state board or the education laws of the state;
      2. In the absence of the state board, the commissioner shall have, if necessary, the emergency rulemaking authority provided for in the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5; and
      3. The commissioner may prepare and promulgate, without board approval, rules and regulations that are solely necessary for the administrative operation and functions of the department; however, this authority shall not supersede the powers of the state board in policy matters and may be used only in performance of the commissioner's administrative responsibilities;
    19. Conduct, subject to approval of the state board of education, a program of public information concerning public schools, kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12);
    20. Approve evaluation plans developed by LEAs;
    21. Inspect and approve child care centers operated by church-related schools, as defined by § 49-50-801, in accordance with the same health, fire and safety standards as are used in inspecting and approving child care centers operated in public schools;
    22. Authorize and administer a contract between the department of education and Miss Tennessee regarding safe and drug-free schools, subject to availability of federal funds that may be used for this purpose; and
    23. Require each LEA's director of schools to submit to the department of education an annual personnel report.
    1. Upon application by the LEA for one (1) or more of its schools, the commissioner of education may waive any state board rule or statute that inhibits or hinders the LEA's ability to meet its goals or comply with its mission. However, the commissioner may not waive regulatory or statutory requirements related to:
      1. Federal and state civil rights;
      2. Federal, state and local health and safety;
      3. Federal and state public records;
      4. Immunizations;
      5. Possession of weapons on school grounds;
      6. Background checks and fingerprinting of personnel;
      7. Federal and state special education services;
      8. Student due process;
      9. Parental rights;
      10. Federal and state student assessment and accountability;
      11. Open meetings;
      12. Educators' due process rights;
      13. Reductions in teachers' salaries;
      14. Employee rights, salaries and benefits; and
      15. Licensure of employees.
    2. No provisions of subdivision (d)(1) shall be construed to impact memoranda of understanding under the Professional Educators Collaborative Conferencing Act of 2011, compiled in chapter 5, part 6 of this title.
    1. The commissioner of education, in collaboration with the state-level school safety team established under § 49-6-802, shall develop guidelines and training for all public school administrators and human resource personnel regarding the prevention of workplace violence. Such guidelines and training shall include outlines and related materials for use in the delivery of in-service training activities for teachers and other school personnel, and to further include materials and training or recognizing and responding to employee alcohol and substance abuse.
    2. The commissioner is authorized to direct up to five percent (5%) of the funds appropriated for the Safe Schools Act of 1998, codified in § 49-6-4302(c), to the Tennessee school safety center for the development and delivery of training materials and guidelines as specified under § 49-6-4302(a).

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 4; Shan. Supp., § 1487a23; Code 1932, § 2314; Acts 1933, ch. 129, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 2314; impl. am. Acts 1951, ch. 58; Acts 1957, ch. 91, §§ 1, 2; 1961, ch. 106, § 1; 1961, ch. 160, § 1; 1963, ch. 13, § 1; 1974, ch. 654, §§ 2-8; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-105; Acts 1984 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 6, § 8; 1984 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 7, § 92; 1984, ch. 928, § 1; 1987, ch. 308, § 9; 1989, ch. 132, § 2; 1990, ch. 948, § 22; 1990, ch. 1024, §§ 21, 23; 1992, ch. 535, §§ 56, 58; impl. am. Acts 1996, ch. 1079, § 158; 2002, ch. 727, § 1; 2003, ch. 88, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2006, ch. 725, § 1; 2006, ch. 727, § 1; 2008, ch. 888, § 3; 2008, ch. 1062, § 9; 2008, ch. 1102, § 1; 2009, ch. 566, § 12; 2010, ch. 1106, § 1; 2011, ch. 378, § 6; 2014, ch. 672, § 1; 2018, ch. 725, §§ 3-6; 2019, ch. 248, §§ 1-3.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

For the Preamble to the act regarding to the mental health needs of Tennessee's children and youth, please refer to Acts 2008, ch. 1062.

Acts 2009, ch. 566, § 12 provided that the Tennessee code commission is directed to change all references to public necessity rules, wherever such references appear in this code, to emergency rules, as sections are amended and volumes are replaced.

Acts 2011, ch. 378, § 4 provided that nothing in the act shall be construed to abridge or impair a contract or agreement governing terms and conditions of professional service entered into by a board of education and a recognized professional employees' organization under the Education Professional Negotiations Act before June 1, 2011. Any such contract or agreement shall remain in full force and effect until the expiration of the contract or agreement.

Cross-References. Commissioner, powers and duties generally, § 4-3-803.

Commissioner, qualifications and appointment, § 4-3-802.

Evaluation plans, § 49-2-203.

Inspection of records, § 49-2-104.

Jurisdiction over teachers' licenses, § 49-5-108.

Preparation of reports for delinquent city official, § 49-2-406.

Review of school nutritional programs for compliance with law and regulations and report to general assembly, § 49-6-2304.

School bus operators, certificate, § 49-6-2107.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 22 Tenn. Juris., Schools, § 31.

Law Reviews.

Satisfying the State Interest in Education with Private Schools, 49 Tenn. L. Rev. 955 (1982).

Attorney General Opinions. Failure of county school board members to attend annual training.  OAG 10-87, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 93 (7/20/10).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Proceedings as to School Funds.

2. —Purpose of Statute.

The plain purpose of subdivision (c)(15) is to confer upon the state commissioner of education the authority to determine when any part of the school fund is in jeopardy or being wasted, leaving it to the commissioner to decide with the consent of the governor when to institute legal proceedings for the protection of school funds, and the legislative intent is to prevent the squandering of school funds in unnecessary and oftentimes frivolous litigation. Garner v. Scales, 183 Tenn. 577, 194 S.W.2d 452, 1946 Tenn. LEXIS 240 (1946).

3. —Nature of Proceedings.

Suit by state to recover funds from county and county trustee for use of city commissioners and city board of education was a proceeding by the state to protect its own interest though fund when recovered was to be managed by city officials. State ex rel. Dossett v. Obion County, 188 Tenn. 538, 221 S.W.2d 705, 1949 Tenn. LEXIS 372 (1949).

Suit by state on behalf of city to recover funds expended on county schools by county trustee was not subject to demurrer on ground that judgment would be to the detriment or injury of pupils of the county as the statute contemplated that no such case would be pursued in a manner to deprive any child of the right of schooling and the matter was in the discretion of the administrative branch of the government to be exercised before instituting suit. State ex rel. Dossett v. Obion County, 188 Tenn. 538, 221 S.W.2d 705, 1949 Tenn. LEXIS 372 (1949).

4. —Budget Exceeded.

Should the county superintendent (now director of schools) in examining the accounts find that the budget is exceeded, county superintendent should seek advice and call upon the state commissioner to protect the county against illegal disposition of county funds. The commissioner renders the protection by calling upon the judicial departments whose function it is to pass upon the legality of contracts. County superintendent should first determine if the budget has been exceeded, and finding it so, county superintendent should call upon the district attorney to protect the funds by judicial action. Little v. Carter County Board of Education, 24 Tenn. App. 465, 146 S.W.2d 144, 1940 Tenn. App. LEXIS 53 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1940).

5. —Manner of Distribution of Funds.

Provisions of Educational Appropriation Acts of 1943 and 1945 which merely stated that a certain sum per capita for each and every child in average daily attendance in the public high schools in counties, cities and independent school districts of the state was to be distributed to each county, did not require county by law to make a distribution of the funds received under Acts 1943 and 1945 upon a per capita basis to board of commissioners of a city, and a suit could not be maintained under subdivision (c)(15) for failure to distribute per capita. State ex rel. Dossett v. Obion County, 188 Tenn. 538, 221 S.W.2d 705, 1949 Tenn. LEXIS 372 (1949).

6. —Parties.

In emergency cases where state commission is not available, a suit under (c)(15) can be filed in name of state for the use of the school whose rights are affected. Garner v. Scales, 183 Tenn. 577, 194 S.W.2d 452, 1946 Tenn. LEXIS 240 (1946).

Members of school board of special school district could not maintain suit against county superintendent (now director of schools), county trustee and county to recover funds improperly diverted from special school district to other school districts of county over a period of 15 years as the result of mistakes of former county superintendent in furnishing data to the trustee, since in the absence of a special emergency the proper party to file suit was the state commissioner of education. Garner v. Scales, 183 Tenn. 577, 194 S.W.2d 452, 1946 Tenn. LEXIS 240 (1946).

In suit by state to recover for use of city, funds expended by county trustee on county schools, the trial court did not err in allowing superintendent of county schools (now county director of schools) and members of county board of education to remain parties to proceeding. State ex rel. Dossett v. Obion County, 188 Tenn. 538, 221 S.W.2d 705, 1949 Tenn. LEXIS 372 (1949).

In proceeding by county school board attacking constitutionality of act involving funds of board filed in the name of the state on the relation of commissioner of education, the provisions of (c)(15) were complied with where commissioner stated in the bill that the commissioner was joining in the prosecution of the suit and had done so with the consent of the governor. State v. Dyersburg, 191 Tenn. 661, 235 S.W.2d 814, 1951 Tenn. LEXIS 370 (1951).

Board of education of Memphis city schools could maintain suit against Shelby County for declaratory judgment as to validity of statutes relating to method of division of school funds between city of Memphis and Shelby County, and state commissioner of education was not a necessary party. Board of Education v. Shelby County, 207 Tenn. 330, 339 S.W.2d 569, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 463 (1960). For contrary statement as to right of board of county school commissioners to sue to protect school funds prior to 1957 amendment, see State ex rel. Banks v. Taylor, 199 Tenn. 507, 287 S.W.2d 83, 1955 Tenn. LEXIS 308 (1955).

Protection of school funds in the hands of county trustees or county boards of education is, ordinarily, exclusively the duty of the state commissioner of education. Mosier v. Thompson, 216 Tenn. 655, 393 S.W.2d 734, 1965 Tenn. LEXIS 611 (1965).

7. —Complaint.

Complaint by state which alleged that county trustee had withheld funds due city for educational purposes showed an injury to the city. State ex rel. Dossett v. Obion County, 188 Tenn. 538, 221 S.W.2d 705, 1949 Tenn. LEXIS 372 (1949).

In suit by state to recover funds for city from county trustee expended on county schools it was not necessary to allege that city officials had demanded sum involved from county trustee on every distribution of fund. State ex rel. Dossett v. Obion County, 188 Tenn. 538, 221 S.W.2d 705, 1949 Tenn. LEXIS 372 (1949).

8. —Statute of Limitations.

Suit by state to recover funds for use of city school authorities from county trustee was not subject to defense of statute of limitations. State ex rel. Dossett v. Obion County, 188 Tenn. 538, 221 S.W.2d 705, 1949 Tenn. LEXIS 372 (1949).

9. Review of Commissioner's Decisions.

Any review of the decisions of the commissioner of education must be on a case-by-case basis, rather than by judicial dictation of the manner in which the commissioner sees fit to implement the statute. Crites v. Smith, 826 S.W.2d 459, 1991 Tenn. App. LEXIS 721 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1991).

49-1-202. Divisions.

  1. The department of education shall be organized in divisions that the commissioner, with the approval of the governor, finds necessary, except that there shall be a division of career and technical education, the head of which shall be an assistant commissioner. The assistant commissioner for career and technical education shall be responsible for the management of all career and technical education matters as governed by federal and state policies, guidelines, rules, and regulations.
  2. All references to or duties or powers of the former division of vocational education or to the division of vocational-technical education shall be deemed to be references to or powers or duties of the division of career and technical education.

Acts 1923, ch. 7, § 37; 1925, ch. 115, §§ 3, 4; Shan. Supp., §§ 373a89, 1487a17, 1487a22; Code 1932, §§ 311, 2308, 2313; impl. am. Acts 1937, ch. 33, §§ 56, 69; Acts 1937, ch. 240, § 1; 1947, ch. 93, § 3; 1947, ch. 99, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 311 (Williams, §§ 311, 2271.1, 2271.7, 2308); modified; impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 12; Acts 1963, ch. 13, § 1; 1982, ch. 689, § 19; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 49-110, 49-111; Acts 1984 (1st E.S.), ch. 6, § 9; 2006, ch. 1016, §§ 1, 2; 2019, ch. 204, § 1.

Cross-References. Librarian certificates, issuance, title 10, ch. 2.

Restriction on compensation of division heads, § 8-23-102.

State museum administered by Tennessee arts commission and funds transferred, §§ 4-12-1014-12-106.

Law Reviews.

Local Government Law — 1956 Tennessee Survey (Joseph Martin, Jr.), 9 Vand. L. Rev. 1032.

49-1-203. Waiver of state board rules.

  1. The commissioner of education is authorized to grant waivers to a school that does not comply with the rules and regulations of the state board of education only when officially requested by action of the local board of education.
  2. Waivers may be granted for no more than two (2) years in succession for the same violation in the same school. The waiver may be extended for an additional period by the commissioner if, in the commissioner's judgment, additional time is required by the local board of education to secure the necessary funding for the removal of the condition that necessitated the waiver.
  3. The department shall include on its website:
    1. Any rules, regulations or policies of the state board that are waived by the local board of education within five (5) business days of the commissioner's approval; and
    2. An explanation from the local board of education for the waiver.

Acts 1974, ch. 650, § 1; 1976, ch. 503, § 1; T.C.A., § 49-116; Acts 2014, ch. 678, § 1.

49-1-204. Driver education and training courses in public schools.

  1. In order to expand driver education throughout the public schools of this state and to promote safety on the highways, the department of education is directed to promote and expand driver education and training courses throughout the public schools of this state. The courses shall include an area of instruction dealing with the effects of the consumption of alcoholic beverages on driving abilities.
  2. To the amount apportioned to the department to promote and expand driver education throughout the public schools of this state and promote safety on the highways, pursuant to §§ 67-4-602 — 67-4-606, shall be added the annual appropriation of state funds for the driver education program. The funds appropriated to the department may be used for matching any federal funds that may become available for driver education under the Highway Safety Act of 1966, P.L. 89-564 (23 U.S.C. § 401 et seq.).

Acts 1965, ch. 302, §§ 1, 3; 1969, ch. 25, § 1; 1972, ch. 693, § 2; 1981, ch. 488, § 5; T.C.A., § 49-115; Acts 1985, ch. 443, § 3.

Cross-References. Juvenile alcohol abuse, title 33, ch. 10, part 3.

Learner's permit, § 55-50-311.

Licensing of minors, § 55-50-312.

Litigation tax, title 67, ch. 4, part 6.

Suspension and revocation of driver licenses, title 55, ch. 50, part 5.

49-1-205. Support and assistance for family life education.

  1. The department of education shall develop a program of technical support and assistance for LEAs that initiates implementation of family life education in conformity with the guidelines established by the state board of education.
  2. The program of technical support and assistance shall include:
    1. Suggested methods for maintaining a high level of parental and community support for family life education;
    2. Workshops, seminars or other training opportunities for family life instructors;
    3. Assistance in selecting family life textbooks and resource materials most suitable for the special needs of the community that the LEA serves;
    4. Recommended mechanisms for effectively monitoring and evaluating implementation of family life courses; and
    5. Other similar services to assist the LEA.
  3. The program of technical support and assistance developed pursuant to this section shall be provided upon request of an LEA.

Acts 1987, ch. 442, § 2.

Cross-References. Abstinence, prevention of AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, § 49-6-1008.

Family life curriculum, title 49, ch. 6, part 13.

Informational services regarding second or subsequent pregnancies, targeting potential at-risk first time teen parents, § 37-3-521.

Public school nurses, duties as to instructing students as to abstinence, § 68-1-1205.

Teenage pregnancy, title 37, ch. 3, part 5.

49-1-206. Preschool/parenting learning centers for teen parents.

The departments of education and human services shall develop and implement statewide a joint program of technical assistance, consultative services, workshops, seminars, training opportunities and other appropriate methods of encouragement and support for any LEA that establishes, or that is considering establishment of, a public school based preschool/parenting learning center to provide child care and parenting training for teen parents who are enrolled as students and to reduce dropout rates among such parents. The joint program shall also provide assistance to any such agency in developing a transportation plan that will enable and encourage teen parents and their children to fully participate and benefit from the center. Additionally, the joint program shall provide assistance to any such agency in utilizing the center for parenting and child development course electives for students who are not parents, in order to instruct such students on the realities and difficulties associated with early parenthood. The departments shall jointly undertake continuing activities to inform and remind all LEAs of the program established pursuant to this section. To the extent that funding is available for such purpose as contained within the general appropriations act, other appropriate methods of encouragement and support may include state implementation grants awarded on a matching fund basis, the dollar amount of any state implementation grant to be determined by the department of education, acting in consultation with the department of human services.

Acts 1988, ch. 1006, §§ 2, 3; 1996, ch. 1079, § 183; 2011, ch. 410, § 3(dd).

Compiler's Notes. For the Preamble to the act concerning the prohibition against establishment of a special committee if there is a standing committee on the same subject, please refer to Acts 2011, ch. 410.

Cross-References. Parent educational participation, § 49-6-7001.

Parent-teacher meetings, § 49-6-7002.

Project RAP, title 71, ch. 3, part 7.

49-1-207. Innovative educational programs.

  1. The commissioner of education may authorize up to twenty-four (24) school systems or any part thereof to operate as innovative educational programs that emphasize school-based decision making and the creation of small learning communities. Upon authorization of the local board of education, the director of schools on behalf of the school system or the principal on behalf of an individual public school may apply to the commissioner to operate the system or school in accordance with an alternative plan approved under this section by the commissioner. The principal may be authorized by the principal's performance contract to develop such a plan. Prior to application, the principal shall consult with the principal's faculty. Subject to the implementation and funding of the relevant federal program, additional individual schools that emphasize school-based decision making may be approved.
  2. The schools and systems shall be distributed throughout the state and not concentrated in any grand division. The commissioner has the discretion to approve the entire alternative plan or any part of it.
    1. The commissioner, in the commissioner's discretion, is authorized to waive any rules and regulations necessary to accommodate the implementation of a local plan. In exercising such discretion, the commissioner shall consider whether the proposed waiver will improve the educational opportunities and performance of the subject students by the application of a nonconventional curriculum and operational methods in innovative school programs developed by the use of local initiative and decision making.
    2. In these alternative programs, the commissioner may waive certain rules and regulations, including, but not limited to, regulations relative to reporting requirements and premium pay for educators, without giving rise to any contractual right to such pay.
    3. The commissioner of education shall only be authorized to waive regulations relative to health and safety after consultation with either the commissioner of health or the state fire marshal, or both, as appropriate. The commissioner of health or the state fire marshal, as appropriate, must determine that the proposed waiver does not constitute a threat to the health and safety of students and staff and must notify the commissioner of education in writing of such determination.
  3. No local plan approved by the commissioner of education shall reduce the level of state funding to an LEA under this title.
  4. At any time before the end of an approved alternative plan, the school principal on behalf of the principal's school or the local board of education acting through the director of schools may elect to terminate the alternative program and to return to operation under all applicable rules and regulations. The principal or the director of schools shall provide thirty (30) days' notice to the commissioner of an intent to withdraw from the alternative program.
  5. A local school board shall comply with the open meetings law, compiled in title 8, chapter 44, when it considers any alternative plan under this section.
  6. A school operating an innovative education program in accordance with this section is not a charter school and cannot convert to a charter school after being authorized under this section to conduct an innovative education program.

Acts 1990, ch. 648, § 1; 1992, ch. 535, § 87; 2004, ch. 832, §§ 5, 6, 7; 2011, ch. 378, § 7.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2011, ch. 378, § 4 provided that nothing in the act shall be construed to abridge or impair a contract or agreement governing terms and conditions of professional service entered into by a board of education and a recognized professional employees' organization under the Education Professional Negotiations Act before June 1, 2011. Any such contract or agreement shall remain in full force and effect until the expiration of the contract or agreement.

Cross-References. Grand divisions, title 4, ch. 1, part 2.

Attorney General Opinions. Tuition and transportation for voluntary year-round school program, OAG 97-129, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 162 (9/22/97).

Authority to offer new grade levels to subset of eligible children, OAG 98-090, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 90 (4/15/98), OAG 98-0132, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 132 (7/28/98).

With regard to a city school system's proposal to create and operate a nontraditional school under contract with a foundation, T.C.A. § 49-1-207 authorizes the commissioner to exercise her discretion by either approving the proposal, rejecting the proposal, or granting the proposal only in part, as she considers appropriate, OAG 02-093, 2002 Tenn. AG LEXIS 99 (8/28/02).

49-1-208. Form for student to report allergy.

The department, in consultation with the department of health, shall develop a standardized form on which a student with an allergy may report the allergy to the school in which the student is enrolled. The department shall make the form available to all LEAs. An LEA shall require each school in the LEA to use the form to maintain a record of any student who has reported having an allergy.

Acts 2020, ch. 628, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 49-1-208 (Acts 2009, ch. 154, § 1), concerning standards for parental involvement in public schools, was repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 7, effective April 18, 2018.

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 628, § 2. March 20, 2020.

Cross-References. Training for administration of epinephrine auto-injectors, § 68-140-502.

49-1-209. Management information system.

The commissioner of education is authorized to prescribe a management information system through which local school systems maintain, record and report information to the department and information for internal school and system management. The system shall be established by the commissioner in accordance with the standards and policies and procedures established by the information system council.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 4.

49-1-210. Standards of fiscal accountability.

The commissioner shall recommend standards of fiscal accountability and soundness for local school systems to the state board of education, and the state board shall promulgate rules based on these standards to be used in evaluating the fiscal operations of local school systems.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 4.

49-1-211. Annual report by commissioner.

  1. The commissioner of education shall publish an annual report as of each November 1, which shall include, but not be limited to:
    1. The results of state-conducted compliance and performance audits of local school systems;
    2. Value-added assessment as organized by class, schools and local school systems;
    3. School performance indicators including performance on the Tennessee comprehensive assessment program (TCAP), dropout rates, numbers of waivers, local financial contribution to education, attendance rates, and other indicators adopted by the state board of education;
    4. School and district performance designations pursuant to § 49-1-602;
    5. A comparison of expenditures by category and program for each school system with statewide averages;
      1. Overall student dropout rates organized by schools and local school systems; and
      2. Student dropout rates also organized by schools and local school systems, but subdivided by gender and race;
      1. Overall student suspension and expulsion rates organized by schools and local school systems; and
      2. Student suspension and expulsion rates also organized by schools and local school systems, but subdivided by gender and race;
      1. Overall high school graduation rates organized by high schools and local school systems; and
      2. High school graduation rates also organized by high school and local school system, presented by gender and subgroup, pursuant to applicable federal law. The high school graduation information shall be placed on the annual state, system and school level report cards posted on the internet;
    6. Alternative school performance indicators as reported to the department by LEAs pursuant to § 49-6-3405;
    7. A list of the advanced placement (AP) courses offered in each LEA and a list of the AP courses offered in each of the LEA's schools that serve grades in which AP courses could be taken. The number of students taking AP courses and the percentage of students scoring three (3) or above on AP exams shall be reported by LEA and by school;
    8. A list of the dual enrollment courses taken by students in each LEA and a list of the dual enrollment courses taken by students in each of the LEA's schools that serve grades in which dual enrollment courses could be taken. The number of students taking dual enrollment courses and the percentage of students successfully completing dual enrollment courses shall be reported by the LEA and by the school;
    9. ACT academic achievement data including the number and percentage of students with a twenty-one (21) composite score or higher and the number and percentage of students meeting the college readiness benchmark in English, mathematics, reading, and science for each LEA and high school with at least ten (10) students taking the exam. This data shall not contain private or individual student information. The ACT data shall be included on the department's website; provided, that it is received by the department from ACT; and
    10. SAT college-bound seniors district profile for each LEA with at least twenty-five (25) students taking the SAT. This data shall not contain private or individual student information. This data shall be included on the department's website; provided, that it is received by the department from the college board.
  2. This report shall be distributed to:
    1. The governor;
    2. The members of the general assembly;
    3. The members of the state board of education;
    4. State and local news media;
    5. Local directors of schools;
    6. Local boards of education;
    7. Presidents of state and local education associations;
    8. Presidents of state and local school board associations;
    9. State and local parent-teacher organizations;
    10. County mayors;
    11. Mayors;
    12. Local chambers of commerce;
    13. Members of local legislative bodies; and
    14. Local public libraries.
  3. Before TCAP scores are released pursuant to subdivision (a)(3), or otherwise, they shall be disaggregated.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 5; 1996, ch. 608, § 1; 1997, ch. 215, § 1; 1997, ch. 434, § 1; 1999, ch. 173, § 1; 2001, ch. 202, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2007, ch. 358, § 1; 2007, ch. 517, § 3; 2009, ch. 298, § 1; 2010, ch. 737, § 1; 2012, ch. 1014, § 1; 2013, ch. 306, § 1; 2014, ch. 792, § 1; 2019, ch. 248, §§ 4-6.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Acts 2007, ch. 517, § 5 provided that the board of education is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. The rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

Cross-References. Reporting requirement satisfied by notice to general assembly members of publication of report, § 3-1-114.

49-1-212. Fiscal analysis required of any policy, rule, or regulation that will financially impact an LEA

  1. The state board of education shall establish guidelines whereby the department shall prepare a fiscal analysis of any policy, rule or regulation proposed to the state board by the department if such proposal will financially impact an LEA.
  2. The analysis shall, if possible, include an estimate in dollars of the anticipated impact on expenditures or fiscal liability along with an explanation of the basis or reasoning on which the estimate is founded, including any assumptions involved.

Acts 2014, ch. 882, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 49-1-212, concerning development of a twenty-first century high school curriculum, was deleted as obsolete by authority of the code commission in 2009.

49-1-213. Technical assistance.

Within available resources, the department may provide technical assistance to LEAs through the implementation of a trainer of trainers model. Each LEA may identify its own technical assistance persons from general and special education to serve local schools. Technical assistance persons would serve as trainers to the district's local technical assistance persons. Local technical assistance persons may then provide hands-on consultation in the classrooms and in school in-services related to the needs of children having behavioral or emotional disorders.

Acts 1994, ch. 985, § 1.

49-1-214. Safe schools — Advisory guidelines.

  1. The commissioner of education, in consultation with the commissioner of safety, shall develop advisory guidelines for LEAs to use in developing safe and secure learning environments in schools. Such guidelines shall emphasize consultation at the local level with appropriate law enforcement authorities.
  2. The department of education may prepare and distribute to LEAs guidelines for incorporating into local staff development and in-service training the materials and speakers necessary to help educators reduce gang and individual violence, to assist in drug and alcohol abuse prevention and to provide educators with the tools for nonintrusive identification of potentially violent individuals in and around schools. The department may, upon request, assist LEAs in developing comprehensive violence, drug and alcohol abuse prevention in-service training programs. Department guidelines shall encourage the sharing of resources, the development of joint or collaborative programs and the coordination of efforts with local health departments, county and city law enforcement agencies and other public agencies providing health, drug, alcohol, gang violence prevention and other related services.
  3. The department may assist LEAs in qualifying for the receipt of federal and state funds that may support local efforts to provide the in-service training programs in this section. The department shall encourage LEAs to provide written materials to assist teachers and parents working to develop a safe and secure learning environment in system schools. Within available resources, the department may provide technical assistance directly to LEAs seeking to expand teacher and student safety programs.

Acts 1996, ch. 891, § 2; 1999, ch. 240, § 1; 1999, ch. 310, § 1; 2003, ch. 355, § 27; 2019, ch. 248, § 7.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1996, ch. 891, § 1 provided that this section may be known and cited as the “Safe Schools Act.”

Acts 2003, ch. 355, § 66 provided that no expenditure of public funds pursuant to the act shall be made in violation of the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as codified in 42 U.S.C. § 2000d.

49-1-215. Training for teachers relating to attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity.

As part of the county institutes or educational meetings provided for in § 49-1-201(c)(4), the commissioner shall provide for multisensory interactive training for teachers to develop awareness and knowledge of students with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and hyperactivity, and how to identify and best deal with and instruct such students.

Acts 1996, ch. 966, § 1.

49-1-216. Report on academic performance of historically underserved student groups.

The commissioner shall annually monitor and report academic performance of historically underserved student groups. Historically underserved student group performance must be included in the accountability model established under part 6 of this chapter.

Acts 1997, ch. 215, § 2; 2019, ch. 248, § 8.

49-1-217. [Repealed.]

Acts 2014, ch. 848, § 1; repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 8, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 49-1-217 concerned surveys to ascertain the proportion of students with internet access at home.

49-1-218. Establishment of guidelines for release of education data for research purposes.

The commissioner of education shall establish guidelines regarding the timely and responsible release of education data for research purposes.

Acts 2002, ch. 814, § 1.

Code Commission Notes.

Former subsections (b) and (c), concerning a task force to establish guidelines regarding release of education data for research purposes, was deleted as obsolete by authority of the code commission in 2009.

49-1-219. Advisory guidelines for reporting DUI-related deaths of minors.

The commissioner of education, in consultation with the commissioner of safety, shall develop advisory guidelines for LEAs to use in developing an annual report to inform high school students of any death of a person eighteen (18) years of age or younger that resulted from a motor vehicle accident in which a driver eighteen (18) years of age or younger was driving under the influence of an intoxicant or drug. The guidelines shall emphasize consultation at the local level with appropriate authorities.

Acts 2006, ch. 634, § 2; 2015, ch. 58, § 2.

49-1-220. [Repealed.]

Acts 2006, ch. 824, § 1; 2011, ch. 410, § 4(a); 2015, ch. 182, § 9; repealed by Acts 2019, ch. 248,  § 9, effective May 2, 2019.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 49-1-220 concerned sexual violence awareness and prevention curriculum.

Acts 2019, ch. 345, § 76 purported to amend this section, effective May 10, 2019; however, Acts 2019, ch. 248, § 9 had previously repealed the section, effective May 2, 2019. Acts 2019, ch. 345, § 76 was not given effect.

49-1-221. Policy on use of internet — Filing of policy — Contents.

    1. Each LEA shall adopt an internet acceptable use policy. At a minimum, the policy shall contain provisions that:
      1. Are designed to prohibit certain inappropriate use by school district employees and students of the school district's computers via the internet;
      2. Seek to prevent access by students to material that the school district deems to be harmful to juveniles;
      3. Select a technology for the school district's computers having internet access to filter or block internet access through the computers to child pornography and obscenity;
      4. Establish appropriate measures to be taken against persons who violate the policy;
      5. Include a component on internet safety for students that is integrated in a school district's instructional program; and
      6. Encourage communications with parents that raise awareness about internet safety using existing avenues of communication, such as parent-teacher conferences.
    2. The policy may include such other terms, conditions and requirements as deemed appropriate, such as requiring written parental authorization for internet use by juveniles or differentiating acceptable uses among elementary, middle and high school students.
  1. The director of schools shall take such steps as appropriate to implement and enforce the school district's policy.

Acts 2008, ch. 989, § 1; 2013, ch. 274, § 1; 2015, ch. 182, § 10; 2018, ch. 725, §§ 9, 10.

49-1-222. [Repealed.]

Acts 2008, ch. 1062, § 10; repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 11, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 49-1-222 concerned the involvement of the council on children’s mental health care in the development of interagency projects and programs.

49-1-223. Asthma — Development of comprehensive state plan — Report.

The department of health, in consultation with the department of education and the bureau of TennCare, shall develop a comprehensive state plan to reduce the burden of asthma on school children in this state. The comprehensive plan shall, at a minimum:

  1. Promote the development of school asthma action plans between LEAs and local health agencies. School asthma action plans shall include emergency protocols for medical emergencies due to asthma complications;
  2. Encourage schools to have individual asthma action plans for students with asthma;
  3. Encourage in-service training for teachers, and encourage athletic coaches and athletes to participate in the American Lung Association's asthma treatment training;
  4. Encourage the development of education for local boards of education and the public concerning self-administration of asthma medications; and
  5. Promote procedures to reduce exposure to smoke, allergens and other irritants in school buildings, on school grounds and at school events.

Acts 2008, ch. 1154, § 1.

49-1-224. Education Pays Act — Award of rewards — Funding.

  1. As used in this section, “education pays reward” means a reward of cash or other thing of value given to either an individual student or the student's custodial parent or guardian, or both, in recognition of academic achievement.
  2. Each LEA is encouraged to develop an education pays pilot program for at-risk students to encourage student academic achievement through the award of education pays rewards.
  3. An education pays pilot program may be funded through private donations. Any LEA for which a private foundation or other organization expresses willingness to fund an education pays pilot program shall work with such organization in developing an education pays pilot program in order to encourage at-risk students to achieve greater academic success through participation in the program.

Acts 2009, ch. 326, § 2; 2015, ch. 182, § 11; 2018, ch. 725, § 12.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2009, ch. 326, § 1 provided that the act, which added this section, shall be known and may be cited as the “Education Pays Act.”

49-1-225. [Repealed.]

Acts 2013, ch. 406, § 1; repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 13, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 49-1-225 concerned review of measures to prevent breaches in security of standardized tests.

49-1-226. Adoption of core standards in subjects beyond math and English language arts prohibited.

The state shall not adopt common core state standards in any subject matter beyond math and English language arts.

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 10; 2015, ch. 182, § 12; 2018, ch. 725, §§ 14, 15.

Compiler's Notes. For the preamble to the act concerning requirements for the adoption of educational standards and use of student data, please refer to Acts 2014, ch. 905.

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 11 provided that the state board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

49-1-227. Compilation of list of laws related to rights of students, parents, or legal guardians — Posting of list on department website.

  1. The department of education shall survey this title and other relevant acts of the general assembly to compile a list of all laws that are related to the rights of students and their parents or legal guardians. The department shall update the list annually within sixty (60) days after the adjournment of the general assembly.
  2. The list shall be posted on the website of the department. Each LEA shall prominently display a link to the list on its website.

Acts 2016, ch. 644, § 1.

49-1-228. School grading system — State report card — Implementation — Notice.

  1. The department of education shall develop a school grading system that annually assigns A, B, C, D, and F letter grades to schools based on:
    1. Student performance on the Tennessee comprehensive assessment program (TCAP) tests or end-of-course exams;
    2. Student growth as indicated by Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) data or data from other measures of student growth; and
    3. Other outcome indicators of student achievement that the department finds to be reliable measures of school performance.
  2. The department of education shall include each school's A, B, C, D, or F grade on the state report card.
  3. Implementation of the school grading system shall begin in the 2017-2018 school year; provided, however, prior to implementation, the state board shall review the grading scale developed by the department.
  4. The department shall provide notice of the adopted grading scale to each LEA prior to the start of the 2017-2018 school year.
  5. Notwithstanding subsection (a), student performance and student growth data from the TNReady assessments administered in the 2017-2018 school year shall not be used to assign a letter grade to a school pursuant to this section.
  6. Notwithstanding subsections (a)-(c), student performance and student growth data from the Tennessee comprehensive assessment program (TCAP) tests, which include, but are not limited to, TNReady assessments, English learner assessments, alternate TCAP assessments, and end-of-course examinations, administered in the 2019-2020 school year shall not be used to assign a letter grade to a school, unless the use results in a higher letter grade for the school.

Acts 2016, ch. 680, § 1; 2018, ch. 881, § 3; 2020, ch. 652, § 5.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2018, ch. 881, § 5 provided that for the 2017-2018 school year, LEAs shall not base employment termination and compensation decisions for teachers on data generated by statewide assessments administered in the 2017-2018 school year.

For the Preamble to the act concerning severe weather, tornadoes and the COVID-19 threat, see Acts 2020, ch. 652.

Acts 2020, ch. 652, § 13 provided that: “(a) The department of education shall promptly seek a waiver from the United States Department of Education, or seek to amend Tennessee's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan, as necessary and appropriate to implement chapter 652 of the Public Acts of 2020.

“(b) The state board of education shall promptly revise the high school graduation requirements for the 2019-2020 school year to ensure that high school seniors who were affected by school closures during the spring of the 2019-2020 school year do not fail to receive a high school diploma for which the student was on-track and otherwise eligible to receive on or before April 2, 2020.

“(c) The state board of education shall consult with the department of education, Tennessee higher education commission, and public institutions of higher education to develop guidance, resources, and opportunities for high school students who were enrolled in dual credit or dual enrollment courses during the spring of the 2019-2020 school year, and who were adversely affected by school closures due to COVID-19.

“(d) Notwithstanding Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 4-5-208(a):

“(1) The state board of education may promulgate emergency rules as necessary to address any issues created by school closures due to the outbreak of COVID-19 during the 2019-2020 school year. The rules must be promulgated according to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5; and

“(2) The Tennessee student assistance corporation and public institutions of higher education may promulgate emergency rules to protect the financial aid and credit opportunities for high school students who were enrolled in dual credit or dual enrollment courses during the spring of the 2019-2020 school year, and who were adversely affected by school closures due to COVID-19.”

Amendments. The 2020 amendment added (f).

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 652, § 14. April 2, 2020.

49-1-229. Dyslexia screening procedures — School based problem solving team — Dyslexia advisory council.

    1. The department of education shall develop procedures for identifying characteristics of dyslexia through the universal screening process required by the existing RTI² framework or other available means.
    2. The dyslexia screening procedures shall include phonological and phonemic awareness, sound symbol recognition, alphabet knowledge, decoding skills, rapid naming, and encoding skills.
    3. The dyslexia screening procedures shall be implemented by every LEA.
    4. Dyslexia screening may be requested for any student by the student's parent or guardian, teacher, counselor, or school psychologist.
  1. Following the universal screening procedures conducted by the LEA, the LEA shall convene a school-based problem solving team to analyze screening and progress monitoring data to assist teachers in planning and implementing appropriate instruction and evidence-based interventions for all students, including those students who exhibit the characteristics of dyslexia. Guidance may include suggestions of appropriate tiered interventions, dyslexia-specific interventions, academic accommodations as appropriate, and access to assistive technology.
  2. If the dyslexia screening conducted by the LEA indicates that a student has characteristics of dyslexia, the LEA shall:
    1. Notify the student's parent or legal guardian;
    2. Provide the student's parent or legal guardian with information and resource material regarding dyslexia;
    3. Provide the student with appropriate tiered dyslexia-specific intervention through its RTI² framework; and
    4. Monitor the student's progress using a tool designed to measure the effectiveness of the intervention.
  3. The department shall provide appropriate professional development resources for educators in the area of identification of and intervention methods for students with dyslexia.
    1. There is created a dyslexia advisory council for the purpose of advising the department in matters relating to dyslexia. The council shall be composed of nine (9) members as follows:
      1. The commissioner of education, or the commissioner's designee, who shall be an ex officio member of the council and serve as chair;
      2. An education specialist from the department, appointed by the commissioner for a term of three (3) years;
      3. A representative from a dyslexia advocacy group, appointed by the commissioner for a term of three (3) years;
      4. A special education teacher with an understanding of dyslexia, appointed by the commissioner for a term of three (3) years;
      5. An elementary school teacher, appointed by the commissioner for a term of three (3) years;
      6. A middle school teacher, appointed by the commissioner for a term of three (3) years;
      7. A high school teacher, appointed by the commissioner for a term of three (3) years;
      8. A parent of a child with dyslexia, appointed by the commissioner for a term of three (3) years; and
      9. A licensed speech pathologist, appointed by the commissioner for a term of three (3) years.
    2. The terms of the council members shall commence July 1, 2016.
    3. When a member of the council's term expires, the appointing authority who originally appointed that member shall appoint a successor to serve the same length of term as the departing member. A member may be appointed to successive terms.
    4. If a seat on the council is vacated prior to the end of the member's term, the commissioner shall appoint a replacement to fill the vacant seat for the unfinished term.
    5. The members of the council shall serve without compensation; provided, that members of the council shall be reimbursed for travel expenses in conformity with the comprehensive state travel regulations as promulgated by the commissioner of finance and administration and approved by the attorney general and reporter.
      1. The council shall annually submit a report to the education committee of the senate and the education committee of the house of representatives.
      2. The report required by subdivision (e)(6)(A) shall include:
        1. The number of students screened and the number of students provided with dyslexia intervention services;
        2. Information about specific accommodations needed for students who are provided dyslexia intervention services taking the annual state mandated assessment or other state or LEA mandated assessments;
        3. Descriptions, from the LEAs that provided dyslexia intervention services, of the intervention services provided to students; and
        4. The TVAAS growth data, when available, for the students receiving dyslexia intervention services.
      3. No information identifying individual students shall be included in the report.
    6. The council shall meet at least quarterly. A quorum consists of a majority of the membership of the council.
  4. As used in this section:
    1. “Dyslexia-specific intervention” means evidence-based, specialized reading, writing, and spelling instruction that is multisensory in nature, equipping students to simultaneously use multiple senses, such as vision, hearing, touch, and movement. Dyslexia-specific intervention employs direct instruction of systematic and cumulative content, with the sequence beginning with the easiest and most basic elements and progress methodically to more difficult material. Each step must also be based on those already learned. Components of dyslexia-specific intervention include instruction targeting phonological awareness, sound symbol association, syllable structure, morphology, syntax, and semantics; and
    2. “RTI²” means Response to Instruction and Intervention, which is a framework designed to identify both struggling and advanced students in order to provide them with appropriate interventions in their specific areas of need. RTI² relies on the premise of high-quality core instruction, data-based decision making, and research-based interventions aligned to students' needs.

Acts 2016, ch. 1058, § 1; 2019, ch. 345, § 77.

Compiler’s Notes. The dyslexia advisory council, created by this section, terminates June 30, 2027. See §§ 4-29-112, 4-29-248.

Acts 2018, ch. 594, § 3 provided that the dyslexia advisory council shall appear before the government operations joint evaluation committee on education, health and general welfare no later than December 31, 2018, to present the numerical data requested from the dyslexia advisory council at the committee's June 15, 2017, hearing.

49-1-230. Development of training programs for adverse childhood experiences.

  1. As used in this section, “adverse childhood experiences” or “ACEs” mean stressful or traumatic events experienced by a minor child. ACEs include, but are not limited to, a child witnessing, or being the victim of, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect, domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness, parental separation or divorce, and incarceration.
  2. The department of education shall develop an evidence-based training program on ACEs for school leaders and teachers. The training may be delivered through the trainer of trainers model under § 49-1-213, and shall include:
    1. The effects of ACEs on a child's mental, physical, social, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive development;
    2. ACEs as a risk factor for the development of substance abuse disorders and other at-risk health behaviors;
    3. Trauma-informed principles and practices for classrooms; and
    4. How early identification of children exposed to one (1) or more ACEs may improve educational outcomes.
  3. An LEA may develop its own ACEs training program to make available to the LEA's school personnel.

Acts 2018, ch. 723, § 1.

49-1-231. Student support collaborative.

The department of education shall establish a student support collaborative to review and define the roles and responsibilities for school social workers, school counselors, school psychologists, and school nurses. The collaborative shall identify available resources and areas that school social workers, school counselors, school psychologists, and school nurses can collaborate on to provide high quality support to students. The collaborative shall include, at a minimum, representatives from the following organizations:

  1. The department of education;
  2. Local education agencies (LEAs);
  3. The National Association of Social Workers, Tennessee Chapter;
  4. The Tennessee Association of School Social Workers;
  5. The Tennessee Association of School Counselors;
  6. The Tennessee Association of School Nurses;
  7. The Tennessee Association of School Psychologists; and
  8. The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth.

Acts 2018, ch. 844, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2018, ch. 844, § 2 provided that the basic education program (BEP) review committee shall analyze the addition of a component for school social workers to the BEP funding formula and shall include such analysis in its 2018 annual report.

49-1-232. State plan for computer science education.

  1. To ensure all students are fully prepared for the technology jobs of today and the future, the department of education shall develop a state plan for computer science in grades kindergarten through twelve (K-12). In developing the state plan for computer science, the department shall solicit feedback from local education agency leaders, computer science educators, state institution of higher education representatives in the computer science field, the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, computer science industry representatives, individuals with experience in computer programming, and other appropriate stakeholders, as determined by the department.
  2. The state plan for computer science must set strategic goals and make recommendations to:
    1. Ensure public high school students have access to at least one (1) computer science course;
    2. Integrate computer science into elementary education;
    3. Allow computer science course completion to count as a core admission requirement at state institutions of higher education;
    4. Develop educator preparation program standards and requirements for computer science;
    5. Increase the number of underrepresented student groups earning college credit in computer science while still in high school; and
    6. Ensure opportunities for educators who teach computer science to earn the computer science endorsement approved by the state board of education.
  3. The department shall submit a copy of the state plan for computer science to the speaker of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives by May 1, 2020.

Acts 2019, ch. 454, § 1.

Part 3
State Board of Education

49-1-301. Composition — Chair — Meetings.

    1. The state board of education shall be composed of nine (9) appointed members, one (1) public high school student member and one (1) ex officio member. One (1) appointed member shall be appointed from, and represent, each congressional district. The member shall reside within the congressional district from which the member is appointed as such district is apportioned at the time of the member's appointment. The position of any member shall become vacant when the member ceases to reside in such district. Appointments from reapportioned congressional districts shall be made as vacancies occur. No incumbent member shall be removed from the incumbent member's seat prior to the expiration of the incumbent member's current term as a result of changes in congressional districts occasioned by reapportionment. The position of any member shall become vacant when the member misses, without cause, more than two (2) consecutive meetings within any twelve-month period. Cause shall be determined by the board.
    2. The terms for all members shall begin April 1, 1984. The terms of the initial nine (9) appointments shall be three (3) years for three (3) members, six (6) years for three (3) members, and nine (9) years for three (3) members as designated by the governor in the governor's appointments. As the terms expire, successors shall be appointed for five-year terms. Vacancies shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term. At least three (3) members shall be appointed from both the majority and minority parties, as defined in § 2-1-104. At least one (1) member shall be a member of the minority race. Board members may be reappointed. In making appointments to the board, the governor shall strive to ensure that at least one (1) person appointed to serve on the board is sixty (60) years of age or older. Appointments made after January 1, 1995, shall alternate such that every other appointment of a new member to the board shall be a female until the membership of the board reflects the percentage of females in the population generally, after which this sentence shall cease to be effective.
    3. All appointive members shall be appointed by the governor subject to confirmation by the senate and house of representatives, but appointments shall be effective until adversely acted upon by the senate and house of representatives. Members of the existing board of education shall continue to serve until their successors are appointed and confirmed.
    4. No appointed member of the board shall be an elected official or employee of the federal, state or a local government. Beginning with appointments made on or after January 1, 2004, at least one (1), but not more than one (1), appointed member of the board shall be employed, at the time of the appointment, as a kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) public school teacher.
    5. The executive director of the higher education commission shall be an ex officio, nonvoting member of the board.
    6. The high school student shall be of superlative standing and shall serve for a one-year term in an ex officio capacity. The student member shall be appointed each year from nominees chosen by the local board of education in each school system at each board's discretion, with no more than one (1) student from each school system being nominated, and with the students having reached their junior or senior year in high school.
  1. The chair of the board shall be elected by the members of the board for a term of two (2) years. A chair may be reelected. The chair of the board shall appoint the chair and members of any committee of board members.
  2. Each member shall be reimbursed for travel expenses in accordance with the comprehensive travel regulations as promulgated by the department of finance and administration and approved by the attorney general and reporter.
    1. The board shall meet at least quarterly, with at least two (2) meetings held in Nashville. Other meetings may be held at the capital, or at such other location within the state as the board may determine.
    2. The chair may call special meetings whenever necessary for the transaction of urgent business. The chair of the board shall notify each member of the board and the commissioner of education of any special meeting before the time fixed for the special meeting.
    3. A majority of the board may petition the chair to call a special meeting in accordance with subdivision (d)(2).
    4. Meetings of the board shall be made available for viewing by the public over the internet by streaming video accessible from the board's website. Archived videos of the board's meetings shall also be available to the public through the board's website.
  3. For administrative purposes, the board shall be housed in the department of education, but this shall not allow the commissioner of education any administrative or supervisory authority over the board or its staff.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 5; Shan. Supp., § 1487a24; Code 1932, § 2315; Acts 1935, ch. 186, § 1; 1937, ch. 33, § 57; 1955, ch. 203, § 1; 1963, ch. 200, § 1; 1967, ch. 179, § 8; 1976, ch. 806, § 1(76); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 49-106, 49-107; Acts 1984 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 6, §§ 3, 29; 1987, ch. 386, § 1; 1988, ch. 1013, § 16; 1989, ch. 54, § 1; 1994, ch. 731, § 1; 2003, ch. 91, § 1; 2004, ch. 837, § 2; 2007, ch. 316, § 1; 2010, ch. 1051, § 1; 2015, ch. 448, § 1; 2018, ch. 539, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. The state board of education, created by this section, terminates June 30, 2024. See §§ 4-29-112, 4-29-245.

Acts 2010, ch. 1051, § 5 provided that the costs of providing streaming video of meetings of the state board of education, the Tennessee higher education commission, the Tennessee board of regents and the board of trustees of the University of Tennessee system shall be absorbed within the existing budget of the respective entity.

Acts 2011, ch. 43, § 3 provided that the division of state audit in the office of the comptroller of the treasury shall provide its findings to the government operations committees of the house of representatives and the senate by July 1, 2013, on the state board of education's responses to the findings and recommendations in the January, 2011, performance audit of the state board of education.

Cross-References. Divisions of department of education, § 49-1-202.

State board of education, powers, § 49-1-302.

Law Reviews.

The Legal Basis of School Property in Tennessee (Fred H. Barber), 7 Tenn. L. Rev. 262.

Attorney General Opinions. The house education committee has the authority to conduct investigations in order to collect information for legislative purposes, and this authority includes the power to issue subpoenae; the committee has the authority to inquire into a prospective appointee's party affiliation through reasonable means, including issuing subpoenae for witnesses and/or documents; written confirmation of a prospective appointee's political party affiliation also constitutes a permissible method of establishing an appointee's affiliation, OAG 02-067, 2002 Tenn. AG LEXIS 62 (5/21/02).

At least four, and no more than five of the appointed board members should be female in order to satisfy the requirement that board appointments should alternate until female membership reflects the percentage of females in the population, OAG 02-067, 2002 Tenn. AG LEXIS 62 (5/21/02).

49-1-302. Powers and duties of board — Confidentiality of records — Standards, policies, recommendations and actions subject to appropriations — Teacher evaluation advisory committee — Duty-free teacher time — Confidentiality and integrity of statewide tests — Ungraded and unstructured classes — Educator diversity — Uniform clothing — Standards for child care — Payment of career ladder supplements — Final disciplinary actions on educator licenses.

  1. It is the duty of the board, and it has the power to:
      1. Study programs of instruction in public schools, kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12);
      2. Analyze the needs of such public schools;
      3. Study the use of public funds for such public schools;
      4. Include the conclusions of the studies and analyses in its annual recommendations to the governor and general assembly for the funding of public education; and
      5. Issue professional licenses upon the work done in standard teacher-training institutions, colleges and universities that shall be approved by the state board of education after inspection as may be provided by the board;
    1. Set policies for:
      1. The completion of elementary, middle, junior high and senior high schools as structured in each school district;
      2. Evaluating individual student progress and achievement;
      3. Evaluating individual teachers; and
      4. Measuring the educational achievement of individual schools;
    2. Develop and maintain current a master plan for the development of public education, kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12), and provide recommendations to the executive branch, the general assembly and the local boards of education and directors of schools regarding the use of public funds for education;
      1. Develop and adopt policies, formulas and guidelines for the fair and equitable distribution and use of public funds among public schools and for the funding of all requirements of state laws, rules, regulations and other required expenses, and to regulate expenditures of state appropriations for public education, kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12). The policies, formulas and guidelines may be changed as necessary, but not more often than once per appropriation period, and shall not be considered rules subject to promulgation under the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5. The policies, formulas and guidelines adopted by the board shall consider and include provisions for current operation and maintenance, textbooks  and instructional materials, school food services, pupil transportation, career and technical education, number of programs of pupils served, measurable pupil improvement, reduction of pupil dropouts, teacher training, experience and certification, pupil-teacher ratio, substitute teacher reimbursement, requirements prescribed by state laws, rules, regulations or other required costs, and inflation, and may include other elements deemed by the board to be necessary. Any changes in the basic education program components of the formula as approved by the board for the 1992-1993 fiscal year must first be approved by the commissioners of education and finance and administration;
      2. The board shall establish a review committee for the Tennessee basic education program (BEP). The committee shall include the executive director of the state board of education, the commissioner of education, the commissioner of finance and administration, the comptroller of the treasury, the director of the Tennessee advisory commission on intergovernmental relations, the chair of the education committee of the senate, the chair of the education committee of the house of representatives, and the director of the office of legislative budget analysis, or their designees. The board shall appoint at least one (1) member from each of the following groups: teachers, school boards, directors of schools, county governments, municipal governments that operate LEAs, finance directors of urban school systems, finance directors of suburban school systems, and finance directors of rural school systems. The BEP review committee shall meet at least four (4) times a year and shall regularly review the BEP components, as well as identify needed revisions, additions, or deletions to the formula. The committee shall annually review the BEP instructional positions component, taking into consideration factors including, but not limited to, total instructional salary disparity among LEAs, differences in benefits and other compensation among LEAs, inflation, and instructional salaries in states in the southeast and other regions. The committee shall prepare an annual report on the BEP and shall provide the report on or before November 1 of each year, to the governor, the state board of education, the finance, ways and means committees of the senate and the house of representatives, the education committee of the senate, and the education committee of the house of representatives. This report shall include recommendations on needed revisions, additions, and deletions to the formula, as well as an analysis of instructional salary disparity among LEAs, including an analysis of disparity in benefits and other compensation among LEAs;
      1. Adopt policies governing:
        1. The qualifications, requirements and standards of and provide the licenses and certificates for all public school teachers, principals, assistant principals, supervisors and directors of schools;
        2. Evaluation of teachers, principals, assistant principals, supervisors and directors of schools;
        3. Retraining and professional development; and
        4. Discipline of licensed personnel for misconduct by formal reprimand or by the suspension and revocation of licenses and certificates;
      2. The board may adopt a policy establishing levels of compensation that are correlated to levels and standards of teacher competency approved by the board;
    3. Set policies for graduation requirements in kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12);
    4. Set policies for the review, approval or disapproval and classification of all public schools, kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12), or any combination of these grades;
    5. Set policies governing all academic standards and courses of study in the public schools;
    6. Prescribe the use of textbooks and other instructional materials, based on recommendations of the state textbook and instructional materials quality commission, for the various subjects taught or used in conjunction with the public schools;
    7. [Deleted by 2020 amendment.]
    8. Approve, disapprove or amend rules and regulations prepared by the commissioner to implement policies, standards or guidelines of the board in order to effectuate this section;
    9. Determine the ways and means of improving teacher, student and school performances, and to set policies to accomplish such improvements;
    10. Provide, in association with the commissioner, an annual report, no later than February 1, on teacher, student and school performance to the governor and to the general assembly;
    11. Prescribe rules and regulations to establish a program whereby a local school may withhold all grade cards, diplomas, certificates of progress or transcripts of a student who has incurred a debt to the school or a student who has taken property that belongs to a local school or any agency of the school until the student makes restitution to the school for the debt. The rules and regulations shall not permit the imposition of sanctions against a student who is without fault;
      1. Develop a professional credentialing program for school principals that includes professional training and testing components. LEAs shall have the option of participating in the program; provided, that all school principals employed for the first time by LEAs for the 1994-1995 school year shall have attended the program and shall have received the full credential offered through the program;
      2. Persons having an endorsement in administration/supervision, supervisor of instruction or principal on August 31, 1994, shall maintain that credential and shall not be required to complete the professional credentialing program as provided in this subdivision (a)(15);
      3. Any person who performs the duties of a supervisor of instruction, regardless of the title of the person's position, must have the credential required for a supervisor of instruction;
      4. Persons having an endorsement as a supervisor of instruction on August 31, 1994, shall maintain the credential and shall not be required to complete the professional credentialing program as provided in this subdivision (a)(15);
    12. The general assembly finds that, given the fact that the state provides substantial financial academic assistance to students of the state based on cumulative grade point averages and the fact that LEAs currently use a variety of grading scales, it is in the best interest of the students of the public schools that a uniform grading system be developed and adopted by the state board of education to be implemented in all public schools of the state. The state board of education is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations for the administration of this subdivision (a)(16);
    13. Develop guidelines for the establishment by LEAs of differentiated pay plans, including plans that offer bonuses, including performance bonuses, that are supplemental to the salary schedules required under § 49-3-306. The plans shall address additional pay for teaching subjects or teaching in schools for which LEAs have difficulty hiring and retaining highly qualified teachers; and
    14. Develop guidelines for the use of LEAs to strengthen personal finance standards, based on recommendations by the financial literacy commission pursuant to § 49-6-1704, and require that certain financial literacy concepts are included as a part of the standards for social studies approved by the board.
  2. All records, reports, studies, statistics and other information and materials of the department relative to the public school system shall be available upon request to the board and its executive director and other staff personnel, except such records as may be confidential by law.
  3. Standards, policies, recommendations and actions of the board shall be subject in all cases to availability of funds as appropriated by law.
    1. There is hereby created the teacher evaluation advisory committee. The committee shall consist of fifteen (15) members. The commissioner of education, the executive director of the state board of education and the chairpersons of the education committees of the senate and the house of representatives shall be members. One (1) member shall be a kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) public school teacher appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives and one (1) member shall be a kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) public school teacher appointed by the speaker of the senate. The remaining nine (9) members shall be appointed by the governor and shall consist of three (3) public school teachers, two (2) public school principals, one (1) director of a school district and three (3) members representing other stakeholders' interests; provided, that at least one (1) member of the committee shall be a parent of a currently enrolled public school student. The membership of the committee shall appropriately reflect the racial and geographic diversity of this state. The commissioner of education shall serve as the chairperson of the committee. All appointments to the teacher evaluation advisory committee shall be made within thirty (30) days of January 16, 2010. If the commissioner of education who is initially appointed to the committee as chairperson ceases to be the commissioner of education because of resignation or retirement, then such former commissioner shall remain a member of the committee until the committee ceases to exist. The total number of members of the committee shall thereby be increased to sixteen (16).
      1. The committee shall develop and recommend to the board guidelines and criteria for the annual evaluation of all teachers and principals employed by LEAs, including a local level evaluation grievance procedure. This grievance procedure shall provide a means for evaluated teachers and principals to challenge only the accuracy of the data used in the evaluation and the adherence to the evaluation policies adopted pursuant to this subdivision (d)(2). Following the development of these guidelines and criteria, the board shall adopt guidelines and criteria. The evaluations shall be a factor in employment decisions, including, but not necessarily limited to, promotion, retention, termination, compensation and the attainment of tenure status; however, nothing in this subdivision (d)(2)(A) shall require an LEA to use student achievement data based on state assessments as the sole factor in employment decisions.
        1. Fifty percent (50%) of the evaluation criteria developed pursuant to this subdivision (d)(2) shall be comprised of student achievement data.
        2. Thirty-five percent (35%) of the evaluation criteria shall be student achievement data based on student growth data as represented by the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS), developed pursuant to part 6 of this chapter, or some other comparable measure of student growth, if no such TVAAS data is available.
        3. Fifteen percent (15%) shall be based on other measures of student achievement selected from a list of such measures developed by the teacher evaluation advisory committee and adopted by the board. For each evaluation, the teacher or principal being evaluated shall mutually agree with the person or persons responsible for conducting the evaluation on which such measures are employed. If the teacher or principal being evaluated and the person or persons responsible for conducting the evaluation do not agree on the measures that are to be used, the teacher or principal shall choose the evaluation measures. The evaluation measures shall be verified by the department of education to ensure that the evaluations correspond with the teaching assignment of each individual teacher and the duty assignments of each individual principal.
        4. Notwithstanding subdivisions (d)(2)(B)(ii) and (iii), if a teacher's or principal's student growth data, as described in subdivision (d)(2)(B)(ii), reflects attainment of an achievement level of “at expectations,” “above expectations,” or “significantly above expectations,” as provided in the evaluation guidelines adopted by the board pursuant to this subdivision (d)(2), then the student growth data shall comprise fifty percent (50%) of the teacher's or principal's evaluation, if such use results in a higher evaluation score for the teacher or principal.
        5. Notwithstanding subdivision (d)(2)(B)(iv), if an individual teacher's student growth data, as described in subdivision (d)(2)(B)(ii), reflects attainment of an achievement level demonstrating an effectiveness level of above expectations or significantly above expectations as provided in the evaluation guidelines adopted by the board pursuant to this subdivision (d)(2), then such student growth data may, at the discretion of the LEA and upon request of the teacher, comprise one hundred percent (100%) of the teacher's final evaluation score. If the LEA chooses to implement this subdivision (d)(2)(B)(v), it must do so for all teachers with individual growth data who request its implementation.
        6. A teacher's most recent year's student growth data, as described in subdivision (d)(2)(B)(ii), shall comprise the full thirty-five percent (35%) of the teacher's evaluation, if such use results in a higher evaluation score for the teacher.
        7. For teachers without access to individual growth data representative of student growth, as specified in subdivision (d)(2)(B)(ii), thirty percent (30%) of the evaluation criteria shall be comprised of student achievement data with fifteen percent (15%) of the evaluation criteria based on student growth as specified in subdivision (d)(2)(B)(ii) and represented by TVAAS evaluation composites.
        8. The board shall have the ultimate authority to determine, identify and adopt measures of student growth that are comparable to the TVAAS.
        9. By the 2019-2020 school year, in order to provide individual growth scores to teachers in non-tested grades and subjects, LEAs shall use at least one (1) appropriate alternative growth model that has been approved by the state board of education.
        10. The department of education shall work to develop valid and reliable alternative student growth models for the grade levels and subjects that do not have models as of March 14, 2018.
      2. Other mandatory criteria for the evaluations shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following:
        1. Review of prior evaluations;
        2. Personal conferences to include discussion of strengths, weaknesses and remediation;
        3. Relative to teachers only, classroom or position observation followed by written assessment; and
        4. Relative to principals only, additional criteria pursuant to § 49-2-303(a)(1).
      3. No rules, policies, or guidelines shall be established that require the classroom or position observation results pursuant to subdivision (d)(2)(C) to be aligned with TVAAS data.
      4. For the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years, student growth evaluation composites generated by assessments administered in the 2017-2018 school year shall be excluded from the student growth measure of a teacher's evaluation, as specified in subdivision (d)(2)(B)(ii), if such exclusion results in a higher evaluation score for the teacher.
      5. Notwithstanding subdivisions (d)(2)(B)(ii) and (iii), for the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022 school years, student growth evaluation composites generated by assessments administered in the 2019-2020 school year shall be excluded from the student growth measure of a teacher's evaluation, as specified in subdivision (d)(2)(B)(ii), unless including the composites results in a higher evaluation score for the teacher.
      6. Notwithstanding subdivision (d)(2)(B)(ix), the state shall not require teachers in non-tested grades and subjects to be evaluated using an alternative growth model for the 2019-2020 school year. This subdivision (d)(2)(G) does not prohibit an LEA from evaluating teachers in non-tested grades and subjects using an alternative growth model for the 2019-2020 school year. If an LEA chooses to evaluate its teachers in non-tested grades and subjects using an alternative growth model for the 2019-2020 school year, then a teacher's evaluation score using the alternative growth model shall only be used to evaluate the teacher if such use results in a higher evaluation score for the teacher.
    2. The policies adopted pursuant to subdivision (d)(2) shall be effective no later than July 1, 2011, in order to be implemented prior to the 2011-2012 academic year. Prior to the implementation of these policies, the existing guidelines and criteria for the evaluation of certificated persons employed by LEAs shall continue to be utilized.
    3. The evaluation procedure created by this subsection (d) shall not apply to teachers who are employed under contracts of duration of one hundred twenty (120) days per school year or less or who are not employed full-time.
    4. The committee shall be subject to the governmental entity review law, compiled in title 4, chapter 29, and shall terminate on July 1, 2011.
    5. If an LEA determines that it is necessary to assign an individual to teach in an area for which the individual is not endorsed, any evaluation conducted for the course outside the area of endorsement shall relate only to the improvement of teaching skills and strategies and not a determination of competency. The board shall include as a part of its evaluation guidelines a specific reference to this use of its evaluation procedures.
    6. Pursuant to state board of education rules and policies, an LEA may utilize either the state board adopted model plan for the qualitative portion of teacher evaluation or an evaluation model that has been proposed by the LEA and approved by the state board of education. Evaluation models approved by the state board of education may, with local board approval, be utilized in any LEA.
    1. The board shall develop and adopt rules and regulations to achieve a duty-free lunch period for all teachers, kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12), of at least the length of the student lunch period, during which time the teacher has no other assigned responsibilities.
    2. The board shall develop and adopt rules and regulations providing teachers in kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) with individual duty-free planning periods during the established instructional day. At least two and one-half (2½) hours of individual planning time shall be provided each week during which teachers have no other assigned duties or responsibilities, other than planning for instruction. The two and one-half (2½) hours may be divided on a daily or other basis. Duty-free planning time shall not occur during any period that teachers are entitled to duty-free lunch. Any LEA that is providing a duty-free planning period by extending the school day by thirty (30) minutes as of the beginning of the 2000-2001 school year may continue that practice and satisfy the requirements of this section.
  4. All statewide tests developed or provided by the department to measure individual student progress and achievement, all banks of questions, all field testing documents used as background for the development of the tests, and all answers shall be kept confidential when and for so long as is necessary to protect the integrity of the tests.
  5. The commissioner shall recommend, and the board shall adopt, a policy to promote educator diversity. The policy must include:
    1. Strategies for LEAs to use in the recruitment and retention of minority educators;
    2. A requirement that each LEA set a goal for educator diversity that takes into consideration the diversity of the students that the LEA serves; and
    3. A plan to monitor educator diversity in the state.
  6. The board shall develop guidelines and criteria for local adoption and enforcement of uniform clothing for public school students. These guidelines and criteria shall require that uniform clothing be simple, appropriate, readily available and inexpensive. The board shall disseminate these guidelines and criteria to LEAs. These guidelines and criteria can be used as a tool for LEAs that may adopt uniform clothing policies. Adoption of uniform clothing policies shall be at the discretion of the local board of education.
    1. The board, through the state department of education, shall enforce standards for:
      1. Care of children in any before or after school child care programs operated pursuant to § 49-2-203(b)(11);
      2. Child care provided by church affiliated schools as defined by § 49-50-801;
      3. Public school administered early childhood education programs;
      4. Child care provided in federally regulated programs including Title I preschools, all school administered head start and even start programs;
      5. State approved Montessori school programs; and
      6. Programs operated by private schools as defined by § 49-6-3001(c)(3).
      1. The board shall promulgate regulations pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5, to establish standards for those programs described in subdivision (i)(1).
      2. The regulations shall provide equivalent protection for the health, safety and welfare of children, and shall use the same criteria for development of such protection as are used by the department of human services and that are set forth in § 71-3-502(a)(3). Although the standards and regulations need not be identical in all respects, the standards and regulations shall parallel, in a substantial manner, the child care standards and regulations promulgated by the department of human services for child care agencies that the department of human services licenses.
    2. Certificates of approval shall be issued pursuant to those regulations by the commissioner of education, pursuant to part 11 of this chapter, to those child care programs that meet the standards as adopted by the board.
      1. There is established a child care advisory council, which shall advise the state board of education regarding the establishment of child care standards and regulations for child care programs subject to the board's jurisdiction and to act as a hearing tribunal for appeals from actions of the state department of education regarding the certificate of approval issued to child care programs.
        1. The council shall consist of a director of a local school system, a representative of a private, church related school organization as defined in § 49-50-801, a representative from an institution of higher education with expertise in early childhood development, a parent of a child in a child care program, a coordinator of child care programs, a representative of the department of education, a representative from the child care services staff of the department of human services as designated by the state board of education, and four (4) other members as may be designated by the board of education. The council shall fairly represent the racial and ethnic composition of the state. Members shall serve until replaced by the board. The representative of the department of education shall serve as chair of the council until the council elects a chair. The chair shall sign the orders of the council regarding certificate actions taken by the council.
        2. The council shall elect a vice chair who shall serve in the absence of the chair. If the chair resigns, is unable to perform the duties of the chair, is removed or the chair's term on the council expires, the chair of the state board of education shall appoint a new chair until the board can elect a chair. The vice chair shall have authority to sign all orders of the council in the absence of the chair and for actions of the panels under subdivision (i)(4)(E)(iii).
      2. The members of the council shall serve without reimbursement except for their travel expenses as may be established by state travel regulations.
      3. The council shall act as an advisory council to the state board of education regarding the development of child care standards for child care programs subject to the board's jurisdiction and shall review the standards on a formal basis at least every four (4) years, but may be requested more frequently by the board to conduct such further reviews as may be necessary or to otherwise provide periodic advice to the board regarding child care programs subject to the board's jurisdiction.
        1. The council shall act as a hearing tribunal for all actions of the department of education regarding the denial or revocation of a certificate of approval for the operation of a child care program under the jurisdiction of the state board of education; provided, that the council shall not hear issues regarding the summary suspension of a certificate of approval, which shall be heard by a department hearing officer.
        2. For purposes of acting as a hearing tribunal, a quorum for the hearing shall consist of a majority of the members of the council.
        3. In order to complete the work of the council, the chair may appoint one (1) or more panels of the council with a quorum of five (5) members, at least one (1) of whom shall be randomly selected at-large members selected by the chair. The chair of the council shall appoint the chair of the panel. The panel shall have complete authority to hear any case under the council's jurisdiction and shall have complete authority to enter any necessary orders concerning certificate actions conducted before the council. Any orders of the panel shall be signed by the chair of the panel or by the council chair or vice chair.
      4. Rules for its operation as a hearing tribunal shall be adopted by the state board of education in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act.
      5. An existing member of the professional staff of the department of education shall serve as recording secretary of the council and shall assist in the arrangement of meetings of the council and the setting and processing of appeal hearings regarding certificates of approval for child care programs.
  7. The board shall develop guidelines, criteria and administrative rules as necessary to assure the payment of career ladder supplements to eligible recipients so long as they remain in positions in the public schools that qualify for such supplements. The board shall notify the commissioner of finance and administration at such time as the last eligible recipient separates from service to a local board of education. At the time of the notice to the commissioner of finance and administration, all rules, regulations and policies pertaining to the career ladder program shall become void and of no effect.
  8. The state board of education shall create an endorsement in computer science for all teachers who demonstrate sufficient content knowledge in the course material, as determined by the state board of education.
  9. The state board of education shall develop policies concerning the transmittal of final disciplinary actions taken by the board on educator licenses to the national clearinghouse administered by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC).
  10. The state board of education shall post on its website all final disciplinary actions taken by the board on educator licenses. No final disciplinary action shall be removed from the state board's website except for actions in which the state board or a court of competent jurisdiction determines a mistake has been made.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 5; 1939, ch. 11, § 34; Shan. Supp., § 1487a25; Code 1932, § 2316; Acts 1933, ch. 142, § 1; 1935, ch. 186, § 1; 1947, ch. 96, § 1; 1947, ch. 113, §§ 1, 2; mod. C. Supp. 1950, §§ 255.56, 2316 (Williams, §§ 371.1, 2316); impl. am. Acts 1951, ch. 119, § 1 (Williams, § 2316a); Acts 1951, ch. 180, § 1; modified; impl. am. Acts 1953, ch. 85, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1955, ch. 17, § 1; Acts 1957, ch. 160, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, §§ 3, 14; impl. am. Acts 1961, ch. 97, § 3; impl. am. Acts 1965, ch. 30, § 1; Acts 1965, ch. 44, § 1; 1967, ch. 294, § 1; 1972, ch. 575, § 1; 1972, ch. 838, § 9; 1973, ch. 80, § 1; 1973, ch. 145, § 1; 1974, ch. 654, § 9; 1975, ch. 66, § 1; 1978, ch. 932, § 4; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 4-310, 49-107; Acts 1983, ch. 181, § 12; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 49-108, 49-112, 49-114; Acts 1984 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 6, § 4; 1984 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 7, §§ 79, 93; 1985, ch. 464, § 1; 1985, ch. 465, § 1; 1987, ch. 287, § 2; 1987, ch. 308, § 10; 1988, ch. 893, § 3; 1988, ch. 1006, § 1; 1990, ch. 948, §§ 1, 2; 1990, ch. 1074, § 1; 1992, ch. 535, §§ 2, 42, 57, 59, 60, 82; 1993, ch. 177, § 1; 1994, ch. 805, §§ 1, 2; 1996, ch. 935, § 1; 1996, ch. 987, § 1; 1998, ch. 993, § 1; 2000, ch. 698, § 1; 2000, ch. 981, § 39; 2001, ch. 227, § 1; 2002, ch. 766, § 1; 2004, ch. 670, §§ 3, 4; 2004, ch. 679, § 1; 2007, ch. 367, § 1; 2007, ch. 376, § 5; 2008, ch. 628, § 1; 2010 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, § 10; 2010, ch. 911, § 1; 2010, ch. 925, § 2; 2011, ch. 212, § 1; 2011, ch. 297, § 1; 2011, ch. 304, § 3; 2011, ch. 410, § 4(b); 2012, ch. 925, § 10; 2013, ch. 105, § 1; 2013, ch. 214, § 2; 2014, ch. 746, § 1; 2014, ch. 796, § 1; 2014, ch. 885, § 1; 2014, ch. 931, §§ 1, 2; 2014, ch. 981, §§ 22, 23; 2015, ch. 55, § 3; 2015, ch. 158, § 2–5; 2015, ch. 182, § 13; 2015, ch. 304, § 1; 2016, ch. 684, § 4; 2016, ch. 712, §§ 1-3; 2016, ch. 797, § 3; 2016, ch. 999, § 1; 2017, ch. 19, § 1; 2017, ch. 105, § 1; 2017, ch. 192, §§ 1-5; 2018, ch. 552, § 1; 2018, ch. 628, § 2; 2018, ch. 725, §§ 16-20; 2018, ch. 935, § 2; 2018, ch. 936, § 1; 2019, ch. 42, §§ 1-4; 2019, ch. 248, §§ 11, 12, 14; 2019, ch. 345, § 78; 2020, ch. 652, § 2; 2020, ch. 794, § 4.

Code Commission Notes.

Former subdivision (a)(12), concerning the duty of the board to approve actions by the state certification commission, was deleted as obsolete by the code commission in 2002.

Compiler's Notes. The child care advisory council, created by this section, terminates June 30, 2027. See §§ 4-29-112, 4-29-248.

Acts 2011, ch. 304, § 2 provided that notwithstanding § 4-29-112, or any other law to the contrary, the teacher evaluation advisory committee, created by § 49-1-302, shall terminate and shall cease all activities upon July 1, 2011.

Acts 1994, ch. 928 requested that the state board of education develop a pilot program for conflict management within the school system in cooperation with the board of education for the City of Memphis school system. The act further provided that no new personnel be employed to implement the program, but that existing school personnel may design a program for specific needs within the Memphis school system and act as conflict managers.

Acts 2002, ch. 766, § 3 provided that any funds or personnel currently involved in the regulation of schools covered by the provisions of that act shall be transferred from the department of human services to the department of education in accordance with an agreement between the commissioners of human services and education.

Acts 2004, ch. 670, § 9 provided that in reviewing the basic education program for fiscal year 2005-2006, the BEP review committee is requested to give special consideration to costs of enhanced services to address the needs of at-risk children, the cost of educating English language learners, including teachers, translators and related professions, and the development and implementation of a system-level fiscal capacity model.

Acts 2010 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, § 1 provided that the act shall be known and may be cited as the “Tennessee First to the Top Act of 2010.”

For the Preamble to the act concerning the prohibition against establishment of a special committee if there is a standing committee on the same subject, please refer to Acts 2011, ch. 410.

Pursuant to Article III, Section 18 of the Constitution of Tennessee, Acts 2014, ch. 746 took effect on April 21, 2014, for the purpose of promulgating rules and regulations.

Acts 2015, ch. 158, § 1 provided that the act, which amended this section, shall be known and may be cited as the “Tennessee Teaching Evaluation Enhancement Act.”

Acts 2018, ch. 935, § 3 provided that the state board of education is authorized to promulgate rules to effectuate the purposes of this act. The rules shall be promulgated in accordance with title 4, chapter 5.

For the Preamble to the act concerning severe weather, tornadoes and the COVID-19 threat, see Acts 2020, ch. 652.

For the Preamble to the act concerning HOPE Lottery Scholarships and the Tennessee Promise and Reconnect programs, see Acts 2020, ch. 794.

Acts 2020, ch. 794, § 1 provided that the act, which amended this section, shall be known and may be cited as the “Financial Aid Simplification for Tennesseans (FAST) Act”.

Acts 2020, ch. 652, § 13 provided that: “(a) The department of education shall promptly seek a waiver from the United States Department of Education, or seek to amend Tennessee's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan, as necessary and appropriate to implement chapter 652 of the Public Acts of 2020.

“(b) The state board of education shall promptly revise the high school graduation requirements for the 2019-2020 school year to ensure that high school seniors who were affected by school closures during the spring of the 2019-2020 school year do not fail to receive a high school diploma for which the student was on-track and otherwise eligible to receive on or before April 2, 2020.

“(c) The state board of education shall consult with the department of education, Tennessee higher education commission, and public institutions of higher education to develop guidance, resources, and opportunities for high school students who were enrolled in dual credit or dual enrollment courses during the spring of the 2019-2020 school year, and who were adversely affected by school closures due to COVID-19.

“(d) Notwithstanding Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 4-5-208(a):

“(1) The state board of education may promulgate emergency rules as necessary to address any issues created by school closures due to the outbreak of COVID-19 during the 2019-2020 school year. The rules must be promulgated according to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5; and

“(2) The Tennessee student assistance corporation and public institutions of higher education may promulgate emergency rules to protect the financial aid and credit opportunities for high school students who were enrolled in dual credit or dual enrollment courses during the spring of the 2019-2020 school year, and who were adversely affected by school closures due to COVID-19.”

Amendments. The 2020 amendment by ch. 652 added (d)(2)(F) and (G).

The 2020 amendment by ch. 794 deleted (a)(10), which read: “Meet jointly with the higher education commission and the commissioner of education at least annually for the purpose of reviewing the expenditures and programs of public education;”.

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 652, § 14. April 2, 2020.

Acts 2020, ch. 794, § 70. August 1, 2020.

Cross-References. Administration of special schools, title 49, ch. 50, part 10.

Alternative schools of suspended or expelled students, see § 49-6-3402.

Basic personnel requirements, § 49-5-101.

Confidentiality of public records, § 10-7-504.

Sanders Model, value added assessment, § 49-1-603.

Law Reviews.

Tennessee's National Impact On Teacher Evaluation Law & Policy: An Assessment Of Value-Added Model Litigation, 13 Tenn. J. L. & Pol'y 523 (Winter 2019).

Updating Tennessee's Public Records Law (Douglas Pierce), 24 No. 5, Tenn. B.J. 24 (1988).

Attorney General Opinions. Value added assessment system, OAG 96-033, 1996 Tenn. AG LEXIS 29 (3/7/96).

Cost differential factor, revision, OAG 96-081, 1996 Tenn. AG LEXIS 91 (5/2/96).

Application for and administration of federal funds, OAG 97-086, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 93 (5/28/97).

Curriculum guidelines exempt from uniform statutory rulemaking procedures, OAG 99-010, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 4 (1/25/99).

School board authority to adopt uniform clothing policy, OAG 99-141, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 167 (7/27/99).

The state may use overappropriated Better Education Program funds of approximately $13 million to pay for healthcare insurance increases for teachers, as one component of the program is state benefits and insurance, OAG 02-006, 2002 Tenn. AG LEXIS 6 (1/4/02).

Changes to the data sources in the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations fiscal-capacity model must be adopted by the State Board of Education and approved by the Commissioners of Education and Finance and Administration. Legislative approval is not required for such changes, nor is approval of the Basic Education Program {BEP) Review Committee. OAG 20-01, 2020 Tenn. AG LEXIS 1 (1/10/2020).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Applicability.

The Tennessee Board of Education's EPP Policy 5.504 was a rule within the meaning of the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, T.C.A. § 4-5-101 et seq., rather than a policy, because it affected more than the Board's internal management by dictating approval processes for organizations, which were not internal to the agency, and were beyond the scope of internal management. Bethel Univ. v. Tenn. State Bd. of Educ., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 469 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 14, 2018).

2. Duties.

2. Duties.

Teacher claimed that the director of schools'  alleged libelous statement on her final report was not part of her duties covered under the statute because, at that point, she was no longer seeking his termination from employment; however, it was the duty of the State Board, not the local school system, to determine whether a teacher's license should be revoked, and because the director's reporting duties were part of the prosecutorial functions of her job, the teacher's claim lacked merit. Padgett v. Clarksville-Montgomery Cty. Sch. Sys., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 657 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 9, 2018).

49-1-303. Lease of land to fraternities and sororities.

  1. The state board of education or the state board of regents may authorize the leasing of public lands under its jurisdiction to fraternities and sororities for a nominal consideration for a term not exceeding ninety-nine (99) years. A majority of the state governing board is authorized and empowered to direct the chair or chancellor to execute the leases for and on behalf of the state; provided, that they are approved by the governor and the attorney general and reporter. The lease shall not be assigned; neither shall the premises be sublet nor subleased without the prior written consent of the board or its designee. Prior to the commencement of the construction or installation of any improvement, the plans and specifications pertaining to the improvement shall be approved by the state governing board or its designee. Material alterations and all additions to the improvements constructed or installed on the premises must be approved by the state governing board or its designee prior to the commencement of the alteration or additions. The properties shall be operated and maintained in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the state governing board. At the end of the term of any lease, and in the event that any lessee violates its lease agreement or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this section, or violates this section, the lease shall terminate by operation of law and the improved premises shall become the exclusive property of the state, and the state shall immediately enter and take possession of the property. The lease may contain a provision for an option to renew the lease upon the conditions that the premises are not needed to be used for other purposes in connection with the state's educational program when the lease expires or the building and improvements are in such a state of repair as to be suitable for occupancy without major repairs, remodeling or alterations in accordance with the generally accepted standards for housing prevailing at institutions of higher learning when the lease expires. If any lease is not renewed at the end of the term, the board may pay the lessee the reasonable value of the improvements; however, in the event that the lease is not renewed, the title to the improvements shall vest in the state, which shall take possession of the premises including the improvements upon the expiration of the term.
  2. Any construction or installation of any improvements upon the property of the state board of education or the state board of regents by a fraternity or sorority pursuant to a lease agreement with such board shall be exempt from § 4-15-102(c), and from title 12, chapter 4, part 4; provided, that the fraternity or sorority shall solicit competitive bids for the construction or installation and shall award the construction or installation contract to the lowest qualified bidder unless the fraternity or sorority can secure the work from alumni or supporters at a lesser cost than the lowest qualified bid.

Acts 1957, ch. 194, § 1; 1957, ch. 378, § 1; 1982, ch. 704, § 1; T.C.A., § 49-113; Acts 1998, ch. 704, §§ 1-6.

49-1-304. Acquisition of federal surplus property.

  1. The state board of education is authorized to cooperate with the federal government in the transfer of government surplus property, to any and all eligible departments and agencies of the state and local government, and to any and all other agencies eligible to receive surplus property under Public Law 152, 81st Congress (Act June 30, 1949, ch. 288, 63 Stat. 377) (40 U.S.C. § 1301 et seq.), and any and all other statutory laws now in effect or that may be enacted by the congress of the United States covering the disposal of United States government surplus property.
  2. The state board is authorized to take any and all action necessary for the proper administration of the surplus property program in the acquisition of and the distribution of government surplus properties to eligible claimants in this state, in accordance with the appropriate controlling federal statutes and regulations.
  3. The state board is authorized to collect fees for the transfer of such properties in an amount necessary for the reimbursement of freight, handling and warehousing.

Acts 1953, ch. 133, §§ 1-3 (Williams, § 2316b); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 49-808 — 49-810.

Compiler's Notes. The reference in this section to 40 U.S.C. § 751 et seq. was updated to reflect the current placement in  40 U.S.C. § 1301 et. seq.

49-1-305. Executive director — Staff.

  1. The state board of education is authorized to employ an executive director and other personnel it determines are necessary to provide it with staff support. The staff shall provide the necessary services to the board for the board to perform its duties. The executive director shall be hired by the board. Other staff personnel shall be hired by the executive director with the approval of the board. The position of executive director cannot be filled by an employee or official of any other department, agency or board, but must be responsible solely to the state board. The staff will be independent of all agencies or departments of state government and shall be subject only to the state board. For administrative purposes, however, the executive director and staff shall be administratively housed in the department of education. The executive director and staff shall have no responsibility for administering policies, rules or regulations, or the education laws of the state.
  2. The staff shall be subject to personnel regulations and policies that are applicable to state employees in general, such as leave, compensation, classification, travel regulations, etc. The sole authority to appoint, terminate and control staff employees shall remain with the board and the executive director as set out in this section, and the employees of the board shall not have state service status.
  3. The compensation of the executive director shall be fixed by the state board and the compensation shall not be less than the compensation provided for an assistant commissioner in the department of education. The compensation of other employees of the board shall be set by the executive director with the approval of the state board.
  4. The executive director shall be an ex officio, nonvoting member of the Tennessee higher education commission.

Acts 1984 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 6, § 5; 2012, ch. 800, § 49.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2012, ch. 800, § 1 provided that the act, which amended subsection (b), shall be known and cited as the “Tennessee Excellence, Accountability, and Management (T.E.A.M.) Act of 2012.”

The Tennessee higher education commission, referred to in this section, was created by §  49-7-201.

Attorney General Opinions. Authority of the state board of education to set compensation.  OAG 11-81, 2011 Tenn. AG LEXIS 83 (12/5/11).

49-1-306. Goals.

It is the legislative intent that the state board of education develop measurable goals or benchmarks, or both, and submit the goals or benchmarks to the education committee of the senate and the education committee of the house of representatives.

Acts 1984 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 6, § 28; 2011, ch. 410, § 4(c); 2015, ch. 182, § 14; 2019, ch. 345, § 79.

Code Commission Notes.

Former subsections (a) and (b), concerning certain goals, were deleted as obsolete by the code commission in 2002.

Compiler's Notes. For the Preamble to the act concerning the prohibition against establishment of a special committee if there is a standing committee on the same subject, please refer to Acts 2011, ch. 410.

49-1-307. [Repealed.]

Acts 2009, ch. 309, § 1; 2011, ch. 410, § 4(d); 2015, ch. 182, § 15; repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 21, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 49-1-307 concerned the review of policies concerning employees or contractors recommending psychotropic drugs.

49-1-308. [Repealed.]

Acts 2013, ch. 351, § 1; 2015, ch. 182, § 16; repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 22, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 49-1-308 concerned a pilot program on enhanced accessibility of advanced placement and career and technical certification courses.

49-1-309. No educational standards to be imposed by federal government — Adoption of state educational standards — Joining testing consortium — Use of collected data.

  1. No educational standards shall be imposed on the state by the federal government. Any adoption of educational standards for the public schools of the state shall be done freely by the state board of education which, except as provided in subsection (b), may change, adjust or recede from a standard at any time.
  2. A proposed change or addition to an educational standard, including, but not limited to, the Next Generation Science Standards, the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, the National Health Education Standards, or the National Sexuality Education Standards shall be posted for public review on the state board's website and submitted to the education committee of the senate and the education committee of the house of representatives at least sixty (60) days before the state board meeting during which the final adoption of the proposed standard is to be considered. The state board may vote on adoption of standards or proposed changes or additions only at a public meeting at which a quorum is in attendance.
  3. The state board shall not join a testing consortium inclusive of multiple states that requires the adoption of common standards in social studies or science subjects, unless the board provides at least sixty (60) days notice to the education committee of the senate and the education committee of the house of representatives and posts such notice on its website at least sixty (60) days before officially joining any such consortium.
  4. Data collected from the use of or testing under educational standards adopted by the state board shall be used for the sole purpose of tracking the academic prowess and needs of students.

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 1; 2015, ch. 182, §§ 17, 18; 2019, ch. 345, § 80.

Compiler's Notes.  For the preamble to the act concerning requirements for the adoption of educational standards and use of student data, please refer to Acts 2014, ch. 905.

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 11 provided that the state board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

49-1-310. Implementation of process to review and replace Common Core State Standards — Cancellation of memorandum of understanding.

  1. The state board of education shall implement a process whereby the set of standards known as the Common Core State Standards adopted in 2010 will be reviewed and shall be replaced with new sets of standards adopted to fit the needs of Tennessee students. These postsecondary-and-workforce-ready standards shall be adopted through an open, transparent process that allows all Tennesseans an opportunity to participate. These standards shall be adopted and fully implemented in Tennessee public schools in the 2017-2018 school year.
  2. The state board of education or the department of education shall cancel any memorandum of understanding concerning the Common Core State Standards entered into with the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Acts 2015, ch. 423, § 1.

Code Commission Notes.

Acts 2015, ch. 423, § 1 enacted one section comprised of subsections (a)-(f). By authority of the Code Commission, this section has been codified as §§ 49-1-31049-1-314.  Subdivisions (a)(1) and (2) have been codified as (a) and (b) of this section.

Compiler's Notes. For the Preamble to the act concerning the development of new Tennessee academic standards, see Acts 2015, ch. 423.

49-1-311. Appointment of standards review and development committees and advisory teams — Website for public comment — Recommendations.

  1. As required by the current established process:
    1. The state board shall appoint two (2) standards review and development committees. One (1) committee shall be an English language arts standards review and development committee, and one (1) committee shall be a mathematics standards review and development committee. Each committee shall be composed of two (2) representatives from institutions of higher education located in the state and six (6) educators who reside in the state and work in grades kindergarten through twelve (K-12);
    2. The state board shall also appoint six (6) advisory teams. Three (3) advisory teams shall advise and assist the English language arts standards review and development committee, and three (3) advisory teams shall advise and assist the mathematics standards review and development committee. The advisory teams shall be structured by grade levels, so that one (1) advisory team reviews standards for kindergarten through grade five (K-5), one (1) for grades six through eight (6-8), and one (1) for grades nine through twelve (9-12) in each subject. Each advisory team shall be composed of one (1) representative from an institution of higher education located in the state and six (6) educators who reside in the state and work in the appropriate grade levels and subject;
    3. The public's assistance in reviewing the current standards and suggesting changes to the current standards shall be elicited through a website that shall allow comment by the public, as well as by educators, on the current standards. A third-party, independent educational resource, selected by the state board, shall collect all of the data and transmit all of the information gathered to the state board for dissemination to the appropriate advisory team for review and consideration;
    4. Each advisory team shall review the current standards for its subject matter and grade level together with the comments and suggestions gathered from the public and educators. After an advisory team has conducted its review, the team shall make recommendations for changes to the current standards to the appropriate standards review and development committee; and
    5. Each standards review and development committee shall review its advisory teams' reports and make recommendations for the new set of standards to the standards recommendation committee created in §  49-1-312(a).
    1. Beginning in 2018, the state board shall ensure that the standards review and development committees and advisory teams review the standards for English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies pursuant to §§ 49-1-311 — 49-1-313 at least once every six (6) years from the last adoption. The standards review and development committees and advisory teams shall make recommendations for adoption of new standards in these subject areas to the state board, and the state board shall vote on whether to adopt the recommended standards.
    2. Notwithstanding subdivision (b)(1), the state board may extend the six-year period required for the standards review and development committees and advisory teams to review the standards for English language arts and mathematics under subdivision (b)(1) one (1) time for a period not to exceed three (3) years.
  2. Any unexpended funds appropriated for the purposes of this section shall not revert to the general fund, but shall be carried forward into the subsequent fiscal year to effectuate the purposes of this section.

Acts 2015, ch. 423, § 1; 2018, ch. 697, § 1; 2019, ch. 270, § 1.

Code Commission Notes.

Acts 2015, ch. 423, § 1 enacted one section comprised of subsections (a)-(f). By authority of the Code Commission, this section has been codified as §§ 49-1-310—49-1-314.  Subsection (b) has been codified as this section.

Compiler's Notes. For the Preamble to the act concerning the development of new Tennessee academic standards, see Acts 2015, ch. 423.

49-1-312. Standards recommendation committee — English language arts and mathematics — Confirmation of appointments.

  1. There is created a standards recommendation committee. The committee shall be composed of ten (10) members. The governor shall appoint four (4) members, the speaker of the senate shall appoint three (3) members, and the speaker of the house of representatives shall appoint three (3) members. The standards recommendation committee shall review and evaluate the recommendations of the two (2) standards review and development committees and post the recommendations to the website created pursuant to § 49-1-311(a)(3) for the purpose of gathering additional feedback from the public. The standards recommendation committee shall make the final recommendations as to the new set of standards to the state board, which shall adopt sets of standards in English language arts and mathematics that fit the needs of Tennessee students in kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12).
  2. All appointments made pursuant to subsection (a) for the standards recommendation committee shall be subject to confirmation by the senate and the house of representatives, but appointments shall be effective until adversely acted upon by the senate and the house of representatives.

Acts 2015, ch. 423, § 1.

Code Commission Notes.

Acts 2015, ch. 423, § 1 enacted one section comprised of subsections (a)-(f). By authority of the Code Commission, this section has been codified as §§ 49-1-310—49-1-314.  Subsections (c) and (f) have been codified as subsections (a) and (b), respectively, of this section.

Compiler's Notes. For the Preamble to the act concerning the development of new Tennessee academic standards, see Acts 2015, ch. 423.

49-1-313. Standards recommendation committee — Science and social studies.

Prior to the next adoption of academic standards in the subjects of science and social studies, the state board of education shall establish a process whereby the board shall receive recommendations from a standards recommendation committee appointed in the same manner as the standards recommendation committee created in § 49-1-312. The standards recommendation committee shall make the final recommendations as to the revision and replacement of the current sets of standards in these subject areas to the state board, which shall adopt sets of standards in science and social studies that fit the needs of Tennessee students in kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12).

Acts 2015, ch. 423, § 1.

Code Commission Notes.

Acts 2015, ch. 423, § 1 enacted one section comprised of subsections (a)-(f). By authority of the Code Commission, this section has been codified as §§ 49-1-310—49-1-314.  Subsection (d) has been codified as this section.

Compiler's Notes. For the Preamble to the act concerning the development of new Tennessee academic standards, see Acts 2015, ch. 423.

49-1-314. Responsibility of LEAs in developing instructional programs under state standards.

Each LEA shall be responsible for developing and implementing the instructional programs under the state standards adopted by the state board that best fit its students' educational needs, that achieve levels of proficiency or advanced mastery, and that vigorously promote individual teacher creativity and autonomy.

Acts 2015, ch. 423, § 1.

Code Commission Notes.

Acts 2015, ch. 423, § 1 enacted one section comprised of subsections (a)-(f). By authority of the Code Commission, this section has been codified as §§ 49-1-310—49-1-314.  Subsection (e) has been codified as this section.

Compiler's Notes. For the Preamble to the act concerning the development of new Tennessee academic standards, see Acts 2015, ch. 423.

49-1-315. [Repealed.]

Acts 2016, ch. 961, § 1; repealed by Acts 2019, ch. 248, § 15, effective May 2, 2019.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 49-1-315 concerned the program for recognition of 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporations for purpose of assisting LEAs through selection and appointment of volunteers.

Part 4
Tennessee Drug Abuse Resistance Education Act of 1989

49-1-401. Short title.

This part shall be known and may be cited as the “Tennessee Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Act of 1989.”

Acts 1989, ch. 322, § 2.

Cross-References. Alcohol and drug abuse and dependence treatment, title 68, ch. 24.

Drug Control Act of 1989, title 39, ch. 17, part 4.

Use of drug law confiscations and fines to promote DARE program, or other drug abuse prevention programs, § 39-17-420.

49-1-402. Implementation of program — Methods and materials.

  1. The state board of education, in conjunction with the department of safety, may implement the curriculum for a statewide drug abuse resistance education (DARE) program to be taught by qualified and trained law enforcement officers in local schools within the state.
  2. The state board and the department may consider and adopt training methods and materials developed for the DARE America program or a comparable program approved by the department.
  3. The state board shall strive to see that the hazards of nicotine abuse are included in the drug-free alliance program. The state board shall encourage the use of culturally relevant educational methods and materials in the drug-free alliance program to inform persons of the hazards of nicotine abuse.

Acts 1989, ch. 322, § 3; 1990, ch. 931, § 2.

Cross-References. Abuse prevention pilot programs, § 33-10-104.

49-1-403. Training of law enforcement officers.

  1. The department of safety shall adopt standards and qualifications, in accordance with the requirements of the DARE America program, of law enforcement officers who apply for training as instructors in the DARE program.
  2. The department shall also provide for the training of law officers as DARE instructors. The department may contract with agencies of other states for the training of law enforcement officers as DARE instructors.

Acts 1989, ch. 322, § 4.

49-1-404. State board of education — Powers.

The state board of education may:

  1. Provide for appropriate DARE training for students before entering middle school. The training may be conducted at the sixth grade level or at such other time as is necessary for students to receive training before entering middle school;
  2. Approve the usage of textbooks and other educational materials to be used by students enrolled in DARE courses; and
  3. Authorize LEAs to include DARE curricula among the courses offered within area schools.

Acts 1989, ch. 322, § 5.

49-1-405. Similar and comparable programs.

This part shall not supersede or disallow any similar and comparable programs already in place; provided, that nothing in this part shall prevent the similar and comparable programs from participating in the funding of the DARE program in the manner provided for within this part.

Acts 1989, ch. 322, § 6.

49-1-406. Use of funds.

Notwithstanding any provision of this part or any other law to the contrary, any LEA may use any funds received under the “Drug Free Tennessee” program in a sum sufficient to implement the drug abuse resistance program developed and established by this part.

Acts 1989, ch. 322, § 7.

49-1-407. Duties of department of safety — Drug abuse programs.

It is the responsibility of the department of safety to:

  1. Periodically check persons serving as DARE instructors to ensure that they have been properly trained to do so in accordance with the standards and qualifications adopted by the department or with comparable standards; and
  2. Monitor the content of the drug abuse resistance material currently being taught students to ensure that it is compatible with or comparable to the curriculum adopted and implemented by the state board of education for DARE program instruction.

Acts 1992, ch. 910, § 1.

49-1-408. Statewide DARE club established — Purpose.

  1. The state board of education, in consultation with the commissioner of safety, shall establish a statewide DARE club in which any student in grades six through twelve (6-12) may join and participate. Each LEA, middle school, junior high school or high school desiring to do so may form a chapter of the statewide DARE club.
  2. The primary purpose of the DARE club shall be to continue and reinforce the drug abuse resistance education the students may have received in kindergarten through grade six (K-6).
  3. The state board may pattern the organization, rules, bylaws and similar procedural requirements of the club after other successful statewide clubs, such as Future Farmers of America, Future Homemakers of America and 4-H clubs.

Acts 1994, ch. 783, § 1.

Part 5
Dropout Prevention [Repealed]

49-1-501. [Repealed.]

Acts 1990, ch. 996, § 1; repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 23, effective April 18, 2018.Acts 1990, ch. 996, §§ 1-8; 1990, ch. 1057, § 1; 1996, ch. 1079, § 183; 1997, ch. 518, § 2; 2007, ch. 517, § 1; 2010, ch. 1100, § 72; 2012, ch. 575, § 2; repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 23, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 5, §§ 49-1-50149-1-520, concerned dropout prevention.

49-1-502. [Repealed.]

Acts 1990, ch. 996, § 2; 1996, ch. 1079, § 183; repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 23, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 5, §§ 49-1-50149-1-520, concerned dropout prevention.

49-1-503. [Repealed.]

Acts 1990, ch. 996, § 3; 1996, ch. 1079, § 183; repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 23, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 5, §§ 49-1-50149-1-520, concerned dropout prevention.

49-1-504. [Repealed.]

Acts 1990, ch. 996, § 4; 1996, ch. 1079, § 183; repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 23, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 5, §§ 49-1-50149-1-520, concerned dropout prevention.

49-1-505. [Repealed.]

Acts 1990, ch. 996, § 5; 1996, ch. 1079, § 183; repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 23, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 5, §§ 49-1-50149-1-520, concerned dropout prevention.

49-1-506. [Repealed.]

Acts 1990, ch. 996, § 6; repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 23, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 5, §§ 49-1-50149-1-520, concerned dropout prevention.

49-1-507. [Repealed.]

Acts 1990, ch. 996, § 7; repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 23, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 5, §§ 49-1-50149-1-520, concerned dropout prevention.

49-1-508. [Repealed.]

Acts 1990, ch. 996, § 8; repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 23, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 5, §§ 49-1-50149-1-520, concerned dropout prevention.

49-1-509 — 49-1-519. [Repealed.]

Compiler's Notes. Former part 5, §§ 49-1-50149-1-520, concerned dropout prevention.

49-1-520. [Repealed.]

Acts 1990, ch. 1057, § 1; 1997, ch. 518, § 2; 2007, ch. 517, § 1; 2010, ch. 1100, § 72; 2012, ch. 575, § 2; repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 23, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 5, §§ 49-1-50149-1-520, concerned dropout prevention.

Part 6
Performance Goals and Assessment

49-1-601. Assignment of student for purpose of calculating graduation rate.

  1. A student who has not attended the same high school within an LEA for at least sixty (60) school days of the most recent school year of enrollment and who has exited high school without a regular high school diploma and without transferring to another high school that grants a regular diploma may, for the purpose of calculating graduation rate, be assigned to the high school at which the student was enrolled for the greatest proportion of school days while enrolled in grades nine through twelve (9-12) pursuant to procedures developed by the department.
  2. Students that earn an alternate academic diploma pursuant to § 49-6-6001, shall be included in the four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate pursuant to procedures developed by the department.

Acts 2017, ch. 177, § 6.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 49-1-601, (Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 4; 2004, ch. 832, § 1; 2004, ch. 928, §§ 1-5; repealed by Acts 2012, ch. 962, § 1, effective May 10, 2012), concerned the state board of education establishing performance goals at the local level.

49-1-602. Performance designations for LEAs based on performance goals and measures.

    1. The state board of education, in consultation with the commissioner of education, shall establish appropriate performance goals and measures for schools and local education agencies (LEAs). The performance goals and measures shall include, at a minimum, student achievement, student growth, and other appropriate indicators of performance.
    2. Each year, the department of education shall recommend and the state board shall approve performance designations for LEAs based on the established performance goals and measures. If an LEA receives the highest performance determination in the accountability model as approved by the state board, it shall:
      1. Be identified by the department on a public list of LEAs earning the highest accountability determination; and
      2. When permissible by law, rule or regulation, be granted increased latitude in funding flexibility by the department.
    3. If an LEA receives the lowest performance determination in the accountability model as approved by the state board, the LEA shall be subject to the following:
      1. Placement on a public list of LEAs earning the lowest accountability determination; and
      2. Creation of an aggressive plan for corrective action that includes a detailed analysis of its student achievement results, and submission of such plan to the commissioner for approval.
    4. Notwithstanding any provision of this part to the contrary, student performance and student growth data from the TNReady assessments administered in the 2017-2018 school year shall not be used to identify a school as a priority school or to assign a school to the achievement school district.
    5. Notwithstanding any provision of this part to the contrary, student performance and student growth data from Tennessee comprehensive assessment program (TCAP) tests, which include, but are not limited to, TNReady assessments, English learner assessments, alternate TCAP assessments, and end-of-course examinations, administered in the 2019-2020 school year shall not be used to identify a school as a priority school or to assign a school to the achievement school district.
    1. By September 1, 2012, and at a minimum every three (3) years thereafter, based on an evaluation of all schools' performance data, the commissioner of education shall recommend for approval to the state board a listing of all schools to be placed in priority, focus or reward status pursuant to the rules, regulations and performance standards of the state board. Once approved by the state board, priority, focus and reward schools shall be publicly identified by the commissioner.
    2. Schools identified as priority schools shall include the bottom five percent (5%) of schools in performance, all public high schools failing to graduate one-third (1/3) or more of their students, and schools with chronically low-performing subgroups that have not improved after receiving additional targeted support, pursuant to applicable laws, rules, and regulations. Priority schools shall be subject to one (1) of the following interventions as determined by the commissioner:
      1. Turnaround through an LEA-led intervention or other school improvement process, subject to approval by the commissioner;
      2. School turnaround under the governance of an LEA innovation zone pursuant to subsection (c); or
      3. Placement in the achievement school district as defined in § 49-1-614; provided, however, that no school identified as a priority school shall be placed in the achievement school district if, after the school is identified as a priority school, but before the commissioner determines that the school should be assigned to the achievement school district, the school demonstrates student achievement growth at a level of “above expectations” or greater, as represented by the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) developed pursuant to this part.
    3. By October 1 of the year prior to the public identification of priority schools pursuant to subdivision (b)(1), the commissioner shall notify any school and its respective LEA if the school is among the bottom ten percent (10%) of schools in overall achievement as determined by the performance standards and other criteria set by the state board.
    4. An LEA with a school or schools identified as focus schools shall submit a plan to the commissioner, subject to the commissioner's approval, outlining how the LEA shall address the factors leading the school or schools to be placed in focus status.
    5. Reward schools shall be recognized by the department for outstanding achievement or progress and provided opportunities to serve as strategic partners with the department to raise student achievement levels throughout the state by analyzing and sharing best practices.
    6. Upon receiving notice that a school has been identified as a priority school, the LEA or authorizing entity shall, for each school identified, develop and implement a comprehensive support and improvement plan for the school to improve student outcomes. The comprehensive support and improvement plan shall at a minimum:
      1. Be based on a school-level needs assessment;
      2. Include evidence-based interventions;
      3. Include a plan for notifying the parents of each student enrolled in the school of its priority status and a plan for stakeholder engagement;
      4. Include a review of LEA and school-level resources;
      5. Be developed by the school and LEA and approved by the commissioner; and
      6. Be monitored and evaluated annually by the department.
  1. An LEA may develop a plan for the creation of an LEA innovation zone for the purpose of monitoring, overseeing and improving schools within the LEA that are designated as priority schools pursuant to subsection (b) and approved for inclusion in the innovation zone by the commissioner. Upon approval of such plan by the commissioner, an LEA innovation zone may be established. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, an LEA creating an LEA innovation zone shall:
    1. Establish an innovation zone office; appoint a leader for such office; and provide such leader with sufficient management authority to appoint and dismiss staff for the office as well as appoint a leader for each school placed in the innovation zone; and
    2. Allow schools under the governance of the innovation zone office to have maximum autonomy over financial, programmatic and staffing decisions.
  2. The department of education, when publishing the list of priority schools, shall:
    1. List all schools in the state in order by success rate from the highest to the lowest; and
    2. List all schools in each county and each LEA in order by success rate from the highest to the lowest.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 4; 1997, ch. 434, § 2; 2002, ch. 860, §§ 1-7; 2003, ch. 404, § 2; 2004, ch. 680, §§ 1, 2; 2004, ch. 928, §§ 6, 7; 2007, ch. 11, §§ 1-3; 2007, ch. 376, §§ 1, 8; 2008, ch. 1006, § 1; 2010 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, §§ 2-6; 2012, ch. 962, § 2; 2015, ch. 361, § 1; 2015, ch. 390, § 1; 2016, ch. 916, § 1; 2017, ch. 177, §§ 1-4; 2018, ch. 881, § 4; 2020, ch. 652, § 6.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 404, § 1 provided that the title of the act is, and may be cited as, the “Inner City Educational Enhancement Pilot Project Act of 2003.”

Acts 2010 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, § 1 provided that the act shall be known and may be cited as the “Tennessee First to the Top Act of 2010.”

Acts 2012, ch. 962, § 7 provided that the state board of education is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

Acts 2018, ch. 881, § 5 provided that for the 2017-2018 school year, LEAs shall not base employment termination and compensation decisions for teachers on data generated by statewide assessments administered in the 2017-2018 school year.

For the Preamble to the act concerning severe weather, tornadoes and the COVID-19 threat, see Acts 2020, ch. 652.

Acts 2020, ch. 652, § 13 provided that: “(a) The department of education shall promptly seek a waiver from the United States Department of Education, or seek to amend Tennessee's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan, as necessary and appropriate to implement chapter 652 of the Public Acts of 2020.

“(b) The state board of education shall promptly revise the high school graduation requirements for the 2019-2020 school year to ensure that high school seniors who were affected by school closures during the spring of the 2019-2020 school year do not fail to receive a high school diploma for which the student was on-track and otherwise eligible to receive on or before April 2, 2020.

“(c) The state board of education shall consult with the department of education, Tennessee higher education commission, and public institutions of higher education to develop guidance, resources, and opportunities for high school students who were enrolled in dual credit or dual enrollment courses during the spring of the 2019-2020 school year, and who were adversely affected by school closures due to COVID-19.

“(d) Notwithstanding Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 4-5-208(a):

“(1) The state board of education may promulgate emergency rules as necessary to address any issues created by school closures due to the outbreak of COVID-19 during the 2019-2020 school year. The rules must be promulgated according to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5; and

“(2) The Tennessee student assistance corporation and public institutions of higher education may promulgate emergency rules to protect the financial aid and credit opportunities for high school students who were enrolled in dual credit or dual enrollment courses during the spring of the 2019-2020 school year, and who were adversely affected by school closures due to COVID-19.”

Amendments. The 2020 amendment added (a)(5).

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 652, § 14. April 2, 2020.

Attorney General Opinions. The Commissioner has authority to manage, directly or indirectly, the day-to-day operations of any school or any grade configuration of any school that has been placed in the Achievement School District (ASD) as that school existed when it was assigned priority status.  But there is nothing that gives the Commissioner or the ASD authority to allow an already under-performing school in the ASD to serve grades in addition to the ones it was serving when it was assigned priority status and placed in the ASD.    OAG 17-19, 2017 Tenn. AG LEXIS 18 (3/13/2017).

49-1-603. Value added assessment system.

  1. “Value added assessment” means:
    1. A statistical system for educational outcome assessment that uses measures of student learning to enable the estimation of teacher, school and school district statistical distributions; and
    2. The statistical system will use available and appropriate data as input to account for differences in prior student attainment, such that the impact that the teacher, school and school district have on the educational progress of students may be estimated on a student attainment constant basis. The impact that a teacher, school or school district has on the progress, or lack of progress, in educational advancement or learning of a student is referred to hereafter as the “effect” of the teacher, school, or school district on the educational progress of students.
  2. The statistical system shall have the capability of providing mixed model methodologies that provide for best linear unbiased prediction for the teacher, school and school district effects on the educational progress of students. It must have the capability of adequately providing these estimates for the traditional classroom of one (1) teacher teaching multiple subjects to the same group of students, as well as team taught groups of students or other teaching situations, as appropriate.
  3. The metrics chosen to measure student learning must be linear scales covering the total range of topics covered in the approved academic standards to minimize ceiling and floor effects. These metrics should have strong relationship to the core academic standards for the applicable grade level and subject.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 4; 2016, ch. 999, § 2.

Attorney General Opinions. Teacher evaluations, OAG 96-033, 1996 Tenn. AG LEXIS 29 (3/7/96).

49-1-604. Mixed model methodologies.

As used in this part, “mixed model methodologies that provide for best linear unbiased prediction,” or similar language setting forth the methodology used for evaluating measured progress of students, teachers, schools or school districts, has the meaning and shall be interpreted as set forth in the following references:

  1. “A Unified Approach to Mixed Linear Models,” McLean, Sanders, and Stroup; The American Statistician,  February 1991; Vol. 45, No. 1;
  2. “Extension of the Gauss-Markov Theorem to Include the Estimation of Random Effects,” Harville; The Annals of Statistics,  1976; Vol. 4, No. 2, 384-395;
  3. “Analysis of Variance in the Mixed Model: Higher Level, Nonhomogeneous, and Random Regressions,” Henderson; Biometrics,  September 1982; No. 38, 623-640;
  4. “Maximum Likelihood Approaches to Variance Component Estimation and to Related Problems,” Harville; Journal of the American Statistical Association,  July 1977; Vol. 72, No. 358;
  5. “Approximations for Standard Errors of Estimators of Fixed and Random Effects in Mixed Linear Models,” Kackar and Harville; Journal of the American Statistical Association,  December 1984; Vol. 79, No. 388; and
  6. “The Analysis of Unbalanced Linear Models with Variance Components,” Engel; Statistica Neerlandica,  1990; Vol. 44, No. 4.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 4.

49-1-605. Annual estimates of school district effects on student progress in grades three through eight (3-8).

  1. By July 1 of each year, data from the Tennessee comprehensive assessment program (TCAP) tests, or their future replacements, will be used to provide an estimate of the statistical distribution of school district effects on the educational progress of students for grades three through eight (3-8).
  2. By July 1 of each year, data from the TCAP tests, or their future replacements, will be used to provide an estimate of the statistical distribution of school effects on the educational progress of students for grades three through eight (3-8).

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 4.

49-1-606. Annual estimates of teacher effects on student progress in grades three through eight (3-8).

  1. Annually, data from the Tennessee comprehensive assessment program (TCAP) tests, or their future replacements, will be used to provide an estimate of the statistical distribution of teacher effects on the educational progress of students within school districts for grades three through eight (3-8). Teacher effect data shall not be retained for use in evaluations for more than the most recent five (5) years. A student must have been present for one hundred fifty (150) days of classroom instruction per year or seventy-five (75) days of classroom instruction in a block schedule before that student's record is attributable to a specific teacher.
    1. The estimates of specific teacher effects on the educational progress of students will not be a public record, and will be made available only to the specific teacher, the teacher's appropriate administrators as designated by the local board of education and school board members. The state department of education shall provide raw test score data to LEAs as soon as practicable after receipt of the data, but in no case later than June 30. The estimates of specific teacher effects may also be made available to the state board approved teacher preparation programs of individual teachers. The estimates made available to the preparation programs shall not be a public record and shall be used only in evaluation of the respective teacher preparation programs. Each institution or postsecondary system receiving the estimates shall develop a policy to protect the confidentiality of the data.
    2. The estimates of specific teacher effects on the educational progress of students may be made available to parties conducting research for, or on behalf of, the department, schools, LEAs, or postsecondary institutions; provided, however, that the estimates made available shall not be a public record and shall be used only for research purposes. Each party receiving the estimates of specific teacher effect data for research purposes shall execute a signed data sharing agreement with the entity providing the data that includes provisions safeguarding the privacy and security of the data.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 4; 1995, ch. 427, § 1; 1997, ch. 141, § 1; 2001, ch. 243, § 1; 2010 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, §§ 7, 8; 2012, ch. 703, § 1; 2013, ch. 105, § 2; 2014, ch. 873, § 1; 2017, ch. 192, § 6.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2001, ch. 243, § 2 provided that it is the intent of the legislature for the department of education to provide the score data to local education agencies before the end of the school year.

Acts 2010 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, § 1 provided that the act shall be known and may be cited as the “Tennessee First to the Top Act of 2010.”

Cross-References. Confidentiality of public records, § 10-7-504.

Attorney General Opinions. Teacher evaluations, OAG 96-033, 1996 Tenn. AG LEXIS 29 (3/7/96).

Confidentiality of specific teacher effects, OAG 97-055, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 48 (4/23/97).

There are no federal or state constitutional or statutory provisions which would prohibit limited English proficiency, English as a second language, or English Language learners from taking the Tennessee comprehensive assessment program annual achievement tests until they achieve some level of English proficiency, OAG 01-164, 2001 Tenn. AG LEXIS 166 (11/13/01).

49-1-607. Noncompliance with security guidelines for TCAP or successor test.

Any person found to have not followed security guidelines for administration of the Tennessee comprehensive assessment program (TCAP) test, or a successor test, including making or distributing unauthorized copies of the test, altering a grade or answer sheet, providing copies of answers or test questions or otherwise compromising the integrity of the testing process shall be placed on immediate suspension, and such actions will be grounds for dismissal, including dismissal of tenured employees. Such actions shall be grounds for revocation of state license.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 4.

49-1-608. Subject matter tests for secondary schools — Initiation of value added assessment.

The development of subject matter tests shall be initiated to measure performance of high school students in subjects designated by the state board of education and reviewed by the education committee of the senate and the education committee of the house of representatives. These tests shall reflect the complete range of topics covered within the list of state-approved textbooks and instructional materials for that subject. As soon as valid tests have been developed, the testing of students shall be initiated to provide for value-added assessment. Value-added assessment shall be conducted annually. Value-added assessment may be initiated in other subjects designated by the state board of education and reviewed by the education committee of the senate and the education committee of the house of representatives at such times as valid tests are developed that effectively measure performance in such subjects.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 4; 1997, ch. 434, § 3; 1998, ch. 833, § 1; 2011, ch. 410, § 4(e); 2014, ch. 981, § 24; 2015, ch. 182, § 19; 2019, ch. 345, § 81.

Compiler's Notes. Former subsection (b), requiring the use of new tests, was transferred to § 49-1-610 in 1993.

For the Preamble to the act concerning the prohibition against establishment of a special committee if there is a standing committee on the same subject, please refer to Acts 2011, ch. 410.

Law Reviews.

Adding It Up: Implications of Tennessee's New High School Transition Policy and Graduation Requirements for Students with Disabilities (Kenlyn Foster-Spence), 76 Tenn. L. Rev. 447 (2009).

49-1-609. [Reserved.]

  1. All tests used in accordance with this part shall be equivalent tests. Each year, at least thirty percent (30%) of items on each test must be fresh, nonredundant items that did not appear on that test in the previous two (2) years. The commissioner shall ensure that assessments used to measure academic progress required by this chapter meet acceptable standards of reliability and appropriately measure students at all levels of achievement.
  2. The commissioner shall develop formative assessment question banks that are aligned to state-mandated summative assessments measuring the academic progress of students. The department of education shall make the formative assessment question banks available for use by LEAs. The commissioner shall begin developing the formative assessment question banks required under this subsection (b) no later than July 1, 2020.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 4; T.C.A., § 49-1-608(b); Acts 2004, ch. 928, § 8; 2018, ch. 895, § 1; 2020, ch. 532, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2018, ch. 895, § 2 provided that the act, which amended this section, shall apply to tests administered in the 2018-2019 school year and school years thereafter.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment added (b).

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 532, § 2. March 10, 2020.

49-1-611. Reports — Removal or appointment of school board members.

The commissioner shall make periodic reports to the state board, the education committee of the senate, and the education committee of the house of representatives on the progress of any local school system or school placed on probation. Whenever it appears to the commissioner that a local school system or school placed on probation pursuant to § 49-1-602 is not taking action necessary to resolve the deficiencies identified in any report or study of the system or school, the commissioner may with the approval of the state board order the removal of some or all of the members of the local board and the director of schools and appoint an agent to direct all operations of the system. Before the removal or appointment functions are exercised, the commissioner shall also appear before the education committee of the senate and the education committee of the house of representatives for that purpose and present the reasons for the proposed actions. The committees may either endorse or refuse to endorse the proposed actions. The agent shall have all authority and powers previously vested in the local board and director of schools and such other powers as may be granted by law or regulation.

Acts 1998, ch. 737, § 4; 2011, ch. 410, § 4(f), (g); 2012, ch. 925, § 6; 2015, ch. 182, § 20; 2019, ch. 345, § 82.

Compiler's Notes. For the Preamble to the act concerning the prohibition against establishment of a special committee if there is a standing committee on the same subject, please refer to Acts 2011, ch. 410.

49-1-612. Alternate assessment for students with cognitive disabilities.

The state's alternate assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities shall be based on alternate academic achievement standards designed to measure the knowledge and skills of students with significant cognitive disabilities and shall be aligned to Tennessee's state academic standards.

Acts 2001, ch. 213, § 1; 2009, ch. 262, § 3; 2016, ch. 999, §  3; 2017, ch. 177, § 7.

Law Reviews.

Adding It Up: Implications of Tennessee's New High School Transition Policy and Graduation Requirements for Students with Disabilities (Kenlyn Foster-Spence), 76 Tenn. L. Rev. 447 (2009).

49-1-613. Annual school improvement plans.

  1. Effective with school year 2007-2008, each school and LEA shall include in their annual school improvement plans specific goals for improvement, including, but not limited to, school performance on value added assessment and other benchmarks for student proficiency, graduation rates, ACT or SAT scores where applicable and student attendance. School improvement plans shall also identify areas of strengths and weakness, as well as strategies to improve areas of weakness, how additional funds provided through the basic education program (BEP) as the result of changes made in the BEP formula for school year 2007-2008 will be used to address these areas and how the LEA will measure the improvements supported by these funds. The strategies may include, but are not limited to:
    1. Developing school or content-based professional development;
    2. Developing teacher induction programs;
    3. Increasing the number of reading and math specialists;
    4. Increasing classroom equipment and supplies;
    5. Reducing class size;
    6. Using targeted tutoring and remediation;
    7. Increasing numbers of school counselors and social workers;
    8. Providing principal professional development;
    9. Using enhanced technology for remediation and retesting;
    10. Employing school attendance officers;
    11. Reorganizing the school day instructional time; and
    12. Implementing a standards-based curriculum and associated instructional strategies.
  2. The department of education shall have the primary responsibility for collecting, evaluating, approving and monitoring system and school improvement plans.

Acts 2007, ch. 376, § 2; 2011, ch. 297, § 2; 2012, ch. 925, § 11; 2015, ch. 182, § 21; 2016, ch. 684, § 5; 2017, ch. 205, § 1.

49-1-614. Achievement school district.

  1. The “achievement school district” or “ASD” is an organizational unit of the department of education, established and administered by the commissioner for the purpose of providing oversight for the operation of schools assigned to or authorized by the ASD.
  2. The commissioner shall have the authority to directly operate or contract with one (1) or more individuals, governmental entities or nonprofit entities to manage the day-to-day operations of any or all schools placed in the ASD, including, but not limited to, providing direct services to students.
    1. The commissioner shall have the authority to assign any school or grade configuration within a school to the ASD at any time such school is designated to be in priority status pursuant to § 49-1-602; provided, however, that schools assigned to the ASD after June 1, 2017, shall be limited to priority schools.
    2. Schools placed in the ASD after June 1, 2017, shall only serve grades that the school served at the time the commissioner assigned the school to the ASD. The governing body of a charter school may apply to the LEA to expand the grades the school serves under the provisions outlined in § 49-13-106.
    3. Prior to the assignment of a school to the ASD, the commissioner shall consider geographic clusters of qualifying schools and feeder patterns with multiple eligible schools.
    4. Nothing shall prohibit the ASD from establishing an alternative school to serve students assigned to the ASD.
    1. The ASD may receive, control, and expend local and state funding for schools placed under its jurisdiction, and shall have the authority to seek, receive, expend, manage, and retain federal funding and grant funding and to otherwise seek, obtain, expend, manage, and retain funding with the same authority as an LEA. The ASD shall receive from the department or LEA, as appropriate, an amount equal to the per student state and local funds received by the department or LEA for the students enrolled in the ASD school. ASD schools shall also receive all appropriate allocations of federal funds as other LEAs under federal law or regulation, including, but not limited to, Title I and ESEA funds. All funding allocations and disbursements shall be in accordance with procedures developed by the department.
    2. The ASD shall have the authority to receive donations of money, property or securities from any source for the benefit of the ASD and schools within the ASD. All such funds shall, in good faith, be disbursed in accordance with the conditions of the gifts.
    3. To the extent that any state and local funds allocated to the ASD are not used to support a school or LEA in the ASD, they shall be allocated to a state reserve fund to be distributed to the appropriate LEA upon approval of the commissioner and upon the removal of the school from the ASD.
  3. The ASD may require any LEA to provide school support or student support services for a school transferred from the LEA's jurisdiction including, but not limited to, student transportation, school food service, alternative schools or student assessment for special education eligibility that are compliant with all laws and regulations governing such services. In such cases, the ASD shall reimburse the actual cost to the LEA providing such services.
  4. The ASD shall have the right to use any school building and all facilities and property otherwise part of the school and recognized as part of the facilities or assets of the school prior to its placement in the ASD and shall have access to such additional facilities as were typically available to the school, its students, faculty and staff prior to its placement in the ASD. Such use shall be unrestricted and free of charge, except that the ASD shall be responsible for and obligated to provide for routine maintenance and repair such that the facilities and property are maintained in as good order as when the right of use was acquired by the ASD. The ASD shall also be responsible for paying all utilities in use at ASD-utilized facilities. Extensive repairs to buildings or facilities considered capital expenses shall be the responsibility of the LEA and not the ASD. Any fixtures, improvements or tangible assets added to a school building or facility by the ASD shall remain at the school building or facility upon its return to the LEA.
    1. If it is determined that the ASD shall directly operate a school within the ASD, the employees hired to work in schools directly operated by the ASD may be deemed employees of the ASD and such employees shall be under the exclusive control of the ASD. The ASD shall develop written procedures, subject to the approval of the commissioner, for employment and management of personnel as well as the development of compensation and benefit plans. Within the limits of the budget, staffing needs of any school within the ASD shall be exclusively determined by the ASD with approval of the commissioner.
    2. The ASD, or the entity under contract to operate schools within the ASD, shall have the authority to determine whether any teacher who was assigned to such school prior to the school's transfer into the ASD shall have the option of continuing to teach at that school as an employee of either the ASD or the operating entity. Any tenured teacher not given that option shall remain an employee of the LEA, subject to § 49-5-511. The LEA, if it so chooses, may continue the employment of a nontenured teacher not given that option. Moreover, any teacher who accepts that option may, at the discretion of the LEA, return as an employee of the LEA, should the ASD or operating entity later determine not to continue to employ such teacher.
    3. With the exception of the provisions protecting teachers’ rights to accumulated sick leave, retirement benefits, pension and tenure status within an LEA, § 49-5-203, and the [former] Education Professional Negotiations Act, compiled in chapter 5, part 6 of this title, prior to June 1, 2011, shall not apply to teachers who accept the option of continuing to teach at a school placed in the ASD.
  5. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the ASD shall, at a minimum, have the same authority and autonomy afforded to LEAs under state law regarding the procurement of property, goods and services, including, but not limited to, personal, professional, consulting, and social services. The ASD shall develop written procedures for the procurement of all goods and services in compliance with the expenditure thresholds for competitive bidding outlined or permitted in § 49-2-203. Such procedures shall be submitted to and approved by the commissioner.
  6. Notwithstanding title 12, chapter 7, part 1, or any other law to the contrary, the ASD shall have the authority to authorize the preparation and use of publications and other media for the marketing and public education needs of the ASD in order to effectively carry out its mission.
  7. The ASD or any entity the ASD contracts with to operate or manage schools that have been placed in the ASD may apply to the commissioner for a waiver of any state board rule that inhibits or hinders the ability of the school to increase student achievement. Notwithstanding this subsection (j), the commissioner shall not waive rules related to the following:
    1. Federal and state civil rights;
    2. Federal, state and local health and safety;
    3. Federal and state public records;
    4. Immunizations;
    5. Possession of weapons on school grounds;
    6. Background checks and fingerprinting of personnel;
    7. Federal and state special education services;
    8. Student due process;
    9. Parental rights;
    10. Federal and state student assessment and accountability;
    11. Open meetings; and
    12. At least the same equivalent time of instruction as required in regular public schools.
    1. A school that has been removed from the LEA and placed in the ASD shall remain in the ASD until the school is no longer identified as a priority school pursuant to § 49-1-602 for two (2) consecutive cycles beginning with the 2017 priority school list; provided, however, that no school shall remain in the ASD for more than a ten-year period. After the school improves student performance such that the school is no longer identified as a priority school for two (2) consecutive cycles, the commissioner, in consultation with the LEA, shall develop and approve a transition plan for the purpose of planning the school's return to the LEA. If the LEA is identified as an LEA earning the lowest accountability determination pursuant to § 49-1-602(a) and the parents of at least sixty percent (60%) of the children enrolled at the school demonstrate support for remaining in the ASD by signing a petition, then the school shall remain in the ASD and shall return to the LEA after the LEA is no longer identified as an LEA earning the lowest accountability determination.
    2. Notwithstanding subdivision (k)(1) or any other provision to the contrary, if a school enters the ASD and is operated as a charter school through authorization by the ASD pursuant to § 49-13-106, the ASD shall remain the chartering authority through the duration of the charter agreement and the school shall remain under the authority of the ASD. Upon expiration of the charter agreement, the school shall return to the LEA and the terms of the charter agreement may be renewed upon submission of a renewal application by the governing body of the charter school to the LEA under the provisions outlined in § 49-13-121.
    3. Notwithstanding subdivision (k)(1) or any other provision to the contrary, the commissioner shall have the authority to remove any school from the jurisdiction of the ASD at any time.
    4. Notwithstanding subdivisions (k)(1)-(3), a school that has been placed in the ASD shall remain in the ASD until the school is authorized to return to the school's LEA according to the transition plan developed by the commissioner pursuant to this subdivision (k)(4). The commissioner shall develop a transition plan for the purpose of planning the return, no earlier than the 2024-2025 school year, of schools in the ASD to the LEAs from which the schools were removed. The commissioner shall submit the plan developed pursuant to this subdivision (k)(4) to the education committees of the senate and house of representatives by January 1, 2021.
  8. Any individuals, governmental entities or nonprofit entities contracting with the commissioner to operate any school under this section shall provide timely information to the LEA and director of schools regarding the operation of such schools, including, but not limited to, matters relating to employment of personnel at the school as provided for in this section. The LEA may continue to support the educational improvement of the school under the direction and guidance of the commissioner and in accordance with any contracts entered into in accordance with this section. In addition, any individuals, governmental entities or nonprofit entities contracting with the commissioner may voluntarily work with the LEA in providing to the schools professional development or technical assistance, instructional and administrative support and facilitating any other support that may be beneficial to academic progress of the school.
  9. Any contracts to operate schools that have been placed in the ASD shall require expenditure reports for funds received and expended pursuant to such contracts. Such reports shall be provided to the department of education and comptroller of the treasury for review.
  10. The department of education shall establish within the school system with the most schools operated by the ASD a four-year pilot program of assessment of kindergarten students. The pilot program shall begin with the 2012-2013 school year. Students entering kindergarten in such system in schools operated by the ASD shall be assessed by an appropriate standardized test or tests. The test shall measure the present educational levels of the students to determine how instruction should be targeted to best meet the learning needs of the students and to eliminate disparities in learning backgrounds, if any.
  11. The ASD shall adopt an appropriate dress code for its professional employees.

Acts 2010 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, § 9; 2011, ch. 378, § 8; 2012, ch. 901, § 1; 2012, ch. 962, § 6; 2012, ch. 1094, § 1; 2013, ch. 263, § 1; 2017, ch. 177, §§ 8, 9; 2020, ch. 777, § 1.

Code Commission Notes.

Acts 2010, ch. 1127, § 1 purported to enact a new section § 49-1-614. Sections 49-1-61449-1-616 were previously enacted by Acts 2010 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, §§ 9, 14, 15; therefore, the enactment by Acts 2010, ch. 1127, § 1 was designated as § 49-1-617 by the code commission.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2010 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, § 1 provided that the act shall be known and may be cited as the “Tennessee First to the Top Act of 2010.”

Acts 2011, ch. 378, § 4 provided that nothing in the act shall be construed to abridge or impair a contract or agreement governing terms and conditions of professional service entered into by a board of education and a recognized professional employees' organization under the Education Professional Negotiations Act before June 1, 2011. Any such contract or agreement shall remain in full force and effect until the expiration of the contract or agreement.

Acts 2012, ch. 962, § 7 provided that the state board of education is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment added (k)(4).

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 777, § 2. July 15, 2020.

Attorney General Opinions. If the commissioner of education assigns a priority school that does not serve all grades pre-K through twelve to the Achievement School District, there are no circumstances under which the school may subsequently add grades other than those that the priority school served when it was assigned to the Achievement School District. Once a school has been placed in the Achievement School District the school itself may not add grades because it has no independent control over its operations while it is in the Achievement School District.  OAG 16-50, 2016 Tenn. AG LEXIS 49 (12/30/2016).

Once a school has been placed in the Achievement School District the school itself may not add grades because it has no independent control over its operations while it is in the ASD. OAG 17-01, 2017 Tenn.  AG LEXIS 1 (1/5/2017).

The Commissioner has authority to manage, directly or indirectly, the day-to-day operations of any school or any grade configuration of any school that has been placed in the Achievement School District (ASD) as that school existed when it was assigned priority status.  But there is nothing that gives the Commissioner or the ASD authority to allow an already under-performing school in the ASD to serve grades in addition to the ones it was serving when it was assigned priority status and placed in the ASD. OAG 17-19, 2017 Tenn. AG LEXIS 18 (3/13/2017).

49-1-615. Establishment of the teacher professional development fund.

The teacher professional development fund is established, into which only federal monies shall be deposited, for the purposes of improved teaching, pedagogical skills and classroom instruction.

Acts 2010 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, § 14.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2010 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, § 1 provided that the act shall be known and may be cited as the “Tennessee First to the Top Act of 2010.”

49-1-616. [Repealed.]

Acts 2010 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, § 15; repealed by Acts 2018, ch. 725, § 24, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 49-1-616 concerned  annual reports on Race to the Top funds awarded to each LEA and achievement school district.

49-1-617. Development of policy by which student scores on achievement tests comprise percentage of final grade in certain subjects in grades three through eight — Optional policy for grades nine through twelve.

  1. Each local board of education shall develop a policy by which student scores on the Tennessee comprehensive assessment program's grades three through eight (3-8) achievement tests shall comprise a percentage of the student's final grade for the spring semester in the subject areas of mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies. In the 2017-2018 school year and each school year thereafter, the local board shall determine the percentage within a range of zero percent (0%) to no more than twenty-five percent (25%) for grades three through five (3-5), and within a range of no less than ten percent (10%) to no more than twenty-five percent (25%) for grades six through eight (6-8).
  2. Notwithstanding subsection (a), if an LEA does not receive its students' TCAP scores, including all achievement test and end-of-course examination scores for grades nine through twelve (9-12), at least five (5) instructional days before the end of the course, then the LEA may choose not to include its students' TCAP scores, including all achievement test and end-of-course examination scores for grades nine through twelve (9-12), in the students' final grades in the subject areas of mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies.
  3. Notwithstanding subsection (a), each local board of education may choose the percentage within the range of zero percent (0%) to fifteen percent (15%) that scores from the TNReady assessments administered in the 2017-2018 school year shall count on a student's final grade for the spring semester.
  4. Notwithstanding subsection (a), scores on Tennessee comprehensive assessment program (TCAP) tests, which include, but are not limited to, TNReady assessments, English learner assessments, alternate TCAP assessments, and end-of- course examinations, administered in the 2019-2020 school year shall not comprise a percentage of a student's final grade for the spring semester in the subject areas of mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies, unless including TCAP test scores results in a higher final grade for the student.

Acts 2010, ch. 1127, § 1; 2015, ch. 256, § 1; 2017, ch. 192, § 7; 2018, ch. 817, § 1; 2018, ch. 881, § 2; 2020, ch. 652, § 4.

Code Commission Notes.

Acts 2010, ch. 1127, § 1 purported to enact a new section § 49-1-614. Sections 49-1-61449-1-616 were previously enacted by Acts 2010 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, §§ 9, 14, 15; therefore, the enactment by Acts 2010, ch. 1127, § 1 was designated as § 49-1-617 by the code commission.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2018, ch. 881, § 5 provided that for the 2017-2018 school year, LEAs shall not base employment termination and compensation decisions for teachers on data generated by statewide assessments administered in the 2017-2018 school year.

For the Preamble to the act concerning severe weather, tornadoes and the COVID-19 threat, see Acts 2020, ch. 652.

Acts 2020, ch. 652, § 13 provided that: “(a) The department of education shall promptly seek a waiver from the United States Department of Education, or seek to amend Tennessee's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan, as necessary and appropriate to implement chapter 652 of the Public Acts of 2020.

“(b) The state board of education shall promptly revise the high school graduation requirements for the 2019-2020 school year to ensure that high school seniors who were affected by school closures during the spring of the 2019-2020 school year do not fail to receive a high school diploma for which the student was on-track and otherwise eligible to receive on or before April 2, 2020.

“(c) The state board of education shall consult with the department of education, Tennessee higher education commission, and public institutions of higher education to develop guidance, resources, and opportunities for high school students who were enrolled in dual credit or dual enrollment courses during the spring of the 2019-2020 school year, and who were adversely affected by school closures due to COVID-19.

“(d) Notwithstanding Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 4-5-208(a):

“(1) The state board of education may promulgate emergency rules as necessary to address any issues created by school closures due to the outbreak of COVID-19 during the 2019-2020 school year. The rules must be promulgated according to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5; and

“(2) The Tennessee student assistance corporation and public institutions of higher education may promulgate emergency rules to protect the financial aid and credit opportunities for high school students who were enrolled in dual credit or dual enrollment courses during the spring of the 2019-2020 school year, and who were adversely affected by school closures due to COVID-19.”

Amendments. The 2020 amendment added (d).

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 652, § 14. April 2, 2020.

Attorney General Opinions. Authority to Waive Requirements of T.C.A. § 49-1-617, OAG 14-68, 2014 Tenn. AG Lexis 68 (7/2/14)

49-1-618. Establishment of review period for verification of accountability data files and determinations prior to public release.

The department of education shall develop, and the state board shall adopt, a policy establishing a review period for LEAs to review and verify accountability data files and determinations before data files and determinations are released publicly by the department. The policy shall include, at a minimum:

  1. The length of the review period; provided, that no review period shall be less than ten (10) business days;
  2. Identification of specific data that shall not be released during the review period; and
  3. A process for the LEA to verify the accuracy of the data.

Acts 2018, ch. 715, § 1.

Part 7
Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act

49-1-701. Short title.

This part shall be known and may be cited as the “Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act.”

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 3.

Code Commission Notes.

Former part 7, §§ 49-1-70149-1-703, concerning the summer science enrichment pilot program, was deleted as obsolete by the code commission in 2009.

Compiler's Notes. For the preamble to the act concerning requirements for the adoption of educational standards and use of student data, please refer to Acts 2014, ch. 905.

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 11 provided that the state board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

49-1-702. Part definitions.

As used in this part:

  1. “Aggregate data” means data collected or reported at the group, cohort or institutional level;
  2. “Biometric record” means a record of one (1) or more measurable biological or behavioral characteristics that can be used for automated recognition of an individual;
  3. “Covered information” means personally identifiable information or material, or information that is linked to personally identifiable information or material, in any media or format that is not publicly available and is:
    1. Created by or provided to an operator by a student, or the student's parent or legal guardian, in the course of the student's, parent's, or legal guardian's use of the operator's site, service, or application for K-12 school purposes;
    2. Created by or provided to an operator by an employee or agent of a K-12 school or an LEA for K-12 school purposes; or
    3. Gathered by an operator through the operation of its site, service, or application for K-12 school purposes and personally identifies a student;
  4. “Data system” means the body of student data collected by the department of education;
  5. “De-identified data” means a student dataset in which parent and student identifying information, including the personal identification number, has been removed;
  6. “Department” means the department of education;
  7. “FERPA” means the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g);
  8. “Interactive computer service” means any information service, system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including specifically a service or system that provides access to the internet and such systems operated or services offered by libraries or educational institutions;
  9. “K-12 school” means a school that offers any of the grades kindergarten through twelve (K-12) and is operated by an LEA;
  10. “K-12 school purposes” means purposes that are directed by or that customarily take place at the direction of a K-12 school, teacher, or LEA or that aid in the administration of school activities, including, but not limited to, instruction in the classroom or at home, administrative activities, and collaboration among students, school personnel, or parents, or are otherwise for the use and benefit of the school;
  11. “Operator” means, to the extent that it is operating in this capacity, the operator of an internet website, online service, online application, or mobile application with actual knowledge that the site, service, or application is used primarily for K-12 school purposes and is designed and marketed for K-12 school purposes;
  12. “Persistent unique identifier” means a unique reference number used as an identifier in computer software that is stored across different usage sessions;
  13. “Personal identification number” means the unique student identifier assigned to a student under § 49-6-5101;
  14. “State board” means the state board of education;
    1. “Student data” means data collected or reported at the individual student level that is included in a student’s educational record;
    2. “Student data” includes:
      1. State and national assessment results, including information on untested public school students;
      2. Course taking and completion, credits earned and other transcript information;
      3. Course grades and grade point average;
      4. Date of birth, grade level and expected graduation date or graduation cohort;
      5. Degree, diploma, credential attainment and other school exit information such as receipt of the GED(R) and drop-out data;
      6. Attendance and mobility;
      7. Data required to calculate the federal four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate, including sufficient exit and drop-out information;
      8. Discipline reports limited to objective information sufficient to produce the federal Title IV annual incident report;
      9. Remediation;
      10. Special education data; and
      11. Demographic data and program participation information; and
    3. Unless included in a student’s educational record, “student data” does not include:
      1. Juvenile delinquency records;
      2. Criminal records;
      3. Medical and health records;
      4. Student social security number; and
      5. Student biometric information;
  15. “Targeted advertising” means presenting advertisements to a student where advertisements are selected based on information obtained or inferred over time from that student's online behavior, usage of applications, or covered information. “Targeted advertising” does not include advertising to a student at an online location based upon that student's current visit to that location, or in response to that student's request for information or feedback, without the retention of that student's online activities or requests over time for the purpose of targeting subsequent advertisements; and
  16. “Teacher data” means personal summative and evaluation scores, the access to which is limited to the department, LEA administrators, local boards of education or those with direct supervisory authority who require such access to perform their assigned duties. Nothing in this part shall restrict the availability of information pursuant to § 49-1-606.

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 4; 2016, ch. 757, § 2.

Code Commission Notes.

Former part 7, §§ 49-1-70149-1-703, concerning the summer science enrichment pilot program, was deleted as obsolete by the code commission in 2009.

Compiler's Notes. For the preamble to the act concerning requirements for the adoption of educational standards and use of student data, please refer to Acts 2014, ch. 905.

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 11 provided that the state board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

For the Preamble to the act, which amended this section, concerning the need to address student privacy concerns relating to online services, please refer to Acts 2016, ch. 757.

Acts 2016, ch. 757, § 1 provided that the act, which amended this section, shall be known and may be cited as the “Student Online Personal Protection Act”.

Amendments. The 2016 amendment added the definitions of “Covered information”, “Interactive computer service”, “K-12 school”, “K-12 school purposes”, “Operator”, “Persistent unique identifier”, and “Targeted advertising”.

49-1-703. Duties of board.

The state board of education shall:

  1. Create, publish and make publicly available a data inventory and dictionary or index of data elements with definitions of individual student data fields currently in the student data system along with the purpose or reason for inclusion in the data system;
  2. Develop, publish and make publicly available policies and procedures to comply with FERPA, § 10-7-504 and other relevant privacy laws and policies. These policies and procedures shall, at a minimum, require that:
    1. Access to student and de-identified data in the student data system is restricted to:
      1. The authorized staff of the department and the department's contractors who require access to perform their assigned duties;
      2. LEA administrators, teachers, school personnel and the LEA's contractors who require access to perform their assigned duties;
      3. Students and their parents; provided, however, that a student or the student's parents may only access the student's individual data;
      4. The authorized staff of other state agencies as permitted by law; provided, however, that within sixty (60) days of providing such access, the department shall provide notice of the release to the state board, the education committee of the senate, and the education committee of the house of representatives, and post such notice on the department's website;
      5. Parties conducting research for or on behalf of the department or an LEA; provided, that such access is granted in compliance with FERPA and other relevant state and federal privacy laws and policies and that the department shall provide notice of the release to the state board, the education committee of the senate, and the education committee of the house of representatives, and post such notice on the department's website;
      6. Appropriate entities in compliance with a lawfully issued subpoena or court order; or
      7. Appropriate officials in connection with an interagency audit or evaluation of a federal or state supported education program;
    2. The department uses only aggregate data in public reports or in response to public record requests in accordance with subdivision (3);
      1. The commissioner develops criteria for the approval of research and data requests from state and local agencies, the general assembly, researchers and the public; provided, however, that:
  1. Unless otherwise approved by the state board or permitted in this part, student data maintained by the department shall remain confidential; and
  2. Unless otherwise permitted in this part or approved by the state board to release student or de-identified data in specific instances, the department may only use aggregate data in the release of data in response to research and data requests;
  3. A student registers for or takes a national or multistate assessment;
  4. A student voluntarily participates in a program for which such data transfer is a condition or requirement of participation;
  5. The department enters into a contract that governs databases, assessments, special education or instructional supports with an out-of-state vendor; or
  6. A student is classified as “migrant” for federal reporting purposes; and

Unless otherwise approved in this part or by the state board, the department shall not transfer student or de-identified data deemed confidential under subdivision (2)(C)(i)(a ) to any federal agency or other organization or entity outside the state, except when:

A student transfers out of state or an LEA seeks help with locating an out-of-state transfer;

A student leaves the state to attend an out-of-state institution of higher education or training program;

Students and parents are notified of their rights under federal and state law;

Develop a detailed data security plan that includes:

Guidelines for authorizing access to the teacher data system and to individual teacher data including guidelines for authentication of authorized access;

Guidelines for authorizing access to the student data system and to individual student data including guidelines for authentication of authorized access;

Privacy compliance standards;

Privacy and security audits;

Breach planning, notification and procedures; and

Data retention and disposition policies;

Ensure routine and ongoing compliance by the department with FERPA, § 10-7-504, other relevant privacy laws and policies, and the privacy and security policies and procedures developed under the authority of this part, including the performance of compliance audits;

Ensure that any contracts that govern databases, assessments or instructional supports that include student or de-identified data and are outsourced to private vendors include express provisions that safeguard privacy and security and include penalties for noncompliance; and

Notify the governor and the general assembly within sixty (60) days of the following:

Any new student data fields included in the state student data system;

Changes to existing data collections required for any reason, including changes to federal reporting requirements made by the United States department of education;

Any exceptions granted by the state board in the past year regarding the release or out-of-state transfer of student or de-identified data accompanied by an explanation of each exception; and

The results of any and all privacy compliance and security audits completed in the past year. Notifications regarding privacy compliance and security audits shall not include any information that would itself pose a security threat to the state or local student information systems or to the secure transmission of data between state and local systems by exposing vulnerabilities.

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 5; 2015, ch. 182, §§ 22, 23; 2019, ch. 345, § 83.

Code Commission Notes.

Former part 7, §§ 49-1-70149-1-703, concerning the summer science enrichment pilot program, was deleted as obsolete by the code commission in 2009.

Compiler's Notes. For the preamble to the act concerning requirements for the adoption of educational standards and use of student data, please refer to Acts 2014, ch. 905.

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 11 provided that the state board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

Cross-References. Confidentiality of public records, § 10-7-504.

49-1-704. Right of parents and guardians to inspect their children's educational records — Model student records policy for LEAs.

  1. Parents and guardians have the right to inspect and review their children's education records maintained by the school.
  2. Parents and guardians have the right to request student data specific to their children's educational records.
  3. LEAs shall provide parents or guardians with a copy of their children's educational records upon request.
    1. The department shall develop a model student records policy for LEAs that requires an LEA to:
      1. Annually notify parents and guardians of their right to request student information;
      2. Ensure security when providing student data to parents or guardians;
      3. Ensure student data is provided only to authorized individuals;
      4. Set the timeframe within which record requests must be provided; and
      5. Consider implementation of a plan to allow parents and guardians to view online, download, and transmit data specific to their children's educational records.
    2. The department shall develop the model student records policy by December 31, 2014. An LEA shall adopt the model policy or develop its own policy prior to the beginning of school for the 2015-2016 school year. Before implementing a policy other than the model policy, an LEA shall submit the policy to the department for approval.

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 6.

Code Commission Notes.

Former part 7, §§ 49-1-70149-1-703, concerning the summer science enrichment pilot program, was deleted as obsolete by the code commission in 2009.

Compiler's Notes. For the preamble to the act concerning requirements for the adoption of educational standards and use of student data, please refer to Acts 2014, ch. 905.

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 11 provided that the state board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

49-1-705. LEAS and schools not to collect certain individual student data.

LEAs and schools shall not collect individual student data on:

  1. Political affiliation;
  2. Religion;
  3. Voting history; and
  4. Firearms ownership.

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 7.

Code Commission Notes.

Former part 7, §§ 49-1-70149-1-703, concerning the summer science enrichment pilot program, was deleted as obsolete by the code commission in 2009.

Compiler's Notes. For the preamble to the act concerning requirements for the adoption of educational standards and use of student data, please refer to Acts 2014, ch. 905.

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 11 provided that the state board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

49-1-706. Written consent required prior to collection of certain individual student biometric data.

  1. Unless explicitly mandated by state or federal law, a state agency or educational institution shall obtain written consent from parents or students, in the case of students eighteen (18) years of age or older, before collecting any individual student biometric data, student data relative to analysis of facial expressions, EEG brain wave patterns, skin conductance, galvanic skin response, heart-rate variability, pulse, blood volume, posture, and eye-tracking.
  2. No state agency or educational institution shall pursue or accept any grant whether from the federal government or any private entity that requires collecting or reporting information in violation of subsection (a).
  3. No state or national student assessment shall be adopted or administered in this state that requires collecting or reporting information in violation of subsection (a).

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 8.

Code Commission Notes.

Former part 7, §§ 49-1-70149-1-703, concerning the summer science enrichment pilot program, was deleted as obsolete by the code commission in 2009.

Compiler's Notes. For the preamble to the act concerning requirements for the adoption of educational standards and use of student data, please refer to Acts 2014, ch. 905.

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 11 provided that the state board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

49-1-707. Status of collection of student data existing on July 1, 2014.

Any collection of student data by the department existing on July 1, 2014, shall not be considered a new student data collection in accordance with § 49-1-703(6)(A).

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 9.

Code Commission Notes.

Former part 7, §§ 49-1-70149-1-703, concerning the summer science enrichment pilot program, was deleted as obsolete by the code commission in 2009.

Compiler's Notes. For the preamble to the act concerning requirements for the adoption of educational standards and use of student data, please refer to Acts 2014, ch. 905.

Acts 2014, ch. 905, § 11 provided that the state board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

49-1-708. Student online personal protection act.

  1. An operator shall not knowingly:
    1. Engage in targeted advertising on the operator's site, service, or application, or target advertising on any other site, service, or application if the targeting of the advertising is based on any information, including covered information and persistent unique identifiers, that the operator has acquired because of the use of that operator's site, service, or application for K-12 school purposes;
    2. Use information, including persistent unique identifiers, created or gathered by the operator's site, service, or application, to amass a profile about a student except in furtherance of K-12 school purposes. As used in this subdivision (a)(2) and subdivision (d)(2), “amass a profile” does not include the collection and retention of account information that remains under the control of the student, the student's parent or guardian, or the K-12 school;
    3. Sell or rent a student's information, including covered information. This subdivision (a)(3) does not apply to the purchase, merger, or other type of acquisition of an operator by another entity, if the operator or successor entity complies with this section regarding previously acquired student information; or
    4. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d), disclose covered information unless the disclosure is made:
      1. In furtherance of the K-12 school purpose of the site, service, or application, if the recipient of the covered information disclosed under this subdivision (a)(4)(A) does not further disclose the information unless done to allow or improve operability and functionality of the operator's site, service, or application;
      2. To ensure legal and regulatory compliance or protect against liability;
      3. To respond to or participate in the judicial process;
      4. To protect the safety or integrity of users of the site or others or the security of the site, service, or application;
      5. For a school, educational, or employment purpose requested by the student or the student's parent or guardian; provided, that the information is not used or further disclosed for any other purpose; or
      6. To a third party, if the operator contractually prohibits the third party from using any covered information for any purpose other than providing the contracted service to or on behalf of the operator, prohibits the third party from disclosing any covered information provided by the operator with subsequent third parties, and requires the third party to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices.
  2. Nothing in subsection (a) shall prohibit the operator's use of information for maintaining, developing, supporting, improving, or diagnosing the operator's site, service, or application.
  3. An operator shall:
    1. Implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature of the covered information, designed to protect that covered information from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure; and
    2. Delete within a reasonable time period a student's covered information if the K-12 school or LEA requests deletion of covered information under the control of the K-12 school or LEA, unless a student or parent or legal guardian consents to the maintenance of the covered information.
  4. An operator may use or disclose covered information of a student:
    1. If federal or state law requires the operator to disclose the information, and the operator complies with the requirements of federal or state law in protecting and disclosing that information;
    2. For legitimate research purposes as required by state or federal law and subject to the restrictions under applicable state or federal law or as allowed by state or federal law and under the direction of a K-12 school, LEA, or the department of education, if covered information is not used for advertising or to amass a profile on the student for purposes other than K-12 school purposes; or
    3. To the department, an LEA, or a K-12 school for K-12 school purposes, as permitted by state or federal law.
  5. An operator is not prohibited from:
    1. Using covered information to improve educational products if that information is not associated with an identified student within the operator's site, service, or application or other sites, services, or applications owned by the operator;
    2. Using covered information that is not associated with an identified student to demonstrate the effectiveness of the operator's products or services, including in its marketing;
    3. Sharing covered information that is not associated with an identified student for the development and improvement of educational sites, services, or applications;
    4. Using recommendation engines to recommend to a student:
      1. Additional content relating to an educational, other learning, or employment opportunity purpose within an online site, service, or application if the recommendation is not determined in whole or in part by payment or other consideration from a third party; or
      2. Additional services relating to an educational, other learning, or employment opportunity purpose within an online site, service, or application if the recommendation is not determined in whole or in part by payment or other consideration from a third party; or
    5. Responding to a student's request for information or for feedback without the information or response being determined in whole or in part by payment or other consideration from a third party.
  6. This section does not:
    1. Limit the authority of a law enforcement agency to obtain any content or information from an operator as authorized by law or under a court order;
    2. Limit the ability of an operator to use student data, including covered information, for adaptive learning or customized student learning purposes;
    3. Apply to general audience internet websites, general audience online services, general audience online applications, or general audience mobile applications, even if login credentials created for an operator's site, service, or application may be used to access those general audience sites, services, or applications;
    4. Limit service providers from providing internet connectivity to schools or students and their families;
    5. Prohibit an operator of a website, online service, online application, or mobile application from marketing educational products directly to parents if the marketing did not result from the use of covered information obtained by the operator through the provision of services covered under this section;
    6. Impose a duty upon a provider of an electronic store, gateway, marketplace, or other means of purchasing or downloading software or applications to review or enforce compliance with this section on those applications or software;
    7. Impose a duty upon a provider of an interactive computer service to review or enforce compliance with this section by third-party content providers; or
    8. Prohibit students from downloading, exporting, transferring, saving, or maintaining their own student data or documents.
    1. Any violation of this section shall be construed to constitute an unfair or deceptive act or practice affecting the conduct of trade or commerce under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977, compiled in title 47, chapter 18, part 1, and shall be enforced solely by the attorney general and reporter in the attorney general's discretion. The attorney general and reporter shall have the authority to conduct civil investigations and bring civil actions, as provided in § 8-6-109 and title 8, chapter 6, part 4; and §§ 47-18-106 and 47-18-108.
    2. In an action brought by the attorney general under this chapter, the court may award or impose any relief available under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977.

Acts 2016, ch. 757, § 3.

Compiler’s Notes. For the Preamble to the act, which added this section, concerning the need to address student privacy concerns relating to online services, please refer to Acts 2016, ch. 757.

Acts 2016, ch. 757, § 1 provided that the act, which added this section, shall be known and may be cited as the “Student Online Personal Protection Act”.

Attorney General Opinions. In general, a district attorney turning over information to defense counsel pursuant to a mandate from the court will not be liable for the disclosure of confidential or privileged information. OAG 18-01, 2018 Tenn. AG LEXIS 1 (1/4/2018).

Part 8
Model Laboratory School Program [Repealed]

49-1-801. [Repealed.]

Acts 1993, ch. 434, § 1; repealed by 2018, ch. 725, § 25, effective April 18, 2018.Acts 1993, ch. 434, §§ 1-4; repealed by 2018, ch. 725, § 25, effective April 18, 2018.Acts 1993, ch. 434, § 1; repealed by 2018, ch. 725, § 25, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 8, §§ 49-1-80149-1-804, concerned the model laboratory school program.

49-1-802. [Repealed.]

Acts 1993, ch. 434, § 2; repealed by 2018, ch. 725, § 25, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 8, §§ 49-1-80149-1-804, concerned the model laboratory school program.

49-1-803. [Repealed.]

Acts 1993, ch. 434, § 3; repealed by 2018, ch. 725, § 25, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 8, §§ 49-1-80149-1-804, concerned the model laboratory school program.

49-1-804. [Repealed.]

Acts 1993, ch. 434, § 4; repealed by 2018, ch. 725, § 25, effective April 18, 2018.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 8, §§ 49-1-80149-1-804, concerned the model laboratory school program.

Part 9
Tennessee Literacy Initiative Act of 1999

49-1-901. Short title.

This part shall be known and may be cited as the “Tennessee Literacy Initiative Act of 1999.”

Acts 1999, ch. 130, § 1.

49-1-902. State policy.

It is the policy of this state that LEAs and the department of education move toward the goal of every public school student being able to read at an appropriate level before being promoted beyond the third grade.

Acts 1999, ch. 130, § 1.

49-1-903. [Reserved.]

The department of education shall identify schools with consistently low reading scores in kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) and assure that measures for improvement are addressed in the schools' improvement plans.

Acts 2000, ch. 911, § 1.

49-1-905. [Reserved.]

Acts 2000, ch. 911, § 1; repealed by Acts 2019, ch. 248, § 17, effective May 2, 2019.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 49-1-906 concerned the determination of funding for English as second language teachers and specialists.

49-1-907. Early grades reading report.

The department of education shall annually submit to the education committee of the senate and the education committee of the house of representatives an early grades reading report. The reading report must include:

  1. Statewide third grade reading scores;
  2. The testing procedures used to evaluate reading proficiency;
  3. The number of students retained in grades kindergarten through three (K-3);
  4. The number of reading specialists in each LEA;
  5. The types of reading intervention or enrichment programs offered in each LEA; and
  6. Information on statewide reading initiatives.

Acts 2000, ch. 911, § 1; 2001, ch. 250, § 1; 2011, ch. 410, § 4(h), (i); 2013, ch. 236, § 26; 2015, ch. 182, §§ 24, 25; 2019, ch. 248, § 18.

Compiler's Notes. For the Preamble to the act concerning the prohibition against establishment of a special committee if there is a standing committee on the same subject, please refer to Acts 2011, ch. 410.

Acts 2019, ch. 345, § 84 purported to amend this section, effective May 10, 2019; however, Acts 2019, ch. 248, § 18 had previously rewritten the  section, effective May 2, 2019. Acts 2019, ch. 345, § 84 was not given effect.

Cross-References. Definition of LEA, § 49-3-302.

Part 10
Connie Hall Givens Coordinated School Health Improvement Act

49-1-1001. Short title.

This part shall be known and may be cited as the “Connie Hall Givens Coordinated School Health Improvement Act.”

Acts 2000, ch. 554, § 2; 2010, ch. 764, § 1.

49-1-1002. Guidelines and standards — Requirements.

  1. The commissioner of education, in consultation with the department of health and in accordance with its duties under title 68, chapter 1, part 12, shall develop guidelines based on the federal centers for disease control and prevention model for the implementation of a coordinated school health program. It is the intent that these guidelines serve as a model for LEAs in addressing the health needs of their students and improving student opportunities for academic achievement. Components of a coordinated school health program shall include, but not be limited to, health services, health education, school nutrition services, physical education, healthy school environment, school counseling, school psychological and social services, staff health and wellness, and family and community involvement to enhance student health. In formulating this program, the commissioner shall consider existing local school/local health departments and community collaborations to promote and support student health and wellness, as well as other state and local programs and initiatives in this area.
  2. In developing the guidelines and standards, the following components must be included, notwithstanding the fact that the centers for disease control model for the implementation of a coordinated school health program contains such requirements:
    1. [Former] Section 49-6-1005(a) and the family life curriculum contained in chapter 6, part 13 of this title shall continue to be observed;
    2. A parent shall have the same right to exempt that parent's child from participation as provided for in [former] §§ 49-6-1005(a) and 49-6-1303; and
    3. To the extent permitted by state or federal law, any aspect of family planning or contraception shall be governed by § 68-1-1205 and the policies set by the local boards of education.

Acts 2000, ch. 554, § 3.

Compiler's Notes. Former §§ 49-6-1005 and 49-6-1303, referred to in this section, were repealed by Acts 2012, ch. 973, §§ 1 and 2, respectively, effective July 1, 2012.

49-1-1003. State grant program.

  1. Subject to available funding, the department of education shall establish the Connie Hall Givens coordinated school health grant program to assist LEAs in implementing a coordinated school health program. In order to qualify for a coordinated school health grant, an LEA shall submit a detailed plan of how the agency currently addresses the health needs of school children, who would serve as school health coordinator, and how the agency would use the state grant to augment what it is currently doing.
  2. The plan shall give priority to school health as a means to assist in meeting the education performance indicators of § 49-1-211(a)(3). The plan shall be developed in accordance with the guidelines for a coordinated school health program developed by the commissioner. In developing the guidelines for the program, the commissioner is requested to consult with appropriate organizations involved in the areas of student health, health care and fitness. The guidelines and any proposed forms for applications shall be offered to the education committee of the senate and the education committee of the house of representatives for review and comment. Copies of local education plans may be offered to the education committee of the senate and the education committee of the house of representatives for informational purposes. The goal of the grant program shall be to help the LEAs establish a bona fide coordinated school health program that improves the overall health and wellness of students.
  3. The annual report on school health to the governor and general assembly required by § 49-50-1602(a)(4) shall include information on progress toward the goal.

Acts 2000, ch. 554, § 4; 2010, ch. 764, § 2; 2011, ch. 410, § 4(j); 2015, ch. 182, § 26; 2019, ch. 345, § 85.

Compiler's Notes. For the Preamble to the act concerning the prohibition against establishment of a special committee if there is a standing committee on the same subject, please refer to Acts 2011, ch. 410.

Cross-References. Reporting requirement satisfied by notice to general assembly members of publication of report, § 3-1-114.

49-1-1004. Amount and availability of funds.

  1. The amount in the Connie Hall Givens coordinated school health grant program shall be limited to the amount appropriated and shall be available to LEAs based on the guidelines developed by the commissioner of education.
  2. The amount that each LEA is eligible to receive shall be subject to a local match, following the funding model set forth in § 49-6-4302(d).
  3. Any grants made to an LEA shall be expended in addition to any funds already expended as school health programs. For this purpose, expenditures of components enumerated in § 49-1-1002 for the 1998-1999 fiscal year shall be considered the base expenditure on school health, and any LEA receiving grant funds shall maintain this base.

Acts 2000, ch. 554, § 5; 2010, ch. 764, § 3; 2019, ch. 154, § 2.

49-1-1005. Authorized uses for funds.

  1. State grants are only for coordination and improvement of school health programs in accordance with the detailed plan submitted in accordance with § 49-1-1003.
  2. The department of education and the department of health shall coordinate existing school health programs, grants and initiatives. To the extent possible in light of existing contracts and waiver requirements, funding, including TennCare funding, shall likewise be coordinated. Schools should be encouraged and permitted to perform health screening services under TennCare contracts.

Acts 2000, ch. 554, § 6.

49-1-1006. Funds subject to audit.

The use of grant funds shall be subject to audit by the office of the comptroller of the treasury.

Acts 2000, ch. 554, § 7.

49-1-1007. Report — Publication.

By July 1, 2017, and each July 1 thereafter, the department shall provide a report to the education committee of the senate and the education committee of the house of representatives, regarding the physical education programs and activity for each LEA. The department shall publish the report on the department's website. Upon the release of the report, the department shall encourage each school to use the results of the report and comparison to other schools in helping develop the school's overall wellness plan. In compiling the data used in the report, the department may use assessments developed by a nationally recognized nonprofit heart association.

Acts 2016, ch. 706, § 1; 2019, ch. 345, § 86.

Part 11
Child Care Programs

49-1-1101. Approval of certain child care programs by commissioner.

  1. The commissioner of education, acting through the commissioner's authorized agents and pursuant to regulations of the state board of education that are adopted pursuant to § 49-1-302(i), shall be responsible for inspecting and approving those child care programs subject to the state board's jurisdiction pursuant to § 49-1-302(i).
  2. The commissioner has the authority to issue certificates of approval from the department of education for those child care programs that meet the child care standards of the board, and the commissioner shall be responsible for enforcing the board's standards for such programs.

Acts 2000, ch. 981, § 41.

49-1-1102. Part definitions.

As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Care giver,” “care givers,” “care provider” or “care providers” means the person, persons, entity or entities directly responsible for providing for the supervision, protection and basic needs of the child;
  2. “Child care” means the provision of supervision, protection and, at a minimum, the basic needs of a child or children for three (3) or more hours a day, but less than twenty-four (24) hours a day. Care for a child of twenty-four (24) hours duration is “residential child care,” which is licensed by the department of children's services pursuant to title 37, chapter 5, part 5. The department of human services licenses “child care agencies” providing child care in “child care centers,” “group child care homes” or “family child care homes” as defined in § 71-3-501;
  3. “Child care program” means any place or facility operated by any person or entity that provides child care for children in a before or after school based program operated by a local board of education pursuant to § 49-2-203(b)(11), a public school administered early childhood education program, a church affiliated program operated pursuant to § 49-50-801, or a federally funded early childhood education program such as a Title I program, a school-administered head start or an even start program, state-approved Montessori school programs and a program operated by a private school as defined by § 49-6-3001(c)(3)(A)(iii);
  4. “Child or children” means a person or persons under eighteen (18) years of age;
  5. “Commissioner” means the chief administrative officer in charge of the department of education; and
  6. “Department” means the department of education.

Acts 2000, ch. 981, § 42; 2002, ch. 766, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2002, ch. 766, § 3 provided that any funds or personnel currently involved in the regulation of schools covered by the provisions of that act shall be transferred from the department of human services to the department of education in accordance with an agreement between the commissioners of human services and education.

49-1-1103. Basis for approval — Regulations — Certificate application — Temporary certificate — Non-transferability of certificate — Transfer of operation to circumvent approval laws or regulations — Issuance of extended certificate.

    1. All persons or entities operating a child care program must be certified by the department of education as provided by this part.
      1. The state board of education has authority to issue regulations pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5, for the issuance of certificates of approval of any persons or entities subject to this part and enforcement of appropriate standards for the health, safety and welfare of children in their care.
      2. To the extent not inconsistent with this part, the regulations of the department that are in effect on July 1, 2000, shall remain in force and effect until modified by regulatory action of the department.
    2. The state board of education's regulations of child care programs shall be developed and the continued approval of the certification status of a child care program shall be based upon the following criteria:
      1. The safety, welfare and best interests of the children in the care of the program;
      2. The capability, training and character of the persons providing or supervising the care to the children;
      3. The quality of the methods of care and instruction provided for the children;
      4. The suitability of the facilities provided for the care of the children; and
      5. The adequacy of the methods of administration and the management of the child care program, the program's personnel policies and the financing of the program.
    1. The department shall assist applicants or certificate holders in meeting the child care standards of the department, unless the circumstances demonstrate that further assistance is not compatible with the continued safety, health or welfare of the child in the program's care and that disapproval of the program's certificate is warranted.
    2. If a certificate holder is denied the renewal of a certificate or if the certificate is revoked, or if any applicant for a certificate cannot meet the standards, then the department shall offer reasonable assistance to the parents, guardians or custodians of the child in the planning for the placement of the child in other child care programs, in licensed child care agencies or in other suitable care.
  1. Application for a certificate to operate a child care program shall be made in writing to the department in the manner that the department determines.
    1. If the department determines that the applicant has presented satisfactory evidence that the facility that is proposed for the care of children has received fire safety and environmental safety approval, that the applicant and the personnel who will care for the children are capable in all substantial respects to care for the children and that the applicant has the ability and intent to comply with the certificate of approval law and regulations, the department shall issue a temporary certificate of approval to the applicant.
      1. The purpose of the temporary certificate is to permit the certificate applicant to demonstrate to the department that it has complied with all approval laws and regulations applicable to its classification prior to issuance of an initial annual certificate of approval.
      2. If the department determines that the conditions of the applicant's facility, its methods of care or other circumstances warrant, it may issue a restricted certificate that limits the program's authority in one (1) or more areas of operation.
      3. Within ninety (90) days of the issuance of the temporary certificate, the department shall determine if the applicant has complied with all regulations governing the classification of the child care program for which the application was made.
    2. The department may extend the temporary certificate for a period of forty-five (45) days if the department determines that the applicant has clearly demonstrated that it intends to, and will be able to, achieve compliance with all approval laws and regulations within the forty-five-day extension period and if the safety and welfare of the children in care of the applicant are not compromised by the extension.
        1. If the department determines that the applicant for any certificate of approval has complied with all licensing regulations for the classification of child care program for which application was made, the department shall issue an annual certificate of approval.
        2. If the department determines that the conditions of the applicant's facility, its methods of care or other circumstances warrant, it may issue a restricted certificate that limits the agency's authority in one (1) or more areas of operation.
      1. The certificate holder shall post the certificate in a clearly visible location as determined by the department so the parents or other persons visiting the program can readily view the certificate and all of the information on the certificate.
        1. The certificate shall describe the ownership or controlling entity of the child care program, the person who is charged with the day-to-day management of the child care program, and, if the program is owned by a person other than the director or if the program is under the ownership, direction or control of any person or entity who is not also the on-site director or manager of the program, the certificate shall also state the corporate or other name of the controlling person or entity, its address and telephone number where the parents, guardians or custodians may have contact regarding the program's operations.
        2. If the child care program is operated by a public school or a private nonprofit entity and is subject to the control or direction of a school board, or board of directors or other oversight authority, the certificate shall list the name, address and telephone number of the administrative officer in charge of the program or the administrative officer's designee or, if the child care program is not operated by a school system, the chair of the board or other chief executive officer of such controlling body.
    3. In granting any certificate, the department may limit the total number of children who may be enrolled in the program, regardless of the program's physical capacity or the size of its staff.
    4. If the department fails to issue or deny an annual certificate or extend the temporary certificate within ninety (90) days of the granting of the temporary certificate, the temporary certificate shall continue in effect, unless suspended, as provided in § 49-1-1107, until such determination is made. If an annual certificate of approval is denied following the issuance of a temporary certificate of approval, and if a timely appeal is made of the denial of the annual certificate of approval, the temporary certificate of approval shall remain in effect, unless suspended, until the advisory council renders a decision regarding the denial of the annual certificate of approval.
    5. If a temporary certificate is denied, or if an annual certificate is denied or restricted, the applicant may appeal the denial or restriction as provided in § 49-1-1107.
    1. Except as provided in this subsection (e), no certificate for a child care program shall be transferable, and the transfer by sale or lease, or in any other manner, of the operation of the program to any other person or entity shall void the existing certificate immediately and any pending appeal involving the status of the certificate and the program shall be required to close immediately. If the transferee has made application for and is granted a temporary certificate, the program may continue operation under the direction of the new certificate holder. The new certificate holder in such circumstances may not be the transferor or any person or entity acting on behalf of the transferor.
    2. If the department determines that any person or entity has transferred nominal control of a program to any persons or entities who are determined by the department to be acting on behalf of the purported transferor in order to circumvent a history of violations of the certificate law or regulations or to otherwise attempt to circumvent the certificate law or regulations or any prior certificate actions instituted by the department, the department may deny the issuance of any certificate to the applicant. The denial of the certificate may be appealed as provided in § 49-1-1107.
      1. The certificate of any program shall not be voided nor shall any pending appeal be voided pursuant to this subsection (e) solely for the reason that the program is subject to judicial orders directing the transfer of control or management of a child care program or its certificate to any receiver, trustee, administrator or executor of an estate, or any similarly situated person or entity.
      2. If the current certificate holder dies, and provided that no certificate violations require the suspension, denial or revocation of the agency's certificate, the department may grant family members of the certificate holder, or administrators or executors of the certificate holder, a temporary certificate to continue operation for a period of ninety (90) days. At the end of such period, the department shall determine whether an annual or extended certificate should be granted to a new certificate holder as otherwise provided in this section.
      3. Nothing in this subsection (e) shall be construed to prevent the department from taking any regulatory or judicial action as may be required pursuant to the certificate laws and regulations that may be necessary to protect the children in the care of such program.
    1. Following the expiration of at least one (1) annual certificate, the department may issue an extended certificate to a certificate holder who seeks renewal of an existing certificate, if the department determines that the certificate holder has demonstrated that its methods of child care and its adherence to laws and regulations governing certificates for child care programs are clearly appropriate to justify an extended certificate period. An extended certificate of approval may not be granted as the first certificate immediately following any temporary certificate of approval.
    2. The department may by rule establish any criteria for the issuance of an extended certificate; provided, that no extended certificate shall exceed three (3) years' duration.
    3. At the time renewal of the certificate is sought, or at any other time during the certificate period, the department may reduce the period of the extended certificate to a shorter period if it determines that the certificate holder has failed to demonstrate continued adherence to the requirements for the issuance of the extended certificate. The certificate holder may appeal such action as provided in § 49-1-1107.
    4. The issuance of an extended certificate shall not be construed in any manner to prevent the department from suspending or revoking the certificate, or placing a child care program on probation, if it determines that such action is appropriate.

Acts 2000, ch. 981, § 43.

49-1-1104. Injunctions against unapproved operations.

  1. The department may, in accordance with the laws of this state governing injunctions, maintain an action in the name of the state to enjoin any person, partnership, association, corporation or other entity from establishing, conducting, managing or operating any place or facility providing services to children without having a certificate as required by law, or from continuing to operate any such place or facility following suspension of a certificate or following the effective date of the denial or revocation of a certificate.
  2. In charging any defendant in a complaint for injunction, it shall be sufficient to charge that the defendant did, upon a certain day and in a certain county, establish, conduct, manage or operate a place, home or facility of any kind that is a child care program as defined in this part or to charge that the defendant is about to do so without having in effect a certificate as required by law, or that the defendant continues to operate any such place or facility following suspension of a certificate, or following the effective date of the denial or revocation of a certificate, without averring any further or more particular facts concerning the case. Refusal to obey the inspection order may be punished as contempt.

Acts 2000, ch. 981, § 44.

Cross-References. Contempt of court, title 29, ch. 9.

49-1-1105. Criminal violations.

  1. Any person or entity operating a child care program without being certified by the department or who continues to operate such program while a suspension of the certificate is in effect, or who operates a child care program following the effective date of a denial or revocation of a certificate, commits a Class A misdemeanor.
  2. Each day of operation without an effective certificate constitutes a separate offense.
    1. It is unlawful for any person who is an operator, certificate holder or employee of a child care program to make any statement, whether written or verbal, to a parent or guardian of a child in the care of such program, to any state or local official having jurisdiction over such program, or to any law enforcement officer, knowing the statement is false, including, but not limited to, statements regarding:
      1. The number of children in the child care program;
      2. The area of the child care program used for child care; or
      3. The credentials, licensure or qualification of any care giver, employee, substitute or volunteer of the child care program.
    2. In order for subdivision (c)(1) to apply, the falsity of the statement must place at risk the health or safety of a child in the care of the child care program.
    3. A violation of subdivision (c)(1) is a Class A misdemeanor.
    4. This subsection (c) includes statements made in any child care program certificate application that misrepresents or conceals a material fact that would have resulted in the certificate being denied.
    5. In addition to any punishment authorized under this subsection (c), the department may also take any certificate action authorized under this part.

Acts 2000, ch. 981, § 45.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class A misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

49-1-1106. Inspection of persons or entities providing child care.

  1. It is the duty of the department, through its duly authorized agents, to inspect at regular intervals, without previous notice, all child care programs or suspected child care programs.
    1. The department is given the right of entrance, privilege of inspection, access to accounts, records and information regarding the whereabouts of children under care for the purpose of determining the kind and quality of the care provided to the children and to obtain a proper basis for its decisions and recommendations.
    2. If refused entrance for inspection of a certified or suspected child care program, the chancery or circuit court of the county where the approved or suspected child care program may be located may issue an immediate ex parte order permitting the department's inspection upon a showing of probable cause, and the court may direct any law enforcement officer to aid the department in executing the order and inspection. Refusal to obey the inspection order may be punished as contempt.
    3. Except where court orders prohibit or otherwise limit access, parents or other caretakers of children in the care of a child care program certified pursuant to this part shall be permitted to visit and inspect the facilities and observe the methods for the care of their children at any time during which the children are in the care of the program and, except those records of other children and their parents or caretakers, shall further be permitted to inspect any records of the program that are not privileged, or are not otherwise confidential, as provided by law or regulation, and the parents' or caretakers' access for these purposes shall not be purposely denied by the program.
  2. Any violation of the rights given in this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Acts 2000, ch. 981, § 46.

Cross-References. Confidentiality of public records, § 10-7-504.

Contempt of court, title 29, ch. 9.

Penalty for Class A misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

49-1-1107. Investigation of complaints regarding violations — Probation — Appeal procedures — Orders of assessment — Civil penalties, suspension, denial, and revocation of certificates.

  1. If any complaint is made to the department concerning any alleged violation of the laws or regulations governing a child care program, the department shall investigate the complaint and shall take such action as it deems necessary to protect the children in the care of the program.
    1. If, during the certificate period, the department determines that a child care program is not in compliance with the laws or regulations governing its operation, and if after reasonable written notice to the program of the violation, the department determines that the violation remains uncorrected, the department may place the certified program on probation for a definite period of not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days as determined by the department, and the department shall require the posting by the program of the notice of probation. The department shall provide the program a written basis describing the violation of the certificate rules that support the basis for the probationary status.
      1. If placed on probation, the program shall immediately post a copy of the probation notice, together with a list provided by the department of the violations that were the basis for the probation, in a conspicuous place as directed by the department and with the program's certificate, and the program shall immediately notify in writing the custodians of each of the children in its care of the program's status, the basis for the probation and of the program's right to an informal review of the probationary status.
      2. If the program requests an informal review within two (2) business days of the imposition of probation, either verbally or in writing, to the department's program staff that imposed the probation, the department shall informally review the probationary status by a child care program staff person or other designee who was not involved in the decision to impose the probation. The program may submit any written or oral statements as argument to the child care program staff person or designee within five (5) business days of the imposition of the probation. Written and oral statements may be received by any available electronic means. The child care program staff person or designee shall render a decision in writing upholding, modifying or lifting the probationary status within seven (7) business days of the imposition of the probation.
    2. If the child care program staff person or designee did not lift the probation under subdivision (b)(2)(B), the program may also appeal such action in writing to the commissioner within five (5) business days of the receipt of the notice of the child care program staff's or designee's decision regarding the program's probationary status as determined in subdivision (b)(2)(B). If timely appealed, the department shall conduct an administrative hearing pursuant to the contested case provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5, part 3, concerning the department's action within fifteen (15) business days of receipt of the appeal, and shall render a decision in writing within seven (7) business days following conclusion of the hearing. The hearing officer may uphold, modify or lift the probation.
    3. This subsection (b) shall be discretionary with the department, and shall not be a prerequisite to any certificate action, to impose a civil penalty or to suspend, deny or revoke a certificate of a child care program.
    1. If the department determines that there exists any violation with respect to any person or entity required to be approved pursuant to this part, the department may assess a civil penalty against such person or entity for each separate violation of a statute, rule or order pertaining to such person or entity in an amount ranging from fifty dollars ($50.00) for minor violations up to a maximum of one thousand dollars ($1,000) for major violations or violations resulting in death or injury to a child as defined in the rules of the department. Each day of continued violation constitutes a separate violation.
    2. The department shall by rule establish a graduated schedule of civil penalties designating the minimum and maximum civil penalties that may be assessed pursuant to this subsection (c). In developing the graduated civil penalty procedure, the following factors may be considered:
      1. Whether the amount imposed will be a substantial economic deterrent to the violator;
      2. The circumstances leading to the violation and the program's history of violations;
      3. The extent of deviation from the statutes, rules or orders governing the operation of the child care program, the severity of the violation, including specifically the level of risk of harm to the children in care of the person or entity caused by the violation, and the penalty may be further classified based upon whether the violation resulted in the issuance of an order of summary suspension, denial or revocation of the certificate of the program and whether death or injury of a child occurred as a result of violation;
      4. The economic benefits gained by the violator as a result of noncompliance;
      5. The program's efforts to comply with the licensing requirements; and
      6. The interest of the public.
    3. The department shall assess the civil penalty in an order that states the reasons for the assessment of the civil penalty, the factors used to determine its assessment and the amount of the penalty.
    4. The order may be served on the certificate holder personally by an authorized agent of the department who shall complete an affidavit of service, or the order may be served by certified mail, return receipt requested.
    5. The certificate holder may appeal the penalty to the child care advisory council by filing a request for an appeal in writing with the commissioner within ten (10) days of the service of the order.
      1. Civil penalties assessed pursuant to this subsection (c) shall become final ten (10) days after the date an order of assessment is served if not timely appealed, or, if timely appealed, within seven (7) days following entry of the child care advisory council's order unless the order is stayed.
      2. If the violator fails to pay an assessment when it becomes final, the department may apply to the chancery court for a judgment and seek execution of the judgment.
      3. Jurisdiction for recovery of such penalties shall be in the Chancery Court of Davidson County.
    6. All sums recovered pursuant to this subsection (c) shall be paid into the state treasury, but shall be earmarked to be used by the department exclusively to improve child care quality in this state by funding activities that include, but are not limited to, child care provider training activities, but excluding any costs associated with conducting criminal background checks.
    7. The provisions of this subsection (c) relative to civil penalties shall be discretionary with the department, and shall not be a prerequisite to any certificate action to suspend, deny or revoke a certificate of a child care program. Civil penalties may also be imposed in conjunction with the probation, suspension, denial or revocation of a certificate.
    1. If the department determines that any applicant for a conditional certificate or for the renewal of an existing certificate has failed to attain, or an existing certificate holder has failed to maintain, compliance with certificate laws or regulations after reasonable notice of such failure and a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate compliance with certificate laws or regulations, the department may deny the application for the new or renewed certificate or may revoke the existing certificate; provided, that the department at any time may deny a conditional certificate if the applicant fails to meet the initial requirements for its issuance; and provided, further, if the department determines that repeated or serious violations of certificate laws or regulations warrant the denial or revocation of the certificate, then, notwithstanding any provisions of § 4-5-320 or this subsection (d) to the contrary, the department may seek denial or revocation of the certificate regardless of the program's demonstration of compliance either before or after the notice of denial of the application or after notice of the revocation.
    2. Notwithstanding § 4-5-320, the notice of denial or revocation may be served personally by an authorized representative of the department who shall verify service of the notice by affidavit, or the notice may be served by certified mail, return receipt requested.
    3. If application for the temporary, annual or extended certificate is denied or if an existing certificate is revoked, the applicant may appeal the denial or revocation by requesting in writing to the department a hearing before the child care advisory council within ten (10) days of the personal delivery or mailing date of the notice of denial or revocation. Failure to timely appeal shall result in the expiration of any existing certificate immediately upon the expiration of the time for appeal.
    4. The hearing upon the denial or revocation shall be heard by the child care advisory council within thirty (30) days of the date of service of the notice of denial or revocation; provided, that, for good cause as stated in an order entered on the record, the council or the administrative law judge may continue the hearing. In order to protect the children in the care of the program from any risk to their health, safety and welfare, the council or administrative law judge shall reset the hearing at the earliest date that circumstances permit.
      1. If timely appeal is made, pending the hearing upon the denial or revocation, the child care program may continue to operate pending the decision of the council unless the certificate is summarily suspended as provided in subsection (e).
      2. The council, as part of its decision regarding the status of the applicant's application for a certificate or the certificate holder's certificate, may direct that the child care program be allowed to operate on a probationary or conditional status, or may grant or continue the certificate with any restrictions or conditions on the program's authority to provide care.
    1. Subject to this subsection (e), if the department determines at any time that the health, safety or welfare of the children in care of the child care program imperatively requires emergency action, and incorporates a finding to that effect in its order, summary suspension of the certificate may be ordered by the department pending any further proceedings for revocation, denial or other action. If the department determines that revocation or denial of the certificate is warranted following suspension, those proceedings shall be promptly instituted and determined as authorized by this part.
    2. The department shall set forth with specificity in its order the legal and factual basis for its decision stating in the order the specific laws or regulations that were violated by the program, and shall state with specificity in the order the reasons that the issuance of the order of summary suspension is necessary to adequately protect the health, safety or welfare of children in the care of the child care program. Summary suspension may be ordered in circumstances that have resulted in death, injury or harm to a child or that have posed or threatened to pose a serious and immediate threat of harm or injury to a child based upon the intentional or negligent failure to comply with licensing laws or regulations.
    3. In issuing an order of summary suspension of a certificate the department shall use, at a minimum, the following procedures:
      1. The department shall proceed with the summary suspension of the program's certificate and shall notify the certificate holder of the opportunity for an informal hearing within three (3) business days of the issuance of the order of summary suspension before the department;
      2. The notice provided to the certificate holder may be provided by any reasonable means and, consistent with subdivision (e)(2), shall inform the certificate holder of the reasons for the action or intended action by the department and of the opportunity for an informal hearing as permitted by subdivision (e)(3)(C);
      3. The informal hearing described by this subdivision (e)(3) shall not be required to be held under the contested case provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled at title 4, chapter 5, part 3. The hearing is intended to provide an informal, reasonable opportunity for the certificate holder to present to the hearing official the certificate holder's version of the circumstances leading to the suspension order. The sole issues to be considered are whether the public health, safety or welfare imperatively required emergency action by the department and what, if any, corrective measures have been taken by the child care agency following the violation of licensing laws or regulations and prior to the issuance of the order of summary suspension that eliminate the danger to the health, safety or welfare of the children in the care of the agency. The hearing official may lift, modify or continue the order of summary suspension; and
      4. Subsequent to the hearing on the summary suspension, the department may proceed with revocation or denial of the certificate or other action as authorized by this part, regardless of the decision concerning summary suspension of the certificate.
    4. The department shall by rule establish any further necessary criteria that it determines are required for the determination of circumstances that warrant imposition of the summary suspension order and any other necessary procedures for implementation of the summary suspension process.
    5. If the conditions existing in the child care program present an immediate threat to the health, safety or welfare of the children in care, the department may also seek a temporary restraining order from the chancery or circuit court of the county in which the child care program is located seeking immediate closure of the program to prevent further harm or threat of harm to the children in care, or immediate restraint against any violations of the certificate laws or regulations that are harming or that threaten harm to the children in care. The department may seek any further injunctive relief as permitted by law in order to protect children from the violations, or threatened violations of the certificate laws or regulations. The use of injunctive relief as provided by this subdivision (e)(5) may be used as an alternative, or supplementary measure, to the issuance of an order of summary suspension or any other administrative proceeding.
    1. In determining whether to deny, revoke or summarily suspend a certificate, the department may choose to deny, revoke or suspend only certain authority of the certificate holder to operate and may permit the certificate holder to continue operation, but may restrict or modify the certificate holder's authority to provide certain services or perform certain functions, including, but not limited to transportation or food service, enrollment of children at the program, the program's hours of operation, the program's use of certain parts of the program's physical facilities or any other function of the child care program that the department determines should be restricted or modified to protect the health, safety or welfare of the children. The child care advisory council, in considering the actions to be taken regarding the certificate, may likewise restrict a certificate or place whatever conditions on the certificate and the certificate holder it deems appropriate for the protection of children in the care of the program.
    2. The actions by the department or the council authorized by subdivision (f)(1) may be appealed as otherwise provided in this part for any denial, revocation or suspension.
    1. When an application for a certificate has been denied, or a certificate has been revoked, on one (1) occasion, the child care program may not reapply for a certificate for a period of one (1) year from the effective date of the denial or revocation order if not appealed, or, if appealed, from the effective date of the council's or reviewing court's order.
    2. If application for a certificate has been denied, or a certificate has been revoked, on two (2) occasions, the child care program may not reapply for a certificate for a period of two (2) years from the effective date of the denial or revocation if not appealed or, if appealed, from the effective date of the council's or reviewing court's order.
    3. If an application for a certificate has been denied, or a certificate has been revoked on three (3) occasions, the child care program shall not receive another certificate for the care of children.
    4. No person who served as full or part owner or as director or as a member of the management of a child care program shall receive a certificate to operate a child care program if that person participated in such capacity in a child care program that has been denied a certificate, or that had a certificate revoked, on three (3) occasions.
      1. The time restrictions of subdivisions (g)(1) and (2) may be waived by the child care advisory council in the hearing in which the denial or revocation is sustained, or, if requested by the former certificate holder in writing to the commissioner, in a separate subsequent hearing before the child care advisory council or, in the discretion of the commissioner, upon review by the commissioner.
      2. The program must show to the council's or the commissioner's satisfaction that the program has corrected the deficiencies that led to the denial or revocation, and that the child care program can demonstrate that it has the present and future ability, and is willing, to maintain compliance with certificate laws or regulations. The decision of the council or the commissioner shall be reduced to an order, which shall be a final order pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5, part 3, and may be appealed pursuant to § 4-5-322.
      3. No waiver may be granted for any permanent restriction that has been imposed pursuant to subdivision (g)(3).
    1. In conducting hearings before the child care advisory council on the appeal of the denial or revocation of a certificate or for review of summary suspension orders, it is the legislative intent that such hearings be promptly determined consistent with the safety of the children in the care of the child care program appealing the department's certificate action and with the due process rights of the certificate applicants or certificate holders.
    2. If, however, the administrative procedures division of the office of the secretary of state certifies by letter to the recording secretary of the child care advisory council that the division's contested case docket prevents the scheduling of a hearing on the appeal of a denial or revocation of a certificate before the child care advisory council within the initial time frames set forth in this part, then the department shall have the authority to appoint a hearing officer to conduct the proceedings before the council. The substitute hearing officer shall have all authority as an administrative law judge of the department of state. The hearing may be continued by order of the council for the purpose of obtaining a substitute hearing officer.
    3. Hearings on summary suspension orders shall be heard by a hearing officer of the department. Such hearing officer shall have authority, as otherwise permitted in this section, to enter orders binding on the department resulting from show cause hearings involving summary suspension orders.
  2. Rules shall be promulgated pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

Acts 2000, ch. 981, § 47.

49-1-1108. Annual report.

  1. Each child care program shall submit to the commissioner an annual report.
  2. The report shall consist of:
    1. Identification information;
    2. Current enrollment figures;
    3. Self-reporting on mandatory regulations;
    4. Current certification status; and
    5. Additional information as determined by the department.
  3. Any entity not completing the annual report by October 1, shall receive notice of such failure and, if the report is not filed within thirty (30) days of the date of mailing of the notice, the certificate of approval shall be suspended immediately, pending receipt of the report.

Acts 2000, ch. 981, § 48.

49-1-1109. Collaboration with department of human services for training — Funding and technical assistance.

  1. The departments of education and human services shall collaborate regarding the following areas relative to child care:
    1. Access to appropriate training opportunities that are provided through the Tennessee early childhood training alliance;
    2. Representation in committees and work groups that are responsible for planning funding allocations for child care development block grant funds;
    3. Recognition of department of education programs on the department of human services' resource and referral system;
    4. Eligibility of department of education-monitored programs for child care certificate funds;
    5. Dual access to child care provider data in order to maintain the current status of child care service broker information;
    6. The planning and coordination of annual meetings between staff of the child care services division of the department of human services and the department of education for the purpose of advancing the quality of child care in this state;
    7. Access to training and technical assistance from the child care resource center; and
    8. Training that might be developed through any of the child care programs monitored by the department of education.
  2. The department of education shall require departmental employees who conduct on-site inspections of child care programs to periodically participate in the training activities conducted by the department of human services for inspectors of that department's child care programs.

Acts 2000, ch. 981, § 49.

Part 12
Tennessee Educators Protection Act

49-1-1201. Short title.

This part shall be known and may be cited as the “Tennessee Educators Protection Act.”

Acts 2017, ch. 407, § 1.

49-1-1202. Legislative findings — Applicability.

The general assembly finds that ensuring the quality of elementary and secondary education in Tennessee is a compelling state interest. The filing of meritless litigation against teachers, administrators, and other school employees interferes with the quality of public and private education, particularly where the litigation arises out of the good faith efforts of educators to maintain classroom discipline or to address threats to student safety. Meritless litigation also diverts a school's financial and personnel resources to litigation defense activities, which reduces the availability of those resources for educational opportunities for students. The general assembly finds that legislation to deter the filing of meritless litigation and to sanction deliberately false reports levied against educators is a rational and appropriate method to serve this compelling state interest. This part is intended to reflect and expand upon federal educator protection statutes. This part does not apply to public or private educators who have been convicted of a crime or who have been terminated for misconduct.

Acts 2017, ch. 407, § 1.

49-1-1203. Part definitions.

As used in this part:

  1. “Educational entity” means the state board of education, department of education, and any other body, board, or agency that governs a public or private elementary or secondary school, and includes, but is not limited to, local education agencies and local boards of education; and
  2. “Employee” means:
    1. An individual who is elected or appointed to an educational entity;
    2. An individual who is an employee of an educational entity or who provides student-related services to an educational entity on a contractual basis; or
    3. An authorized volunteer who provides student-related services to an educational entity.

Acts 2017, ch. 407, § 1.

49-1-1204. Immunity from civil liability for acts or reports relating to students.

  1. An employee is not civilly liable for taking any action related to the control, grading, suspension, expulsion, or discipline of a student that occurs while the student is on the property of the educational entity or under the supervision of the educational entity or the employee unless that action violates a law, rule, or clearly articulated state or school policy. The plaintiff bears the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the action of the employee violated a law, rule, or clearly articulated state or school policy.
  2. An employee is not liable for making a report consistent with federal or state law to the appropriate law enforcement authorities, or to an official of an educational entity, if the individual making the report has reasonable grounds to suspect that a student is:
    1. Under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance that is not lawfully prescribed to the student;
    2. Involved in the illegal solicitation, sale, or distribution of alcohol or a controlled substance; or
    3. Involved in any other illegal activity.

Acts 2017, ch. 407, § 1.

49-1-1205. No liability for punitive or exemplary damages for acts or omissions that occur within course and scope of employment.

An employee is not liable for punitive or exemplary damages for acts or omissions that occur within the course and scope of the employee's employment. For purposes of this section, an employee who acts with the specific intent to cause harm is not acting within the course and scope of the employee's employment.

Acts 2017, ch. 407, § 1.

49-1-1206. Civil action for damages by employee.

  1. An employee may file a civil action for damages against any person eighteen (18) years of age or older who acts with the specific intent to cause harm by making an accusation of criminal activity the person knows or should know is false against that employee to law enforcement authorities, school district officials, or school district personnel.
  2. An employee may file a civil action for damages against the parent, guardian, or legal custodian of a student of the employee, if the student, who is under eighteen (18) years of age, acts with specific intent to cause harm to another by making an accusation of criminal activity the person knows or should know is false against that employee to law enforcement authorities, school district officials, or school district personnel.
  3. Any student found by a court with jurisdiction over an action filed pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) to have acted with the specific intent to cause harm by making an accusation of criminal activity the person knows or should have known is false against an employee to law enforcement authorities, school district officials, or school district personnel may be subject to one (1) or more of the following disciplinary actions, to be determined by the student's school:
    1. Expulsion;
    2. Suspension for a period of time;
    3. Community service; or
    4. Any other disciplinary action deemed appropriate by the school.
  4. This section does not apply to statements made regarding individuals elected or appointed to a local board of education.
  5. This section does not limit the civil or criminal liability of any person who makes a statement the person knows or should know is false alleging criminal activity by others.

Acts 2017, ch. 407, § 1.

49-1-1207. Insurance not waiver of defense.

Except as otherwise provided by statute, the existence of any policy of insurance indemnifying an educational entity against liability for damages is not a waiver of any defense that is available to the employee in defense of any claim.

Acts 2017, ch. 407, § 1.

49-1-1208. Scope of part.

  1. This part does not limit, modify, or supersede title 29, chapter 39.
  2. This part does not infringe on any right or protection provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.), or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 794). Nothing in this part applies to an action brought under federal or state law by a student or the student's parent or representative based on the student's disability.

Acts 2017, ch. 407, § 1.

49-1-610. New test questions — Formative assessment question banks.

49-1-904. Identification of schools with low reading scores.

49-1-906. [Repealed.]

Chapter 2
Local Administration

Part 1
General Provisions

49-2-101. County legislative bodies — Powers and duties.

The duties of the county legislative body shall be to:

    1. Consider, in those counties not having adopted the Local Option Budgeting Law of 1993, compiled in title 5, ch. 12, part 2, and not included in chapter 550, §§ 7-21 of the Public Acts of 1989, on the recommendation of the county board of education, school budgets for the county elementary and county high schools, and provide necessary funds to enable the county board to meet all obligations under the adopted budgets;
    2. Adopt a budget for the operation of county schools in accordance with chapter 550, §§ 7-21 of the Public Acts of 1989, in those counties included in chapter 550, §§ 7-21 of the Public Acts of 1989, or in any county that, by private act, adopts similar provisions to those contained in chapter 550, §§ 7-21 of the Public Acts of 1989;
    3. Adopt a budget for the operation of county schools in accordance with the Local Option Budgeting Law of 1993, if applicable. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, any budget approved under the Local Option Budgeting Law of 1993, shall also be approved by the local board of education prior to becoming effective; and
    4. Make revenue estimates and determine the level of revenue necessary to establish a budget for the operation of county schools that is at least equal to the minimum budget required to comply with the local match and maintenance of effort provisions of the basic education program (BEP) under chapter 3, part 3 of this title;
  1. Require the county board of education, through the county director of schools, to make a quarterly report of the receipts and expenditures of the public school funds, the needs of the county elementary and the county high schools, the progress made in their development and other information as to the administration of the public schools that it may require;
  2. Require its finance committee to examine the accounts of the county board of education quarterly, or at any other time it may appear that the county board is misusing any of the public school funds, or exceeding the budget adopted by the county legislative body; or it may appoint a competent auditor to make the examination, the cost of the examination to be paid out of county funds;
  3. Submit to the voters of the county, at any regular session, or at any special session called for that purpose, the proposition to issue bonds for the purpose of purchasing grounds, erecting and furnishing school buildings, and, upon the affirmative vote of the majority cast in the election, issue the bonds in accord with the proposition;
  4. Levy such tax as may be necessary to pay interest on bonds and provide a sinking fund to retire the bonds at maturity;
  5. Levy such taxes for county elementary and county high schools as may be necessary to meet the budgets submitted by the county board of education and adopted by the county legislative body;
  6. Levy sufficient taxes or provide funds by bond issues by the voters for the purchase of school grounds, the erection and repair of school buildings and for equipping the same; provided, that the same shall have been provided for by the county legislative body, or that the county legislative body shall have approved the authorization of the same by the county board of education; and
  7. Provide sufficient funds to erect a suitable building and maintain at least one (1) first-class four-year high school according to this title.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 9; Shan. Supp., § 1487a55; mod. Code 1932, § 2346; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-201; Acts 1988, ch. 795, § 16; 1989, ch. 291, § 2; 1989, ch. 550, § 2; 1992, ch. 535, § 6; 1993, ch. 431, §§ 18, 19; 2012, ch. 1018, § 1; 2020, ch. 576, § 1.

Code Commission Notes.

The amendment to this section by Acts 1989, ch. 291 has been deemed by the code commission to have been superseded by the amendment to this section by Acts 1989, ch. 550.

The 1989 amendment by ch. 550 also is deemed by the code commission to supersede the 1988 amendment by ch. 795, which otherwise would have taken effect September 1, 1990.

Acts 1989, ch. 550, §§ 7-21, referred to in this section, were deemed local by the code commission and not codified in this code.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment added (1)(D).

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 576, § 3. March 19, 2020.

Cross-References. Director of schools, § 49-2-301.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 18 Tenn. Juris., Mandamus, § 9; 22 Tenn. Juris., Schools, § 30.

Law Reviews.

Procedure and Evidence — 1962 Tennessee Survey (Edmund M. Morgan), 16 Vand. L. Rev. 817.

Symposium – Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Attorney General Opinions. Constitutionality of overlapping county and municipal school tax levies, OAG 95-055, 1995 Tenn. AG LEXIS 66 (5/23/95).

Charter county or unified government may not impose civil service requirements on county school system teachers or employees, OAG 96-104, 1996 Tenn. AG LEXIS 114 (8/14/96).

Authority to make changes in approved school budget, OAG 99-100, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 100 (5/4/99).

Authority over school construction, OAG 99-171, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 137 (9/2/99).

Franklin special school district — avoiding county tax for bonds for school purposes, OAG 00-024, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 24 (2/15/00).

Local governing body may not withhold funds that have been appropriated for school district's use, OAG 04-098, 2004 Tenn. AG LEXIS 109 (6/24/04).

County commission's role in funding special school districts.  OAG 10-58, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 58 (4/28/10).

Effect of county's withdrawal from Tennessee consolidated retirement system.  OAG 12-66, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 66 (6/29/12).

The interest earned on money in the school general-purpose fund may be used by the county government for non-school-related purposes.  If the interest earned on money in the school general-purpose fund is not currently appropriated to school funding, it is outside the county's "maintenance of effort" requirement and is not to be used in determining whether the "maintenance of effort" obligation has been met.  OAG 13-107, 2013 Tenn. AG LEXIS 112 (12/20/13).

Authority of county commission to initiate an audit of a department of a county school board.  OAG 14-01, 2014 Tenn. AG LEXIS 1 (1/2/14).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Nature of Power of County Legislative Body.

The county legislative body is clothed with the authority to act for the county in its quasi-corporate capacity and was the body against which mandamus would lie to compel compliance with the requirements of the statute as to providing for at least one first-class high school in the county. State ex rel. Harned v. Meador, 153 Tenn. 634, 284 S.W. 890, 1925 Tenn. LEXIS 49 (1926).

Power given county legislative body to audit the accounts of school board to see that there is no waste does not give county legislative body power to oversee the expenditure of special school funds financed by a bond issue. Mosier v. Thompson, 216 Tenn. 655, 393 S.W.2d 734, 1965 Tenn. LEXIS 611 (1965).

County legislative bodies, having no power to control or protect school funds after appropriation, are powerless to institute suit for such purpose. Mosier v. Thompson, 216 Tenn. 655, 393 S.W.2d 734, 1965 Tenn. LEXIS 611 (1965).

County legislative bodies did not have authority to sue to rescind contract between county board of education and contractor for construction of new high school building. Mosier v. Thompson, 216 Tenn. 655, 393 S.W.2d 734, 1965 Tenn. LEXIS 611 (1965).

Provisions of a county's home rule charter in conflict with the Educational Improvement Act of 1992 do not supersede provisions of the latter relative to the selection of board of education members. County of Shelby v. McWherter, 936 S.W.2d 923, 1996 Tenn. App. LEXIS 340 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1996).

2. Election of Director of Schools.

Election of superintendent (now director of schools) by county legislative body during morning session was final and could not be reconsidered in afternoon session. State ex rel. Pierce v. Hardin, 163 Tenn. 471, 43 S.W.2d 924, 1931 Tenn. LEXIS 137 (1931).

3. Removal of Director of Schools.

Shannon's Code, § 1410, relating to removal of the county superintendent (now director) of schools by the county legislative body for misbehavior was not repealed by implication by the General Education Act of 1925 (Acts 1925, ch. 115) which made no provision for removal of such superintendent. Rhea County v. White, 163 Tenn. 388, 43 S.W.2d 375, 1931 Tenn. LEXIS 128 (1931) (Shannon's Code, § 1410, was not carried forward into the 1932 Code).

4. Special Act Relating to Teachers' Salaries.

Where under the general law the various counties of the state were authorized to choose its teachers, fix their salaries and contract accordingly with such teachers, Private Acts 1935, ch. 620, as amended by Private Acts 1935 (E.S.), ch. 88, which fixed minimum graduated salaries for the teachers of Hamilton County, was inconsistent with the general law in that it deprived Hamilton County of the right to contract according to its ability and placed on such county a burden imposed on no other county and hence was violative of Tenn. Const., art. I, § 8, and art. XI, § 8. State ex rel. Bales v. Hamilton County, 170 Tenn. 371, 95 S.W.2d 618, 1935 Tenn. LEXIS 144 (1936).

5. Tax Levy by Counties.

The legislature may authorize or require the counties to levy a tax or to cooperate to support public schools, and its action is not violative of Tenn. Const., art. II, § 29. State ex rel. Harned v. Meador, 153 Tenn. 634, 284 S.W. 890, 1925 Tenn. LEXIS 49 (1926).

The exercising of the taxing power to promote a system of public schools for all counties does not infringe upon the right of local self-government, as a school system is a matter of state concern and a matter of state policy which is the concern of the legislature. State ex rel. Harned v. Meador, 153 Tenn. 634, 284 S.W. 890, 1925 Tenn. LEXIS 49 (1926).

A discretion may be exercised by the county legislative body to levy a high school tax less than the amount fixed in the budget of the board of education. Smith v. Groce, 158 Tenn. 255, 12 S.W.2d 715, 1928 Tenn. LEXIS 147 (1929).

Levy by county legislative body on taxable property for the building, repair and equipment of rural schools established a special fund for rural schools which was not subject to division with city schools on the basis of average attendance under T.C.A. § 49-2-103, but was controlled by this section. Southern v. Beeler, 183 Tenn. 272, 195 S.W.2d 857, 1946 Tenn. LEXIS 267 (1946).

Tax resolution of (former) county court containing “Public School Fund…1.23 (7¢ of the levy…shall be allocated…to…Rural School Building and Repair Fund and used exclusively for that purpose.)” is valid even though city would not share in 7¢ since the intent of the court was to make it $1.16 for the public school fund and a separate special 7¢ levy. State ex rel. Cope v. Davidson County, 198 Tenn. 24, 277 S.W.2d 396, 1955 Tenn. LEXIS 340 (1955).

Acts 1953, ch. 70, did not modify the authority of the county legislative body to make special levies under subdivision (7). State ex rel. Cope v. Davidson County, 198 Tenn. 24, 277 S.W.2d 396, 1955 Tenn. LEXIS 340 (1955).

6. School Bonds Generally.

Members of county legislative body had no authority to determine whether or not referendum on issuing of school bonds was legal and valid. Lamb v. State, 207 Tenn. 159, 338 S.W.2d 584, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 443 (1960).

When a referendum has been had and the vote is in the affirmative, it then becomes the duty of the county legislative body to issue the school bonds as a ministerial act, and mandamus will lie upon failure of county legislative body to so act. Lamb v. State, 207 Tenn. 159, 338 S.W.2d 584, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 443 (1960).

When the school construction bonds are issued and the proceeds thereof lodged with the trustee of the county, the authority of the county legislative body ends, and it has no control over the way the money is spent, the selection of sites or the erection of the schools. Lamb v. State, 207 Tenn. 159, 338 S.W.2d 584, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 443 (1960); Miller v. Warren County, 209 Tenn. 457, 354 S.W.2d 433, 1962 Tenn. LEXIS 378 (1962).

The limitation on the issuance of bonds provided for in T.C.A. § 49-3-1002(b)(1) does not apply to bonds issued under the provisions of this section. McCauley v. Hampton, 196 F. Supp. 123, 1961 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5395 (E.D. Tenn. 1961).

Where county legislative body was acting in accordance with affirmative vote in regularly called referendum, issuance of school bonds could not be enjoined upon suit of taxpayers even though previous mandamus suit to compel issuance of such bonds had been unsuccessful. Miller v. Warren County, 209 Tenn. 457, 354 S.W.2d 433, 1962 Tenn. LEXIS 378 (1962).

Power given county legislative body to audit the accounts of school board to see there is no waste does not give county legislative body power to oversee the expenditure of special school funds financed by a bond issue. Mosier v. Thompson, 216 Tenn. 655, 393 S.W.2d 734, 1965 Tenn. LEXIS 611 (1965).

Since specific statutory authority to issue school bonds by the county legislative bodies prevails over the general duty to submit the proposition to issue bonds to county voters, the bond issue as authorized by the county legislative body was valid despite the absence of a county vote. Mitchell v. Crawford, 543 S.W.2d 601, 1976 Tenn. App. LEXIS 219 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1976).

Where the board of commissioners elects to provide the requisite funds by bond issues approved by the voters for the purposes set forth in subdivision (8), it does so under the provisions of subdivision (5). Johnson v. State, 583 S.W.2d 754, 1979 Tenn. LEXIS 451 (Tenn. 1979).

7. Result of Bond Referendum.

Having elected to have the question of a bond issue submitted to the voters, the board of commissioners was bound by the vote of the people on such question, and on its failure to issue such bonds so approved by the voters, was subject to a writ of mandamus. Johnson v. State, 583 S.W.2d 754, 1979 Tenn. LEXIS 451 (Tenn. 1979).

8. Providing for High School.

The county legislative body is required to observe the mandate of the statute as to providing for the erection of at least one first-class high school and upon failure to so provide, may be compelled by mandamus to do so. State ex rel. Harned v. Meador, 153 Tenn. 634, 284 S.W. 890, 1925 Tenn. LEXIS 49 (1926).

9. High School Bonds.

Prior statutes authorizing issuance of school building bonds covered high school buildings and are not repealed by this law. McCord v. Marshall County, 152 Tenn. 675, 280 S.W. 692, 1925 Tenn. LEXIS 112 (1926); State ex rel. Lillard v. Humphreys, 163 Tenn. 20, 40 S.W.2d 405, 1930 Tenn. LEXIS 133 (1931).

Where county legislative body pursuant to resolution authorized issuance and sale of school bonds for construction of an additional high school and lodged proceeds of bonds with trustee, its authority ended except to auditing accounts of school board, and selection of site by school board and awarding of contract for erection of school could not be interfered with by the county legislative body. Bandy v. State, 186 Tenn. 11, 207 S.W.2d 1011, 1948 Tenn. LEXIS 600 (1948).

Where bonds were issued by county legislative body for express purpose of building and maintaining a high school, special school district within county which only operated elementary schools and did not operate or bear any expense as to operation of high schools was not entitled to share in proceeds from high school bonds. Guffee v. Crockett, 204 Tenn. 121, 315 S.W.2d 646, 1958 Tenn. LEXIS 251 (1958).

County legislative body could issue bonds for express purpose of building and maintaining high school and could classify bonds to be issued and provide for dedication of the proceeds to a particular project. Guffee v. Crockett, 204 Tenn. 121, 315 S.W.2d 646, 1958 Tenn. LEXIS 251 (1958).

County legislative body lacked power to rescind a contract made by county school board with a contractor involving use of county school funds in constructing new high school. Mosier v. Thompson, 216 Tenn. 655, 393 S.W.2d 734, 1965 Tenn. LEXIS 611 (1965).

10. Removal of Member.

A proceeding under the Ouster Law for removal of a member of the county legislative body for willful misconduct, whether or not the member exercised the power given to the member by this section as a member of the county legislative body to secure contracts with the county board of education and with the county road supervisor, contrary to law, as charged, must be decided under defense by answer. The petition is not demurrable. State v. Ward, 163 Tenn. 265, 43 S.W.2d 217, 1931 Tenn. LEXIS 110 (1931).

11. Private Act Abolishing Office of Superintendent.

Private act which abolished office of superintendent of public instruction of Hamilton County and established in its place a director of public schools with all the powers and authority of the superintendent and who was to be appointed by the board of education was invalid under Tenn. Const., art. XI, § 8, as suspending the general law for the benefit of Hamilton County. Cagle v. McCanless, 199 Tenn. 128, 285 S.W.2d 118, 1955 Tenn. LEXIS 436 (1955).

12. Providing School Funds.

The duty provided in subdivision (8) to levy taxes or provide funds by bond issues is a discretionary one. Miller v. Warren County, 209 Tenn. 457, 354 S.W.2d 433, 1962 Tenn. LEXIS 378 (1962).

Writ of mandamus was not proper to compel county commissioners to appropriate funds to construct new, replacement school. State ex rel. Weaver v. Ayers, 756 S.W.2d 217, 1988 Tenn. LEXIS 273 (Tenn. 1988).

13. Long-Term Contracts.

The legislature never intended that title 49, ch. 2 serve as a limitation upon the authority of counties to enter into long-term contracts. Washington County Bd. of Education v. MarketAmerica, Inc., 693 S.W.2d 344, 1985 Tenn. LEXIS 604 (Tenn. 1985).

14. Federal Courts.

The mere fact that the state legislature may go farther than it has in controlling and paying for public schools does not mean that the federal courts, in the exercise of their equitable powers, ought to tell the legislature what it must do in this respect. Kelley v. Metropolitan County Bd. of Educ., 836 F.2d 986, 1987 U.S. App. LEXIS 16899 (6th Cir. Tenn. 1987), cert. denied, Metropolitan County Bd. of Educ. v. Tennessee, 487 U.S. 1206, 108 S. Ct. 2848, 101 L. Ed. 2d 885, 1988 U.S. LEXIS 2848 (1988).

49-2-102. County mayors — Duties.

It is the duty of the county mayor to:

  1. Approve the bond of the county director of schools; and
  2. Make quarterly settlements with the county trustee and the county board of education of the elementary and the high school funds.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 9; Shan. Supp., § 1487a56; Code 1932, § 2347; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-205; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, §  2 directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Attorney General Opinions. Where a city school system was combined with a county school system, the county school system was not required to assume a joint use agreement between the city and the city school board, OAG 01-022, 2001 Tenn. AG LEXIS 22 (2/12/01).

49-2-103. County trustees — Duties.

  1. It is the duty of the county trustee or individual having similar responsibilities and duties in counties where such responsibilities and duties are vested in another office by law to:
    1. Keep all public school funds separate and apart from all other funds coming into the trustee's or individual's hands. It is unlawful to pay out any elementary school funds for high school purposes or high school funds for elementary school purposes, or either fund for any other purpose than that for which it was levied or collected;
    2. Make a settlement with the county mayor of all elementary school funds and high school funds from all sources, quarterly, within ten (10) days after the close of the quarters ending with March, June, September and December, which settlement shall include all receipts and expenditures within the quarter. This settlement shall be included in the next quarterly report of the county director of schools to the county legislative body and to the commissioner of education;
    3. Make annual reports, on or before July 10 each year, to the commissioner of all receipts and expenditures of all elementary and all high school funds within the year ending June 30 preceding, on forms supplied by the commissioner;
    4. Require the county director of schools to attach a voucher to every school warrant amounting to five hundred dollars ($500) or more drawn by the county board of education for any purpose other than the salaries of the supervisors and teachers, showing that the board has complied with the law requiring contracts to be let on competitive bids. Nothing in this subdivision (a)(4) shall be construed to remove the requirement of competitive bidding prior to the letting of such contracts; and
    5. Make quarterly distribution of all state and county elementary school funds between the county and incorporated city or cities of the county on the basis of average daily attendance immediately after each quarterly settlement with the county mayor; provided, that the state school fund designated as the equalizing fund shall not be distributed on such basis, but shall be placed to the credit of the county elementary school fund to be disbursed by the county board of education as provided in this title.
  2. A violation of subsection (a) is a Class C misdemeanor.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 10; Shan. Supp., §§ 1487a57, 1487a58; Code 1932, §§ 2348, 2349; Acts 1963, ch. 13, § 1; 1978, ch. 926, §§ 1-3; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 49-206, 49-207; Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 113; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, §  2 directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class C misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

Law Reviews.

Constitutional Law — 1961 Tennessee Survey (James C. Kirby, Jr.), 14 Vand. L. Rev. 1171.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Construction.

In determining distribution of school funds all sections of the code dealing with same subject must be considered in pari materia. Southern v. Beeler, 183 Tenn. 272, 195 S.W.2d 857, 1946 Tenn. LEXIS 267 (1946).

2. Validity of Private Act.

Private Acts 1937, ch. 502, §§ 1-4, which imposed duties on the trustee and county superintendent of schools of Carter County in addition to those imposed by the general statutes with reference to the issuance and accounting for county warrants issued to school teachers and which gave the teachers of such county special advantages over the teachers in general in the state and which subjected the trustee of such county to forfeiture of office when no other trustee was subjected to such forfeiture was invalid as being partial and discriminatory. Anderson v. Carter County, 172 Tenn. 114, 110 S.W.2d 321, 1937 Tenn. LEXIS 59 (1937).

3. Distribution of Funds.

The basis for apportioning state and county elementary school funds between a city within a county and the county, was the average daily attendance at the regular fall, winter and spring terms, without reference to the special summer term for backward students. Board of Educ. v. Dodson, 157 Tenn. 508, 11 S.W.2d 265, 1927 Tenn. LEXIS 78 (1928).

Funds raised by levy for high schools were not subject to division on basis of average attendance as set forth in subdivision (a)(5) and in former T.C.A. § 49-3-308 since such sections did not mention high school funds but were limited to elementary funds, and former statutes dealing with high school funds did not provide that high school funds were to be distributed on basis of average attendance. Southern v. Beeler, 183 Tenn. 272, 195 S.W.2d 857, 1946 Tenn. LEXIS 267 (1946).

Payment of bonus to teachers in county schools by virtue of resolution of county legislative body directing county trustee to transfer money from general fund to the school fund and disburse checks from latter fund did not authorize city to file suit in behalf of city school teachers to recover bonus payments for city teachers, as the resolution was ultra vires. Board of Comm'rs v. Obion County, 188 Tenn. 666, 222 S.W.2d 7, 1949 Tenn. LEXIS 387 (1949).

Public Acts 1959, ch. 14, § 8(1)(c), permitting division of school funds on basis other than average daily attendance where so provided by private act and Private Acts 1947, ch. 711, as amended by Private Acts 1955, ch. 351, providing for a division of funds between city of Memphis and Shelby County on a different basis, were void as suspending the general law contrary to the provisions of Tenn. Const., art. XI, § 8. Board of Education v. Shelby County, 207 Tenn. 330, 339 S.W.2d 569, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 463 (1960).

4. Accounts and Accounting.

The county trustee is required to keep high school funds separate from elementary school funds and to make a separate accounting for each such fund. Board of Education v. McMinn County, 212 Tenn. 275, 369 S.W.2d 565, 1963 Tenn. LEXIS 422 (1963).

5. Diversion of Funds.

General funds of county could not be diverted for elementary school purposes by order of county legislative body, and such an order could not change the nature of the funds or make them part of the elementary school fund. State ex rel. Baird v. Wilson County, 212 Tenn. 619, 371 S.W.2d 434, 1963 Tenn. LEXIS 452 (1963).

49-2-104. Inspection of local records.

Supervisors, under the direction of the commissioner of education, shall have the authority to inspect the records of local boards of education, the school accounts of county trustees and the administration of public schools, to make recommendations covering all the foregoing, and to perform other duties that may be assigned them.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 7; Shan. Supp., § 1487a44; Code 1932, § 2333; Acts 1974, ch. 654, § 31; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-227.

49-2-105. [Repealed.]

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 37; Shan. Supp., § 1487a199; Code 1932, § 2521; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-228; repealed by Acts 2019, ch. 248, § 19, effective May 2, 2019.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 49-2-105 concerned the preservation of individual rights to select physician.

49-2-106. Creation or expansion of city or special school districts.

  1. No city school system or special district school system shall be created or reactivated for the purpose of operating a system of schools, unless the school system is large enough to offer adequate educational opportunities for the pupils of grades one through twelve (1-12) in keeping with standards established by the state board of education.
  2. In establishing the standards, the state board is authorized and directed to take into consideration such factors as:
    1. The scholastic population of the city or special school district according to the most recent census;
    2. The financial ability per pupil of scholastic population; and
    3. The expressed willingness of the people of the city or special school district, as indicated by a majority of its legal voters in a referendum, to raise local funds, which, together with school funds received from the state and other sources, shall be sufficient to provide adequate educational opportunities for their children.

Acts 1961, ch. 113, § 1; 1981, ch. 510, §§ 1, 2; 1981, ch. 540, §§ 1-3; T.C.A., § 49-233.

Law Reviews.

Symposium – Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Attorney General Opinions. Abolishment of special school district, OAG 98-161, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 161 (8/24/98).

Kenton special school district not entitled to reactivation, OAG 98-161, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 161 (8/24/98).

Building permit and plan review fees for construction and/or renovation of a school located within the city limits; applicability of planning and zoning regulations of the city for school district-owned property located within city limits.  OAG 10-27, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 22 (3/8/10).

49-2-107. Special school districts — Taxes.

Any person owning property located in special school districts in this state that were created by a private act shall be required to pay such taxes as are levied by the private act creating or amending the school district.

Acts 1969, ch. 269, § 1; T.C.A., § 49-249.

Attorney General Opinions. County commission's role in funding special school districts.  OAG 10-58, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 58 (4/28/10).

49-2-108. Separate-sex schools.

  1. The local school boards are authorized to provide separate schools for persons of the male sex and persons of the female sex. The determination of the necessity for such separate schools is vested in the exclusive discretion of the school board.
  2. Nothing in this section shall be construed to amend existing laws relative to the issuance of school bonds nor otherwise alter the laws pertaining to school construction.

Acts 1957, ch. 98, § 1; 1974, ch. 654, §§ 33, 34; T.C.A., § 49-230.

49-2-109. Contracts with private, city or special district schools.

      1. The county board of education has the power to make contracts with the proper authorities of private schools or with city or special school district boards of education whereby the county public elementary and high schools may be taught in the private or city schools.
      2. Such public elementary and high school branches shall be taught free of charge to all pupils of the county entitled thereto.
      3. The contract may provide that:
        1. The school shall be administered by either the city, special school district or county board of education upon the condition that the board charged with administration of the school shall employ duly licensed teachers, comply with other state laws pertaining to education and not interfere with the powers devolved upon the commissioner of education in connection with the county public elementary and high schools; and
        2. In the event of contracts with private schools, no teacher shall be employed in the private school unless the teacher has a teacher's license of such grade as may be prescribed for the teacher's employment and unless the employment of the teacher is approved by the county board of education.
    1. The authority of the commissioner, county director of schools and all public school officers shall be as full and ample in such private schools as in other county public elementary and high schools.
  1. This section shall not be construed as authorizing a contract by a county board of education with a church-sponsored, church related or a parochial school.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 14; Shan. Supp., § 1487a99; Code 1932, § 2390; Acts 1931, ch. 71, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 2393.16; Acts 1959, ch. 259, §§ 1, 2; 1959, ch. 309, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-231.

Law Reviews.

Consolidation of County and City Functions and Other Devices for Simplifying Tennessee Local Government (Wallace Mendelson), 8 Vand. L. Rev. 878.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Teacher Employment — Power.

A county board cannot transfer to a city board the power to control the employment of teachers. Brown v. Monroe, 161 Tenn. 703, 34 S.W.2d 209, 1930 Tenn. LEXIS 58 (1931).

49-2-110. Student activity funds.

  1. The several schools may, if authorized by the particular board of education having jurisdiction over the school or schools, receive funds for student activities as provided in this section and for events held at or in connection with the school, including contracts with other schools for interschool events; and funds derived from such sources shall be the property of the respective schools; however, the board of education granting the authorization shall provide for its school system reasonable regulations, standards, procedures and an accounting manual covering the various phases of student body activity funds and other internal school funds accounting, including, but not limited to:
    1. The bonding of those who are responsible for handling the funds;
    2. The proper handling of cash receipts, the making of deposits, the management of funds, the expenditures of funds and the accounting for funds;
    3. The auditing of funds;
    4. The making of financial reports;
    5. The carrying of necessary insurance;
    6. The use of proper business and accounting forms;
    7. The collection of state and federal taxes;
    8. The purchase of supplies and equipment;
    9. The powers and responsibilities of the principal of the school in connection with the handling of student body activity funds and other internal school funds;
    10. The preparation of a student body activity fund budget and the budgetary control of expenditures; and
    11. Ways and means of evaluating and improving all phases of student body financial activities and the handling of other internal school funds in accordance with accounting practices and procedures as are generally recognized in public school systems.
  2. The manual referenced in subsection (a) shall be published in accordance with the rules, regulations, policies and procedures of the state publications committee.
  3. The school shall not require any student to pay a fee to the school for any purpose, except as authorized by the board of education, and no fees or tuitions shall be required of any student as a condition to attending the public school or using its equipment while receiving educational training.
    1. The principal of each school shall have the duty of instituting and following the reasonable regulations, standards, procedures and the accounting manual adopted by the board of education having jurisdiction over the school.
    2. The principal shall be liable to account for the safekeeping and handling of all funds of every character raised by student activities, school services and school events, regardless of the sources of the funds or the purpose for which they were raised.
    3. The principal shall not be liable to account for the safekeeping and handling of funds raised by organizations excluded from the record keeping requirements of this section unless the funds are in the principal's sole custody.
  4. The department of education shall prepare a uniform accounting policy manual for local school systems, subject to the approval of the comptroller of the treasury and the commissioner of finance and administration, and each local school system is required to adopt the manual when issued and maintain all activity fund books and records in accordance with the requirements of the manual.
  5. Organizations composed of parents and teachers or parents and students working in coordination, including, but not limited to, parent-teacher associations, parent-teacher organizations, band booster clubs and athletic support organizations, shall not be required to utilize or conform to any record keeping or accounting requirements provided for in the policy manuals or otherwise, and are excluded from the accounting, record keeping and other requirements of this section.
    1. If funds raised by organizations composed of parents and teachers or parents and students are used in a manner that benefits less than the student body as a whole, then no provision of § 49-2-203 or the uniform accounting policy manual for local school systems shall be construed to prohibit such use of funds; provided, that such use:
      1. Benefits the overall school program; and
      2. Is subject to the policies of the local board of education.
    2. This subsection (g) shall not be construed to prohibit the use of funds in any manner that was authorized prior to April 17, 1995, under § 49-2-203 and the uniform accounting policy manual for local school systems.

Acts 1959, ch. 168, § 1; 1974, ch. 654, § 35; 1976, ch. 709, § 1; 1980, ch. 491, §§ 1, 2; T.C.A., § 49-232; Acts 1990, ch. 1024, § 22; 1995, ch. 101, § 1.

Attorney General Opinions. If the board of education has not authorized a locker rental fee “as a school fee,” the school may not require fee payment as a condition of having a locker; also, the school also may not require a student to pay a locker rental and maintenance fee if requiring the fee affects a student's access to education or if a “locker” is equipment used while receiving educational training, OAG 03-116, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 134 (9/15/03).

Requiring a fee for a field trip would be in violation of T.C.A. § 49-2-110(c).  OAG 10-96, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 106 (9/9/10).

49-2-111. Reapportionment — Effect on school districts.

  1. In all counties wherein the school commission, school board, board of education or other designated agency governing the school affairs of the county is, by the terms and provisions of any private or local act of the general assembly applicable to such county, elected from more than one (1) voting district by the persons entitled to vote in the district, and where by decree or judgment of any court of the United States or any court of this state the scheme of apportionment of the membership of such school commission, school board, board of education or other agency as provided by such act heretofore has been declared to be in violation of any provision of the United States Constitution or the Constitution of Tennessee, the school commission, school board, board of education or other agency governing the school affairs of such county is abolished, effective September 1 of the year in which a general election is next held in the county following the entry of the decree or judgment.
  2. In all such counties within the purview of subsection (a), there is created and established a board of education, effective September 1 of the year in which a general election is next held in such counties following the entry of a decree of judgment of any such court that the scheme of apportionment of the existing school commission, school board, board of education or the other agency is unconstitutional, to be known as the board of education of  County, which shall consist of five (5), seven (7) or nine (9) members to be elected by popular vote of the people of the county, as provided in this section, whose initial members shall be those persons elected by popular vote by the people of the county in the general election to be held in August following the entry of such decree or judgment in the manner provided in this section.
  3. Boards of education created and established under this section shall have and possess and shall exercise all of the rights, duties, powers and privileges and shall discharge all of the duties and obligations imposed upon the school boards, school commissions, boards of education or other agencies governing the school affairs of the counties by any such private act applicable to the counties, and are entitled to the same compensation payable to the members of the school boards, school commissions, boards of education or such other agencies of the several counties under the terms of any such private act or acts and that are abolished by the terms of this section.
    1. The county legislative body of any county within the purview of subsection (a) is authorized, empowered and directed to cause an accurate census or other determination of population to be taken and reported of the population of the various civil districts in the county or otherwise adopt and pursue a method of determination of population that will permit with a reasonable degree of accuracy the formation of districts with substantially equal population as provided in this section, which census or other determination of population shall be taken and reported no later than the first Monday in April of the year in which a general election is next held in the county following the entry of such decree or judgment of a court, as provided in subsection (a), as the county legislative body shall provide in a proper resolution adopted for that purpose.
    2. The county legislative body is further authorized, empowered, and directed to appropriate and expend out of the general funds of the county such sums as may be necessary to defray the cost and expense of taking and reporting the census or other determination of population that it causes to be made.
    1. Upon receipt of the report of the census or other determination of population, the county legislative bodies shall, at their regular meeting to be held on the first Monday in April of the year in which a general election is next held in the counties following the entry of the decree or judgment of a court, as provided in subsection (a), or at any adjourned session of the county legislative body, or at any duly called special meeting thereafter, but in any event not later than June 1 of the year, adopt a resolution establishing three (3), five (5), seven (7) or nine (9) school zones or districts, the boundaries of which shall be so geographically arranged in the county that according to the census or other determination of population provided for in subsection (d), each of the three (3), five (5), seven (7) or nine (9) school zones or districts shall have and contain substantially equal numbers of people; provided, that in the establishment of the school zones or districts, no civil district of the county shall be divided unless simultaneously such civil district is divided for all county purposes in the manner provided by law.
    2. Whenever a private act applicable to any such county, within the purview of subsection (a), establishes in and for the county the school zones or districts required in this section, which school zones and districts meet the requirement of containing substantially equal population as required in subdivision (e)(1), the county legislative body of the county may, in lieu of establishing the school zones or districts, by census or other method as provided in subsection (d), adopt such districts or zones as established in the private act, but in doing so, it shall be required to make a determination that the districts or zones contain substantially equal population and otherwise meet the requirements of this section.
  4. When the county legislative bodies of the several counties within the purview of subsection (a) have complied with this section and established the school zones or districts as provided in subsection (e), there shall be elected from each of the school zones or districts, either by a popular vote of the qualified voters of the county at large or by a popular vote of the qualified voters of each of the school zones or districts, as the county legislative body shall specify in the resolution or private act establishing the districts, one (1) member of the board of education created and established by the terms of this section; provided, that the member elected from any school district or zone must have been a resident for more than one (1) year next preceding the member's election of one (1) or another of the civil districts comprising the school district or zone.
  5. The persons who are elected at the August general election next held after the entry of the decree or judgment of any court, as provided in subsection (a), by a popular vote of the qualified voters of the county, shall be elected in accordance with the terms and provisions of § 49-2-201.
  6. No person shall be eligible to be elected as a member of the board of education unless the person has and possesses all of the qualifications required by the general law and by the terms and provisions of any private or local act applicable to the county, with the exception of any qualification based upon residency in any geographical district or zone established in the private or local act.
  7. In the event the county legislative body of any county within the purview of subsection (a) fails to comply with this section and causes the census or other determination of population to be taken and reported and thereafter creates the various school zones or districts not later than June 1 of the year in which a general election is next held after the entry of a decree or judgment of any court, as provided in subsection (e), the three (3), five (5), seven (7) or nine (9) members of the board of education created and established in the counties to which this section is applicable shall be elected by the qualified voters of the counties at large without regard to geographical districts, and any person who possesses the qualifications provided by law for membership upon the board of education shall be eligible for election to the board of education without regard to the geographical location of the person's residence in the county. The general election commissions of the several counties within the purview of subsection (a) and wherein the county legislative body of those counties has failed to comply with this section shall hold and conduct an election at the time fixed for the general election of county offices in August next following the entry of a decree or judgment of any court, as provided in subsection (a), for the three (3), five (5), seven (7) or nine (9) members of the board of education at large, and the three (3), five (5), seven (7) or nine (9) persons receiving the highest number of votes at the election shall be declared and certified by the election commission of the county to be the duly elected members of the board of education.
    1. At any time after the general election to be held in August next following the entry of a decree or judgment of any court, as provided in subsection (a), the county legislative bodies of the several counties within the purview of subsection (a) may, if they have not previously done so, in compliance with this section, as provided in subsection (d), cause a census or other determination of population of the several civil districts of the county to be taken, and, at any regular meeting of the county legislative body following the reporting of the census or other determination of population to it, shall have the power to adopt an appropriate resolution establishing three (3), five (5), seven (7) or nine (9) school zones or districts as provided in subsection (e); provided, that the resolution shall not impair or shorten the terms of office of any of the members of the board of education who are elected under the authority of this section, and shall provide that members of the board of education to be elected thereunder shall first be elected no sooner than the expiration of the terms of members previously elected under the authority of this section.
    2. At any time that the county legislative body has established the school zones or districts as provided in this section, a certified copy of the resolution establishing the school zones or districts shall be officially filed with the election commission of the county, which shall thereafter hold and conduct elections for the newly created board of education of the county in accordance with this section and the school zones or districts as established by the county legislative body of the county. In any case where the county legislative body of any county, in accordance with the authority contained in this subsection (j), has not established the school zones or districts of a county not later than June 1 of any year in which a general election is required to be held for the election of some or all of the members of the then existing school commission, school board, board of education or other designated agency governing the school affairs of the county, the resolution establishing the school zones or districts shall not take effect until after the general election held during that year and the members of the then existing school commission, school board, board of education or other designated agency, including those who are elected at the general election to be held during the year, shall continue to hold their offices and govern the school affairs of the county until the next general election held thereafter, at which time elections shall be had for the three (3), five (5), seven (7) or nine (9) members of the board of education created by this section and from the three (3), five (5), seven (7) or nine (9) school zones or districts established by the county legislative body as provided in this section.

Acts 1967, ch. 252, §§ 1-10; 1970, ch. 509, §§ 1-4; 1972, ch. 697, §§ 3-6; 1973, ch. 170, §§ 2-4; T.C.A., §§ 49-239 — 49-248.

Compiler's Notes. Subsection (b), concerning the number of districts, is superseded by Acts 1992, ch. 535, and the subsequent amendment to § 49-2-201(a)(1).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Effect of Reapportionment by Federal Court.

Despite the specific provisions of this section, and § 49-2-201, a federal court in ordering the reapportionment of a school district under the one-man one-vote doctrine, sitting as a court of equity, had authority to mandate terms for board of education members in direct conflict with § 49-2-201, made applicable in such a case by this section, but, upon the expiration of the terms of office mandated by the court, the staggered election procedure established under § 49-2-201 would then take effect. Rader v. Cliburn, 476 F.2d 182, 1973 U.S. App. LEXIS 10859 (6th Cir. Tenn. 1973).

49-2-112. School audits.

    1. The local board of education shall cause an annual audit to be made of the accounts and records of all schools under its jurisdiction that receive and disburse funds.
    2. The audit shall include, but not be limited to, the activity funds described in § 49-2-110.
    1. The comptroller of the treasury, through the department of audit, shall be responsible for ensuring that the audits are prepared in accordance with generally accepted governmental auditing standards and for determining if the audits meet minimum audit standards and regulations, which shall be prescribed by the comptroller of the treasury.
    2. No audit may be accepted as meeting the requirements of this section until the audit has been approved by the comptroller of the treasury.
    1. The audits may be prepared by certified public accountants, public accountants or by the department of audit.
    2. In the event the board of education fails or refuses to have the audit prepared, then the comptroller of the treasury may appoint a certified public accountant or public accountant or direct the department of audit to prepare the audit. The cost of the audit to be paid by the board of education.
    1. The audits shall be completed as soon as practicable after June 30 of each year.
    2. One (1) copy of each audit shall be furnished to the director of schools, each member of the board of education and the comptroller of the treasury. Copies of each audit shall also be made available to the press.
  1. All audits performed by the internal audit staffs of any such schools shall be conducted in accordance with the standards established by the comptroller of the treasury pursuant to § 4-3-304(9).

Acts 1972, ch. 601, § 1; 1974, ch. 654, § 38; T.C.A., § 49-251; Acts 1984, ch. 794, § 12.

49-2-113. Mechanical signing of warrants.

A board of education, with the permission of its chair, is empowered to authorize, with the consent of the commissioner of education and the comptroller of the treasury, the use of mechanical signing equipment approved by the commissioner and comptroller of the treasury, to affix the signature of the chair of the board of education and of the director of schools to the original of a public school warrant; provided, that a clear duplicate of the warrant is kept on file in the office of the director of schools, together with the proper supporting papers to justify the issuance of the warrant.

Acts 1957, ch. 371, § 1; 1972, ch. 662, § 1; 1974, ch. 654, § 32; 1975, ch. 17, § 1; T.C.A., § 49-229.

49-2-114. Waiver of school fees.

  1. LEAs shall establish, pursuant to rules promulgated by the state board of education, a process by which to waive all school fees for students who receive free or reduced price school lunches.
  2. “School fees” means:
    1. Fees for activities that occur during regular school hours;
    2. Fees for activities and supplies required to participate in all courses offered for credit or grade;
    3. Fees or tuition applicable to courses taken during the summer by a student, except that nonresident students regularly enrolled in another school system may be required to pay fees or tuition for such summer courses; and
    4. Fees required for graduation ceremonies.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 55.

Attorney General Opinions. Waiver of school fees — Compliance with Tenn. Const. art. II, §  24, OAG 93-45, 1993 Tenn. AG LEXIS 45 (5/12/93).

49-2-115. Family resource centers.

  1. Family resource centers may be established by any LEA in order to coordinate state and community services to help meet the needs of families with children. An LEA may directly operate its own family resource centers or may contract with a locally based nonprofit agency, including a community action agency, to operate one (1) or more such centers on behalf of the LEA. Each center shall be located in or near a school. The local school board shall appoint community service providers and parents to serve on an advisory council for each family resource center. Parents shall comprise a majority of each advisory council.
  2. Upon approval by the department of education, basic education program (BEP) funds may be expended by an LEA to plan and implement a family resource center. The application for such approval shall identify a full-time director and other professional staff from the school or community, or both, which may include psychologists, school counselors, social workers, nurses, instructional assistants and teachers. In establishing family resource centers, the department shall consult with the departments of health, mental health and substance abuse services, intellectual and developmental disabilities and children's services.
  3. The commissioner of education is authorized to award grants of up to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) to LEAs for the purpose of planning, implementing and operating family resource centers. All LEAs, upon receiving such grants for a period of three (3) school years, shall be evaluated by the commissioner to determine progress in attaining objectives set forth within this section. Those LEAs awarded satisfactory evaluations shall be eligible to continue receiving such grants for a period of three (3) additional school years. Beginning with the 1995-1996 school year, the number of family resource centers receiving such planning, implementation and operation grants shall be increased at least fifty percent (50%) above the number of centers receiving grants during the 1994-1995 school year.
  4. LEAs with state approved family resource centers may be given priority in receiving additional state funding for:
    1. Formal parent involvement programs in elementary schools;
    2. Early childhood programs for children at-risk;
    3. Programs for parents with preschool at-risk children;
    4. Learning centers in urban housing projects;
    5. Programs in high schools for pregnant teenagers; and
    6. “Jobs for Tennessee Graduates” in high schools.
    1. Family resource centers shall provide interagency services/resources information on issues such as parent training, crisis intervention, respite care and counseling needs for families of children with behavioral/emotional disorders.
    2. Family resource centers shall serve the function of being the center of information sharing and resource facilitation for such families.
    3. Family resource centers shall also serve the function of helping families answer questions regarding funding for the options of service their child or family requires.
  5. The purpose of each family resource center shall be to maximize the potential learning capacity of the child by ensuring that school environments and neighborhoods are safe and socially enriching, that families are strong and able to protect children and meet their basic needs and that children are physically healthy, emotionally stable, socially well-adjusted and able to connect with enriching opportunities and experiences in their schools and communities. In order to enable children to attain the most benefit possible from the time they spend in educational settings, the family resource centers shall focus on providing information to families about resources, support and benefits available in the community and on developing a coordinated system of care for children in the community in order to effectuate this purpose.
  6. The department of education and the department of children's services shall jointly develop guidelines for the operation of family resource centers, focusing on the requirements of this section, including the stated purpose of family resource centers in subsection (f). The guidelines shall be used by all family resource centers established pursuant to this section.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 85; 1994, ch. 974, § 5; 1994, ch. 985, § 2; 1995, ch. 538, § 2; 1996, ch. 1079, §§ 140, 142; 1999, ch. 367, § 5; 2005, ch. 192, § 1; 2011, ch. 158, § 24; 2012, ch. 575, § 1; 2019, ch. 248, §§ 20, 21.

Compiler's Notes. For transfer of certain functions from the department of human services to the department of health, see Executive Order No. 6 (January 12, 1996).

Acts 2005, ch. 192, § 2 provided that no expenditure of public funds pursuant to that act shall be made in violation of the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as codified in U.S.C. § 2000d.

49-2-116. School safety zones.

  1. Any county or municipality is authorized to establish school safety zones.
  2. As used in this section, unless the content otherwise requires:
    1. “School” means any public or private elementary, secondary school or state college of applied technology; and
    2. “School property” means all property used for school purposes, including, but not limited to, school playgrounds.
  3. A school safety zone is the territory extending five hundred feet (500') from school property or within the area bounded by a divided federal highway, whichever is less.
  4. The director of schools, with the approval of the board of education, may develop a method of marking school safety zones, including the use of signs. Signs or other markings shall be located in a visible manner on or near each school indicating that such area is a school safety zone, that such zone extends five hundred feet (500') from school property or within the area bounded by a divided federal highway, whichever is less, and that the delivery or sale of a controlled substance or controlled substance analogue to a minor in the school safety zone may subject the offender to an enhanced punishment. The state board of education shall assist the LEA in complying with the posting provisions of this subsection (d).

Acts 1994, ch. 973, §§ 1, 2; 2012, ch. 848, § 39; 2013, ch. 473, § 11; 2020, ch. 803, §§ 10, 11.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2020, ch. 803, § 12 provided that the act, which amended this section, applies to offenses committed on or after September 1, 2020.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment, in (c), substituted “extending five hundred feet (500') from school property or within the area bounded by a divided federal highway, whichever is less” for “located within one thousand feet (1,000') of school property”; and, in the second sentence of (d), substituted “five hundred feet (500') from school property or within the area bounded by a divided federal highway, whichever is less,” for “one thousand feet (1,000') from school property” and “may” for “will”.

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 803, § 12. September 1, 2020.

49-2-117. Funding for school building improvements.

  1. Whenever the commissioner of education is authorized by the state board of education to take responsibility for the operation of any local school system or school that has been placed on probation pursuant to § 49-1-602, the state acting under the authority of the state building commission may require the county legislative body to appropriate and expend funds necessary to fund school building improvements, demolition or new construction as approved by the commissioner and the state board of education pursuant to chapter 3, part 1 of this title.
  2. Notwithstanding subsection (a), before the state building commission can take any such action, the commissioner shall give the appropriate legislative body or special school district board written notice that action may be taken at least ninety (90) days prior to any such action by the commission. If, before expiration of that period, the legislative body adopts and submits a plan for building improvements, demolition or new construction and the funding of the improvements, demolition or new construction that is acceptable to the commissioner, then subsection (a) shall not apply. However, if the plan is not acceptable to the commissioner, no further notice need be given.

Acts 1998, ch. 737, § 6.

49-2-118. Conflict resolution intervention programs.

Each LEA shall implement for grades one through six (1-6) an intervention program that utilizes conflict resolution and decision-making strategies aimed at preventing occurrences of disruptive acts by students within the school and on school property.

Acts 1999, ch. 256, § 2; 2000, ch. 772, § 1; 2001, ch. 44, §§ 1, 2; 2005, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 2015, ch. 182, § 27; 2018, ch. 725, § 26.

Cross-References. School counselors, § 49-6-303.

49-2-119. Diplomas for World War, Korean War or Vietnam War veterans.

    1. Each LEA may issue high school diplomas to veterans who failed to receive diplomas due to an interruption of their education by service in World War I, World War II, the Korean War or the Vietnam War.
    2. An LEA shall not require that the veteran be a current resident of this state at the time of the veteran's request for issuance of a high school diploma.
    1. Each LEA may issue a high school diploma authorized by subsection (a) to an eligible deceased veteran, upon the request of the veteran's surviving spouse, if any, or other immediate family members.
    2. An LEA shall not require that a deceased veteran's spouse or immediate family be current residents of this state at the time of the spouse's or immediate family's request for issuance of the deceased veteran's high school diploma.

Acts 2000, ch. 773, § 1; 2001, ch. 191, §§ 1, 2; 2004, ch. 468, § 1; 2005, ch. 108, § 1; 2010, ch. 736, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2001, ch. 191, § 3, provided that the state board of education is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. The rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

Cross-References. Privileges extended to World War II veterans, § 58-3-101.

49-2-120. Prohibition against hazing.

  1. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, “hazing” means any intentional or reckless act in this state, on or off LEA property, by one (1) student acting alone or with others, that is directed against any other student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of that student or that induces or coerces a student to endanger that student's mental or physical health or safety. “Hazing” does not include customary athletic events or similar contests or competitions and is limited to those actions taken and situations created in connection with initiation into or affiliation with any organization.
  2. The governing body of each LEA shall adopt a written policy prohibiting hazing by any student or organization operating under the sanction of the LEA. The policy shall be distributed or made available to each student at the beginning of each school year. During the first month of each new school year, time shall be set aside to specifically discuss the policy and its ramifications as a criminal offense and the penalties that may be imposed by the LEA.

Acts 2001, ch. 196, § 1.

49-2-121. Inspection and evaluation program for indoor air quality in schools.

  1. Each LEA is encouraged to conduct an inspection and evaluation program, such as the environmental protection agency's indoor air quality tools for schools program, for its facilities. Such program may include, but shall not be limited to, the following measures:
    1. Ensuring that an adequate amount of outdoor air is being supplied;
    2. Testing for radon;
    3. Separating students and staff from construction and renovation areas;
    4. Reducing use of products, such as adhesives, floor-care products and pesticides that require ventilation during use; and
    5. Maintaining relative humidity to an appropriate level during hot and humid summers.
  2. School districts and schools shall encourage:
    1. The scheduling of maintenance, cleaning, and repair projects and other works that trigger indoor air pollutants, environmental safety and other pollution concerns in schools at times when students and teachers will not be impacted through chemicals, fumes, exhaust fumes from cars and school buses, room fresheners, aerosol sprays and other chemicals and health damaging elements and particulate matter;
    2. The application of products in a manner that conforms to regulations and safety recommendations; and
    3. The protection of children from the exposure of health harming substances and chemicals at school.

Acts 2005, ch. 291, § 1; 2014, ch. 703, § 1.

Code Commission Notes.

Former subsection (b), concerning school air quality surveys, was deleted as obsolete by the code commission in 2009.

Cross-References. Tennessee Air Quality Act, § 68-201-101 et seq.

49-2-122. Placement of automated external defibrillator (AED) devices in schools.

  1. All public schools must have at least one (1) automated external defibrillator (AED) device placed within the school.
  2. All schools required pursuant to subsection (a) to place AED devices in schools, shall comply with all provisions of title 68, chapter 140, part 4, relative to:
    1. Training;
    2. Establishment of a written plan that complies with § 68-140-404;
    3. Notification;
    4. Maintenance and testing of the AEDs to ensure that the devices are in optimal operating condition in compliance with § 68-140-404; and
    5. Any other requirements.
  3. Each placement of an AED shall be supervised and endorsed by a physician with an unrestricted license to practice medicine or osteopathy in this state. When a school receives its first AED, it shall place the AED in a location that may be accessed readily from any area of the school, which may include those areas of the school that are used for physical education or activity. Subsequently, additional AEDs shall be placed in locations that are accessible during emergency situations. AEDs shall not be placed in an office that is not accessible to any person who might need to use the AED or in any location that is locked during times that students, parents or school employees are present at school or school events.
  4. AEDs placed in schools shall be registered with local emergency medical services providers as required by §§ 68-140-403(2) and 68-140-404(6).
  5. LEAs and schools responsible for an AED program pursuant to § 68-140-404(1) shall not be liable for any civil liability for any personal injury that results from an act or omission that does not amount to willful or wanton misconduct or gross negligence if the applicable provisions and program established under § 68-140-404 and the rules adopted by the department pursuant to § 68-140-405 have been met by the LEA and school and have been followed by the individuals using the AED.
  6. A teacher, school employee or other person employed by the LEA responsible for an AED program pursuant to § 68-140-404(1) shall not be liable for any civil liability for any personal injury that results from an act or omission that does not amount to willful or wanton misconduct or gross negligence if the applicable provisions and program established under § 68-140-404 and the rules adopted by the department pursuant to § 68-140-405 have been met by the LEA and school and have been followed by the individuals using the AED.
  7. Misuse or abuse of any AED device on school property by a student is disorderly conduct and the student shall be subject to disciplinary action.

Acts 2008, ch. 795, §§ 2, 4; 2010, ch. 819, § 2; 2011, ch. 179, § 1; 2016, ch. 677, § 1; 2018, ch. 1028, §§ 1, 2; 2019, ch. 391, §§ 1, 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2008, ch. 795, § 1 provided that the general assembly recognizes that cardiac incidents can happen to any person at any age, often without warning. Survivability of cardiac incidents is largely dependent upon the victim receiving care in a timely and proficient manner. One of the largest centers of people in a community on a daily basis is the public school. It is fitting that the general assembly encourage local educational agencies to provide automated external defibrillators in schools to provide additional safeguards against loss of life from sudden cardiac incidents.

Acts 2008, ch. 795, § 3 provided that the act, which authorizes placement of automated external defibrillator (AED) devices in schools, shall not compel any LEA to purchase, use, or permit the use of any AED device. LEAs shall fund AED devices and the maintenance of the devices, if purchased, from existing local resources or may accept non-governmental funds for those purposes. No funding received by the LEA from the state shall be allocated or expended for the purchase or maintenance of AEDs.

Acts 2010, ch. 819, § 1 provided that the act shall be known and may be cited as the “Tanner Lee Jameson Act.”

49-2-123. [Repealed.]

Acts 2008, ch. 888, § 4; repealed by Acts 2019, ch. 248, § 22, effective May 2, 2019.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 49-2-123 concerned a work experience and career exploration program.

49-2-124. Universal mental health or socioemotional screening.

  1. As used in this section:
    1. “Mental health screening” or “socioemotional screening” means, for the purposes of this chapter, the use of one (1) or more brief, structured questionnaires designed to identify the possibility that an individual has a mental health problem;
    2. “Psychotropic medication” means a drug that exercises a direct effect upon the central nervous system and that is capable of influencing and modifying behavior. Psychotropic medication includes, but is not limited to:
      1. Antipsychotics;
      2. Antidepressants;
      3. Agents for control of mania and depression;
      4. Antianxiety agents;
      5. Psychomotor stimulants; and
      6. Hypnotics; and
    3. “Universal mental health or socioemotional screening” means, for the purposes of this chapter, any mental health screening program in which a group of individuals is automatically screened without regard to whether there was a prior indication of a mental health problem.
  2. Universal mental health or socioemotional screening is only permitted under the following circumstances:
    1. A parent, guardian, legal custodian or caregiver under the Power of Attorney for Care of a Minor Child Act, compiled in title 34, chapter 6, part 3, of a child under sixteen (16) years of age has provided written, active, informed and voluntarily signed consent that may be withdrawn at any time by the parent, guardian, legal custodian or caregiver under the Power of Attorney for Care of a Minor Child Act;
    2. A court requires the mental health evaluation, examination or testing;
    3. Emergency screening, evaluation, examination or testing of an individual under the Power of Attorney for Care of a Minor Child Act or screening done in connection with a disaster or epidemic; or
    4. Screening required pursuant to the early periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment (EPSDT) program with active, written, informed, voluntarily signed consent as outlined in subdivision (b)(1) that may be withdrawn at any time by the parent, legal guardian, custodian or caregiver under the Power of Attorney for Care of a Minor Child Act who gave the consent.
  3. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a local education agency (LEA) may not use the parent's refusal to consent to administration of a psychotropic medication to a student or to a mental health screening, evaluation, testing or examination of a child or student as grounds for prohibiting the child from attending class or participating in a school-related activity or as the basis of reporting or charging child abuse, child neglect, educational neglect or medical neglect. An LEA shall not use nor threaten use of school sanctions to a student to coerce parental consent to a mental health screening, evaluation, testing or examination. A person employed by an LEA may not require that a student be evaluated or treated with any psychotropic medication or for a particular mental health diagnosis. Only the following LEA personnel may perform an evaluation for psychiatric diagnosis or treatment, or both, with written, informed, voluntarily signed consent as outlined in subdivision (b)(1) that may be withdrawn at any time by the parent, legal guardian, custodian or caregiver under the Power of Attorney for Care of a Minor Child Act who gave the consent:
    1. A psychiatrist;
    2. A physician with expertise in psychiatry as determined by training, education or experience;
    3. An advanced practice registered nurse with special certification in mental health or psychiatric nursing;
    4. An advanced practice registered nurse with expertise in mental health or psychiatric nursing as determined by training, education or experience;
    5. A psychologist with health service provider designation;
    6. A senior psychological examiner;
    7. A licensed professional counselor;
    8. A licensed clinical social worker; or
    9. A school psychologist.
  4. Written, informed, active, voluntary consent as outlined in subdivision (b)(1) that may be withdrawn at any time by the parent, legal guardian, custodian or caregiver under the Power of Attorney for Care of a Minor Child Act must also be obtained before proceeding with any psychiatric treatment recommendations resulting from any mental health screening, evaluation, testing or examination.
  5. Subsections (b), (c), and (h) shall not be construed to:
    1. Prevent an appropriate referral under the child find system required under 20 U.S.C. § 1412, with appropriate parental consent procedures as required under 20 U.S.C. § 1414(a)(1)(D)(i);
    2. Prohibit an LEA employee from discussing any aspect of a child's behavior or academic progress with the child's parent or guardian or another appropriate school district employee, consistent with federal and state law, including the requirement of prior parental consent for the disclosure of any education records. Nothing in this subdivision (e)(2) shall be construed to modify or affect parental notification requirements for programs authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Public Law 107-110;
    3. Prohibit an LEA employee from referring a child to LEA personnel specified in subsection (c);
    4. Prohibit referrals, counseling or support in the event of an emergency or urgent situation to include, but not be limited to, the death, suicide, attempted suicide, murder, attempted murder, serious injury or serious illness of a student, teacher, staff, member of the administration, director of schools or any other school personnel or significant individual; or
    5. Prohibit testing that is a part of a course of treatment, rehabilitation or service plan for children in the legal custody of a state agency or required by federal law applicable to such children, or as otherwise authorized under title 37, including, but not limited to, child protective services assessments or evaluations.
  6. Each LEA shall inform each parent, legal guardian, custodian or caregiver of their rights pursuant to this section and shall provide a copy of the LEA policy on the rights of parents and students as required in § 49-2-211 and a copy of the Protection of Pupil Rights (20 U.S.C. § 1232h), commonly referred to as the Tiahrt Amendment, as amended by the Parents Rights Restoration Amendment to Goals 2000, March 31, 1994, Public Law 103-227, § 1017, and included in the No Child Left Behind Law (20 U.S.C. § 6301 et seq.).
  7. The local board of education of each LEA shall adopt policies that may be reasonable and necessary to ensure implementation and enforcement of this section.
  8. An LEA or school shall notify parents or legal guardians prior to any student participating in any mental health screening. The written notice shall include:
    1. The purpose for the mental health screening;
    2. The provider or contractor providing the mental health screening;
    3. The date and time at which the mental health screening is scheduled; and
    4. The length of time the mental health screening may last.
  9. Pursuant to § 49-1-704, a parent or legal guardian has a right to inspect and review the parent or guardian's child's education records.

Acts 2009, ch. 127, § 1; 2016, ch. 980, § 2; 2018, ch. 910, § 1; 2019, ch. 248, § 23.

Code Commission Notes.

The former last sentence of subsection (g), concerning the local board of education of each LEA reporting to the department of education on the impact of this section by July 1, 2010, was deleted as obsolete by authority of the code commission in 2013.

49-2-125. Archival Protection Act of 2009.

  1. This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Archival Protection Act of 2009.”
  2. Upon determination to close a public school, the LEA is urged to employ or contract with a professional archivist to review all personal property contained in the school buildings for historic significance. The LEA is encouraged to preserve appropriately all personal property of the school deemed historically significant. The property may be made available for display at any public institution in the discretion of the LEA.

Acts 2009, ch. 291, § 1.

49-2-126. Early postsecondary course fund.

A school may establish an early postsecondary course fund to receive donations or grants from individuals or from private corporations, associations, or other artificial entities, both nonprofit and for profit, who desire to help support an early postsecondary course offered or attempted to be established by the school. Moneys in the fund must be used solely for academic enhancement in support of the program for which the fund was created. The principal of each school establishing a fund shall appoint a committee which shall be responsible for the determination of the use of funds for the program for which the fund was created.

Acts 2010, ch. 931, § 1; 2019, ch. 248, § 24.

49-2-127. Creation of city school system by municipality — Referendum.

  1. If a municipality seeks to create a city school system; and if the municipality is authorized by its charter, as set forth by statute or private act, to operate a city school system; and if the proposed city school system would possess a student population of sufficient size to comply with state requirements; then the governing body of the municipality may request the county election commission to conduct a referendum pursuant to § 49-2-106; however, if a special election is requested, then the municipality shall pay the costs of the election.
  2. If a majority of the voters participating in the referendum elect to raise local funds to support the proposed city school system, then the governing body of the municipality shall, by ordinance, establish a city board of education in compliance with § 49-2-201; however, there shall be not less than three (3) nor more than eleven (11) members, and the members may be elected in the same manner, either from districts or at large, or a combination of both, used to elect members of the governing body of the municipality. In order to comply with the § 49-2-201 requirement for staggered four-year terms, the governing body of the municipality shall establish initial terms that vary in length; however, all subsequently elected members, other than members elected to fill a vacancy, shall be elected to four-year terms. If a special election is requested to elect members of the initial board of education, then the municipality shall pay the costs of the election. The members shall take office on the first day of the first month following certification of the election results.
  3. The initial board of education shall plan and manage the formation of the new city school system and, subsequently, shall manage and operate the system when student instruction commences. The board shall possess all powers and duties granted to or required of boards of education as set forth by § 49-2-203 or other statute, including, but not limited to, employment of a full-time director of schools and other personnel; and construction, acquisition, lease, or modification of buildings and facilities.
  4. The new city school system shall commence student instruction no earlier than August 1 following the commissioner's determination that:
    1. Rights and privileges protected by § 49-5-203 will not be impaired, interrupted or diminished;
    2. There is, or will be, timely compliance with state law pertaining to creation of city school systems, including § 49-2-106 and state board of education rules promulgated pursuant thereto; and
    3. The system has demonstrated, to the commissioner's satisfaction, its general readiness to commence student instruction.

Acts 2012, ch. 905, § 2; 2013, ch. 256, §§ 2, 3.

Compiler's Notes. For the Preamble to the act concerning abolishing the prohibition against the establishment of new municipal school systems, please refer to Acts 2013, ch. 256.

49-2-128. Policy to provide for an open enrollment period for transfer to schools with available space.

Each LEA shall develop a policy whereby the LEA shall provide for an open enrollment period during which parents or guardians may choose from a list of the LEA schools with available space and request a transfer. The policy shall be developed and implemented to provide an open enrollment period for the 2014-2015 school year and every school year thereafter. If the transfer is granted, the parents or guardians are responsible for transportation to the new school. The student shall maintain satisfactory attendance, behavior and effort to remain in the new school.

Acts 2013, ch. 411, § 1.

49-2-129. Information on firearm ownership by student, parent, teacher, or LEA employee.

  1. No school administrator, teacher, or other employee of an LEA shall require a student or the student's parent to provide information on firearm ownership by the student's family.
  2. No school administrator or other employee of an LEA shall require a teacher or other school employee to provide information on firearm ownership by the teacher or school employee.
  3. Any information on firearm ownership that is voluntarily provided by a student, parent, teacher, or LEA employee shall not be the basis for adverse disciplinary action against a student or adverse employment action against a teacher or LEA employee; provided, however, that this subsection (c) shall not prohibit adverse disciplinary or employment action based on a violation of title 39, chapter 17, part 13.

Acts 2015, ch. 214, § 1.

49-2-130. Policy excusing student to attend released time course in religious moral instruction authorized — Requirements — Liability — Credit.

  1. As used in this section, “released time course” means a period of time during which a student is excused from school to attend a course in religious moral instruction taught by an independent entity off school property.
  2. A local board of education may adopt a policy that excuses a student from school to attend a released time course in religious moral instruction for no more than one (1) class period per school day; provided, that:
    1. The student's parent or legal guardian signs a written consent form prior to the student's participation in the released time course;
    2. The released time course shall be conducted off public school property;
    3. The independent entity maintains attendance records and makes the records available to the LEA and the local board of education;
      1. Any transportation to and from the place of instruction, including transportation for students with disabilities, is the responsibility of the independent entity, parent, legal guardian, or student;
      2. Notwithstanding subdivision (b)(4)(A), a local board of education that provides school transportation services for students under chapter 6, part 21 of this title may provide students attending a released time course with transportation to and from the place of instruction if the independent entity reimburses the LEA for the costs and expenses of providing the transportation services;
    4. The independent entity assumes liability for the student attending the released time course from the time that the student leaves the school until the student returns to the school;
    5. No public funds are expended and no public school personnel are involved in providing the instruction for released time courses;
    6. The student assumes responsibility for any missed schoolwork;
    7. The principal of the school, or the principal's designee, shall determine the classes from which the student may be excused to participate in the released time course; provided, that the student may not be excused to participate in a released time course during any class in which subject matter is taught for which the state requires an examination for state or federal accountability purposes; and
    8. The released time courses shall coincide with school class schedules.
  3. The LEA, the local board of education, the local governing authority, and the state shall not be liable for the student who participates in the released time course.
  4. The written consent form under subdivision (b)(1) shall provide a disclaimer that:
    1. Eliminates any actual or perceived affirmative school sponsorship or attribution to the LEA of an endorsement of a religious instruction; and
    2. Waives any right of the student's parent or legal guardian to hold the school, the LEA, the employees of the school or LEA, or the state liable for the student participating in a released time course.
  5. Instructors of released time courses are not required to be licensed or certificated pursuant to chapter 5 of this title. Instructors and other employees of the released time courses shall be hired by the independent entity.
  6. A student who attends a released time course shall be credited with time spent as if the student attended school, and the time shall be calculated as part of the actual school day.
    1. A local board of education may adopt a policy to award students credit for work completed in a released time course that is substantiated by a transcript from the entity that provided the released time course. If a board adopts a policy in accordance with this subsection (g), then a student may be awarded one-half (½) unit of elective credit for the completion of each released time course.
    2. In order to determine whether elective credit may be awarded for the student's completion of a released time course, the local board of education shall evaluate the course in a neutral manner that does not involve any test for religious content or denominational affiliation. For purposes of this subsection (g), the secular criteria used to evaluate a released time course may include:
      1. The amount of classroom instruction time;
      2. The course syllabus, which reflects the course requirements and any materials used in the course;
      3. Methods of assessment used in the course; and
      4. Whether the course was taught by an instructor licensed pursuant to chapter 5 of this title.
  7. A public school shall, upon the request of a student's parent or legal guardian, excuse a student from school to attend a released time course in religious moral instruction for one (1) hour per school day, regardless of whether the local board of education has adopted a policy under subsection (b), if the requirements listed in subdivisions (b)(1)-(9) are met. Subsections (c)-(f) of this section apply to students attending a released time course under this subsection (h).

Acts 2015, ch. 328, § 1; 2019, ch. 272, §§ 1, 2; 2020, ch. 743, §§ 1, 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2015, ch. 328, § 2 provided that the state board of education is authorized to promulgate rules to effectuate the purposes of the act. The rules shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 4, Chapter 5.

Acts 2020, ch. 743, § 3 provided that the act, which amended this section, shall apply to the 2020-2021 school year and each school year thereafter.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment added (b)(4)(B) and (h).

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 743, § 3. June 22, 2020.

49-2-131. Non-disclosure agreement during settlement for act of sexual misconduct prohibited — Assistance in obtaining new job prohibited.

  1. An LEA is prohibited from entering into, or requiring an opposing party to enter into, a non-disclosure agreement during a settlement, or as a prerequisite to settlement, for any act of sexual misconduct, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment or sexual assault.
  2. Except as provided by subsection (c), other than the routine transmission of administrative and personnel files, LEA employees are prohibited from assisting a school employee, contractor, or agent in obtaining a new job if the employee knows, or has probable cause to believe, that the person seeking a job change engaged in sexual misconduct regarding a minor or student.
  3. Subsection (b) shall not apply if:
    1. The information giving rise to probable cause to believe sexual misconduct has occurred has been reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency; and
    2. The matter has been officially closed in one (1) of the following ways:
      1. The prosecutor or police have investigated the allegations and notified school officials that there is insufficient information to establish probable cause;
      2. The employee, contractor, or agent has been charged and either acquitted or exonerated; or
      3. The case remains open, and there have been no charges or indictment filed within four (4) years of the date the information was reported to the law enforcement agency.
  4. For the purposes of determining if sexual misconduct has occurred, an LEA may request a personnel file regarding any person seeking employment in the LEA from any LEA in which the person seeking employment worked previously. An LEA receiving such request shall provide the file to the requesting LEA within ten (10) business days.
  5. The director of schools shall develop procedures to enforce this section.

Acts 2018, ch. 938, § 1.

49-2-132. Membership in association that regulates interscholastic athletics prohibited unless compliant with open meetings laws — Closed meetings.

  1. Public schools, including public charter schools, shall not use public funds to join, become members of, or maintain membership in an association that regulates interscholastic athletics unless the association's governing board voluntarily complies with the open meetings laws, compiled in title 8, chapter 44, part 1.
  2. Notwithstanding subsection (a), an association that regulates interscholastic athletics may conduct a closed meeting, or close a portion of an otherwise open meeting, if confidential information protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g), § 10-7-504, or any other relevant privacy law or privilege, must be discussed. No other business, other than the business to which the confidential information relates, shall be addressed during such a closed meeting.

Acts 2018, ch. 948, § 2.

Cross-References. Confidentiality of public records, § 10-7-504.

49-2-133. Development of policy to implement program to reduce potential sources of lead contamination in drinking water in public schools — Periodic testing.

    1. Each local board of education shall develop a policy to implement a program to reduce the potential sources of lead contamination in drinking water in public schools that incorporates, at a minimum, periodic, not to exceed biennial, testing of lead levels in drinking water sources at school facilities that were constructed prior to January 1, 1998, utilizing samples consisting of the first two hundred fifty milliliters (250 mL) drawn of water that has been standing in plumbing overnight to identify lead levels. School facilities that were constructed on or after January 1, 1998, may conduct periodic testing under this section.
    2. If the result of a lead level test conducted under subdivision (a)(1) exceeds fifteen parts per billion (15 ppb) but is less than twenty parts per billion (20 ppb), the school shall conduct lead level tests on an annual basis until retesting confirms that the level is less than fifteen parts per billion (15 ppb).
    3. If the result of a lead level test conducted under subdivision (a)(1) is equal to or exceeds twenty parts per billion (20 ppb), the school shall:
      1. Immediately remove the drinking water source from service. The drinking water source shall remain unavailable for use until subsequent retesting under subdivision (a)(3)(C) confirms the lead level of water from the source does not exceed twenty parts per billion (20 ppb);
      2. Notify:
        1. The commissioner of environment and conservation, the commissioner of health, the local department of health, the local governing body, and the department of education within twenty-four (24) hours of the test result; and
        2. The parents and guardians of students enrolled at the school, in accordance with a notification policy developed by the local board of education, within five (5) business days of the test result; and
      3. Retest the lead level of the drinking water source within ninety (90) days of any corrective action.
  1. Each LEA shall comply with the policy created by its local board of education under subsection (a).

Acts 2018, ch. 977, § 1.

49-2-134. Policies and procedures for funds raised for noneducational purposes.

  1. A local board of education may authorize a teacher, school employee, or other person employed by the LEA to raise funds for noneducational purposes.
  2. A local board of education that authorizes a teacher, school employee, or other person employed by the LEA to raise funds for noneducational purposes shall develop, adopt, and provide the LEA with policies and procedures for use of the funds, including policies and procedures for the receipt, disbursement, and accounting of all funds.
  3. The policy developed by a local board of education pursuant to this section must include sources from which an employee may derive noneducational purpose funds, which may include vending machine revenue, donations, or other sources as approved by the local board of education. The policy must also include guidelines for how funds for noneducational purposes must be used, which may include bereavement, award recognition, employee morale, or banquets.
  4. Any group of persons raising money for noneducational purposes pursuant to this section and the policies and procedures of a local board of education are not considered a “school support organization” as defined by § 49-2-603.
  5. All funds raised for noneducational purposes pursuant to this section are subject to audit by the comptroller of the treasury or the comptroller's designee. The local board of education shall pay the cost of the audit and shall cooperate fully with the comptroller of the treasury or the comptroller's designee in the performance of the audit.

Acts 2019, ch. 134, § 1.

49-2-135. Development of before or after school programs in collaboration with 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporations.

  1. LEAs are authorized to develop before or after school programs in collaboration with 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporations that may provide assistance in selecting and appointing qualified volunteers for the programs.
  2. The programs authorized in subsection (a) must focus on kindergarten through grade three (K-3) before or after school activities designed to improve student achievement in the academic subjects of reading, math, science, social studies, and fine arts.
  3. Any 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation recognized under this section must meet all applicable rules of the state board of education and the policies and procedures of the LEA in which the corporation's volunteers are assisting and ensure the volunteers undergo criminal history record checks and otherwise meet all of the requirements of § 49-5-413.
  4. An LEA must approve a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation to assist in the LEA's schools before the corporation's volunteers may begin assisting students in a school.
  5. An LEA that develops a program in accordance with this section has the authority to remove the recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation or any of the corporation's volunteers from the program.

Acts 2019, ch. 248, § 16.

Part 2
Boards of Education

49-2-201. Election or appointment.

    1. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, there shall be a board of education elected by the people. Except in counties with a county charter or metropolitan government charter, the board shall consist of no more members than the number of members authorized by general law or private act for boards of education in existence on January 1, 1992, or the number of members actually serving on a board on January 1, 1993, except during transition periods following district reapportionment. In addition to the membership existing on boards as of January 1, 1992, or January 1, 1993, the general assembly may authorize by private act any number of school board members that is no less than three (3) nor more than eleven (11). The members of the board shall be elected for a term of four (4) years, and may succeed themselves. For the first election held pursuant to this section, in order to establish staggered terms of office, the members from even-numbered districts shall be elected for a term of two (2) years, and the members of odd-numbered districts shall be elected for four (4) years. Members of county boards of education shall be residents of and elected from districts of substantially equal population established by resolution of the local legislative body. Members of special school district boards of education shall be elected according to special or private act, but shall be popularly elected on a staggered term basis. Vacancies occurring on the board shall be filled by the local legislative body. In special school districts, vacancies on the board arising from death or resignation shall be filled by the special school district school board. Any person so appointed shall serve until a successor is elected and qualifies according to law. The successor shall be elected at the next general election for which candidates have a sufficient time to qualify under the law. All elections for school board members shall be conducted on a nonpartisan basis, and no person seeking a position on a board shall campaign as the nominee or representative of any political party.
    2. Notwithstanding the four-year term set out in this section for school boards, any special school district with a different term established by private act shall retain the existing board term.
    3. To implement subdivision (a)(1), the general assembly by private act, or the local legislative body by resolution, may adopt a plan to accomplish a transition from a method of selecting school board members authorized under prior law to an elected school board that is in compliance with subdivision (a)(1). Nothing in this section shall be construed to require simultaneous election of board members, nor to prevent board members selected under prior law or during a transition period from serving the full term for which they were selected. As part of the implementation process under subdivision (a)(1), the local legislative body may renumber existing school districts. During the transition period, the number of school board members may exceed the number authorized under subdivision (a)(1). A transition plan may not be validly enacted or adopted under this section after September 1, 1996.
    4. A private act enacted by the general assembly or a resolution adopted by a local legislative body prior to March 27, 1995, that established a transition plan as described in subdivision (a)(3), is declared to be in full compliance with the laws of this state. Any and all otherwise valid actions taken by a school board composed of members selected pursuant to such private acts or resolutions are ratified and confirmed.
    5. For any LEA that has failed to implement this section, the general assembly by private act, or the local legislative body by resolution, may adopt a plan to implement four-year staggered terms of election for a local board of education by July 31, 2005. Any plan for staggered terms of election implemented pursuant to this subdivision (a)(5) shall otherwise comply with the requirements of this section, but may vary the staggered sequence provided for in subdivision (a)(1).
    6. Any municipal board of education that, as authorized by private act, implemented a transition plan to bring the election of the board members into compliance with subdivision (a)(1), but that failed to comply with the election cycle established by the private act, may, by private act enacted by the general assembly and approved by the municipal legislative body, adopt a plan to restore the election of the board to compliance with subdivision (a)(1); provided, that the plan is adopted and implementation begun prior to January 1, 2009. Any plan for staggered four-year terms of election implemented pursuant to this subdivision (a)(6) shall otherwise comply with the requirements of this section, but may vary the staggered sequence provided for in subdivision (a)(1). Any and all otherwise valid actions taken by the school board during the period of noncompliance with the election cycle required by the private act are ratified and confirmed.
    7. Any municipal board of education that, as authorized by private act, implemented a transition plan to bring the election of the board members into compliance with subdivision (a)(1), but currently has an election cycle in June, may, by private act enacted by the general assembly and approved by the municipal legislative body, adopt a plan to elect board members in the August general elections by extending the terms of the current school board members; provided, that the plan is adopted and implementation begun prior to January 1, 2015. Any plan implemented pursuant to this subdivision (a)(7) may extend the terms of any current board of education members, but shall otherwise comply with the requirements of this section.
  1. Only persons who are residents of the area served by an LEA are eligible to serve on the school board in counties with populations of seven hundred thousand (700,000) or more, according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census.
    1. Except as provided in subdivision (c)(2), members of municipal boards of education may be elected in the same manner, either from districts or at large, or a combination of both, used to elect members of the municipality's governing body, except that municipal school districts whose current board members have been elected from districts as of June 6, 1995, shall continue that method of election.
    2. Subdivision (c)(1) does not apply in counties having a population of not less than five hundred thousand (500,000) nor more than five hundred fifty thousand (550,000), or in counties having a population of not less than eight hundred twenty-five thousand (825,000) nor more than eight hundred thirty thousand (830,000), according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census.
      1. Beginning with the election for members of boards of education to be held in the year 2000, a local governing body in a county that would otherwise conduct a county primary election may elect, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, to have a nonpartisan primary election for members of the school board at that primary election.
      2. If one (1) candidate for a board of education election receives a majority of votes cast in the nonpartisan primary, then that candidate's name shall appear on the ballot in the general election. If no candidate for a board of education election receives a majority of votes cast in the nonpartisan primary, then the two (2) candidates receiving the two (2) highest vote totals shall run against one another in the regular election.
    1. This subsection (d) shall apply only to counties having a unified school system and a charter form of government.
    2. This subsection (d) shall not apply in any county having a population of not less than eight hundred twenty-five thousand (825,000) nor more than eight hundred thirty thousand (830,000), according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 6; Shan. Supp., § 1487a26; mod. Code 1932, § 2317; Acts 1961, ch. 262, §§ 1-4; 1970, ch. 508, § 1; 1972, ch. 697, §§ 1, 2; 1972, ch. 784, § 1; 1973, ch. 170, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; Acts 1981, ch. 175, §§ 1, 2; 1983, ch. 424, §§ 1, 2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-208; Acts 1986, ch. 830, § 1; 1992, ch. 535, § 39; 1995, ch. 40, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 404, §§ 1-6; 1995, ch. 435, §§ 1, 2; 1998, ch. 620, § 1; 1998, ch. 1012, §§ 1, 2; 2000, ch. 753, § 1; 2002, ch. 496, § 1; 2005, ch. 320, § 1; 2008, ch. 772, § 1; 2014, ch. 716, § 1.

Code Commission Notes.

Former subsection (b), regarding board of education elections in certain counties, was deleted as obsolete by the code commission in 2002.

Compiler's Notes. For tables of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Law Reviews.

Judicial Review and the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (Toxey H. Sewell), 6 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 253.

Symposium – Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

The Sixth Circuit Year in Review — Leading Cases of 1997 (Judge Alice M. Batchelder, J. Clegg Ivey III, Rebecca C. Lutzko), 28 U. Mem. L. Rev. 345 (1998).

Attorney General Opinions. Tie vote in election, OAG 96-150, 1996 Tenn. AG LEXIS 173 (12/31/96).

Unification charter authority to place term limits, OAG 97-041, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 40 (4/7/97).

Conflict between county charter and general law, OAG 97-132, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 165 (9/23/97).

A proposed private act for Loudon County Board of Education, which would reconfigure its membership in order to mirror the membership of the county commission, met the requirements of T.C.A. § 49-2-201 relative to the election of school board members, OAG 02-057, 2002 Tenn. AG LEXIS 58 (4/30/02).

If a municipality was in the process of converting to a board of education elected entirely by districts as of June 6, 1995, but had not fully converted to that method of election on that date, it may elect its board of education in the same manner as it elects its governing body, OAG 03-113, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 129 (9/9/03).

Vacancies on local boards of education. OAG 10-26, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 21 (3/8/10).

Citizen school board member conflicts of interest. OAG 10-46, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 46 (4/12/10).

A member of a county board of education holds a county office within the meaning of Article VII, Section 2 of the Tennessee Constitution so that, upon the occurrence of a vacancy on a county board of education, such vacancy may only be filled by the county legislative body until a successor can be elected and qualified.  Vacancies on boards of education for municipalities and special school districts are subject to the statutory provisions governing such vacancies according to Article VII, Section 4 of the Tennessee Constitution.  HB 2759/SB 3066 would have amended Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 49-2-201(a)(1) and 49-2-202(e) to permit local boards of education, whether county, city or special school district boards, to fill vacancies arising on such boards and therefore would have violated Article VII, Section 2 of the Tennessee Constitution with respect to county boards of education.  OAG 10-88, 2010 Tenn. AG Lexis 94.

The Education Improvement Act of 1992 supersedes the provisions of Chapter 44 of the 1973 Tennessee Private Acts, which sets the number of members for the Maury County Board of Education at ten members.  OAG 12-08, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 9 (1/18/12).

A municipality may not cancel its board-of-education elections where only one candidate has successfully qualified for each of the positions.  T.C.A. § 49-2-201 requires that the board be elected by the people and an election need not be contested.  OAG 14-36, 2014 Tenn. AG LEXIS 37 (3/27/14).

Article VII, Section 2, of the Tennessee Constitution requires local legislative bodies to make appointments to fill vacancies that occur on local school boards until the next election. Amending T.C.A. §§ 49-2-201(a)(1) and -202(e) to allow the members of a county school board to appoint new members to fill vacancies would violate Article VII, Section 2, of the Tennessee Constitution. OAG 15-25, 2015 Tenn. AG LEXIS 25  (3/19/15).

The General Assembly has authorized the state Board of Education to establish policies, guidelines, and minimum standards that govern Tennessee’s system of public education, and the General Assembly has required local boards of education to comply with the state Board’s policies, guidelines, and standards in managing the public school systems in their respective jurisdictions. OAG 18-34, 2018 Tenn. AG LEXIS 33 (7/30/2018).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

The provision of T.C.A. § 49-2-201 limiting the number of members of the county board of education is not unconstitutionally vague under the state or federal constitutions. County of Shelby v. McWherter, 936 S.W.2d 923, 1996 Tenn. App. LEXIS 340 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1996).

Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-2-201(c), pertaining to the eligibility of residents to serve on school boards in counties with populations of 700,000 or more, is general in form and effect, and is not unconstitutional; therefore, local approval of the provision was not required. County of Shelby v. McWherter, 936 S.W.2d 923, 1996 Tenn. App. LEXIS 340 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1996).

2. Effect of Section.

Section 49-2-201 reflects the intention of the general assembly that the county board of education be a continuous body or entity, and that transactions had and contracts made with the board be transactions and contracts of the board as a legal entity and not of the individual members. Cox v. Greene County, 26 Tenn. App. 628, 175 S.W.2d 150, 1943 Tenn. App. LEXIS 119 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1943).

County charter was invalid, because it did not provide for the constitutional county offices or otherwise assign their duties to another office, agency, or official; however, a term limits amendment to the charter under Knox County, Tenn., County Charter art. VIII, § 8.17 was upheld, because there was a de facto government, as the term limits applied to all county officials with the exception of school board members and clerks of court. Jordan v. Knox County, 213 S.W.3d 751, 2007 Tenn. LEXIS 26 (Tenn. 2007).

3. Status of Members.

Members of the board of education are local officers and not precluded from serving as members of the general assembly. Boswell v. Powell, 163 Tenn. 445, 43 S.W.2d 495, 1931 Tenn. LEXIS 135 (1931).

4. Validity of Private Acts.

A private act reducing number of board but not otherwise changing the system was void. Smith v. Sells, 156 Tenn. 539, 3 S.W.2d 660, 1927 Tenn. LEXIS 150 (1928).

Where Private Acts 1939, chs. 181, 187, abolished the county board of education of Decatur County which had consisted of seven members elected from the county at large in accordance with the provisions of this section and created a board of school commissioners consisting of one member from each of the 12 districts elected by the voters of such district, such acts provided for a substantial change in the manner of selection of officials and amounted to a “real” and not merely “colorable” change so that they were not invalid on grounds that they improperly deprived the members of the board of education of their offices. Townsend v. Ray, 174 Tenn. 634, 130 S.W.2d 96, 1939 Tenn. LEXIS 9 (1939).

Provisions of Private Acts 1947, ch. 346, vesting in the county council of McMinn County control over disbursement of school funds, operation of buses and employment of drivers and janitors placed control of school system in hands of county council and were contrary to the general law which placed control of school affairs in the hands of county board of education and unconstitutional under Tenn. Const., art. XI, § 8. Donathan v. McMinn County, 187 Tenn. 220, 213 S.W.2d 173, 1948 Tenn. LEXIS 427 (1948).

Private Acts 1949, ch. 169, creating county board of school commissioners to replace county board of education and providing for election of members by qualified voters in respective school districts instead of by old method of election by county legislative body did not violate Tenn. Const., art. XI, § 17, and was valid. Taylor v. Taylor, 189 Tenn. 81, 222 S.W.2d 372, 1949 Tenn. LEXIS 403 (1949).

5. Reapportionment by Federal Court.

Despite the specific provisions of this statute, made applicable by § T.C.A. 49-2-111 in the event any federal court abolished a county board of education for reasons of malapportionment, a federal district court in a reapportionment case, as a court of equity, had sufficient latitude and power to mandate terms for board of education members contrary to the provisions of this section, but the court held that at the expiration of the terms so mandated by federal court the staggered election system outlined by this section would take effect. Rader v. Cliburn, 476 F.2d 182, 1973 U.S. App. LEXIS 10859 (6th Cir. Tenn. 1973).

6. Particular Plans.

In a county comprised of two school districts, one serving students within a city and the other serving the county outside the city, a county-wide election plan was unconstitutional because it diluted the votes of residents of the county district. Board of County Comm'rs v. Burson, 121 F.3d 244, 1997 FED App. 228P, 1997 FED App. 0228P, 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 19285 (6th Cir. Tenn. 1997), rehearing denied, 127 F.3d 495, 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 28538 (6th Cir. 1997), cert. denied, Walkup v. Board of Comm'rs, 522 U.S. 1113, 118 S. Ct. 1047, 140 L. Ed. 2d 111, 1998 U.S. LEXIS 944 (1998), superseded by statute as stated in, Bd. of Educ. v. Memphis City Bd. of Educ., — F. Supp. 2d —, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87803 (W.D. Tenn. Aug. 8, 2011).

49-2-202. Members and meetings.

    1. Members of the board shall be residents and voters of the county in which they are elected and shall be citizens of recognized integrity, intelligence and ability to administer the duties of the office.
    2. No member of the county legislative body nor any other county official shall be eligible for election as a member of the county board of education.
      1. Each member of the board of education who has a relative employed by the board shall declare such relationship prior to voting on any matter of business that shall have an effect upon the employment of the relative. In making the declaration, such board member shall certify that the vote that is about to be cast on the pending matter is in the best interest of the school system. Such matters shall include, but shall not be limited to, the school system annual budget, tenure considerations and personnel policies. The director of schools shall give notice to the board each time there is intent to employ a relative of a school board member. The director of schools of a county school system shall also give notice to the county school board each time there is intent to employ a relative of an elected county official. The director of schools of a city school system shall also give notice to the city school board each time there is intent to employ a relative of an elected city official. In giving such notice, the director of schools shall certify that the prospective employee is duly qualified by training and licensure to occupy the position.
      2. As used in this subdivision (a)(3), unless the context otherwise requires, “relative” means a spouse, parent, parent-in-law, child, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, or any person who resides in the same household as any of the officials referenced in subdivision (a)(3)(A).
      3. This subdivision (a)(3) shall not be construed to prohibit two (2) or more relatives from working for the LEA. If two (2) or more employees who are relatives are within the same direct line of supervision, or become within the same direct line of supervision by marriage or promotion, then the director of schools shall attempt to resolve this issue by transfer of one (1) of the employees. If the director finds that transfer is not feasible or is not in the best interest of students, then an alternate evaluation plan shall be devised for one (1) of the employees.
    3. No person shall be eligible to serve on the board unless the person is a bona fide resident of the county and has a practical education; provided, that beginning on October 1, 1990, except in counties having a population of:

      not less than  nor more than

      14,940 15,000

      49,400 49,500

      74,500 74,600

      according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census, no person shall qualify as a candidate for a position on a county board of education until the person has filed with the county election commission proof that the candidate graduated from high school or received a GED(R), evidenced by a diploma or other documentation satisfactory to the commission. Any person serving on a school board as of October 1, 1990, shall be allowed to continue to serve and to seek reelection or reappointment to one (1) additional term even though the person may not have graduated from high school or received a GED(R).

    4. If any member ceases to reside in the county, the office of the member shall become vacant.
    5. All board members shall be properly trained during their service on the board of education. The minimum requirements for this training shall be established by the state board of education and shall include an annual session for all board members.
  1. All members of the local board of education shall take oath to discharge faithfully the duties of the office.
  2. It is the duty of the board of education to:
    1. Hold regular meetings at least quarterly for the purpose of transacting public school business; provided, that the chair may call special meetings whenever in the chair's judgment the interest of the public schools requires it, or when requested to do so by a majority of the board. The chair or the chair's designee shall give reasonable notice of the time and location of all meetings to the president of the local education association or the president's designee; and
    2. Elect one (1) of its members as chair annually.
  3. The compensation of members of the county board shall be fixed by the county legislative body for their services when attending regular and special meetings and discharging the duties imposed by this title; provided, that the county trustee shall pay no voucher issued to members unless the voucher has been approved by the county mayor; and provided, further, that no member of any board shall receive less than four dollars ($4.00) per day for the member's services.
    1. When a vacancy occurs, the unexpired term shall be filled at the next regular meeting of the county legislative body or at a special meeting of the county legislative body.
    2. Vacancies shall be declared to exist, on account of death, resignation or removal from the county.
    3. A temporary absence of a county board member to serve in the military shall not constitute a vacancy in office and such absence shall not be subject to the requirements of § 8-48-205(5).
  4. Notwithstanding § 49-2-201 and this section to the contrary, the board of education for each LEA that operates one (1) or more high schools may annually select, prior to commencement of the new school year, high school students to serve as advisory, nonvoting members of the board. If a board of education selects high school students to serve as advisory, nonvoting members of the board, then the board shall not select more than four (4) students to serve each year. The students serve without compensation but may, at the discretion of the board, be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred while engaged in board business.
  5. A majority of all of the members constituting the board, and not merely a majority of the quorum, shall be required to transact all business coming before the board in regular or special meetings.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 6; Shan. Supp., §§ 1487a27-1487a29, 1487a39; Code 1932, §§ 2318-2320, 2328; Acts 1961, ch. 60, § 1; 1965, ch. 96, § 1; 1974, ch. 654, §§ 11, 12; 1982, ch. 792, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 49-209 — 49-211, 49-213; Acts 1988, ch. 638, § 1; 1989, ch. 362, §§ 1, 2; 1990, ch. 948, § 25; 1992, ch. 535, § 33; 1992, ch. 767, § 1; 1996, ch. 638, § 1; 1998, ch. 717, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2011, ch. 464, § 1; 2012, ch. 875, § 1; 2013, ch. 301, § 1; 2019, ch. 192, § 1.

Code Commission Notes.

The amendment to this section by Acts 1989, ch. 362 amending (a)(3) contained the language “beginning on January 1, 1990”; however, in view of the fact that this amendment took effect October 1, 1990, the code commission deemed the January 1, 1990, language to be inoperative, and substituted “beginning on October 1, 1990,” in its stead. The other references to October 1, 1990 contained in (a)(3) were contained in the amendment by ch. 362.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Acts 2019, ch. 192, § 2 provided that the act, which amended this section, shall apply to  boards of education allowing high school students to serve as advisory, nonvoting members of the board for the 2019-2020 school year and each school year thereafter.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 22 Tenn. Juris., Schools, §§ 7, 13.

Law Reviews.

Local Government Law — 1957 Tennessee Survey (Thomas G. Roady, Jr. and Robert L. White), 10 Vand. L. Rev. 1127.

Attorney General Opinions. County school board — telephone meeting, OAG 99-152, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 156 (8/16/99).

A person can simultaneously be a state employee, a member of the Democratic Party Executive Board, and a member of the school board, OAG 01-144 2001 Tenn. AG LEXIS 151 (9/4/01).

County employee as school board member, OAG 05-146, 2005 Tenn. AG LEXIS 148 (9/27/05).

Failure of county school board members to attend annual training.  OAG 10-87, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 93 (7/20/10).

A board of education may not, by contract, limit its statutory decision-making authority by requiring a supermajority vote to approve termination of a director of schools when the statute provides for termination by majority vote. OAG 14-102, 2014 Tenn. AG LEXIS 105 (12/2/14).

Article VII, Section 2, of the Tennessee Constitution requires local legislative bodies to make appointments to fill vacancies that occur on local school boards until the next election. Amending T.C.A. §§ 49-2-201(a)(1) and -202(e) to allow the members of a county school board to appoint new members to fill vacancies would violate Article VII, Section 2, of the Tennessee Constitution. OAG 15-25, 2015 Tenn. AG LEXIS 25 (3/19/15).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Nature of Office.

In view of the functions with which a county board of education is endowed, its members are primarily local officers although the board is a part of the state educational system. They hold offices of high trust but not of profit within meaning of the ouster law. Boswell v. Powell, 163 Tenn. 445, 43 S.W.2d 495, 1931 Tenn. LEXIS 135 (1931).

2. Election of Member of County Legislative Body.

Member of county legislative body whose resignation had been tendered but not accepted could not be elected as member of school board during the term for which the member had been elected to the county legislative body, and the subsequent acceptance of the resignation and the election of a successor to the county legislative body and the member's reelection thereafter did not cure the member's ineligibility. State ex rel. Howell v. Sensing, 188 Tenn. 684, 222 S.W.2d 13, 1949 Tenn. LEXIS 390 (1949).

3. Compensation Paid by Board.

When the record shows a number of regular and special meetings by the board, but that no action was taken by the county legislative body fixing the amount of compensation per day for the members, and the board undertook to pay itself an annual salary for its services, the evidence showing no disparity between the lump sum drawn as salaries and the aggregate lawful per diem that might have been drawn, that such course taken was an inadvertence rather than a conscious or willful violation of law, subjecting them to removal. State ex rel. Ten Citizens of Campbell County v. Smith, 158 Tenn. 26, 11 S.W.2d 897, 1928 Tenn. LEXIS 120 (1928).

4. Removal of Members of Board.

Members of county legislative body were not disqualified from removing members of county board of education under provisions of Acts 1921, ch. 120, § 9, where they acted in official capacity. State ex rel. Lillard v. Humphreys, 163 Tenn. 20, 40 S.W.2d 405, 1930 Tenn. LEXIS 133 (1931).

5. Special Meeting.

Notice of special meeting of the county board of education which was sent out by the secretary of the board at the request of the chairman and which showed on its face that it was authorized by the chairman was legal and sufficient. State ex rel. Sims v. Reagan, 175 Tenn. 607, 136 S.W.2d 521, 1939 Tenn. LEXIS 80 (1940).

6. Private Act Providing for Different Qualifications.

Private Acts 1947, ch. 773, requiring members of county board of education for Scott County to have “a high school diploma or its equivalent” conflicted with provision of this section requiring members of county boards to have only a “practical education” and was unconstitutional. Phillips v. West, 187 Tenn. 57, 213 S.W.2d 3, 1948 Tenn. LEXIS 410 (1948).

Private act giving one county alone the right to elect members of the county legislative body to its board of education contrary to the provisions of this section was unconstitutional under Tenn. Const. art. XI, § 8. Algee v. State, 200 Tenn. 127, 290 S.W.2d 869, 1956 Tenn. LEXIS 385 (1956).

7. Vacancies.

The county legislative body may fill a vacancy pending the August election. This is the clear mandate of Tenn. Const. art. VII, § 2. Marion County Bd. of Comm'rs v. Marion County Election Com., 594 S.W.2d 681, 1980 Tenn. LEXIS 407 (Tenn. 1980).

49-2-203. Duties and powers.

  1. It is the duty of the local board of education to:
    1. Elect, upon the recommendation of the director of schools, teachers who have attained or are eligible for tenure and fix the salaries of and make written contracts with the teachers;
      1. No individual shall be elected to an interim contract unless the individual so elected is to fill a vacancy created by a leave of absence as set forth in § 49-5-702;
      2. All contracts with educational assistants will be for nonteaching positions;
      3. Educational assistants shall be subject to direct supervision of certificated teachers when directly involved in the instructional program; and
      4. No member of any local board of education shall be eligible for election as a teacher or any other position under the board carrying with it any salary or compensation;
    2. Manage and control all public schools established or that may be established under its jurisdiction;
      1. Purchase all supplies, furniture, fixtures and material of every kind through the executive committee;
      2. All expenditures for such purposes may follow the prescribed procedures of the LEA's respective local governing body, so long as that body, through its charter, private act or ordinance has established a procurement procedure that provides for advertisement and competitive bidding, except that, if a newspaper advertisement is required, it may be waived in case of emergency. If the LEA chooses not to follow the local governing body's purchasing procedures, all expenditures for such purposes estimated to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more shall be made on competitive bids, which shall be solicited by advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, except that the newspaper advertisement may be waived in the event of emergency. School districts that have a purchasing division may use a comprehensive vendor list for the purpose of soliciting competitive bids; provided, that the vendors on the list are given notice to bid; and provided, further, that the purchasing division shall periodically advertise in a newspaper of general circulation in the county for vendors and shall update the list of vendors following the advertisement;
      3. If the LEA chooses not to follow the local governing body's purchasing procedures, all purchases of less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) may be made in the open market without newspaper notice, but shall, whenever possible, be based upon at least three (3) competitive bids;
        1. For construction of school buildings or additions to existing buildings, the LEA may follow prescribed procedures of its respective local governing body, so long as that body, through its charter, private act or ordinance has established a procurement procedure that provides for advertisement and competitive bidding. If the LEA chooses not to follow the local governing body's procedure, the board shall contract, following open bids, for the construction of school buildings or additions to existing buildings, the expenditure for which is in excess of ten thousand dollars ($10,000). Public notice shall be given at least ten (10) days in advance of accepting bids for the construction, and the board shall award the contract to the lowest and best bidder. Whether following local governing body procedures or those set forth in this subdivision (a)(3)(D)(i), in the event no bid is within the budgetary limits set by the board for the construction, the board may negotiate with the lowest and best bidder to bring the cost of the construction within the funds available, with the approval of the commissioner of education;
        2. Construction management services that are provided for a fee and that involve preconstruction and construction administration and management services are deemed to be professional services and may be performed by a qualified person licensed under title 62, chapter 6. Construction management services are to be procured for each project through a written request for proposals process through advertisement made pursuant to subdivision (a)(3)(B). A board may include, in a single written request for proposal process, new school construction or renovation projects at up to three (3) sites, if construction at all sites will occur at substantially the same time. The written request for proposals process will invite prospective proposers to participate and will indicate the service requirements and the factors used for evaluating the proposals. The factors shall include the construction manager's qualifications and experience on similar projects, qualifications of personnel to be assigned to the project, fees and costs or any additional factors deemed relevant by the procuring entity for procurement of the service. Cost is not to be the sole criterion for evaluation. The contract for such services shall be awarded to the best qualified and responsive proposer. A construction manager is prohibited from undertaking actual construction work on a project over which the construction manager coordinates or oversees the planning, bid or construction phases of the project, except in instances where bids have been solicited twice and no bids have been submitted. If the construction manager can document that a good faith effort was made in each bid solicitation to obtain bids and no bids were received, then the construction manager may perform the construction work at a price agreed upon by the construction manager, the architect and the owner of the project. A school system, at its own discretion, may perform work on the project with its own employees, and may include the coordination and oversight of this work as part of the services of the construction manager. Sealed bids for actual construction work shall be opened at the bid opening and the names of the contractors and their bid amounts shall be announced;
        3. Construction management agent or advisor services for the construction of school buildings or additions to existing buildings in accordance with subdivision (a)(3)(D)(ii) may be performed by:
          1. A general contractor licensed in Tennessee pursuant to title 62, chapter 6; provided, that none of such services performed by a general contractor involve any of the services exempt from the requirements of title 62, chapter 6 as “normal architectural and engineering services” under § 62-6-102(4)(B) or (C), unless, with regard to the performance of any services defined as normal architectural and engineering services, the general contractor is also licensed as an architect or engineer under title 62, chapter 2; or
          2. An architect or an engineer licensed pursuant to title 62, chapter 2; provided, that none of such services performed by an architect or engineer involve any of the services required to be performed by a contractor within the definition of “contractor” under § 62-6-102, unless with regard to the performance of any services included within the definition of contractor, the architect or engineer is also licensed as a contractor under title 62, chapter 6;
        4. Construction work that is under the coordination and oversight of a construction manager shall be procured through competitive bids as provided in this subsection (a);
      4. No board of education shall be precluded from purchasing materials and employing labor for the construction of school buildings or additions to school buildings;
      5. Subdivisions (a)(3)(B), (C) and (E) apply to local boards of education of all counties, municipalities and special school districts; provided, however, that subdivisions (a)(3)(B) and (C) shall not apply to purchases by or for a county's or metropolitan government's board of education in counties with a population of not less than two hundred thousand (200,000), according to any federal census, so long as the county, through county or metropolitan government charter, private act, or ordinance, establishes a procedure regarding purchasing that provides for advertisement and competitive bidding and sets a dollar amount for each purchase requiring advertisement and competitive bidding; and provided, further, that purchases of less than the dollar amount requiring advertisement and competitive bidding shall, wherever possible, be based upon at least three (3) competitive bids. Subdivision (a)(3)(D) applies to county and municipal boards of education;
        1. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, contracts for energy-related services that include both engineering services and equipment, and have as their purpose the reduction of energy costs in public schools or school facilities shall be awarded on the basis of recognized competence and integrity and shall not be competitively bid;
        2. In the procurement of engineering services under this subdivision (a)(3)(G), the local board may seek qualifications and experience data from any firm or firms licensed in Tennessee and interview such firm or firms. The local board shall evaluate statements of qualifications and experience data regarding the procurement of engineering services, and shall conduct discussions with such firm or firms regarding the furnishing of required services and equipment and then shall select the firm deemed to be qualified to provide the services and equipment required;
        3. The local board shall negotiate a contract with the qualified firm for engineering services and equipment at compensation which the local board determines to be fair and reasonable to the LEA. In making such determination, the local board shall take into account the estimated value of the services to be rendered, the scope of work, complexity and professional nature thereof and the value of the equipment;
        4. Should the local board be unable to negotiate a satisfactory contract with the firm considered to be qualified, at a price determined to be fair and reasonable, negotiations shall continue with other qualified firms until an agreement is reached;
        5. A local board having a satisfactory existing working relationship for engineering services and equipment under this subdivision (a)(3)(G) may expand the scope of the services; provided, that they are within the technical competency of the existing firm, without exercising this subdivision (a)(3)(G); and
        6. This subdivision (a)(3)(G) shall not prohibit or prevent the energy efficient schools council from establishing required design criteria in accordance with industry standards;
    3. Order warrants drawn on the county trustee on account of the elementary and the high school funds, respectively;
    4. Visit the schools whenever, in the judgment of the board, such visits are necessary;
    5. Except as otherwise provided in this title, dismiss teachers, principals, supervisors and other employees upon sufficient proof of improper conduct, inefficient service or neglect of duty; provided, that no one shall be dismissed without first having been given in writing due notice of the charge or charges and an opportunity for defense;
    6. Suspend, dismiss or alternatively place pupils, when the progress, safety or efficiency of the school makes it necessary or when disruptive, threatening or violent students endanger the safety of other students or school system employees;
    7. Provide proper record books for the director of schools, and should the appropriate local legislative body fail or refuse to provide a suitable office and sufficient equipment for the director of schools, the local board of education may provide the office and equipment out of the elementary and the high school funds in proportion to their gross annual amounts;
        1. Require the director of schools and the chair of the local board of education to prepare a budget on forms furnished by the commissioner, and when the budget has been approved by the local board, to submit the budget to the appropriate local legislative body. The director of schools and the chair of the local board of education shall prepare a budget according to the revenue estimates and revenue determinations made by the county legislative body under § 49-2-101(1)(D);
        2. No LEA shall submit a budget to the local legislative body that directly or indirectly supplants or proposes to use state funds to supplant any local current operation funds, excluding capital outlay and debt service;
        1. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, for any fiscal year, if state funding to the county for education is less than state funding to the county for education during the fiscal year 1990-1991 or less than the previous fiscal year's state funding to the county for education, except that a reduction in funding based on fewer students in the county rather than actual funding cuts shall not be considered a reduction in funding for purposes of this subdivision (a)(9)(B)(i), local funds that were appropriated and allocated to offset state funding reductions during any previous fiscal year are excluded from this maintenance of local funding effort requirement;
        2. It is the intent of subdivision (a)(9)(B)(i) to allow local governments the option to appropriate and allocate funds to make up for state cuts without being subject to a continuation of funding effort requirement as to those funds for any year during which the state reinstates the funding or restores the previous cuts, and during any subsequent year should the state fail to restore the funding cuts;
      1. Subdivision (a)(9)(A)(ii) shall not apply to a newly created LEA in any county where the county and city schools are being combined for a period of three (3) years after the creation of the LEA. The county board of education shall submit its budget to the county legislative body no later than forty-five (45) days prior to the July term or forty-five (45) days prior to the actual date the budget is to be adopted by the county legislative body if the adoption is scheduled prior to July 1;
    8. Prepare, or have prepared, a copy of the minutes of each meeting of the board of education, and provide a copy of the minutes no more than thirty (30) days after the board meeting or at the time they are provided to members of the board, if such is earlier, to the president of each local education association. Any subsequent corrections, modifications or changes shall be distributed in the same manner;
    9. Adopt and enforce, in accordance with guidelines prescribed by the state board of education pursuant to § 49-6-3002, minimum standards and policies governing student attendance, subject to availability of funds;
    10. Develop and implement an evaluation plan for all certificated employees in accordance with the guidelines and criteria of the state board of education, and submit the plan to the commissioner for approval;
      1. Notwithstanding any other public or private act to the contrary, employ a director of schools under a written contract of up to four (4) years' duration, which may be renewed. No school board, however, may either terminate, without cause, or enter into a contract with any director of schools during a period extending from forty-five (45) days prior to the general school board election until thirty (30) days following the election. Any vacancy in the office of the director that occurs within this period shall be filled on a temporary basis, not extending beyond sixty (60) days following the general school board election. An option to renew a contract that exists on May 22, 2001, may be exercised within the time period set out in this subdivision (a)(13)(A). Any such person transferred during the term of the person's contract shall not have the person's salary diminished for the remainder of the contract period. The board may dismiss the director for cause as specified in this section or in chapter 5, part 5 of this title, as appropriate. The director of schools may be referred to as the superintendent and references to or duties of the former county superintendents shall be deemed references to or duties of the director of schools employed under this section. The school board is the sole authority in appointing a director of schools;
      2. Each school board shall adopt a written policy regarding the method of accepting and reviewing applications and interviewing candidates for the position of director of schools;
      3. No school board shall extend the contract of a director of schools without giving notice of the intent to do so at least fifteen (15) calendar days prior to the scheduled meeting at which action shall be taken. Further, except in cases concerning allegations of criminal or professional misconduct, no school board shall terminate the contract or remove a director of schools from office without giving notice at least fifteen (15) calendar days prior to the scheduled meeting at which action shall be taken. Notice of extension or termination of a contract of a director of schools shall include the date, time and place of the meeting, and shall comport with all other requirements of §§ 8-44-103 and 49-2-202(c)(1). The proposed action shall be published as a specific, clearly stated item on the agenda for the meeting. Such item, for the convenience of the public attending the meeting, shall be the first item on the agenda;
    11. Adopt policies on the employment of substitute teachers. The policies shall, at a minimum, address qualifications and training and shall ensure substitute teachers are subject to investigation pursuant to § 49-5-413. The policies shall also prohibit hiring any substitute teacher whose records with the state department of education indicate a license or certificate currently in revoked status; and
    12. Develop and implement an evaluation plan to be used annually for the director of schools. The plan shall include, but shall not be limited to, sections regarding job performance, student achievement, relationships with staff and personnel, relationships with board members, and relationships with the community.
  2. The local board of education has the power to:
    1. Consolidate two (2) or more schools whenever in its judgment the efficiency of the schools would be improved by the consolidation;
    2. Require school children and any employees of the board to submit to a physical examination by a competent physician whenever there is reason to believe that the children or employees have tuberculosis or any other communicable disease, and upon certification from the examining physician that the children or employees have any communicable disease, to exclude them from school or service until the child or children, employer or employers, employee or employees furnish proper certificate or certificates from the examining physician or physicians showing the communicable disease to have been cured;
    3. Establish night schools and part-time schools whenever in the judgment of the board they may be necessary;
    4. Permit school buildings and school property to be used for public, community or recreational purposes under rules, regulations and conditions as prescribed from time to time by the board of education;
      1. No member of the board or other school official shall be held liable in damages for any injury to person or property resulting from the use of school buildings or property;
      2. The local board of education may lease buildings and property or the portions of buildings and property it determines are not being used or are not needed at present by the public school system to the owners or operators of private child care centers and kindergartens for the purpose of providing educational and child care services to the community. The leases may not be entered for a term exceeding five (5) years and must be on reasonable terms that are worked out between the school board and the owner or operator. The leasing arrangement entered into in accordance with this subdivision (b)(4)(B) shall not be intended or used to avoid any school integration requirement pursuant to the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The local board of education shall not execute any lease pursuant to this subdivision (b)(4) that would replace or supplant existing kindergarten programs or kindergarten programs maintained pursuant to the Minimum Kindergarten Program Law, codified in §  49-6-201. This subdivision (b)(4) shall also apply to municipal boards of education;
    5. Employ legal counsel to advise or represent the board;
    6. Make rules providing for the organization of school safety patrols in the public schools under its jurisdiction and for the appointment, with the permission of the parents, of pupils as members of the safety patrols;
    7. Establish minimum attendance requirements or standards as a condition for passing a course or grade; provided, that the requirements or standards are established prior to any school year in which they are to be applicable, are recorded in board minutes and publicized through a newspaper of general circulation prior to implementation and are printed and distributed to students prior to implementation; and provided, further, that the requirements or standards shall not violate § 49-6-3002(b);
    8. Provide written notice to probationary teachers of specific reasons for failure of reelection pursuant to this title; provided, that any teacher so notified shall be given, upon request, a hearing to determine the validity of the reasons given for failure of reelection; provided, that:
      1. The hearings shall occur no later than thirty (30) days after the teacher's request;
      2. The teacher shall be allowed to appear, call witnesses and plead the teacher's cause in person or by counsel;
      3. The board of education shall issue a written decision regarding continued employment of the teacher; and
      4. Nothing contained in this subdivision (b)(8) shall be construed to grant tenure or the expectation of continued employment to any person;
    9. Offer and pay a bonus or other monetary incentive to encourage the retirement of any teacher or other employee who is eligible to retire. For purposes of this subdivision (b)(9), “local board of education” means the board of education of any county, municipal or special school system;
    10. Lease or sell buildings and property or the portions of buildings or property it determines are not being used or are not needed at present by the public school system in the manner deemed by the board to be in the best interest of the school system and the community that the system serves. In determining the best interest of the community, the board may seek and consider recommendations from the planning commission serving the community. No member of the local or county board or other school official shall be held liable in damages for any injury to person or property resulting from the use of the school buildings or property. No lease or sale shall be used to avoid any school integration requirement. A local board of education may also dispose of surplus property as provided in §§ 49-6-2006 and 49-6-2007, it being the legislative intent that a local board at its discretion may dispose of surplus property to private owners as well as civic or community groups as provided by this subdivision (b)(10);
    11. Establish and operate before and after school care programs in connection with any schools, before or after the regular school day and while school is not in session. State basic education program (BEP) funds and any required local matching funds cannot be used in connection with the operation of a before or after school care program. The board may charge a fee of any child attending a before or after school care program;
    12. Contract for the management and operation of the alternative schools provided for in § 49-6-3402 with any other agency of local government;
    13. Include in student handbooks, or other information disseminated to parents and guardians, information on contacting child advocacy groups and information on how to contact the state department of education for information on student rights and services;
    14. Cooperate with community organizations in offering extended learning opportunities;
    15. Apply for and receive federal or private grants for educational purposes. Notwithstanding title 5, chapter 9, part 4, except for grants requiring matching funds, in-kind contributions of real property or expenditures beyond the life of the grant, appropriations of federal or private grant funds shall be made upon resolution passed by the local board of education and shall comply with the requirements established by the granting entity. A county board of education or city board of education shall provide a copy of such resolution to the local legislative body as notice of the board’s actions within seven (7) days of the resolution’s passage; and
    16. Operate ungraded or unstructured classes in grades kindergarten through three (K-3). The operation of ungraded or unstructured classes does not impair the LEA's participation in the basic education program.
    1. Notwithstanding title 8, chapter 44, part 1, a local board of education may conduct a scheduled board meeting by electronic means as long as the member can be visually identified by the chair, including, but not limited to, telephone, videoconferencing or other web-based media, if a member is absent because the member is required to be out of the county in which the LEA is located for the member's work, the member is dealing with a family emergency as determined by the LEA, or because of the member's military service. Only members who are out of the county for work, family emergency or military service may attend and participate in the meeting electronically.
    2. No board meeting shall be conducted with electronic participation unless a quorum of members is physically present at the location of the meeting.
    3. A board member wishing to participate in a scheduled board meeting electronically who is or will be out of the county because of work shall give at least five (5) days notice prior to the scheduled board meeting of the member's intention to participate electronically.
    4. No board member shall participate electronically in board meetings more than two (2) times per year; except, that this limitation shall not apply to a board member who is out of the county due to military service.
    5. The local board of education shall develop a policy for conducting such meetings.
      1. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the local boards of education, the municipal legislative bodies, and the county legislative body are authorized to negotiate and enter into a binding agreement that addresses the municipality's or county's responsibility to remit certain gross receipt taxes owed by the municipality or county, under § 57-4-306(a)(2), as such subdivision existed prior to July 1, 2014, if:
        1. At any time prior to entering the binding agreement authorized in subdivision (d)(1)(A), a municipality or county has received from the commissioner of revenue gross receipt taxes collected by the department under § 57-4-301(c) and as authorized by § 57-4-306(a)(2), as such subdivision existed prior to July 1, 2014; and
        2. Thereafter the municipality or county, acting in good faith did not remit the proceeds to the appropriate school fund, system, or systems as required by § 57-4-306(a)(2), as such subdivision existed prior to July 1, 2014.
      2. Such agreement, in determining the municipality's or county's responsibility to remit certain gross receipt taxes owed by the municipality or county, under § 57-4-306(a)(2), as such subdivision existed prior to July 1, 2014, may permit the municipality or county to offset its liability in whole or in part by past, present or future appropriations, expenditures, allocation of revenue, gifts, capital projects or other similar payments, grants, or any consideration made by the municipality or county to the school system, on behalf of the school system, or otherwise directly benefitting the school system.
    1. Such agreement shall be entered into and approved no later than August 31, 2014, and shall be the final understanding of the obligations between the parties and shall not be subject to additional requests or demands. A copy of this agreement shall be filed with the comptroller of the treasury and the commissioner of revenue. If any party defaults, then the aggrieved party shall notify the comptroller of the default. The comptroller shall deliver by certified mail a written notice of such default to the defaulting party within five (5) business days of receiving the notice. In the event the defaulting party fails to cure the default within sixty (60) days of the receipt of such notice, the comptroller shall direct the commissioner to withhold future distributions of proceeds authorized under § 57-4-306(a)(2), as such subdivision existed prior to July 1, 2014, to the defaulting party. Upon the commissioner's withholding of the proceeds, an aggrieved party shall have the authority to pursue equitable relief against the defaulting party in the chancery court of Davidson County. Upon receipt of a copy of the final judgment of the court, the commissioner shall distribute all withheld proceeds to the defaulting party, which shall remit such proceeds to the aggrieved party pursuant to the judgment. If the amount of the judgment is not satisfied by the withheld proceeds, the defaulting party shall be solely responsible for remitting future proceeds to the aggrieved party pursuant to the judgment.
      1. If by September 1, 2014, the local boards of education, the municipal legislative bodies, and the county legislative body fail to enter into a binding agreement as authorized under subdivision (d)(1)(A), then any party may:
        1. Seek equitable relief in the chancery court of Davidson County; or
        2. Request the comptroller to undertake binding arbitration to resolve any disagreements. The comptroller shall select the arbitrator.
      2. Such equitable relief shall be limited to those proceeds received by the local political subdivision pursuant to § 57-4-306(a)(2), as such subdivision existed prior to July 1, 2014, and not remitted to the proper fund, system or systems as required by § 57-4-306(a)(2), as such subdivision existed prior to July 1, 2014, from July 1, 1999, to June 30, 2014. The amount owed the appropriate school fund, system, or systems may be paid in equal installments, but not to exceed ten (10) years.
      3. All costs incurred by the comptroller of the treasury and the department of revenue under this subdivision (d)(3) shall be born equally by the parties.
      4. In the event a party fails to pursue the remedies available pursuant to subdivision (d)(3)(A)(i) or (d)(3)(A)(ii) by December 31, 2014, then the party shall be barred from any other relief for proceeds received by a local political subdivision prior to July 1, 2014.
    2. As the historical records of the comptroller of the treasury and the department of revenue permit, the comptroller of the treasury is authorized to provide to the local boards of education, the municipal legislative bodies, and the county legislative body the amount of the proceeds distributed to the local political subdivisions by the department under § 57-4-306(a)(2), as such subdivision existed prior to July 1, 2014.
    3. This subsection (d) shall not apply to any action, case, or proceeding commenced prior to June 1, 2014.
    4. Any agreement to address a municipality's or county's responsibility to remit certain gross receipt taxes owed by the municipality or county under § 57-4-306(a)(2) entered into prior to May 13, 2014, is hereby ratified and this subsection (d) shall not apply to such agreements.
    5. This subsection (d) shall not apply in counties having a population, according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census of:

      not less than:  nor more than:

      98,900 99,000

      336,400 336,500

  3. Notwithstanding any public or private act to the contrary, a local board of education's administrative office may be located within a building owned by the United States government, or an agency or instrumentality of the United States government, pursuant to a lease or easement authorized by the United States government.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 6; Shan. Supp., §§ 1487a35, 1487a36; Code 1932, ch. 175, § 1; Code 1932, § 2326; Acts 1947, ch. 92, § 17; 1947, ch. 142, §§ 1, 2; 1949, ch. 102, § 1; mod. C. Supp. 1950, § 2326 (Williams, §§ 2326, 2326.1, 2496.1); Acts 1957, ch. 90, § 2; 1974, ch. 654, §§ 14-22; 1975, ch. 56, § 1; modified; Acts 1977, ch. 184, § 1; 1977, ch. 196, §§ 1, 2; 1977, ch. 243, § 1; 1979, ch. 19, § 1; 1979, ch. 221, § 1; 1981, ch. 150, § 1; 1981, ch. 187, § 1; 1981, ch. 200, § 1; 1982, ch. 765, § 1; 1983, ch. 243, § 2; 1983, ch. 296, § 1; 1983, ch. 362, § 1; 1983, ch. 367, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 49-214, 49-215; Acts 1984 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 7, § 94; 1984, ch. 549, § 1; 1984, ch. 596, § 1; 1986, ch. 521, §§ 1, 2, 4, 5; 1986, ch. 689, § 1; 1987, ch. 280, §§ 1, 3; 1988, ch. 479, § 1; 1988, ch. 640, § 1; 1988, ch. 659, § 1; 1989, ch. 37, § 1; 1989, ch. 199, § 1; 1990, ch. 711, § 1; 1990, ch. 903, § 1; 1992, ch. 535, §§ 7, 8, 20, 48; 1992, ch. 603, § 1; 1992, ch. 657, §§ 1, 2, 4, 6; 1995, ch. 179, §§ 9, 10; 1996, ch. 923, §§ 1, 2; 1996, ch. 988, § 9; 1996, ch. 1079, § 183; 1998, ch. 1060, § 1; 2000, ch. 981, § 38; 2001, ch. 269, § 1; 2001, ch. 270, § 1; 2002, ch. 770, § 1; 2002, ch. 824, §§ 1, 2; 2004, ch. 585, § 1; 2004, ch. 764, § 1; 2005, ch. 462, § 1; 2006, ch. 567, §§ 1-3; 2006, ch. 664, §§ 1, 2; 2006, ch. 751, §§ 1, 2; 2006, ch. 848, § 1; 2007, ch. 315, § 1; 2008, ch. 647, § 1; 2008, ch. 683, § 1; 2008, ch. 940, § 1; 2009, ch. 514, § 1; 2010, ch. 755, § 1; 2011, ch. 138, § 1; 2012, ch. 823, §§ 1, 2; 2012, ch. 905, § 1; 2012, ch. 934, § 1; 2013, ch. 281, § 1; 2014, ch. 901, § 2; 2016, ch. 532, § 1; 2019, ch. 248, §§ 13, 25-27; 2020, ch. 576, § 2; 2020, ch. 618, § 1.

Code Commission Notes.

Former subdivisions (a)(3) and (a)(15)(B)-(E) were deleted as obsolete by the code commission in 2002.

Compiler's Notes. Section 49-5-5209, referred to in subdivision (b)(11), was repealed by Acts. 2013, ch. 214, § 1, effective April 23, 2013.

Acts 2004, ch. 585, § 2 provided that local education agencies shall not be required to replace existing supplies of handbooks in order to include the information required in subdivision (b)(13) until such supplies are exhausted.

Acts 2005, ch. 462, § 2 provided that no expenditure of public funds pursuant to that act shall be made in violation of the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as codified in 42 U.S.C. § 2000d.

Acts 2006, ch. 848, § 2 provided that no expenditure of public funds pursuant to the act shall be made in violation of the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as codified in 42 U.S.C. § 2000d.

For tables of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment by ch. 576, in (a)(9)(A)(i), in the first sentence, inserted “the” preceding “chair”, inserted “of education”, and substituted “the budget” for “it” and added the second sentence.

The 2020 amendment by ch. 618 added (e).

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 576, § 3. March 19, 2020.

Acts 2020, ch. 618, § 2. March 25, 2020.

Cross-References. Basic personnel requirements, § 49-5-101.

County and municipal contracts, leases and lease-purchase agreements, title 7, ch. 51, part 9.

Restrictions on replacing local funds with state funds, § 49-3-314.

Sale of surplus property in certain counties, § 49-6-2007.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 22 Tenn. Juris., Schools, §§ 10-13, 29.

Law Reviews.

John Forrest Dillon Goes To School: Dillon's Rule In Tennessee Ten Years After Southern Constructors (Elijah Swiney), 79 Tenn. L. Rev. 103 (2011).

Schools — Dismissal of Teachers, 16 Tenn. L. Rev. 1002.

Symposium – Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Attorney General Opinions. Constitutionality of restriction regarding use of county school facilities by political organizations, OAG 90-105, 1990 Tenn. AG LEXIS 105 (12/19/90).

Authority of local school board to donate surplus property, OAG 96-046, 1996 Tenn. AG LEXIS 36 (3/14/96).

Participation of principals in collective bargaining under Education Improvement Act, OAG 97-106, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 97 (7/28/97).

Superintendent's (now director of schools) favorable recommendation required for tenure, OAG 98-009, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 9 (1/9/98).

Authority over school location, design and construction, OAG 99-015, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 36 (1/29/99).

Authority to offer early retirement incentives, OAG 99-079, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 79 (4/5/99).

Authority to review decisions regarding teacher assignments and contracts, OAG 99-091, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 91 (4/12/99).

County school board's authority to contract with public building authority, OAG 99-094, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 94 (4/21/99).

Authority to make changes in approved school budget, OAG 99-100, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 100 (5/4/99).

School board authority to adopt uniform clothing policy, OAG 99-141, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 167 (7/27/99).

Authority and responsibility to maintain schools, OAG 99-151, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 157 (8/16/99).

Authority over school construction, OAG 99-171, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 137 (9/2/99).

School building project bids, OAG 99-204, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 194 (10/14/99).

Conflict of interest — school board member, OAG 99-209, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 194 (10/20/99).

Fund raising, school property, county trustee, audits, OAG 00-005, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 5 (1/11/00).

T.C.A. § 49-2-203(a)(4)(C)(2) (see now (a)(3)(C)(ii)) does not prohibit a construction manager from performing “actual construction work” on a project that the construction manager superintends as long as the statutory requirements are observed, OAG 00-117, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 119 (7/5/00).

Unless it has fewer students than the previous year, county school system must maintain its level of K-12 education funding in an amount sufficient to make up for the amount of city funding, if the city stops paying, OAG 02-068, 2002 Tenn. AG LEXIS 144 (5/22/01).

A school board cannot legally extend the term of a four year contract with the director of schools during the contract term, effectively extending the contract more than four years from the original contract date, OAG 01-102, 2001 Tenn. AG LEXIS 93 (6/22/01).

A city board of education may not contract out its duty to manage and control schools, OAG 01-111, 2001 Tenn. AG LEXIS 102 (7/11/01).

A city board of education could contract out the operation and control of one or more regular school sites as the board's charter gives it broad powers to contract, OAG 01-111, 2001 Tenn. AG LEXIS 102 (7/11/01).

A school board is permitted to use school property for public, community, or recreational purposes, regardless of whether a benefit may accrue to the prospective user, so long as the board follows its rules adopted under T.C.A. § 49-2-203(b)(4) and makes findings that the proposed use is for a public, community, or recreational purpose, OAG 02-085, 2002 Tenn. AG LEXIS 90 (8/5/02).

If a school board or school official allows a school building or school property to be used for “private benefit,” the individual school board members and school officials would be immune from a personal injury lawsuit in state court, assuming the school board members and officials made their decision under the rules they have adopted for use of school property, OAG 02-085, 2002 Tenn. AG LEXIS 90 (8/5/02).

Requests for proposals must be in writing, OAG 04-084, 2004 Tenn. AG LEXIS 87 (5/05/04).

All proposals are open to the public for inspection after the evaluation process is completed, OAG 04-084, 2004 Tenn. AG LEXIS 87 (5/05/04).

Authority of school board to employ legal counsel, OAG 04-098, 2004 Tenn. AG LEXIS 109 (6/24/04).

When teachers have elected a professional employee organization to represent them, then, under T.C.A. § 49-5-609, the school board may exclude any similar organization, OAG 06-051, 2006 Tenn. AG LEXIS 51 (3/20/06).

Reduction of local school funding by a county commission, OAG 07-095, 2007 Tenn. AG LEXIS 95 (6/25/07).

Local school board members are prohibited from serving as substitute teachers in the same system where they serve as a board member, by acting through a third party contractor that provides substitute teachers, OAG 08-180, 2008 Tenn. AG LEXIS 220 (12/1/08).

Constitutionality of amendments to BEP's “maintenance of effort” provisions, OAG 08-194, 2008 Tenn. AG LEXIS 239 (12/29/08).

Citizen school board member conflicts of interest.  OAG 10-46, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 46 (4/12/10).

Authority to close and/or consolidate schools.  OAG 11-37, 2011 Tenn. AG LEXIS 39 (4/26/11).

Extending contracts for directors of schools.  OAG 12-69, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 69 (7/6/12).

A school board cannot legally extend a contract of a director of schools without giving the notice required by T.C.A.  § 49-2-203; an extension of a contract made without the proper notice would be invalid.  OAG 12-100, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 105 (10/30/12).

T.C.A. § 12-4-115 (transferred to T.C.A. § 12-4-110) does not apply to contracts procured by a local education agency for the construction or renovation of public school buildings, regardless of the specific procurement process employed by the LEA for its construction projects.  T.C.A. § 49-2-203 controls how an LEA shall procure contracts to construct or renovate a public school.  OAG 13-04, 2013 Tenn. AG LEXIS 1 (1/10/13).

The interest earned on money in the school general-purpose fund may be used by the county government for non-school-related purposes.  If the interest earned on money in the school general-purpose fund is not currently appropriated to school funding, it is outside the county's “maintenance of effort” requirement and is not to be used in determining whether the “maintenance of effort” obligation has been met.  OAG 13-107, 2013 Tenn. AG LEXIS 112 (12/20/13).

A board of education may not, by contract, limit its statutory decision-making authority by requiring a supermajority vote to approve termination of a director of schools when the statute provides for termination by majority vote. OAG 14-102, 2014 Tenn. AG LEXIS 105 (12/2/14).

Arbitration of disputes involving remittance of liquor-by-the-drink tax revenue. OAG 15-11, 2015 Tenn. AG LEXIS 11 (2/4/15).

One Local Education Agency (LEA) may not open and operate a public school within the jurisdictional boundaries of another LEA, because no such power is conferred on a LEA by statute.  Further, a LEA has no inherent power and is not expressly or impliedly authorized by statute to operate a charter school within the jurisdictional boundaries of another LEA.  A charter school operator is not expressly or impliedly authorized by statute to operate its school outside the jurisdictional boundaries of the chartering authority. OAG 17-40, 2017 Tenn. AG LEXIS 40 (9/20/2017).

A Local Education Agency (LEA) does not have the authority to open and operate a public school or a charter school within the jurisdictional boundaries of another LEA.  LEAs have only those powers conferred on them by statute.  The statutes concerning the powers of LEAs, T.C.A. § 49-2-203 and TC.A. § 49-13-101, et seq., do not expressly give LEAs the authority to open and operate public schools or charter schools outside of their jurisdictional boundaries.  Nor does such authority arise by necessary implication.  LEAs are able to fulfill their statutory mandate without establishing or operating charter schools outside their jurisdictional boundaries. OAG 17-41, 2017 Tenn. AG LEXIS 41 (9/20/2017).

A county board of education may vote on a non-binding memorandum of understanding regarding the potential formation of a “partnership district” that would allow the Tennessee Department of Education, the county school board, and a private company to collaborate to improve education for students in certain “priority schools” (i.e., low-performing schools) even though current law does not provide for such a partnership. OAG 17-42, 2017 Tenn. AG LEXIS 42 (9/21/2017).

The General Assembly has authorized the state Board of Education to establish policies, guidelines, and minimum standards that govern Tennessee’s system of public education, and the General Assembly has required local boards of education to comply with the state Board’s policies, guidelines, and standards in managing the public school systems in their respective jurisdictions. OAG 18-34, 2018 Tenn. AG LEXIS 33 (7/30/2018).

A county school board's duty to “[m]anage and control all public schools” under T.C.A. § 49-2-203(a)(2) does not categorically prevent the Knox County Board of Education from relocating its administrative offices to the TVA East Tower. Similarly, the requirement that the Board have the custody of all county school property under T.C.A. § 49-6-2004(a) does not foreclose the Board from relocating its administrative offices to the TVA East Tower. As long as the lease agreement for the office space does not impinge on the Board's duty to manage and control the public schools under its jurisdiction and does not impinge on the Board's authority to have the county's school property in its charge, locating the Board's administrative offices in the TVA East Tower would not be prohibited by these statutory provisions. OAG 20-03, 2020 Tenn. AG LEXIS 14 (3/4/2020).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

The provisions of T.C.A. §§ 49-2-203 and 49-2-301 abolishing the office of county superintendent (now director of schools) of public instruction and authorizing each local board of education to employ a director of public schools do not violate Tenn. Const. art. XI, § 17, since the legislatively created office of superintendent (now director of schools) could be abolished and the director is a county employee. County of Shelby v. McWherter, 936 S.W.2d 923, 1996 Tenn. App. LEXIS 340 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1996).

2. Purpose.

The purpose of T.C.A. § 49-2-203 is to adopt uniform minimum attendance standards to prevent students from being kicked out and to save them from the street. Richardson v. Fentress County School Bd., 840 S.W.2d 940, 1992 Tenn. App. LEXIS 643 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1992).

3. Nature of Powers and Duties of Board.

The county board of education has exclusive management and control of the county schools including the right to contract and be contracted with. Benson v. Hardin County, 173 Tenn. 246, 116 S.W.2d 1025, 1938 Tenn. LEXIS 14 (1938).

County board of education and county legislative body have a reasonable discretion in carrying out their duties, and the courts are the final arbiters of whether such discretion has been reasonable or capricious. State ex rel. Bobo v. Moore, 207 Tenn. 622, 341 S.W.2d 746, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 502 (1960).

County board of education has exclusive management and control of county schools including right to contract and be contracted with and county was in privy with board and bound by judgment against board in action brought by teacher claiming tenure. State ex rel. Bobo v. Moore, 207 Tenn. 622, 341 S.W.2d 746, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 502 (1960).

Duties of superintendent (now director) of schools do not override duties of school board. State ex rel. Bobo v. Moore, 207 Tenn. 622, 341 S.W.2d 746, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 502 (1960).

Suggestion that it would be improper, as infringement of one department of government upon another, for court to require county legislative body to provide for satisfaction and payment of just debts incurred by county board of education for benefit of county was without merit. State ex rel. Bobo v. Moore, 207 Tenn. 622, 341 S.W.2d 746, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 502 (1960).

The county board of education is the supreme authority in school matters within the county, and the superintendent (now director) of schools is subservient to the board. Howard v. Bogart, 575 S.W.2d 281, 1979 Tenn. LEXIS 411 (Tenn. 1979).

In hiring and discharging school personnel the board is supreme and may take such action alone, over the objection of the superintendent (now director of schools). Howard v. Bogart, 575 S.W.2d 281, 1979 Tenn. LEXIS 411 (Tenn. 1979).

4. Compensable Services of Board.

Members of a county board of education may lawfully receive compensation for services other than those of attending the regular and special meetings of the board. State ex rel. Ten Citizens of Campbell County v. Smith, 158 Tenn. 26, 11 S.W.2d 897, 1928 Tenn. LEXIS 120 (1928).

5. Duties in Construction of Schools.

Where county legislative body pursuant to resolution authorized issuance and sale of school bonds for construction of an additional high school and lodged proceeds of bonds with trustee, its authority ended except to audit accounts of school board, and selection of site by school board and awarding of contract for erection of school could not be interfered with by the county legislative body. Bandy v. State, 186 Tenn. 11, 207 S.W.2d 1011, 1948 Tenn. LEXIS 600 (1948).

6. Contracts of Persons Other Than Teachers.

The act of a school board in hiring clerical assistance is a business and not a governmental function; thus contracts made with these assistants are valid even though they extend beyond the term of the board itself. Cox v. Greene County, 26 Tenn. App. 628, 175 S.W.2d 150, 1943 Tenn. App. LEXIS 119 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1943).

Contracts of employment for janitors and bus drivers made by a school board just prior to the date their term of office expired and a new school board took over were valid contracts which the new board could not breach without liability since Acts 1947, ch. 8, § 15, made it the duty of the old board to employ such personnel. Cagle v. Wheeler, 35 Tenn. App. 53, 242 S.W.2d 338, 1951 Tenn. App. LEXIS 114 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1951).

7. Contracts of Teachers.

Where teachers were elected by the county board of education but no compensation fixed at the time, such election was valid as to teachers who filed a bill to enforce such agreement since Acts 1937, ch. 127, provided for uniform statewide schedule of salaries for teachers and provided further that list of the teachers of each county should be furnished to the state authorities who would finally fix the compensation of the teachers in the state so that there was an implied agreement for the subsequent fixing of salaries which was ratified by the filing of the bill. Davis v. Lawson, 172 Tenn. 13, 108 S.W.2d 1095, 1937 Tenn. LEXIS 44 (1937).

Whether teachers were elected before or after the adoption of an annual budget, the number so elected could not exceed the number approved by the commissioner of education, and if more teachers were elected than those allowed by the law, then only those who were assigned teaching duties and whose salary was fixed by the commissioner of education would be allowed a recovery against the county school board for services rendered. Eason v. Hardin County Bd. of Educ., 180 Tenn. 147, 172 S.W.2d 816, 1943 Tenn. LEXIS 32 (1943).

Where the county school board ignored the recommendations of the county school superintendent (director of schools) and elected 138 teachers but the state board of education only allowed 94 teachers, the contracts of teachers who were not assigned teaching duties were unenforceable and an attempted ratification of the election did not validate such contracts. Eason v. Hardin County Bd. of Educ., 180 Tenn. 147, 172 S.W.2d 816, 1943 Tenn. LEXIS 32 (1943).

This statute vests in the local board of education the full and unconditional right to elect teachers, and a recommendation by the superintendent (now director of schools) pursuant to statute is not made a condition of employment. Sanders v. Vinson, 558 S.W.2d 838, 1977 Tenn. LEXIS 665 (Tenn. 1977).

Although Acts 1971, ch. 439, § 7(9), which is an appropriation act funding various state educational programs, may require that a teacher be recommended by the superintendent (now director of schools) as well as elected by the board in order for the position to be funded under the state's minimum foundation program, it does not deprive the board of education of the authority to enter into a valid contract of employment without the recommendation of the superintendent, for one to serve as a Title I Coordinator or in some other teaching position. Howard v. Bogart, 575 S.W.2d 281, 1979 Tenn. LEXIS 411 (Tenn. 1979).

Teacher aides do not have civil service protection or a concomitant reasonable expectation of continued employment beyond the aides’ contract period under T.C.A. § 49-2-203(a)(7) (now §  49-2-203(a)(6)); the provisions simply delineate the rights of employees during the contract period. Cantrell v. Knox County Bd. of Educ., 53 S.W.3d 659, 2001 Tenn. LEXIS 619 (Tenn. 2001).

8. Dismissal of Teachers.

Since former subdivision (10) does not specify marriage as a ground for the removal of a teacher, a county board of education was without authority to dismiss a teacher for that reason. Knox County v. State, 177 Tenn. 171, 147 S.W.2d 100, 1940 Tenn. LEXIS 23 (1940).

A board of education could not properly discharge a teacher for the reason that they had exceeded their budget, as this would be assuming a judicial function which they cannot do and the remedy of the board is by action in the proper courts, and further, the board here could not maintain its statement that it had exceeded its budget for the simple reason that the budget is not an absolute figure but tentative only in light of unknown facts. Little v. Carter County Board of Education, 24 Tenn. App. 465, 146 S.W.2d 144, 1940 Tenn. App. LEXIS 53 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1940).

The provisions of subdivision (a)(7) (now (a)(6)) as to notice and hearing upon discharge of teacher did not apply to teacher whose contract had expired and who was not reemployed. Shannon v. Board of Education, 199 Tenn. 250, 286 S.W.2d 571, 1955 Tenn. LEXIS 303 (1955).

When complainant was given notice of discharge, even though grounds of dismissal were not spelled out, it was sufficient where it notified complainant fully of the charges by reference. Johnson v. Jackson, 42 Tenn. App. 296, 302 S.W.2d 355, 1956 Tenn. App. LEXIS 129 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1956).

9. Budget and Tax.

There is a limitation on the power of the board to make contracts for the expenditure of money beyond the budget prescribed by subdivision (a)(11) (now (a)(10)). State ex rel. Brown v. Polk County, 165 Tenn. 196, 54 S.W.2d 714, 1932 Tenn. LEXIS 37 (1932).

Board may amend its budget. State ex rel. Bobo v. Moore, 207 Tenn. 622, 341 S.W.2d 746, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 502 (1960).

County legislative body has reasonable discretion in fixing amount of school tax and is not bound by the superintendent (now director of schools). State ex rel. Bobo v. Moore, 207 Tenn. 622, 341 S.W.2d 746, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 502 (1960).

10. Submission of Budget.

The election of school teachers by the county board of education on March 20 was not invalid on grounds that such election was before the school budget had been presented to the county legislative body and revenues provided therefore since subdivision (a)(11) (now (a)(10)) required that such budget be submitted at the April term, and Acts 1937, ch. 127, § 3(a), required that the election of teachers “on or before May 1st” so that by clear implication the date of the election of the teachers was not dependent for validity upon action previously taken touching on the school budget, and since any budget adopted before the final date for the election of the teachers would be no more than tentative since under the Act of 1937, final action had not yet been taken with reference to state appropriation for such salaries. Davis v. Lawson, 172 Tenn. 13, 108 S.W.2d 1095, 1937 Tenn. LEXIS 44 (1937) (decision under prior law).

11. Validity of Private Acts.

Where under the general law the various counties of the state were authorized to choose their teachers, fix their salaries and contract accordingly with such teachers, Private Acts 1935, ch. 620, as amended by Private Acts 1935 (E.S.), ch. 82, which fixed minimum graduated salaries to be paid the teachers of Hamilton County was inconsistent with the general law in that it deprived Hamilton County of its right to contract according to its ability and placed on such county a burden imposed on no other county of the state and was violative of Tenn. Const., art. I, § 8, and art. XI, § 8. State ex rel. Bales v. Hamilton County, 170 Tenn. 371, 95 S.W.2d 618, 1935 Tenn. LEXIS 144 (1936).

Private Acts 1937 (3rd E.S.), ch. 18, applicable to Knox County alone on a population basis which set up a civil service or permanent tenure plan for the teachers of that county was unconstitutional so far as it specified grounds for dismissal not appearing in subdivision (a)(8) (now (a)(6)). Knox County v. State, 177 Tenn. 171, 147 S.W.2d 100, 1940 Tenn. LEXIS 23 (1940).

Private Acts 1947, ch. 773, governing county school board of Scott County, which provided that employees could not be elected by the board unless recommended by county superintendent (now director of schools) was unconstitutional since it went beyond and contravened the general law which contained no such qualification to election of employees. Phillips v. West, 187 Tenn. 57, 213 S.W.2d 3, 1948 Tenn. LEXIS 410 (1948).

Provisions of Private Acts 1947, ch. 346, vesting in the county council of McMinn County over disbursement of school funds, operation of buses and employment of drivers and janitors placed control of school system in hands of county council and were contrary to the general law which placed control of school affairs in the hands of county board of education, and unconstitutional under Tenn. Const. art. XI, § 8. Donathan v. McMinn County, 187 Tenn. 220, 213 S.W.2d 173, 1948 Tenn. LEXIS 427 (1948).

Where finance and purchasing commission created for Rhea County by Private Acts 1949, ch. 317, had no other function as to board of education than to act as purchasing commission and had only the right to approve and supervise, such act did not violate Tenn. Const. art. XI, § 8, since formerly subdivision (a)(4) of this section specifically exempted counties having purchasing commissions from the provisions of the general law. Hicks v. Rhea County, 189 Tenn. 383, 225 S.W.2d 544, 1949 Tenn. LEXIS 445 (1949).

12. Relation to County Director of Schools.

The duties assigned the county superintendent (now director of schools) under the statutes with respect to the essential features of school management do not override the authority of the school board, and the ultimate responsibility and authority with respect to such matters rests with the board. State v. Yoakum, 201 Tenn. 180, 297 S.W.2d 635, 1956 Tenn. LEXIS 481 (1956).

13. Expulsion of Pupils.

Rule of board of education expelling for the remainder of the school term any pupil who marries was not arbitrary or unreasonable. State ex rel. Thompson v. Marion County Board of Education, 202 Tenn. 29, 302 S.W.2d 57, 1957 Tenn. LEXIS 359 (1957).

14. Dress Code Regulations.

County board of education dress code rule promulgated under this section was not unconstitutionally vague. Morrison v. Hamilton County Board of Education, 494 S.W.2d 770, 1973 Tenn. LEXIS 413, 58 A.L.R.3d 1219 (Tenn. 1973), cert. denied, 414 U.S. 1044, 94 S. Ct. 548, 38 L. Ed. 2d 335, 1973 U.S. LEXIS 1528 (1973).

15. Long-Term Contracts.

The legislature never intended that title 49, ch. 2 serve as a limitation upon the authority of counties to enter into long-term contracts. Washington County Bd. of Education v. MarketAmerica, Inc., 693 S.W.2d 344, 1985 Tenn. LEXIS 604 (Tenn. 1985).

Long-term contract by local board of education, which did not require the county to raise any additional revenue than if the contract was not in existence, and which was entered into before the enactment of title 7, ch. 51, part 9, was valid. Washington County Bd. of Education v. MarketAmerica, Inc., 693 S.W.2d 344, 1985 Tenn. LEXIS 604 (Tenn. 1985).

16. Official Records of the Board.

Since certain ambiguities in official records, including some technical omissions, may be explained by parol evidence, where undisputed testimony indicated that a school board had voted, and the outcome of the vote, failure to record such vote in the minutes did not invalidate it. Bundren v. Peters, 732 F. Supp. 1486, 1989 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16980 (E.D. Tenn. 1989).

17. Power to Arbitrate in Construction Contract.

The power of a county board of education to arbitrate is implied from the express T.C.A. § 49-2-203 power to contract in the first instance. S. Constructors, Inc. v. Loudon County Bd. of Educ., 58 S.W.3d 706, 2001 Tenn. LEXIS 763 (Tenn. 2001).

18. Standing.

Board of education did not exercise its discretionary power to provide written notice to the teacher that her contract would not be renewed, and no other statute provided non-tenured teachers the right to a hearing in this circumstance; the trial court properly concluded that the teacher lacked standing. Wash. Cty. Educ. Ass'n v. Wash. Cty. Bd. of Educ., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 305 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 20, 2019).

49-2-204. Debts — Penalty.

Any member of the board who votes to create debts beyond the legitimate income provided in the school budget for any school year or in any way misappropriates or misuses school funds commits a Class A misdemeanor and shall forfeit office.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 6; Shan. Supp., § 1487a40; Code 1932, § 2329; Acts 1974, ch. 654, § 23; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-216; Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 111.

Cross-References. County and municipal contracts, leases and lease-purchase agreements, title 7, ch. 51, part 9.

Penalty for Class A misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

Attorney General Opinions. A county school system is not required to enroll students who are residents of a municipality with a separate school system, OAG 06-102, 2006 Tenn. AG LEXIS 111 (6/21/06).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Long-Term Contracts.

The legislature never intended that title 49, ch. 2 serve as a limitation upon the authority of counties to enter into long-term contracts. Washington County Bd. of Education v. MarketAmerica, Inc., 693 S.W.2d 344, 1985 Tenn. LEXIS 604 (Tenn. 1985).

Long-term contract by local board of education, which did not require the county to raise any additional revenue than if the contract was not in existence, and which was entered into before the enactment of title 7, ch. 51, part 9, was valid. Washington County Bd. of Education v. MarketAmerica, Inc., 693 S.W.2d 344, 1985 Tenn. LEXIS 604 (Tenn. 1985).

49-2-205. Chair — Powers and duties.

It is the duty of the chair of the local board of education to:

  1. Preside at all meetings of the board;
  2. Appoint committees authorized by the board;
  3. Serve as chair of the executive committee; and
  4. Countersign all warrants authorized by the board of education and issued by the director of schools for all expenditures of the school system.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 6; Shan. Supp., § 1487a37; Code 1932, § 2327; Acts 1963, ch. 13, § 1; 1974, ch. 654, §§ 25, 26; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-218.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 22 Tenn. Juris., Schools, § 29.

Law Reviews.

Local Government Law — 1954 Tennessee Survey, 7 Vand. L. Rev. 881.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Countersignature.

Action of chair of county board of education in procuring a rubber stamp bearing a facsimile of the chair's signature and authorizing the clerk of the board to affix the stamp to county warrants is a conscious and willful neglect of an important duty, warranting the removal of the chair from office. State ex rel. Ten Citizens of Campbell County v. Smith, 158 Tenn. 26, 11 S.W.2d 897, 1928 Tenn. LEXIS 120 (1928).

49-2-206. Executive committee — Powers and duties.

  1. The chair of the board of education and director of schools constitute the executive committee of the board of education.
  2. The duties of the executive committee are to:
    1. Meet at the office of the director as often as necessary to perform the duties required;
    2. Advertise for bids and let contracts authorized by the board of education;
    3. Serve as the purchasing agent for the board; provided, that this shall not apply to counties having a purchasing board nor to counties having a purchasing agent created by a private or local act;
    4. Examine all accounts authorized by the board and see that the budget approved by the legislative body is not exceeded;
    5. Submit at each regular meeting of the board for approval a full report of all business transacted since the last regular meeting, which report shall be recorded as a part of the minutes of the board of education; and
    6. Transact any other business assigned to the committee by the board.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 6; Shan. Supp., §§ 1487a37, 1487a38; Code 1932, §§ 2327, 2327a; Acts 1957, ch. 175, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-219; Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 9.

Attorney General Opinions. Authority to make changes in approved school budget, OAG 99-100, 199 Tenn. AG LEXIS 100 (5/4/99).

49-2-207. Policy pamphlets.

  1. The local board of education shall compile and publish an official operating policy pamphlet, which shall contain, but not be limited to, such procedures as have been established by letter, directive, written or verbal memorandum, custom or tradition, and by which schools are managed, operated or controlled. Such policy pamphlet shall be updated every two (2) years.
  2. “Pamphlet” may mean a loose-leaf binder.
  3. A copy of the updated board of education operating policy pamphlet shall be distributed to each principal of each local school system to be kept on file and available in each school library during and immediately after normal school hours. Board of education operating policies kept in electronic format and available in each school library shall satisfy the requirements of this subsection (c).
  4. Added or amended policies and a notice of each deleted policy shall be kept on file and available in each school library.
  5. If a local board's operating policies are kept in electronic format, and if the board also maintains an internet website, then the board shall make its operating policies available and accessible on that website.
  6. The commissioner shall be authorized and directed to take appropriate action to enforce this section.

Acts 1970, ch. 522, § 1; 1974, ch. 654, § 37; 1979, ch. 112, § 1; T.C.A., § 49-250; Acts 2001, ch. 181, § 1; 2002, ch. 537, § 1; 2010, ch. 883, § 1; 2019, ch. 248, §§ 28, 29.

49-2-208. Tax-sheltered annuities.

  1. A local board of education is authorized to enter into written agreements with any of its employees to pay, at the request of its employees, a part of the incomes of the employees for the purchase of annuity or other contracts which meet the requirements of § 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. The amount of the reduction may not exceed the amount excludable from income under § 403(b), §  415, or §  402(g) of the Internal Revenue Code and shall be considered a part of the employee's salary for all purposes other than federal income tax. The annuity or other contracts shall only be purchased from:
    1. An insurance or annuity company authorized to do business in this state; or
    2. Any broker or dealer licensed to sell shares of regulated investment companies to be held in custodial accounts as authorized by § 403(b)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  2. A local board of education that elects to provide a 403(b) plan pursuant to this section must extend membership eligibility in the plan to all of its teachers, or to all of its full-time nonteachers, or both. If the board extends membership eligibility in the plan to any teacher, then all of its teachers must be given the option of participating in the plan under the same terms and conditions. If the board extends membership eligibility in the plan to any full-time nonteachers, then all of its full-time nonteachers must be given the option of participating in the plan under the same terms and conditions. The board may further extend membership eligibility in the plan to its part-time nonteachers; provided, that all of its part-time nonteachers are given the option of participating under the same terms and conditions. For purposes of this subsection (b), “teacher” means those persons included within the definition in § 8-34-101 who are participating members of the Tennessee consolidated retirement system. In addition, “same terms and conditions” includes, but is not limited to, any employer matching of contributions made by the local board of education pursuant to subdivision (f)(1).
  3. Any agreement entered into between a local board of education and an employee pursuant to this section shall specify the amount and the effective date of the reduction, be legally binding and irrevocable with respect to the amounts earned while the agreement is in effect and state that the agreement shall impose no liability or responsibility whatsoever on the board except to show that the payments have been remitted for the purposes for which deducted.
  4. Upon entering into such an agreement, the board shall thereafter pay the deductions while the annuity or other investment contract is in force and while the employee is actively employed by the board. Upon advance written notice duly given to the board by the employee, the board shall make any changes in the manner or amount of deductions required under the terms of the agreement and shall stop the deductions when so notified in advance by the employee.
  5. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, any compensation deferred under this section shall be considered part of an employee's compensation for purposes of any other employee retirement, pension or benefit program. No deferral of income under this section shall effect a reduction of any retirement, pension or other benefit program provided by law.
    1. Each local board of education that administers the purchase of annuity or other contracts under this section may elect to provide for employer matching of contributions made by employees under this section; provided, that the employer matching is included in the board's budget and is ratified by the local board of education and the appropriate local legislative body. Before making the contributions, the board shall select, through competitive bidding and contracts, one (1) or more insurance companies or mutual fund managers from which contracts are to be purchased for the purpose of depositing and investing employer contributions. In evaluating the bids, the board shall consider:
      1. The financial condition and operating performance of the entity;
      2. The long-term performance of the investment products offered by the entity; and
      3. The fund expense ratios, administrative fees and any other charges or penalties affecting investment return.
    2. Any entity selected to receive and administer employer contributions must meet the following minimum qualifications and standards:
      1. The entity must offer a range of investment choices, including, at a minimum, a money market fund, a bond fund and a stock fund;
      2. The entity shall not apply sales loads, deferred sales charges, surrender fees or early withdrawal penalties; furthermore, the combined total of any mortality and expense risk fees and separate account charges imposed by the entity prior to annuitization of the account balance shall not exceed one percent (1%) of assets on an annualized basis;
      3. The entity shall not impose minimum contribution requirements on employees or the board; and
      4. The entity must have been in business for at least five (5) years and have a minimum of one billion dollars ($1,000,000,000) in assets. If the entity is an insurance company, the entity must also be rated by two (2) or more nationally recognized rating services as being within the three (3) highest rating categories for financial condition and operating performance.
    3. Employer contributions made under this subsection (f) shall not be considered part of an employee's compensation for purposes of any other employee retirement, pension or benefit program.
  6. Any annuity or other contract entered into under the authority of this section shall conform to all applicable laws, rules and regulations of the internal revenue service that will qualify the contracts for income tax benefits provided for under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, § 403(b), or any subsequent corresponding Internal Revenue Code of the United States.

Acts 1965, ch. 44, § 1; 1974, ch. 654, § 36; T.C.A., § 49-238; Acts 1999, ch. 301, § 3.

Compiler's Notes. Sections 402, 403 and 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, referred to in this section, are codified at 26 U.S.C. §§ 402, 403, and 415, respectively.

Cross-References. Multiple membership in public retirement systems, § 8-35-111.

49-2-209. Insurance.

  1. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, local boards of education are authorized to provide group life, hospitalization, disability or medical insurance for teachers, principals and other employees.
  2. For the purpose of financing the insurance programs, the employees who choose to participate may be required to bear a percentage of the expense of the coverages by having deducted such amounts from their salary.
  3. The budget of the local board of education shall include an amount sufficient to pay the board's portion of the insurance premium.
  4. The funds provided by the board of education and the amounts, if any, deducted from the employees' salaries shall be accounted for by creating a special account within the regular school fund.
  5. The director of schools or a delegated committee of the board may prepare and present to the board for approval a contract or contracts with one (1) or more insurance companies or other corporation that may exist under title 56, chapters 27-29, authorized to do business in this state or to one (1) or more insurance trusts that have contracted with such an insurance company or companies or corporations authorized to do business in this state for a policy or policies of group insurance to provide for the payment of group life, hospitalization, disability or medical expenses for designated school board employees.
  6. Approval shall be by majority vote of the board of education and shall be executed in the name of the board of education.
  7. The contracts may from time to time be amended, modified or changed by majority vote of the board.
  8. The policy or policies shall conform to the standard provisions of group insurance policies as set forth in this code.
  9. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the county board of education may use the county's system of centralized purchasing to provide a life insurance plan for designated school board employees.

Acts 1973, ch. 386, § 1; T.C.A., § 49-252; Acts 2012, ch. 712, § 1.

49-2-210. School based decision making.

  1. Any local board of education may initiate a program of school based decision making and may designate areas including, but not limited to, management, curriculum, classroom management, professional development and budget to be decided at the school by school personnel, including classroom teachers.
  2. Any board of education establishing a program of school based decision making shall define the procedures for implementation of its policies. Policies should recognize that school based decision making is a collaborative approach to planning and problem solving. Board policies may include guidelines for the participation of school personnel and others, including teachers, students, parents of students and other persons in the local community.
  3. The board may permit such decisions as are made locally to be at variance with board policies. If the local decisions impact rules and policies of the state board of education or the commissioner of education, they shall be implemented pursuant to § 49-1-207, except that there shall be no limit to the number of systems participating. No such local decisions shall have the effect of nullifying requirements of law.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 31.

49-2-211. Policy for student surveys, analyses or evaluations.

  1. Every LEA shall develop a policy setting forth the rights of parents and students and guidelines for teachers and principals with respect to the administration of surveys, analyses or evaluations of students.
    1. The policy set forth in subsection (a) shall allow a parent or legal guardian access to review all surveys, analyses or evaluations, prior to being administered to the parent or legal guardian's child. The policy shall enable a parent or legal guardian to opt their student out of participating in a survey, analysis, or evaluation.
    2. Notwithstanding subdivision (b)(1), the policy shall require a parent, legal guardian or student, in the case of students eighteen (18) years of age or older, to provide written consent before the collection of individual student biometric data.
  2. The LEA shall also disclose to the parent or legal guardian of the student the purpose for the survey, analysis, or evaluation materials as well as who will have access to the results.

Acts 1999, ch. 83, § 1; 2014, ch. 1013, § 2.

49-2-212. Professional associations and lobbying expenditures to be included in board's budget — Required information.

  1. For purposes of this section, “lobbying expenditures” means funds used to lobby, as defined in § 3-6-301, and also includes any dues paid to associations or membership organizations that lobby.
  2. A local board of education shall include in its budget for each fiscal year a line item for professional associations and lobbying expenditures that includes the total amount to be spent on lobbying expenditures by the board during that fiscal year.
  3. When any local board of education of a county or city school system submits its budget to the appropriate local legislative body for approval, the budget shall have attached a form that details all professional associations and lobbying expenditures included in the budget. The form shall at a minimum specify:
    1. The total amount anticipated to be spent on professional associations and lobbying expenditures;
    2. The amount of any dues to be paid to entities that lobby, along with the names of such entities;
    3. The amount of any funds to be used to hire contract lobbyists; and
    4. For the fiscal year beginning in 2017, the actual amount spent on items listed in subdivisions (c)(1)-(3) for the previous fiscal year.

Acts 2015, ch. 132, § 1.

49-2-213. Removal of local board of education member by registered voters.

  1. A local board of education member that is elected, or appointed to fill a vacancy, under this chapter may be removed from office by the registered voters of the county.
    1. A person who resides within the geographic boundaries of the local board of education district of which a local board of education member is sought to be removed may file a petition with the county election commission that demands the recall of the local board of education member. The petition must be signed by registered voters who reside within the geographic boundaries of the local board of education district of which the local board of education member is sought to be removed equal in number to at least sixty-six percent (66%) of the total vote cast for that member in the last regular election. Each person signing the petition must sign the person's name, provide the date of signing, and provide the signer's place of residence by street and number or by other customary designation.
    2. The petition must contain a general statement of the grounds upon which the removal is sought.
    3. A petition must include a sworn affidavit by the petition circulator stating the number of petition signers, that each petition signature is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be, and that the signatures were made in the presence of the affiant.
    4. Within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the petition, the county election commission shall determine the sufficiency of the petition signatures. The county election commission shall attach a certificate to the petition with the results. If the county election commission determines the petition signatures are:
      1. Sufficient, then, within seven (7) days of such determination, the county election commission shall give notice of the filed petition by publication in a newspaper of general circulation and shall provide the grounds upon which removal of a local board of education member is sought; or
      2. Insufficient, then the person who filed the petition may amend the petition within ten (10) days from the date of the certificate and file the amended petition with the county election commission. Within fifteen (15) days of receipt of an amended petition, the county election commission shall make a sufficiency determination. If the amended petition is still deemed insufficient or if no amended petition is filed, then the county election commission shall attach a certificate to the petition and return the petition to the person who filed the petition. If an amended petition is deemed sufficient, then the county election commission shall provide notice as required by subdivision (b)(4)(A).
  2. A separate petition must be filed for each local board of education member sought to be removed.
  3. A county election commission shall call an election on the question of whether to recall a local board of education member if the county election commission determines that a petition is sufficient in accordance with subdivision (b)(4). The question must only be posed to voters who are represented by the local board of education member sought to be removed. The question on the ballot must ask whether the local board of education member should be recalled, and the voter must be provided the option to vote “for recall” or “against recall.” If sixty-six percent (66%) or more of those voting vote “for recall,” then the person named shall be declared removed from office and the office must be declared vacant. A vacancy must be filled in accordance with § 49-2-202(e). No election for the purpose of recall shall be held within a period beginning ninety (90) days before and ending ninety (90) days after a regular election.
  4. This section only applies in counties having a population of not less than ninety-eight thousand two hundred (98,200) nor more than ninety-eight thousand three hundred (98,300), according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

Acts 2019, ch. 350, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. For tables of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement

Attorney General Opinions. 2019 Tenn. Pub. Acts, ch. 350, which applies only to Madison County by means of a narrow population bracket, raises constitutional concerns. Public Chapter 350 amends T.C.A., title 49, ch. 2, part 2, to add a procedure that allows the registered voters of a county to petition for an election to recall a member of the local board of education. However, T.C.A. § 49-2-213 “only applies in counties having a population of not less than 98,200 nor more than 98,300, according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census.” Because of this narrow population bracket, the recall procedure currently applies only to Madison County, as the legislature apparently intended it to do. Legislative classifications based on population brackets do enjoy a presumption of constitutionality, but they must also be supported by some justification related to population. Neither the text of Public Chapter 350 nor its legislative history provides a rationale for the distinction it creates between Madison County and all other counties with respect to the recall of members of local boards of education. Nor is any rational basis for such a distinction readily apparent. Absent a rational basis for the distinction between Madison County and all other counties, Public Chapter 350 raises constitutional concerns under article I, section 8, and article XI, section 8, of the Tennessee Constitution. Public Chapter 350 also raises concerns under article XI, section 9, of the Tennessee Constitution, which prohibits legislation that is, in effect, applicable only to a particular county if the legislation does not provide for local approval. Public Chapter 350 applies only to Madison County currently and does not provide for local approval. Moreover, in contrast to other legislation that courts have held not to implicate article XI, section 9, the population bracket in Public Chapter 350 is so narrow that it is unlikely to ever apply to another county. OAG 19-18, 2019 Tenn. AG LEXIS 54 (9/25/2019).

Part 3
County Administration

49-2-301. Director of schools.

  1. Each local board of education is authorized to employ a director of schools, as provided for in § 49-2-203, subject to requirements of law. This director of schools may be referred to as superintendent, but all references to or duties or powers of the former county superintendents of public instruction shall be deemed to be references to or powers or duties of the director of schools. Failure to change a reference to county superintendent to superintendent or director of schools shall not be deemed to continue to revive the former office or position of county superintendent, it being the intention in this part to convert the former elected office of superintendent of public instruction to an administrative position filled by the applicable local board of education.
    1. It is the duty of the board of education to assign to its director of schools the duty to:
      1. Act for the board in seeing that the laws relating to the schools and rules of the state and the local board of education are faithfully executed;
      2. Attend all meetings of the board and to serve as a member of the executive committee of the board, without additional compensation;
      3. Keep on electronic disks and in well bound books, furnished by the board, a complete and accurate record of the proceedings of all meetings of the board and of the director's official acts;
      4. Keep on electronic disks and in well bound books, furnished by the board and arranged according to the regulations prescribed by the commissioner of education, a detailed and accurate account of all receipts and disbursement of the public school funds;
      5. Issue, within ten (10) days, all warrants authorized by the board for expenditures for public school funds;
      6. Make such recommendations to the board as the director deems for the best interest of the public schools, but in no case shall the director have a vote on any question coming before the board;
      7. Have general supervision of all schools, and visit the schools from time to time, and advise with the teachers and members of the board as to their condition and improvement;
      8. Require the use of the state course of study for all the public schools and the system of promoting pupils through the several grades of the public schools in accordance with regulations of the commissioner, as approved by the state board;
      9. Sign all certificates and diplomas of pupils who complete the courses of study prescribed for the elementary and high schools;
      10. Recommend to the board teachers who are eligible for tenure or notify such teachers of their failure of reelection pursuant to § 49-5-409;
      11. Recommend to the board salaries for teachers in accordance with the salary schedule and the salaries and wages of all other employees nominated by the director of schools;
      12. Assign teachers and educational assistants to the several schools;
      13. Require all teachers to submit to the director for record their licenses or authority to teach, given by the state board, and keep a complete record of same;
      14. File all contracts entered into with teachers and employees of the board, before they begin their services in the public schools;
      15. Furnish to teachers or principals the names of pupils belonging to their respective schools, the list to be taken from the census enumeration or other reliable records on file in the director of schools' office;
      16. Issue certificates relative to the employment of minors who are enrolled as students in the director of schools' district;
      17. Make a written report, quarterly, to the appropriate local legislative body, for the board, of all receipts and expenditures of the public school funds, which accounts shall contain full information concerning the conditions, progress and needs of the schools of the school system and which shall be audited by the appropriate fiscal officer and local legislative body;
      18. Be present at all quarterly and annual settlements of the county trustee with the county mayor covering all school funds arising from state apportionments, county levies and all other sources, and report the director's acts to the director of schools' board;
      19. Report to the local legislative body and the commissioner, whenever it appears to the director that any portion of the school fund has been, or is in danger of being, misappropriated or in any way illegally disposed of or not collected;
      20. Make reports to the commissioner of education when requested by the commissioner;
      21. Prepare, annually, a budget for the schools in the director's school system, submit the budget to the board for its approval and present it to the county or other appropriate local legislative body for adoption as provided for by charter or private legislative act; provided, that:
        1. The budget shall set forth in itemized form the amount necessary to operate the schools for the scholastic year beginning on July 1, following, or on such date as provided for by charter or private legislative act; and
        2. Any change in the expenditure of money as provided for by the budget shall first be ratified by the local board and the appropriate local legislative body;
      22. Give the director's full time and attention to the duties of the director's position;
      23. Deliver to the director's successor all records and official papers belonging to the position. It is a Class C misdemeanor to refuse to deliver the records and files on demand of the director's successor. It is a separate offense for each month during which the director persists in withholding the records and files;
      24. File with the commissioner of education a copy of the budget adopted by the county or other appropriate local legislative body within ten (10) days after its adoption;
      25. Furnish to the commissioner a list of the teachers elected by the board and their respective salaries, on forms furnished by the commissioner;
      26. Grant any licensed employee, or any other person considered as a professional employee, access at any reasonable time to the employee's personnel file or files, whether maintained by the employee's principal, supervisor, director, board or any other official of the school system;
      27. Give any licensed or professional employee, on request and on payment of reasonable compensation, a copy of specified documents in the employee's personnel file;
      28. Establish a procedure whereby an updated copy of the rules, regulations and minimum standards of the state board shall be kept on file in an easily accessible place in each school library during normal school hours;
      29. Within the approved budget and consistent with existing state laws and board policies, employ, transfer, suspend, nonrenew and dismiss all personnel, licensed or otherwise, except as provided in § 49-2-203(a)(1) and in chapter 5, part 5 of this title;
      30. All persons who are employed in a position for which no teaching license is required shall be hired at the will of the director of schools. The local board of education shall develop a policy for dismissing such employees;
        1. The director may dismiss any nontenured, licensed employee under the director's jurisdiction for incompetence, inefficiency, insubordination, improper conduct or neglect of duty, after giving the employee, in writing, due notice of the charge or charges and providing a hearing; provided, that no nontenured, licensed employee under the director's jurisdiction shall be dismissed without first having been given, in writing:
          1. Notice of the charge or charges;
          2. An opportunity for a full and complete hearing before an impartial hearing officer selected by the board;
          3. An opportunity to be represented by counsel;
          4. An opportunity to call and subpoena witnesses;
          5. An opportunity to examine all witnesses; and
          6. The right to require that all testimony be given under oath;
        2. Factual findings and decisions in all dismissal cases shall be reduced to written form and delivered to the affected employee within ten (10) working days following the close of the hearing;
        3. Any nontenured, licensed employee desiring to appeal from a decision rendered in favor of the school system shall first exhaust the administrative remedy of appealing the decision to the board of education within ten (10) working days of the hearing officer rendering written findings of fact and conclusions to the affected employee;
        4. Upon written notice of such appeal being given to the director, the director shall prepare a copy of the proceedings, transcript, documentary and other evidence presented, and transmit the copy of the proceedings, transcript, documentary and other evidence presented within twenty (20) working days of receipt of notice of appeal to the board;
        5. The board shall hear the appeal on the record and no new evidence shall be introduced. The affected employee may appear in person or by counsel and argue why the decision should be modified or reversed. The board may sustain the decision, send the record back if additional evidence is necessary, revise the penalty or reverse the decision. Before any such charges shall be sustained or punishment inflicted, a majority of the membership of the board shall concur in sustaining the charges. The members of the board shall render the decision on the appeal within ten (10) working days after the conclusion of the hearing;
        6. The director of schools shall also have the right to appeal any adverse ruling by the hearing officer to the board under the same conditions as are set out in this subdivision (b)(1)(EE);
        7. Any party dissatisfied with the decision rendered by the board shall have the right to appeal to the chancery court in the county where the school system is located within twenty (20) working days after receipt of notice of the decision of the board. It shall be the duty of the board to cause to be transmitted the entire record and other evidence in the case to the court. The review of the court shall be de novo on the record of the hearing held by the hearing officer and reviewed by the board;
      31. All actions of the directors or their designees shall be consistent with the existing board policies, rules, contracts and regulations;
      32. Perform such other official duties as may be prescribed by law; and
      33. Authorize each principal to make staffing decisions regarding administrative personnel for the principal's school.
    2. The records required to be maintained pursuant to this subsection (b) shall be kept in a location that is secure from the effects of natural disasters, to include fires, earthquakes, tornadoes and other catastrophic events.
  2. It is a Class C misdemeanor for any director to take any other contract under the board of education or to perform any other service for additional compensation, or for any director to act as principal or teacher in any school or to become the owner of a school warrant other than that allowed for the director's service as director. A director who violates this subsection (c) shall also be dismissed from the director's position.
  3. Any director of schools who is appointed by the local board of education elected by the general public is only required to have a baccalaureate degree.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 6; Shan. Supp., §§ 1487a30-1487a34; mod. Code 1932, §§ 2320a, 2321, 2322-2324; Acts 1943, ch. 36, §§ 1, 2; mod. C. Supp. 1950, § 2320b; Acts 1961, ch. 59, § 1; 1961, ch. 182, § 1; 1963, ch. 13, § 1; modified; Acts 1969, ch. 57, §§ 1-3; 1974, ch. 424, § 1; 1974, ch. 654, §§ 27-30; 1975, ch. 56, § 2; 1977, ch. 196, §§ 3, 4; 1978, ch. 675, § 1; 1979, ch. 99, § 1; 1981, ch. 97, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 49-220 — 49-226; Acts 1984 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 6, § 11; 1984 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 7, § 80; 1987, ch. 308, § 15; 1989, ch. 55, § 1; 1989, ch. 199, § 2; 1989, ch. 591, § 113; 1990, ch. 948, § 26; 1992, ch. 535, §§ 10-13, 16, 49, 86; 1992, ch. 657, §§ 1, 3; 1994, ch. 929, § 4; 1997, ch. 365, § 3; 1998, ch. 805, § 1; 1998, ch. 826, § 1; 2000, ch. 931, §§ 1, 2; 2001, ch. 211, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, §  2; 2007, ch. 376, § 7; 2011, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 2011, ch. 378, § 9; 2015, ch. 182, § 28; 2019, ch. 248, § 30.

Code Commission Notes.

Former subsections (a)-(c), (e), (h) and (j) and the part of former subsection (i), concerning superintendents or directors of schools elected after 1992, were deleted as obsolete by the code commission in 2002.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2 directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Acts 2011, ch. 378, § 4 provided that nothing in the act shall be construed to abridge or impair a contract or agreement governing terms and conditions of professional service entered into by a board of education and a recognized professional employees' organization under the Education Professional Negotiations Act before June 1, 2011. Any such contract or agreement shall remain in full force and effect until the expiration of the contract or agreement.

Acts 2019, ch. 345, § 87 purported to amend subdivision (b)(1)(JJ) of this section, effective May 10, 2019; however, Acts 2019, ch. 248, § 30 had previously deleted the subdivision, effective May 2, 2019. Acts 2019, ch. 345, § 87 was not given effect.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class C misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 6A Tenn. Juris., Constitutional Law, § 74; 22 Tenn. Juris., Schools, §§ 13, 29.

Law Reviews.

Local Government Law — 1961 Tennessee Survey (Eugene Puett), 14 Vand. L. Rev. 1335.

Attorney General Opinions. Applicability to sick leave, OAG 90-57, 1990 Tenn. AG LEXIS 57 (5/11/90).

Employment rights of employees of abolished city school system, OAG 96-037, 1996 Tenn. AG LEXIS 44 (3/12/96).

Application of section to special school districts, OAG 96-123, 1996 Tenn. AG LEXIS 148 (10/15/96).

Applicability of former subsection (g) (now subsection (c)) to superintendents of special school districts, OAG 96-135, 1996 Tenn. AG LEXIS 169 (11/22/96).

Constitutionality of private act providing for an elected superintendent, OAG 97-054, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 63 (4/23/97).

Authority of school superintendent (now director of schools) to transfer teachers and school personnel within district, OAG 97-107, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 96 (7/28/97).

Failure of reelection of nontenured teachers, OAG 97-123, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 156 (9/02/97).

Superintendent's (now director of schools') favorable recommendation required for tenure, OAG 98-009, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 9 (1/9/98).

Superintendent's appointment of central office employees beyond superintendent's term, OAG 98-033, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 33 (2/9/98).

Demotion not a transfer, OAG 98-164, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 164 (8/24/98).

Authority to make changes in approved school budget, OAG 99-100, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 100 (5/4/99).

The director of schools hires, assigns, and can transfer school personnel; the school board does not have this authority, OAG 00-168, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 171 (10/31/00).

To dismiss an unsatisfactory employee, the director of schools does not have to file written charges with the school board; however, to dismiss an unsatisfactory tenured teacher, the director must file written charges with the school board, OAG 00-168, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 171 (10/31/00).

A contract between a city board of education and a foundation, while limiting the director of schools' discretionary powers, did not obstruct the director's ability to perform any of the duties enumerated in T.C.A. § 49-2-301, OAG 01-111, 2001 Tenn. AG LEXIS 102 (7/11/01).

Local governing body may not withhold funds that have been appropriated for school district's use, OAG 04-098, 2004 Tenn. AG LEXIS 109 (6/24/04).

A non-licensed, non-tenured employee has a property interest in the one year term of the employee's contract, OAG 05-158, 2005 Tenn. AG LEXIS 160 (10/14/05).

T.C.A. § 49-2-301(b)(1)(GG) is not facially unconstitutional, OAG 05-158, 2005 Tenn. AG LEXIS 160 (10/14/05).

A non-licensed employee may seek judicial review of the superintendent's decision on termination by filing a petition for a common law writ of certiorari, OAG 05-158, 2005 Tenn. AG LEXIS 160 (10/14/05).

Local school board authority to terminate employees, OAG 07-117, 2007 Tenn. AG LEXIS 117 (8/8/07).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

The provisions of T.C.A. §§ 49-2-203 and 49-2-301 abolishing the office of county superintendent of public instruction and authorizing each local board of education to employ a director of public schools do not violate Tenn. Const. art. XI, § 17, since the legislatively created office of superintendent could be abolished and the director is a county employee. County of Shelby v. McWherter, 936 S.W.2d 923, 1996 Tenn. App. LEXIS 340 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1996).

2. Time of Election.

When complainant's term of office expired on July 1, 1950, the county legislative body was authorized to elect a successor at any time after July 1, 1950, and the term of office of such successor would begin 10 days following the date of such election. White v. Knight, 34 Tenn. App. 426, 238 S.W.2d 745, 1950 Tenn. App. LEXIS 157 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1950).

Where election date for general superintendent passed prior to repeal of private act under which term expired on given date, county legislative body was authorized to hold election upon expiration of term. White v. Knight, 34 Tenn. App. 426, 238 S.W.2d 745, 1950 Tenn. App. LEXIS 157 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1950).

3. Validity of Election.

The county legislative body having power to induct the county superintendent into office whether elected by the county legislative body or popular vote, the proper jurisdiction to determine the validity of the election is in the county legislative body. Brown v. Vaughn, 203 Tenn. 220, 310 S.W.2d 444, 1957 Tenn. LEXIS 471 (1957).

4. Status of Superintendent.

The superintendent of county schools is not an employee of the school board but the school board does by statute assign and designate certain duties to the superintendent. State v. Yoakum, 201 Tenn. 180, 297 S.W.2d 635, 1956 Tenn. LEXIS 481 (1956).

5. Qualification of Superintendent.

This section is applicable to the method of qualification of a county superintendent whether elected by the county legislative body or by popular vote. Brown v. Vaughn, 203 Tenn. 220, 310 S.W.2d 444, 1957 Tenn. LEXIS 471 (1957).

The general phrase “certificated personnel” should be interpreted to include only personnel who have a Tennessee teacher's professional license or certificate. Lyons v. Rasar, 872 S.W.2d 895, 1994 Tenn. LEXIS 48 (Tenn. 1994).

6. Abolition of Office by Private Act.

Private act which abolished the office of superintendent of public instruction of Hamilton County and established in its place a director of schools with all the powers and authority of the former and who was to be appointed by the board of education for an indefinite term was unconstitutional under Tenn. Const., art. XI, § 8, as suspending the general law for the benefit of Hamilton County. Cagle v. McCanless, 199 Tenn. 128, 285 S.W.2d 118, 1955 Tenn. LEXIS 436 (1955).

7. Control of Funds.

Where county legislative body pursuant to resolution authorized issuance and sale of school bonds for construction of an additional high school and lodged proceeds of bonds with trustee its authority ended except to audit accounts of school board, and selection of site by school board and awarding of contract for erection of school could not be interfered with by the county legislative body which had no authority over the fund. Bandy v. State, 186 Tenn. 11, 207 S.W.2d 1011, 1948 Tenn. LEXIS 600 (1948).

8. Authority of Board and Superintendent.

Duties of superintendent (now director) of schools do not override duties of school board. State ex rel. Bobo v. Moore, 207 Tenn. 622, 341 S.W.2d 746, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 502 (1960).

The school board is required to assign all significant financial management duties to the superintendent (now director of schools). State ex rel. Thompson v. Walker, 845 S.W.2d 752, 1992 Tenn. App. LEXIS 1050 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1992).

Tennessee legislature, by the passage of the 1998 and 2002 amendments to T.C.A. § 49-2-301(f) (now § 49-2-301(b)) and T.C.A. § 49-5-510, confirmed the traditional powers of the board of education to establish policies and to negotiate the issue of teacher transfer on a local basis, as the subject of transfer may be addressed in the collective bargaining process, but only on a discretionary basis, and neither the county boards of education nor any local education association are compelled to address the subject; the supreme court of Tennessee therefore held that the director's authority to make transfers of tenured teachers within the system may be modified by board policy or by the locally negotiated agreement, as provided by statute. Lawrence County Educ. Ass'n v. Lawrence County Bd. of Educ., 244 S.W.3d 302, 2007 Tenn. LEXIS 1084 (Tenn. Dec. 20, 2007), rehearing denied, — S.W.3d —, 2008 Tenn. LEXIS 30 (Tenn. Jan. 30, 2008).

9. Relation of Superintendent to School Board.

The superintendent of county schools (now director of schools) is not an employee of the school board but the school board does by statute assign and designate certain duties to the superintendent. State v. Yoakum, 201 Tenn. 180, 297 S.W.2d 635, 1956 Tenn. LEXIS 481 (1956).

The duties of the superintendent (now director of schools) do not override the authority of the school board with respect to essential features of school management, and the ultimate authority and responsibility with respect to such matters rests with the board. State v. Yoakum, 201 Tenn. 180, 297 S.W.2d 635, 1956 Tenn. LEXIS 481 (1956).

A recommendation by the superintendent (now director of schools) is not made a condition of employment, since T.C.A. § 49-2-203 vests in the local board of education the full and unconditional right to elect teachers. Sanders v. Vinson, 558 S.W.2d 838, 1977 Tenn. LEXIS 665 (Tenn. 1977).

The county board of education is the supreme authority in school matters within the county, and the superintendent of schools (now director of schools) is subservient to the board. Howard v. Bogart, 575 S.W.2d 281, 1979 Tenn. LEXIS 411 (Tenn. 1979).

In hiring and discharging school personnel the board is supreme and may take such action alone, over the objection of the superintendent (now director of schools). Howard v. Bogart, 575 S.W.2d 281, 1979 Tenn. LEXIS 411 (Tenn. 1979).

Although Acts 1971, ch. 439, § 7(9), which is an appropriation act funding various state education programs, may require that a teacher be recommended by the superintendent (now director of schools) as well as elected by the board in order for the position to be funded under the state's minimum foundation program, it does not deprive the board of education of the authority to enter into a valid contract of employment without the recommendation of the superintendent, for one to serve as a Title I Coordinator or in some other teaching position. Howard v. Bogart, 575 S.W.2d 281, 1979 Tenn. LEXIS 411 (Tenn. 1979).

10. Compensation of Superintendent.

After salary of superintendent is fixed by budget, it cannot be increased or diminished for such year. Whitthorne v. Turner, 155 Tenn. 303, 293 S.W. 147, 1926 Tenn. LEXIS 48 (1927).

No power is granted the county legislative body to appropriate for the superintendent's traveling expenses, or for the superintendent's ex officio services. Whitthorne v. Turner, 155 Tenn. 303, 293 S.W. 147, 1926 Tenn. LEXIS 48 (1927).

11. Enjoining Interference With Superintendent.

In a suit to enjoin defendant from interfering with plaintiff's discharge of the duties as county superintendent (now director) of schools, where the bill charges that complainant was in possession of the office, discharging the duties as such superintendent, and was being interfered with by defendant, ground for injunction was stated. Hart v. Pierce, 169 Tenn. 411, 88 S.W.2d 798, 1935 Tenn. LEXIS 64 (1935).

12. Budget.

While the county superintendent (now director of schools) under supervision of the board of education is directed by the act to make up the school budget, the authority to exercise this function does not convey the power to fix arbitrarily the amount that the county legislative body must raise in revenue to meet the exaction of these officials. The county legislative body is clothed with power to act for the county, and may, within statutory limits, exercise a reasonable discretion in fixing the tax for the maintenance of the schools. State ex rel. Brown v. Polk County, 165 Tenn. 196, 54 S.W.2d 714, 1932 Tenn. LEXIS 37 (1932).

The limitation upon the spending power of the county board of education, coupled with the requirement of an annual budget to be made upon approval of the county legislative body, imports a limitation upon the power of the board to make a binding contract of employment or other contract for expenditures of money beyond the annual budgets, a requirement essential to reasonable management of county revenues and expenditures to avoid bankruptcy. State ex rel. Brown v. Polk County, 165 Tenn. 196, 54 S.W.2d 714, 1932 Tenn. LEXIS 37 (1932).

Board of education may amend its budget. State ex rel. Bobo v. Moore, 207 Tenn. 622, 341 S.W.2d 746, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 502 (1960).

County legislative body has reasonable discretion in fixing amount of school tax and is not bound by the superintendent (now director of schools). State ex rel. Bobo v. Moore, 207 Tenn. 622, 341 S.W.2d 746, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 502 (1960).

13. —Mandamus to Compel Adoption.

Chancellor was without power to issue mandamus to compel the county legislative body of Carter County to adopt a school budget at its July term where answer to petition seeking such mandamus indicated that the county legislative body was willing to adopt such a budget and that it had merely delayed such adoption until assessment of property liable for taxation was determined and further that such budget was sometimes adopted as late as the September term. State ex rel. Board of Educational Comm'rs v. O'Brien, 170 Tenn. 435, 95 S.W.2d 921, 1935 Tenn. LEXIS 149 (1936).

14. Validity of Private Acts.

Private Acts 1947, ch. 346, § 14, which in effect transferred to the council and manager of McMinn County the authority vested in the county board of education and the superintendent as to the issuance of warrants under this section, was unconstitutional as suspending the general law in violation of Tenn. Const., art. XI, § 8. Donathan v. McMinn County, 187 Tenn. 220, 213 S.W.2d 173, 1948 Tenn. LEXIS 427 (1948).

Private Acts 1953, ch. 19, which provided for election of county superintendent of schools for Hardeman County by popular vote, changed term of office, and designated appellant to serve as superintendent until August 31, 1954, was constitutional except for that portion of the act designating appellant as county superintendent, and since under the doctrine of elision that portion could be elided, the act was valid. Carr v. State, 196 Tenn. 256, 265 S.W.2d 556, 1954 Tenn. LEXIS 372 (1954).

15. —Estoppel to Question.

Where school superintendent had taken and held office under Private Acts 1943, ch. 332, the superintendent was thereby estopped from questioning constitutionality of private act, notwithstanding conflict between its provisions and those of public act providing for election and tenure of school superintendent. Clark v. Smith, 193 Tenn. 194, 245 S.W.2d 197, 1951 Tenn. LEXIS 345 (1951).

16. Filing Certificate.

The legislative purpose is satisfied when the person elected possesses the certificate. Its filing is merely directory. Huffines v. Gold, 154 Tenn. 583, 288 S.W. 353, 1926 Tenn. LEXIS 156 (1926).

17. Inactive Certificate Holder.

Candidate for office of superintendent of county schools in 1935 who had been issued a certificate in 1914, but who had not engaged in work of superintendent for some years prior to 1935 was not disqualified on the ground of inactivity where certificate had not been revoked although the candidate could have been reexamined by state board of education. Hart v. Pierce, 169 Tenn. 411, 88 S.W.2d 798, 1935 Tenn. LEXIS 64 (1935).

18. Private Act Prescribing Different Qualifications.

Where the qualification necessary for an applicant for county superintendent of education was fixed by general law and another and different qualification was fixed by Private Acts 1935, ch. 831, and localized to Wayne County such act in effect suspended a general law for the benefit of a particular county and violated Tenn. Const., art. XI, § 8 as arbitrary selection for the purpose of class legislation, but such provisions were severable from the rest of the act. Gallien v. Miller, 170 Tenn. 93, 92 S.W.2d 403, 1935 Tenn. LEXIS 110 (1936).

19. Collateral Attack of Certificate.

A certificate of qualification issued by the state board of education to a county superintendent who has been elected to that office cannot be collaterally attacked by proof that it was erroneously issued; the only recourse in such a case is by an application to the board to revoke its certificate. State ex rel. Clement v. Dodson, 169 Tenn. 178, 83 S.W.2d 558, 1935 Tenn. LEXIS 27 (1935).

20. Court Review of Board.

The courts will not review acts of the board in issuing a certificate to county superintendent (now director of schools) unless the board acted arbitrarily, corruptly, or fraudulently. State ex rel. Clement v. Dodson, 169 Tenn. 178, 83 S.W.2d 558, 1935 Tenn. LEXIS 27 (1935).

21. Recommending Self for Position.

Superintendent of schools was not entitled to salary as supervising teacher after recommending own self for appointment, and after being defeated in election, though not assuming position of supervisor until after new superintendent took office. State ex rel. Ellis v. Robbins, 195 Tenn. 681, 263 S.W.2d 518, 1953 Tenn. LEXIS 395 (1953).

22. Authority to Transfer Teachers.

Coach was entitled to present a direct challenge under T.C.A. § 49-5-510 questioning the propriety of his transfer from a teacher with coaching responsibilities to a full-time teaching position. Lawrence County Educ. Ass'n v. Lawrence County Bd. of Educ., 244 S.W.3d 302, 2007 Tenn. LEXIS 1084 (Tenn. Dec. 20, 2007), rehearing denied, — S.W.3d —, 2008 Tenn. LEXIS 30 (Tenn. Jan. 30, 2008).

Even though the coaching assignment was not protected by the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, but was instead governed by a series of one-year terms as no license was required for the position under T.C.A. § 49-2-301(b)(1)(FF), the coach also had the right to sue under contract over his transfer because the board of education unanimously approved the arbitrator's recommendations at a meeting. Lawrence County Educ. Ass'n v. Lawrence County Bd. of Educ., 244 S.W.3d 302, 2007 Tenn. LEXIS 1084 (Tenn. Dec. 20, 2007), rehearing denied, — S.W.3d —, 2008 Tenn. LEXIS 30 (Tenn. Jan. 30, 2008).

49-2-302. [Reserved.]

    1. Each director of schools shall employ principals for the public schools. The employment contract with each principal shall be in writing, shall not exceed the contract term of the current director of schools, and may be renewed. The contract shall specify duties other than those prescribed by statute and shall contain performance standards including the requirement that the principal's annual evaluation be based on student achievement data, with a significant portion, as defined by the guidelines and criteria adopted by the board in accordance with § 49-1-302(d)(2), being student growth data as reflected in teacher effect data and Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) data, as such data is developed pursuant to chapter 1, part 6 of this title. Other standards that may be considered in the evaluation shall include, but not be limited to, other benchmarks for student proficiency, graduation rates, ACT scores where applicable and student attendance. The contract shall provide for consequences when the standards are not met. The performance contract may provide for bonuses beyond base salary, if performance standards are met or exceeded. Reasons for the nonrenewal of a contract may include, but are not limited to, inadequate performance as determined by the evaluations. A principal who has tenure as a teacher shall retain all rights of such status, expressly including those specified in § 49-5-510.
    2. The recommendation and employment shall be without discrimination on account of age, race, sex or creed.
    3. The individual designated as principal shall hold a valid license as approved by the state board of education for the type of school to which assigned.
  1. It is the duty of the principal to:
    1. Supervise the operation and management of the personnel and facilities of the school or schools of which the principal is principal as the local board of education determines;
    2. Assume administrative responsibility and instructional leadership under the supervision of the director of schools and in accordance with the written policies of the local board of education for the planning, management, operation and evaluation of the education program of the schools to which assigned;
    3. Submit recommendations to the director of schools regarding the appointment and dismissal of all personnel assigned to the school or schools under the principal's care, and make decisions regarding the specific duties of all personnel assigned to the school or schools under the principal's care; provided, that the duties of teachers shall be within their area of licensure and consistent with the policies, rules or contracts of the board of education;
    4. Administer and implement the school behavior and discipline code and require guest passes for all persons other than enrolled students and employees of the school;
    5. Perform such other duties as may be assigned by the director of schools pursuant to the written policies of the local board of education;
    6. Observe all other rules and regulations relative to the operation of public schools as established by law and as contained in the rules, regulations and minimum standards of the state board of education;
      1. Assign educational assistants to noninstructional supervision of students, which may include, but is not limited to:
        1. Lunchroom duty;
        2. Bus duty;
        3. Recess or playground duty;
        4. Before or after school duty; or
        5. Other related duties;
      2. The board of education shall specifically authorize such use of educational assistants in written school board policy and shall indemnify educational assistants in the performance of their duties; and
    7. Prepare, annually, a budget request for the school under the principal's care and submit the budget request to the director of schools. The budget request shall set forth a plan for the cost of operation of the school for the school year beginning July 1, following, or on such date as otherwise provided by charter or act of the legislature, public or private. Upon approval of the LEA's budget, the director of schools shall assign to each principal the responsibility for and authority over the cost of operation of the principal's school.
  2. Principals are encouraged to improve school security by limiting school access during school hours to monitored entrances.

Acts 1974, ch. 542, §§ 1, 2; 1983, ch. 362, § 2; T.C.A., §§ 49-253, 49-254; Acts 1989, ch. 199, § 3; 1990, ch. 948, § 4; 1992, ch. 535, §§ 17, 18; 1996, ch. 988, § 10; 2007, ch. 376, §§ 3, 4; 2010 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, § 11.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2007, ch. 376, § 11 provided that § 3 of the act shall apply to contracts entered into on or after July 1, 2007.

Acts 2010 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, § 1 provided that the act shall be known and may be cited as the “Tennessee First to the Top Act of 2010.”

Law Reviews.

Selected Tennessee Legislation of 1983 (N. L. Resener, J. A. Whitson, K. J. Miller), 50 Tenn. L. Rev. 785 (1983).

Attorney General Opinions. Superintendent unable to appoint principals beyond superintendent's term, OAG 98-033, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 33 (2/9/98).

A school board cannot change or transfer the statutory duties given to the director of schools, and any contract that changes or transfers statutory duties is invalid, OAG 01-111, 2001 Tenn. AG LEXIS 102 (7/11/01).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Discharge of Principal.

Where certain actions by a school principal were sufficient to justify a reasonable fact-finding body in concluding that the principal demonstrated poor judgment, lack of cooperation with the superintendent (now director of schools), intemperate conduct, and absence of that degree of leadership to be expected from the principal of a fairly large high school, the principal's conduct was sufficiently subject to criticism and performance was sufficiently unsatisfactory in the discharge of duties as principal as to justify removal from that position; however, the court held that none of these incidents, individually or collectively, was sufficient to justify discharge as a regular tenured teacher. Fleming v. Wade, 568 S.W.2d 287, 1978 Tenn. LEXIS 611 (Tenn. 1978).

Principal had a protected property interest in position as principal by reason of principal's own employment contract; however, the contours of that interest depended on the terms of the contract. Sharp v. Lindsey, 285 F.3d 479, 2002 FED App. 103P, 2002 FED App. 0103P, 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 5131 (6th Cir. Tenn. 2002).

49-2-304. Teaching supervisors.

  1. Directors of schools may employ one (1) or more supervisors for the supervision of teaching in grades one through twelve (1-12), or any combination of these grades, in the respective school systems.
  2. Any person employed as supervisor for the supervision of teaching shall have a license of qualification issued by the state board of education. The state board of education, in its discretion, may waive the requirement as to supervisors who were employed and serving in that capacity in nonequalizing local school districts as of January 1, 1957.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 7; Shan. Supp., § 1487a45; Code 1932, § 2334; Acts 1957, ch. 138, § 1; 1974, ch. 654, § 48; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-1010; Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 50; 1992, ch. 657, §§ 5, 6.

Code Commission Notes.

This section was amended by the code commission to correct obsolete references in 2002.

49-2-305. Development and adoption of program to promote involvement of parents and guardians.

  1. The LEA, in consultation with parents, teachers and administrators, shall develop and adopt a policy to promote the involvement of parents and guardians of children enrolled in the schools within the school district. The plan shall be submitted to the commissioner of education as part of the district's school improvement plans and shall be consistent with the Tennessee parent/family involvement policy of the state board of education. The plan shall include:
    1. A plan for parent participation in the schools which is designed to improve parent and teacher cooperation in such areas as homework, attendance, discipline, and planning for higher education opportunities for students; and
    2. Procedures by which parents may learn about the course of study for their children and have access to all learning materials.
  2. The policy adopted by the LEA pursuant to this section may also include the following components:
    1. A plan by which parents will be made aware of the district's parental involvement policy and this section, including:
      1. Rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. § 1232 et seq.), relating to access to children's official records; and
      2. Information through which parents may access LEA policies and curriculum;
    2. Efforts to encourage the development of parenting skills;
    3. The communication to parents of techniques designed to assist the child's learning experience in the home;
    4. Efforts to encourage access to community and support services for children and families;
    5. The promotion of communication between the school and parents concerning school programs and the academic progress of the parents' children;
    6. Identifying opportunities for parents to participate in and support classroom instruction in the school, including:
      1. Organizing fundraising initiatives;
      2. Volunteering as a field trip chaperone;
      3. Assisting in the library, computer lab or on the playground;
      4. Offering after school clubs; and
      5. Recycling clothes;
    7. Efforts to support parents as shared decision-makers and to encourage membership on school advisory committees;
    8. The recognition of the diversity of parents and the development of guidelines that promote widespread parental participation and involvement in the school at various levels;
    9. The development of preparation programs and specialized courses for certified employees and administrators that promote parental involvement; and
    10. The development of strategies and programmatic structures at schools to encourage and enable parents to participate actively in their children's education.
  3. For the purposes of this section, “parent” means the parent, guardian, person who has custody of the child or individual who has caregiving authority under § 49-6-3001.

Acts 2004, ch. 706, § 1; 2008, ch. 1097, § 1; 2010, ch. 878, § 1.

Part 4
Municipal Schools

49-2-401. Municipal school tax.

  1. Every incorporated municipality is empowered, through its governing board, to submit a proposition to the qualified voters to levy and collect a school tax, not exceeding the tax levied by the state for state purposes, on each one hundred dollars ($100) of the taxable property of the city or town submitting the proposition.
  2. If two-thirds (2/3) of the qualified voters voting at the election vote for the tax, then the tax shall be levied and collected for the purpose of establishing a system of common schools in the city or town.
  3. No tax shall be levied and collected in the municipality for and in any year unless the county in which the municipality is situated fails or refuses, on or before the April term of each year, to levy a county tax for common school purposes. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any municipality from levying a school tax additional to the county school tax.

Acts 1872, ch. 12, §§ 1, 2, 5; Shan., §§ 1973, 1974, 1977; mod. Code 1932, §§ 3385, 3386, 3389; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 49-301 — 49-303.

Law Reviews.

Symposium – Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Attorney General Opinions. Constitutionality of overlapping county and municipal school tax levies, OAG 95-055, 1995 Tenn. AG LEXIS 66 (5/23/95).

County commission's role in funding special school districts.  OAG 10-58, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 58 (4/28/10).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Only One Tax to Be Levied — Exception.

A municipality can levy but one tax for school purposes, though an amendment to charter may authorize an additional poll tax. Mitchell v. Fox & Denton, 73 Tenn. 420, 1880 Tenn. LEXIS 155 (1880); Ballentine v. Mayor of Pulaski, 83 Tenn. 633, 1885 Tenn. LEXIS 89 (1885).

49-2-402. Control of municipal schools.

The board of each municipality voting for and collecting the tax provided for in § 49-2-401 shall have exclusive control and management over such common schools.

Acts 1872, ch. 12, § 3; Shan., § 1975; mod. Code 1932, § 3387; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-304.

Law Reviews.

Symposium – Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-403. State funding.

All municipalities establishing common schools under this part shall be entitled to receive their proportions of the general school fund of the state, to be applied with the fund collected under §§ 49-2-401 and 49-2-402.

Acts 1872, ch. 12, § 4; Shan., § 1976; mod. Code 1932, § 3388; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-305.

Law Reviews.

Symposium – Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

The Elusive Security Interest: Tennessee Variations on a Theme (John A. Walker, Jr.), 41 Tenn. L. Rev. 831.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. State and County Funds Wrongfully Procured.

The state and county may recover from a municipal corporation the excess of the school fund received by it upon false and padded reports of the scholastic population made by the city board of education enumerators, and the decree may be satisfied out of the general funds or revenues of the corporation, and not from the current school revenues, although the excess received had already been expended for school purposes. State v. Mayor, etc., of Knoxville, 115 Tenn. 175, 90 S.W. 289, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 54 (1905).

49-2-404. Charter powers.

Cities and incorporated towns operating systems of public schools under provisions of their respective charters and levying an additional elementary school tax for operating expenses other than for grounds, buildings and equipment are empowered to continue the operation of the system of public schools under their respective charters; provided, that no transfer of children between city and county schools shall be made except by agreement between the respective boards of education.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 15; Shan. Supp., § 1487a103; Code 1932, § 2394; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-306.

Law Reviews.

Symposium – Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

The Legal Basis of School Property in Tennessee (Fred H. Barber), 7 Tenn. L. Rev. 262.

Attorney General Opinions. County system enrollment of students from municipalities with separate systems, OAG 98-090, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 90 (4/15/98).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Effect of Exception on Validity of Private Acts.

Where evidence was to the effect that the City of Chattanooga was operating its schools under the provisions of the General Educational Act and not under the provisions of its charter and there was no direct evidence to support the claim that the city had levied an elementary school tax other than for grounds, buildings and equipment so as to bring the city within the exception of this section, the city was subject to the general statutes and Private Acts 1935, ch. 115, as amended by Private Acts 1935 (E.S.), ch. 83, providing for minimum salaries for teachers in such schools was unconstitutional as being in conflict with the provisions of the General Educational Act. State ex rel. Smith v. Chattanooga, 176 Tenn. 642, 144 S.W.2d 1096, 1940 Tenn. LEXIS 113 (1940).

City of Jackson comes within the exception to the General Educational Act of 1925, Private Acts 1915, ch. 168 being applicable. Johnson v. Jackson, 42 Tenn. App. 296, 302 S.W.2d 355, 1956 Tenn. App. LEXIS 129 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1956).

49-2-405. Use of school buildings and property.

  1. The boards of education of the respective municipalities shall have the right to permit municipal school buildings and municipal school property to be used for public, community or recreational purposes under such rules, regulations and conditions as may be prescribed from time to time by the boards of education; provided, that this right shall not extend to the use of the school buildings and property for private profit.
  2. No such board of education, whether incorporated or unincorporated, and no member of any such boards of education, or other municipal or county school official, shall be held liable in damages for any injury to person or property resulting from the use of school buildings or property authorized by subsection (a).

Acts 1947, ch. 142, §§ 1, 2; mod. C. Supp. 1950, §§ 2397.1, 2397.2 (Williams, § 2496.1); Acts 1955, ch. 287, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 49-307, 49-308.

Cross-References. Immunity of local education agency employees from asbestos-related liability, § 29-20-109.

Law Reviews.

Symposium – Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-406. Reports to state.

Any city director of schools or secretary of the town or city board of education who does not make all reports required by the commissioner of education, on or before July 10 for the fiscal year ending June 30 preceding, shall be considered delinquent and the commissioner shall appoint a competent person to make the delinquent report and allow a reasonable sum for the service, which amount shall not exceed ten dollars ($10.00) a day for the time actually required to make the report, together with transportation and subsistence.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 15; Shan. Supp., § 1487a104; Code 1932, § 2395; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-309.

Law Reviews.

Municipal Corporations — Negligence — Liability of County for Injury to High School Football Spectator, 3 Vand. L. Rev. 835.

Symposium – Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Part 5
Special School Districts

49-2-501. Abolishment of special school districts.

    1. All special school districts that are not taxing districts are abolished.
    2. Taxing districts that are not encumbered by debts or bonds may at any time, on ten (10) days' notice, hold an election, and upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the legal voters of such districts, abolish the taxing district or taxing districts and place the school or schools of the district under the management of the county board of education, and the county board shall become the successor of the taxing district board and shall administer the school or schools of the taxing district or districts as other county schools are administered by the board; provided, that the county election commission is so requested by at least twenty-five (25) legal voters of the taxing district; and provided, further, that the election in any taxing district shall be held according to the general method of holding elections as provided by law.
    3. Any taxing district having outstanding financial obligations, such as warrants, notes or bonds for building, equipment or other improvement, may at any time after the discharge of the obligations become a part of the county system of public schools as provided in this section for taxing districts not encumbered by debts.
      1. As of April 30, 1982, all special school districts in the counties affected by this section that are not currently operating schools or that do not have outstanding bonded indebtedness are abolished. Any special school district that is not recorded with the department of education as currently operating schools must prove to the satisfaction of the commissioner that it is operating a school system or has outstanding bonded indebtedness incurred prior to April 30, 1982.
      2. Special school districts in the counties affected by this section that are not operating schools, but that have outstanding bonded indebtedness, are abolished upon repayment of the indebtedness.
      3. Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, in those counties in which all students in grades kindergarten through twelve (K-12) are eligible to be served by city and special school systems, the county shall not be required to operate a separate county school system, nor shall it be necessary that a county school board be elected or otherwise constituted.
    1. No additional special school districts may be created after April 30, 1982, but existing operating districts may merge or consolidate. This shall not affect the powers of cities under part 4 of this chapter if the county in which the city is located has fewer districts than those permitted in [former] subdivision (b)(1) [repealed].
    2. Any operating districts in a county in excess of the number permitted in [former] subdivision (b)(1) [repealed] are abolished on July 1, 1983, and shall be consolidated into not more than the permitted number of districts by July 1, 1983. This consolidation shall be accomplished in the following manner:
      1. The districts that continue to operate in each county shall be the three (3) or six (6) largest, as applicable, in each county as of January 1, 1982, as determined from the average daily attendance figures previously submitted to the commissioner of education for the 1981-1982 school year;
        1. Any other district in a county may merge with any contiguous system that will continue to operate under subdivision (b)(3)(A). The merger shall occur no later than July 1, 1983, and shall be accomplished by majority vote of the board of education of the system to be abolished. The merger shall not be effective unless the board of education of the system with which merger is sought approves the merger by a majority vote of the board, and unless the city governing body by a majority vote approves the merger in the case of a merger with a city school system;
        2. If a district that will be abolished on July 1, 1983, has not merged into a continuing system by July 1, 1983, it shall be merged into the county system on that date;
      2. The continuing system that acquires an abolished district by merger shall succeed to all funds, property and liabilities of the abolished district, specifically including repayment of all bonded indebtedness;
      3. Any tax for current operation levied by a special school district abolished under this section shall, until the repeal of the private act authorizing such tax, be collected and turned over to the successor school system for the use and benefit of the schools formerly operated by the special school district;
      4. Any city government that continues to levy a current operation school tax for the benefit of a school system abolished by this subsection (b) is authorized to turn such tax receipts over to the successor school system for the use and benefit of the schools formerly operated by the city;
      5. This section shall not be construed to rescind, impair or affect any contracts in effect April 30, 1982, dealing with the operation or organization of schools in any affected county; and
      6. Rights and privileges of teachers in districts merged, abolished, or consolidated pursuant to this section shall be protected as provided in § 49-5-203 and nothing in this section shall be construed to change or repeal § 49-5-203.
    3. Elementary schools operated by any school system abolished under this subsection (b) shall continue to be operated as elementary schools by the successor system following the abolishment of any system under this part; provided, that this shall not be construed to require the continuance of such schools if they should be destroyed or become unusable because of fire or safety violations or should fail to meet the minimum standards of the state board of education.
    4. The county board of education of any county affected by this subsection (b) shall include persons representing and residing in the area served by every school district that is abolished under this part in the same percentage that such districts relate to the total number of public school systems in such county.
    5. In the event of consolidation of districts in accordance with this subsection (b), the consolidated system shall continue to operate grades kindergarten through eight (K-8) by local instruction in local school buildings. This subdivision (b)(6) shall only apply to counties having a population of not less than fourteen thousand nine hundred forty (14,940) nor more than fifteen thousand (15,000), according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census.
  1. In any county affected by subsection (b), the authority of the boards of education or municipal governments to rescind or withdraw from any contract in effect on February 1, 1982, relative to the operation of high schools as defined in § 49-6-401 or waiving their rights to high school bond proceeds, or waiving their share of proceeds of sales taxes levied to liquidate debts incurred for high schools, is removed. High schools in districts abolished by subsection (b) shall continue to be operated by their respective boards of education until abolition.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 33; Shan. Supp., § 1487a191; Code 1932, § 2514; Acts 1982, ch. 907, §§ 1, 2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-402; Acts 1984, ch. 980, § 1; 2002, ch. 770, § 2; 2013, ch. 292, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Law Reviews.

1985 Tennessee Survey: Selected Developments in Tennessee Law, 53 Tenn. L. Rev. 307 (1986).

Symposium – Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Attorney General Opinions. Abolishment of special school district, OAG 98-161, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 161 (8/24/98).

Conversion of the Shelby county school board into a special school district.  OAG 10-59, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 65 (4/29/10).

Voting eligibility in referendum pursuant to T.C.A.§ 49-2-502.  OAG 11-5, 2011 Tenn. AG LEXIS 5 (1/10/11).

Establishment of new school districts by municipalities in Shelby County.  OAG 12-39, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 41 (3/20/12).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Private Act Abolishing Special School Districts.

A private act abolishing all special school districts in a county was in conflict with the general school law of the state. Melvin v. Bradford Special School Dist., 186 Tenn. 694, 212 S.W.2d 668, 1948 Tenn. LEXIS 401 (1948).

49-2-502. Transfer of administration — Transition plans.

  1. The school board, school commissioners, school trustees or other duly constituted administrative officials of any special school district are authorized and empowered to transfer the administration of the schools in the special school district to the county board of education of the county in which the special school district is located. Before a transfer is effectuated, however, a referendum shall first be conducted on the subject, and the school system of the special school district shall not be transferred to the county unless a majority of the voters who cast votes in the referendum vote in favor of the transfer. The referendum shall be held by the county election commission when requested by the school board of the special school district, and the expenses of the election shall be paid from the funds of the special school district.
    1. Notwithstanding subsection (a) or any other law to the contrary, if the proposed transfer of the administration of the schools in the special school district to the county board of education would result in an increase in student enrollment within the county school system of one hundred percent (100%) or more, and if a majority of the voters who cast votes in the referendum vote in favor of the transfer, then a comprehensive transition plan shall be developed, and the transfer shall take effect at the beginning of the third, full school year immediately following certification of the election results.
    2. The comprehensive transition plan shall be developed by a transition planning commission. The transition plan shall consider and provide for each of the matters set forth in §§ 49-2-1201(i) and 49-2-1204. Prior to its implementation, the transition plan shall be submitted to the department of education for review and comments. The transition planning commission shall consist of twenty-one (21) members, as follows:
      1. The county mayor, the chair of the county board of education and the chair of the board of education of the special school district shall serve as ex officio members of the commission;
      2. The county mayor, the chair of the county board of education and the chair of the board of education of the special school district shall each appoint five (5) competent citizens to serve as members of the transition planning commission; and
      3. The governor, the speaker of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives shall jointly appoint three (3) competent citizens to also serve as members of the transition commission.
    3. From and after the effective date of the transfer of the administration of the schools in the special school district to the county board of education, the restrictions imposed on the creation of municipal school districts, in § 6-58-112(b) [see the Compiler’s Notes], and special school districts, in § 49-2-501(b)(2), shall no longer apply in such county.

Acts 1947 ch. 145, § 2; 1949, ch. 40, § 2; C. Supp. 1950, § 2397.3 (Williams, § 2397.2); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-403; Acts 2011, ch. 1, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Subsection (b) of § 6-58-112, referred to in subdivision (b)(3), was deleted by Acts 2013, ch. 256, § 1, effective April 24, 2013.

Acts 2011, ch. 1, § 2 provided that the act, which added subsection (b), shall apply to any proposed § 49-2-502 transfer pending on or after February 11, 2011.

Law Reviews.

Symposium – Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Attorney General Opinions. Voting eligibility in referendum pursuant to T.C.A.§ 49-2-502.  OAG 11-5, 2011 Tenn. AG LEXIS 5 (1/10/11).

Establishment of new school districts by municipalities in Shelby County.  OAG 12-39, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 41 (3/20/12).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

It was determined that T.C.A. § 49-2-502(b), which provided for merger of a city school system into the surrounding county's system, was constitutional, as due process and equal protection rights of city schoolchildren under U.S. Const. amend. XIV were not violated, and the county school system still could meet its legal obligation to provide them a safe environment. Bd. of Educ. v. Memphis City Bd. of Educ., — F. Supp. 2d —, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87803 (W.D. Tenn. Aug. 8, 2011).

49-2-503. Disposition of special school district funds.

  1. The county trustees of the several counties of this state are authorized to pay over to the county board of education of their respective counties any balance of funds in the hands of the trustees that have been derived from special school district taxes, when and if the law or laws creating the special school district have been repealed.
  2. When any funds have been paid over to the county board of education under subsection (a), the funds shall be applied and expended by the county board of education only in accord with the limitations and provisions of §§ 49-2-502 and 49-2-1002.

Acts 1949, ch. 45, §§ 1, 2; C. Supp. 1950, §§ 2397.7, 2397.8 (Williams, §§ 2397.6, 2397.7); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 49-408, 49-409.

Cross-References. Effect of metropolitan government chapters, § 7-1-107.

Law Reviews.

Symposium – Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Attorney General Opinions. Authority of commissioner to waive superintendents' (now director of schools') pay increases, OAG 96-082, 1996 Tenn. AG LEXIS 92 (5/14/96).

49-2-504. Persons residing outside boundaries — Eligibility to vote.

A special school district may, by legislative act, establish eligibility and procedures for nonresident property owners.

Acts 1984, ch. 950, § 1; 2001, ch. 413, § 16.

Law Reviews.

Symposium – Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Part 6
School Support Organization Financial Accountability Act

49-2-601. Short title.

This part shall be known and may be cited as the “School Support Organization Financial Accountability Act.”

Acts 2007, ch. 326, § 2.

Attorney General Opinions. The School Support Organization Financial Accountability Act does not “create liability” on the part of school boards or their members, where school support organizations experience misappropriation of funds, OAG 08-174, 2008 Tenn. AG LEXIS 204 (11/18/08).

49-2-602. Legislative intent.

The general assembly recognizes the importance of school support organizations in providing financial support to help carry out academic, arts, athletic, and social programs to further educational opportunities for the children of this state. The general assembly also recognizes concerns that parents and other persons who support these organizations have in ensuring that money raised by these organizations is safeguarded by them and used to further the activities for which the money is raised. It is, therefore, the intent of the general assembly to ensure the continued support of academic, arts, athletic and social programs, which help to educate the children of this state, while also ensuring fiscal accountability of school support organizations.

Acts 2007, ch. 326, § 3.

49-2-603. Part definitions.

As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Donation” means any gift or contribution of money, materials, property or securities from any nongovernmental source received by a school official or employee for the benefit of a school district, school, school club, or academic, arts, athletic or social activity related to a school;
  2. “Internal school funds” mean any and all money received and accounted for at individual schools, and specifically include, but are not limited to:
    1. Any donation or grant made to the school, a school club, or any academic, arts, athletic or social activity related to a school;
    2. Funds for cafeteria services operated at the school;
    3. Fees collected by the school;
    4. Funds transferred to the local school from the school board that are to be accounted for at the local school level;
    5. Funds raised through cooperative agreements with outside organizations;
    6. Rental fees charged outside entities for use of school facilities; and
    7. Student activity funds;
    1. “School representative” means:
      1. When a school support organization's primary purpose is to support a school system or an individual school:
  1. A school board member;
  2. The director of schools;
  3. A principal; and
  4. Any individual who is primarily responsible for accounting for school system funds or the funds of an individual school; and
  5. Any individual who works for the school system and who as part of the individual's employment by the school system is charged with directing or assisting in directing the related school club or activity;

When a school support organization's primary purpose is to support a local school club or academic, arts, athletic, or social activity related to a school:

A school board member;

The director of schools;

A principal;

Any individual who is primarily responsible for accounting for school system funds or the funds of an individual school; and

“School representative” shall specifically include, but shall not be limited to, coaches, assistant coaches, band directors, or any other school sponsor of a related club or activity;

(A)  “School support organization” means a booster club, foundation, parent teacher association, parent teacher organization, parent teacher support association, or any other nongovernmental organization or group of persons whose primary purpose is to support a school district, school, school club, or academic, arts, athletic or social activities related to a school, that collects or receives money, materials, property or securities from students, parents or members of the general public;

For the purposes of this part, a group of persons who merely request that students, parents, or members of the general public make donations to a school district, school, school club, or academic, arts, athletic or social activity related to a school or assist in the raising of funds for a specified purpose under the sponsorship of a school employee where the funds are turned over to the school to be used for the specific purpose for which the funds were raised, shall not be considered a school support organization;

“School support organization funds” include all money, materials, property or securities raised by a school support organization or any organization that represents itself to students, parents or members of the general public to be a school support organization; and

“Student activity funds” include all money received from any source for school-sponsored student activities or school-sponsored events held at or in connection with a school, and specifically include, but are not limited to, any money:

Derived from a school-sponsored academic, art, athletic or social event involving students;

Raised by school-sponsored clubs involving students;

Raised by school-sponsored fundraisers involving students who are under the supervision of a school employee;

Received from a commission for the direct sale of items to students pursuant to a cooperative agreement between the school and an outside organization;

Received for the direct sale of items to students from a school-run bookstore located on school grounds;

Raised from fees charged students;

Obtained from interest from any account that contains student activity funds; or

(i)  Obtained from any related school-sponsored activity that involves the use of school personnel, students, and property during the school day;

For the purpose of subdivision (6)(H)(i), “school day” means the regular hours of operation of the school during which classes are conducted.

Acts 2007, ch. 326, § 4; 2008, ch. 1156, §§ 1-3.

Attorney General Opinions. Local school nutrition associations do not appear to qualify as “school support organizations.” In the event, however, that a local school nutrition association were to solicit or accept moneys or other items of value in support of school activities, or engage in other school support activities encompassed by the School Support Organization Financial Accountability Act, these organizations would place themselves within the purview of the Act, thus subjecting themselves to its requirements. OAG 16-27, 2016 Tenn. AG LEXIS 27 (7/22/2016).

The restrictions enacted by Chapter 468 of the 2015 Tennessee Public Acts apply to all existing contracts executed by a local government with a company to install, maintain, and operate unmanned traffic enforcement cameras. Chapter 468 does not violate any State or federal constitutional provision prohibiting the impairment of contracts. OAG 16-28, 2016 Tenn. AG LEXIS 28 (7/22/2016).

49-2-604. Adoption of policy concerning fundraising.

  1. A group or organization may not use a school district's or school's name, mascot or logos, property or facilities for the raising of money, materials, property or securities until a policy has been adopted by the local board of education concerning cooperative agreements, school support organizations and the use of school facilities for fundraising purposes.
  2. The policy that a school board adopts pursuant to subsection (a) shall, at a minimum, include, in substance, the following provisions:
      1. Prior to soliciting, raising or collecting money, materials, property or securities to support a school district, school, school club or any academic, arts, athletic or social activity or event related to a school, a school support organization shall submit to the director of schools or the director's designee a form that, at a minimum, documents the following:
        1. The organization's status as a nonprofit organization, foundation or a chartered member of a nonprofit organization or foundation; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall require that the organization be a 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3));
        2. The goals and objectives of the organization; and
        3. The telephone number, address and position of each officer of the organization;
      2. Thereafter, a school support organization shall annually, at a time designated before the beginning of the school year, submit a form to the director of schools or the director's designee verifying its continued existence as a nonprofit organization and documenting, at a minimum, the goals and objectives of the organization, and the current telephone number, address and position of each officer of the organization. The organization shall file a statement of total revenues and disbursements before the end of the school year; and
    1. The approval of the director of schools or the director's designee shall be required before a school support organization undertakes any fundraising activity to assure that scheduling of fundraisers does not conflict with the school district's or school's fundraising efforts and that the fundraising process is consistent with the goals and mission of the school or school district. The approval shall not make the fundraising activity a school-sponsored activity.
  3. A school support organization shall maintain, at a minimum, detailed statements of receipts and disbursements, minutes of any meetings, a copy of its charter, bylaws and documentation of its recognition as a nonprofit organization. The statements and records shall be maintained for a period of at least four (4) years and be available upon request by any member of the organization, principal, director of schools or the director's designee or the office of the comptroller of the treasury.
  4. A school support organization shall operate within the applicable standards and guidelines set by a related state association, if applicable, and shall not promote, encourage or acquiesce in any violation of student or team eligibility requirements, conduct codes or sportsmanship standards.
  5. A school support organization's officers shall ensure that school support organization funds are safeguarded and are spent only for purposes related to the goals and objectives of the organization. The organization shall adopt and maintain a written policy that specifies reasonable procedures for accounting, controlling and safeguarding any money, materials, property or securities collected or disbursed by it.
  6. A school support organization shall provide, upon request, to officials of the local school board, local school principal or auditors of the office of the comptroller of the treasury access to all books, records and bank account information for the organization.
  7. A school representative may not act as a treasurer or bookkeeper for a school support organization. A school representative may not be a signatory on the checks of a school support organization. A majority of the voting members of any school support organization board should not be composed of school representatives.
  8. A local board of education may adopt a policy that is more restrictive than the requirements of subsection (b).
  9. The local board of education, director of schools, local school principal or any other school official shall not incur any liability for the failure of a school support organization to safeguard school support organization funds.

Acts 2007, ch. 326, § 5; 2008, ch. 1156, § 4.

49-2-605. Posting or publication of recognized school support organizations — Public inspection of forms, reports or financial statements.

  1. The director of schools or the director's designee shall annually post or publish a list of organizations that have complied with § 49-2-604(b). This posting or publication may be made by written or electronic means. The school board shall determine the appropriate method of posting or publishing this information.
  2. Any local board of education is authorized to develop a process to certify that an organization has been recognized as a school support organization; however, a local board of education shall not incur any liability for the recognition.
  3. Any forms, annual reports, or financial statements required to be submitted according to the policy adopted by the board pursuant to § 49-2-604(b) to the director of schools or the local school principal shall be open to public inspection.

Acts 2007, ch. 326, § 6; 2008, ch. 1156, § 5.

49-2-606. Collection of money.

  1. Any individual who collects or receives any student activity or other internal school funds shall turn over to the properly designated school official or employee all student activity or other internal school funds. The funds shall be considered student activity or other internal school funds for the purpose of § 49-2-110. That a member of a school support organization or a person claiming to be a member of a school support organization collected the money is immaterial to the determination as to its status as student activity or other internal school funds.
  2. A local board of education may grant the principal of a school the authority to enter into an agreement with a school support organization to operate and collect money for a concession stand or parking at a related school academic, arts, athletic, or social event on school property where any money it collects or any portion designated by the agreement shall be considered as school support group funds and not as student activity funds; provided, that:
    1. The board has adopted a policy concerning school support organizations pursuant to § 49-2-604(b); and
    2. The school support organization provides the school with the relevant collection documentation that would have been required pursuant to the manual produced under § 49-2-110 for student activity funds.
  3. Nothing in this section diminishes the authority of a local board of education to enter into an agreement with a civic organization for the operation of concessions or parking at school sponsored events. The civic organization shall not be subject to this part.
  4. A local board of education may grant the principal of a school the authority to enter into an agreement with a school support organization to operate a bookstore located on school grounds that makes direct sales of items to students where any money the school support organization collects or any portion designated by the agreement shall be considered as school support group funds and not as student activity funds; provided, that:
    1. The board has adopted a policy concerning school support organizations pursuant to § 49-2-604(b);
    2. One hundred percent (100%) of the profits of the operation of the bookstore are used for support of the school; and
    3. The school support organization provides the school with the relevant collection documentation that would have been required pursuant to the manual produced under § 49-2-110 for student activity funds.
  5. A principal may allow funds raised by fundraisers conducted by a school support organization outside the school day and involving students to be collected during the school day by the school support organization. The funds shall be school support organization funds; provided, that school employees are not involved in the accounting of the funds and the funds are turned in using sealed envelopes.

Acts 2007, ch. 326, § 7; 2008, ch. 1156, § 6.

49-2-607. Disbursement of donations.

  1. Donations to a board of education shall be received and disbursed in accordance with § 49-6-2006.
  2. In addition to any requirements established by § 49-6-2006(a), the following specific conditions shall apply:
    1. Any donation made by a school support organization to a board of education or school shall be disbursed only in accordance with any written conditions that the school support organization may place upon the disbursement of the funds and shall be in accordance with the goals and objectives of the school support organization;
    2. School support organization funds that are donated to an individual school shall not be considered as student activity funds. These funds shall be considered instead as internal school funds from the point of their donation to the respective school; and
    3. Any disbursements of donated funds by a school official or employee shall be made in accordance with any relevant federal, state, or local government laws, including any relevant purchasing laws or requirements of the accounting policy manual produced according to § 49-2-110(e).

Acts 2007, ch. 326, § 8.

49-2-608. Prohibited actions.

A nongovernmental group or organization, including all school support organizations, may not:

  1. Use the school's or school district's sales tax exemption to purchase items;
  2. Represent or imply that its activities, contracts, purchases, or financial commitments are made on behalf of or binding upon any school or school district;
  3. Use school support organization funds for a purpose other than purposes related to the goals and objectives of the school support organization that relate to supporting a school district, school, school club or school academic, arts, athletic or social activity; or
  4. Maintain or operate a bank account that bears the employer identification number of a school board, school, or any other school related governmental entity. From July 1, 2007, any funds deposited into the bank account shall be presumed to be a donation to the entity whose employer identification number is used and shall be treated as student activity funds.

Acts 2007, ch. 326, § 9.

49-2-609. Audit.

A school support organization or any group or organization that collects and raises money, materials, property or securities while representing itself to be a school support organization shall be subject to audit by the office of the comptroller of the treasury.

Acts 2007, ch. 326, § 10.

49-2-610. Development of model financial policy.

The office of the comptroller of the treasury is authorized to adopt a model financial policy for school support organizations.

Acts 2007, ch. 326, § 11.

49-2-611. Initial registration and renewal fees.

Notwithstanding § 48-51-303(a)(1) to the contrary, a school support organization that is required to register as a nonprofit organization, foundation or chartered member of a nonprofit organization or foundation by a policy adopted in accordance with this part shall be exempt from any initial registration fee by the secretary of state for the registration if the school support organization is an educational institution as defined in § 48-101-502(b). The school support organization shall pay any renewal fee required by the secretary of state to maintain valid annual registration as a nonprofit organization, foundation or chartered member of a nonprofit organization or foundation.

Acts 2008, ch. 1156, § 7.

49-2-612. Charitable school foundation.

  1. A public school or its administrators or supporters are authorized to form, or caused to be formed, a charitable school foundation for the sole purpose of supporting the school by raising and administering funds for the school and its programs. A school foundation shall be broad based in its support of the school and shall not limit its support to a single program or activity. A school foundation shall be a school support organization under this part.
  2. To be a school foundation under this section, the foundation shall apply for and receive exemption from federal income taxation under § 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 501(a)), as an organization described in § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3)).
  3. The school foundation shall be open to parents, students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community who are interested in supporting the school and its programs.
  4. The bylaws of the school foundation shall require the director of schools and the principal of the school to serve as ex officio members on the foundation's board of directors.
  5. An organization in existence on April 16, 2012, that meets the requirements of this section, on or after April 16, 2012, shall be recognized as a school foundation.

Acts 2012, ch. 747, § 1.

Part 7
High Performing School Districts Flexibility Act

49-2-701. Short title.

This part shall be known and may be cited as the “High Performing School Districts Flexibility Act”.

Acts 2013, ch. 393, § 2.

49-2-702. Part definitions — Criteria considered when calculating whether an LEA is eligible to be declared a high performing school district.

  1. As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:
    1. “Department” means the department of education; and
    2. “High performing school district” means any LEA in the state that satisfies a majority of the following criteria, if applicable to that LEA, according to the state report card:
      1. Reaches a graduation rate of ninety percent (90%) or higher;
      2. Exhibits an average student ACT score of 21 or higher or the concordant equivalent score on the SAT or a higher score; provided, that prior to an LEA using the average student ACT or SAT score, at least thirty (30) students within the LEA or at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the graduating class, whichever is larger, took the ACT or SAT;
      3. Exhibits a TCAP three-year average composite normal curve equivalent (NCE) score of 55 or higher;
      4. Exhibits a TVAAS three-year average composite NCE gain of 1.75 or higher; or
      5. Meets or exceeds achievement and gap closure annual measurable objectives and receives an exemplary or similar status from the department.
  2. Only those criteria in the list in subdivision (a)(2) that apply to a particular LEA and are reported on the state report card shall be considered when calculating whether an LEA is eligible to be declared a high performing school district under this part. If a criterion does not apply to a particular LEA, it shall be removed from consideration for that LEA and a majority of the remaining criteria must be met. Should any of the criteria cease being reported on the state report card, the department shall designate a replacement measure for purposes of this part. An LEA scoring in the top fifteen percent (15%) of all LEAs in the state under the replacement measure shall meet that criterion.

Acts 2013, ch. 393, § 3; 2014, ch. 626, § 1; 2017, ch. 328, § 7.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2017, ch. 328, § 8 provided that the act, which amended this section, shall apply to students seeking postsecondary financial assistance from net lottery proceeds for the 2017-2018 academic years and academic years thereafter.

49-2-703. Designation as a high performing school district.

Any LEA meeting a majority of the applicable criteria in §  49-2-102 may, by action of its local board of education, declare itself to be a high performing school district. Such designation shall be in effect beginning July 1 following the local board action. The designation shall last for three (3) years, at which time the LEA shall be eligible to declare itself a high performing school district under this part again if a majority of the criteria are met.

Acts 2013, ch. 393, § 4.

49-2-704. Permitted and prohibited actions without approval when district designated as a high performing school district.

  1. A high performing school district may, during any year in which the designation is in effect, without first seeking or obtaining approval from any other state or local governmental agency or unit:
    1. Appropriate additional funds as needed from the fund balance of self-sustaining or self-sufficient funds, including, but not limited to, the central cafeteria fund and the extended school program fund;
    2. Utilize a teacher evaluation system which varies from the evaluation system established by the department as though a flexibility waiver had been applied for and granted to the district. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the alternative teacher evaluation system used shall comply with all rules of the state board. The high performing school district shall submit the evaluation system it plans to use to the department; and
    3. Add educational days to that district's school calendar, so long as the minimum number of school days required by law is met.
  2. A high performing school district, during any year in which the designation is in effect, may apply to the commissioner of education for a waiver of any state board rule, regulation or statute that inhibits or hinders the district's ability to meet its goals or comply with its mission statement. At the discretion of the commissioner the waiver may be granted, but the commissioner shall not grant a waiver where waivers are otherwise prohibited in this title, and shall not waive regulatory or statutory requirements related to:
    1. Federal and state civil rights;
    2. Federal, state, and local health and safety;
    3. Federal and state public records;
    4. Immunizations;
    5. Possession of weapons on school grounds;
    6. Background checks and fingerprinting of personnel;
    7. Federal and state special education services;
    8. Student due process;
    9. Parental rights;
    10. Federal and state student assessment and accountability;
    11. Open meetings; and
    12. At least the same equivalent time of instruction as required in regular public schools.

Acts 2013, ch. 393, § 5.

49-2-1001. Operation of municipal or special district schools by county.

County and town boards of education and special school district boards, whenever they deem it advisable for the purpose of a more economical administration and the improvement of the efficiency of the schools, may make a contract to operate the school or schools of such town under the general supervision of the county director of schools; provided, that nothing in this section shall be construed to change the general method of distribution of county and state school funds between the county and such towns on the basis of average daily attendance as provided in this title; and provided, further, that nothing in this title shall be construed to change or repeal Chapter 160 of the Private Acts of 1915.

Acts 1925, ch. 115, § 34; Shan. Supp., § 1487a192; Code 1932, § 2515; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-401.

Law Reviews.

Consolidation of County and City Functions and Other Devices for Simplifying Tennessee Local Government (Wallace Mendelson), 8 Vand. L. Rev. 878.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Contract for Joint Operation — Effect on Employment of Teachers.

While county boards may contract with city boards for the operation of county high schools therein, the power to control the employment of teachers of high schools and their branches remains with the county board and an agreement by which the county board divests itself of the control and supervision of the election of teachers is invalid. Brown v. Monroe, 161 Tenn. 703, 34 S.W.2d 209, 1930 Tenn. LEXIS 58 (1931).

Although county board of education received state funds on behalf of district and apparently paid the teachers from the money it received, that was not evidence of a contract between the county board and the district by which the district school system would be operated by the county superintendent (now director of schools) since, after such time, trustees were regularly elected, held meetings, kept minutes and hired teachers. Partee v. Pierce, 589 S.W.2d 919, 1979 Tenn. App. LEXIS 358 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1979).

49-2-1002. Transfer of municipal or special district schools to county.

    1. The city council, board of mayor and aldermen or other duly constituted governing body of any town or city in this state maintaining a separate school system is authorized and empowered to transfer the administration of the town or city school system to the county board of education of the county in which the town or city is located. Before the transfer is effectuated, however, a referendum shall first be conducted on the subject, and the school system of the town or city shall not be transferred to the county unless a majority of the voters who cast votes in the referendum vote in favor of the transfer.
    2. The referendum required by subdivision (a)(1) shall be held by the county election commission when requested by the governing body of the town or city, and the expenses of the election shall be paid by the town or city.
  1. A town, city or special school district transferring the administration of schools to the county board of education by authority of § 49-2-502 and this section is authorized to devote the school funds of the town, city or special school district to the payment of the proportionate part of the cost of the maintenance and operation of the schools.
  2. The county board of education shall perform the same duties with respect to the schools of the town, city or special school district as they are required by law to perform with respect to county schools.
  3. The county board of education shall operate the schools of any town, city, or special school district transferred to them by authority of § 49-2-502 and this section as a coordinated part of the county school system, to the end that a unified and balanced school system may be maintained in the county. All school funds belonging to the town, city or special school district, including state funds allocated to the town, city or special school district, shall be expended entirely for the benefit of the schools of the town, city or special school district. Where there is any school indebtedness owed by the town, city or special school district at the time the transfer of administration is effectuated, the indebtedness shall remain the obligation of the town, city or special school district, and existing arrangements for the retirement of the indebtedness shall be continued until the indebtedness is retired and paid in full, unless the county legislative body, by resolution adopted by a majority of the members, agrees to assume the school indebtedness owed by the town, city or special school district.
    1. Towns and cities transferring the administration of schools to the county board of education pursuant to this section are authorized and empowered to take such action as necessary and to make such payments as required to provide credit for service, for any or all school employees of the transferring town or city who elect to receive the credit, in any pension or retirement plan or plans in which the employees are entitled to participate after the transfer, for the period of service that was credited to the employees under the pension or retirement plan of the transferring town or city.
    2. Any such school employee transferring to a new plan pursuant to the terms of subdivision (e)(1) shall not, as a result of this subsection (e), be entitled to receive a benefit from both the pension or retirement plan of the transferring town or city and any successor pension or retirement plan based upon the same credited service.
    3. The towns and cities are further authorized to issue bonds or notes for the purpose of obtaining funds to make any such payments and to pay costs of effecting such payment and of issuance of such bonds or notes in accordance with title 9, chapter 21.
    4. The pension board or other agency administering the pension or retirement plan of any such town or city, upon direction of the town or city by resolution of the governing body of the town or city, is authorized to transfer employee contributions of any or all of the transferring employees, together with earnings on the employee contributions, directly to the plan or plans in which the employees are entitled to participate after the transfer.
    5. A transfer is authorized by this subsection (e) only if the pension or retirement plan of the town or city expressly provides for the return or refund of employee contributions and earnings on the employee contributions to employees or the transfer of such amounts to a successor plan upon an employee's termination of employment.

Acts 1947, ch. 145, §§ 1, 3-5; 1949, ch. 40, §§ 1, 2; C. Supp. 1950, §§ 2397.3-2397.6 (Williams, §§ 2397.1-2397.4); Acts 1974, ch. 528, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 49-404 — 49-407; Acts 1987, ch. 38, § 1.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Attorney General Opinions. Consolidation plan not required, OAG 97-151, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 196 (10/23/97).

Applicability of § 49-2-1204 to schools merged by transfer, OAG 98-029, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 29 (1/29/98).

For Shelby County to assume the Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) indebtedness of Memphis City Schools that existed when school operations were transferred to Shelby County Schools, T.C.A. § 49-2-1002(d) requires the county legislative body to adopt, by a vote of a majority of its members, a resolution assuming the OPEB indebtedness owed by Memphis City Schools. OAG 16-01, 2016 Tenn. AG LEXIS 1 (1/5/2016).

Part 11
Contractual Joint Operation of Schools

49-2-1101. Contracts authorized.

  1. The boards of education of any two (2) or more school systems are authorized and empowered to establish, maintain and operate a public school or schools jointly by entering into contracts for that purpose.
  2. Upon the execution of contracts under this part by the respective boards of education, the contracts shall be binding upon the boards of education and upon the counties, cities and special school districts involved.
  3. In cities that are authorized by their charters to operate school systems, either the board of education or the city governing body, if the city does not have a board of education, may exercise any authorities or rights granted by parts 5 and 10-13 of this chapter, specifically including contracting with the county for operation, maintenance or improvement of schools within the city.

Acts 1957, ch. 12, § 1; 1974, ch. 654, § 39; 1983, ch. 166, § 1; T.C.A., § 49-410.

Attorney General Opinions. City and county boards of education are authorized to execute an agreement to create a joint board of control to jointly operate one or more schools in the county without the necessity of any other local approval and there is no limit on the number of schools that may be jointly operated, OAG 03-160, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 192 (12/08/03).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Contracts.

Where contract which provided for closing county operated high school, construction of new city high school and renovation of existing high school with both schools to be operated by city was silent as to whether annual amount for retirement of school bonds on existing city high school would be considered as operating expenses within the meaning of provisions of contract providing for apportionment of operating expenses between city and county, amounts necessary for retirement of bonds would not be considered within scope of such agreement. Miller v. Hamblen County Board of Education, 225 Tenn. 18, 462 S.W.2d 874, 1970 Tenn. LEXIS 375 (1970).

49-2-1102. Powers of contracting boards.

All schools established, maintained and operated pursuant to a contract entered into under this part shall be considered for all purposes as integral parts of the school systems of each of the counties, cities or special school districts that are parties to the contracts. The board of education of each county, city or special school district that is a party to the contract shall have the same powers with respect to the assignment, placement, expulsion, suspension and transfer of pupils residing in its respective jurisdiction in and to such schools and with respect to the employment and assignment of teachers for such schools as it may possess with respect to other schools under its supervision, control and jurisdiction, except insofar as such powers may be limited by the contract.

Acts 1957, ch. 12, § 3; T.C.A., § 49-412.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 22 Tenn. Juris., Schools, § 11.

Attorney General Opinions. The joint board of control agreement may grant the respective boards of education veto-power over some delegated duties and may specify which rights are retained by the respective boards of education, OAG 03-160, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 192 (12/08/03).

There are no specific powers or duties that would have to remain with either or both of the elected boards of education, OAG 03-160, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 192  (12/08/03).

49-2-1103. Administration of schools — Funds.

  1. The administration of schools established, maintained and operated pursuant to a contract entered into under this part may be placed under the board of education of the county, city or special school district in which the school is located; or the administration of the schools may be placed under a board of control created pursuant to the terms of the contract.
  2. In the event a board of control is created, it shall elect its own chair and secretary and may designate as ex officio secretary the director of schools of the county, city or special school district in which the school is located. The board of control shall exercise all the administrative powers and functions with respect to the school that county boards of education are authorized to perform and exercise with respect to the operation of county schools.
  3. The schools may be administered by such other persons and in such other manner as the terms of the contract may provide.
  4. The county trustee or treasurer or other fiscal or disbursing officer, as the case may be, of the county, city or special school district in which the school is located, or such other disbursing officer as may be designated by the contract, shall have the same powers, rights and duties with respect to the receipt, protection and disbursement of the funds allocated to or for the use of the school as provided by law for other school funds.

Acts 1957, ch. 12, § 4; T.C.A., § 49-413.

49-2-1104. Assistance of state officials.

It is the duty of the attorney general and reporter and the commissioner of education, upon the request of any county, city or special school district or the board of education of any of those, to render advice and assistance in the preparation, execution and interpretation of contracts proposed or executed under this part.

Acts 1957, ch. 12, § 5; T.C.A., § 49-414.

Part 12
Consolidation of Systems

49-2-1201. Planning commission.

    1. In all counties of this state wherein separate school systems are maintained by the county and by one (1) or more incorporated municipalities or one (1) or more special school districts, there may be created and established a unification educational planning commission, sometimes called the “planning commission” in this part.
    2. It is the duty of the planning commission to study and consider the need for and problems in conjunction with the consolidation of all public schools within the county into a unified school system, and to make and file a written report as provided in this section. If the report recommends consolidation, it may be accompanied by a proposed plan of consolidation, as provided in this section.
    1. The county mayor, the mayor of each municipality operating a school system and the chair of the board of education of each special school district may each appoint five (5) competent citizens as members of the planning commission.
    2. The names of all appointees, other than those made by the county mayor, shall be certified to the county mayor by the appointing authority.
    3. The county mayor shall furnish the commissioner of education with a certified list of all members of the planning commission promptly after all appointments have been made; or, if the appointments are incomplete, the county mayor shall furnish to the commissioner, within one (1) year from the date on which the first member of the planning commission was appointed, a certified list of all members who have been appointed to the planning commission.
    4. The certified list, whether complete or incomplete, together with the appointing officials, who shall be ex officio voting members, shall constitute the planning commission, subject to the right of the appointing authority thereafter to fill any vacancies not originally filled or that may subsequently occur.
    1. Within thirty (30) days after the planning commission has been constituted, its members shall hold an organizational meeting at a time and place fixed by the county mayor, with notice of the organizational meeting to all members.
    2. The planning commission shall elect a chair, a secretary and other officers as it deems necessary.
    3. Future meetings of the planning commission shall be held at times and places it may determine, with special or additional meetings to be held upon call of its chair.
    1. Members of the planning commission shall not receive per diem or other compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred by them.
    2. The expenses and other necessary expenses of the planning commission shall be paid from funds appropriated for those expenses by the county, together with other funds made available by municipalities and school districts.
    1. The planning commission shall make or cause to be made a complete and comprehensive study of the needs for, issues in and problems of consolidation of the various school systems operating within the boundaries of the county.
    2. The study shall be completed and a written report made and filed with the commissioner within one (1) year after the first meeting of the commission, except as otherwise provided in this section.
    3. Where any study of consolidating school systems in a particular county has been made within five (5) years prior to the organizational meeting of a planning commission, and the planning commission determines that the study is sufficiently complete and comprehensive, the study may, in the discretion of the planning commission, be used as the study contemplated in this subdivision (e), as part of its written report and as the basis for its plan for consolidation, if any, as provided for in this part.
    1. The planning commission shall be authorized, but not required, to prepare a plan for the consolidation of such school systems.
    2. The plan as agreed upon by a majority of the planning commission, or a report on its studies and findings, if no plan is prepared, shall be submitted to the department of education for appraisal.
    3. Recommendations that the department, through its commissioner, sees fit to make shall be received and considered by the planning commission and the plan of consolidation, if any, may be revised in the light of the recommendations.
    1. In the event that the planning commission determines that it cannot complete an adequate study or report, or both, within one (1) year, it may, upon written request addressed to the commissioner, be permitted such additional time, not to exceed one (1) year, as in the commissioner's judgment the circumstances warrant.
    2. In the event the planning commission fails or refuses to make its report within the time specified, including any extension of time granted to it, then the planning commission may be terminated and discharged by notice to it from any original appointing authority; and after such notice, a new planning commission may be appointed to proceed with the study and make recommendations accordingly.
    1. Before presentation of any proposed plan of consolidation or report to the department, the planning commission shall hold at least one (1) public hearing duly advertised at least one (1) week prior to the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation throughout the county.
    2. At any public hearing so conducted by the planning commission, minutes of the proceedings shall be recorded and preserved and a copy filed with the commissioner.
  1. In developing any consolidation plan, the planning commission shall consider and provide for the following:
    1. Administrative organization of the proposed consolidated system;
    2. A method to ensure no diminution in the level of the educational service in the schools in any of the systems involved;
    3. Appropriate means for the transfer of assets and liabilities of municipal and special school district systems;
    4. Plans for disposition of existing bonded indebtedness that shall not impair the rights of any bondholder;
    5. Plans for preserving the existing pension rights of all teachers and nonteaching personnel in the respective systems;
    6. Plans for preserving the existing tenure rights, sick leave rights and salary schedule rights of all teachers and nonteaching personnel in the respective systems;
    7. Appropriate plans for contributions by municipalities or special school districts to the county for the operation of a unified system of schools during the period of transition following unification, which period shall not exceed three (3) years;
    8. Appropriate plans for reapportionment after each federal decennial census of districts for election of members of the school board; and
    9. Any other matters deemed by the planning commission to be pertinent.

Acts 1963, ch. 246, §§ 1-5; 1965, ch. 73, § 1; T.C.A., §§ 49-415 — 49-419; Acts 2003, ch. 90, §  2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all the changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Attorney General Opinions. Consolidation of schools in city and county, OAG 97-115, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 147 (8/15/97).

This part governs a consolidation of schools in a county, including special school districts created by private act, OAG 03-102, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 120 (8/19/03).

The county mayor, the mayor of each municipality operating a school system and the chair of the special school district's board of education appoint the planning commission members, and they may appoint school board members, but the statute does not require it, OAG 03-102, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 120 (8/19/03).

A planning commission is required to conduct a study and make a report, but the statutes do not bind the commission to earlier agreements of mayors, OAG 03-102, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 120 (8/19/03).

When a county commission votes to approve rural bonds for capital improvement of schools, whether the commission must issue the bonds will depend on the authority under which the commission plans to issue bonds and on the language of the bond resolution, OAG 03-102, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 120 (8/19/03).

49-2-1202. Consolidated board.

  1. Any plan of consolidation shall provide for a consolidated board of education, sometimes called “the board” in this part, to be composed of five (5), seven (7) or nine (9) members whose terms of office shall be either four (4) years or six (6) years, as the plan may determine.
  2. Alternative 1.
    1. The plan may provide that the members of the board shall be elected at the general election in August and as determined by the plan, in one (1) of three (3) following modes:
      1. The plan may provide for the election by popular vote of five (5) or seven (7) board members who shall be bona fide residents of the county, without further restriction as to place of residence;
      2. The plan may provide for the election of five (5) or seven (7) board members representing five (5) or seven (7) school districts of approximately equal population, each district board member to be voted upon and elected by the voters in the particular school district of which the board member is a bona fide resident; or
      3. The plan may provide for the election of five (5) or seven (7) board members by popular vote of the entire electorate of the county, but with the requirement that all five (5) or seven (7) members shall be bona fide residents of different school districts, in which event that person shall be elected who receives more votes county wide than any other person residing in the same district.
    2. In the event the plan adopts the option provided for in subdivision (b)(1)(B) or (b)(1)(C), the plan shall create five (5) or seven (7) school districts of approximately equal population and shall prescribe the boundaries of the school districts. The plan shall also provide appropriate plans for reapportionment of districts after each federal decennial census, so that members of the board may continue to be elected by or from districts of approximately equal population.
      1. Terms of office of members of the board shall be staggered.
      2. To bring about such staggered terms, there shall be elected five (5) or seven (7) members of the board at the first general election held subsequent to the adoption of the plan.
      3. If the plan provides for full terms of six (6) years, then of the seven (7) members originally elected, those three (3) who receive the higher number of votes shall serve for terms of six (6) years, those two (2) who receive the next higher number of votes shall serve for terms of four (4) years, and the remaining members shall serve for terms of two (2) years.
      4. If the plan provides for five (5) members and full terms of six (6) years, then of the five (5) members originally elected, those two (2) who receive the higher number of votes shall serve for terms of six (6) years. Those two (2) who receive the next higher number of votes shall serve for terms of four (4) years, and the remaining member shall serve for a term of two (2) years.
      5. If the plan provides for full terms of four (4) years, then of the seven (7) members originally elected, those four (4) who receive the higher number of votes shall serve for terms of four (4) years and the remaining members shall serve for terms of two (2) years.
      6. If the plan provides for five (5) members and full terms of four (4) years, then of the five (5) members originally elected, those three (3) who receive the higher number of votes shall serve for a term of four (4) years and the remaining members shall serve for terms of two (2) years.
      7. In the event of a tie vote, the board shall designate the respective terms of those receiving the same number of votes.
      8. Subsequent to the first election, members of the board shall be elected for the full term provided in the plan.
      1. All vacancies on the board shall be filled for the unexpired term at the next regular general election occurring more than thirty (30) days subsequent to the vacancy.
      2. Immediately after the vacancy occurs, the remaining members of the board shall fill the vacancy on an interim basis by the selection of a person qualified under this part to fill the vacancy on a permanent basis.
      3. The interim member shall hold office until the vacancy is permanently filled at the next general election.
  3. Alternative 2.
    1. As another alternative, the plan may provide for the election of five (5) or seven (7) board members representing five (5) or seven (7) school districts of approximately equal population, to be chosen in the following manner:
      1. Where one (1) or more school districts are wholly within the corporate limits of a municipality, members of the consolidated board of education from such districts shall be selected by the governing body of the municipality;
      2. Where one (1) or more school districts are wholly outside of the corporate limits of a municipality, the members of the board representing such districts shall be selected by the governing body of the county;
      3. Where one (1) or more school districts are partly within and partly outside of the corporate limits of a municipality, the board members representing such districts shall be selected by the governing body of the municipality or by the governing body of the county, depending upon whether a majority of the population of the school district resides within the municipality or without the municipality.
    2. Terms of board members under this alternative shall be so staggered as the plan may determine.
    3. All vacancies on the board under this alternative shall be filled for the unexpired term by the appointing authority with respect to the members of the board from such district.
  4. Alternative 3.
    1. As a third alternative, the plan may provide for the election of five (5), seven (7) or nine (9) board members by popular vote at the August general election, with the requirements that at least a majority of the number of board members be bona fide residents of particular districts and elected from such districts, and the remaining number of members being bona fide residents of the county and elected from the county at-large.
    2. The plan may further provide that a certain number of districts be completely within the largest municipality in the county and certain districts completely within the county outside of such largest municipality, and a certain number of districts be coincident with the boundaries of the entire county, including the largest municipality.
    3. Electors within the city may be permitted to vote for candidates from all districts within the city and for candidates at-large.
    4. Electors outside of the city may be permitted to vote for candidates from all districts outside the city and for candidates at-large.
    5. The plan shall provide that no more than one (1) member from the county at-large shall be a resident of the same geographical district.
    6. The districts provided by the plan shall be of approximately equal population and the boundaries of the districts shall be described in the plan.
    7. The plan shall also provide appropriate procedures for the reapportionment of districts after each federal decennial census, so that members of the board may continue to be elected by or from districts of approximately equal population.
    8. Terms of board members shall be staggered.
  5. Every consolidated board of education shall have all powers and duties conferred by general law upon county boards of education or city boards of education. The board is also authorized to do all things necessary or proper for the establishment, operation and maintenance of an efficient and accredited consolidated school system, not inconsistent with this part or other general law.

Acts 1963, ch. 246, § 6; 1970, ch. 497, § 1; 1973, ch. 268, §§ 1, 2; T.C.A., § 49-420.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Attorney General Opinions. Effect of county's withdrawal from Tennessee consolidated retirement system.  OAG 12-66, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 66 (6/29/12).

49-2-1203. Director.

  1. Any plan of consolidation shall provide that the consolidated board of education is authorized to designate a person experienced in public school management and supervision and possessing the qualifications required of a director of schools pursuant to § 49-2-301 as the chief administrative employee of the board, and to enter into an employment contract with such person for a period not to exceed five (5) years and for a compensation to be determined in the contract.
  2. The person so employed shall be designated director of consolidated schools.
  3. The consolidated board of education is authorized to assign to the director such duties and responsibilities as are necessarily, usually or properly assigned to a city director of schools or to a county director of schools.

Acts 1963, ch. 246, §§ 7, 7A; T.C.A., §§ 49-421, 49-422.

Code Commission Notes.

Former subsection (b), concerning an alternative plan of consolidation, was deleted as obsolete by the code commission in 2002. In addition, former subdivisions (a)(1)-(3) were redesignated as current subsections (a)-(c) and subsection (a) was amended by the code commission to correct obsolete references.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1204. Rights of employees.

    1. Any plan of consolidation shall require continuation of a local retirement system for all officers, teachers and other employees who elect to remain in the system.
    2. The plan shall also provide:
      1. For continuation of the local retirement system for new officers, teachers and other employees; or
      2. For a new retirement system or coverage under the Tennessee consolidated retirement system for all new officers, teachers and other employees and those present officers, teachers and other employees who elect to be transferred to the other system.
  1. No plan of consolidation adopted under this part shall in any way abridge, diminish or impair any tenure right or sick leave right that an officer, teacher or other employee may have earned during service in any component system.
  2. Any plan of consolidation shall guarantee that the salary schedule under which the teachers and other employees of a component part of any consolidated school system were employed shall continue to apply for the teachers and other employees, and no such salary schedule may be lower than it was prior to consolidation. The plan shall provide that within three (3) years after the establishment of the new consolidated school system, a new salary schedule shall be established for the consolidated school system, which shall be no lower than the highest salary schedule maintained by a component part of the system prior to the establishment of the new consolidated school system.

Acts 1963, ch. 246, § 8; T.C.A., § 49-423.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Attorney General Opinions. Applicability to all employees of consolidated system, OAG 98-028, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 28 (1/29/98).

Applicability to schools merged by transfer under § 49-2-1002, OAG 98-029, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 29 (1/29/98).

49-2-1205. Transitional board.

  1. Any plan of consolidation shall provide for a transitional school board in the event the plan makes consolidation of schools effective at a date prior to September 1 next after the general election in August when members of the consolidated board of education are to be elected.
  2. The transitional board shall be composed of all members of the boards of education of school systems consolidated under the plan of consolidation.
  3. The transitional board shall have all powers and duties of the permanent consolidated board, except that the transitional board shall not make an employment contract with a director of consolidated schools for a period extending beyond the date when the terms of members of the consolidated board begin.

Acts 1963, ch. 246, § 9; T.C.A., § 49-424.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Attorney General Opinions. If voters approve consolidation plan, it must provide for a transitional school board until the voters elect a permanent board in the next general election after the adoption of the consolidation plan, OAG 03-102, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 120 (8/19/03).

49-2-1206. Consolidation plan.

    1. Where the planning commission has submitted a plan of consolidation to the department of education and has thereafter approved the plan with or without revision, after receiving the recommendations of the department, the proposed plan of consolidation shall be submitted to the governing body of the county and of all affected municipalities, and to the boards of education of all affected special school districts.
    2. Before taking action upon the proposed plan of consolidation, each of the governing bodies and boards of education shall hold at least one (1) public hearing duly advertised one (1) week or more prior to the hearing, in a newspaper of general circulation throughout the county.
    3. Subsequent to the public hearing, each governing body and affected board of education shall consider and act upon the proposed plan of consolidation at its next regular meeting or at an adjourned session of the regular meeting.
    4. The governing body is authorized to:
      1. Approve the proposed plan of consolidation and recommend its adoption to the electorate; or
      2. Disapprove the proposed plan of consolidation and recommend its rejection by the electorate.
    5. Where the governing body of any affected county or municipality or the board of education of any affected special school district has approved the proposed plan of consolidation, the proposed plan of consolidation shall be voted upon at a referendum election as provided in subsection (b), and may be adopted by the result of the election as provided in subsection (b).
    6. Where the governing bodies of the affected county and of all affected municipalities and the boards of education of all affected special school districts have disapproved the proposed plan of consolidation, the proposed plan of consolidation shall be deemed rejected and finally disposed of, unless a referendum is called by petition as provided in subsection (c).
    7. Those counties with metropolitan governments in which the principal city is not the county seat shall be permitted to adopt a consolidation plan for school systems with approval of the governing body of the metropolitan government and approval by all affected school boards.
    1. Any governing body or board of education that approves a plan of consolidation shall cause to be certified to the county election commission a copy of its resolution of approval, together with a copy of the plan of consolidation, unless it has knowledge that another governing body or board of education has previously so caused the copy of its resolution of approval to be certified.
    2. After certification, it is the duty of the county election commission to hold a special referendum election for the ratification or rejection of the proposed plan of consolidation.
    3. The special referendum election shall be held on the date fixed by the county election commission, not less than fifty (50) days nor more than seventy (70) days subsequent to the date the county election commission receives a certified resolution of approval from a governing body or board of education.
    4. The date of the special election so fixed may but need not coincide with the date of a regular general election.
    5. In a referendum election, voters residing in the county and qualified to vote for members of the general assembly shall be qualified to vote in the referendum election; and in any such election, the general laws with respect to elections shall be applicable except as otherwise provided in this section.
    6. Notice of the special referendum election shall be given as provided by § 2-12-111(b).
      1. Ballots shall be in the form prescribed by the general election laws, except as otherwise provided in this section, and the only questions submitted to the voters shall be in the following form, with blanks appropriately filled in:

        For Plan of Consolidating Schools in

        County

        Against Plan of Consolidating Schools in

        County

      2. Where voting machines are used, suitable arrangements shall be made to permit the use of the machines.
    7. The county election commission shall canvass the returns and certify the results as if separate elections were being held within each incorporated municipality or special school district that maintains a separate school system, and also within the area of the county outside of municipalities and special school districts maintaining separate school systems.
    8. For the purpose of determining whether the proposed plan of consolidation has been accepted or rejected, the county election commission shall canvass the returns and certify the results for:
      1. Each city maintaining its separate school system;
      2. Each special school district maintaining its separate school system; and
      3. The entire area of the county outside of the city or cities and the special school district or districts maintaining their own separate school system.
    9. The proposed plan of consolidation shall be deemed ratified and adopted if the proposed plan of consolidation is approved by a majority of those voting within each city and each special school district maintaining its own school system and also in the area of the county outside the municipalities and special school districts.
    10. The proposed plan of consolidation shall be deemed rejected and shall not become effective if the proposed plan of consolidation is disapproved by a majority of those voting in any city or special school district maintaining its separate school system, or by a majority of those voting in the county outside the areas of the municipalities and special school districts.
    11. Whenever a plan of consolidation has been adopted, the county election commission shall proclaim that fact and shall deliver a copy of the plan of consolidation previously furnished to them to the consolidated board of education or transitional board when the consolidated board of education or transitional board has become constituted.
    1. Within sixty (60) days after disapproval of the proposed plan of consolidation by the last governing body or board of education empowered to act on the plan, there may be filed with the county election commission a petition or petitions, signed by a number of registered voters at least equal to ten percent (10%) of the total votes cast in the county for governor at the then last preceding gubernatorial election, requesting a referendum election to vote upon the question of whether the plan of consolidation shall become effective.
    2. Persons signing the petition must be registered voters. In addition to their signatures, they shall write upon the petition their ages and specific addresses at the time of signing the petition.
    3. The person circulating each petition shall execute an affidavit at the end of the petition that all signatures on the petition were signed in that person's presence by the persons whose names the signatures purport to be.
    4. The referendum election shall be held not less than fifty (50) nor more than seventy (70) days after filing of the petition, and the results of the election shall be determined as provided in subsection (b).

Acts 1963, ch. 246, §§ 10-12; modified; T.C.A., §§ 49-425 — 49-427; Acts 2001, ch. 131, § 1.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Attorney General Opinions. All voters residing in the county and qualified to vote for members of the general assembly may vote in a special referendum election on consolidation or unification of special school districts, OAG 03-102, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 120 (8/19/03).

49-2-1207. Powers of state regarding consolidation.

The department of education and the commissioner of education are vested with the following powers and duties respecting the consolidation of school systems as provided in this part:

  1. Formulate recommended policies and practices for conducting the consolidation programs;
  2. Develop suggested methods of procedure and a manual as guides for use by the planning commissions;
  3. Provide professional assistance in consolidation studies and development of consolidation proposals;
  4. Appraise reports of studies made by the planning commissions and examine plans for consolidation, recommending changes or modifications where deemed desirable; and
  5. Afford financial assistance that may be required by counties in effecting consolidation, within the limits of funds available for such purposes.

Acts 1963, ch. 246, § 13; T.C.A., § 49-428.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1208. Construction.

  1. This part is declared to be remedial legislation to be liberally construed for the purpose of increased economy and efficiency in the operation of public schools; and, after any plan of consolidation provided for in this part has become effective, no officer or agency of any constituent school system shall retain any power or duty where such retention would be inconsistent with this part or with the plan of consolidation.
  2. Nothing in this part shall be construed to alter or repeal any other law prescribing methods and procedures, contractual, cooperative, unilateral or otherwise by which schools or school systems may be operated.

Acts 1963, ch. 246, § 14; T.C.A., § 49-429.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1209 — 49-2-1250. [Reserved.]

County boards of education, whenever they deem it advisable for the purpose of a more economical administration and the improvement of the efficiency of the schools, may combine with another county or counties to operate the schools of the counties as a single multi-county consolidated school system.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 64.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1252. Multi-county consolidated school systems — Unification educational planning commission.

    1. In all counties in this state there may be created a unification educational planning commission, sometimes called the “commission” in §§  49-2-1251 — 49-2-1266.
    2. It is the duty of the planning commission to study and consider the need for and problems in conjunction with the consolidation of all county schools within the subject counties into a unified school system, and to make and file a written report as provided in this part. If the report recommends consolidation, it shall be accompanied by a proposed plan of consolidation, as provided in §§  49-2-1251 — 49-2-1266.
    1. The county mayor, the chair of the county commission and the chair of the board of education of each county may each appoint three (3) competent citizens as members of the planning commission.
    2. The names of all appointees, other than those made by the county mayor, shall be certified to the county mayor by the appointing authority.
    3. The county mayor of one (1) of the counties, which one (1) shall be determined by mutual agreement of the counties, shall furnish the commissioner of education with a certified list of all members of the planning commission promptly after all appointments have been made.
    4. The certified list, together with the appointing officials who shall be ex officio voting members, shall constitute the planning commission, subject to the right of the appointing authorities thereafter to fill any vacancies that may subsequently occur.
    1. Within thirty (30) days after the planning commission has been constituted, its members shall hold an organizational meeting at a time and place fixed by one (1) of the county mayors, which one (1) to be determined by mutual agreement of the counties, with notice of the meeting to all members.
    2. The planning commission shall elect a chair, a secretary and other officers as it deems necessary.
    3. Future meetings of the planning commission shall be held at such times and places as may be determined.
    1. Members of the planning commission shall not receive per diem or other compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred by them.
    2. The expenses and other necessary expenses of the planning commission shall be paid from funds appropriated for those expenses by the participating counties.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 65; 2003, ch. 90, §  2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all the changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1253. Multi-county consolidated school systems — Comprehensive study.

  1. The planning commission shall make a comprehensive study of the need for, issues in, and problems of consolidation of the various county school systems.
  2. The study shall be completed and a written report made and filed with the commissioner of education within one (1) year after the first meeting of the planning commission.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 65.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1254. Multi-county consolidated school systems — Preparation of consolidation plan.

    1. The planning commission shall be authorized to prepare a plan for the consolidation of such county school systems.
    2. The plan as agreed upon by a majority of the planning commission shall be submitted to the department of education for appraisal.
    3. The recommendations that the department sees fit to make shall be considered by the planning commission and the plan of consolidation may be revised in the light of the recommendations.
    1. Before presentation of any proposed plan of consolidation to the department, the planning commission shall hold at least one (1) public hearing duly advertised at least one (1) week prior to the hearing in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation in each of the counties involved.
    2. A record shall be kept of the public hearing in each county and a copy filed with the department.
  1. In developing any consolidation plan, the planning commission shall consider and provide for the following:
    1. Administrative organization of the proposed consolidated system;
    2. A method to ensure no diminution in the level of the educational service in the schools in any of the county systems involved;
    3. Appropriate means for the transfer of all assets and liabilities, including title to all school property, real and personal, of the county systems to the consolidated system;
    4. Plans for disposition of existing bonded indebtedness, which shall not impair the rights of any of the bond holders;
    5. Plans for the preservation of the existing pension rights of all teachers and nonteaching personnel in the respective systems;
    6. Plans for preserving the existing tenure rights, sick leave rights and salary schedule rights, of all teachers and nonteaching personnel in the respective systems;
    7. Appropriate plans for contributions by counties to the consolidated system for the operation of a unified system of schools during the period of transition following consolidation, which period shall not exceed three (3) years;
    8. Appropriate plans for reapportionment after each federal decennial census of districts for election of members of the consolidated school board; and
    9. Any other matter deemed by the planning commission to be pertinent.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 65.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1255. Multi-county consolidated school systems — Consolidated boards of education.

  1. Any plan of consolidation shall provide for a consolidated board of education, sometimes referred to as the “board” in §§  49-2-1251 — 49-2-1266, to be composed of nine (9) members whose terms of office shall be four (4) years.
    1. The plan shall provide for the election of nine (9) board members by popular vote at the August general election, with the requirement that all of the board members be bona fide residents of particular districts and elected from such districts.
    2. Members elected at the regular August election shall take office on September 1, following their elections.
    3. The nine (9) districts shall be described by the plan, shall cover all of the counties, may cross county lines and shall be of substantially equal population.
    4. The districts shall be apportioned after every federal decennial census, so that members of the board may continue to be elected from districts of substantially equal population.
    5. The terms of the board members shall be  staggered as the plan may determine.
  2. Every consolidated board of education has all powers and duties conferred by general law upon county boards of education. The board is authorized to do all things necessary or proper for the establishment, operation and maintenance of an efficient and accredited consolidated school system.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 66.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1256. Multi-county consolidated school systems — Director.

  1. Any plan of consolidation shall provide that the consolidated board of education is authorized to designate a person experienced in public school management and supervision and possessing a license of qualification issued by the state board of education pursuant to § 49-2-301 as the chief administrative employee of the board, and to enter into an employment contract with that person for a period not to exceed five (5) years and for compensation to be determined in the contract.
  2. The person so employed shall be designated director of consolidated schools.
  3. The board is authorized to assign to the director duties and responsibilities that are necessarily, usually or properly assigned to a county director of schools.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 67.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1257. Multi-county consolidated school systems — Approval or rejection of plan.

  1. Where the planning commission has submitted a plan of consolidation to the department of education and has thereafter approved the plan, the proposed plan of consolidation shall be submitted to the governing bodies of the counties involved.
  2. Before taking action upon the proposed plan, each of the governing bodies shall hold at least one (1) public hearing duly advertised one (1) week or more prior to the hearing, in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation throughout the county.
  3. Subsequent to the public hearing, each governing body shall consider and act upon the proposed plan of consolidation at its next regular meeting.
  4. The governing body is authorized to:
    1. Approve the proposed plan of consolidation; or
    2. Disapprove the proposed plan of consolidation.
  5. Where the governing bodies of all the counties have disapproved the proposed plan of consolidation, the proposed plan of consolidation shall be deemed rejected and finally disposed of.
  6. Whenever a plan of consolidation has been approved by all counties involved, a copy of the plan of consolidation shall be delivered to the consolidated school board.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 68.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1258. Multi-county consolidated school systems — Issuance of bonds.

Any consolidated board of education created under §§ 49-2-125149-2-1266 has the authority to issue bonds as a separate and independent local government under the Local Government Public Obligations Act of 1986, compiled in title 9, chapter 21.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 69.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1259. Multi-county consolidated school systems — Audit of boards.

Consolidated boards of education shall be subject to the audit provisions of § 49-2-112.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 70.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1260. Multi-county consolidated school systems — Adoption of local option sales tax rate.

Prior to or in conjunction with the adoption of a multi-county school system, the counties that adopt a multi-county school system shall adopt the same local option sales tax rate and distribute according to law.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 71.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1261. Multi-county consolidated school systems — Budgeting, fiscal and purchasing procedures.

  1. A multi-county school system created pursuant to this part shall budget according to the County Budgeting Law of 1957, compiled in title 5, chapter 12, part 1.(b)   The school system shall follow the fiscal procedures of the County Fiscal Procedure Law of 1957, compiled in title 5, chapter 13.(c)   The school system shall follow the purchasing process of the County Purchasing Law of 1957, compiled in title 5, chapter 14, part 1.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 72.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1262. Multi-county consolidated school systems — Funding bonus.

To aid in the offset of the expenses incurred in the consolidation process, the state shall supplement combining systems with a five percent (5%) funding bonus for the first five (5) years of the existence of the combined system. This five percent (5%) bonus shall be over and above the funds received from the state under this title. Funds distributed under this title for administrative purposes shall continue to be distributed as if each school system were still a separate entity.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 73.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1263. Multi-county consolidated school systems — Powers and duties of department of education.

The department of education and the commissioner of education are vested with the following powers and duties respecting the consolidation of school systems:

  1. Formulate recommended policies and practices for conducting the consolidation programs;
  2. Develop suggested methods of procedure and a manual as guides for use by the planning commissions;
  3. Provide professional assistance in consolidation studies and development of consolidation proposals;
  4. Appraise reports of studies made by the planning commissions and examine plans for consolidation, recommending changes or modifications where deemed desirable; and
  5. Afford financial assistance that may be required by counties in effecting consolidation, within limits of funds available for such purposes.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 74.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1264. Multi-county consolidated school systems — Participation by municipal or special school districts.

  1. Any municipal or special school district within a county contemplating consolidation may participate in the consolidation process. The municipal or special school district shall notify the county commission of their respective county of their wish to consolidate with the county systems.
  2. The chair of the board of education of each municipal or special school district may appoint three (3) competent citizens as members of the consolidation planning commission. The chair of the respective boards of education shall be ex officio voting members of the commission.
  3. If the municipal or special school district wishes to withdraw from the consolidation process, it may do so at any time prior to submittal of the plan to the local governing bodies.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 75.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1265. Multi-county consolidated school system — Property tax.

  1. In addition to any other tax applicable to property located within the consolidated school district created pursuant to this part, there shall be levied a property tax sufficient to fund the consolidated school district. The tax rate shall be set by the general assembly by private act.
  2. The board of education of the consolidated school district shall have the authority to set the tax rate lower than that imposed by any private act setting a tax rate for the school district, but shall not have the power to impose a tax in excess of any statutory levy nor shall it have the power to lower any special levy assessed for the purpose of bond repayment. In order to change the rate of taxation, the board must certify, on or before September 1, to the county trustees the new school district tax rate not to exceed the rate imposed by the legislative act, and the county trustees shall collect the taxes based on the rates so certified.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 76.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

49-2-1266. Construction of §§ 49-2-1251 — 49-2-1265.

  1. Sections 49-2-1251 — 49-2-1265 are declared to be remedial legislation to be liberally interpreted for the purpose of increased economy and efficiency in the operation of public schools and after any plan of consolidation provided for shall become effective, no officer or agency of any constituent school system shall retain any power or duty where such retention would be inconsistent with §§ 49-2-1251 — 49-2-1265 or with the plan of consolidation.
  2. Nothing in §§ 49-2-1251 — 49-2-1265 shall be construed to alter or repeal any other law prescribing methods and procedures, contractual, cooperative, unilateral or otherwise by which schools or school systems may be operated.

Acts 1992, ch. 535, § 77.

Law Reviews.

Symposium — Memphis in the Law: A Memphis Dilemma: A Half-Century of Public Education Reform in Memphis and Shelby County From Desegregation to Consolidation (Daniel Kiel), 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 787 (2011).

Part 13
Educational Cooperation Act

49-2-1301. Short title.

This part shall be known and may be cited as the “Educational Cooperation Act.”

Acts 1970, ch. 511, § 1; T.C.A, § 49-430.

Attorney General Opinions. City and county boards of education are authorized to execute an agreement to create a joint board of control to jointly operate one or more schools in the county without the necessity of any other local approval and there is no limit on the number of schools that may be jointly operated, OAG 03-160, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 192 (12/08/03).

49-2-1302. Purpose.

It is the purpose of this part to permit local governmental units and boards of education the most efficient use of their powers by enabling them to cooperate with other localities on a basis of mutual advantage and to thereby provide educational services and facilities in a manner that will accord best with geographic, economic, population and other factors influencing the needs and development of local educational facilities and services.

Acts 1970, ch. 511, § 2; T.C.A., § 49-431.

49-2-1303. “Public agency” defined.

As used in this part, “public agency” includes:

  1. A board of education of any county, city or special school district or school system;
  2. A county or municipal governing body; and
  3. A director of schools.

Acts 1970, ch. 511, § 3; T.C.A., § 49-432.

49-2-1304. Joint action — Agreements — State approval and monitoring.

    1. Any power or powers, privileges or authority exercised or capable of exercise by a public agency of this state may be exercised and enjoyed jointly with any other public agency of this state having the same powers, privileges or authority.
    2. Any agency of the state government when acting jointly with any like public agency may exercise and enjoy all of the powers, privileges and authority conferred by this part upon a like public agency.
    3. The authority for joint or cooperative action of political subdivisions shall apply only to such powers, privileges or authority vested in their governing bodies, and no joint or cooperative agreement shall be entered into affecting or relating to the constitutional or statutory powers, privileges or authority of officers of political subdivisions, or of agencies of political subdivisions having powers granted by statute independent of the governing body.
    1. Any two (2) or more public agencies may enter into agreements with one another for joint or cooperative action in accordance with this part.
    2. Appropriate action by ordinance, resolution or otherwise pursuant to law of the governing bodies of such participating public agencies shall be necessary before any such agreement may become effective.
  1. Any such agreement shall specify the following:
    1. Its duration;
    2. The precise organization, composition and nature of any separate legal or administrative entity created by the agreement, together with the powers delegated to such entity;
    3. The purpose or purposes of the joint or cooperative action;
    4. The manner of financing the joint or cooperative undertaking and of establishing and maintaining a budget for the joint or cooperative undertaking;
    5. The permissible method or methods to be employed in accomplishing the partial or complete termination of the agreement and for disposing of property upon such partial or complete termination; and
    6. Any other necessary and proper matters.
  2. If the agreement does not establish a separate legal entity to conduct the joint or cooperative undertaking, the agreement shall, in addition to the information required by subsection (c), contain the following:
      1. Provision for an administrator or a joint board responsible for administering the joint or cooperative undertaking;
      2. In the case of a joint board, all public agencies party to the agreement shall be represented;
        1. The administration of any schools, facilities and services may be placed under a board of control created pursuant to the terms of the agreement;
        2. If such a board of control is created, it shall elect its own chair and secretary;
        3. The board of control shall exercise all the administrative powers and functions with respect to the school facility or service that county boards of education are authorized to perform and exercise with respect to the operation of county schools;
        4. However, the schools, facilities or services may be administered by such other persons and in such other manner as the terms of the agreement may provide; and
    1. The manner of acquiring, holding and disposing of real and personal property used in the joint or cooperative undertaking.
  3. No agreement made under this part shall relieve any public agency of any obligation or responsibility imposed upon it by law, except that to the extent of actual and timely performance thereof by a joint board or other legal or administrative entity created by an agreement made under this part, the performances may be offered in satisfaction of the obligation or responsibility.
    1. Every agreement made under this part shall, prior to and as a condition precedent to its entry into force, be submitted to the attorney general and reporter and to the commissioner of education who shall determine whether the agreement is in proper form and compatible with the laws of this state.
    2. The attorney general and reporter and the commissioner shall each approve any agreement submitted to them under this part, unless they shall find that it does not meet the conditions set forth in this part and shall detail in writing addressed to the governing bodies of the public agencies concerned the specific respects in which the proposed agreement fails to meet the requirements of law.
    3. Failure to disapprove an agreement submitted under this part within forty-five (45) days of its submission shall constitute approval of the agreement by the individual who fails to disapprove.
  4. Financing of joint projects by agreement shall be as provided by law.
    1. The governing body of any such joint or cooperative entity of any two (2) or more political subdivisions as provided by subsections (b) and (c) with respect to funds under its control shall cause an annual audit to be made of the books and records of the organization.
    2. It is the duty of the governing body to order and pay for the audit, and to contract with certified public accountants, public accountants or the department of audit to make the audit.
    3. The comptroller of the treasury, when the comptroller of the treasury deems it necessary, may require the audit to be conducted by the department of audit, the cost of the audit to be paid by the governing body.
    4. The comptroller of the treasury, through the department of audit, shall be responsible for determining that the audit is prepared in accordance with generally accepted governmental auditing standards and that the audit meets the minimum standards prescribed by the comptroller of the treasury.
    5. The comptroller of the treasury shall prepare a uniform audit manual as is required to assure that the books and records are kept in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and that audit standards prescribed by the comptroller of the treasury are met.
    1. The department of education shall monitor educational cooperatives.
    2. The department may enjoin the participating school district from expending state funds on the cooperatives if deemed necessary by the commissioner.
    3. The department may withhold funds from school districts that continue to expend funds on educational cooperatives that, in the commissioner's opinion, are not providing an adequate and economic service to the school districts.

Acts 1970, ch. 511, § 4; 1977, ch. 248, § 1; 1979, ch. 82, § 1; T.C.A., § 49-433; Acts 2018, ch. 495, § 7; 2018, ch. 725, § 27.

Attorney General Opinions. This section gives a properly-created joint board of control the same administrative powers that could be exercised by the county or city boards, OAG 03-160, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 192 (12/08/03).

The joint board of control agreement may grant the respective boards of education veto-power over some delegated duties and may specify which rights are retained by the respective boards of education, OAG 03-160, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 192 (12/08/03).

There are no specific powers or duties that would have to remain with either or both of the elected boards of education, OAG 03-160, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 192 (12/08/03).

Boards of education may agree to cause funds for education provided by the county government and/or the city to be provided directly to the joint board of control and the boards may agree to be bound to a funding mechanism established by a needs assessment or similar process established in the joint board of control agreement, as long as such mechanism does not conflict with the basic education plan, OAG 03-160, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 192 (12/08/03).

49-2-1305. Ancillary powers.

    1. Counties and municipalities are authorized and empowered to levy taxes and issue bonds for all joint or cooperative undertakings authorized by this part.
    2. Counties, municipalities and school districts are authorized and empowered to expend funds, acquire property through purchase, employ teachers, provide for the transportation of school children and do any and all other acts necessary or expedient for entering into and consummating all joint or cooperative undertakings authorized by this part.
    3. Existing school plants and facilities may be used or new plants may be acquired or constructed.
    4. Agreements for joint ownership or use of real and personal property are authorized.
    1. If agreements made pursuant to this part establish legal entities to conduct joint or cooperative undertakings, the commissioner of education may consider applications from and allocate funds to such legal entities, at the commissioner's discretion, pursuant to special grant programs administered by the department.
    2. However, nothing in subdivision (b)(1) shall be construed to authorize the distribution of Tennessee foundation program funds directly to such legal entities.
    3. Such legal entities are authorized to accept grants of funds from any public or private organization including the state and the federal government.
  1. Any public agency entering into an agreement under this part may appropriate funds and may sell, lease, give or otherwise supply the administrative joint board or other legal or administrative entity created to operate the joint or cooperative undertaking by providing the personnel or services therefor as may be within its legal power to furnish.
    1. Any public agency may contract with any other agency or agencies to perform any governmental service, activity or undertaking that each public agency entering into the contract is authorized by law to perform, if the contract is authorized by the governing body of each party to the contract.
    2. The contract shall set forth fully the purposes, powers, rights, objectives and responsibilities of the contracting parties.

Acts 1970, ch. 511, §§ 5, 6, 9, 10; 1981, ch. 132, § 1; T.C.A., §§ 49-434, 49-435, 49-438, 49-439.

Attorney General Opinions. Boards of education may agree to cause funds for education provided by the county government and/or the city to be provided directly to the joint board of control and the boards may agree to be bound to a funding mechanism established by a needs assessment or similar process established in the joint board of control agreement, as long as such mechanism does not conflict with the basic education plan, OAG 03-160, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 192 (12/08/03).

49-2-1306. Recording of agreement — Legal actions involving parties.

  1. Before its entry into force, an agreement made under this part shall be filed with the custodian of local public records and with the secretary of state.
    1. In any case or controversy involving performance or interpretation of an agreement made under this part or liability under the agreement, the public agencies party thereto shall be real parties in interest, and the state may maintain an action to recoup or otherwise make itself whole for any damages or liability that it may incur by reason of being joined as a party therein.
    2. Such action shall be maintainable against any public agency or agencies whose default, failure of performance or other conduct caused or contributed to the incurring of damage or liability by the state.

Acts 1970, ch. 511, § 7; T.C.A., § 49-436.

49-2-1307. Additional approval of affected agencies.

  1. If an agreement made under this part addresses in whole or in part the provision of services or facilities with regard to which an officer or agency of the state government has constitutional or statutory powers of control, the agreement shall, as a condition precedent to its becoming effective, be submitted to the state officer or agency having such power of control and shall be approved or disapproved by the state officer or agency as to all matters within the state officer's or its jurisdiction in the same manner and subject to the same requirements governing the action of the attorney general and reporter and the commissioner of education as contained in § 49-2-1304.
  2. The requirement of submission and approval shall be in addition to, and not in substitution for, the requirement of submission to and approval by the attorney general and reporter and the commissioner.

Acts 1970, ch. 511, § 8; T.C.A., § 49-437.

49-2-1308. Rights preserved.

Nothing in this part shall prohibit any public agency from contracting with other public agencies under existing statutory or charter authority.

Acts 1970, ch. 511, § 11; T.C.A., § 49-440.

Parts 14-19
[Reserved]

Part 20
School Boards Association

49-2-2001. General provisions.

  1. The Tennessee school boards association is recognized as the organization and representative agency of the members of school boards of this state.
    1. The commissioner of education, the department of education, the state board of education and the boards of education of counties, cities and special school districts are authorized and empowered to cooperate with the Tennessee school boards association in its in-training programs for school board members and in encouraging and fostering cooperation among the school boards of this state.
    2. Any board of education is authorized to become affiliated with the Tennessee school boards association.
    3. The various boards of education are authorized to use the organization of the Tennessee school boards association in coordinating the policies, control and management of the schools under their respective jurisdictions.
  2. Membership dues and necessary traveling expenses of school board members and directors of schools incurred in attending meetings of the Tennessee school boards association may be paid as other expenses are paid by boards of education.
  3. The Tennessee school boards association is authorized to receive funds in the form of dues from its members and contributions from individuals, organizations and agencies for the purposes of carrying on its program.

Acts 1953, ch. 72, §§ 1-3 (Williams, §§ 2330.2-2330.4); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 49-501 — 49-504.

Part 21
Directors of Schools Association

49-2-2101. General provisions.

  1. The chief administrative officers of the public school systems, called directors of schools in this section, are authorized to form and join an organization whose membership shall be open to directors of schools in service, but membership in the organization shall not be required. Additionally, the organization shall be open to affiliate membership for principals, assistant principals, and system-wide supervisors for the purpose of professional development coursework and related activities.
    1. The organization, if formed pursuant to this section and before entering upon any other activities, shall adopt a constitution, which may be amended subsequently, setting forth its purposes, which shall include, but not be limited to:
      1. The advancement of public education;
      2. The promotion of the work and interests of directors of schools, principals, assistant principals, and system-wide supervisors;
      3. The gathering and circulation of information on general school matters;
      4. The provision of pertinent information on sound education legislation to the general assembly; and
      5. The cooperation with the department of education and other agencies and organizations interested in public education.
    2. The organization may adopt bylaws and from time to time revise the bylaws.
    1. The organization is authorized to perform all reasonable acts necessary or incidental to carrying out its purposes.
    2. The organization may receive funds in the form of membership fees from its members and contributions from individuals, organizations, and agencies, public and private, and may expend the funds for the purposes of carrying on its program, including the employment of necessary staff and consultants.
    3. Membership fees for directors of schools shall be set in the bylaws of the organization and may be paid from any local school funds budgeted for this purpose, but shall not be included in any matching funds otherwise required for participation in the basic education program (BEP).
    4. Membership fees for affiliate members shall be set in the bylaws of the organization and may be paid from any local school funds budgeted for this purpose. Funds derived for membership fees from affiliate members shall be used only for professional development purposes and related expenses. No part of these funds shall be used for the purpose of lobbying or government relations. Upon request of the chair of the education committee of the senate or the chair of the education committee of the house of representatives, a report detailing the professional development activities for affiliate members of the organization shall be submitted to the committee.
    5. No direct state appropriation or grant of state funds shall be made to this organization; however, departments and agencies of state and local governments may contract for services with the organization for which state and local revenues may be used.
  2. The organization shall not be in lieu of or infringe upon the existing superintendents' study council, which is authorized to continue as an in-service education effort of the department of education.

Acts 1975, ch. 115, §§ 1-4; T.C.A., §§ 49-531 — 49-534; Acts 2006, ch. 797, § 2; 2016, ch. 733, §§ 1-4; 2019, ch. 345, § 88.

49-2-303. School principals.

49-2-1251. Multi-county consolidated school systems — Creation authorized.

Chapter 3
Finances

Part 1
State School Fund

49-3-101. General provisions.

  1. The state school fund consists of all funds appropriated or allocated from the state treasury for the operation and maintenance of the public schools or that may derive from any state taxes, the proceeds of which are devoted to public school purposes.
  2. The state school fund shall be administered and distributed in accordance with the applicable provisions of this title, or, if not controlled in the provisions of this title, then in accordance with the provisions of the general appropriations act that may be applicable.

Code 1955, § 49-601; Acts 1972, ch. 693, § 3; T.C.A., § 49-601.

Compiler's Notes. This section may be affected by § 9-1-116, concerning entitlement to funds, absent appropriation.

Cross-References. Baccalaureate education savings, title 49, ch. 7, part 9.

Volunteer public education trust fund, title 49, ch. 3, part 4.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 22 Tenn. Juris., Schools, § 26.

Law Reviews.

Tax Problems Presented by the Tennessee Constitution (Eugene L. Parker, Jr.), 4 Vand. L. Rev. 116.

Part 2
Administration of Federal Funds

49-3-201. General provisions.

  1. In case the United States congress enacts any legislation of any character making grants of public moneys to the states for the purpose of promoting the cause of public education, the department of education is designated as the authority to accept and administer the funds.
  2. Nothing in this section interferes with the allocation and administration of federal funds specifically appropriated to institutions of higher education, or for specific purposes; provided, that the funds are allocated and administered in accordance with applicable federal law.
  3. In case federal legislation makes funds available for public schools, for extended services of public schools, or for providing local and state supervisory services for public schools, or in case funds are made available through federal legislation previously passed for public schools, the department of education is authorized to accept and administer these funds according to the applicable federal law.

Acts 1953, ch. 70, § 34 (Williams, § 2417.209); Acts 1955, ch. 136, § 37; 1967, ch. 289, §§ 1, 2; 1974, ch. 654, § 10; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 49-109; Acts 2019, ch. 204, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1953, ch. 70 and 1955, ch. 136, cited in the history of this section, were the General Educational Acts for those years. Acts 1953, ch. 70 was specifically repealed by Acts 1955, ch. 136, § 41 and Acts 1955, ch. 136 was specifically repealed by Acts 1957, ch. 53, § 38. The sections appearing in Tennessee Code Annotated, however, were reenacted as part of the code by Acts 1957, ch. 1, and § 37 of Acts 1957, ch. 53 states that it is not the intention to supersede or suspend any provision of title 49 of the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 22 Tenn. Juris., Schools, § 28.

49-3-202. Refusal of federal funding by local board.

  1. A local board of education, by the adoption of a resolution, may refuse to accept federal funding for any education program without a penalty being assessed by any state agency or state official, unless refusal of such funding would cause a loss of federal funding for all participating LEAs in the program.
  2. A local board of education shall notify the department that the local board intends to refuse to accept federal funding before the local board acts to refuse the funding.

Acts 2015, ch. 197, § 1.

Part 3
Tennessee Education Finance Act of 1977