2010 Tennessee Code
Title 49 - Education
Chapter 1 - State Administration
Part 6 - Performance Goals and Assessment
49-1-614 - Achievement school districts.

49-1-614. Achievement school districts.

(a)  For the purposes of this title, the ¬ďachievement school district¬Ē is an organizational unit of the department of education, established by the commissioner for the purpose of providing oversight for the operation of the total program for individual schools or LEAs, pursuant to § 49-1-602.

(b)  The commissioner shall have the authority to contract with one (1) or more individuals, governmental entities or nonprofit entities to manage the day-to-day operations of any or all schools or LEAs placed in the achievement school district, including, but not limited to, providing direct services to students.

(c)  The individual, governmental entity or nonprofit entity contracted with to manage schools or LEAs that have been placed in the achievement school district may apply to the commissioner for a waiver of any state board rule that inhibits or hinders the ability of the school or LEA to achieve the required adequate yearly progress benchmarks. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection (c), 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.

(d)  (1)  The individual, governmental entity or nonprofit entity contracted with to manage schools that have been placed in the achievement school district shall have the authority to determine whether any teacher who was previously assigned to such school shall have the option of continuing to teach at that school as an employee of the managing entity. Any teacher not given that option shall remain an employee of the LEA, subject to the provisions of § 49-5-511. Moreover, any teacher who accepts that option shall have the right to return to the employ of the LEA should the managing entity later determine not to continue to employ such teacher, subject to the provisions of § 49-5-511.

     (2)  With the exception of the provisions protecting teachers' rights to accumulated sick leave, retirement benefits, pension and tenure status within an LEA, the provisions of § 49-5-203, and the Education Professional Negotiations Act, compiled in chapter 5, part 6 of this title, shall not apply to teachers who accept the option of continuing to teach at a school placed in the achievement school district.

(e)  After a school or LEA that has been placed in the achievement school district achieves the required adequate yearly progress benchmarks for two (2) consecutive years, the commissioner shall develop a transition plan for the purpose of planning the school's or LEA's return to the jurisdiction of the local board of education. Implementation of this plan shall begin after the school or LEA achieves the required adequate yearly progress benchmarks for three (3) consecutive years. The plan must be fully implemented and the transition must be completed after a school or LEA achieves adequate yearly progress benchmarks for five (5) consecutive years.

(f)  Notwithstanding the provisions of any law to the contrary, the commissioner shall have the authority to remove any school or LEA from the jurisdiction of the achievement school district at any time.

(g)  (1)  Absent other funding, the achievement school district shall use state and local funding identified above to operate a school placed in alternative governance and to implement new initiatives and programs as appropriate. Such state and local funding may be used to implement new initiatives and programs to the extent that any increase in recurring expenditures are funded additionally so as not to create a financial burden on the LEA when the school or LEA is removed from the achievement school district.

     (2)  To the extent that such state funds are not used to support a school or LEA in the achievement school district, they shall be allocated to a state reserve fund to be distributed to an LEA only upon approval of the commissioner.

     (3)  To the extent that such local funds are not used to support a school or LEA in the achievement school district, the LEA shall allocate such funds to a special BEP reserve account until the school or LEA is placed back under the jurisdiction of the LEA. It is the legislative intent that such funds be used only for nonrecurring purposes.

(h)  Any individuals, governmental entities or nonprofit entities contracting with the commissioner to manage the operation of any school under this section shall provide timely information to the LEA and director of schools regarding its operation of such schools, including, but not limited to, matters relating to employment of personnel at the school as provided for in subsection (d). 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.

(i)  Any contracts to manage schools or LEAs that have been placed in the achievement school district 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.

(j)  No state funds, other than funds held within the special reserve account pursuant to subdivision (g)(2), shall be expended on schools or LEAs placed in the achievement school district unless specifically appropriated in a general appropriations act.

[Acts 2010 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, § 9.]  

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