2010 Tennessee Code
Title 49 - Education
Chapter 2 - Local Administration
Part 2 - Boards of Education
49-2-203 - Duties and powers.

49-2-203. Duties and powers.

(a)  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;

          (A)  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;

          (B)  All contracts with educational assistants will be for nonteaching positions;

          (C)  Educational assistants shall be subject to direct supervision of certificated teachers when directly involved in the instructional program;

          (D)  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;

     (3)  Purchase all supplies, furniture, fixtures and material of every kind through the executive committee;

          (A)  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;

          (B)  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;

          (C)  (i)  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)(C)(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;

                (ii)  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)(A). 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;

                (iii)  A contract manager who provides construction management services must be a contractor licensed in this state;

                (iv)  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);

          (D)  No board of education shall be precluded from purchasing materials and employing labor for the construction of school buildings or additions to school buildings;

          (E)  Subdivisions (a)(3)(A), (B) and (D) apply to local boards of education of all counties, municipalities and special school districts; provided, however, that subdivisions (a)(3)(A) and (B) 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)(C) applies to county and municipal boards of education;

     (4)  Order warrants drawn on the county trustee on account of the elementary and the high school funds, respectively;

     (5)  Visit the schools whenever, in the judgment of the board, such visits are necessary;

     (6)  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;

     (7)  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;

     (8)  Have enumerated the scholastic population of the local school district in May of every odd-numbered year;

     (9)  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;

     (10)  (A)  (i)  Require the director of schools and chair of the local board to prepare a budget on forms furnished by the commissioner, and when the budget has been approved by the local board, to submit it to the appropriate local legislative body;

                (ii)  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;

          (B)  (i)  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 provision, 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;

                (ii)  It is the intent of subdivision (a)(10)(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;

          (C)  Subdivision (a)(10)(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;

     (11)  Prepare, or have prepared, a copy of the minutes of each meeting of the board of education, and mail a copy of the minutes no more than thirty (30) days after the board meeting or at the time they are mailed to or otherwise 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;

     (12)  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;

     (13)  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;

     (14)  (A)  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)(14)(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;

          (B)  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;

          (C)  No school board shall extend the contract of a director of schools without giving notice of intent to do so at least fifteen (15) calendar days prior to the scheduled meeting at which action will be taken, giving notice as required in § 49-2-202(c)(1), and including the proposed action 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; and

     (15)  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.

(b)  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;

          (A)  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;

          (B)  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 U.S. Const. amend. 14. 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:

          (A)  The hearings shall occur no later than thirty (30) days after the teacher's request;

          (B)  The teacher shall be allowed to appear, call witnesses and plead the teacher's cause in person or by counsel;

          (C)  The board of education shall issue a written decision regarding continued employment of the teacher; and

          (D)  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 and after the regular school day and while school is not in session. No Tennessee foundation program school funds or any required local matching funds shall be used in connection with the operation of these programs, but the board may charge a fee of any child attending a before and after school care program. In these programs, the board may use teachers on such extended program assignments as may be authorized by § 49-5-5209 and policies established pursuant to § 49-5-5209;

     (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; and

     (14)  Cooperate with community organizations in offering extended learning opportunities.

[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 E.S.), 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.]  

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