2010 Tennessee Code
Title 49 - Education
Chapter 2 - Local Administration
Part 3 - County Administration
49-2-301 - Director of schools.

49-2-301. Director of schools.

(a)  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 of 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.

(b)  (1)  It is the duty of the board of education to assign to its director of schools the duty to:

          (A)  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;

          (B)  Attend all meetings of the board and to serve as a member of the executive committee of the board, without additional compensation;

          (C)  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;

          (D)  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;

          (E)  Issue, within ten (10) days, all warrants authorized by the board for expenditures for public school funds;

          (F)  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;

          (G)  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;

          (H)  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;

          (I)  Sign all certificates and diplomas of pupils who complete the courses of study prescribed for the elementary and high schools;

          (J)  Recommend to the board teachers who are eligible for tenure or notify such teachers of their failure of reelection pursuant to § 49-5-409;

          (K)  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;

          (L)  Assign teachers and educational assistants to the several schools;

          (M)  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;

          (N)  File all contracts entered into with teachers and employees of the board, before they begin their services in the public schools;

          (O)  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;

          (P)  Issue certificates relative to the employment of minors who are enrolled as students in the director of schools' district;

          (Q)  Prepare reports of attendance to be assembled by the director; provided, that the director shall report to the commissioner any failure on the part of any principal or director of schools of any school system within the county to make the reports of attendance;

          (R)  Report to the county trustee and the commissioner, on or before July 1 of each year, the attendance;

          (S)  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;

          (T)  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;

          (U)  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;

          (V)  Make reports to the commissioner of education when requested by the commissioner;

          (W)  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:

                (i)  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

                (ii)  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;

          (X)  Give the director's full time and attention to the duties of the director's position;

          (Y)  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;

          (Z)  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;

          (AA)  Furnish to the commissioner a list of the teachers elected by the board and their respective salaries, on forms furnished by the commissioner;

          (BB)  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;

          (CC)  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;

          (DD)  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;

          (EE)  Within the approved budget and consistent with existing state laws, board policies and locally negotiated agreements covering licensed personnel, 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. Nothing in this subdivision (b)(1)(EE) shall be construed to alter, diminish or supersede the Education Professional Negotiations Act, compiled in chapter 5, part 6 of this title;

          (FF)  All persons who are employed in a position for which no teaching license is required shall be hired on a year-to-year contract. The director shall provide a person who is employed in such a position fifteen (15) days' notice of nonrenewal of the contract before the end of the contract period;

          (GG)  (i)  The director may dismiss any 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:

                     (a)  Notice of the charge or charges;

                     (b)  An opportunity for a full and complete hearing before an impartial hearing officer selected by the board;

                     (c)  An opportunity to be represented by counsel;

                     (d)  An opportunity to call and subpoena witnesses;

                     (e)  An opportunity to examine all witnesses; and

                     (f)  The right to require that all testimony be given under oath.

                (ii)  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;

                (iii)  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;

                (iv)  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;

                (v)  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;

                (vi)  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)(GG);

                (vii)  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;

          (HH)  All actions of the directors or their designees shall be consistent with the existing board policies, rules, contracts and regulations;

          (II)  Perform such other official duties as may be prescribed by law;

          (JJ)  Each LEA shall submit a report to the education committees of the senate and house of representatives by January 1 each year of the number of places that are required in alternative schools within that system to accommodate students in that system placed in alternative schools; and

          (KK)  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.

(c)  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.

(d)  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 E.S.), ch. 6, § 11; 1984 (1st E.S.), 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.]  

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