Tennessee Code Title 49. Education § 49-2-127




(a) 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.

(b) 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.

(c) 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.

(d) 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.


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