K-12 Governance Structures: State Profile

K-12 Governance Structures: State Profile - Tennessee

November 2017


Data are collected using publicly available state constitutional language and state statutes. Updated as of Nov. 1, 2017.
 

Governor
What constitutional or statutory duties does the governor have as it relates to education? The supreme executive power of the state shall be vested in a governor.

He shall take care that laws be faithfully executed.

Every bill which passes both houses shall, before it becomes law, be presented to the governor for his signature. If he approves it, he shall sign it. If he does not, he shall return it, with his objections, to the house in which it originated.

The governor may reduce or disapprove the sum of money appropriated by any one or more items or parts of items in any bill appropriating money, while approving other parts of the bill.
What is the appointment authority provided to the governor in education? The governor appoints the commissioner of education.

The governor also appoints the state board of education, subject to confirmation by the house of representatives and the senate.
Are the governor’s duties and powers and found in the state constitution? No
Are the governor’s duties and powers and found in the state statute? Yes
Citation TN Const. Art. 3, § 1
TN Const. Art. 3, § 10
TN Const. Art. 3, § 18
Tenn. Code Ann. § 4-3-802
Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-1-301
Legislature
What constitutional or statutory powers does the legislature have as it relates to education policy? The legislative authority of the state is vested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate and a house of representatives.

The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance, support and eligibility standards of a system of free public schools. The General Assembly may establish and support such postsecondary educational institutions, including public institutions of higher learning, as it determines.
What is the appointment or confirmation authority of the legislature in education? The house of representatives and the senate confirm the governor's appointees to the state board of education.
Which committees in the legislature have jurisdiction over education issues? House:
Education Administration and Planning
Education Instruction and Programs

Senate:
Education
Constitutional? Yes
Statutory? Yes
Citations TN Const. Art. 2, § 3
TN Const. Art. 11, § 12
Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-1-301
Chief State School Officer
What are the duties of the chief state officer? The commissioner of education is responsible for the implementation of law or policies established by the general assembly or the state board of education.

The commissioner shall attend all meetings of the state board of education and may speak at the meetings and make recommendations.

The commissioner shall provide direction through administrative and supervisory activities designed to build and maintain an effective organization.

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.
What constitutional or statutory authority does the chief state school officer have as it relates to education policy? The chief executive officer of the department of education shall be the commissioner of education.

The department of education shall have its offices in the state capitol and its commissioner is vested with such powers and required to perform such duties as provided by law.

The commissioner has authority to send a supervisor or supervisors 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.

The commissioner may approve evaluation plans prepared by LEAs.
How is the chief state school officer selected? The commissioner of education is appointed by the governor.
Constitutional? No
Statutory? Yes
Citation Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-1-201
Tenn. Code Ann. § 4-3-802
State Board of Education
What constitutional or statutory powers and duties does the state board of education have as it relates to education policy? The state board of education has the following powers and duties:

-Study programs of instruction in grades K-12.

-Set policies for completion of elementary, middle, junior high and senior high schools and evaluate the progress and performance of teachers, students, and schools.

-Develop and maintain a master plan for grades K-12 and make recommendations to the governor and general assembly.

-Develop and adopt policies, formulas and guidelines for the fair and equitable distribution and use of public funds among public schools.

-Adopt policies governing teacher and school professional licensure/certification, professional development, and evaluation.

-Set graduation requirements, adopt standards, and determine textbooks and class materials.

-Promulgate rules and regulations.
What is the composition of the state board of education? The state board of education consists of 11 members. One member is a public high school student, another is an ex officio member. The remaining members are individuals representing congressional districts in which they reside.
How are members of the state board of education selected? The governor appoints the state board of education, subject to confirmation by the senate and the house of representatives.
Constitutional? No
Statutory? Yes
Citation Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-1-302
Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-1-301
Executive-Level Secretary
Does the state have an executive-level secretary? The state board of education is authorized to appoint an executive director and other staff it deems necessary.
What other duties does the executive-level secretary have? The executive director will support the state board of education as it carries out its duties.

The executive director is an ex officio, nonvoting member of the higher education commission.
Constitutional? No
Statutory? Yes
Citation Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-1-305

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