State law encourages community member representation on school governance councils or in school improvement planning efforts.
2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-50-201. General provisions.
(a) In order to provide for increased involvement of citizens in their local schools through community schools advisory councils, to assure maximum use of public school facilities by the citizens of each community in this state and to encourage community educational programs on a county-wide or multicounty-wide basis to provide the best possible programs for the least cost without duplication of efforts, the state board of education may adopt appropriate rules and regulations for encouraging increased community involvement in public schools and the usage of the public school facilities as community educational centers. The rules and regulations may consider and include, but not necessarily be limited to, provisions for:
- (1) The use of public school facilities by governmental, charitable or civic organizations for activities within the community;
- (2) The utilization of the talents and abilities of volunteers within the community for the enhancement of public school programs, including tutoring, counseling and cultural programs and projects; and
- (3) Increased communications between the staff and faculty of the public schools, other community institutions and agencies and citizens in the community.
(b) The state board of education may further establish guidelines governing the submission and approval of community educational programs prepared by local boards for encouraging increased community involvement in the public schools and use of public school facilities.
(c) Every local board of education may:
- (1) Develop programs and plans for increased community involvement and learning opportunities in the public schools based upon rules and guidelines adopted by the state board of education;
- (2) Develop programs and plans for increased community use of public school facilities based upon rules and guidelines adopted by the state board of education; and
- (3) Establish rules governing the implementation of the programs and plans in its public schools and submit these rules along with adopted programs and plans to the state board of education for approval.
Community Advisory Board Purpose and Structure
This toolkit provides guidance on Community Advisory Boards and how to develop and engage community-based resources and services to help meet the immediate needs of children and families.
School Health Advisory Councils
The ESSA state plan describes requirements for every Tennessee school district to establish a School Health Advisory Council as a resource to school sites for implementing policies.
Tennessee Code Annotated 49-2-210. School based decision making.
(a) Any local board of education may initiate a program of school based decision making and may designate areas including, but not limited to, management, curriculum, classroom management, professional development and budget to be decided at the school by school personnel, including classroom teachers. (b) Any board of education establishing a program of school based decision making shall define the procedures for implementation of its policies. Policies should recognize that school based decision making is a collaborative approach to planning and problem solving. Board policies may include guidelines for the participation of school personnel and others, including teachers, students, parents of students and other persons in the local community. (c) The board may permit such decisions as are made locally to be at variance with board policies. If the local decisions impact rules and policies of the state board of education or the commissioner of education, they shall be implemented pursuant to § 49-1-207, except that there shall be no limit to the number of systems participating. No such local decisions shall have the effect of nullifying requirements of law.
Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-2404. Authority to form community consortiums
(a) LEAs and schools are authorized and encouraged to form community consortiums with a variety of community partners to establish a community school or schools with an integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement that will lead to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities.