State law encourages and/or incentivizes the community use of school buildings and property for recreation or other purposes.
2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 11-24-108. Maintenance and conduct -- Funding and taxation.
(a) It is the duty of the governing body of a municipality or county to provide for maintenance and conduct of any recreation system created under this part.
(b) The funds for such maintenance and conduct may be provided from any of the following sources:
- (1) By taxes levied upon real and personal property of the municipality or county;
- (2) From the general revenue of the municipality or county from whatever source;
- (3) From reasonable fees and charges for program services and for use of facilities; and
- (4) From any otherwise lawful funding source considered by the governing body to be appropriate for these purposes. Source: Tennessee State Courts
2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 11-24-110. Use of school district buildings, grounds or equipment by municipal recreation system.
(a) Any county board of education or the governing body of any special school district may grant the use of any buildings, grounds, or equipment of the district to any municipal recreation system for the purpose of carrying out this part whenever such use of the school buildings, grounds or equipment for such purposes will not interfere with the use of the buildings, grounds and equipment for any purposes of the public school system.
(b) The departments of environment and conservation and education shall assist municipal recreation systems with a positive program of technical advice so as to assure that school officials and municipal recreation systems cooperate in making school facilities available for recreational purposes. In providing this service, such departments shall work cooperatively with the Tennessee School Boards Association and the Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association. All state and local officials working in furtherance of this section shall take due notice of the model Tennessee agreement between school boards and parks and recreation agencies as jointly published by the Tennessee School Boards Association and the Tennessee Parks and Recreation Association and as this document may from time to time, be amended. A current copy of this document with amendments shall be kept on file in the office of the parks and recreation technical advisory service. Source: Tennessee State Courts
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.
Rules of the Tennessee Department of Education 0520-01-03.03 ADMINISTRATION OF SCHOOLS.
(e) LEAs are authorized to require payment of the following fees by all affected students:
- Fines imposed on all students for late-returned library books; parking or other traffic fines imposed for abuse of parking privileges on school property; or reasonable charges for lost or destroyed textbooks, library books, workbooks or any other property of the school;
- Debts incurred pursuant to paragraph (13) of this rule, Withholding of Student Grades for Debts Owed to the School;
- Refundable security deposits collected by a school for use of school property for participation in extracurricular activities;
Tennessee Code Annotated 29-20-112. Immunity of local board of education and school officials for activities outside of regularly scheduled school activities on premises of public schools.
(a) For purposes of this section:
- (1) “Premises” means any and all real property, natural or artificial landscape or waterway thereon, building, bathroom, gymnasium, facility, track, playground, tennis or badminton court, horseshoe pit, bleachers, stage, or other improvement erected on the premises for recreational purposes;
- (2) “Recreational activity” means any activity undertaken for exercise, pleasure, or other recreational purposes including, but not limited to, basketball, football, soccer, baseball, softball, tennis, lacrosse, running, walking, wrestling, cheerleading, taekwondo, karate, community gardening and music lessons; and
- (3) “Recreational joint use agreement” means a written authorization by a local board of education or a school official permitting a public or private entity to access the premises of a public school for the purpose of conducting or engaging in recreational activity and addressing conditions under which the permission is granted.
- (1) Except as provided in subdivision (b)(3), neither a local board of education nor a school official owes a duty of care to keep the premises of a public school safe for entry or use by others outside of regularly scheduled school activities or to give warning of unknown dangerous or hazardous conditions, uses, structures or activities on the premises.
- (2) Unless otherwise specified in the agreement, if a recreational activity is conducted pursuant to a recreational joint use agreement, the local board of education or school official entering the agreement does not owe a greater duty of care than that which is owed under subdivision (b)(1).
- (3) Notwithstanding the duty of care or duty to warn owed pursuant to this subsection (b), the immunity conferred upon a local board of education or school official by the recreational joint use agreement shall not apply to a person who is injured or suffers property damage on school property pursuant to such agreement if the injury or damage was proximately caused by the gross negligence, or willful, wanton or malicious conduct of the local board of education or school official.
(c) Where a local board of education or school official enters a recreational joint use agreement, with respect to persons accessing the premises for recreational activity pursuant to that agreement, neither the local board of education nor a school official shall be construed to have:
- (1) Waived any immunity under this chapter;
- (2) Extended immunity under this chapter to another entity;
- (3) Extended any assurance to any person or entity accessing the premises that the premises are safe for any other purpose than that which is agreed upon;
- (4) Conferred upon a person the legal status of a person to whom a duty of care is owed;
- (5) Assumed responsibility for or incurred liability for any injury to a person or property caused by a force of nature or by an act or omission of a person who enters upon the premises;
- (6) Guaranteed unlimited access to the premises; or
- (7) Limited an obligation or duty of a person or entity accessing the premises to exercise due care in the use of the premises and any activity conducted thereon.
(d) When entering into a recreational joint use agreement under rules, regulations, and conditions prescribed by the local board of education pursuant to § 49-2-203(b)(4), the general assembly encourages local boards of education and school officials to require, in the agreement, that the other entity maintain and provide proof of adequate liability and accident insurance coverage as determined by insurance industry Standard, and to address, in the agreement, issues including, but not limited to, security, adult supervision of recreational activity, prohibited activity, hours of operation, use of equipment, maintenance, and damage to the premises. Any such joint use agreement entered into shall contain notice of the immunity provided by this section.
(e) This section shall apply to contracts entered or renewed on or after July 1, 2011.
Tennessee Shared Use Agreement Handbook
This handbook describes how school districts through joint use agreements can increase facilities for community use.