School Board Authority During Emergencies

Reference Number: 
CTAS-2476

During an emergency, as defined in T.C.A. § 58-2-101, local boards of education and governing bodies of a public charter school may consult with state and local health departments when determining whether to open or close in-person instruction.  Notwithstanding an executive order issued by the governor or order issued by a health board or public health official, a local board of education or governing body of a public charter school has sole authority to open or close in-person instruction during an emergency.  A local board of education or governing body of a public charter school may delegate the authority to the director of schools or administration of the public charter school.  If the governor issues an executive order during an emergency with statewide applicability that requires schools to be open for in-person instruction, the executive order supersedes local authority.  See Title 49, Chapter 2, Part 2, and Title 49, Chapter 13 of the Tennessee Code Annotated.