The legal basis for education in Tennessee is expressed in the state Constitution and state statutes, as interpreted by the courts. Boards are instruments of the state, and members of the Board are state officers representing local citizens and the state in the management of the public schools.
The governing body shall be the Board of Education, serving residents within the boundaries of the school system and non-residents under conditions specified by state law and the Board.
All powers of the Board lie in its action as a group; therefore, individual board members exercise their authority over school system affairs only as they vote to take action at an official meeting of the Board.
In other instances, an individual board member, including the chairman, shall have power only when specified by state law or when the Board, by vote, has delegated authority to him/her.
The Board will be guided by the general mandatory powers and duties of the Board as defined through statute which state or imply that a local Board of Education has full power to operate the local public schools as it deems fit in compliance with state and federal mandates. The Board functions only when in session.