Board Information & News
School Board Facts
What is a school board?
The local board of education is a policy-making legislative body, and the individual member is an official of the
state. Except during an official meeting, a board member has no more power, authority, or jurisdiction over
school matters than any other citizen in the community. A school board’s primary duty is to provide the
opportunity for the best and most appropriate education for all children entrusted in its care. Tennessee
currently has 141 public school districts.
To be elected to a Tennessee school board, one must be:
- A citizen of Tennessee
- At least 18 years old
- A resident of the school district
- A high school graduate (or G.E.D.)
- A registered voter in the county
All county school boards must be popularly elected by district to staggered four-year terms of office. City
school systems also must be popularly elected to staggered four-year terms of office, but they may be elected
by district or at-large. Boards of special school districts will continue to be elected pursuant to the provisions
of private acts establishing such systems.
Duties of a school board
The two basic premises of school board operations are:
- The board is a corporate body. The authority of a board member includes expressing an opinion and casting a vote in a board meeting. Outside a board meeting, a board member has no authority over school matters.
- The board is a policy-making body. The board speaks through policy. Matters the board chooses not to address through policy are left to the discretion of the superintendent. School boards make policy and superintendents carry out the policy.
In addition, the legislature has specified the following mandatory duties:
- Management and Control. The board of education is to manage and control all public schools
established under its jurisdiction. This gives the board of education the primary authority over school
matters, but management responsibilities are delegated to the superintendent.
- Employment. The board has the duty to employ the superintendent, set salaries for employees, grant
tenure, approve evaluation plans for employees and hold dismissal hearings when necessary.
- Purchasing. The board may purchase supplies, furniture, fixtures, and materials of every kind. All
expenditures for such purchases estimated to exceed $10,000 must be made by competitive bids.
- Budget Preparation. The Board of Education is required to prepare a budget and to submit it to the
appropriate legislative body.
- Students. The board of education has several duties regarding students. The Education Code gives the
board the duty to discipline students after a hearing as well as the duty to establish standards and
policies governing student attendance.
- Policies. Local boards of education are required to compile and publish an official policy manual.
Mandated School Board Training
State Board of Education Rules and Regulations require each member of a local board of education to
participate annually in seven hours of training provided through the School Board Academy Program. The
basic core modules are Board Policy and Operations, Board/Superintendent Relations, Advocating Your
Board’s Vision, School Finance and School Law. New school board members must in their first year of service,
attend a two-day orientation session in Nashville sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Education and
the Tennessee School Boards Association plus one seven-hour module.
The Bedford County Board of Education, per policy, meets on the third Thursday of each month in a regular session at 6:00 pm in the Central Office Building Board Room located at 500 Madison Street, unless otherwise indicated. All meetings are open to the public. If any accommodations are needed for individuals with disabilities who wish to be present at the meeting, please contact Felecia Moon at 931-684-3284, ext. 2220, by writing her c/o Bedford County Board of Education at 500 Madison Street, Shelbyville, TN 37160, or by email [email protected]. Requests should be made as soon as possible but at least one week prior to the scheduled meeting in order to provide for such needed aid or service.
Members of the Board of Education are residents of and elected on a non-partisan basis from nine county districts for a four-year term. All Powers of the Board of Education lie in its action as a group; individual members exercise their authority over school system affairs only as they vote to take action at an official meeting.
The mission of the Bedford County Department of Education is to provide an environment that enables each student to learn and to become a good citizen.
Bedford County School Board elected a new chairperson, Michael Cook, on Tuesday night during its regular monthly meeting.
Cook represents the fifth school district. In a non-election year, the board votes in August a chair and vice chair
- Must have achieved Level IV in the TSBA Boardsmanship award program
- Quality of service with emphasis on the previous 12 months
- Participation in board development activities with emphasis on the previous 12 months
- Specific accomplishments of the local board of education during the nominee’s term on the board
- Leadership activities at the local, regional, or state level
Congratulations to Dr. Andrea Anderson for being named a member of the 2020 All Tennessee School Board. “Dr. Anderson is a truly sincere individual who is driven by her desire to help every single person, not only in her role as a school board member, but throughout the community,” stated the Bedford County Director of Schools.