Tennessee school districts
|K-12 Education in Tennessee|
|State Superintendent: Kevin Huffman|
|Number of students: 999,693|
|Number of teachers: 66,382|
|Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:15.1|
|Number of school districts: 140|
|Number of schools: 1,802|
|Graduation rate: 87%|
|Per-pupil spending: $8,242|
|Tennessee Department of Education • Tennessee school districts • List of school districts in Tennessee • Tennessee • School boards portal|
|Education policy project|
|Public education in the United States |
Public education in Tennessee
Glossary of education terms
- 1 Quick facts
- 2 In the news
- 3 State law
- 4 School board elections
- 5 See also
- 6 External links
- 7 References
Tennessee is home to 140 school districts, 1,802 schools and 999,693 K-12 students.
State school administrators
- State Board of Education
- B. Fielding Rolston, Chairman, First Congressional District
- Carolyn Pearre, Vice Chair, Fifth Congressional District
- Mike Edwards, Second Congressional District
- Vernita B. Justice, Third Congressional District
- Lonnie Roberts, Fourth Congressional District
- Jean Anne Rogers, Sixth Congressional District
- Janet Ayers, Seventh Congressional District
- Melvin Wright, Sr., Eighth Congressional District
- Teresa Sloyan, Ninth Congressional District
- Katie Mitchell, Student Representative
|Enrollment, 2011-2012||Per-pupil spending, 2012-2013|
|1.) Memphis City Schools||1.) Franklin City Elementary Schools|
|2.) Knox County School District||2.) Oak Ridge City Schools|
|3.) Shelby County Schools||3.) Memphis City Schools|
|4.) Hamilton County School District||4.) Manchester City Schools|
|5.) Rutherford County Schools||5.) Humboldt City Schools|
|6.) Williamson County Schools||6.) Alcoa City Schools|
|7.) Montgomery County Public Schools||7.) Greeneville City Schools|
|8.) Sumner County Schools||8.) Kingsport City Schools|
|9.) Wilson County Schools||9.) Johnson County Schools|
|10.) Sevier County Schools||10.) Bradford Special Schools|
The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Tennessee as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.
|Demographic information for Tennessee's K-12 public school system|
|Ethnicity||Students||State Percentage||United States Percentage**|
|Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students||1,037||0.10%||0.42%|
|Two or more||9,995||1.00%||2.54%|
|**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.|
In the news
Increasing number of disciplinary cases against teachers
A review of Tennessee State Board of Education disciplinary records by the Chattanooga Times Free Press found an escalating number of cases against teachers since 2004. The review found 434 disciplinary cases brought against teachers by the state board, with only one case involving teacher incompetence. The Times Free Press reported that 160 teachers were disciplined for inappropriate communications or contact with students, 113 for possession of drugs or alcohol on the job and 30 for cheating or manipulating student grades. An upward trend in state investigations occurred from 31 cases in 2005 to 51 in 2013.
The Times Free Press report cautioned that disciplinary cases are rare given the 65,000 public school teachers working in Tennessee. A growing proportion of disciplinary cases deal with inappropriate relationships, which was attributed to social media access in the report. Punishments for similar disciplinary issues were found to be inconsistent based on public records. The lack of consistency led some teachers to receive short-term suspensions of their licenses while others who made the same errors had their licenses revoked permanently.
Labor complaint over lobbying by Tennessee Charter School Center
Representatives from four labor unions in Tennessee filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service in June 2014 regarding the Tennessee Charter School Center's lobbying activity. The labor groups asked federal officials to investigate the charter school's lobbying activity to determine if they are working outside of their tax status. The Tennessee Charter School Center is a 501(c)(3) organization created in 2013 that employed eight lobbyists to the Tennessee State Legislature in 2014. Lobbyists for the charter school advocated for a state law that allowed creation of similar schools by the Tennessee State Board of Education when local governments refused to approve charters. Greg Thompson, the chief executive of Tennessee Charter School Center, countered the IRS letter by stating that the school complies with lobbying limitations under federal law.
Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Tennessee State Board of Education adopted the standards on July 30, 2010. Full implementation took place during the 2013-2014 academic year.
School board composition
Tennessee school board members are generally elected by residents of the school district, although some school board members are appointed to fill vacancies until the next election for the seat is held. Tennessee school board elections typically follow one of these three methods, or a mixture thereof:
- At-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, regardless of geographic location.
- Trustee area: Only voters residing in a specific geographic area within the school district may vote on certain candidates, who must also reside in that specific geographic area.
- Trustee area at-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, but candidates must reside in specific geographic areas within the school district.
School board membership ranges from three members to 12 members. Board members serve four-year terms, which are often staggered every two years.
School districts in Tennessee are categorized by geographic boundaries. A municipal school district serves students in a particular city and a county school district operates schools within an entire county.
Tennessee does not impose statewide term limits on school board members. However, terms limits on school board members can still be imposed on the local level.
School board elections
- See also: Tennessee school board elections, 2015
No top enrollment districts in Tennessee are scheduled to hold elections in 2015.
Path to the ballot
To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in Tennessee, a person must be:
- A citizen of the state
- 18 years of age or older
- A resident of the school district
- A high school graduate or holder of a G.E.D.
- A registered voter in the county
A candidate must submit a qualifying petition with signatures from at least 25 residents of the district to the county elections office. Candidates must also provide copies of their high school diplomas or equivalency degrees to qualify for election. The filing deadline for local candidates is the third Thursday in the third calendar month prior to the election.
State law requires candidates to appoint political treasurers and file campaign financial disclosure statements with the state's Registry of Election Finance. Candidates must file detailed reports for each reporting period where contributions exceeded $1,000. A shortened version of the financial disclosure statement is available when contributions do not exceed $1,000 for a reporting period. Local candidates can receive contributions up to $1,500 per individual and $7,400 per political action committee during a particular election.
- School board elections portal
- United States school districts
- List of school districts in Tennessee
- Tennessee State Department of Education
- Public education in Tennessee
- Tennessee Secretary of State
- Tennessee Department of Education
- Tennessee School Boards Association
- Tennessee Education Association
- Professional Educators of Tennessee
- National Center for Education Statistics school district search tool
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
- ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
- United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
- United States Department of Education, "2012 EDFacts State Profile," accessed August 8, 2013
- Tennessee State Board of Education, "Board Members," accessed June 13, 2014
- National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed July 11, 2014
- Tennessee Department of Education, "Annual Statistical Report," accessed July 11, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
- Chattanooga Times Free Press, "Teachers' misconduct revealed: Hundreds have been disciplined in last decade, Tennessee records show," June 22, 2014
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- The Tennessean, "Labor unions question lobbying of Tennessee Charter School Center," June 19, 2014
- Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed June 12, 2014
- Tennessee Department of Education, "TNCore," accessed June 17, 2014
- Tennessee School Boards Association, "School Board Candidacy," accessed July 9, 2014
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- Tennessee Department of Education, "School Districts," accessed July 10, 2014
State of Tennessee
|State executive officers||
Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Comptroller | Treasurer | Commissioner of Education | Commissioner of Insurance| Commissioner of Agriculture | Commissioner of Environment & Conservation | Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development | Chairman of Regulatory Authority |
Tennessee State Department of Education | Tennessee school districts |