Did Germantown Violate Meeting Law With Friday Vote?

(Germantown, TN) The Germantown School Board made a big decision about school tuitions this past Friday.

But from the time they met, some questioned whether the vote was even legal.

Germantown’s Superintendent of Schools, Jason Manuel says the district complied  with the law because there was a special circumstance allowing it to skip the normal notice time, “We didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize our schools.”

The district advertised the meeting online 3.5 hours before the meeting.

They were acting quickly after Tennessee State Representative Curry Todd criticized a vote earlier last week to charge a $200 tuition fee to non Germantown residents.

“I think once we talked to our parents about it, it could have been a matter of ‘Oh we might not going to have a school system or we need to decide about tuition on this short notice.’ I think everyone would say that there are sometimes you have to move quickly,” said Manuel.

Tennessee law lets a board rush a meeting in an emergency situation.

The Germantown School Board considered the meeting an emergency because board chairman Lisa Parker was leaving for Hawaii Saturday.

Board members wanted a decision before her trip, even though there’s no rule forcing her to be at the meeting.

Manuel told us, “We thought it was so important, we wanted all of our members present.”

All members were not present at Friday’s meeting.

Just three out of five members were there to vote on getting rid of the tuition, including swing vote Natalie Williams.

She changed her vote from earlier in the week, which changed the outcome.

Board members hope it stops a federal judge who can still stop the district from opening.

Manuel says the board could revisit the tuition idea next year,


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