Tennessee bill would give school boards more authority regarding closures during public emergencies

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two Mid-South lawmakers filed legislation giving local school boards the authority to decide if they should be closed during a public emergency.

Senate Bill 103 was filed by Tennessee Senator Brian Kelsey and Rep. Kevin Vaughan.

“This bill seeks to clarify that duly elected local school boards are the ultimate decision makers when it comes to the operation of their schools,” said Vaughan. “Other agencies, such as local health departments may be consulted for their perspectives, but ultimately, the schools, students, and staff are the responsibility of the local education authority.”

“Mandated directives should only come from elected leaders who are accountable to the people they serve,” added Kelsey. “Our school boards, administrators, teachers and parents are equipped to make informed decisions on how to keep our schools safe by utilizing guidance from organizations such as local health boards.”

Legislators will returnt to Nasvhille to begin the next general assembly on Tuesday.

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