A Tennessee mayor cannot assume control of a school district unless a change is made to state law, according to information received this week from the Tennessee Department of Education.
While there has been significant talk in Nashville about the possibility of Mayor Karl Dean becoming head of Metro Nashville Public Schools, such a change can’t happen without new legislation.
With this year’s state session expected to end soon, it’s unlikely that a change in the legal relationship between Nashville’s mayor and public school system can occur in the next year.
This summer, Nashville will learn whether its public schools will enter the No Child Left Behind status of “Restructuring II,” which will occur if the district fails to meet certain academic benchmarks required by state and federal laws.
Restructuring II would give the DOE unprecedented options for a governance change, including the authority to remove Director of Schools Jesse Register from office, to remove individual school board members from their seats, or to appoint DOE Commissioner Tim Webb as head of Metro Nashville Public Schools.
A Dean-led school district was reported as an option, but without new legislation that option is dead for now.
Over the summer the DOE will tabulate results obtained from Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) assessment tests. Schools and districts will have the opportunity to appeal the results, and the DOE is expected to announce results for all districts in Tennessee in late July or early August.