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Tennessee bill would give school boards more power over school closures

Two Tennessee lawmakers filed a bill that would give school boards the power to decide if schools should be closed during a public emergency.
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Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 5:10 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Two Tennessee lawmakers filed a bill that would give school boards the power to decide if schools should be closed during a public emergency.

The bill was filed by State Senator Brian Kelsey and Representative Kevin Vaughan, WREG reported.

“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.”

Tennessee legislators are set to return to Nashville for general assembly Tuesday.

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