The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Municipal Operation

Reference Number: MTAS-44
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: July 20, 2016
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A number of municipalities operate school systems under either their charters or general laws. In both cases, they are subject to considerable state regulation. A moratorium on the creation of new school systems was in place from May 19, 1998 until April 24, 2013. The ban was lifted by the Tennessee General Assembly with the passage of Public Chapter No. 256. Cities operating public schools under their charters and levying an additional elementary school tax for operating expenses (other than for grounds, buildings, and equipment) are empowered to continue those operations under their charters, provided there is no transfer of children between city and county schools except by agreement between the respective boards of education. T.C.A. § 49-2-404.

Municipalities that have school systems may, by referendum, levy a municipal school tax above the county school tax. City schools also are entitled to their proportionate share of state funds and county school taxes on the basis of average daily attendance. T.C.A. § 49-2-103, T.C.A. § 49-2-403.