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Consolidation of School Systems

Reference Number: MTAS-46
Reviewed Date: 09/26/2023

There are five methods of consolidating city and county school operations in Tennessee (not counting the two contractual methods of operating municipal schools as outlined in Contractual Operations of Municipal Schools):

  • City-county consolidation (T.C.A. §§ 7-1-101, et seq., particularly T.C.A. § 7-1-103, and perhaps T.C.A. §§ 7-21-101, et seq.);
  • Transfer by referendum of a city school system to the county (T.C.A. § 49-2-1002);
  • Formation of a unification educational planning commission. This method involves an elaborate study of, and plans for, consolidation. The plan is subject to approval by the state Department of Education and the electorate in a referendum (T.C.A. § 49-2-1201);
  • The municipal school system ceases operation, forcing the county to assume operation of the system (T.C.A. § 49-2-1002); and
  • Multi-county consolidation, a method similar to T.C.A. § 49-2-1201 (T.C.A. § 49-2-1251).