Sen. Kelsey and Rep. Vaughan file legislation to give school boards more independence in public emergency-related school closures

NASHVILLEState Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) and Representative Kevin Vaughan (R-Collierville) today filed legislation giving school boards more independence regarding whether their schools should be open or closed during a public emergency. Senate Bill 103, which would take effect upon being signed into law, also applies to public charter schools in Tennessee.

“Mandated directives should only come from elected leaders who are accountable to the people they serve,” said Sen. 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.”

The legislation states that local boards of education may consult with the state and local health departments when determining whether to open or close. 

“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.”

Lawmakers are set to open the 112th General Assembly tomorrow at noon. 

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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