Suggested Policy Revisions to Return Responsibility to the KC BOE

At the Board retreat in October, I presented a list of close to 30 policy revisions that I believe we need to consider as soon as possible. Of those, I will bring five to the October 31st work session and the November 2nd meeting. 

It has become important to note that these policies are not about individuals, past or present, in any position. This is not an attempt to control who is in what position. That is not my job – and I don’t want that job.

This is simply an attempt to return to the Board, the ability to meet our responsibility to manage this LEA. This is not about hiring or firing people. This is about the Board and the public having a clear understanding of exactly what positions are created, how much those positions cost the taxpayers, how that impacts the budget, and giving the Board the ability to do the job we are tasked with doing.

There has been some discussion that these changes will not align with the interim superintendent’s contract and the “corporate model” he has agreed to work under. He has stated that he will not work under these conditions.  Therefore, additional consideration may need to be given to whether to make adjustments there OR whether some of these should simply include a note that they will begin when the new superintendent is hired (or June 1).


Policy A-100 (Formerly ABB) was changed twice under the last administration. The first change, in March 2011, renumbered the policy as A-100 and removed the Board’s responsibility “to approve the number of positions of employment.” This left the 2011 version saying only that the Board would “approve salary schedules for positions.”

The policy was adjusted again in June and July of this year, as the administration was changing. That new language removed all mention of the Board approving positions and salaries for those positions. It now mentions ONLY approving salaries of teachers and leaves all other salaries and numbers of positions to the sole whim of the superintendent.

As good stewards of public tax dollars, I believe we need to correct this oversight as quickly as possible. Therefore, I will make the motion to accept our responsibility for managing the Knox County Schools by inserting the following language (from the 2008 policy) as number 2 under “DUTIES OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION:”

Approve the number of positions of employment and salary schedule for such positions
[To begin June 1, 2017.]

This is the exact language from #2 under “Duties” in the 2008 policy manual, under ABB. This change will cause a renumbering of the duties which follow, but does not remove any language or authority.


  • Board policy B-111 lists the Director of Schools (aka: superintendent) as an executive officer of the Board with both a secretarial and advisory duties.
  • B-140 causes that executive officer to serve as a member of the executive committee, along with the Chair of the Board of Education.
  • Policy B-162 requires the executive committee to deliberate by giving it responsibility for “developing an agenda for each Board meeting,”
  • The Open Meetings Act requires all committees that report to the Board, are subcommittees of the Board, or make recommendations to the Board, to have meetings noticed (sunshined).
  • The Executive Board has been thought to have an ability to make “emergency” decisions on behalf of the Board. This is not a legal function of the executive committee, nor is that function in policy.
  • Since the superintendent, serves as an ex officio member of this body, it is important that we make clear whether the actions of the executive committee may be deliberative or not.

Ex officio:

because of your job, office, or position;
by virtue or because of an office;
adj. to describe someone who has a right because of an office held, such as being allowed to sit on a committee because one is president of the corporation.

In the interests of transparent government, if those meetings are not open, no deliberation should occur and no decision-making should take place. If the meetings are to serve any function that will cause them to have any decision-making authority, those meetings should be
appropriately noticed to the public.

To help this policy and our executive committee meet the requirements of the Open Meetings Act (TCA 8-44-102(b) ), I will make the following motion:

Any meeting of the executive committee, which may involve deliberation, decision-making, and or recommendations to the board, shall be open to the public and shall require public notice at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.

Current board members shall be allowed to observe meetings of the executive committee at any time, whether the meeting is open to the public or closed. Board members who attend as observers may not comment, discuss, or deliberate with the committee and their attendance will not require additional public notice.


POLICY C-110 – Lines of Authority and Staff Relations

In 2011, the Board relinquished responsibility for approving lines of authority and organization within the school district, handing that responsibility entirely to the superintendent by changing the first two lines of the policy.

The first two lines of the 2008 policy:
“The Director of Schools shall establish lines of authority which shall be approved by the Board and communicated to employees.”

The first two lines of the 2011 policy:
“The Board authorizes the Director of Schools to establish efficient organizational lines of authority and staff relations which shall be communicated to employees.”

Our current inability to create a full organizational chart for the district is indicative of the problems caused when lines of authority are unclear or constantly changing. In the interest of transparent government and accepting our fiduciary responsibility as the elected Board of Education, it is urgent that we revert the first two lines of policy C-110 to the language used in the 2008 policy. Therefore, I make a motion that we remove the first two lines of the current policy, C-110 and replace them with the following:

“The Director of Schools shall establish lines of authority which shall be approved by the Board and communicated to employees.”




“All administrative and supervisory positions in the school system are established initially by the Board, by state law, or State Board Rules, Regulations, and Minimum Standards. In each case, the Board will approve the broad purpose and function of the position in accord with state laws and state regulations, approve a statement of duties as recommended by the Director of Schools, and delegate to the Director of Schools the task of writing, or causing to be written, a job description for the position.


“The Board authorizes the Director of Schools to establish administrative and supervisory positions in the school system as constrained by the Board approved budget, by state law, and State Board Rules, Regulations, and Minimum Standards. The Director of Schools will develop a written job description for each position established.”

This motion will bring the policy in line with current practices. The current policy states that the superintendent will write each job description. As that responsibility is normally delegated to department supervisors and/or the Human Resources department, the policy should be changed to reflect that.

Proposed motion:

To remove the current language:
“The Director of Schools will develop a written job description for each position established,”
and replace it with:
“The Board will approve the broad purpose and function of the position, as recommended by the Director of Schools, and delegate to the Director of Schools the task of writing, or causing to be written, a job description for the position.”

I believe this covers the function of the previous language, allows the director to delegate the responsibility, as needed, and still removes the superfluous duplication regarding following the rules, laws, etc.


This policy has either been completely removed at some point or it was missed when the policies were renumbered. The motion will be to put this policy back in the manual, exactly as it was before:

The Director of Schools shall report monthly the names of newly employed personnel.
The Director of Schools shall make annual reports concerning conditions of efficiency and needs of the school system. Included in the reports shall be information regarding employment of instructional staff as follows:

  1. Number of applicants interviewed and the number employed;
  2. Procedures being used to ensure that the best applicants are being selected;
  3. Evidence that all non-tenured teachers were evaluated;
  4. Number of non-tenured teachers;
  5. Number of teachers non-renewed;
  6. Summary and explanation of how our school system is meeting the state and national requirement[s] of the No Child Left Behind Act and other mandated accountability measures.

Board members shall be made aware of all reports prepared by the Director of Schools’ office for transmittal to the local legislative body, the State Department of Education, or any federal agency.

The words, “of the No Child Left Behind Act” can be removed and an s added at the end of requirements, to bring the policy in line with current and future federally named requirements.


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