School board members in each county are required to be elected by the people from districts of substantially equal population. Board members must be elected to staggered four-year terms, and may succeed themselves. Board members in special school districts may serve different terms of office established by private act but must be popularly elected on a staggered term basis. T.C.A. § 49-2-201.
Boards of education may have "no more members than the number of members authorized by general law or private act for boards of education in existence on January 1, 1992, or the number of members actually serving on a board on January 1, 1993," or the General Assembly, by private act, may establish the membership of particular school boards at any number not less than three nor more than eleven. T.C.A. § 49-2-201.
Members of the board of education must be residents and voters of the county in which they are elected, and, except in a few counties, must possess a high school degree or G.E.D. Members of the county legislative body and other county officials are not eligible for election to the board of education. T.C.A. § 49-2-202(a). Members of the board of education are not eligible for election as teacher or any other paid position under the board. T.C.A. § 49-2-203(a)(1)(D).
The compensation of the board of education is fixed by the county legislative body. T.C.A. § 49-2-202. Vacancies are filled by the county legislative body until the next election. T.C.A. § 49-2-202(e) and Tenn. Const., art. VII, § 2, as interpreted in Marion County Board of Commissioners v. Marion County Election Commission, 594 S.W.2d 681 (Tenn. 1980). Members must attend annual training sessions as prescribed by the state board of education which must include an annual session. T.C.A. § 49-2-202.
The board is to elect a chair from among its members annually. T.C.A. § 49-2-202. The chair countersigns all warrants approved by the board and issued by the director of schools. T.C.A. § 49-2- 205. The chair of the school board also serves as chair of the executive committee, composed of the chair and the director of schools, which functions as purchasing agent for the school board unless there is a separate purchasing board or purchasing agent otherwise established by law, and also monitors accounts to see that the budget is not exceeded. T.C.A. § 49-2-206.