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Article XI, Section 12 of the Tennessee Constitution declares that the state of Tennessee recognizes the inherent value of education and encourages its support. The constitution mandates that the General Assembly provide for the maintenance, support and eligibility standards of a system of free public schools. The General Assembly has addressed this constitutional mandate through a complex set of statutes wherein the cost and administration of the public school system for grades kindergarten through 12 is shared among the state and counties and also municipalities that operate school systems as well as some special school districts.