School Property

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The board of education is empowered to exercise the right of eminent domain for public school purposes. T.C.A. § 49-6-2001. The board has the power to purchase land and to erect and equip buildings for public schools, and the board holds Title to property so acquired. The board has the power to dispose of real property to which it has Title in accordance with T.C.A. § 49-6-2006. Personal property that has become surplus is required to be sold by the board in accordance with T.C.A. § 49-6-2007. The board is permitted to transfer surplus real or personal property to the county or to any municipality within the county for public use, without the requirement of competitive bidding or sale. T.C.A. §§ 49-6-2006 and -2007. The board of education is not authorized to donate surplus real or personal property to charitable or nonprofit organizations; the board may, however, sell or lease surplus property to such organizations. T.C.A. §§ 49-2-203(b)(10), 49-6-2006, 49-6-2007; Op. Tenn. Att'y Gen. 96-046 (March 14, 1996).

Any local education agency (LEA) having underutilized and vacant properties must make those properties available for use by charter schools operating in the LEA.  In any LEA in which a charter school operates, the school board must catalog all underutilized and vacant properties owned or operated by the LEA and submit a listing of all such properties to the department of education and the comptroller annually, and this list will be made available to any charter school operating in the LEA or to any sponsor seeking to establish a charter school in the LEA.  T.C.A. § 49-13-136.