Tenure Act

Teacher, Review of Decision to Transfer

Except as indicated, all indented material is copied directly from the court’s opinion.

Opinions of the Tennessee Supreme Court

Geller v. Henry County Board of Education, No. W2017-01678-SC-R11-CV (Tenn. June 15, 2020).

This Court has stated the limitations on judicial review of a director’s transfer decision:

If a transfer is not made in good faith and is the product of arbitrary, capricious, or improper conduct, a tenured teacher is entitled to present a direct legal challenge in the courts. Judicial review is limited to determining “whether or not a transfer was made in accordance with the statutory requirements . . . and must be conducted in light of the broad discretion which the statutes clearly give.”

Lawrence Cnty. Educ. Ass’n, 244 S.W.3d at 314 (quoting McKenna, 574 S.W.2d at 534; citing Mitchell, 510 S.W.2d at 898). “A director’s decision to transfer a teacher is afforded a presumption of good faith, and the party challenging the decision carries the burden to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the decision was arbitrary, capricious or ‘improperly motivated.’” Franklin Cnty. Bd. of Educ. v. Crabtree, 337 S.W.3d 808, 814 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2010) (quoting Lawrence Cnty. Educ. Ass’n, 244 S.W.3d at 315).15 “The determinative question is whether the transfer could be classified as for the ‘efficient operation of the school system.’” Lawrence Cnty. Educ. Ass’n, 244 S.W.3d at 315.

Decisions of the Tennessee Court of Appeals


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