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Information for Districts

Overview of Local Textbook Adoption Process

Districts are best positioned to choose which textbooks and instructional materials meet the needs of their students, educators, and community. Per state law, local districts are responsible for the adoption of curriculum. The State Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission seeks to provide local school systems with a broad range of flexibility by including a range of books that meet the content standards on the official list that it recommends to the State Board of Education for approval.

Once the State Board of Education approves the list of textbooks and instructional materials, school districts may choose to adopt a book from the state approved list or apply for a waiver to use a different text.

Local boards of education must appoint review committees to review the textbooks and instructional materials proposed for adoption and make their adoption upon recommendations of such committees. These committees are set up by grade and subject matter fields and composed of teachers, or supervisors and teachers, and parents with children enrolled in the LEA at the time of appointment to a committee. The local board may also appoint experts in the grade level or subject matter field for which textbooks and instructional materials are to be reviewed. Teachers and supervisors who serve on a committee must be teaching or supervising the respective grade or subject at the time of appointment and must be licensed to teach in the state with endorsements in the subject matter or grade level for which textbooks or instructional materials are being reviewed. Teachers and supervisors must have three or more years of experience as teachers or supervisors in the public schools. The director of schools in the LEA adopting textbooks or instructional materials serves as an ex officio member of all committees.

Committees must be composed by grade or groups of grades arranged so that a committee may consider an entire series of books if it should so desire. The members of the committee authorized in this section shall serve for the length of time that the adoption process for which they are appointed lasts.

After the committees make their recommendations to the local board of education, the director of schools records the list of all textbooks or instructional materials adopted by the local board of education, and forwards a copy of the recorded adoption to the Commissioner of Education and posts the list on the LEA's web site.

Districts are also encouraged to provide a public review process on proposed textbooks and instructional materials from community members to guide their decision on which textbooks or instructional materials to adopt.

The selection of a textbook is exclusively the responsibility of the local district. Each community has the opportunity to review the content of the books to ensure that the content reflects the values of the local community.

Information and Procedures for District Textbook Adoptions

During each school year, school systems will be adopting new textbooks and instructional materials in a subject area or several subject areas. The State Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission formulates the recommended list in its October meeting and sends it to the State Board of Education for their consideration. Once the State Board of Education has approved a list of textbooks and instructional materials, districts follow the procedures listed below. To access the Official List of Textbooks approved by the State Board of Education for each adoption cycle, view the lists posted on Tennessee Book Company’s website.

You may appoint as many review committees as necessary to conform to your local organizational structure. All members of the local textbook selection committees are required to subscribe to the oath appearing on ED-2150, which may be administered by any notary public.

Publishers will be notified that sample textbooks and instructional materials are to be delivered to you by early January. Tennessee Book Company coordinates the distribution of your requests for adoption samples to the publishers. To enter your requests, log on to the Tennessee Book Company website, click on "Section # Information" under "State Information," and follow the instructions. The Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission has established a six sample limit per title per system.

Districts' Report of Adoption is due April 15th. It will also be completed online at the Tennessee Book Company website. An electronic copy is to be sent to the Office of Textbook Services. The timely filing of these reports is critical in assisting the depository and the respective publishers in projecting needs and acquiring sufficient inventory to deliver books to meet your needs prior to the opening of schools in the fall. We recommend that you appoint your committees as soon as possible and provide opportunities for them to discuss curriculum needs and to plan for careful evaluation of the approved textbooks and instructional materials.

Systems may adopt and purchase books not on the official list by following the Guidelines for Use of Textbook Programs Not on Contract.

Please refer to the Forms section to access applicable forms in regard to this process.

The Tennessee Department of Education allowed publishers with textbooks and instructional resources listed on the State Board of Education’s Official List of Mathematics Textbooks to submit a brief digital presentation for school districts who are currently in the process of reviewing materials for local adoption. The following videos were submitted by publishers. All videos were prepared by publishers and in no way represent the views, beliefs, or opinions of the Tennessee Department of Education.