Tennessee Department Of Education Awards Over $3 Million To Improve Facilities

Grant Awarded For Acquiring, Improving Properties Of Charter Schools

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen has announced the 27 schools selected to receive a total of over $3.3 million as part of the state’s Charter School Facilities Program. This funding will support successful, high-quality charter schools to improve or develop school facilities where students in Tennessee are served. 

"All of our students deserve to learn in an environment where they feel safe, supported, and set up for success,” Commissioner McQueen said. “These awards will allow for new and improved facilities where students can be challenged and provided an opportunity to grow and thrive." 

Grant recipients were selected through a rigorous and competitive application process where they were evaluated on their ability to demonstrate a proven track record of student academic gains and if they opened a school no later than the 2014-15 school year. The funds will be reimbursement-based and may be used for property purchases, general improvements to existing and available buildings, any costs associated with the purchase or lease of underutilized or vacant property, and the repayment of debt incurred for existing capital outlay projects. 

The 27 grant recipient schools are:

Aspire Coleman Elementary School– Achievement School District
Aspire Hanley Elementary School – Achievement School District
Lester Prep – Achievement School District
Chattanooga Charter School of Excellence – Hamilton County Department of Education
Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy – Hamilton County Department of Education
Ivy Academy Chattanooga – Hamilton County Department of Education
East End Preparatory School – Metro Nashville Public Schools
Intrepid College Preparatory School – Metro Nashville Public Schools
KIPP Academy Nashville – Metro Nashville Public Schools
KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School – Metro Nashville Public Schools
KIPP Nashville College Prep – Metro Nashville Public Schools
Liberty Collegiate Academy – Metro Nashville Public Schools
Nashville Academy of Computer Science – Metro Nashville Public Schools
New Vision Academy – Metro Nashville Public Schools
STEM Prep Academy – Metro Nashville Public Schools
Valor Flagship Academy – Metro Nashville Public Schools
Aurora Collegiate Academy – Shelby County Schools
Freedom Preparatory School – Shelby County Schools
Memphis Academy of Health Sciences – Shelby County Schools
Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering – Shelby County Schools
Memphis Business Academy – Shelby County Schools
Memphis College Prep – Shelby County Schools
Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School – Shelby County Schools
Memphis Rise Academy – Shelby County Schools
Memphis School of Excellence – Shelby County Schools
Soulsville Charter School – Shelby County Schools
Vision Preparatory Charter School – Shelby County Schools 

Governor Bill Haslam proposed funding for the program through the “Tennessee High-Quality Charter Schools Act” which was approved by the General Assembly during the 2017 legislative session. 

In this round of the program, all schools were awarded $125,000, which was the maximum amount of requested funding. To ensure quality and accountability, awardees will be monitored throughout the grant award and reimbursement period.

In total, the department has allotted $6 million for the Charter School Facility Program and an additional round of awards will be given through a second competitive application process in January. 

For more information on the Charter School Facility Program, contact Marcy Tidwell, director of school choice, at Marcy.Tidwell@tn.gov.

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