Tennessee Department of Education Awards Nearly $2.4 Million For High-Quality School Options

Chattanooga Preparatory School Among Schools Awarded

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen has announced four public charter schools selected to receive a total of nearly $2.4 million as part of the state’s second round of funding through the Charter School Program (CSP) grants. This funding will support new, high-quality public charter schools to design, plan, and implement their schools to serve Tennessee students. Chattanooga Preparatory School was one of the four.


Tennessee’s CSP grants support the overall strategy to increase the number of high-quality schools in the state and are funded as part of the $19.

5 million federal CSP grant awarded to the state. 


"We want every student in Tennessee to attend a school where they will be challenged to learn and grow year after year,” Commissioner McQueen said. “It is important for parents to have options when deciding where they send their children to school, and these grants will allow for more high-quality school options for our families in Memphis and Chattanooga."


The awardees may use these funds to support the planning and initial implementation of these new schools. The grant recipient schools are:

  • Crosstown High School – Shelby County Schools
  • Believe Memphis Academy – Shelby County Schools
  • Chattanooga Preparatory School – Hamilton County Department of Education
  • Perea Elementary School – Shelby County Schools 

Grant recipients were selected through a rigorous and competitive application process where they were evaluated on their ability to demonstrate a clear plan for improving learning for historically disadvantaged students, closing achievement gaps, and a proven track record of success, among other factors. The funds will be reimbursement-based and are limited for use around specific planning and implementation activities, such as professional development for staff and acquiring educational materials and supplies.


In this round of the program, all schools were awarded up to $600,000, which was the maximum amount of requested funding. To ensure quality and accountability, awardees will be monitored throughout the grant award period and reimbursement period.


In summer 2017, the department awarded over $5 million for Charter School Program planning and implementation grants. An additional round of awards will be given through a third competitive application process later this year.


For more information on the Charter School Program grants, contact Marcy Tidwell, director of school choice, at Marcy.Tidwell@tn.gov. For media inquiries, contact Sara Gast, director of communications, at (615)  532-6260 or Sara.Gast@tn.gov.

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