The Tennessee Department of Education on Friday announced that 15 applicants have been awarded subgrants under the Charter School Expansion Grant, including two in Hamilton County. These funds are intended to support sponsors throughout the planning, design, application, and potential launch of new charter schools in the state.
These subgrants will fund up to 8,800 new charter school seats that, subject to authorizer approval, will be available to students in five districts that currently do not have any charter schools and in three districts that already authorize charter schools.
Subgrants totaling $6.3 million were awarded primarily from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, which is the second GEER grant designed specifically to support charter schools, with additional funds from the Charter School Program grant.
"Governor Bill Lee has made providing high quality school options for all Tennessee families a top priority,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “With the goal of helping ensure students throughout the state are provided a high-quality education, this expansion of charter school supports will help give Tennessee families and students additional school options.”
The review process for charter school applications for the 2022-23 school year is ongoing and the subgrant awards are contingent upon approval of the proposed charter school by the applicants’ respective school districts or, if an appeal occurs, the Tennessee Public Charter School Commission.
“All Tennessee students, regardless of where they live, have the right to a quality education that will prepare them for college and their careers,” said Senate Education Chairman Brian Kelsey. “These critical investments in high quality public charter schools will give more parents an opportunity to access an education that is best suited to their child’s needs, helping them to reach their full potential. I congratulate these successful applicants and look forward to seeing great schools with the highest standards of excellence.”
The prospective grantees with their school district that they are applying to are:
Academy of the Arts Charter High School, Fayette County Schools
Aventura Community Schools, Metro Nashville Public Schools
Capital City Academy, Metro Nashville Public Schools
Chattanooga Charter School of Excellence High School, Hamilton County Schools
Foundations Autism Charter School, Williamson County Schools
Grizzlies Preparatory Girls School, Shelby County Schools
Ivy Academy’s Skillern Elementary School, Hamilton County Schools
KIPP Southeast Nashville College Prep Elementary, Metro Nashville Public Schools
KIPP Southeast Nashville College Prep Middle, Metro Nashville Public Schools
Lighthouse, Shelby County Schools
Millington STEM Charter Middle, Millington Municipal Schools
Nashville Classical II, Metro Nashville Public Schools
One on One Learning*, Montgomery County Public Schools
Rutherford Collegiate Prep, Rutherford County Schools
Tennessee Nature Academy, Metro Nashville Public Schools
*The applicant’s name is cited, as the name of the proposed charter school has not been determined.
Last year, Governor Lee announced $63.6 million in GEER funding for K-12 schools, which included an initial $5 million charter school support grant to be distributed to charter schools across the state with a focus on supporting charter schools that demonstrate sustained and significant academic growth.