Tennessee Department of Education Awards Over $3 million to Improve Facilities of High-Quality School Options

Wednesday, November 08, 2017 | 10:04am

NASHVILLE—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," 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. For media inquiries, contact Chandler Hopper, deputy director of communications, at (615) 532-6260 or Chandler.Hopper@tn.gov.

Education