How to Apply to be a Participating School
Administrators of nonpublic schools interested in participating in the IEA Program should read the following documents before completing the school application and assurances:
- IEA Program law, T.C.A. § Title 49, Chapter 10, Part 14
- IEA Program rules of the SBE Chapter 0520-01-11
- 2023-24 IEA Account Holder Handbook
- IEA Participating Non-Public School Handbook
Submit the Participating Private School Application & Assurances along with all required supporting documentation. Please be advised that the application must be submitted by the school principal or director. As part of the supporting documentation, the private school applicant must submit an electronic copy of a surety bond or a statement by a certified public accountant. The application is not complete until all the following documents have been submitted along with the signed application:
1. Surety Bond or Statement by a Certified Public Accountant
Nonpublic schools interested in becoming or remaining a participating school in the IEA Program must demonstrate financial viability to repay any funds that may be owed to the state by annually filing with the Tennessee Department of Education financial information, verifying the school is able to pay an aggregate amount equal to the amount of IEA funds expected to be paid during the school year. [See Tennessee State Board of Education Rule 0520-01-11-.08(1)(a)2.] Schools can comply with this requirement by doing one of the following:
- File a surety bond payable to the state from a surety. The amount of the surety bond must be equal to the maximum number of students enrolled in the IEA Program that the school has the capacity to enroll (identified in the school’s application) multiplied by the amount of the average quarterly IEA award for the previous contract year. By October 1 of each year, the IEA Program will post the amount of the average quarterly IEA award to be used for this calculation in the next fiscal year. The bond must be signed by someone duly authorized to bind the organization to this agreement (e.g., the administrator of a nonpublic school). The required surety bond template and annual amount are posted on the IEA Resources webpage; or
- Submit a statement by a certified public accountant. If a school has been approved as a Category I, II, or III nonpublic school for five years or more, in lieu of the surety bond, the school can submit a statement from a certified public accountant confirming that the school is able to pay an aggregate amount equal to the maximum number of students enrolled in the IEA Program that the school has the capacity to enroll (identified in the school’s application) multiplied by the amount of the average quarterly IEA award for the previous contract year. By October 1 of each year, the IEA Program will post the amount of the average quarterly IEA award to be used for this calculation in the next fiscal year. The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) statement must be notarized. The required CPA template and annual amount are posted on the IEA Resources webpage.
|Contract Year (July 1-June 30)||Multiplier for all Surety Bonds/CPA Statements|
|2025-2026 and beyond||Multiplier will be posted by October 1|
2. School Calendar (for the school year that the school is applying to participate in the IEA Program)
The calendar must list the total number of instructional days the student will be attending the school during the contract year.
3. List of All Tuition and Fees (for the school year that the school is applying to participate in the IEA Program)
Schools must submit an itemized list of all the costs required for a student to attend the school.
Please allow up to 30 days for the IEA team to complete the application review. Upon review, the department will notify the applicant with approval/denial status. If the application is approved, the school’s name will be added to the approved list of participating schools posted on the IEA webpage.
If at any time the information submitted in the application changes, including, but not limited to, the email address, physical address, and phone number, the school shall report the changes to the department. Schools must notify IEA.Questions@tn.gov within 15 days of any changes.