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
- 2021-22 IEA Account Holder Handbook
- 2022-23 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
Each contract year, participating schools must demonstrate financial viability verifying that the school is able to pay an aggregate amount equal to the amount of IEA funds expected to be disbursed during the school year. 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 for which the nonpublic school has the capacity to enroll multiplied by $1,600. This information should be listed in the school’s application each year. For example, if a school can enroll ten IEA students, the school would report their maximum capacity as ten, and the amount of the surety bond would be $16,000 ($1,600 x 10). Also, the school could decide that, while it can enroll ten students maximum, it will only accept five students who receive IEAs. In that case, the school would report five as the maximum number of students and submit a bond for $8,000 ($1,600 x 5). The bond must be signed by someone duly authorized to bind the organization to this agreement (e.g., the principal/administrator of the nonpublic school). The required surety bond template is posted on the IEA Resources page and also located at https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/education/iea/IEA Surety Bond rev.pdf; OR
- If a school has been approved as a Category I, II, or III nonpublic school for five years or more, in place of the surety bond, the school can submit a statement by a certified public accountant confirming that the private school can pay an aggregate amount equal to the maximum number of students enrolled in the IEA Program for which the school has the capacity to enroll multiplied by $1,600. This information should be listed in the school’s application each year. The CPA statement must be notarized. The required CPA template is posted on the IEA Resources page and also located at https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/education/iea/IEA CPA Statement rev.pdf.
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.