How to Apply to be a Participating School
Representatives of schools interested in participating in the IEA Program should read the following documents posted on the TDOE’s IEA webpage 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
- IEA Program Procedures developed by the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE)
- IEA Parent Handbook
- IEA Private School Handbook
Applications for private schools to participate in the IEA Program for the 2020-21 school year (Aug. 1, 2020–July 31, 2021) are now open. School principals must annually re-apply to participate in the IEA Program. Applications for schools to participate in the IEA Program for the 2020-21 school year will be accepted year-round, though the department strongly encourages schools to apply as soon as possible so that parents are aware of which schools are approved to participate and to ensure the school’s application is fully approved by the Aug. 1, 2020 start date. Complete the application by following the instructions below. For more detailed instructions, please see the IEA Private School Handbook.
Please note: Private schools applying to participate in the IEA Program must be listed on the department’s non-public schools list.
If you have any questions about submitting an application, contact the IEA team at (615) 253–3781, IEA.Questions@tn.gov. Please note: due to the volume of calls and emails, it can take up to 10 business days for the IEA team to respond.
Submit the 2020-21 Participating School Application & Assurances along with all required supporting documentation. The following documents MUST be submitted along with the signed application. The application is not complete until all required documents have been submitted. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
1. Surety Bond or Statement by a Certified Public Accountant
Participating schools must demonstrate financial viability to repay any funds that may be owed to the state by filing with the department, prior to the start of each school year, financial information verifying the school has the ability to pay an aggregate amount equal to the amount of IEA funds expected to be paid during the school year. Schools can comply with this requirement by doing one of the following:
1) Filing a surety bond payable to the state from a surety. The amount of the surety bond is equal to the maximum number of students enrolled in the IEA Program the school has the capacity to enroll (identified in the school’s application/renewal application) multiplied by $1,600. The template of the surety bond that schools must use is posted on the IEA Resources webpage. The bond must be signed by someone duly authorized to bind the organization to this agreement (e.g., the principal).
2) 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 by a certified public accountant confirming that the private school has the ability to pay an aggregate amount equal to the maximum number of students enrolled in the IEA Program the school has the capacity to enroll (identified in the school’s application/renewal application) multiplied by $1,600. The CPA statement must be notarized. The template of the CPA statement that schools must use is posted on the IEA Resources webpage.
Private schools must submit an electronic copy of their surety bond or statement by a certified public accountant on the template provided by the department as part of their application to participate in the IEA Program. If the school is submitting a surety bond, schools must also mail a hard copy of the surety bond to the department (see below).
Please mail surety bonds to the following:
Marisa Hunter, IEA Program
Andrew Johnson Tower, 12th Floor
710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243
The electronic and hard copies must be received by the department in order for the application to be reviewed.
2. School Calendar for the 2020-21 School Year
The calendar must show all the school days that the student will be attending classes at the school.
3. List of All Tuition and Fees for the 2020-21 School Year
Schools must submit an itemized list of all the costs required to attend the school.
The application must be submitted by the school principal.
Next Steps After Application is Submitted:
The department will review applications within 30 days. Upon reviewing the application, the department will notify the applicant as to whether the application was approved or denied. If the application is approved, the school’s name will be added to the approved list of participating schools posted on the IEA web page.
Updating School Information
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. Schools must notify the TDOE within 15 days of the change being effective. Failure to provide this information to the TDOE by the deadline may result in the suspension of the school’s participation in the IEA Program and/or removal of the school from participating in the IEA Program.