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Governor’s Civics Seal

Governor’s Civics Seal Grant 2021-2022

The application for the 2021-2022 Governor’s Civics Seal Grants is open.

The purpose of these grants is to fund school and district initiatives that provide programs, resources, and professional development that emphasize life-long civic learning and an opportunity for schools and districts to earn the Governor’s Civics Seal in the 2021-22 school year. These endeavors should be specific to the schools or districts and the needs of their students. The deadline to submit applications is Friday, April 30, 2021. While submitting an intent to apply form is not required to apply, doing so lets the department know to expect your application and allows us to follow-up with reminders. We kindly ask this intent to apply form to be submitted by April 5, 2021.

Intent to Apply (requested): by April 5, 2021

Application (required): by 11:59 PM CST, April 30, 2021

Grant recipients will be chosen through a competitive application process. Applicants should submit the online application to be considered for funding. All templates and other application guidance can be found below. We recommend filling out the questions and completing all materials in a word processing program before submitting the online application.

Up to sixty (60) grants will be awarded in total. The one-year grants will be awarded to up to 38 schools. Awards will range from $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the size and scope of the grant proposal. Additionally, one-year grants will be awarded to up to 19 districts/charter management organizations (CMOs). Awards will be $5,000, $10,000, and $20,000. A distribution schedule of awarded funds will be developed with each awarded district based on the proposed needs, strategies, and expenses within the scope of the grant. It is the goal to have school and district/CMO grantees represented by each Center of Regional Excellence.

Grant applications should address this year’s two key priorities:

Priority 1: High-Quality Instructional Materials and Resources

  • Incorporate civics learning across a broad range of grades and academic subjects.
  • Provide instructional resources that support civics education.
  • Support in implementing high-quality civics project-based assessment.

Priority 2: Teacher Preparation and Professional Development

  • Provide professional development opportunities or resources that support civics education.

Schools may apply for $5,000 (Average Daily Membership (ADM) of 1-999; applications address at least one key priority) or $10,000 (ADM of 1,000 or greater; applications address both key priorities)

Districts may apply for $5,000 (1-9 schools; applications address at least one key priority), $10,000 (10 or more schools; application addresses both key priorities), or $20,000 (20 or more schools; application addresses both key priorities). This is the second year of Governor Bill Lee’s Civics Initiatives covered in TCA § 49-6-1018.

Note: Receipt of a Governor's Civics Seal Grant is independent of receiving the Governor's Civics Seal. Grants are intended to be used toward meeting the criteria for earning the Seal.

Templates and Other Helpful Documents
REQUIRED: Needs Assessment & Impact Strategies [downloadable Word template]

REQUIRED: Budget Template [downloadable Excel template]

FOR REFERENCE: Creating a Budget Resource Guide and Sample Budget [PDF]

FOR REFERENCE: 2021-22 Grant Application Questions and Evaluation [Rubric]

For any questions, please email


History of the Governor's Civics Seal

On March 4, 2019, Governor Bill Lee announced the “Governor’s Civics Seal” during his State of the State address. The Governor’s Civics Seal recognizes schools and districts that prioritize teaching our nation’s history and civic values. Along with the announcement of this program, Governor Lee allocated $500,000 to support public schools and districts in implementing high-quality civic education programs that result in readiness for college, career, and civic life. Because of this, the Tennessee General Assembly passed HB0944/SBO800, which amended T.C.A. 49-6-1028 and officially established the Governor’s Civics Seal.

The Governor’s Civics Seal has two main sections:

A. State Report Card:

a)       Identify on the State Report Card each school earning the Seal as a Tennessee Excellence in Civics Education School

b)      Designate LEAs in which at least 80% of their schools earn the Seal as a Tennessee Excellence in Civics Education District

B. Criteria for a school to earn the Seal:

a)       Incorporate civic learning across a broad range of grades and academic subjects that builds on the Tennessee academic standards, such as the civics lesson plans and the blue book lesson plans provided by the secretary of state

b)      Provide instruction regarding our nation's democratic principles and practices, the significant events and individuals responsible for the creation of our foundational documents, and the formation of the governments of the United States and the state of Tennessee using the federal and state foundational documents in accordance with S 49-6-1028

c)       Provide professional development opportunities or student resources that support civics education, such as civics education workshops offered by the secretary of state

d)      Provide opportunities for students to engage in real-world learning activities, including the secretary of state's student mock election and civics essay contest

e)       Have fully implemented a high-quality, project-based assessment in accordance with S 49-6-1028(e), if applicable

f)        Be recognized as a civics all-star school in accordance with S 49-6-408, if applicable