Gov. Lee & TDOE Announce Nearly 60 TN Schools and Districts Win Governor’s Civics Seal Grants

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 | 12:18pm


$500,000 in Grants Statewide to Boost Student Readiness and Civics Education


Nashville, TN—Today, Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Education announced 59 Tennessee schools and districts have received Governor’s Civics Seal grant funding to help implement high-quality civics education programs to prepare students for college, career and civics life. The list of recipients of the 2021-22 Governor’s Civics Seal Grants can be found here

“We are proud that so many Tennessee schools are prioritizing strong civics education for their students,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “By providing grant funding to support civics instruction for our students, we are preparing the next generation of Tennesseans for life beyond the classroom and to become active leaders in their communities and in our state.” 

All 59 grant applicants, which includes 42 schools and 17 districts, were awarded funding totaling $500,000 through the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER). 

On March 4, 2019, Gov. Lee announced the Governor’s Civics Seal initiative to recognize Tennessee schools and districts that prioritize teaching our nation’s and state’s history and civics values. These grants are the second round of Governor’s Civics Seal Grants, funded by the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER), to support schools, school districts and charter school management organizations in earning the Tennessee Excellence in Civics Education designation, which will be shown on the online State Report Card by the Governor’s Civics Seal. 

This second round of funding tripled the number of grants awarded in the 2019-20 school year, with grantees now representing 26 counties and 32 school districts or charter management organizations across Tennessee. 

"Thanks to Governor Lee’s vision for preparing our students for life beyond the classroom, we are thrilled to invest in nearly 60 Tennessee districts and schools across the state that are prioritizing civics education,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “These grants will provide access to programs and resources to help our students learn the importance of civics and how to become engaged citizens in our communities.” 

In their submissions, grant applicants were encouraged to address two key priorities, high-quality instructional materials and resources as well as teacher preparation and professional development.

Applications for the 2021-22 Governor’s Civics Seal Grants were open to all Tennessee public schools, districts, and charter schools through a competitive application process and awards ranged from $3,000 to $20,000.  

"Oak Ridge Schools is thrilled to be awarded funding to support civics and citizenship to help prepare our students for success in our classrooms now and well beyond as they enter the workforce and become contributing members of Tennessee’s society,” said Dr. Bruce Borchers, Director of Schools, Oak Ridge Schools. “Thank you to Governor Lee and the Tennessee Department of Education for making these grants available to continue providing opportunities for advancement and preparation for our students.”  

Grant awardees will receive ongoing planning and implementation support towards civics initiatives, be provided a tool to conduct a needs assessment to help identify the assets and opportunities within their civics programs and add capacity to school and district strategic plans for civics education.

To learn more about the Governor’s Civics Seal, click here.

For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact