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Charter School Grants

Charter School Facilities Grant Application

The State of Tennessee has provided $6 million in funding and authorized the commissioner of education to establish a public charter schools facilities program for the purpose of assisting public charter schools in acquiring and improving property to educate students. The funds may be used for the purchase of property, general capital improvements to existing and available buildings, assistance with any costs associated with the purchase or lease of underutilized or vacant property available pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-13-136, and assistance with the repayment of debt incurred for existing capital outlay projects. These funds will be made available on an equitable basis for the benefit of public charter schools of all sizes, characteristics, geographic locations, and authorizers.

Facilities funding grant applications must be submitted to charter.schools@tn.gov by 4 p.m. (CT) on November 2, 2018.

Charter School Program (CSP) Planning & Implementation Grant Applications now available!  Applications due: 4 p.m. CST October 8, 2018.

CSP Planning and Implementation Subgrant Application

CSP Planning and Implementation Subgrant Budget Template

In 2016, the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) was awarded a Public Charter Schools Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) of approximately $19,500,000. One purpose of the Charter School Program (CSP) is to increase the national understanding of the charter school model by expanding the number of high-quality charter schools available to students by providing financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools. Tennessee’s CSP subgrant competition will support the overall strategy to increase the number of high-quality charter schools in the state. CSP subgrants will provide funds for newly authorized Tennessee charter school operators to design, plan, and implement their schools.

Charter School Program Dissemination Grant Applications due November 16

Dissemination of information and best practices is critical as Tennessee continues to expand the number of high-quality charter schools. Dissemination grants are federal funds awarded for the purpose of disseminating information about high-quality charter school practices. Applicants for these funds should be schools with the best conditions for learning aligned with high achievement data. The TDOE plans to award up to six (6) total dissemination subgrants to successful charter schools to assist other schools in adapting the charter school’s program (or certain aspects of the charter school’s program) or to disseminate information about best practices in the charter school.

Dissemination activities may include activities such as: 

(a) assisting other individuals with the planning and start-up of one or more new public schools, including charter schools, that are independent of the assisting charter school and its developers and that agree to be held to at least as high a level of accountability as the assisting charter school;

(b) developing partnerships with other public schools designed to improve student academic achievement;

(c) developing curriculum materials, assessments, and other materials that promote increased student achievement and are based on successful practices within the assisting charter school; and

(d) conducting evaluations and developing materials that document the successful practices of the assisting charter school and that are designed to improve student performance in other schools. 

Any charter school applying for dissemination funds must have been in operation in Tennessee for at least three (3) consecutive years and must have demonstrated overall success, including:

  1. Substantial progress in improving student academic achievement;
  2. High levels of parent satisfaction; and
  3. The management and leadership necessary to overcome initial start-up problems and establish a thriving, financially viable charter school.

Applications can be found here and are due by 4pm CST November 16, 2018. Please contact Melanie Harrell at Melanie.A.Harrell@tn.gov with any questions.

Additional Grant Opportunities

The U.S. Dept. of Education and national foundations supporting the growth of charter schools also offer grants directly to charter schools and networks. In Tennessee, charter school sponsors may be able to apply for several different grants, such as these:

In addition, there are many more organizations investing in promising or successful charter school programs (e.g., the Tennessee Charter School Center).