NASHVILLE— The Tennessee Department of Education has awarded nearly $5 million in federal funds to five districts to plan for how to best support their Priority Schools, the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools in the state, in terms of academic achievement.
“We believe this additional financial investment will help districts provide our Priority Schools with specific supports,” said Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. “For the past several years, our state has been focused both on improving overall performance of all kids in Tennessee, while closing achievement gaps and supporting students that are the farthest behind; we have seen results from these efforts and are excited to help districts plan for additional interventions.”
A new list of Priority Schools was identified last summer (see the complete list here). These planning grants will provide resources for districts to plan for how to best support their Priority Schools, beginning in the 2015-16 school year. These funds can assist districts in engaging the community, recruiting teachers and leaders, and exploring additional resources that may be needed for Priority Schools.
Districts were awarded the following amounts:
- Metro Nashville Public Schools, $1.3 million
- Knox County Schools, $1 million
- Shelby County Schools, $900,000
- Jackson-Madison County Schools, $400,000
- Achievement School District, $1.3 million
Additional funds will be made available through a competitive grant process in the spring of 2015 to further assist districts with implementation of their turnaround plans.