Education Funding

Charter Operators Swoop In for Tenn. Race to Top

By Sean Cavanagh — June 11, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Charter schools are poised for a major expansion in Tennessee, with some of the sector’s biggest and best-known operators swooping into the state as part of an effort to turn around struggling schools.

State officials last week said they had approved seven charter management organizations to open new schools. In the next seven years, they will open 41 schools serving an estimated 15,000 students in the Achievement School District, or ASD, a state program aimed at improving low-achieving schools, which was created through Tennessee’s Race to the Top plan. The state was awarded $500 million in the grant competition.

The organizations approved to operate new charters in either Nashville or Memphis include the Knowledge Is Power Program or KIPP, Rocketship Education, Aspire Public Schools, LEAD Public Schools, Capstone Education Group, and Gestalt Community Schools. The charter groups’ work will begin with their opening nine new campuses in Memphis and Nashville during the 2013-14 school year, with expansion to follow.

Applicants to open schools through the ASD went through a screening process that included interviews with members of the community and other reviews, state officials said. The improvement district is to focus on schools in the bottom 5 percent of performance.

“We have some of the best schools in the country competing to serve our students in Tennessee,” Malika Anderson, the chief portfolio officer for the ASD, said in a statement.

Some of the operators that were approved to open new charters already have a presence in Tennessee.

KIPP, for instance, runs charter schools in Nashville and Memphis, with plans for more in the works before the state’s announcement. (Nationwide, KIPP is in 20 states and the District of Columbia and serves 33,000 students.)

Other operators are new to the region. Aspire Public Schools, which serves 12,000 students at 34 schools, has been based solely in California so far. Rocketship Education, also based in California, recently announced plans to expand to the Milwaukee school system. It also recently had charters approved in Indianapolis and New Orleans, a Rocketship spokeswoman said.

A version of this article appeared in the June 13, 2012 edition of Education Week as Charters Get Boost in Tenn. Race to Top

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Your Questions on the Science of Reading, Answered
Dive into the Science of Reading with K-12 leaders. Discover strategies, policy insights, and more in our webinar.
Content provided by Otus
Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding Education Dept. Sees Small Cut in Funding Package That Averted Government Shutdown
The Education Department will see a reduction even as the funding package provides for small increases to key K-12 programs.
3 min read
President Joe Biden delivers a speech about healthcare at an event in Raleigh, N.C., on March 26, 2024.
President Joe Biden delivers a speech about health care at an event in Raleigh, N.C., on March 26. Biden signed a funding package into law over the weekend that keeps the federal government open through September but includes a slight decrease in the Education Department's budget.
Matt Kelley/AP
Education Funding Biden's Budget Proposes Smaller Bump to Education Spending
The president requested increases to Title I and IDEA, and funding to expand preschool access in his 2025 budget proposal.
7 min read
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on lowering prices for American families during an event at the YMCA Allard Center on March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on lowering prices for American families during an event at the YMCA Allard Center on March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H. Biden's administration released its 2025 budget proposal, which includes a modest spending increase for the Education Department.
Evan Vucci/AP
Education Funding States Are Pulling Back on K-12 Spending. How Hard Will Schools Get Hit?
Some states are trimming education investments as financial forecasts suggest boom times may be over.
6 min read
Collage illustration of California state house and U.S. currency background.
F. Sheehan for Education Week / Getty
Education Funding Using AI to Guide School Funding: 4 Takeaways
One state is using AI to help guide school funding decisions. Will others follow?
5 min read
 Illustration of a robot hand drawing a graph line leading to budget and finalcial spending.
iStock/Getty