To inspire deeper innovation from districts in student postsecondary and workforce readiness, Governor Bill Lee announced in January 2022 that Tennessee would infuse $500 million into Innovative High School models, enabling every public high school and middle school to have the opportunity to apply for grant funds to support their individual efforts to prepare students for postsecondary success.
Local education authorities (LEAs) will work towards the submission of a proposal and detailed budget to meet one of three staggered deadlines over the course of the 2022-23 school year. The proposal must clearly outline how the LEA or individual schools will reimagine time, space, partnerships, and modes of learning as they work to innovate around student postsecondary success. Commitments from at least one education partner and one employer partner to directly contribute to the project must also be submitted, as well as a sustainability plan to ensure the innovation can last beyond the life of the grant.
Responding thoughtfully to this opportunity will require systems to make quick, strategic decisions around how to best spend these funds to support student learning and outcomes. This work will require LEAs and schools to identify needs or opportunities, establish priorities, design a strategy, and prepare to invest in implementation. Throughout the proposal development process and upon approval, systems will also need to do the work of identifying the right staff to support the initiative, keep key partners informed about their planning and progress, develop buy-in from key stakeholders, and receive and incorporate feedback on their innovative work.
Please see the following resources provided by the Tennessee Department of Education to support proposal development.
View the Innovative School Models: Tennessee Case Studies and Planning Resources page.
View the Innovative School Models: Tennessee Case Studies page.