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Tennessee Celebrates 15 Years of Innovation in Education

National Charter Schools Week Recognizes Purpose, Progress & Possibilities for Public Education

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee is joining states across the country in celebrating National Charter Schools Week, May 7-11, and also seizing the opportunity to commemorate 15 years since the state opened its doors to public charter schools. Today, Tennessee’s charter school movement – which serves more than 35,000 students across 112 schools – has revolutionized traditional thinking about public schools and helping students reach new heights of achievement while also paving the way for enhanced innovation in K-12 education.

“Public schools in our state have come a long way in the past 15 years. Once upon a time, it was a big deal to get to dissection day in biology lab or take a field trip to the local zoo or aquarium – all great exposure for students. But, today’s students have transformed their classrooms into career launch pads – building functioning robots, traveling abroad to learn, and leading the call for social change,” shared Maya Bugg, chief executive officer, Tennessee Charter School Center. “We have a responsibility to continue raising the bar for public schools and help all students in our communities access a quality education, but we also have a significant opportunity to challenge ourselves to take public education to the next level. Public charter schools are helping us to do just that.”

In Tennessee, charter schools are public schools – free, non-profit managed, and open to all children.  Many charter schools are high-performers in their districts, they are opening opportunities for low-income communities, and leading the charge to address key state priorities – such as literacy, STEM education, workforce development and college preparedness.

“We are proud of the progress we have made over the last 15 years, and believe collaboration, communication and commitment are the keys to finding further success in the years to come,”  added Bugg.

For information on charter public schools in Tennessee, please visit or check out the Tennessee Charter School Center 2018 Impact Report here.