Grants to Boost Student Readiness for College, Career, and Civic Life


Monday, Gov. Lee and the Tennessee Department of Education announced applications are open for the 2021-22 Governor’s Civic Seal Grants, totaling $500,000, to support Tennessee public schools, districts, and charter schools in implementing high-quality civic education programs to prepare students for college, career, and civic life.


Applications for the 2021-22 Governor’s Civic Seal Grants are open to all Tennessee public schools, districts, and charter schools and awards range from $5,000 to $20,000. The optional intent to apply is due April 5 and the required application is due April 30. Each of these and additional guidance can be found here.


“We are proud to support a robust civics education for our public schools so Tennessee students are confident in how government works,” said Gov. Lee. “High-quality civics instruction ensures our students are prepared for life beyond the classroom and ready to contribute to their communities.”


On March 4, 2019, Gov. Bill Lee announced the Governor’s Civic Seal to recognize Tennessee schools and districts that prioritize teaching our nation’s and state’s history and civic values. These grants are the second round of Governor’s Civic Seal Grants, funded by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER), to support schools and districts in earning the Tennessee Excellence in Civics Education designation, which will be shown on the online State Report Card. Additionally, these grants are intended to be used towards meeting the criteria for earning the Governor’s Civics Seal.


“At the department, we are thankful for Governor Lee’s focus on civics and citizenship and ensuring all Tennessee students are prepared for success beyond the classroom and to be engaged citizens in their communities,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “These grants will provide our districts and schools with access to programs, resources, and professional development to emphasize life-long civic learning for their students.”


Grant applicants are encouraged to address two key priorities, including high-quality instructional materials and resources and teacher preparation and professional development in their applications.


Grantees will be selected through a competitive application process, with up to sixty grants being awarded in total. Grantees are requested to address key priorities dependent on the amount of the grant. Schools may apply for a $5,000 or $10,000 grant. Districts may apply for a $5,000, $10,000, or $20,000 grant. School and district funding eligibility levels can be found here.


Recipients of the grants will receive ongoing planning and implementation support towards civics initiatives, be provided a tool to conduct a needs assessment to help identify the assets and opportunities within their civics programs, and add capacity to school and district strategic plans for civics education.


Grant awardees, along with the Governor’s Civics Seal design, will be announced in May 2021. To learn more about the Governor’s Civics Seal, click here.


For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact