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ESA - Education Savings Account/ IEA Program

The most important investment we can make is investing in our children’s future. In 2019 the Tennessee General Assembly did  just that by passing an expanded Education Savings Accounts (ESA) program for low income children.

IEA Program

Please note that in light of recent circumstances, the Tennessee Department of Education (the department) will be reopening the application window for the IEA program for the 2020-21 school year. In order to reapply for the IEA program for the 2020-21 school year, please fill out the Intent to Apply form here by July 31, 2020. You will receive an email from IEA staff if you are eligible to fill out the full application, which has a deadline of August 15, 2020.  Please also note that completing the Intent to Apply form or the full application does not automatically mean you are eligible for the IEA program. The department will notify you as to your acceptance or denial by August 30, 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact the IEA team at IEA.Questions@tn.gov or (615) 253-3781.  

Applications for Private Schools to Participate in the IEA Program are now open – Applications are accepted year round.


Due to litigation that has challenged the implementation of Education Savings Accounts in Tennessee, the program is currently enjoined and will not launch for the 2020-21 school year.

With Tennessee’s Education Savings Account (ESA) program, eligible students assigned to schools in Davidson County, Shelby County, or the Achievement School District can use state and local Basic Education Program (BEP) funds toward expenses, such as tuition or fees, at participating private schools.

This program will bring life-changing opportunities to thousands of families across the Volunteer State.

Other links:

How ESA's work

ESA Fast Facts

Please be aware that there is a pending legal challenge to the ESA Program and the Davidson County Chancery Court has entered an order preventing the State from advancing the program.  While the order remains in effect, the Department may not take any further action on completed or pending applications.  In addition, the application link has been disabled as of May 7, 2020, and calls or e-mails regarding the ESA Program cannot be answered or returned.  The
Department is seeking reversal of the Court’s order and hopes to succeed on appeal to allow the Program to start enrollment this school year. Updated information will be provided when it becomes available, at https://esa.tnedu.gov/
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