Starting a Private School in Tennessee

Regulations, Resources, & Support

Our team has curated the best resources and information available about starting a private school in Tennessee. Enjoy!

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Tennessee State Regulations

General Regulations

Tennessee State
  • In order for students to satisfy the compulsory attendance laws, they must attend a public school or a non-public school, which includes home schools. The State Board of Education Rule defines six categories of non-public schools:

    • Category I schools are approved by the State Department of Education. Special purpose schools encompassing some Pre-K programs and short term medical or transient care facilities may be approved as Category I.

    • Category II schools are approved by a private school accrediting agency, which has been approved by the Tennessee State Board of Education. Schools holding full accreditation status with an approved agency are also approved by the State Department of Education.

    • Category III schools are accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies.

    • Category IV schools are church related schools as recognized by associations.

    • Category V schools are Acknowledged for Operation.

    • Category VI provides for International schools associated with the state universities.

  • Accreditation is required for category II and III schools. Approval is required for category I schools and is optional for category IV schools.

  • The Tennessee Department of Education has assembled a page of detailed requirements for private schools.

  • The US Office of Innovation & Improvement has assembled a summary of regulations for private schools operating in Tennessee.

  • Parents must provide a curriculum plan, hours of instruction, and qualifications to teach in order to homeschool their student(s).

  • The Tennessee DOE has no published requirements for school insurance -- consult a professional for guidance in this area.

Tennessee State Resources

State & Regional Associations

Helping Educators Do the Work That Matters

Quick Guide Nav

We gathered so much information that we had to break it down into 10 chapters. This free information is well-researched- we even hunted down the rules and regulations for each state! If you're thinking about starting a private school, you will find this guide very handy!

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