Opportunity 901


Opportunity to properly invest


Opportunity to support students

The challenge is clear.

Only one out of every 10 Shelby County Schools, ASD or charter school students are achieving on grade level.
We must find a way to do better. Our students deserve better.

It’s time for Opportunity 901

We have an opportunity to ensure our children’s education is better coming out of the pandemic than when we went in, thanks in part to unprecedented federal and state funding.

Shelby County Schools, ASD and charter schools are expected to receive nearly 800 million additional dollars to assist with learning loss and other COVID-related challenges. Let’s walk alongside the districts to provide support where needed and ensure the investments made will prepare students for a global society.

We will work in alignment with SCS’ current priorities:

  • Initiative 1: Strengthen Early (K-2) and Continuing Literacy (3-12)

  • Initiative 2: Recruit and retain the best district leaders and teachers in the nation

  • Initiative 3: Create relevant and equitable academic choices and learning environments

  • Pandemic Recovery: “Learning Loss” and “Facilities & Address Deferred Maintenance & Operations”


September 28 – Opportunity 901 Partner Meeting

Agenda | Slides

November 10 – Opportunity 901 Update Meeting

Agenda | Slides

February 4 – Opportunity 901 Update Meeting


Why is this opportunity so important?

The pandemic has been a major setback to our education system but major recovery funding (ESSER) has been made available.

Without high performing public schools, our students will not be able to secure the high paying jobs they want and the lifetime of success we want them to achieve. Just as important, our community will not be able to attract new businesses and support existing businesses to grow our economy and help all families and neighborhoods thrive. The end result is a continuation of generational poverty.

What is ESSER funding?

Under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund), the US Department of Education awards grants to states for the purpose of providing local school districts, including charter schools that are LEAs, with emergency relief funds to address the impact of COVID.

Shelby County Schools/ASD/Charters are required by law to use at least 20% of funds to respond to students’ social, emotional, and academic needs, with relatively few guidelines on how to spend the remaining 80%.

ESSER Timeline

  • TN ESSER spending plans are due by June 7, 2021
  • SCS ESSER 3.0 plan due to state by Aug. 27, 2021
  • ESSER Funds must be used by Sept. 30, 2024
(Shelby County Schools/ASD/Charters will have 36-months to spend the funds)

How much will Shelby County Schools receive & how will it be spent?

Shelby County Schools/ASD/Charters will receive close to 800 million dollars in funding which equates to approximately 77% of its annual budget. This funding must be spent by September 2024 and can be used for anything approved by the US Department of Education. Click here for more information about the spending requirements. 
Opportunity 901 will keep you informed about the specific spending plans for Shelby County Schools/ASD/Charters.

Opportunity 901: Community Partners

A broad range of community, faith-based, nonprofit and business organizations are involved in helping to support this effort to improve student learning, despite the pandemic.

  • Our school districts have an opportunity to properly invest in our children, thanks to unprecedented federal and state funding.
  • Our school districts have an opportunity to engage parents, businesses, and community leaders like never before to ensure we co-create a path forward.
  • We, as parents, have an opportunity to ask how much of this unprecedented funding will actually be spent in direct support of each student.
  • We, as business and community leaders, have an opportunity to be involved in our schools, rather than on the sidelines, to help define the future of our community.
  • Our elected officials have an opportunity to join with us, and not fight against us.
  • Together, we have an opportunity to support our school leaders, classrooms, and most of all, our students.



To remain informed or get involved, please share the following information: