NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Education announced encouraging data surrounding the state’s more than $160 million investment in academic summer camps to address learning loss and speed up achievement for students.

Throughout the pandemic, the state of Tennessee has led the United States in providing academic resources and support for its students. In January 2021, Lee asked the General Assembly for a special legislative session to pass policies to prevent COVID-19 disruptions in the classrooms and support students.

“Tennessee has led the nation in getting students back in the classroom and swiftly addressing learning loss,” Lee said. “As we continue to prioritize our students, I’m encouraged to share positive outcomes of priorities established in our historic special session. I am hopeful for our state and thank the legislature for their partnership to turn the tide for Tennessee students.”

Some of the promising results from the special session are outlined below:

Strong Student Participation

  • This summer, both summer learning camps and after school STREAM camps had higher attendance in elementary grades compared to middle school grades.
  • Overall, more than 120,000 Tennessee students enrolled in summer programming across the state.

English and Language Arts:

  • Overall, data showed an improvement of 5.97 percentage points
  • Elementary grades saw an improvement of 7.34 percentage points
  • Middle school grades saw an improvement of 0.66 percentage points


  • Overall, data showed an improvement of 10.49 percentage points
  • Elementary grades saw an improvement of 11.66 percentage points
  • Middle school grades saw an improvement of 6 percentage points

“This past summer, Tennessee school districts launched rich academic programs and thoughtfully prioritized student and family engagement to help their students get extra learning time and recover from a very tough school year. In doing so, they built tremendous momentum for students and staff heading into a brand new and still very tough school year,” Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said. “There is a lot of work that lies ahead, but after seeing what Tennessee accomplished this summer for its students, I believe our public schools are proving what’s possible.” 

The Department of Education also gave a presentation Wednesday to the General Assembly. Details on the presentation can be found here.