NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Hillsdale College-affiliated American Classical Education (ACE) is making its return.

News 2 has independently confirmed the classical education group has submitted five ‘letters of intent’ to apply for new charter schools in counties across Tennessee. Those counties are Montgomery, Rutherford, Madison, Maury and Robertson.

The move comes after three local schools boards (Clarksville-Montgomery, Rutherford and Madison) denied ACE’s applications after Hillsdale president Larry Arnn made unflattering comments about teachers.

The group then appealed to the state charter commission before pulling its appeals just days before the commission was set to make a ruling.

The letters of intent do not, for certain, mean ACE will be applying for charter schools in those five counties. But now, the education group has the ability to apply for them, as rules stipulate you must submit letters of intent at least 60 days prior to submitting an application.

For a full recap of how we got here, you can click this link.

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Below are statements made by two people involved/impacted by this move.

“Procedurally, in Tennessee, letters of intent are due 60 days before official application deadlines. While we continue to visit with members of the community – including parents, teachers, students, elected officials and the larger community – we have submitted letters of intent to Clarksville-Montgomery, Rutherford, Jackson-Madison, Maury and Robertson counties. In the past few months we’ve heard from thousands of Tennessee families who are interested in classical charter schools. We remain committed to working with communities where there is interest and demand from families for schools with classical curriculums.”

Dolores Gresham, ACE board member and former Tennessee State Senator and Senate Education Committee Chair

“As a supporter of young people and families, I welcome ACE’s desire to bring a classical public charter school to Maury county. We need to provide families with additional school choice options and we all want what’s best for each individual student and his or her needs. It is evident that there is a desire from many families for a classical school curriculum and we can support all students by providing additional school options to enhance the success of every child.”

Maury County Mayor Sheila Butt