NASHVILLE, TN (AP) - Tennessee education officials are distributing almost $5.9 million in grants to aid 117 charter schools in the state.

The Department of Education announced Monday that the grants account for about half of the $12 million allocated to the department's Charter Schools Facilities fund in Gov. Bill Lee's budget.

The money can be spent on property purchases to relocate or establish schools; general improvements to facilities, purchasing or leasing underused or vacant property; or existing capital outlay projects.

The money will be distributed to schools in six districts based on the number of students served. The districts include the Achievement School District; Davidson, Shelby, Hamilton and Knox counties; and the State Board of Education.

In mid-November, a competitive grant using the remaining $6 million will be available to charter schools statewide.

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