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Black School Choice Advocacy Group Loses Tennessee Chapter

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The Tennessee chapter of the Black Alliance for Educational Options is splitting from the main organization.

This comes three months after BAEO announced plans to completely reimagine and reorganize the nearly 20-year-old advocacy organization founded by school choice leader, Howard Fuller.

BAEO's Tennessee operation, which is based in Memphis, will spin off and officially become its own organization on July 1 called the Campaign for School Equity.

"Under BAEO we've been able to do some really great work, but back in February they announced that they were launching this social innovation challenge and reorganization and we felt like, here on the ground, we needed to be responsive to the need here," said Mendell Grinter, BAEO's Tennessee state director and the founder of the new Campaign for School Equity.

"We are continuing in the BAEO spirit—we are a black-led organization."

With Tennessee's departure, only two state branches remain: Louisiana and New Jersey. BAEO confirmed in February that it had shut down its Alabama chapter.

Meanwhile, National BAEO is holding an innovation competition to reinvent the organization. The group will start taking applications on Thursday. The winner or winners, announced next January, will receive $500,000 to bring their ideas for BAEO to life.

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