CHALLENGING CHARTERS A new report says charter schools operating through Tennessee’s 4-year-old school turnaround district have struggled to achieve the initiative’s lofty goals due to a variety of challenges — some unique to the state-run charter program, and some common to all Memphis schools. Chalkbeat

BALANCED BUDGET On the eve of a new fiscal year, leaders for Shelby County Schools iron out final details of the district’s $959 million budget, preparing to give most of its teachers a 3 percent raise and restoring funding for positions deemed critical for continued academic progress. Chalkbeat, The Commercial Appeal, WREG-TV, FOX13-TV, WMC-TV

WHO’S WHO An array of educators, researchers and advocates are appointed to help the State Department of Education plan for a new era in Tennessee education dictated by the new federal education law called the Every Student Succeeds Act. Chalkbeat, The Tennessean

BUILDING LOANS Memphis charter schools could have a much easier time securing or expanding building facilities thanks to a new initiative announced this week from the Walton Family Foundation. The Commercial Appeal

ATTENDANCE SHIFT The average daily attendance ratio in Shelby County Schools declines slightly while rising in the county’s combined municipal school districts, shifting about $2 million in county funding for education. Smart City Memphis

SHAWN JOSEPH As Nashville’s new school superintendent takes the helm today, he announces more new members of his team.  The Tennessean

CANDIDATE FORUM Incumbent Nashville school board member Will Pinkston squares off against opponent Jackson Miller in their first public forum since declaring their candidacies. The Tennessean

READY TO RUMBLE Hamilton County school board incumbent Rhonda Thurman aggressively defends her seat at a public forum. Chattanooga Times Free Press

SUMMER READING Gov. Bill Haslam and first lady Crissy Haslam visit the Antioch community of Nashville to promote summer reading. WSMV-TV

FEEDING STUDENTS Offering a free breakfast to all Alcoa students last school year not only raised the number of morning meals served, but also increased the number of lunches the cafeterias served. The Daily Times

STEM-POWERED SUMMER Elementary and middle school students learn how to construct circuits, motors and robots during a STEMQUEST camp in Maryville. The Daily Times

SHAKESPEARE IN SHADES A pilot program for students entering two Knox County middle schools aims to help improve reading skills and ease the transition to their new schools. Knoxville News Sentinel

SECOND CAREER EDUCATOR A former Tennessee Titan football player who now serves as a middle school principal talks about why he chose to pursue education as a second career. The Nashville Ledger

SETTING THE BAR Commentary: Even before his July 1 official start date, new Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Shawn Joseph appointed senior staff, established a new community-inclusive way of hiring principals and met with school board members in a weekend retreat. The Tennessean