What are Charter Schools

A charter school is a public school and, in many ways, very similar to a traditional Independent School District (ISD), as you might think of one.

  • Charter schools do not charge tuition or application fees.
  • Charter schools accept every student who applies, as long as the school or grade level has not reached its enrollment capacity.
  • Charter school students take the same core classes and state tests (ex., STAAR) as ISD students.
  • Charter schools are held to strict financial and overall accountability standards by the Texas Education Agency.
  • Charter schools offer a full range of special services, including special education, English as a Second Language (ESL), Dyslexia, and 504.
  • However, what makes charter schools different is what we believe makes them unique. In a word, that difference is “choice.”
  • There are a few other differences between Texas public charter schools and ISDs, but most don’t impact the day-to-day campus life of our students. For example, charter schools board
  • consist of appointed volunteers with a unique interest in education, rather than private individuals who have chosen to run for election. However, charter school board meetings are still open to the public to attend and participate in.

Back in 1995, the Texas State Legislature decided that even though there were a lot of great schools in Texas, a one-size-fits-all approach to education might not work for all families. Each child is unique: some with special gifts, others with particular challenges, and all with extraordinary dreams for their futures.

To help better serve every Texas student, the Texas public charter school system was created to allow independent, education-based nonprofit organizations called Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) to open and operate free public schools for Texas students with the promise that they would provide a new school choice in education for local Texas families.

For some charter schools, that new choice might be a curriculum focusing on dual-language learning. For others, it might be helping students who have dropped out of the traditional school setting reclaim their path to graduation.

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