What is a Charter School?
A charter school is a type of public school. Charter schools provide education through a "charter," which is a type of contract granted by a chartering entity such as the commissioner of education, State Board of Education (SBOE), or the board of trustees of an independent school district.
Charter Home - Purpose and Definition
In 1995, the Texas Education Code established a new type of public school, known as a charter school. Charter schools are subject to fewer state laws than other public schools with the idea of ensuring fiscal and academic accountability without undue regulation of instructional methods or pedagogical innovation. Like school districts, charter schools are monitored and accredited by the state.
According to the Texas Education Code, the purposes of charter schools are to:
- improve student learning;
- increase the choice of learning opportunities within the public school system;
- create professional opportunities that will attract new teachers to the public school system;
- establish a new form of accountability for public schools; and
- encourage different and innovative learning methods.
Texas Education Code, Chapter 12
Charter school administrators should become familiar with the laws that apply to charter schools. Chapter 12 of the TEC (outside source) discusses many, but not all, charter school issues. Subchapter D of Chapter 12 is specific to open-enrollment charter schools; Subchapter E of Chapter 12 is specific to university charter schools.
Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 100
The TAC contains rules adopted by the State Board of Education (SBOE) and the commissioner of education. The SBOE and the commissioner of education may adopt new rules or amendments to existing rules. Title 19 TAC, Chapter 100 is the primary source of rules that apply to open-enrollment charter schools.
With the passage of Senate Bill 11, Texas now joins the short list of states in our country to legislatively mandate the implementation of behavioral threat assessment teams in its Texas public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. Behavioral Threat Assessment provides a proactive, evidence-based approach for identifying individuals who may pose a threat and for providing interventions before a violent incident occurs.
The board of trustees of each school district is now required to establish a Safe and Supportive School Program Team that conducts behavioral threat assessments to serve at each campus of the district. The Board must also adopt policies and procedures for the teams that are consistent with the model policies and procedures developed by the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC). In addition, each team is required to complete training provided by the TxSSC or a Regional Education Service Center.
The Texas School Safety Center is hosting a series of no cost virtual trainings to assist open-enrollment charter schools. CLICK HERE and scroll down for more information.
Generation 27 Application Now Available
The Generation 27 Open-Enrollment Charter Application is now available. Please visit the Applicants page to select the appropriate application. Each page will include all necessary application materials and information specific to that application. All prospective applicants must attend at least one Mandatory Information Session to be held on September 24, 2021 and October 1, 2021. Please visit the Mandatory Information Session webpage for more information and to register. The submission deadline for the application is December 7, 2021.
Upcoming Events & Deadlines for 2021-2022
- October 19 - R11 Charter Roundtable Meeting
- October 29 - Charter School Waitlist submission due
- October 27 – 29 - 2021 Texas Charter Schools Conference at Hilton Anatole in Dallas, TX Registration NOW OPEN!
- General - Final Charter FIRST ratings issued after appeals; Public hearing must be held within 2 months of receipt
- November 1 - Newly Open Charter Schools: 2021-2022 SC5050 form due to TEA (to request ESSA and/or IDEA-B funding to be received 2021-2022 and/or request an Indirect Cost Rate for FY22)
- November 1 - Existing Charter Schools: 2021-2022 SC5050 form (optional) for Significant Expansion due to TEA (to request additional ESSA and/or IDEA-B funding to be received 2021-2022 and/or request an Indirect Cost Rate for FY22)
- November 18 - R11 Charter Roundtable Meeting
- November 30 - R11 Charter Advisory Board Meeting
- General - Charter holder must file audit report disclosing all management company loans
- December 1 - Governance Report due to TEA
- December 1 - Bank Depository Contract due
- January 1 - Expansion Amendments window opens
- January 13 - R11 Charter Roundtable Meeting
- January 31 - Existing Charter Schools: 2021-2022 SC5050 form (optional) for Significant Expansion due to TEA (to request additional ESSA and/or IDEA-B funding to be received 2022-2023 based on significant expansion experienced in 2021-2022)
- February 22 - R11 Charter Roundtable Meeting
- General - Request for an Indirect Cost Rate for Charter Schools for 2022-2023 survey due to TEA
- March 1 - Expansion Amendments window closes
- March 29 - R11 Charter Advisory Board Meeting
- April 19 - R11 Charter Roundtable Meeting
- June 14 - R11 Charter Advisory Board Meeting