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TCSA is a statewide Association representing close to 90% of the charter students in every part of our great state. In total, an estimated 178,000 Texas students attend more than 550 open-enrollment charter schools (2013 AskTED data) with more than 101,000 additional students on waiting lists (2012 survey). There is an arbitrary cap of 305 (as of 2019) on the number of charters awarded in Texas, and there are 204 already awarded (updated as of July 2013), leaving 11 charters available. The Association advocates in Austin and Washington D.C. for member schools, improves their academic and financial performance through the implementation of the TCSA Quality Framework, and provides member services for school operators, board members, and staff. TCSA also hosts an annual statewide conference, one of the largest gatherings of charter schools in the nation.

The Association was created in 2008 with the generous support of the Charter School Policy Institute, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, The Walton Family Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  .  

There are four standing committees of the member council: Advocacy, Member Services, Quality Initiative, and Annual Conference.  Each committee works to achieve the TCSA mission.  These important committees has helped TCSA make a positive impact on charter schools in Texas as well as on the public charter school movement at large. 

Mission and Strategy

The mission of the Texas Charter Schools Association is to accelerate student achievement in Texas by empowering a diverse set of effective and quality-driven charter schools.

A set of guiding principles shapes this mission:

  1. Unify and represent diverse types of effective and quality-driven charter schools that enhance student achievement.
  2. Help create a better definition of an effective charter school that incorporates growth and complements the existing accountability system’s status measures of academic performance.
  3. Support member schools to improve their effectiveness in meeting educational mission and progress towards student excellence.
  4. Advocate in the Texas legislature and broader public for effective charter schools as a critical part of the overall public education system.
  5. Provide fee-based services to member schools to reduce their costs while building a self-sustaining organization.