#TruthAboutCharters – Pass it on!
- Since the 2007-2008 school year, charter school student enrollment in Texas has grown an average of 14% each school year. Nearly 4% of public school students attend Texas charter schools.
- There are more than 101,000 students on public charter school waiting lists across Texas.
- Charter Schools are Public Schools: The Texas Legislature created charter schools in 1995 as “part of the public school system of this state.” Tex. Educ. Code § 12.105.
- Public charter schools are tuition-free, open-enrollment public schools that have the flexibility to adapt to the educational needs of individual students while still held to state academic and financial accountability standards.
Academic & Financial Accountability: Charter schools must meet the same academic and financial mandates as Texas school districts, including state assessments, curriculum requirements, and the requirement to ensure that students attain post-secondary readiness. Tex. Educ. Code §§ 12.059, 12.104, 12.111.
- The Texas Charter Schools Association is the statewide Association representing open-enrollment charter schools in every part of our great state.
Over the past five years, the public charter school movement has experienced a dramatic 80 percent increase in the number of students and an astounding 40 percent increase in the number of schools. Despite this growth, there is still an overwhelming unmet parental demand for quality school options, with more than one million student names on charter school waiting lists. While charter schools enjoy tremendous bipartisan support among policymakers and the general public, they also have some vocal critics who perpetuate a number of myths about charter schools. Through our series, the Truth About Charters, we will lay out some of these myths and provide responses based on facts and independent research findings.
Week 1: Charter Schools are Public Schools
MYTH: Charter schools are not public schools.
FACT: As defined in federal and state law, charter schools are public schools. They must meet the same academic standards that all public schools are required to meet:
- tuition-free and open to all students
- non-sectarian, and do not discriminate on any basis
- publicly funded by local, state, and federal tax dollars based on enrollment, like other public schools; and
- held accountable to state and federal academic standards
TCSA works with member schools to develop a unified advocacy agenda for all Texas charter schools and ensures members speak with one voice when addressing policy concerns. The Association is active in Austin and Washington D.C., helping shape the policies that impact charter schools. Working with lawmakers, community stakeholders, grassroots advocates and our Members, TCSA develops an agenda that is embraced by every segment of the charter school community.
Charters were created by the Texas Legislature. Charter schools are granted their charter by the State Board of Education and subject to regulation by the Texas Education Agency.
TCSA has started the largest grassroots advocacy program in the country focused specifically on charter schools. We are working to recruit thousands of charter school parents, staff, and board members and mobilize them throughout the year in order to educate lawmakers about TCSA legislative priorities.
Stay connected with TCSA: be sure to follow us on twitter and "like" us on facebook to receive the latest communications from our Association.
For more information, contact:
TCSA Vice President, Public & Government Affairs
512.584.8272 ext. 308