Start a Charter School
TCSA is a proud supporter of charter education and is excited that you have shown interest in starting an open-enrollment charter school. Texas currently needs more innovators that are passionate about improving access to quality educational opportunities for all students. Since 1995 when Texas lawmakers first launched public charter schools, one of the most significant education reforms in the state's history, charter schools have been charged with the duty 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, Section 12.001.
This mission continues today with some of the very best charter schools in the nation currently operating in Texas. It is because of courageous people like you that the charter movement continues to grow and prosper making a difference in the lives of so many children in Texas. Your ambitious voyage to start an open enrollment charter school begins with the charter application. The Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) is here to help you.
The Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) is a nonprofit statewide membership organization representing effective currently operating charter schools of all types. It is important to not confuse TCSA with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) the governmental agency responsible for facilitating the charter application process.
Currently there is a cap (225; increasing to 305 by 2019) on the number of 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations in Texas that can operate open-enrollment charter schools. It is for this reason that applying for an open enrollment charter school is a highly competitive process. The Commissioner of Education is charged with the authorization of open enrollment charter schools, and receives input from the State Board of Education (SBOE) in that process. The SBOE has veto power on all proposals for award made by the Commissioner. It is important to know that there is no guarantee that the TEA will open a charter school application round every year.
It is expected that the Commissioner of Education and the SBOE will approve the Nineteenth Generation Open-Enrollment Charter Guidelines and Application on November of 2013 and release it for use in December. Generation 19 applications will be considered for award in September 2014 with an expected start date of fall 2015. Applications must be received by the February 2014 submission deadline in order to be considered. The RFA and required document links are not live at this time. They will become available on December 2013 on the TEA website.
Applicants intending to apply as nonprofit corporations exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code MUST have tax exempt status established and the determination letters from the Internal Revenue Service included in the application submissions. A 501(c)(3) determination letter must be submitted with the application in order for the application to be found complete.
TCSA recommends the following steps for applicants looking forward and intending to submit a Generation 19 Charter School Application likely due late February, 2014:
- Potential applicants should start reviewing the
website for charter school information and alerts.
This will get you familiar with the requirements for obtaining and
operating a charter. You can never start too early! Applying for a
charter school is a lengthy process.
- Establish a non-profit organization and secure tax
exemption from the IRS under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue
Code. These two steps can take a considerable amount of time, up to
nine months, so it is essential to get started early. We encourage you
to identify board members who will be capable of overseeing the
management of a robust and multi-faceted organization.
- Review the Generation 18 Charter School Awarded
Applications for open enrollment charter schools.
The Generation 18 Charter School Application will likely be similar,
and reviewing successful applications will provide you a good sense of
what quality applications look like. In addition, you should start
to assemble a planning team for responding to the application questions
and required appendices. Generally, preparing and submitting a complete
and compelling charter school application takes several months of
planning and development. If your team is not ready, consider starting
today so that you can submit a strong application in a future
Watch one of our recorded webinars. You can review
a previous webinar covering the basics of opening a charter school
in Texas, as well as setting up your 501(c) 3 by visiting the
- Plan to attend the Texas Education Agency (TEA) mandatory
Charter Applicant Information Session. The required Applicant
Information Sessions are expected to be scheduled for January 2014.
Attendance is only required at one of the sessions. At
least one member of the governing board of the sponsoring entity
requesting the charter must attend one of the required applicant
conferences. Although not required, it is recommended that the
application preparer also attend an applicant conference. If a board
member of the non-profit does not attend this meeting TEA will not
accept a Generation 19 Charter School Application from the developing
- Attend a beginner training session hosted by TCSA
on starting a charter school. Our next training session will be
held in Houston on November 6th and will be a beginner full day session
for charter hopefuls. This training is for potential applicants
during the Generation 19 cycle or those considering a
Generation 20 submission. This training is designed to provide
attendees with competitive advice for completing the best application
- Let TCSA help you develop or review your
application! Take a look at our Charter Start Consulting Services below
and let us give you a competitive advantage. Our services are proven
and will give your team a strong foundation during the process and
prepare the way for a long term relationship that will result in
quality benefits for years to come.
- Finally, TCSA recommends that you add your name to our newsletter distribution list so that you can read our Friday weekly newsletter. This will keep you in the loop on all things charter school in Texas. Simply type in your email in our TCSA Newsletter signup tool located on the upper right side of this page.
TCSA's CharterStart Consulting Services - Enroll Today!
Let TCSA's Network of Experts Support You in the Generation 19 Application Process - New Process Now In Place Since SB2 Passage So Let Us Help Your Team Understand the Landscape!
The Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) is excited to announce the opening of its updated 2013-2014 Charter School Startup Support Services. These fee-based services are launched for the benefit of organizations seeking to compete and apply for a Generation 19 open-enrollment charter school from the Commissioner of Education.
Applying for an open-enrollment charter school is an exciting and challenging process. Completing the process successfully requires a sound plan, attention to detail, fortitude, creativity, and down-right hard work. Let TCSA's team of charter school experts help you from the start, guiding you to develop the best application possible for presenting your vision to the Commissioner of Education and the SBOE.
While TCSA cannot guarantee that your application will be selected by the Commissioner of Education, your organization's participation in TCSA's Charter School Startup Support Services is certain to make your charter school application as competitive as possible. TCSA's services will prepare you for the competition.
TCSA's Charter School Startup Consulting Services are broken into three service categories - slots are limited on each and we reserve the right to be selective to present the strongest candidates possible - so do not delay:
- CHARTER APPLICATION REVIEW SERVICE - TCSA's team
of charter school experts review your near final independently drafted
application for completeness, accuracy, and competitiveness, guiding you to
make critical revisions and improvements needed to ensure the best
- CHARTER APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT SERVICE - In this full
service process, TCSA's charter school experts work with the charter
hopeful in a series of one-on-one trainings and application development
sessions to help the applicant create the best application possible.
- CHARTER APPLICANT SBOE INTERVIEW PREP SERVICE - TCSA's team of charter school experts breaks down the dos and don'ts of the interview process. We provide you with the best in class support for your team to prepare a compelling message for your final stage in the charter application process.
To enroll TODAY, contact Art Serna, Director of Training Services at firstname.lastname@example.org and give your team the strongest competitive advantage working alongside the experienced team at TCSA and our extensive network.
Director of Training Services
512.584.8272 ext. 309