Charter School Resources for Parents and Students

This page contains general information for parents and students about charter schools.

Finding a Charter School

A map of Texas charter schools is now available that will allow you to search by address, city, or a zip code. Limit the results by changing the number of miles for the search radius. You may also narrow the results by choosing particular grades. Also, by using the radio buttons on the top of the map, you can add county, education service center, or school district boundaries onto the map.

The Texas Education Directory (AskTED) Reports page has detailed reports on open-enrollment charter schools:

  1. Choose Charter School Reports in the Select Category field.
  2. Select the report titled All Active Open Enrollment Charters.
  3. Choose the sorting criteria. For example, if you want to locate charter schools in your county, choose County Name in the Sort by field.
  4. Choose the report format. To view or print, select Formatted Report. To export a report, select Data Only Formatted for Export.

The Charter Schools Reports page includes other reports.

Choosing a Charter School

As employees of a governmental agency, TEA staff may not recommend a charter school to the public. We may provide information that you can use to make your decision. School performance information is available through Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR). Academic accountability ratings for charter schools and traditional schools are also available. Another resource available to the public is financial ratings (Charter School FIRST for charters and School District FIRST for traditional districts).  Charter school applications include detailed information about each charter and are available for download.

Charter School Admissions and Enrollment

The term "open enrollment" means any student can apply to the charter school. The school's charter will specify any exceptions. Discrimination is prohibited in the admissions policy for all charter schools. In most cases, the admissions policy must also describe a lottery process. A charter must use a lottery process when the number of applications to the school exceeds the number of available spaces.

The school may only ask for basic information such as name, age, and address during the application process. Once a student is admitted and has registered and enrolled, the enrollment process begins. It is only then that the school may request information about past academic achievement, medical history, etc.

See also Charter Admission Enrollment Withdrawal 2015-2016 for more information..

Withdrawal from a Charter School

Parents may withdraw their children from a charter school at any time. A charter school may not remove or expel a student for failure to progress in the program. The only time a charter may expel a student is if the student commits an expellable offense. The student code of conduct should list these types of offenses. The expulsion may only happen after due process has occurred. The charter holder board must determine that the expulsion is appropriate.

See also Charter Admission Enrollment Withdrawal 2015-2016 for more information.

Obtaining Records from a Charter School

In most instances, a charter school will forward the records of a student who transfers to a different school. Public schools (charters and traditional) cannot deny enrollment based on the lack of records. See 19 TAC § 74.26(a)(1).

When a new student registers at the school, the new school will contact the old school to request a transfer of records. In the meantime, the new school must register and place the student. Any copies that you may have of old report cards or similar records will help the new school with appropriate placements.

A public school cannot withhold student records from an adult student or the guardian of a minor student. If you have a legal claim to the records, you may submit a request in writing to the school. The law requires that a school respond promptly to a written request. For more information on how to file a complaint, please contact or visit the website for the Office of the Attorney General.

If you need to get student records from a charter school that is no longer in operation, visit the Region XIII website. Complete the form on their website to request a copy of your records. You can also submit a public information request to TEA to request any information the school submitted on your behalf.

Charter Closures

The commissioner has the authority to close charter schools that do not meet certain criteria.  For instance, charter schools that do not meet annual state academic and financial standards may be subject to closure. Parents/guardians may find the  FAQs (PDF) helpful in the event of a charter closure.

For questions about anything on this page, email CharterSchools@tea.texas.gov or call (512) 463-9575.


 

Division of Charter School Administration
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 463-9575
Email: CharterSchools@tea.texas.gov