Charter Schools - Subchapter D Charters

Subchapter D charters are often referred to as open-enrollment charters. This page covers the application process for a Subchapter D open-enrollment charter.

Subchapter D - Eligible Entities

The types of entities eligible to hold a Texas open-enrollment charter are as follows:

  • Institutions of higher education;
  • Private or independent institutions of higher education;
  • Tax-exempt organizations classified as 501(c)(3)'s under the Internal Revenue Code; and
  • Governmental entities.

Churches and other faith-based organizations are not eligible to apply for a charter. These applicants will need to establish a separate, nonsectarian 501(c)(3).

Public colleges and universities may also apply for Chapter 12, Subchapter E charters.

Applying for a Subchapter D Charter

The application cycle is now closed and applications are NOT being accepted at this time. The most recent Instructions and Guidelines (PDF, 684 KB) document remains as a resource for potential applicants to review.

Applicant Information Sessions

  • TEA will host applicant information sessions which will provide details about:
    • applying for, holding, and operating a charter in the state of Texas,
    • the contents of the application documents, and
    • the application preparation guidelines and submission requirements for both electronic and hard copy application documents.
  • Applicant information sessions, once scheduled, will be held in the William B. Travis Building, located at 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas, 78701.
  • At least one member of the governing board of the sponsoring entity requesting the charter must attend one of the sessions. It is recommended that the person(s) with primary responsibility for preparing and submitting the application also attend one of these required information sessions.

Required Resources and Information

The following information pertaining to the Generation Twenty application cycle is provided for reference only. Once released, the Generation Twenty-One material will be made available here.

Applicants whose sponsoring entity holds a Texas 501(c)(3) are to complete and submit the Generation 20 Charter Application (PDF, 2,330 KB) and required attachments listed below.

Applicants whose sponsoring entity holds a 501(c)(3) not based in Texas are considered out-of-state applicants and are required to complete and submit the Generation 20 Charter Application for Out-of-State Operators (PDF, 2,335 KB) and the required attachments listed below.

The following links are applicable to ALL applicants and provide additional necessary information for submitting an application:

Any applicant proposing to partner with a Charter Management Organization (CMO) shall also complete the Charter Management Organization Addendum (PDF, 2,428 KB). A CMO is any third-party entity, whether nonprofit or for-profit, that provides comprehensive education management services to a school via contract with the school's governing board.

    More Information

    The following links provide important information to note when submitting an application:

    • Applications deemed to be complete will advance to the external review phase of the review process. Each application will be evaluated by five independent reviewers, each using the Charter Application Evaluation Overview and Criteria document (PDF, 1,670 KB).
    • Applicants whose application qualifies for external review but does not contain a 501(c)(3) determination letter issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) must provide the determination letter from the IRS on or before April 15, 2015, in order to be eligible for an interview.
      • The process of establishing a nonprofit entity is a lengthy process. The IRS oversees the 501(c)(3) process.  
        • An application must describe an education program that is unique to the applicant.
        • The TEA defines plagiarism as the representation of the words or ideas of another as one's own in an application. The agency is cognizant that in order to implement an existing curriculum, instructional framework, or educational model with fidelity, key concepts must be discussed.  However, it is not acceptable to copy and paste this discussion or description from another source. To avoid plagiarism, every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or by appropriate indentation, and must be cited properly. Acknowledgment is also required when material from any source is paraphrased or summarized in whole or in part in one's own words.

        Selected Laws and Rules Applicable to Open-Enrollment Charters

        The links below reference some of the laws and rules that apply to charters:  

          If you have questions, please contact the Division of Charter School Administration by e-mail at or by phone at (512)463-9575.