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 Generation Twenty-One application cycle is now open. The Instructions and Guidelines (PDF, 410 KB) document will provide applicants with the complete timeline and detailed information pertaining to the completion of an application in response to this application request. Application submission deadline is Monday, November 2, 2015 by 5:00 P.M. (CST).

Applicant Information Sessions

  • TEA hosted applicant information sessions on Wednesday, September 16, and Tuesday, September 22, 2015 in which potential applicants were provided 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. .
  • One component of the application process requires that at least one member of the governing board of the sponsoring entity requesting the charter attend one of the sessions. Applicant Information Session Presentations and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

    Charter Presentation

    Curriculum Presentation

    Financial Presentation

    Legal Presentation

    Special Education Presentation

    Session FAQ’s

Required Resources and Information

Applicants whose sponsoring entity holds a Texas 501(c)(3) are to complete and submit the Generation Twenty-One Charter Application (PDF, 2,548 KB) and required attachments (PDF, 731 KB).

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 Twenty-One Charter Application for Out-of-State Operators (PDF, 2,591 KB) and the required attachments (PDF, 854 KB).

The following attachment 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, 533 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, 286 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, 2016, 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.  
        • Please note: An application must describe an education program that is unique to the applicant. An applicant that plagiarizes or copies any other application does not meet this standard.

        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.