TEA Announces Charter School Decisions After State Board of Education Vote
AUSTIN, Texas – June 23, 2023 – The Texas Education Agency today announced the State Board of Education vote and recommendation by Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath to grant four Generation 28 charters. The following Generation 28 charter school applicants successfully received approval to begin serving students in Texas for the 2024-25 school year once contracts and any final contingencies are met:
- Celebrate Dyslexia School (San Antonio)
- Heritage Classical Academy (Houston)
- NextGen Innovation Academy (Houston)
- UP Excellence Academy (Houston)
Under Senate Bill 2, passed by the 83rd Texas Legislature, in 2013, (SB 2 (83R)), the Commissioner of Education has the authority to grant new open-enrollment charters in Texas and must notify the SBOE of his recommendations. Also, under SB 2 (83R) the SBOE may vote against any new charter proposed by the Commissioner within 90 days of the Commissioner’s recommendation. During the June 20-23, 2023, meeting, the SBOE discussed the Commissioner’s proposed applicants and voted on Friday, June 23.
With the application process complete, the next step for approved charters involves contract contingencies discussions with TEA before charter contracts will be signed. These contingencies may include a review of curriculum alignment to the state standards (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills or TEKS), and clarification of policies, staffing, and board bylaws. If contracts are signed with these non-profit, public school systems, the state will have four new open-enrollment charter schools ready to serve students in their predetermined geographic areas.
The Generation 28 applicants took part in public capacity interviews in early May 2023. This is just one step in a rigorous process to determine the best applicants who are prepared to serve students and support the needs of families. The full process takes 12 months and involves multiple steps.
Charter schools are held to strict performance standards in Texas. This starts with a rigorous application process. This year, TEA received 25 applications, which underwent a minimum standard review. Then applications were reviewed by external experts in charter school authorizing (applicants must score 85% to move forward to the capacity interview). An additional review of applications by TEA prior to conducting capacity interviews. TEA and the SBOE conducted capacity interviews only for applicants who reached this high bar for further review. Once interviews were concluded, the Commissioner recommended charter applications in May 2023.
During the 74th Legislature in 1995, the first charter school law passed in Texas to allow for state authorization of new public school options. In 2013, SB 2 (83R) updated and improved the charter school laws in Texas, adding best practices in authorizing and building on additional accountability for charter schools. This added accountability includes Charter School Performance Frameworks, a “three strikes” mandatory closure for poor performance under academic or financial accountability systems as well as strict non-renewal standards.
The Texas Legislature has passed a variety of educational options to allow public school systems to serve students in Texas, including magnet, state-authorized charter, virtual, and district-charter partnerships authorized by independent school districts (ISDs). The vast majority of the more than 5.4 million public school students in Texas are served through ISDs. Currently, 7% of Texas public school students attend open-enrollment charter schools.
For more information, please visit: https://tea.texas.gov/texas-schools/texas-schools-charter-schools/chart…