TEA Announces Generation 29 Charter School Decisions


Charter Applicants Vetted Through a Rigorous Application Process Before Recommendation and Consideration by the SBOE 

AUSTIN, Texas – July 2, 2024 – The Texas Education Agency (TEA) today announced the State Board of Education (SBOE) vote following Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath’s recommendation to grant Generation 29 charters. Pending contract approval and the reconciliation of any final contingencies, the following four Generation 29 charter school applicants are slated to begin serving Texas public school students for the 2025-2026 school year:  

  • Infinite Minds Charter School (Arlington) 
  • Pathway Academy (Big Spring) 
  • The Texas Girls School (Austin) 
  • Unparalleled Preparatory Academy (Manor) 

The board vetoed the granting of a charter to Visionary STEM Academy (Terrell).  

Under Senate Bill 2, passed in 2013 by the 83rd Texas Legislature, the Commissioner of Education has the authority to grant new open-enrollment charters in Texas and must notify the SBOE of the recommendations. Also, under SB 2 (83R), the SBOE has 90 days to review and consider the Commissioner’s recommendation. During the June 25-28, 2024 meeting, the SBOE discussed the Commissioner’s recommended applicants and voted on Friday, June 28. 
With the application process now complete, these four charters will engage in contingency discussions with TEA before contracts are 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, Texas will have new open-enrollment charter schools ready to serve students in their proposed geographic areas in August 2025.  
Charter schools are held to strict performance standards in Texas. The Generation 29 applicants took part in public capacity interviews in early May 2024. The capacity interviews are just one part of a multi-step, comprehensive process to determine which applicants are prepared to serve students and support the needs of families.  
This year, TEA received 21 applications, which underwent a minimum standard review. Applications were then reviewed by external experts in charter school authorization (applicants must score 85% to move forward to the capacity interview) followed by an additional review of applications by TEA prior to conducting capacity interviews. TEA and the SBOE only conducted capacity interviews for applicants who met the qualifications for further review. Once interviews were concluded, the Commissioner made his recommendations in May 2024. 
The first charter school law was passed in Texas in 1995 to allow for state authorization of new public school options. In 2013, SB 2 (83R) updated the charter school laws, adding best practices in authorizing, building on additional accountability for charter schools and adding a cap of 305 charter operators. 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 5.5 million public school students in Texas are served through traditional ISDs. Currently, 8% of Texas public school students are served by one of Texas’s 179 open-enrollment charter schools across 886 campuses.  
For more information, please visit: https://tea.texas.gov/texas-schools/texas-schools-charter-schools/charter-schools