Charter School Resources for Parents and Students
This page contains general information for parents and students about charter schools.
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.
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 School Enrollment Withdrawal 2016-2017 for more information.
Charter Student Admission Application
The Charter Student Admission Application (CSAA) (PDF, 1,329 KB) allows for families to apply to any open-enrollment charter school in the state of Texas. Pursuant to Texas Education Code (TEC) §12.1173 (outside link), all open-enrollment charter schools must collect the data on this form and may not alter the CSAA. The form is currently available in a bilingual English/Spanish format through the link above; it is also available in eight other languages in our CSAA collection. For more information, please review the CSAA FAQ (PDF 244, KB); there is also additional guidance regarding the CSAA and high-quality prekindergarten programs (PDF, 60 KB). If you have further questions, please contact Dana Moses at Dana.Moses@tea.texas.gov.
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 2016-2017 for more information.
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, please check this list first. If your school is on this list, 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. If your school is not on the list, please contact the Division of Charter School Administration to determine the disposition of those records. You may also use the link above to request information from the TEA that the school submitted.
For questions about anything on this page, contact the Charter Authorizing Office by email CharterSchools@tea.texas.gov or by phone at (512) 463-9575.