Charter Schools - History of Charter Schools

A charter school is a type of public school.  The Texas Legislature authorized the establishment of charter schools in 1995.  Some of the first charters have been in operation since Fall 1996.

There are four types of charters in Texas.  They include:

  1. Subchapter B Home-rule School District Charters - There are no home-rule school district charters in Texas.
  2. Subchapter C Campus or Campus Program Charters - Independent school districts authorize and oversee these charters.
  3. Subchapter D Open-enrollment Charters - Most charters in Texas fall under this category.  The commissioner authorizes these charters.  Before SB 2 passed in 2013, the State Board of Education (SBOE) was the authorizer.
  4. Subchapter E University or Junior College Charters - The commissioner authorizes Subchapter E charters.  Eligible entities include public colleges and universities.

Charter Schools are subject to fewer state laws than other public schools.  The reduced legislation encourages more innovation and allows more flexibility, though state law does require fiscal and academic accountability from charter schools.  The state monitors and accredits Subchapter D and E charter schools just as the state accredits school districts.