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What is a Charter School?

Are you a parent in Texas searching for CHOICE in your child's education?

We have put together this guide to help you understand what public charter schools are and how your child (or children) could attend.  Tuition-free public charter schools provide unique learning approaches that are an excellent fit for many children. We want to make the enrollment process as simple as possible by providing accurate information for parents’ most frequently asked questions.

Choosing the most suitable school is no walk in the park. It's a daunting task especially since parents have different choices. They can opt to enroll their child in neighborhood schools, alternative schools, magnet schools, private schools, and charter public schools.

The main objective of this article is to guide parents in making a well-informed decision when it comes to their child's education. And if you're a parent wondering if a public charter school in Texas is the right choice, then keep reading on. This post will answer questions such as "How does a charter school work?" "How do I apply and enroll my child in a charter school in Texas?" And "What tuition-free charter schools in Texas are available?"

What is a Tuition-Free Public Charter School in Texas?

The State of Texas website offers this definition of a pubic charter school in Texas. In the state of Texas charter schools are public schools that operate via contracts with an authorizer such as local school district authorizers or the state authorizing office. The Texas Charter School Authorizing and Administration Division oversees the state's charter portfolio. Our vision is to cultivate innovative, high-quality learning opportunities for Texas students.  We are driven to empower the charter community through leadership, guidance, and support.

Texas Charter Schools provides this additional information. Charter schools are tuition-free public schools that are open to all students, varying in mission and model. They serve all types of students, many with needs that aren’t well-served by a one-size-fits-all traditional public school. Charter schools are held to strict financial and academic accountability standards in exchange for autonomy and flexibility. They currently educate 6% of Texas public school students, but make up more than 20% of A-rated districts in the state.


Do Public Charter Schools in Texas Offer High-Quality Education?

The first thing many parents ask is whether a particular school offers high-quality education. If you are one of those doubting the quality of education of charter schools, then you should know what the numbers say. Studies show that charter schools in Texas have raised the academic bar significantly. 

Charter schools clearly outperform ISDs when comparing similar students. Although public charters enroll about 7% of all public school students, they make up 67% of the state’s A-rated districts. For traditionally disadvantaged students—who make up the vast majority of charter students—the difference couldn’t be clearer. Black students at charters, for example, outperform their peers across all subjects and in every grade.

More charter students attend college overall (58% vs. 54%) and the difference is especially stark for low-income students (60% vs. 44%), students with special needs (43% vs. 23%), and English language learners (48% vs. 28%).

Charter schools are a great option families in Texas should consider. These are public schools providing high-quality education but with a different set of rules than the traditional public schools. They are often not bound by local district boundary rules, thus allowing them to accept students outside their districts. 

Parents, however, may face challenges in enrollment should the charter school have more applicants than seats available. Charter schools are a great choice too for parents who want to give quality public education to their children, but are looking for a different approach to education. 


What Tuition-Free Public Charter Schools are Available for Children in Texas?

Almost all children who live in Texas have a public charter school available for them to attend. That being said, ideally, you will be able to find a great public charter school close to your home. If your child is Pre-K to 12th grade, we recommend learning more about Advantage Academy as an option for your child. Charter schools were created by the state of Texas in 1995. Founded in 1998, Advantage Academy is proud to be the first generation of public Texas charter schools! As one of the most enduring charter schools in Texas, we have over 20 years of experience providing innovative, mission based education to grades PK-12. We have locations in Dallas, TX, Waxahachie, TX and Grand Prairie, TX. 

At Advantage Academy, we believe that every student deserves access to quality instruction, and every parent deserves CHOICE in their child's education. Through our small, safe, and supportive environment, we are dedicated to "Building Champions with a Future and a Hope," with a focus on developing character and leadership. Learn why families like yours choose Advantage Academy by exploring Why Choose Advantage Academy. Here are just a few reasons:

  • Our small school environment allows a more individualized approach to teaching and classroom management. Your child is more than a number. 
  • Our zero tolerance bullying policy protects our students while giving our parents peace of mind. Incidents that may go unnoticed at a larger ISD are quickly addressed at Advantage Academy.
  • Our dedicated focus on Character and Leadership builds relationships within the school and prepares students beyond the classroom.

What is The Process for Enrolling my Child in a Tuition-Free Public Charter School?

The admission process of charter schools in Texas is much like other schools-- they require parents to submit an application. Parents must be ready to provide the school with specific information about their children such as the name, address, birth date, and educational background. Charter schools that cannot enroll all students who submitted a timely application due to their lack of capacity will have to use an equitable selection process. The lottery is a common selection process used by many charter schools. Click here to enroll your student at Advantage Academy today!