Texas Public Charter School Facts

Charter Schools are Public, Tuition-Free, Open-Enrollment, Free to Innovate and held to strict financial and academic accountability standards.

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MYTH: Public charter schools receive more funding than ISDs.

FACT: Public charter schools students only receive state funding, while ISD students receive money from both state and local sources.

FACT: Public charter schools only receive 4.5 percent of the state’s $42.3 billion education budget, despite educating 5.1 percent of Texas students.

FACT: For Fiscal 2019, ISD students will receive an average of $559 more (M&O revenue plus I&S revenue) on average than public charters school students, according to new TEA data.

MYTH: Public charter schools are taking money away from ISDs.

FACT: When a student enrolls in a public charter school, the funding from the resident ISD essentially follows the student. This is no different for an ISD than when a student moves away or transfers to a neighboring school district.

FACT: Public funding exists to support students, not school systems.

MYTH: Public charters put the Permanent School Fund (PSF) bond guarantee in jeopardy.

FACT: As noted by Moody’s, no Texas charter has ever defaulted under PSF.

FACT: The cost savings achieved by the fund has returned $162 million to Texas classrooms.

MYTH: State Charter Facilities funding is too costly and not needed.

FACT: State facilities funding is necessary to allow public charter schools to invest more money in the classroom.

FACT: The current $60 million state facilities funding is a good start for public charter schools to meet the needs of students, but will not fully accommodate the 141,000 students waiting for more public charter school seats.

MYTH: Public charter schools do not face the same accountability and transparency that ISDs.

FACT: Public charter schools are held to more stringent standards than ISDs, because they face closure by the Texas Education Agency if they do not meet academic or financial standards for three consecutive years.

FACT: Public charter schools are subject to the same state testing, open records and open meetings laws that ISDs are, and must conform to all health, civil rights and safety regulations.

MYTH: Public charters are unfettered in their growth and are expanding at an increased rate.

FACT: Opening a new public charter school in Texas requires a four-part vetting process that typically takes a minimum of 18 months.

FACT: Existing charter operators must get TEA approval before opening a new campus.

Sources: 2017 Summary of Finance, Texas Education Agency; 2017 Texas Academic Performance Reports, Texas Education Agency; http://www.uaedreform.org/downloads/2018/02/bigger-bang-fewer-bucks-the-productivity-of-public-charter-schools-in-eight-u-s-cities.pdf