Truth About Texas Charters

First authorized in 1995, Texas public charter schools have given hundreds of thousands of students an opportunity to find the public school that is right for them. Every year, more and more families in Texas are choosing a public charter school for their child’s public education. Over the past ten years, the number of students in public charter schools has grown by over 200,000. There are now nearly 300,000 students attending public charter schools. There are also currently 141,000 student names on waiting lists because there are not enough spots for all the students that want to attend a public charter school.

Truth About Texas Charters

Public charter schools enjoy strong bipartisan support from lawmakers and the public. Despite this, there are still myths and questions that persist: “Are they public?,” “Do they get more money?,” “Do students do better academically?” This paper takes on 25 of the most frequently-repeated myths in Texas and sets the record straight with facts, data, and independent research.

Table of contents

GENERAL

MYTH: Charter schools are not public schools.

FACT: Charter schools are public schools.

MYTH: Some public charter schools are religious schools.

FACT: Public charter schools are not allowed to be religious.

MYTH: Public charter schools are for-profit.

FACT: For-profit organizations are not allowed to run public charter schools.

FINANCIAL

RESOURCES MYTH: Public charter schools receive more funding than traditional Independent School Districts (ISDs).

FACT: Public charter schools receive only 85% of total per-pupil funding that traditional ISDs receive.

MYTH:Public charter schools cost taxpayers more money.

FACT: Public charter schools cost taxpayers less money than traditional ISDs.

MYTH: Public charter schools are not transparent regarding their spending and finances.

FACT: Texas public charter schools are subject to strict financial standards and must be financially transparent.

MYTH: Public charter schools are forcing traditional ISDs into recapture.

FACT: Only 6% of public school students attend public charter schools, which is not a significant enough number to affect many recapture districts.

TEACHERS

MYTH: Public charter school teachers are less qualified than other public school teachers.

FACT: Like traditional ISD leaders, public charter school leaders hire talented and passionate teachers who drive student achievements and create positive school culture.

ENROLLMENT

MYTH: Public charter schools “cherry pick” students.

FACT: Public charter schools must take all students and are legally prohibited from selecting students based on academic ability or other preferences.

MYTH: Public charter schools don’t enroll students from historically underserved families.

FACT: Public charter schools enroll a higher percentage of students from historically underserved families.

MYTH: Public charter schools do not enroll students with disabilities and do not offer services for these students.

FACT: Public charter schools offer services for students with special needs. Eight percent of students in public charter schools are students with special needs.

DISCIPLINE

MYTH: Public charter schools can exclude students with a discipline history.

FACT: In limited circumstances – and to protect student safety – public charter schools may be allowed to deny admission to students if they have a violent past.

MYTH: Public charter schools expel students they do not want and have higher suspension and expulsion rates.

FACT: Texas public charter schools do not expel more students than their traditional ISD peers and they assign fewer out-of-school suspensions.

PERFORMANCE

MYTH:Public charter school students are not college ready.

FACT: Public charter schools send more students to college and more public charter school students complete advanced courses while in high school.

MYTH:Public charter school students do no better than traditional ISD students.

FACT: Minority and historically underserved student populations at public charter schools outperform their traditional ISD peers in every single subject.

MYTH: Public charter schools’ strong academic results are attributable to pushing out underperforming students.

FACT: Public charter schools’ strong academic results are attributable to pushing out underperforming students.

ACCOUNTABILITY

MYTH: Public charter schools are not held as accountable as traditional ISDs.

FACT: Texas public charter schools are subject to the strictest accountability laws in the country.

MYTH: Public charter schools aren’t accountable to the public because they don’t have locally elected boards.

FACT: Public charter schools are held accountable to the public in numerous ways.

MYTH: Underperforming public charter schools are allowed to remain open.

FACT: Public charter schools can and sometimes do have their charters revoked for underperformance.

MYTH: Public charter schools don’t have to follow conflict of interest laws and are allowed to hire based on nepotism.

FACT: Public charter schools must follow the same conflict of interest and nepotism laws as all public schools in Texas.

IMPACT ON PUBLIC EDUCATION

MYTH: Public charter schools are “oversaturated.”

FACT: There are not enough public charter schools to meet parent demand.

MYTH: Public charter schools are harming traditional ISD schools.

FACT: Public charter schools do not have any overall negative impact on the enrollment, budgets, or academics of traditional ISDs.

MYTH: Public charter schools cause traditional ISDs to close.

FACT: There is no evidence that public charter schools are causing traditional ISDs to close.

MYTH: Public charter schools can open new schools without public notice.

FACT: Public charter schools must give 6-18 months public notice before a new school or campus can open.

MYTH: Public charter schools have unlimited growth.

FACT: Public charter schools are limited in their growth.

DOWNLOAD PDF BROCHURE

About Author

Leave Comment