The Texas Education Agency announced on Friday that the application window for taxpayer-funded grants to help establish new charter schools has opened.
Some 10 grants of $900,000 will be available on a competitive basis for charters looking to open at the beginning of the 2025-2026 school year.
“The purpose of this program is to provide financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools and support the growth of high-quality charter schools in Texas, especially those focused on improving academic outcomes for educationally disadvantaged students,” reads a TEA news release.
Charter schools that receive grant funds and do not launch operations before September 3, 2025, will be required to return any unused taxpayer money and “may be required to reimburse any expended amounts to TEA.”
A study published earlier this year by the Texas Public Policy Foundation found that more and more parents around the state are enrolling their children in charter schools, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
“Over the last decade, enrollment in classical charter schools in Texas has increased sevenfold while enrollment in other charter schools has doubled. … Parents are generally satisfied with the quality of instruction and climates of classical charter schools, though they expressed some dissatisfaction with the quality of school facilities and opportunities for athletics,” reads the report.
This changing dynamic in Texas’ education landscape coincides with a decline in enrollment at traditional public schools, which have been criticized for a decline in student outcomes and perceived politicization of curricula.
Dallas ISD, for instance, saw only 41% of its students score at grade level on their STAAR exams during the 2021-2022 school year, and almost 20% of its graduating Class of 2022 failed to earn a diploma in four years despite the hard work of the district’s dedicated teachers and staff.
Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. CT on January 22, 2024, per the TEA news release.