Public charter schools in Texas must meet high standards for academic and financial performance — as well follow federal, state, and local regulations that ensure good governance and student welfare.
In fact, taxpayers in the Lone Star State hold public charter schools to higher standards than traditional ISD schools when it comes to:
Transparency: Unlike ISD schools, public charters must submit their academic calendars to state education authorities for approval and release their waiting lists. Charters in Texas also face harsher consequences for violating open meetings laws. Charter schools are also subject to strict financial scrutiny, and must publicly report on their financial management through the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST), to ensure most of their money is being spent on actually helping kids learn.
Evaluating Performance: Both public charters and ISDs have an A-F accountability system for academic and financial performance. But charters are comprehensively evaluated by the state using a long list of indicators.
Closures: Any public charter that receives a failing grade from the state for three straight years must close – no appeals allowed. This “three strikes” rule is far stricter than laws concerning low performing ISD schools.
Expanding: In order to open new schools, public charters must meet rigorous performance benchmarks and secure approval from the State Education Agency, State Board of Education, and Attorney General (for bond agreements).