What is a Charter School

What is a Charter School

In 1996, the Texas Legislature created charter schools to offer locally created community schools that improve the learning experiences of today’s youth.

THERE ARE NO TUITION FEES. The school is funded by the state.

  • Charter School students are required to meet all Texas graduation and testing standards.
  • Charter School students’ transcripts and diplomas are the same as those in traditional public schools.
  • A student in a charter school is the SAME as a student in the local public school district
  • Students graduate high school with an accredited State of Texas Academic Achievement Record
  • Students are required to meet all State of Texas High School Graduation Requirements
  • Students attend free in the same way they attend free at a public school district
  • Teachers receive Teacher Retirement System Benefits
  • A charter school is part of the Public School System but is not the same as a public school district.·Some charters operate multiple campuses and may group them as a district but this does not imply they are an independent public school district in the same way traditional ISD’s are considered.
  • Although many Texas laws and rules apply to a charter school in the same way they apply to public school districts, some laws and rules do not apply.· This is so charter schools may offer a different approach through the non-profit.

According to the Texas Education Code, a state-legislated charter school is an innovative and outcome-based public school designed to do the following:

  • Improve student learning
  • Increase the choice of learning opportunities within the public school system
  • Create professional opportunities to attract new teachers to the public school system
  • Establish a new form of accountability of public schools.

Charter high schools must be authorized by the state in which they operate, and the state legislature regulates the requirements for holding a charter, determines who is granted a charter, and periodically renews each school’s charter.

As is the case with Winfree Academy Charter Schools, many charter schools were started by teachers who had previously worked in a public school setting but were galvanized to start a new type of public school to meet the need of a specific group of students who were not being adequately served by the traditional school district in which they currently attend.

Winfree Academy, like many charter schools, operates as an open-enrollment charter school and is not directly connected to any of the 71 school districts it is authorized to serve. While not a school district, Winfree is a non-profit that offers an accredited·public school education. It serves all students and not just those who meet any selected criteria. Tuition is not charged, and admission is not based on an external characteristic, such as academic ability or family income.