Charter Schools | Texas Public Radio

Charter Schools

An individual looks at the San Antonio School Finder website on their phone.
Provided | City Education Partners

San Antonio has a new website for parents researching their public school options.

The San Antonio School Finder includes a sortable list of all public schools in Bexar County, including traditional public schools, charter schools and magnet schools.

Nicholas, 13, works on his homework with his mother Britany Miller at home on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in Houston. Davis is an eighth grader at The Lawson Academy.
Marie D. De Jesús | Houston Chronicle

Twice, Britany Miller has asked for special education services and accommodations at two different Houston-area charter schools for her son, Nicholas Davis, who struggles with depression and an attention disorder.

Texas passed its initial charter school legislation in 1995 and the state's first charter schools opened in the fall of 1996.

Davenport High School in Comal ISD is slated to open in the fall of 2020.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

The fastest growing school districts in the San Antonio metro area are now located mostly outside Bexar County.

The rapid growth of charter schools throughout Bexar County, combined with an increase in housing options outside the city, has catapulted enrollment growth in neighboring counties ahead of San Antonio, according to a TPR analysis of enrollment changes over the past 10 years.

Dual language preschool students Luis Robledo, Aiyana Carpenter, Emily Carrasco and John Paul Cabrera practice speaking in Spanish at SAISD's Beacon Hill Academy on May 23, 2019.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

School districts across San Antonio have lost students to charter schools in recent years. But the enrollment declines started earlier and cut deeper in the city’s urban core.

The San Antonio Independent School District has lost the most: nearly 6,000 students since 2009, according to a TPR analysis of enrollment changes over the past 10 years. The Edgewood school district west of SAISD lost an equally high percentage of its students.

Elementary students line up for their next class at IDEA Carver charter school on San Antonio's East Side May 24, 2019.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

The San Antonio-New Braunfels Metropolitan Area has two of the fastest growing cities in the country. But according to Texas enrollment data, the region’s traditional public schools lost nearly 4,000 students between 2017 and 2019.

Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

San Antonio’s largest charter school network is gearing up for a fast-paced expansion over the next three years. IDEA Public Schools plans to add 15 schools in Bexar County by 2022, doubling its local enrollment to nearly 24,000 students.

Two teacher associations sued Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath and the Texas Education Agency on Wednesday, arguing they rolled out a law incentivizing partnerships with school districts and charter schools in a way that weakened protections for public school employees.

Trinity already supports  area schools, such as Lamar Elementary, an in-district charter school in San Antonio ISD.
Anh-Viet Dinh | Trinity University | Provided

Trinity University is creating a school incubator program with the potential to launch five new charter schools — or charter-like district schools — a year.

The program joins a growing list of initiatives that has the potential to foster charter/district collaboration in San Antonio.

Pixabay (Public Domain)

There are at least 760 charter schools operating in Texas as of the 2016-2017 school year, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Charter schools are privately run, publicly funded education institutions for school-age students grades K-12. State law gives the Texas education commissioner the authority to grant charters contingent to state board approval.