The Texas Legislature approved the establishment of charter schools in 1995, and the first public charter schools opened in the fall of 1996. Texas features a few main types of charter schools that each have different properties. For any parent considering the charter educational route, it is important to understand the difference of each.
Subchapter C Campus or Campus Program Charters are simply independent school districts that are not regulated in the same way as a public educational entity. There are benefits to this that include overall smaller classes and organizations, greater participation rates in extracurricular activities, and the prospect of outside, organized help in a charter setting.
Subchapter D Open-Enrollment Charters are the most common charter school type in Texas. The title explains this well, as this is not regulated by state boundaries and organized territory. In 2013, the State Board of Education authorized SB 2. Up until this point, the State Board of Education was the primary authority in this charter system. This is the basic school setting, with fewer state guidelines than public schools. The overall thought behind this is that it provides the teachers and administration with more room for innovation and flexibility throughout the curriculum plan. State law requires academic accountability but doesn’t push state standards into the lesson concepts as it does with public education.
Subchapter E University or Junior College Charters is a relatively common post-secondary education option. The same concept applies as it does with secondary charters from the previous category; however, this pertains to the college sector and the freedom from state restrictions that many state universities are faced with. The primary negative of this for many is the tuition price is typically higher compared to state-funded universities.