The initial term of a charter is five years. The commissioner has authority over monitoring and revoking charters. Because charter schools operate with state tax dollars, they are required to participate in the state’s accountability system.
Unlike open-enrollment charters that are authorized by the state, district charters (also referred to as campus charters or campus program charters in the Texas Education Code) are authorized by local school districts, which are in turn held accountable for student performance on the campuses. The schools can be staffed either by district staff or under contract with another entity, such as an open-enrollment charter operator.
According to the Texas Education Agency, there were 75 campuses operating under a district charter in 2015-2016, clustered into 16 school districts. Unlike open-enrollment charter schools that receive funding directly from the state, these schools receive funding through the school district that authorized them.
Like open-enrollment charter campuses, district charters are exempt from many of the statutory restrictions required for traditional public schools. Additionally, district charters may be created to target a specific student population, such as dropout recovery, or offer a unique choice option to parents and students, such as a Montessori or early college high school.