Public School Choice

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What is Public School Choice?

Educating a state as large and diverse as Texas is a big job, particularly in today’s economy. 

Whether in the cities, suburbs, or rural parts of our great state, Texas public school districts are embracing choice and expanding opportunities for students and families.

Students today have access to cutting-edge and innovative programs. They graduate with knowledge and experience beyond the basics and with skills and exposure to career and college opportunities never dreamed of by previous generations of Texans.

Explore what public school choice means all across our state.

Choice in Rural Texas

In rural Texas, our public schools are the heartbeat of our communities. Not only do they bring us together under the “Friday Night Lights”, but they are also providing more job training and college preparatory options than ever before.

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Small Town,
Big Dreams

Roscoe Collegiate ISD in rural Texas is on the cutting edge of school choice with students taking advantage of innovations previous generations only dreamt of.

Choice in Suburban Texas

Texas’ fast-growing suburban are hubs of growth and innovation. See how the public schools in these areas provide numerous ways for families to customize and maximize their child’s educational experience.

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Choice Starts Young in Texas Public Schools

Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD is transforming expectations for its students by offering innovative choices like its Suzuki Strings program for the district’s youngest learners.

Choice in Texas Cities

Homegrown Professionals

An alliance forged between one public school district and its community provides high school students the opportunity to explore real-world work in high-demand fields.

Overcoming the Odds: Opportunity in Brownsville ISD Empowers Students

More than 95 percent of BISD students are economically disadvantaged and nearly a third are ELL. How do the district and its students consistently outperform expectations?

Public School Choice Rises from Connection with Community

Harlingen CISD asked the community what it wants for students – the answers sparked a district transformation and new opportunities for all students.

Examples of Public School Choice

Students and families have a myriad of school options. Examples include:

Neighborhood Schools

The guaranteed campus for every Texas student based on home address

Magnet, Academy, or Specialty Campus

(Fine Arts, Montessori, Medical, STEM, Single-Gender, Dual Language, etc.)

Students enroll or apply to a campus or program focused on a particular path of study that may provide a certification; may be a stand-alone campus or located within a traditional campus; campus may be outside the student’s zoned campus

Early College High Schools

Students enrolled in high school take college courses to receive college credit prior to graduation; may be a stand-alone campus or located within a traditional campus; campus may be outside the student’s zoned campus

Open-Enrollment Districts

Students living outside district boundaries may transfer to the district

Open-Enrollment Campuses

Students may transfer to campuses outside their neighborhood campus within a district

Charter Schools

Charter schools are operated by non-profits, universities, or other governmental bodies. Open-enrollment charters serve students from a defined geographic area and are open to any student residing in that area.

Beyond campus selection, public school districts offer numerous innovative courses and choice initiatives as diverse and unique as Texas students themselves. From rural to urban districts, students benefit from programs that are designed to customize learning experiences. Examples include:

  • Career-Focused Internships, Mentorships, and Apprenticeships  
  • Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB)  
  • Credit Recovery for students at-risk of dropping out
  • Career and technology courses
  • Robust extracurricular programs, such as Robotics, Chess, Speech & Debate, Band & Orchestra, ROTC, and Athletics
  • Nontraditional school & classroom structure, such as year-round school, extended school day, and Blended Learning.
Policy

Vouchers Aren’t The Answer

Only public schools can deliver on the promise of quality school choice with both transparency and accountability in the use of public dollars. Private school vouchers represent a failed experiment in educational autonomy. Vouchers reduce fair access to educational opportunity, weaken public accountability, remove rights for students with disabilities, and expose taxpayers to fraud.