Sixteen charter school applications survive first round, 12 don’t

The Texas Education Agency reported that 16 of 28 new charter applications for the 2021-22 school year have advanced to take the next step in the approval process. Twelve applicants failed because they did not provide complete applications.

Notably, Royal Public Schools is one of the 16 applicants that will move forward. Its application for campuses in Austin and Houston was approved by the education commissioner last year but vetoed, 8-5, by the State Board of Education. This time, Royal Public Schools is applying to open campuses in the San Antonio area. The application was submitted both times by Soner Tarim, co-founder of the Harmony charter school chain. Tarim has operated several schools in other states through his charter management company, United School Services, and has encountered controversy.

The next step for the surviving 16 applicants will include extensive reviews by external panels. Applicants that clear that hurdle will then be interviewed by TEA staff and SBOE members during the week of July 27. The commissioner will make his final selection of new charters by Aug. 17, and the State Board of Education will make the final decision on the applications at its September meeting.

The 16 charter applicants and their proposed headquarters and/or campus areas are:

  • 7Cs Academy – San Antonio
  • Brillante Academy – McAllen
  • Cato Classical Academy – Pearland
  • Champions Prep Academy – San Benito
  • Clear Public Charter School – Hays County
  • Curie Academy – Austin
  • Doral Academy of Texas – Hays County
  • Emergent Academy – Donna/Hidalgo County
  • Heritage Classical Academy – Houston
  • Learn4Life Austin – Austin
  • N.O.W. Academy of Crowley – Crowley/Tarrant County
  • Prelude Preparatory Charter School – San Antonio
  • Rocketship Public Schools – Fort Worth
  • Silicon Hill Academy Charter School – Headquarters TBD with proposed campuses in Travis, Bexar and Harris Counties
  • Unique Education Academy of Success – Beaumont
  • Royal Public Schools – San Antonio