In addition to the state's more than 1,000 public school districts, Texas offers a variety of alternative schooling options for parents. These include charter schools, which are monitored and accredited under the statewide testing and accountability system; private schools, which may be accredited through various organizations; and home schooling, which is not accredited or regulated by any state agency or commission. Also available are online learning programs and high school equivalency programs. For more information on each of these alternative schooling options, follow the links below.
In 1995, the 74th Texas Legislature gave the State Board of Education authority to grant open-enrollment charter schools. These schools are subject to fewer state laws than other public schools with the idea of ensuring fiscal and academic accountability without undue regulation of instructional methods or pedagogical innovation. Like school districts, charter schools are monitored and accredited under the statewide testing and accountability system.
Private Schools (outside source)
TEA does not have oversight of private schools in Texas; however, the agency works with the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission to ensure that students can easily transfer from non-public to public schools, that teacher service at non-public schools is recognized at public schools for salary purposes, and that all accredited non-public schools are listed in the Texas School Directory (AskTED).
In 1995 the Texas Supreme Court affirmed the decision in the class action lawsuit Leeper v. Arlington Indep. School Dist. that home schools can legally operate as private schools in Texas. According to the ruling, home schools must be conducted in a bona fide manner, using a written curriculum consisting of reading, spelling, grammar, math and a course in good citizenship. The Texas Education Agency has no regulatory authority over home schools, and the State of Texas does not award diplomas to students who are home schooled.
Texas Virtual Schools Network
TxVSN, which launched in 2009, provides Texas students and schools access to interactive, collaborative, instructor-led online courses taught by state certified and appropriately credentialed teachers. The TxVSN is made up of two components: the TxVSN statewide course catalog, which provides supplemental online courses to students in grades 8-12, and the TxVSN online schools program, which offers full-time virtual instruction through eligible public schools to Texas public school students in grades 3-12.
High School Equivalency Program (HSEP)
The High School Equivalency Program, or In-School GED Option Program, is designed to provide an alternative for high school students, age 16 and over, who are at risk of not graduating from high school and earning a high school diploma.
The GED is a high school equivalency test available to students age 18 and older who have not earned a high school diploma and are not currently enrolled in an accredited high school.
Page last modified on 4/10/2013 12:46:50 PM.