January 10, 2014


Senator Larry Taylor visits Odyssey Academy in Galveston and receives a Charter Appreciation Award for his support during the 83rd Texas Legislative Session. Pictured L to R - Jennifer Goodman,Superintendent, Senator Larry Taylor, Maria Henriquez, 8th grade student and Social Studies teacher and Student Council Sponsor, Jeremiah Taylor. Ms. Henriquez presented the award to the Senator in front of a 4th grade Social Studies class that is studying Texas history.

Congratulations to our 2014 TCSA Elected Board Members ... 

Board of Director, Small School Representative:
Jennifer Goodman, Odyssey Academy
Board of Director, Large School Representatives:
Jason Bernal, YES Prep, Mike Feinberg, KIPP, and Tom Torkelson, IDEA Public Schools
Member Council Vice-Chair:
Kathleen Zimmermann, NYOS

...  and Elected Advocacy Committee Members!
Elected Advocacy Committee, Large School Representatives: 
Mark Dibella, YES Prep, Samuel Goessling, IDEA Public Schools, and Alan Seay, A+ Academy
Elected Advocacy Committee, Small School Representatives:
Rick Baumgartner, Rise Academy, Leroy McClure, Focus Learning Academy, and Matthew Polk, Rapoport Academy
Elected Advocacy Committee, College Preparatory Representative
Ann Stevenson, Uplift Education
Elected Advocacy Committee, Dropout Recovery Representative
Lathan Watts, Responsive Education Solutions
Elected Advocacy Committee, RTC/JDC Representative
Melissa Pardue, Ranch Academy
Elected Advocacy Committee, Specialized Mission Representative
Frances Teran, Pegasus School of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Elected Advocacy Committee, Pre-K/ Elementary Representative
Stuart Williams, East Dallas Community Schools

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MembershipLate Fees Take Effect February 1 

Charter leaders received an email prompting them to apply or renew their charter's membership with TCSA by completing an application within the Quality Framework Portal. Please note, penalties will be assessed for payments received after January 31, 2014. Charters are considered members upon receipt of payment.  Questions? Contact Erin Tholen, TCSA Member Services Associate 


Houston, Celebrate Your Charter School at the Official Kickoff of National School Choice Week 

Admission is Free! REGISTER
Saturday, January 25, 2014   
Union Station at Minute Maid Park 

501 Crawford Street, Houston, TX 77002

Celebrate great schools, students, parents and teachers at the National School Choice Week Official Kickoff in Houston, Texas.

Join us for special guest speakers, musical entertainment, refreshments, a school fair and more!  Doors open at 4:30pm. The event begins at 5:00pm.


Have questions about Celebrate Your Charter School at the Official Kickoff of National School Choice Week? Contact  Amanda List. 
Download the flyer to post at your school  

Houston public schools are primed for success

By Jason Bernal, Wanda Bamberg and Terry B. Grier; January 4, 2014
If we could see into the future of urban America, the landscape would look a lot like Houston does today. The nation's fourth-largest city is also its most racially and ethnically diverse. The economy is diversifying beyond traditional energy staples into research, technology, health care and education - and is increasingly dependent on a well-educated and highly skilled local workforce to flourish. Read the Opinion.

Join us as we root for the Dallas Mavericks when they face off against the Sacramento Kings!
Friday, January 31 at 7:30PM
American Airlines Center
2500 Victory Ave, Dallas TX 75219

Charter school leaders, parents, and students can show their support for choice within the public school system! Our group will also be recognized during the game. Students, parents, and staff should arrive at the game early and head to the Admiral Room One to receive your free gift.  Game tickets are $27.00 per person (usually $33 per ticket and this amount includes tax and service fees) and must be paid when purchasing tickets. To purchase tickets, please contact Kacy Sims at 214-658-7192 or email at kacey.sims@dallasmavs.com and mention you are with the National School Choice Week event. As a special incentive -- as soon as we hit 50 tickets sold, 10 lucky charter schools students will have the chance to stand on the  court with the Mavs during the National Anthem!  
Have questions about National School Choice Week events?
Contact:  Amanda List, TCSA Director of Advocacy

Austin and San Antonio Host National School Choice Week "Whistle-Stop" Events  
Austin and San Antonio are 2 of the 14 stops on a national tour to highlight effective education options to children.
Read San Antonio Press Release.
Read Austin Press Release.  

The SXSWedu Education Expo

Tuesday, March 4, 2014; 2:00pm - 8:00pm 

SXSWedu is pleased to present the SXSWedu Education Expo - a FREE and open to the public event celebrating the Central Texas community's hunger and passion for lifelong learning, from cradle to career and beyond. More information.  

Starting a Charter School Advanced Workshop 
TCSA Training Room
700 Lavaca Street Suite 930
Austin, Texas 78701
Friday, January 24 2014
This session will provide attendees with a better understanding of the legal, operational, and educational considerations that need to be considered to apply for a charter school in Texas, in light of the changes brought by Senate Bill 2 this past year. We will address important items of the new charter application and highlight critical areas. REGISTER

TEA logo Mid-January availability of Generation 19 Charter Request for Application
Applicant Information Sessions will be conducted at the Texas Education Agency on February 7 and March 7, 2014.  All sponsoring entities intending to apply during the Generation 19 cycle must attend one of the two information sessions and are encouraged to contact Rick Salvo in the Division of Charter School Administration for instructions on how to sign-up via telephone at (512-463-9789) or Email: rick.salvo@tea.state.tx.us with Generation 19 Applicant Information

tcsa 150 Charter Application Review Services for Generation 19 Charter Application - EXTENDED TCSA Deadlines   

2nd drafts of critical areas due to TCSA by 
March 12, 2014  
  • Description: TCSA's team of charter school professionals review your independently drafted application for completeness, accuracy, and competitiveness, guiding you to make critical revisions and improvements needed to ensure the best application. (Service fees apply)
  • Written intent to enroll in services due to TCSA by February 3, 2014 - email Art Serna to indicate interest. By this date, you must have completed the online application.  
  • Complete initial draft of Generation 19 application due to TCSA by
    February 17, 2014
  • Feedback sessions will be scheduled with teams the week of
    March 3-7, 2014    

Mobilizing Community Support and Resources for Your Charter School 

Anne Frank Inspire Academy, San Antonio
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
; 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
$125 TCSA Member (2014)  BECOME A MEMBER

This session will equip charter school leaders and board members to develop and implement an effective and comprehensive charter school district internal and external communications plan and public relations program that tells your unique story. Charter school leaders will share the most common barriers to implementing their stakeholder outreach programs and develop solutions that improve a school's ability to stay accountable to the public and drive student performance along the top charter goals. REGISTER   

Purchasing & Grants Management Requirements for Charter Schools

Anne Frank Inspire Academy, San Antonio
Thursday, February 20, 2014; 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
$125 TCSA Member (2014)  BECOME A MEMBER
This session will equip charter school business and finance staff to understand the specific requirements that apply to Texas charter schools related to purchasing with state and federal funds, as well as the necessary systems a school should have in place in order to properly manage all grant funds and minimize disallowed costs. We will cover how to properly account for all of the expenditure of state and federal funds to ensure your charter school remains in compliance while driving the allocation of resources to best meet your district plans and objectives. REGISTER

Evaluating Student Performance through Data-Driven Instruction
Anne Frank Inspire Academy, San Antonio
Friday, February 21, 2014; 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
$225 TCSA Member (2014)  BECOME A MEMBER
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but in education, information speaks volumes. Data analysis can provide a snapshot of what students know, what they should know, and what can be done to meet their academic needs. With appropriate analysis and interpretation of data, educators can make informed decisions that positively affect student outcomes. This session will equip charter school officers, administrators, and teachers to formulate specific and coherent evidence-based recommendations that create the organizational conditions necessary to make decisions using student achievement data in classrooms, schools, and districts. REGISTER
You asked for changes, we listened.
Instead of offering the TCSA Model Board Policies for $3,500 every two years, we've moved to a subscription model with a yearly renewal fee of only $1,000. For your convenience, the yearly subscription entitles your charter school to continuous policy updates each year. Subscriptions can be processed online along with your annual TCSA Membership renewal and should be paid with your membership dues OR you may complete an order form and submit it to TCSA. For more information, view the new pricing schedule and commonly asked questions, or contact Lindsey Jones, Director of Legal & Policy Services ph. 512.584.8272.


The Texas Charter School Association has teamed up with the
Walsh Anderson law firm to develop a legal and practical guide for charter schools to use in developing a student code of conduct. The Guide contains model code of conduct language, legal and practical tips for development and implementation, and helpful forms for use in the student discipline process. Purchasers will receive an electronic version of the model language and forms for use in the creation of their code of conduct. ORDER
charter news
Charter schools changing education
By J.M. Lozano State Representative;
December 20, 2013

One of my top priorities in the Legislature is education. We have many good schools, eager students and hard-working school personnel in South Texas and I am proud to advocate for them. Communities like ours recognize the importance of giving students a good foundation for building a career and a life as a productive adult. That's why I was honored to accept an invitation to tour St. Mary's Academy Charter School in Beeville recently. Read the Opinion.

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As special education costs rise, Texas districts struggle to keep up

By Kate Alexander; December 25, 2013
Educators have learned a lot in the past 30 years about how to help students with special needs succeed in the classroom and beyond. Texas' approach to paying for their schooling, however, is stuck in 1984. Read the article.

Charter school freedoms don't exempt them from accountability   
December 26, 2013 
All acknowledged the grim reality that all public schools were not created equal, and the state agreed to give up some of its control if other groups, with taxpayer support, could accomplish what the state could not. In return, taxpayers and the students who rely on their local public schools to prepare them for productive futures would receive a legitimate choice, if their local school failed to meet their expectations.
Read the Editorial.

star telegram
State doing its job in revoking charters of failing schools

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/12/20/5435724/state-doing-its-job-in-revoking.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
December 20, 2013 

More than 200,000 students attend charter schools in Texas, with another 101,000 on a waiting list. Partly because of that growing demand, the Legislature this year raised the cap on the number of charters in the state from 215 to 305. But in making the adjustment to accommodate the wishes of charter advocates, lawmakers also included in the legislation stricter accountability standards and gave more authority to the education commissioner to revoke the charters of poor-performing schools.

Read the Editorial. 

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/12/20/5435724/state-doing-its-job-in-revoking.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy


Executive Communication Training
February 7-9, 2014
University of Texas at Austin
$650 per person, scholarships available 
Are you an association executive? A business leader? A community advocate? A nonprofit director? No matter your communications objective, the Annette Strauss Institute Executive Communication Training will help professionals, driven by a passion to improve their community and country, more effectively articulate their message, rise above the noise and be heard. REGISTER
2013 Executive Communication Training alumna Maegan Ellis was recently featured in an interview on FOX 7 Austin to talk about Literacy Awareness Month. On how ECT empowered her, Maegan says: "I would absolutely NOT have been able to do this without my training from the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. I put so many of the tools I learned during the training to use here." 

Funding Available for Capital Projects
William Randolph Hearst Foundations: Four funding categories: (1) Culture; (2) Education; (3) Health; and (4) Social Services. Charters that may be eligible for funding include: schools with pathways that provide scholarships to college; innovative successful models; and schools that have an arts-focused mission. Funding: $25,000 - $200,000.
Georgia-Pacific Foundation: Schools in communities with Georgia-Pacific facilities (Denton, Lufkin, Garland & McQueeney) qualify. The focus is on: education, environment, enrichment and entrepreneurship. Funding: multiple awards of at least $1,000. 
Center to Aid Educational Facilities Improvements: "This grant will allow GWI to establish a clearinghouse for education leaders to plan for, improve and maintain educational facilities," DoEd Secretary, Arne Duncan. The Clearinghouse will support educational facilities through the provision of technical assistance and training on issues related to planning, design, financing, construction, improvement, operation and maintenance.  

Excellence in Education Awards
Deadline TODAY  
The H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards celebrate public school professionals whose leadership and dedication inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities. Applications must be submitted by January 10, 2014. More information. 

Civil Rights Today Essay Contest
Deadline: Monday, February 10, 2014 
The contest is open to 12th grade Texas students attending public, private, parochial, or home schools. Students must include the name of their nominating teacher on the registration form. Complete information about the contest can be found here. 
job post of the week
Harmony Science Academy
Dallas, Texas

Job ID:  578492                    Application Deadline: Posted until Filled  

Posted: January 7, 2014     Starting Date: Immediately
tcsa 150 
2014 Member Council Meeting

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Austin, TX   

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Important Guidance Update: SHARS and IDEA-B LEA Maintenance of Effort (MOE)
Read this letter.

Clarifying Revision to Online Charter School - School FIRST Application
Read the letter.

Instructional Materials Allotment - Proclamation 2014
Read the letter.

2013 Title III Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) Reports Now Available
Read the letter.