education options

education options2018-02-24T21:19:50-06:00

You have more options than you may think…

Brick & Mortar Public Schools

Compulsory Attendance

Your child’s age is your first indicator of his or her eligibility for beginning school. Students may start kindergarten if they turn six on or before September 1.  see more >

Required Documentation

Texas school districts set the requirements for what documentation is required prior to enrolling a student in their district. To get that information, contact the district directly.  

Some legal documents are required for Alabama students to attend school:

  • Certified Birth Certificate/proof of identity
  • Official copy of records/transcripts from the previous school the child most recently attended
  • A shot immunization record (or proof that immunization is not required for the child)
  • Click here to view the immunization requirements 
  • Proof of home address (for example, a rental agreement or tax statement)

School Fees

Paying some fees is a part of public education, though it is primarily a free education. Students are expected to supply their own basic school supplies such as paper, pencils, and notebooks. Each district has a list of approved expenditures for students. Fee waiver forms can be requested from the school if there is a situation that prevents a family from being able to pay for required materials or events.

Some typical items on that list include:

  • Lunch
  • Summer school
  • Student parking passes (high school)
  • Lost textbooks
  • Late or lost library books
  • Field trips
  • Special class-required fees (e.g., science lab fees)

Public Charter Schools

What are Charter Schools?

Charter Schools are tuition-free public schools operated by independent, non-profit governing bodies.

Parents, teachers, and community leaders sign a “charter” or contract with a school district or state agency to create a charter school and give students more educational options than their assigned school. Charter schools have flexibility over classroom hours, curriculum, and employment policies, but are subject to periodic reviews based on student performance. In Texas, public charter school students are measured against the same academic standards as students in other public schools. Local boards of education monitor the academic and financial performance of charter schools, and, can revoke  or refuse to renew a school’s charter.

Texas Charter Schools

Texas has a vast amount of Charter Schools! Click here for a link to an online customizable search for all the charter schools in the state! For more information on Texas Charter Schools go to Texas Charter Schools Associations website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about charters can be found at the Texas Education Agency.  


Most charter schools do not have attendance zones. If you are interested in applying for your child, you must apply directly to the school. The application and selection process can be quite complicated. Make sure to contact the school early to determine the correct next steps to applying.

Virtual Public Schools

The Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) provides Texas students and schools with equitable access to quality online courses and instructors. It is a valuable resource for interactive, collaborative, instructor-led online courses taught by state-certified and appropriately credentialed teachers trained in effective online instruction. The TxVSN Online Schools (OLS) program offers free, full-time virtual instruction to eligible Texas public school students in grades 3-12 who enroll in one of the six TEA-accredited public schools approved to participate in the program.

Hallsville Virtual High School

Grades: 9-10

Phone:  (903) 668-5990 ext. 5713


iUniversity Prep

Grades: 4-12

Phone: (817) 305-4898


Responsive Education Virtual Learning

Grades: 3-8

Phone: (972) 316-3663 ext. 349


Texas Connections Academy

Grades: 3–12

Phone: (888) 410-6502


Texas Online Preparatory School

Phone: (936) 435-6327

Grades: 3-12


Texas Virtual Academy

Grades: 3–12

Phone: (866) 360-0161


Private Schools

What makes a school “private”?

Private schools charge tuition, and many have a religious mission. Some private schools offer families assistance to make tuition payments. Click below for the complete list of over 1200 private schools across the state.

Private School Review offers free, detailed information on U.S. private schools combined with useful community data (e.g., housing costs) and maps of the surrounding areas.

*Information on non-public school admission requirements should be obtained from the school directly.


Texas does not have any private school scholarships.

Educational Choice Programs

Several pieces of private school choice legislation were introduced in 2013. State lawmakers introduced SB 4, which would have created a tax-credit scholarship program, in 2015, but it didn’t pass.

For more information on policy change or to get involved in the school choice movement in Texas visit EdChoice.

Private Virtual Schools

George Washington University Online High School is an online college preparatory academy for motivated students who are willing to be challenged to become the best students and persons they can be. Combining award-winning curriculum with small class sizes and intensive college counseling, students receive a flexible, individualized education attuned to their own needs and goals.

International Academy is a K12, Inc accredited, online private school for grades K–12. Students earn a U.S. high school diploma while using award-winning K¹² curriculum

They offer extensive, individualized academic and counseling support keep students on track. The flexibility allows students to explore their passions. Full-time and part-time options are available.

International Connections Academy is a fully-accredited, online, college preparatory private school serving K–12 students worldwide. The program combines a top-rated curriculum with talented teachers, cutting-edge technology, the flexibility to learn at home, and direct family involvement to ensure each student realizes his or her full potential.

The Keystone School offers flexible education programs for high school and middle school students. Whether your student wants to study full-time or just needs individual classes, they offer more than 170 courses from credit recovery to world languages and AP. Students can enroll at any time.

Home Education

Your options

In Texas, homeschools are considered to be private schools. To legally homeschool, you will need to follow these requirements:

  1. Teach the required subjects: math, reading, spelling and grammar, and a course in good citizenship.
  2. Use a written curriculum: the Texas Supreme Court requires that you use some form of written curriculum (online programs meet this requirement) and that you operate your homeschool in a “bona fide” manner.

Find out more information here on Texas Homeschool laws:  learn more >

Home School Legal Defense Alliance

visit HSLDA website >

Coalition for Responsible Home Education

visit the coalition’s website >

Support Groups

Texas has many homeschool associations that offer classes, curriculum, advising, sports, clubs, socials and recreation. Check out your local support groups here.

Dual Enrollment

College Credit

State policy primarily uses the term dual credit, but also uses concurrent enrollment, joint high school and college credit, articulated postsecondary courses/articulated postsecondary advanced technical credit courses, and dual enrollment to refer to high school students’ enrollment in postsecondary coursework for both secondary and postsecondary credit. In other sections of statute, concurrent enrollment applies to a postsecondary student enrolled at more than one institution at the same time. A district and public two- or four-year institution may enter into an agreement to offer any such courses.

Course Fees

Higher education institutions and junior colleges with which a district has entered into an agreement may waive all or a portion of tuition and fees. If the institution does not provide a waiver, tuition is the responsibility of the student/parent.

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