Like school districts, charters are subject to Chapter 39 of the Education Code, which includes assessment of academic skills, performance indicators, accreditation status, and accreditation sanctions. The data collected is made public through reports on the state education agencyâ€™s website through the Academic Excellence indicator system.
The Commissioner of Education, through the Texas Education Agency (TEA), monitors charter school student outcome data annually through the Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS). The TEA also monitors annually charter school financial stability through the Charter School Financial Rating System of Texas (FIRST), although FIRST ratings are not required of university charter schools. AEIS reports and FIRST ratings are released to the public by TEA. Charter schools are required to distribute their annual campus report cards to parents.
Texas law requires all charters to ensure that an annual audit of financial and programmatic operations is conducted. Further, the law allows the state commissioner and the TEA to audit the records of an open-enrollment charter school, a charter holder, and a management company. It provides that the state commissioner audit must be limited to matters directly related to the management or operation of an open-enrollment charter school, including any financial and administrative records.
Texas law allows a district board of trustees to place on probation or revoke a charter it grants if the board determines that the charter committed a material violation of the charter, failed to satisfy generally accepted accounting standards of fiscal management, or failed to comply with state law or state agency rule. The law requires each district board of trustees that authorizes a charter to adopt a procedure to be used for placing on probation or revoking a charter it grants and providing an opportunity for a hearing to the charter and to parents and guardians of students at the charter.
The law requires the state commissioner of education to take certain actions if an open-enrollment school commits a material violation of the school's charter, fails to satisfy generally accepted accounting standards of fiscal management or fails to comply with the stateâ€™s charter school law or another applicable rule or law. The law allows the state commissioner to temporarily withhold funding, suspend the authority of an open-enrollment charter school to operate, or take any other reasonable action the commissioner determines necessary to protect the health, safety, or welfare of students enrolled at the school based on evidence that conditions at the school present a danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the students.
Not later than the third business day after the date the state commissioner acts, he or she must provide the charter holder an opportunity for a hearing. If the state commissioner takes action, the law specifies that the open-enrollment charter school may not receive funding and may not resume operating until a determination is made that the conditions at the school do not present a danger of material harm to the health, safety, or welfare of students.
In addition, the Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System includes a progressive intervention system for charter schools rated Improvement Required for two or more school years. The progressive intervention system begins with a technical assistance team and ends with mandatory closure of the school.