The Texas State Board of Education has approved recommendations by Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, allowing four new charter schools to open.

According to SBOE, the four charter schools—approved during their June 25 – 28 meeting —will serve students in Arlington, Big Spring, Austin, and Manor during the 2025-2026 school year.

Infinite Minds in Arlington promotes project-based learning and centers on establishing a “diverse learning environment” while exposing students to “new ways of thinking” and the “exploration of new interests.”

The Pathway Academy in Big Spring uses a Blended Learning model of in-person and online instruction combined with Mastery Learning, enabling students to “progress at their own pace.”

The Texas Girls School in Austin is a “single-gender environment” featuring project-based learning and a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Unparalleled Preparatory Academy in Manor offers a work-based learning setting for students to develop academic, college, and career skills.

Referring to Manor’s Unparalleled Preparatory Academy as “another bad idea,” Texas State Teachers Association Public Affairs Specialist Clay Robison said in a June website article that Manor is struggling with deficits and that charter schools in the area are “poaching its students.”

Robison also stated, “One of the last things Manor ISD needs right now – in addition to the enactment of a voucher law – is another charter school in the neighborhood. The district certainly doesn’t need the Unparalleled Preparatory Academy.”

However, a poll from the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Politics Project conducted in April showed that most voters support school vouchers, educational savings accounts (ESA), or “other school choice” options in Texas.

In the survey, 28 percent of voters strongly supported school choice programs, 27 percent somewhat supported school choice programs, 23 percent strongly opposed them, and 16 percent of those surveyed didn’t know or had no opinion.

The recent primary elections showed that school choice is an important topic for Texans, so much so that it will be a legislative focus for lawmakers in the 2025 session.

Earlier this year, Texas Scorecard reported that one of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s priorities during the next legislative session is to expand school choice opportunities to give parents more freedom to decide the best education option for their children.

In March, Gov. Greg Abbott acknowledged the increasing support for school choice during a keynote address at TPPF’s annual Texas Policy Summit in Austin.

“A resounding number of Texans support educational freedom for every Texas family because they know that no child should be trapped in a failing school just because of their zip code,” Abbott said.

He added, “This next legislative session will be known as the school choice session, where we finally pass a much-needed law to ensure that every Texas parent has the right to choose the best educational pathway for their child.”

Debra McClure

Debra McClure is a contract writer for Texas Scorecard. She is also a former teacher.