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Across the state of Texas, millions of children live in educationally underserved communities, struggling in poor-performing schools. For more than 24 years, KIPP has demonstrated the powerful impact a high-quality education has on improving graduation rates and college attainment, enabling students and communities to command their futures. Through the network of schools in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio, KIPP has been the driving force in raising expectations for academic success with students, families, communities, cities, states, and the nation by proving what is possible.

The KIPP regions in Texas have joined forces to create KIPP Texas Public Schools in order to accelerate the increase of our academic outcomes and the numbers of students we are educating. This unified organization allows us to more effectively leverage the talent, resources, instructional expertise, financial strength, and advocacy in the public charter school movement, in order to have an even larger impact with educationally underserved communities across our state. In the first year of KIPP Texas Public Schools, we will be educating over 27,700 students in 52 schools, placing the district among the top 50 largest in the state.  We intend to continue growing to prove what is possible for our students, our communities, and our state.

Excited student at her graduation ceremony

Educating more than 27,700 students, KIPP Texas is larger than all but roughly 45 of the 1,031 traditional school districts in the state.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is KIPP and KIPP Texas?

Across the state of Texas, millions of children live in educationally underserved communities, struggling in poor-performing schools. For more than 24 years, KIPP has demonstrated the powerful impact a high-quality education has on improving graduation rates and college attainment, enabling students and communities to command their futures. Through the network of schools in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio, KIPP has been the driving force in raising expectations for academic success with students, families, communities, cities, states, and the nation by proving what is possible.

The KIPP regions in Texas have joined forces to create KIPP Texas Public Schools in order to accelerate the increase of our academic outcomes and the numbers of students we are educating. This unified organization allows us to more effectively leverage the talent, resources, instructional expertise, financial strength, and advocacy in the public charter school movement, in order to have an even larger impact with educationally underserved communities across our state. In the first year of KIPP Texas Public Schools, we will be educating over 27,700 students in 52 schools, placing the district among the top 50 largest in the state.  We intend to grow to more than 100,000 students across Texas, proving what is possible for our students, our communities, and our state.

Why did the KIPP regions decide to combine forces?

The regional leadership teams and regional boards of directors saw a unique opportunity to come together as one to improve outcomes for students across the state and to create an environment where we can grow to serve more students.

For example, joining forces will allow us to leverage curriculum and best practices across each region and build a stronger teacher pipeline, which are both important to the success of our students and acceleration of our growth.

But currently, KIPP regions in Texas see an opportunity to come together and draw on our collective size to increase benefits for students, teachers, staff, and parents.

KIPP’s four regional leadership teams and Boards of Directors have been working more closely over recent years, and, with the support of the KIPP Foundation, the four boards voted unanimously to merge, formalizing our collaborative structure across Texas.

What is the benefit of joining forces now?

For students and families, KIPP Texas provides stronger instruction for KIPP students, and better on-campus support and career mentoring for KIPP alumni.

For teachers, KIPP Texas formalizes processes to share best practices, improves access to professional development, and facilitates the creation of more robust curricula. This presents an opportunity to build a stronger teacher pipeline, which is important to the success of our students and to accelerate our growth.

In addition, there are great efficiencies for growth and buying power by combining 52 schools. For our entire KIPP community, KIPP Texas increases our ability to support existing schools, open new schools, and collectively advocate on behalf of our students.

Who is the new head of KIPP Texas? What happens to the other CEOs/EDs in each market? Are there staffing changes?

There will be a few staffing changes allowing local control of schools and a statewide, strategic view of operations within KIPP Texas. You can learn about all of the KIPP Texas leaders here.

What does the Texas Education Agency say about this change? And how does it affect your charter?

TEA has been supportive of this change. In June, TEA approved the request for the four regions to integrate under one charter and form KIPP Texas Public Schools.

In order to bring about this integration, state law required that three of the regions return their charters to the state and the fourth charter expand to include the other three regions. We brought TEA along at each step of the process and received full approval in June.

What does the KIPP organization think about this move? Is there a precedent?

KIPP Texas represents 25% of all of the students in KIPP nationally. We are the first to lean in and bring regions together across the state.  A tremendous amount of planning and discussion has taken place to get to this point, and we are looking forward to sharing results and best practices with other KIPP regions across the country.

How will you decide what market grows? What happens to the school plans created by each district?

In the first few years, we will focus strategic growth in our four regions: Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Meanwhile, KIPP Texas will work together to create an integrated growth plan to grow to serve even more students across Texas.

KIPP Texas schools at the local level will retain their unique values and cultures. Many decisions will continue to be made at the school level, and local KIPP Texas communities will have the latitude to tailor a KIPP education to the needs of their students and families.

What does the new board structure look like? Will there be local control?

The KIPP Texas board is comprised of nominated representatives from each regional board. The KIPP Texas board by state law must retain financial, legal, and performance oversight. Regional boards will continue to perform many of the same duties that they do now, including regional oversight of student performance, ensuring that the schools have the resources that they need, and engaging with the local community to remove any obstacles to serving even more students.

KIPP Texas schools at the local level will retain their unique values and cultures. Many decisions will continue to be made at the school level, and local KIPP Texas communities will have the latitude to tailor a KIPP education to the needs of their students and families. Learn more about the KIPP Texas Board of Directors here.

Why should people be excited about this change?

KIPP Texas is focused on educationally underserved communities, taking students to and through college to achieve choice-filled lives while fostering their character strengths and empowering them to express their voices. KIPP has some of the hardest working teachers in all of education. We now have the opportunity to leverage our collective strengths across the state improving student outcomes and serving more students.  We have every reason to be excited!

How is this change being communicated to the faculty/parents/students? What did they say?

We have been engaging with our faculty, staff, and parents for many months as we explored this possibility. Now that we are officially moving forward, each KIPP region in Texas has communicated with staff, teachers, and parents about the news that we will come together as one KIPP Texas organization. The idea has been met with enthusiasm and excitement about the potential to improve achievement and support more KIPP students to get to and through college.

Are there plans in place for other KIPP regions to combine into one larger organization?

KIPP Texas is part of the larger KIPP Network, each KIPP region is locally governed and makes decisions on its own.  As with any other new venture in any KIPP region, as we go through this process we will share our best practices with leaders across the networks.

Why were separate charters sought for the 4 districts in the first place?

KIPP was founded at Garcia Elementary School in 1994 in Houston, Texas.  In 2000, after KIPP was featured on 60 Minutes, Don and Doris Fisher learned of the schools and became major early investors, founding the KIPP Foundation, an organization committed to training leaders to open their own single site KIPP schools under their own 501c3s and charters. It was in that era that KIPP opened in Austin in 2002 and Dallas and San Antonio in 2003.  Building a reputation for student success, each of the regions built long waiting lists and began opening more schools to meet the demand.

Starting about 18 months ago, the regional leadership teams and regional boards of directors saw a unique opportunity to come together as one to improve outcomes for students across the state and to create an environment where we can grow to serve more students.