Charter School vs. ISD Myth Buster

There are some misconceptions about charter schools, and opponents work hard to pit district and charter schools against one another. So let’s set the record straight!*

Myth #1

Myth: “Charter schools aren’t really public schools.”

Fact: We are public schools, by law and in practice! We are authorized by the state, open to any student who wants to enroll, and do not charge tuition. Our students take the same state tests and meet the same graduation requirements as ISDs, comply with the same laws, and are measured by the same standards. 

Myth #2

Myth: “Charter schools receive more money than traditional ISDs.”

Fact: The opposite is true. Charter schools students, on average, receive $0.85 for every $1.00 that goes to an ISD in per-pupil funding.  

Myth #3

Myth: “Charter schools harm traditional ISDs.”

Fact: Charter growth is driving faster improvements at ALL schools. During the past three years, for example, 82% of ISDs with charters in their boundaries boosted 5th-grade reading scores – compared to 67% of ISDs without charters. Charter schools are creating a win-win for Texas students.

Myth #4

Myth: “Charter schools don’t perform better academically than traditional ISDs.”

Fact: Charter schools clearly outperform ISDs when comparing similar students. Although public charters enroll about 7% of all public school students, we make up 67% of the state’s A-rated districts. More charter students attend college overall, and traditionally disadvantaged students outperform their peers across all subjects and in every grade. 

Myth #5

Myth: “Charter schools “cherry pick” students.”

Fact: Public charter schools cannot select their students, and we admit students through blind lotteries. All families apply for admission using a common application created by the state, which includes only the most basic identifying information for students.

Myth #6

Myth: Charter schools don’t offer sports or extracurriculars.

FactMore than 8,000 of our KIPPsters played sports during the 2020-21 school year! We understand the value of athletics and teamwork, we believe in the power of the arts, and we know that for students to thrive, they need a well-rounded education. Our schools offer a range of programs: successful football, volleyball, soccer, and cheerleading teams; classes in theatre, dance, and visual art; and clubs for chess, debate, and robotics.

We will accept student applications beginning Friday, October 8, 2021, and will conduct our student lottery on Monday, February 28, 2022.  If you have any questions or are ready to apply, please visit We would love to welcome you as a member of the KIPP Family! 


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