July 13, 2018

KIPP Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio to Join Forces as KIPP Texas Public Schools

Regional boards vote to approve proposal for a unified, statewide KIPP organization –

Houston, TX – July 11, 2018 – To improve student outcomes and educate more children across Texas, the boards of directors of KIPP’s four regional networks in Texas – KIPP Austin, KIPP Dallas-Fort Worth, KIPP Houston, and KIPP San Antonio – have voted to join forces as a single, statewide nonprofit organization called KIPP Texas Public Schools. With recent approval from the Texas Education Agency, the newly created KIPP Texas Public Schools organization will oversee all KIPP public charter schools across the state.
Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, KIPP Texas will lead a combined 52 public charter schools, enrolling over 27,700 students in grades PreK-12. KIPP schools focus on providing a high-quality, college-preparatory education for students from educationally underserved backgrounds. Across the state of Texas, 97 percent of KIPP students are Latino or African American, and 89 percent qualify for federal free or reduced price meals.

Leading the charge to usher in a new era for KIPP schools in Texas as Chief Executive Officer is Sehba Ali, who has served for the last six years as Superintendent of KIPP Houston Public Schools.

“I am excited and humbled to be taking on this new leadership role for KIPP in Texas,” said Ali. “This represents a huge opportunity for us to better support teachers and staff and to fully unlock the potential of our students and alumni to succeed in college and lead choice-filled lives.”

In addition to Ali’s transition, Mark Larson—the founder and former Chief Executive Officer of KIPP San Antonio Public Schools—has become the Chief Growth Officer for KIPP Texas. Steven Epstein and Michael Horne, the current Executive Directors of KIPP Austin Public Schools and KIPP DFW, respectively, will continue as Regional Superintendents in their cities. Dan Caesar has been named Regional Superintendent in Houston, and Dalia Flores Contreras has been named Regional Superintendent in San Antonio. Both formerly held senior leadership positions in their respective KIPP regions.

“I am thrilled for KIPP to have such skilled, passionate leaders on the ground in our four communities,” said Larson. “Dan and Dalia are phenomenal leaders with proven track records, while Steven and Michael have been stewards of excellence in their respective regions for years. Working together with our KIPP Texas team, we are confident in our ability to open more KIPP Texas charter schools and dramatically increase the number of students in educationally underserved communities who receive a high quality education.”

“By coming together as KIPP Texas, we can deepen our work in our communities for years to come,” said Horne. “As we connect educators across the state, we’ll be able to better share what we know and adapt it to the realities of our individual communities.”

KIPP Texas will provide stronger instruction for KIPP students and better on-campus support and college and career mentoring for KIPP alumni through their KIPP Through College program. Over the last 24 years, KIPP public charter schools in Texas have shown the difference a high-quality education focused on both academics and character can make in college attainment and success in life.

This unified organization will allow KIPP to more effectively leverage talent, resources, instructional expertise, and financial strength to ensure KIPP students in each of its communities are set up for success.

KIPP was founded in 1994 as a fifth-grade college-preparatory program at Houston’s Garcia Elementary School, and the first KIPP Academy Middle School was founded as a public charter school in Houston the following year. KIPP was established in Austin in 2002, followed by San Antonio and Dallas in 2003. Nationwide, KIPP has grown to a national network of 209 public charter schools, enrolling nearly 90,000 students in grades PreK-12.

About KIPP Texas

KIPP Texas is a nonprofit public charter school network, dedicated to preparing students in educationally underserved communities for college success and choice-filled lives. KIPP Texas is part of the national KIPP network of college-preparatory public charter schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia. KIPP schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. Nationwide, KIPP students complete four-year college at a rate of 36 percent, comparable to the national average for all students and approximately three times higher than the average of students from low-income families. www.kipptexas.org

Media Contacts:

Ieesha Collins, 832-581-7298, ieesha.collins@kipptexas.org (Texas media contact)
Steve Mancini, 415-531-5396, smancini@kipp.org (National media contact)

Additional Resources:

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  • KIPP Texas Board Chair: Bill Boyar
  • Chief Executive Officer: Sehba Ali
  • Chief Growth Officer: Mark Larson
  • Chief Strategy Officer: Jaideep Hebbar
  • Regional Superintendent – Dallas-Fort Worth: Dr. Michael Horne
  • Regional Superintendent – Austin: Steven Epstein
  • Regional Superintendent – Houston: Dan Caesar
  • Regional Superintendent – San Antonio: Dalia Flores Contreras