Texas’ demand for more charter schools is getting some national attention. This post, from Fox News Latino, features Houston’s YES Prep, one of the state’s more successful open enrollment charter schools. Students at YES, whose ten campuses offer grades 6-12, experience public education very differently than students in more traditional public education settings. The school day is longer, the general workload is more intensive, and students have substantial access to instructors after classroom hours are over. What’s more, students at YES Prep do not graduate high school without first being accepted into a four year college.
This is the sort of high quality public education that should be more widely available in Texas, and parents know it. There are only 5,400 total seats available at YES Prep, and their wait list is currently at 9,000 students. Even with ten campuses up and running, YES is nowhere near meeting its demand. Cases like this should show the Texas legislature that raising the state’s charter cap of 215 schools needs to happen, so that more highly innovative, highly effective charters can open to quickly address the ever growing waitlist. At their last totaling, the Texas Charter School Association put the statewide number at 56,000 students. The demand is there. Let’s give parents and students alike more of what they want.
– James Golsan