BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) – A Bastrop nonprofit that applied for a charter school last year is now preparing for its first day of school.
“She’ll be in this class, then we’ll have art, and it’ll probably be your Latin class,” Gwen Martin said as she showed her daughter around her new school. “This coin will be used for the seventh and eighth years.”
Martin’s two daughters will attend Founders Classical Academy. The school is the only charter school in Bastrop County according to Bastrop CAN, the non-profit organization behind the establishment of the school in the county.
“We had over 300 families from all over Bastrop County who said they wanted something different,” Martin said.
Bastrop CAN helped make the new school possible. The network of parents, educators and community leaders have been working for months to expand public school options in the county.
“Charter schools are tuition-free public schools and they must receive a charter from the state of Texas,” Martin said.
A key distinction between charter schools and independent school districts is that while charter schools receive more money from state resources, they do not receive local property tax like ISDs.
Melanie Sharpless, regional director of Founders Classical Academy, says charter schools allow parents to choose how their children learn.
“Ours is a classic school, but you can have a STEM school or a charter school that focuses on the arts,” Sharpless said.
The option of choosing could mean that more people will take the charter route in the future.
“It’s definitely going to bring more,” Martin said. “More and more people are noticing it. “
This year, there will be approximately 130 students enrolled, and some are on the waiting list.