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Setting the Record Straight on Charter Schools

Basis Texas charter school promoted the academic record of its Shavano campus in San Antonio during testimony to House Public Education Committee on July 26, 2022, stating that it was on the list of top ten Texas high schools in U.S. News and World Report. However, TEA data shows a very different narrative about Basis Shavano that includes: high student attrition, failure to serve or graduate a truly diverse student population representative of the area; failure to provide equal opportunities for all students that limit access for many; and top-heavy administrative costs. In contrast, Clark High School and Hobby Middle School, two high-performing schools located less than two miles from Basis Shavano in Northside ISD, serve and graduate a diverse student population while maintaining A and B state ratings, respectively with numerous academic achievements. Despite its questionable record of selective enrollment, especially of special education students, the Commissioner of Education has approved 13 new Basis campuses in the last three years alone and increased its approved enrollment from 7,000 to 10,775 students, a 54% increase in just one year. FACT: By 12th grade in 2021-22, Basis Shavano lost 65% of the student cohort who entered 8th grade at Basis in 2017-18.

  • 228 students were enrolled in Basis Shavano in 8th grade in 2017-18, while only 80 students were enrolled in 12th grade four years later in 2021-22.

FACT: In the last three years of available TEA data, Basis Shavano graduated only 1 African American student and no special education students out of 182 graduates. (2017–18 through 2019-20).

  • Clark High School graduated 5.9% African American students and 8.7% special education students in 2019-20.

FACT: The Basis Shavano campus in San Antonio serves only 1.1% of special education students, compared to 13.5% and 11% of special education students at the two nearby campuses in Northside ISD.

  • Hobby Middle School serves 13.5% of special education students (located only 1.9 miles - 4 minutes - from Basis Shavano).

  • Clark High School serves 11% of special education students (located only 1.2 miles - 2 minutes - from Basis Shavano).

FACT: Basis Shavano serves only 9.7% economically disadvantaged students and 14.7% at-risk, significantly less than the nearby Northside ISD schools.

  • Hobby Middle School serves 67% economically disadvantaged students and 53% at-risk.

  • Clark High School serves 33.7% economically disadvantaged students and 40.8% at-risk.

FACT: Basis Shavano enrolls 64.5% White and Asian students and only 30% African American and Hispanic students.

  • Hobby Middle School enrolls 22.1% White and Asian students and 74.1% African American and Hispanic students.

  • Clark High School enrolls 30.9% White and Asian students and 65.4% African American and Hispanic students.

FACT: Basis spends ZERO dollars on transportation for students.

  • Even though additional transportation funds are available from the state, Basis does not provide transportation to its students, limiting access to only those students whose families have reliable transportation and an available adult to transport children to and from school.

  • Northside ISD spends $301/per student for transportation, and the state average is $299/per student.

FACT: Basis spends $814/per student on general administration expenses, more than five times what Northside ISD spends on general administration.

  • Northside ISD spends $156/per student on general administration – less than half the state average of $361/per student.

By: Patti Everitt

Research/policy consultant on Texas public schools

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