SAN ANTONIO – Grade school campuses that don’t belong to local public or private schools are popping up all over San Antonio.
Tuition-free charter schools are becoming a popular choice for families in San Antonio.
One charter school system that is rapidly expanding is GreatHearts.
According to a spokesperson, GreatHearts is on track to build a new school in San Antonio every year for the foreseeable future.
Charlene Charles has two children in school at GreatHearts.
After years of private and home schooling, Charles said she finally feels confident about the education they’re receiving.
"There’s a joy that you see," said Charles. "I see it in my boys and the students in general. A joy of learning. A joy of comradery,"
"We’re looking to really graduate young men and women of character, of intellect and heart, who are ready to be leaders and participants in our country, community, our city," said GreatHearts Monte Vista Headmaster Peter Crawford.
Not all Charter schools are the same.
GreatHearts provides athletic programs and a liberal arts curriculum.
Students learn foreign languages in elementary, literature, poetry and music in higher grades.
"It has never been available to folks who couldn’t afford big fat private school tuition," said Crawford.
At GreatHearts, student participation is a must.
"They are held accountable intellectually and morally and I think that makes them feel secure and on their way to be who they’re supposed to be," said Charles.
Charter schools in Texas receive state funding but they don’t get tax dollars for facilities like a public school.
Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who helped break ground on a new San Antonio GreatHearts campus Wednesday, said the public needs to have access to schools like these.
"We have to look at ways in which we approach all types of families here in Texas, and public choice happens to be one of those areas," said Bush.
"When they know more about these options that are out there, then they really see the difference," said Charles. "We love the fact that our tax dollars are being used for this wonderful purpose."
If you’re interested in enrolling your child in GreatHearts, you better start the process now. They currently have more than 4000 students on a waiting list.
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