Texas Charter Schools Association

aka Texas Public Charter Schools Association   |   AUSTIN, TX   |

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Texas Charter Schools Association

EIN: 26-2920798


TPCSA’s mission is to support and advocate for a policy and regulatory climate that ensures every student in Texas has access to ever-improving public school options.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Starlee Coleman

Main address

3005 S Lamar Blvd D447


Show more contact info



Subject area info

Equal opportunity in education

Charter school education

Parent-teacher involvement

Public policy

Population served info

Children and youth




NTEE code info

Charter Schools (B29)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Tax forms



See related organizations info

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Every child should have access to a high-quality public education. Thousands of families in Texas are choosing public charter schools, which are tuition free and open to all. Thanks to flexible curricula, innovative school models, and rigorous coursework, more than 400,000 students are currently thriving in public charter schools across the state. Yet, 66,000 children remain on charter school waiting lists in Texas—an increase of 13.5% in a single year. From Odessa to Houston, families are asking for more high-quality public school opportunities. Unfortunately, Texas isn’t keeping up with demand. And securing reliable support for charter schools among decision-makers is a daily battle. Through misinformation campaigns and coordinated attacks, well-funded interest groups are working to stymie charter school growth and restrict the autonomy that has enabled so many Texas students to thrive. From funding disparities to excessive red tape, public charter schools face tremendous obstacles.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?


TPCSA advocates for a policy and regulatory climate that ensures every student in Texas has access to ever-improving public school options.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Timely and accurate research guides our work to set the record straight and create a positive perception of public charter schools. Always striving to have the latest facts and credible sources at our fingertips, we unearth, analyze, and breathe life into the data behind the charter community’s successes and challenges. From demographics to graduation rates, every number tells a story.

Population(s) Served

Our fact-focused storytelling approach cuts through the noise. We publish and promote original research across a variety of channels, correct myths and misinformation in the media, and share compelling visuals, data, and perspectives to tell the real public charter school story. By providing our schools with customizable communication resources, we align our community around clear, concise messages that resonate with the public and empower schools to be their own best advocates.

Population(s) Served

When we speak with policymakers, they tell us that the voices of teachers, parents, and community leaders move and shape their perspectives the most. We equip educators and families with current and accurate messages, training, skills, and opportunities to share their stories of the incredible mountains being moved at charter schools.

Population(s) Served

Uniting all stakeholders in order to build a strong coalition of advocates is essential to educating Texas's children. We are strengthening advocacy capacity and sophistication within schools by connecting with charter school leaders, staff, and board members in five metropolitan regions across Texas. We highlight opportunities for schools to engage lawmakers, align on key issues affecting public charter schools, provide advocacy coaching and training to school leaders, and ensure policymakers and community influencers know about the great things happening at charter schools in their neighborhoods.

Population(s) Served

Equipped with the data and feedback of members and coalition partners, TPCSA connects with leaders in the Texas Legislature, State Board of Education, and Texas Education Agency on behalf of public charter schools. As a voice for our community, we inform policymakers about the extraordinary outcomes charter schools are achieving for students, introduce them to the charters in their communities, and help them develop policies that will benefit all public school children.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Great Place to Work Certified 2023

Great Place to Work Institute

Best Place for Working Parents Austin 2023

Best Place for Working Parents

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children who have access to education

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, At-risk youth

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Charter growth: Texas public charter school enrollment grows annually

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

High-achieving public charter schools across Texas need a lasting policy and advocacy foundation to defend their position and extend opportunities to more students. We are committed to creating and maintaining a regulatory and policy landscape that allows public charter schools of all shapes, sizes, and missions to flourish. Through a multifaceted advocacy plan, which includes large-scale outreach, sustained coordination, and grassroots mobilization, we are making sure that charter schools have a voice wherever education policy decisions are made—at the TEA, the Texas Legislature, and the State Board of Education. Measurable goals include annual growth in charter school enrollment, school engagement in advocacy actions, passage of policy priorities, additional funding available to charter schools, and more high-quality public charter schools approved to expand.

Our primary strategy is building a diverse coalition in support of public charter schools, so we can reach decision-makers through myriad channels. We equip families and educators with resources, training, and opportunities to engage policymakers. We also strengthen the advocacy capacity of charter school leaders, staff, and board members across Texas. By helping charter school stakeholders connect with key decision-makers, we create the opportunity for parents, teachers, and school leaders to advocate on behalf of their own children and schools.

Another strategy is maintaining a robust, statewide communications effort on behalf of the entire public charter school community. To ensure that public charter schools are well represented in the media and at the Capitol, we conduct timely and in-depth research into the charter community's successes and challenges, collect success stories from around the state, and share our findings across a variety of channels. Our communications strategy includes equipping supporters and schools with effective key messaging and other resources—an important aspect of our work to educate the public and policymakers about the tremendous value of public charter schools.

Another piece of our strategy is directly engaging with and educating Texas legislative and regulatory agencies on behalf of public charter schools. We inform policymakers about student outcomes, introduce them to charters in their communities, and help them develop policies that benefit all public school children. When laws and regulations impact schools’ ability to provide quality education opportunities, we ensure decision-makers have the facts.

Finally, we provide charter-specific training and resources to our member schools, to help them remain excellent and compliant. Often, this means helping schools navigate complex regulations set by the Texas Education Agency and the State Board of Education, or new laws passed by the Texas Legislature. Helping schools stay compliant is critical because Texas has the strictest closure law in the country.

Founded in 2008 as a member services association, TPCSA has supported thriving Texas charter schools for 15 years. In 2017, after identifying a need within the Texas public charter community, we embarked on a journey to provide public charter schools with the robust policy and advocacy foundation needed to flourish. TPCSA is the only organization in Texas dedicated to protecting and improving charter school funding, autonomy and growth. As the only group in the state with this focus, we are uniquely qualified to lead this work. We are fully staffed, with regional advocacy directors engaging charter schools in five metropolitan areas across Texas. Nationally and statewide, we have established ourselves as charter school policy and regulatory experts for a variety of stakeholders. Other charter organizations across the country are looking to our programs, such as the Advocacy Leadership Institute, as a model.

Over the past five years, TPCSA has established, tested, and fortified the infrastructure needed to execute on its goals. We have grown our grassroots base, deepened the advocacy engagement of our member schools, and been highly effective in educating policymakers and the public about the unique value of charter schools. Along the way, we have also racked up some significant wins on behalf of the Texas charter school community.

In 2021, TPCSA elevated the charter school voice above noisy policy debates and pandemic-related chaos during the 87th Texas Legislative Session. Our coalition defeated every bill that would have harmed charter schools, and we prevented cuts to public charter school funding—successes that will prepare more students for enriching careers and keep millions of dollars in charter school classrooms.

Since 2021, we have deepened our relationship with the Texas Education Agency and increased engagement in its regulatory work. We have succeeded in getting TPCSA added to the list of education advocacy groups used by TEA for early stakeholder engagement, ensuring the charter voice is now represented at the decision-making table in a way that was never possible before. We have also built bridges with members of the State Board of Education (SBOE) and worked to turn the tide of the charter review and approval process. From an 80% SBOE veto rate in 2022, new charters were awarded to 4 of 5 TEA-recommended applicants in 2023—an SBOE approval rate of 80%.

In 2022, after a full year of feedback from member schools and partners, we established a multi-year policy and regulatory vision—a first for the Texas charter school community. Throughout the 2023 Texas legislative session, we fought to protect charter schools and advance the policy priorities identified by the community we serve. Of 19 anti-charter bills filed, not a single one received a committee hearing. For the first time, all priorities passed their respective committees, and two were signed into law. The passage of our top priority, which ensures that all public schools are treated equally by cities during the zoning and permitting process, was several sessions in the making.

Over the next five years, we envision a healthy charter community that is consistently growing and made up of highly rated schools. As the voice for Texas charter schools, we will work toward maintaining and supporting an active base of members across the state. Internally, we are creating a healthy, financially stable organization where employees are engaged and goals are regularly measured and met.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


Texas Charter Schools Association
Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 1.65 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 5.3 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 18% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Texas Charter Schools Association

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Texas Charter Schools Association

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Texas Charter Schools Association

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Texas Charter Schools Association’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $184,409 $19,880 $1,209,142 $2,828,579 $575,086
As % of expenses 5.2% 0.5% 28.1% 66.9% 10.6%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $180,198 $19,394 $1,203,605 $2,817,797 $548,711
As % of expenses 5.1% 0.5% 27.9% 66.5% 10.1%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $3,047,468 $4,782,002 $6,992,224 $5,059,843 $5,643,004
Total revenue, % change over prior year 5.7% 56.9% 46.2% -27.6% 11.5%
Program services revenue 80.5% 58.7% 46.6% 62.2% 76.7%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 4.1% 1.2% 1.3%
All other grants and contributions 16.6% 39.2% 48.0% 35.0% 20.8%
Other revenue 2.9% 2.1% 1.2% 1.5% 1.1%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $3,551,899 $4,265,582 $4,307,610 $4,229,263 $5,431,255
Total expenses, % change over prior year -12.3% 20.1% 1.0% -1.8% 28.4%
Personnel 52.2% 40.5% 39.4% 45.0% 43.2%
Professional fees 19.3% 30.4% 26.6% 21.1% 17.1%
Occupancy 9.1% 7.9% 6.5% 7.4% 7.3%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.7% 3.7% 7.5% 18.2% 15.6%
All other expenses 18.8% 17.5% 20.0% 8.4% 16.9%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $3,556,110 $4,266,068 $4,313,147 $4,240,045 $5,457,630
One month of savings $295,992 $355,465 $358,968 $352,439 $452,605
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $17,436 $24,342 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $3,852,102 $4,638,969 $4,696,457 $4,592,484 $5,910,235

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 2.8 2.2 8.6 11.4 12.1
Months of cash and investments 2.8 2.2 8.6 11.4 12.1
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets -1.1 -0.9 2.4 10.4 9.4
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $819,988 $783,080 $3,088,238 $4,008,560 $5,463,901
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $244,931 $754,775 $1,326,267 $962,790 $77,369
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $112,782 $130,218 $154,563 $162,620 $138,718
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 100.0% 87.0% 76.9% 79.7% 95.2%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 94.2% 64.2% 28.3% 24.5% 27.6%
Unrestricted net assets -$324,795 -$305,401 $898,204 $3,716,001 $4,264,712
Temporarily restricted net assets $389,324 $885,864 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $389,324 $885,864 $2,361,336 $363,337 $0
Total net assets $64,529 $580,463 $3,259,540 $4,079,338 $4,264,712

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Chief Executive Officer

Starlee Coleman

Starlee Coleman has more than 20 years of experience turning public policy ideas into laws. Through strategic public affairs and PR campaigns, grassroots engagement, and coalition development, Starlee has contributed to the passage of dozens of bills in state legislatures, Congress, and at the ballot box. As CEO, Starlee’s role is to oversee the daily operations of the organization and help ensure that TPCSA’s policy recommendations cross the finish line, whether the finish line ends at a Governor’s desk, city hall, on an election ballot, or in the courtroom. Prior to coming to TPCSA, Coleman founded SchoolForward LLC, a public affairs firm in Washington, D.C. that advances education reform policies. The firm advises a number of high-profile clients, including the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Starlee’s work has earned a Templeton Freedom Award for Best Initiative in Public Relations in 2008 and the Spark Freedom Award for Best PR Campaign.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Texas Charter Schools Association

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

Texas Charter Schools Association

Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization

Texas Charter Schools Association

Board of directors
as of 03/26/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Charles Cook

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/25/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/25/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.


Fiscal year ending
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.