Establishing a Texas Charter School: A Case Study of Ki Charter Academy
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The rising trend of charter schools in various counties across Texas reveals that more charter schools serving special learners’ populations are needed. However, there is limited literature on the establishment process of a charter school in Texas. This study examined the establishment process of a specialty charter school in Texas, serving children and adolescents who reside in residential facilities using a qualitative case study of Ki Charter Academy. Interviews and focus group discussions were used to collect data from a sample comprised of four founders and two board members. The study used social constructivism theoretical framework, constructivist paradigm, and qualitative data analysis approaches. The study found that in the process of establishing a charter school in Texas, founders encountered challenges such as bureaucracy, a demanding application process, and stymied feedback flow. However, adequate planning enabled the founders to avoid most of the risks and challenges in the establishment process. Adhering to the mission, vision, strategic goal, and best practices envisioned in the charter document also helped the charter school to be awarded. This study represents a roadmap within a small body of research that serves to illuminate the establishment process of a specialized charter school in Texas, Ki Charter Academy.