Houston Gateway Academy

“Charter school's entry fee is illegal.” Houston Chronicle (TX), 4/10/2013
Houston Gateway Academy, a public charter school that serves mostly low-income families, was charging parents fees to enroll their children in violation of state law, according to the Texas Education Agency.

Applicants to the school received a letter saying the fee - $100 for one child or $200 per family - was required for students to land a reserved spot next fall...

Charter schools and traditional school districts are allowed to charge for materials, student clubs, identification cards and a few other areas under state law, but the fees cannot be tied to admission, said TEA spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe.

Gateway Superintendent Richard Garza could not be reached for comment Wednesday. His charter network enrolls about 1,500 students, and 93 percent are considered economically disadvantaged, according to TEA data. The fee was to be charged to new students and to those who were re-enrolling...

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