IDEA charter schools set sights on El Paso's East, Lower Valley

IDEA Charter School

El Paso, TX - IDEA Charter school is expanding to El Paso with at least two locations.

IDEA already has locations in South Texas, San Antonio, and Austin. Its website reveals an expansion into El Paso and Baton Rouge, LA.  IDEA currently operate 51 schools, but plans to expand that number to 173 by the year 2022. 

IDEA has declined to comment on it's expansion to El Paso until January, but ABC-7 has learned there are two proposed sites.

One site is on the border of Socorro ISD and Clint ISD near the intersection of Edgemere and Mager near Montana Vista. The other site is located within the Socorro ISD near the intersection of Alameda and Rio Vista in the Lower Valley. 

The sites will each offer a 65,000 square foot building costing around $11 million, according to a Request for Proposal seeking engineering services.

IDEA's website does not list either of these campuses as opening during the 2017-2018 school year.

According to IDEA's website, receiving and acceptance letter from a four year college or university is a requirement to graduate, and thus 100% of its graduates are accepted to college.

ABC-7 reached out to Socorro ISD about what these new charter schools could mean for the district. "We are the district of choice, but we welcome the competition from charter schools," said SISD Superintendent Dr. Jose Espinoza.

Espinoza said at the end of the day, "what we're able to provide here in SISD for all of our students, and all of our schools, there's not one single charter school in my opinion that can offer what we already offer."

A 2013 study by Stanford University on Charter School Performance states the gains Texas charter school students achieve "still lag behind the progress of their Texas Public Schools peers." 

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