With almost 1,200 accredited private schools in Texas, parents have many alternatives to consider when choosing a school that is right for their child. Over 900 of these schools are nonprofit and represented by the Texas Private Schools Association.

Accreditation is an important factor to consider for a private school to ensure the school is meeting or exceeding basic standards in public education, said Laura Colangelo, executive director of the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission and the Texas Private Schools Association.

Private schools must meet or exceed the threshold for the following:
  • Curriculum
  • Teacher qualifications
  • Standardized test scores
  • Governance
  • Finances
By the numbers
  • Almost 1,200 accredited schools, 920 of which are nonprofit
  • 268,757 students at nonprofit, accredited schools
  • $9,831 statewide median tuition for the 2022-23 school year
  • Around 140 private schools in Central Texas
  • 60%-70% religious, largest denomination being Catholic with 250 nonprofit, accredited private schools
Financing options
  • Most private schools offer some sort of financial aid to increase the diversity of families attending schools.
  • Payment plans are available.
  • Programs where families can volunteer in exchange for tuition payments are also available.
The breakdown

There are many types of private education institutions, but here are four common options parents will come across when searching, Colangelo said.

Traditional private schools

Private schools are tuition-based schools operated by private organizations that are self-governed by a school board and not regulated by state government.

A private school operates by its own mission, values and operations, including curriculum and behavioral standards.

  • Most private schools have smaller campuses and class sizes than public schools.
  • A specific class or mission may be offered (science, technology, engineering and math focus; language immersion).
  • Religious-based education is available.
Religious schools

Religious private schools are run by organized religious groups that incorporate their teachings in curriculum and experiences, such as chapel services.

Various religious affiliations operate private schools from Christian, Islamic and Jewish faiths.

  • These schools allow students to be immersed in a particular religion throughout the school day, which is not available at public schools.
Montessori schools

Montessori education was developed by Maria Montessori, an educational philosopher, to provide students with developmentally appropriate, hands-on learning opportunities.

Students are placed into multi-age classrooms usually spanning three years, participate in self-directed work in which teachers serve as guides and pursue individual learning goals, according to the American Montessori Society.

  • Montessori schools can be beneficial for students who are independent, like working at their own pace and enjoy experimentation.
Language immersion schools

Language immersion schools allow students to learn subjects in multiple languages and gain bilingual or multilingual fluency.

Various program types exist, including:
  • Partial and total immersion: Students are immersed in a new language 50%-100% of the time.
  • Double immersion: Students are fully immersed in two nonnative languages.
  • Dual immersion: English and non-English speakers are mixed in a classroom to learn each other's language.
  • Expands future opportunities for students
  • Allows students to learn from and interact with different cultures
  • Improves and stimulates brain development
  • Attracts both native and nonnative English speakers