Charter schools have attracted thousands of students away from Fort Bend ISD in the 2023-24 school year, Texas Education Agency data shows.

However, FBISD isn't alone in this trend; charter schools also affected public school districts across the Greater Houston area in the 2022-23 school year as well, according to an analysis by Community Impact.

Data for 27 Greater Houston-area schools showed FBISD had the third highest net transfers out in 2022-23, falling behind Houston ISD at the top and Alief ISD second.

By the numbers

Based on the TEA Transfer Report, 8,500 students have transferred out of FBISD in the 2023-24 school year so far.

The number of transfers into the district was 601, for a net number of 7,899 lost from the district—just under 10% of the total 2023-24 enrollment, which was 80,493, according to the TEA.

As of October of the current school year, the data shows FBISD lost the largest number of transfers to two charter schools systems—4,156 of 8,500—or roughly 49% of total transfers out:
  • 2,636 students transferred to Harmony Public Schools
  • 1,520 students transferred to KIPP Texas Public Schools
While FBISD also lost 2,218 students to other public school districts as well, 73.9% of transfers left for charter schools, according to the data.

Some context

Additionally, the number of students transferring out of FBISD has grown for the previous six school years, according to the TEA data.
What they are saying

FBISD officials said students transferring out of school districts may be affected by factors such as parental career changes, relocations and fluctuations in housing patterns, officials said.

“In cases when students leave the district to enroll in alternative educational systems, we strongly advise parents to reconsider based on Fort Bend ISD’s longstanding reputation for excellence in the areas of academics, fine arts, athletics and college placement,” said Sherry Williams, FBISD director of strategic communications, in an email.

Despite this transfer trend, FBISD’s enrollment exceeds projections for the 2023-24 school year, Williams said.

FBISD’s latest enrollment data shows projected enrollment is 80,568, while actual enrollment is at 80,786, as of the April 8 weekly enrollment report on the district website.

Why it matters

The nearly 10% loss of enrollment, while minimized by the overall growth in enrollment in the district, has a financial impact on the district’s budget.

Texas schools receive $6,160 per student under the state’s basic allotment, which is based on average daily attendance, as previously reported.

What else?

For more information or to view the TEA’s transfer reports, click here.