The facilities and property used by the school are owned and managed by the Town of Westlake. The Town has the authority to issue debt, oversee construction, and manage the facilities as the charter holder for the Academy.
This support is an important component of fiscal stewardship for Westlake Academy, as charter schools in Texas receive a very small allocation of revenue from the state for facilities. At the time of the Town’s charter application to operate the school (2003), the State did not provide any facility funding for charter schools. Today, they allocate approximately $200 annually per student. Due to the significantly reduced amount charters receive for facility costs, you may see public charter schools using retail storefronts, modular (portable) buildings, or other large industrial areas for school operations. Other charters may be fortunate to receive support from private foundations that fund buildings specifically for the school’s needs.
As the Town of Westlake began the process of moving forward with constructing the necessary buildings for the campus, Staff identified an issue that complicated the project. While the State had allowed a municipality to hold a charter for school operations – it did not provide an avenue for governmental entities to issue debt to build school buildings. Thus, a funding mechanism did not exist which would allow the Town to issue debt to construct the buildings for our academic services department – Westlake Academy. The Town Manager worked closely with our legislative official, Representative Vickie Truitt, to draft a bill (HB 1564) that would provide the Town with the ability to issue debt to construct the campus. The Town Manager also testified before the legislature and the bill passed and became law in 2003.