Westlake Academy is owned and operated by the Town of Westlake. It is the only municipally owned and operated open enrollment charter school in the State of Texas. The Texas Education Agency awarded the Town of Westlake a Generation 7 Charter for Westlake Academy in the spring of 2001, allowing the doors to open in the fall of 2003 with 232 students. The TEA renewed the charter in 2016 for another 10 years. Today with over 850 students, the school is the largest operating department of the town. And as a department of the Town government, Westlake Academy’s financial management operates through two financial management mechanisms.
First is Westlake Academy’s operating budget which supports the Academy’s daily operations and is funded by State of Texas public education funds and private donations. These private donations are raised largely through the efforts of the annual Blacksmith Campaign, coordinated and conducted by the Westlake Academy Foundation.
The second financial management mechanism is the Town's municipal budget which contains significant financial resources dedicated to the Academy. These resources include funds for payment of the debt service on all the bonds issued to build and expand the Academy, as well as provide financial administrative services, human resource services, and maintenance of the campus physical plant.
For that reason, Westlake Academy is governed by a six (6) member Board of Trustees comprised of the Board President and five (5) Trustees. Members of the Board of Trustees also serve concurrently as members the Town Council, the governing body for municipal government of the Town of Westlake. The President of the Board of Trustees is also the Town’s Mayor. Town Council members/Trustees serve two (2) year overlapping terms of office and are responsible for the governance of Westlake Academy, including adopting policies related to its educational services and programs, as well as establishing its finances via approval of the Academy and Town annual budgets. Additionally, the Board works closely with the Westlake Academy Foundation including appointment of members of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
The Town of Westlake, and charter holder of WA, developed a shared services arrangement with the school. Under this agreement, the Town of Westlake provides support services in human resources, finance, administration, facilities management, etc. And as specified in the WA Charter, the Town Manager serves as the superintendent of the school, and receives compensation from the Town of Westlake. The Town Manager / Superintendent participates in a separate retirement and benefits plan from the Academy, and does not have a Superintendent Contract with the Academy.