Students selected for El Paso’s first two charter schools

Parents waiting to hear if their child will be selected.

This fall, IDEA El Paso will be home to IDEA Rio Vista Academy and College Prep, and IDEA Edgemere Academy and College Prep, serving more than 1,000 students between its academy and college prep campuses in preschool, kindergarten and grades one and six.

Hundreds of parents awaited in anticipation Saturday to hear if their child's name was selected in a student lottery for IDEA charter Schools

More than 2.600 applications were submitted and only 1,068 students were selected.

Some parents said they prefer IDEA charter schools over public schools for their children.

"I think the most important thing Is that they actually focus on the kids, and they focus on their careers and their future versus the state numbers and how the state testing is going," said Aundie Salizar, who’s daughter was selected.

UTEP education professor David Knight studied the impact of charter schools, and he believe it’s no different than public schools.

“What the data generally show with respect to charter schools is that they tend to perform on average as well as public schools," Knight said.

Knight said while research shows that charter schools practices are just as effective as public schools, there is a difference.

“One of the key differences is that charter schools have some autonomy on which students they serve and traditional public schools have to serve everybody," said Knight.

Knight said while charter schools provide some benefits, there is not enough evidence to prove that it is a better option than public schools.

"It's difficult for anybody to say the extent of what these schools will do for our community," Knight said.

Knight said if more kids go to charter schools then that will mean less state funding for public schools.

At the end of the day, he said it is up to the parents to decide which school their children will go to.

IDEA said they expect to open the two charters schools in August 2018.

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