A rapidly growing public charter school organization has announced plans to build nearly two dozen campuses in metro El Paso during the next 5 years.
IDEA Public Schools, based in Weslaco, Texas, already has a network of 79 schools throughout the Lone Star State.
But the organization, which places an emphasis on pre-college preparedness learning for its mostly lower-income Hispanic students, is actively making plans for expanding throughout El Paso, as well as building locations in Florida and New Mexico.
Because the schools are public, there is no tuition. Students are selected based on the results of a lottery.
The group’s high schools have been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the best such facilities in the country.
So far, IDEA has raised more than $250 million from a variety of sources for its operational and facility expansion efforts, as well as $67 million from the federal Department of Education.
The group has said it is upping its fund-raising target to around $350 million.
Expansion plans within Texas include the building of a new school at 405 Wallenberg Drive on the growing west side of El Paso.
A separate campus at 15101 Edgemere Boulevard will be completed in two phases and is expected to cost around $30 million to build. That facility is slated to be open by the fall of 2019.
IDEA is also renovating and updating a building near downtown El Paso that will house its local administrative offices.
Focusing on pre-K to 12th grade, IDEA schools currently have an enrollment of more than 45,000 students.
By Garry Boulard
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