Our Founding Story
Great Hearts Online launched in Texas as a free, public virtual charter school on January 4, 2021. While Great Hearts has long considered delivering a classical education in a virtual environment, it was the Texas Governor’s COVID-19 emergency declaration and the TEA Commissioner’s emergency virtual education waiver that propelled our school forward.
The results of those first few months were strong. Demand was growing. Our leaders and families spoke in front of the Texas legislature and wrote letters to elected officials. Understanding that free, virtual public education was here to stay and would be signed in to law, Great Hearts Online launched long-term plans to serve more families across Texas.
Unfortunately, virtual public education was not signed in to law and an additional emergency waiver has not been issued. With over 1,000 Texas students seeking to attend Great Hearts Online for the 2021-2022 school year, we pioneered a new path forward within our local of control: providing families with continued school choice in a tuition-based, private school.
Our families signed up for a free school. We knew that most of them would not be able or desire to send their kids to a tuition-based, private school. Still, it was crucial for us that we continue serving as many families as possible and retain as many of our teachers as possible.