How do we finance the CCTA model?

The Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District has committed to using a broad range of funding streams to support the College, Career & Technology Academy, and it keeps the community informed about the successes of the program to ensure continued support.

The per pupil cost for CCTA students in 2011 was $6,773, vs. $8,294 for high school students on the other PSJA campuses. The district pays for resource gaps that cannot be covered through specific funding streams, such as for support services. The district is committed to educating these students because it is a short-term investment with a long-term payoff.

funding the ccta Model



  • The district’s commitment to CCTA enables the school to draw on several sources of funding to support its operations. These include, for example, federal Title I and Carl Perkins Career & Technology dollars, state Texas High School Success Initiative and Technology Allotment dollars, and local High School Allotment Funds. (See the tool Maximizing Funding for CCTA Designs for more detail.)  The school also utilizes Optional Flexible Scheduling, which is a non-competitive grant program that provides Texas districts with an alternative method of calculating attendance, although as described below the school minimizes use of these funds.[1]
  • House Bill 1137 authorizes funding for school districts in Texas to help young people up to age 26 to receive high school diplomas.  Districts that reenroll dropouts with the specific purpose of enabling them to graduate get immediate reimbursement.


  • CCTA strives to hire teachers who have Master’s degrees and encourages them to become certified by South Texas College to teach college courses on the CCTA campus. This eliminates transportation costs and eliminates instructor and course fees.
  • The CCTA school leader develops strong relationships with other school leaders within the district, opening the door to joint grant proposals and shared resources.
  • CCTA purchased the required books for a core set of mini-mester dual enrollment courses that students tend to enroll in year after year, thus eliminating the need to buy books annually. South Texas College has agreed to keep the same textbooks for several years for all dual enrollment courses.
  • CCTA keeps the community involved in the school and informed of the its successes via the annual Countdown to Zero recruitment drive. This helps ensure the district will continue.
  • CCTA minimizes its use of Optional Flexible Scheduling funds. While Optional Flexible Scheduling enables schools to draw down ADA funding for students attending less than four hours per day, it also increases the number of hours (to six) a student must attend to generate one day of ADA (other students not funded through OSF generate one full day of ADA for four hours/day).  While it increases flexibility for the student, it decreases the full amount of ADA a school receives for that student.

  • Most of CCTA’s costs are similar to that of other high school campuses, falling into these categories: instruction, curriculum and instruction development, school administration, guidance and counseling, social work services, maintenance and operations, and community services. The schools does not run extracurricula programs, so sports teams, clubs, and other activities do not have to be funded. Dual enrollment does require funding (see Funding Dual Enrollment section).
  • In FY 2011, CCTA’s budget covered a principal, assistant principal, receptionist, clerk, academic counselor, a community liaison, seven teachers, a part-time social worker, and a part-time nurse. Bus transportation is available to CCTA students, as is lunch, served in a cafeteria shared with a PSJA options/choice school for students further from graduation.


  • Certain social service costs, such as child care and lunch, are covered for some students via federal or state grants and not for others. Because those services are instrumental to ensuring that students can attend school (and not, for example, leave campus for lunch), the district covers the cost if federal or state funds are not available.
  • School lunch funding only covers students through age 21. The district uses other funds to pay for older students. For students needing child care, the school first investigates their eligibility for Texas Workforce Commission or Child Care Management Services slots; the district pays if they are ineligible or slots are unavailable.

[1] The OFSDP allows for the development of flexible programming by lifting restrictions on the days of the week, hours, and locations that students can attend classes and the locations where instruction can take place.  

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