Private school is not cheap in Fort Worth.

That financial reality is beginning to take root as the Texas Legislature debates proposals establishing an education savings account program, a voucher-like policy that gives parents public dollars to fund private school tuition and other educational expenses, including homeschool.

The average private school tuition is $14,993, according to a Fort Worth Report analysis of the city’s more than 30 private schools. Of the 38 private schools in Fort Worth, 12 charge tuition higher than the city’s average. 

Tuition at private schools in Fort Worth has a lot of variation. Some private schools charge a tuition ranging from $2,000 to more than $27,000. Others have a flat monthly fee, while some schools have sliding tuition scales based on income. Most offer financial aid.

The proposed legislation gaining the most traction is Senate Bill 8, which would give parents $8,000 per student. The Senate approved the bill April 6, and it faces a challenge in the House.

Barring additional financial aid, that would mean some families choosing to go the private school route might have to pay part of their tuition, depending on which private school their child attends.

In Fort Worth, 14 private schools have tuition under the proposed amount for education savings accounts. 

This is an issue seen nationwide with vouchers and other similar programs, said Gabriel Huddleston, an education professor at Texas Christian University.

“These vouchers are never one for one. A voucher doesn’t equal the tuition at Trinity Valley,” Huddleston said, referring to the southwest Fort Worth private school.

Trinity Valley School’s tuition for the 2023-24 academic year depends on the grade of a student. Kindergarten through fourth grade is $25,064; fifth through eighth grade is $26,156; and ninth through 12th grade is $26,832. 

For example, families sending their third-grade student to Trinity Valley would have to find a way to cover the remaining $17,064 after using their $8,000 education savings account. Families may apply for financial aid to help with the cost of attending.

Some families are likely to turn to the private schools that the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth operates. The diocese runs 17 schools in its area. In Fort Worth, 11 of the Catholic private schools that have tuition under $10,000.

Bishop Michael Olson spoke in favor of SB 8 when the Senate Education Committee held a hearing on the legislation in March. One of the bill’s focuses should be on lower-income families, he said. 

“The first priority has to be the preferential option for the poor by ensuring students with the greatest academic and financial need are prioritized,” Olson said. “In my diocese, we prioritize by subsidizing more than $1.8 million annually for our students in our schools.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated April 13, 2023, to clarify the tuition that the Key School and Training Center charges.

Jacob Sanchez is an enterprise journalist for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Jacob SanchezEnterprise Reporter

Jacob Sanchez is an enterprise reporter for the Fort Worth Report. His work has appeared in the Temple Daily Telegram, The Texas Tribune and the Texas Observer. He is a graduate of St. Edward’s University....