FAQs >> Lottery


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Q: Why does IDEA have a Lottery? 
A: Lotteries are held to randomly select students to fill spots for the 2024-2025 school year. 

Q: When is the Lottery? How is it conducted?  
A: During the lottery, names will be selected at random, by grade, with spots offered in the order of names selected. When the capacity for each grade level is reached, the remaining applications will be assigned a position on our waiting list in a randomized order. Only applications completed before the deadline will participate in the Lottery. Applications submitted after the Lottery are granted seats or added to the wait list in order of the date and time of their application. 

  • Texas:  
    • Austin: February 17, 2024
    • El Paso: February 17, 2024
    • Greater Houston: February 17, 2024
    • Permian Basin (IDEA Yukon): February 17, 2024
    • Rio Grande Valley: February 17, 2024
    • San Antonio: February 17, 2024
    • Tarrant County: February 17, 2024 
  • IDEA Permian Basin (IDEA Travis ONLY) – Lottery
    Visit Midland Independent School District for more information.
    • Round 1 Opens: December 4, 2023
    • Round 1 Closes: January 26, 2024
    • Round 2 Opens: February 23, 2024
    • Round 2 Closes: August 2024
    • Lottery: February 14, 2024

  • Louisiana: 
    • Baton Rouge: January 6, 2024.

  • Florida 
    • Tampa Bay: February 17, 2024
    • Jacksonville: February 17, 2024
  • Ohio
    • Greater Cincinnati: February 17, 2024

Q: How are Lottery results verified as random?
A: IDEA utilizes STREAM, an automated enrollment software system that is fair, transparent, and complies with data privacy regulations.  

Q: When is the deadline to participate in the Lottery?  
A: The deadline to submit an application differs by region, but is always 11:59 p.m. the day before the lottery date, unless otherwise noted. 

Q: Is anyone given preference in the Lottery?
A: Yes. Texas, Louisiana and Florida charter school law require us to give preference to the following individuals:

  • Siblings of IDEA students.  
  • Children of IDEA employees.  
  • Existing students or transfers.  
  • In Tampa Bay, students residing in or attending one of 9 Persistently Low Performing schools (PLPs).  
  • In Tampa Bay, students living in any PLP/School attendance zone.
  • In Tampa Bay, students living in an opportunity zone.  


Q: How am I notified of Lottery results? 
A: On the day of Lottery, families with an offer from an IDEA campus will receive a notification of their status via the preferred method of communication indicated on their application (email and/or text). All families will also be able to see their offer status by logging into STREAM after the lottery has finished running in their region. An initial round of offers will be sent on Lottery day, but offers will continue being sent if seats become available. Families will also receive a follow up call from their campus within a few days of receiving an offer.

Q: I have a question about my notification. Who can I contact before taking action on my notification? 
A: After the date of Lottery, parents can direct any questions to their campus representative which can be found here or send an email to apply@ideapublicschools.org. 

Responding to Your Offer

Q: Do I have to be present at the Lottery for my child to be accepted? 
A: No. You and your child do not need to be present at the lottery to be accepted. The Lottery is conducted online via STREAM, our enrollment software system. 

Q: How do I accept my offer?  
A: In your notification email/text, you will be linked to your STREAM account to accept or decline your offer. When you accept your offer, all other applications will be removed from the system; for example, if you applied to IDEA Eastside and IDEA Carver in San Antonio and you receive and accept an offer at IDEA Eastside, your IDEA Carver application will be removed from the system. After you accept your offer, your new school will contact you with next steps in the enrollment process, including information regarding registration and Welcome to IDEA, our campus orientation event. 

Q: If my child is accepted, will he/she have to participate in the Lottery each year?  
A: No, students who are accepted through the Lottery will be enrolled in the school and be able to remain there in future years up until graduation. Parents must let the school know that they plan to return each year by completing their intent-to-return in January and during a re-registration in March.


Q: If my child is not chosen during the Lottery and is placed on the waitlist, what are the chances that they will be accepted later? 
A: If a student is not admitted immediately during the Lottery, they are automatically placed on the waitlist. Throughout the spring and summer months, spots may become available. Enrollment is offered to the next student on the waitlist as soon as we have notice of withdrawal. If a parent declines an offer, we move to the next student on the waitlist until the position is filled. 

Q: If my child does not get selected at the Lottery or throughout the year, do I have to apply again? 
A: Yes. If your child has not been admitted into an IDEA school by August 31, 2024, you must submit a new application. Applications for the 2025-2026 school year will be accepted beginning September 1, 2024.   

Transfers and Siblings

Q: If my child is accepted at the Lottery, can I transfer to another IDEA school? 
A: You must complete an application in STREAM indicating your new school preference for the following school year. Please contact your current campus if you are interested in completing a transfer.  

Q: After my child has attended an IDEA school for one year, how can I transfer to another IDEA school? 
A: You must complete an application in STREAM indicating your new school preference for the following school year. Please contact your current campus if you are interested in completing a transfer.   

Q: If my child is enrolled, will his/her younger siblings also be able to attend that school? 
A: If a younger sibling is interested in attending an IDEA Public School, they must submit an application to be entered into the Lottery at the appropriate time like all other applicants. Siblings will receive preference in the Lottery process. 

Priorities for 22-23:

  1. Existing students or transfers. 
  2. Siblings of IDEA students. 
  3. Children of IDEA employees. 
  4. Students residing in or attending one of 9 Persistently Low Performing schools (PLPs). 
  5. Students living in any PLP/School attendance zone. 
  6. Students living in an opportunity zone. 
  7. All other students.