In the past, the school was operated as a private Catholic School under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas and served a substantial African American community of economically disadvantaged inner city population. For several years the Diocese provided no funding for the school and chose to close it. Because of the importance of the school to the African American community, several businessmen (some on present Board) came together to provide funds to keep the school open. A fundraising auxiliary was formed and a development office established to raise funds to keep the school financially viable. However, due to the recent economic downturn, the lack of traditional donors and lack of ability by parents to pay tuition, starting school year 2003-04 (September 1, 2003), St. Anthony School became a Charter School. Because of its success, the school was one of only two charters awarded in the state for this school year from a group of over 130 schools who applied for the charter status. Becoming a Charter School allows more children from the community to be served and provides for more long term stability and viability of the school.