Education Reform

Texas: Stand Together Against the Voracious Charter Industry

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PTC is joining with many parent groups and school boards to fight this direct assault on local control and democracy.

Pastors for Texas Children is a staunch ally of public schools and of separation of church and state. They have vigorously fought vouchers and now they are fighting an all-out attempt by the yet the aggressive charter industry to open wherever they want, without the approval of local elected officials. The lobbyists also want to slash the state board of education’s power to veto new charters.

PTC is working with parent groups and other activists to stop this direct assault on local control and democracy.

PASTORS FOR TEXAS CHILDREN

SB 28 HEARING IN HOUSE COMMITTEE TOMORROW

The public education advocacy community–which includes YOU–has had some great success despite this being a very difficult legislative session.

First of all, one piece of legislation that PTC is hoping to see made into law is the “community schools bill.” HB 81 by Eddie Rodriguez would give struggling schools the ability to partner with the community to improve educational outcomes for their students. HB 81 unanimously passed out of the House Public Education committee recently.

Second, you might have heard about the House of Representative’s budget debate this past Thursday. The House sent a clear message to us: they want to support public education. There were two big ways they did this on Thursday:

  1. They voted to ensure the legislature will appropriate the $18 billion in federal relief money to public schools, and to only spend that money on public schools.
  2. They overwhelmingly voted down a private schools voucher amendment.

Job well done, faithful servants! This is a huge celebration, but we still have work to do…

Tell the House Public Education Committee to reject unlimited charter school expansion.

 

Tomorrow, April 27, the House Public Education Committee will meet to consider SB 28. This bill makes it easier for the State Board of Education to approve new charter applications, and makes it easier for charter schools to locate anywhere they want without restriction.

SB 28 affords special privileges to charter schools. It unfairly disadvantages smaller cities from zoning restrictions to charter schools. And it prohibits school districts from providing information to the public about the impact of a new charter school.

SB 28 also changes the process for State Board of Education approval of a new charter school.Previously the SBOE was able to veto the commissioner of education’s approval of new charter school applications with a simple majority. SB 28 would require a larger majority of 3/5, or nine out of 15 members to veto. With a State Board of Education who is usually split down the middle on charter schools, this would make it significantly harder for the board to use their veto power. The SBOE has not abused this power; in fact, many public education advocates would like to see them use it more often. Since holding this privilege, the SBOE has only vetoed seven new charter school applications in eight years. 

Help us oppose this bill! Please call the members of the House Public Education committee

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