Senate Education Committee Passes Charter-Expansion Bill

The Senate Education Committee approved a multifaceted charter-expansion bill today that would allow unlimited growth of certain types of charters, let school districts turn whole feeder patterns of schools into charter operations exempted from state standards and safeguards, and make limited changes in processes for charter approval and oversight. The legislation, SB 2 by Sen. Patrick, was sent to the full Senate without the support of two key committee members, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) and Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas), who pointedly noted that they had been left out of the back-room discussions that produced the latest version of SB 2. An upcoming Hotline will sort out what is in the bill after a series of late-breaking amendments were added this afternoon. But it seems clear that the legislation still puts quantity before quality when it comes to charter schools.