Morath gives nod to eight new charter schools amidst a worsening budget crunch for public schools

Neighborhood public schools are stretching every dollar to reimagine education and to provide the safest environments for children, staff, and their communities under unprecedented circumstances, while state agencies are being asked to cut budgets in light of a significant state revenue downturn. But that hasn’t deterred the Commissioner of Education (who alone approves the applications of new charter schools) from approving the applications of eight new, unwanted, and unneeded charter schools throughout Texas.

These eight unnecessary charter schools will divert millions of much-needed public school funds to unaccountable and scandal-riddled charter operators. In fact, one of these controversial operators, Royal Academy, is in its second attempt to open a school in South San Antonio despite widespread outcry from the community and surrounding school districts. Just last week, the South San Antonio ISD School Board passed a resolution asking the State Board of Education to veto the commissioner’s approval of the unwanted Royal Academy, saying, “Now is the time to strengthen our neighborhood public schools, not to undermine them.” We could not agree more and fully support the community’s efforts to fight against charter proliferation and for its neighborhood public schools. Stay tuned to learn about what you can do to encourage the State Board of Education to veto these charters!

This week, Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg and member of the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, sent a letter to the Texas Education Agency and the Texas State Auditor’s Office asking for a comprehensive, multi-agency audit of controversial IDEA Charter Schools. Rep. Canales cited recent scandals about lavish expenditures for IDEA executives that made national headlines. These include the leasing of a private jet solely for the use of top IDEA officials and their families, chauffeured limousines, advertisements during the Super Bowl and World Series, travel expenses of over $14 million, and many more similar expenditures. We thank Rep. Canales for his leadership on this issue and for ensuring that our public schools are properly funded—with open government and transparency. Read Rep. Canales’ full letter here.