This week, the Texas Education Agency, as well as some SBOE board members, interviewed nine Generation 27 charter-school applicants—yet another attempt to expand charter chains and campuses that will take money from neighborhood schools. Texas AFT worked with allies to analyze these applications and provide questions about the viability of these proposed campuses.
Charters are not beholden to the same requirements as districts with regard to facilities, school safety, and transportation, to name a few. Additional clarity was needed concerning the applicants’ proposed curriculums, budgets, and staffing plans, as well as their ability to meet the needs of emergent bilingual students and students receiving special education services. The commissioner of education will make his recommendations for approval or denial at the end of May. The State Board of Education will have the final authority to approve or reject these applications at their June meeting. A majority of the SBOE members present and voting may veto any of the commissioner’s proposed charters.
We stand firmly opposed to charter expansion in Texas as these campuses drain our public schools of students and financial resources. We will continue to work with other organizations through the application process to ensure our kids and our tax dollars stay in our neighborhood public schools.