Tell the State Board of Education our schools are not for sale!

Newspaper stories on Walmart funding charters

In the June 5 Hotline we covered Commissioner of Education Mike Morath’s approval of three new charters and outlined how destructive these new charter chains would be for school districts and individual campuses.

Now is your chance to fight back against this assault on our public schools by out-of-state charter chains funded by the Walton Foundation and other billionaires intent on privatizing our schools. While the commissioner of education has approval authority for these charters, that authority can be overruled by a veto vote by the Texas State Board of Education. So here’s how you can help make that happen:

1. Send an online letter to members of the State Board of Education to ask them to VETO these charter applicants.

For those in Austin or willing to travel there:

2.  Testify at the SBOE School Initiatives Committee on Thursday, June 14, 9 a.m.
Texas Education Agency Room 1-111 (Travis Building)
1701 N. Congress Avenue (Austin, TX)

If these three charters are approved by this committee, they will move on to the full board for a vote at the Friday meeting.


3.   Testify at the General Meeting of the State Board of Education
Friday, June 15, 2018, 9 a.m.
Texas Education Agency Room 1-104 (Travis Building)
1701 N. Congress Avenue (Austin, TX)
Note: Although State Board rules do not allow for testimony on issues already discussed at a committee meeting, it is possible that the Board will allow the public to testify at the general meeting on Friday.
Register to testify in advance online or by phone from Friday, June 8 through Monday, June 11 at 5 p.m. You may also register “late” at either meeting up to 30 minutes before the meeting begins at 9 a.m. You can find out more about registration rules here.
If you are unable to attend the SBOE meeting, you may

view the proceeding online here.

What’s at stake
· These schools are all part of an out-of-state, pro-charter organization, Building Excellent Schools, Inc. (BES), that has placed its inexperienced “fellows” to run these charter schools throughout the U.S. The record at some BES schools in other states is mixed –with high student suspension, high teacher turnover, under-enrollment of students with special needs, and low student performance.​
· The real money and power behind Promesa, Reve, and Bloom charter schools is the pro-voucher, out-of-state Walton Family Foundation that has given BES  $32.3 million over the last eight years and will provide these schools with almost $1 million in start-up funds.
· These new BES charter schools in Houston will increase Houston ISD’s recapture payments to the state, sending local taxpayer dollars to the state instead of investing them in our local schools.
· These charters will enroll over 3,700 students annually and will drain an estimated $164 million from local neighborhood schools over the next 10 years.
· There are already local neighborhood schools that meet state standards on testing in the geographic areas where these charters will open.
· The rapid proliferation of charter schools throughout Texas continues to result in an inefficient “dual education system.”