Under state pressure, six districts propose outside partnerships for struggling campuses

The Texas Education Agency announced today that six school districts have proposed outside partnerships to operate struggling campuses, under a 2017 law that encourages this type of contracting out with a two-year exemption from state sanctions plus increased funding for an affected campus.

The law (SB 1882) has been used to push districts into such relationships with charter operators, but other nonprofit, university, or government entities can also partner with school districts to run schools in this fashion. Such non-charter options have been proposed by Austin, Waco, and Ector County ISDs, for instance. The other districts proposing SB 1882 partnerships are Hearne ISD, San Antonio ISD, and Victoria ISD.

The San Antonio ISD proposal to partner with a charter chain has been particularly controversial, evoking strong parent, educator, and community opposition. Our local affiliate in San Antonio ISD, the San Antonio Alliance of Teachers and Support Personnel, has filed a legal challenge relating to the flawed process used in developing the proposed contracting-out arrangement.

Today’s TEA announcement said the commissioner of education will decide whether to approve the district proposals by May 21.