Taxpayers foot bill for education commissioner to expand scandal-ridden IDEA charter schools

For Immediate Release: October 1, 2020

Contact: Rob D’Amico, rdamico@texasaft.org, 512-627-1343

Texas American Federation of Teachers Spokesperson Rob D’Amico commented today on Education Commissioner Mike Morath’s approval of 12 new campuses and 15,000 new students for the IDEA charter-school chain.

While our true public schools face a pandemic and a likely fight against budget cuts next year, our governor-appointed education commissioner is opening the floodgates to a charter-school chain that has been embroiled in scandal the past two years.

The IDEA executives responded to the backlash against their multi-million-dollar jets, luxury boxes, and extravagant parachute payments to their top management by asking our taxpayers to foot a bill for their massive expansion—at least $16 million a year. If anything, IDEA should be stunted for its outrageous management, left to regroup, and get its act together. 

But instead, the commissioner has rewarded the controversial charter handsomely. Over the last four years alone, the commissioner has approved 62 new IDEA campuses through the amendment process—more than any other charter chain in Texas.