Topic: Virtual Schools

Virtual schools face investigation after reports on poor performance, companies profiting

Two U.S. Senators, Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Washington) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio), have recently called on the Government Accountability Office to launch an investigation into the practices and policies of virtual charter schools. The request came on the same day the Center for American Progress released Profit Before Kids: An Analysis of the Performance and Financial Practices of For-Profit, Virtual Charter Schools,...

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Austin hearings on high-quality education models, virtual schools, pensions, health care, school aid

The Texas Legislature is not in session, but key committees are meeting and setting the stage for policy-making when lawmakers convene in regular session next January. On April 4, the Senate Education Committee will take public testimony on high-quality education models and on virtual schools. Both labels have been used at times in misleading fashion to promote assorted versions of...

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Expansion of Full-Time, Online Schooling Benefits Operators, Not Kids

HB 895 by Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) would remove a longstanding cap on the expansion of full-time "virtual" schools. The bill, which is up for a hearing in the House Public Education Committee Tuesday, would deliver big benefits to private, for-profit operators, but it offers little or no educational benefit for Texas schoolchildren. There is a place for online learning...

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Hot Topics: Hearings on Education, Labor, Revenue

Hot Topics:  Hearings on Education, Labor, Revenue Texas AFT’s government-relations team will be working overtime next week as state lawmakers convene in Austin for a spate of hearings on education, labor, and revenue topics. The legislative hearings will overlap with a week-long series of State Board of Education meetings in the capital city as well. (We’ll preview next week’s SBOE...

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Session Recap, Continued—Ten Bad Bills That Bit the Dust

Our legislative recap continues today with a list of ten bad bills that bit the dust in the session ending just last Monday. There were far more than ten in this category of bad bills that failed, but these were among the most noteworthy: SB 1968 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) would have taken away the freedom of all education...

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Virtual Vouchers and Charter Facilities Funding Grab Stuck in Senate?

This session’s “virtual voucher” bill, SB 894 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), has yet to come up for a vote in the Texas Senate. The bill would provide taxpayer funding for privately operated online schools with minimal accountability or quality assurance. Also not voted on Tuesday was SB 1900 by Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), which would entitle charter schools...

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Virtual Vouchers off the Senate Agenda for May 19

SB 894, the bill by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) to fund full-time online instruction at state expense for students who never have to set foot in a public school, will not be voted on in the Texas Senate Tuesday. The bill was on Monday’s agenda but was not brought up for a vote. Part of the reason, we suspect, is...

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No Action is Also Action: Senate Virtual-Voucher Bill Still on Calendar—Urge a No Vote

SB 894 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), the bill to provide full-time online instruction at public expense for home-schooled and private-school students--with minimal public accountability and minimal quality assurance--was on the calendar Friday but was never brought up for a vote. The bill has no House counterpart, and deadlines are looming for Senate bills to get through House committee and...

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