Topic: Privatization

House Public Education Committee Reports Interim Recommendations

The Senate Education Committee’s new chair, Republican Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston, is talking up radical education-policy options such as private-school vouchers and extreme school-closure mandates based on state achievement-test scores. But the House Public Education Committee is not on the same page. The recently published interim recommendations of the House panel suggest other priorities. Skepticism about the wisdom of...

Read More

State Senator, Lieutenant Governor Push Voucher Scheme by Another Name—Texas AFT Says NO

Today Sen. Dan Patrick, the Houston Republican who chairs the Texas Senate Education Committee, partially unveiled his plan to introduce a de-facto voucher bill in the 2013 legislative session. With Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst standing at his side at a parochial school in downtown Austin, Patrick described a version of private-school vouchers that would let businesses reduce their tax...

Read More

Right Way and Wrong Way to Develop In-District Charter Schools

Austin ISD has just provided an object lesson in how not to create in-district charter schools—and how to do it right. On Monday the Austin ISD school board voted to end the in-district charter a previous board had granted to the IDEA charter-school chain based in South Texas. The IDEA charter was created in top-down fashion, despite widespread community resistance...

Read More

News from Next Door: Vouchers Declared Unconstitutional in Louisiana

A statewide voucher program for private and religious schools has been declared unconstitutional in Louisiana. The case, decided on the basis of state constitutional language mandating the funding of public schools, is of more than passing interest at a time when some Texas politicians are bent on enacting a voucher scheme here. Louisiana’s AFT affiliate, the Louisiana Federation of Teachers,...

Read More

Any Day Now: Getting Ready for the Fight Against Private-School Vouchers

Any day now could bring news of the pre-filing of major voucher legislation in the Texas legislature for the 2013 regular session beginning January 8. One significant voucher bill, SB 115 by Sen. Tommy Williams, Republican of The Woodlands, already has been pre-filed. SB 115 creates a voucher scheme for students with disabilities. Senate Education Committee chair Dan Patrick, Republican...

Read More

State Board of Education Issues Charters, Makes Legislative Proposals

The State Board of Education today approved eight new applications to operate “open-enrollment” charter schools, but not without some debate and controversy. SBOE members also voted on their policy recommendations to the state legislature for the 2013 session. Approved charter applicants included two out-of-state charter networks, Great Hearts Academies and BASIS Schools, seeking to set up shop in San Antonio...

Read More

Charter Expansion without Charter Reform? State Board of Education Update

A committee of the State Board of Education gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a batch of nine new charter applications, including some that have sparked concern in the communities where they would set up shop. Holders of charters granted by the State Board can open multiple campuses, and they can choose to target narrow or broad swathes of the state....

Read More

Previewing Texas AFT Testimony on Sunset Recommendations for TEA

At the November 13 hearing of the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, public testimony will be taken on changes in law and rules affecting the Texas Education Agency that have been recommended by the efficiency experts on the Sunset Commission staff. Texas AFT will testify for some recommendations, against others. Here is a preview of Texas AFT’s stance on key issues....

Read More

Senate Education Panel Weighs Effects of Legislation Downgrading Due-Process Protection, Implementing New STAAR Testing Regime

It was not easy to get a word in edgewise at the October 30 hearing of the Senate Education Committee, partly because it covered so much ground in barely a couple of hours, including:  SB 8, the bill that downgraded vital safeguards of due process and salary standards in state law; SB 738, the bill creating a limited version of...

Read More

Texas Senate Reshuffle Elevates Voucher Advocate to Senate Education Committee Chair

An always tough environment for supporters of public education in the Texas Senate just got worse with the announcement by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst of his choice for the chairmanship of the Senate Education Committee:  Sen. Dan Patrick, the Houston Republican and self-styled Tea Party caucus leader who has trumpeted his desire to enact a private-school voucher bill draining funds...

Read More

AFT Leader Takes on Latest Propaganda Movie Attacking Teachers and Their Unions

Be forewarned: As the saying goes, we’ve seen this movie before, and in this case it’s almost literally true. Once again, special interests aiming for a hostile takeover of public schools by private operators are using a movie to disparage teachers in public schools and their unions and to try to pit parents against teachers, following the same PR game...

Read More

More on the Push for School Privatization (and a New Education Commissioner)

On August 24 the Texas Senate Education Committee spent the better part of the day on a hearing designed to promote private-school vouchers. On August 27 Gov. Rick Perry named as the next Texas commissioner of education a fellow Republican politician with a history of support for private-school vouchers:  former Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams. Williams is on the rebound...

Read More