ISSUE

Traditional public schools lose millions of dollars each year to charter schools, which don’t have the same accountability and aren’t held to the same standards. Charter schools can selectively admit students, don’t have to notify residents of an area about a planned new school, and are not required to make their financial reports available to the public.

House Bills 97, 450, and 1249 would help level the playing field.

  • HB 97 would prohibit an open-enrollment charter from discriminating against a prospective student during the admission process on the basis of religion, ethnicity, disability, or discipline and academic history. Public neighborhood schools are required to accept and serve children in their districts without exception and offer them the resources they need to succeed. A charter school receiving public tax dollars should do the same.
  • HB 450 would require a charter operator to submit an application for a new campus at least 18 months before the school would open. It would also require the Texas Education Agency Commissioner to notify superintendents, school boards, school districts, and corresponding members of the legislature who oversee communities directly impacted by the new charter school(s). School districts and publicly elected school boards have incredible control and influence when new schools are built in their neighborhoods. All stakeholders should be given a reasonable amount of time to react before a charter school is given permission to operate in their communities.
  • HB 1249 would require that the governing body of an open-enrollment charter school post the school’s three most recent annual financial statements on the school’s website with a prominent link that is clearly identifiable. Every year public school districts are required to hold public budget meetings and provide in-depth information to stakeholders detailing how they plan to use and allocate the public funds that are entrusted to them. Charter operators should provide that same level of financial transparency to the community they serve.

MAKE CALLS

Every Texan should call every member of the House Public Education Committee (contact info below) to ask them to support these bills. Call your state representative also.

Find who represents you HERE. Then find the contact info for your state representative HERE.

You can say…

My name is _______ . I live in ______ and my ZIP code is ________. I urge Rep. {______} to support House Bills 97, 450, and 1249. Together, these bills will make charter schools be accountable to the families in their communities, be transparent about their financial dealings, and be less discriminatory in their admission procedures and practices. Please support these bills and demand that all publicly funded teaching institutions are held to the same standards. All schools should play by the same rules! Please support HB 97, 450, and 1249.


House Public Education Committee

  • Chair: Rep. Harold Dutton, 512-463-0510
  • Vice Chair: Rep. J. M. Lozano, 512-463-0463
  • Member: Rep. Alma Allen, 512-463-0744
  • Member: Rep: Steve Allison, 512-463-0686
  • Member: Rep: Keith Bell, 512-463-0458
  • Member: Rep: Diego Bernal, 512-463-0532
  • Member: Rep: Brad Buckely, 512-463-0684
  • Member: Rep: Mary Gonzalez, 512-463-0613
  • Member: Rep: Dan Huberty, 512-463-0520
  • Member: Rep: Ken King, 512-463-0736
  • Member: Rep: J. M. Lozano, 512-463-0463
  • Member: Rep: Thresa Meza, 512-463-0641
  • Member: Rep: James Talarico, 512-463-0670
  • Member: Rep: Gary VanDeaver, 512-463-0692

FOR MORE

Ballotpedia: Charter schools in Texas

Texas Legislature Online (TLO). Find history, bill text, and more.