Charles Miller, the founding chairman of the Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA), passed away yesterday, December 6. The Houston business leader and portfolio manager long championed public charter schools and was a seminal force in establishing the state law authorizing them. Miller was instrumental in the formation of TCSA, and created a number of organizations that enabled the first charters to open in Texas. As chairman of the Charter School Resource Center, Miller helped to secure the first financing available for charter school construction. He later established the Charter School Policy Institute to develop independent research and policy aimed at growing the public charter sector through gold standard practices. As TCSA’s first board leader, he led a yearlong campaign to bring disparate groups together to form the association.

“I met Charles when he asked me to join the TCSA board in the very first days of the association,” said Chuck Cook, TCSA Interim CEO. “He was an exceptional leader and it’s safe to say TCSA, and charter schools would not have come into existence without his focus and determination.”

Miller’s pursuit of good policy extended well beyond public charter schools. He was an early proponent of K-12 accountability, and championed significant reforms in higher education as well. Whether working with charter leaders, governors, or the president of the United States, Miller advocated for the causes he cared about with a conviction not easy matched. The TCSA board, staff, and member schools extend our deep appreciation for his public policy contributions to Texas and the nation. The association is grateful that Miller’s advocacy of students and his passion for public education spurred him to push policy makers to create effective public charter schools.