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For Immediate Release: 05.06.09
Press Contact: Josie Duckett
phone: 512.584.8272
email: jduckett@txcharterschools.com


Charter School Parents Rally at the Texas Capitol


Texas Charter Public Schools are Unified, Organized & Energized


AUSTIN, TX -- In conjunction with National Charter Schools Week, 700 Texas charter school parents from across the state gathered today at the Texas Capitol to advocate for charter school legislative reforms. The rally, organized by the Texas Charter Schools Association, was the largest show of charter school parent advocacy in state history. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst addressed the parents, in addition to Senator Dan Patrick, House Public Education Committee Chairman Rob Eissler, and TCSA Executive Director David Dunn.

Parents traveled from all across the state to show support for pending legislation affecting their children, specifically Senate Bill 1830 authored by Senator Dan Patrick. Charter school parents were recognized in both the House and Senate Chambers and later attended meetings with their legislators to advocate for full passage of Senate Bill 1830, with the inclusion of facilities funding since charters schools currently do not receive any state funding for facilities.

Senate Bill 1830 accomplishes the following:

  • Eliminates the cap of 215 open enrollment charters the State Board of Education is authorized to grant, and allows 10 new open enrollment charters each fiscal year. Allows charter holders to establish new campuses if at least 90 percent of existing campuses are rated academically acceptable or higher.
  • Provides that in computing dropout rates in an open-enrollment charter school, the Commissioner may exclude students who were previously reported to the state as dropouts.
  • Encourages co-location between traditional ISDs and public charter schools. A school district that leases space to an open enrollment charter school can have academic performance data combined with the charter school using their empty facility space. The legislation requires the district and the charter school using different PEIMS codes so that data remains identifiable.
  • Allows for more new charter schools that primarily serve students with disabilities, including those with autism.
  • Automatically renews unless the school's charter is revoked before the expiration of a charter term.

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The Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) is the leading membership organization of effective charter schools of all types, representing more than 100,000 students in 390 charter schools across Texas.