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For Immediate Release:2014-01-25
Press Contact: Tracy Young
phone: 512.584.8272
email: tyoung@txcharterschools.org

National School Choice Week 2014 highlights effective education options for all

Three out of 14 "Whistle-stop" cities are in Texas

(Austin, Texas) -- Now in its fourth year, National School Choice Week 2014 is hosting 5,500 independently planned events spanning all 50 states held January 25 to February 1, 2014. National School Choice Week provides an unprecedented opportunity, every January, to shine a positive spotlight on the need for effective education options for all children. The kick-off event is being held in Houston, Tex., and two other "Whistle-stop" cities are in Texas this year -- San Antonio and Austin. The Texas Charter Schools Association held an additional celebration in Dallas-Fort Worth to close out the celebratory week.  

"Texas public charter schools and supporters are excited to be part of National School Choice week in 2014," said David Dunn, Executive Director of the Texas Charter Schools Association. "Many parents and students enjoy the option of choosing a quality charter that provides individualized education within the public school system all across our great state."   

49 mayors and 21 governors are celebrating National School Choice Week 2014 by officially proclaiming it 'School Choice Week' in their states and cities, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Houston, Texas Mayor Annise Parker and Fort Worth, Texas Mayor Betsy Price.

The history-making Week officially began Saturday, January 25th, at Union Station at Minute Maid Park in Houston, where 3,000 students, parents, teachers and community leaders celebrated with US Sen. Ted Cruz and US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee -- demonstrating bipartisan unity for educational choice. They joined large charter networks and small, community charters all across Houston as well as Houston Independent School District Superintendent Terry Grier and Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston Founder and President, Father T.J. Martinez

"Throughout my career, I have fought for public education and for families," said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. "National School Choice Week educates parents about the opportunities that they have, while sending a message that more families need and deserve greater opportunities. I am looking forward to joining in this positive, uplifting celebration."

"School choice is the civil rights battle of this generation," said Sen. Cruz. "Every child in America deserves the chance to get a quality education and work to achieve the American Dream. All across the nation, we're seeing the benefits of choice. The data demonstrates that competition improves public schools, and parents should be able to choose the schools that best meet the educational needs of their children -- whether public, charter, private, faith-based, or home school. National School Choice Week reaffirms our shared commitment to giving all children, regardless of zip code, the opportunity to pursue the best education possible."

Meanwhile, school choice supporters are making their way across the country -- from Newark to San Francisco --  on a 3,800-mile "whistle-stop" train and motor coach tour, including two more stops in Texas.  Sunset Station was the site of a San Antonio rally for National School Choice Week, and a similar rally for parents and students was held in Austin at the south steps of the Texas State Capitol. To close out the week, on January 31st, the Dallas-Fort Worth charter schools celebrated National School Choice Week at the American Airlines Center, cheering on the Dallas Mavericks. TCSA was a spotlighted organization, and public charter school students were highlighted center court during the National Anthem.  

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Public charter schools are tuition-free, open-enrollment public schools that have the flexibility to adapt to the educational needs of individual students while still held to state academic and financial accountability standards. In total, there are more than 178,000 students in over 550 open-enrollment charter campuses (2013 AskTED) with nearly 101,000 students on waiting lists across Texas (2013 survey). Charter students represent close to 4% of the public school population in Texas. The Texas Charter Schools Association is the statewide Association representing open-enrollment charter schools in every part of our great state. 
Visit www.txcharterschools.org for more info.