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For Immediate Release:2012-10-22
Press Contact: Tracy Young
phone: 512.584.8272
email: tyoung@txcharterschools.org

First Time Charter Schools Considered in Texas School Finance Trial

Need for Facilities Funding and Lifting the Arbitrary Cap

(Austin, Texas) –Today, the lawsuit filed by charter school parents and the Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) moved into the trial phase in Travis County District Court in Austin, Tex.  In August, the charter school lawsuit was consolidated into the larger Texas school finance-focused lawsuit, making the parents' and TCSA's suit the sixth out of the six lawsuits filed.  

TCSA Executive Director David Dunn said, "The charter school lawsuit is very simple and straightforward.  Nothing is more inequitable than zero.  Twice in the last ten years the state has studied the facility needs of school districts, but charter schools have existed in Texas since 1995 with no facilities funding or even an attempt by the state to determine their facility needs.  We are pleased to see the court consider the constitutional needs of charter students and parents for the first time."

"The arbitrary cap on the number of charter schools in Texas is a barrier to tax paying parents," Bob Schulman, lead attorney for charter schools, said in today's opening statement.

The charter school plaintiffs requested protection for children's constitutional rights as it relates to facilities funding for open-enrollment charter schools and a lifting of the arbitrary cap on charters imposed by the Legislature.  The two claims are:
  • Zero facilities funding for open-enrollment charter schools - unconstitutionally inadequate levels of funding for students attending charter schools.
  • The arbitrary cap of 215 on open-enrollment charter school holders -- the Legislature imposed an arbitrary cap of 215 on the growth of charter schools. This presents an arbitrary obstacle to the State's ability to achieve constitutional efficiency and hinders the very efficiency charter schools were intended to promote.
                

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The Texas Charter Schools Association is the statewide Association representing
open-enrollment charter schools in every part of our great state.
In total, more than 154,000 Texas students attend open-enrollment charter schools on over
500 campuses with more than 101,000 additional students on waiting lists. 
Visit www.txcharterschools.org for more information.