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For Immediate Release:2013-06-19
Press Contact: Tracy Young
phone: 512.584.8272
email: tyoung@txcharterschools.org

Charter school students wait for constitutional protections as school finance trial continues

(Austin, Texas) - The Honorable Judge Dietz announced Wednesday that he will hear new evidence in the school finance trial beginning January 6, 2014, for up to six weeks. Judge Dietz determined to reopen evidence so that the court can hear about the impact of certain legislation on the school districts' and charter schools' claims. Some of the 83rd Regular Legislative session legislation the judge may take into consideration includes, but is not limited to: SB 1, SB 2, SB 758, HB 5, and HB 1025.

"We are disappointed that charter school students will have to continue to wait for constitutional protections," said David Dunn, executive director of the Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA). "They have the same constitutional right to equitable and adequate funding as every other Texas public school student. Parents and students do not give up their right to constitutional funding by choosing the best public school option for their child. Every day they must wait is one day too long."

Charter School Claims:
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.
  1. Nothing is more inequitable than zero: No facilities funding for open-enrollment charter schools results in unconstitutionally inequitable and inadequate levels of funding for students attending charter schools; and
  2. The cap on charter schools is arbitrary especially with an ever expanding waiting list of students across the state: The arbitrary cap of 305 (by 2019) on open-enrollment charter school holders presents an arbitrary obstacle to the State's ability to achieve constitutional efficiency and stymies the very efficiency charter schools were intended to promote.

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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. In total, there are more than 154,000 students in over 500 open-enrollment charter campuses with more than 101,000 students on waiting lists across Texas.
Visit www.txcharterschools.org for more information.