There is significant momentum for charter school facilities funding this legislative session. Earlier this week, Senator Donna Campbell held an event at the Texas Capitol to highlight joint efforts to narrow the funding gap between students at public charter schools and traditional school districts.
Sen. Campbell was joined by state Reps. Harold Dutton, Dwayne Bohac, and Ron Simmons to discuss the importance of providing charter schools with facilities funding through their companion legislation, SB 457 and HB 2337.
Also participating in this event were parents, charter leaders, and advocates from Austin area charters including Harmony Public Schools, IDEA Public Schools, KIPP Public Schools, Not Your Ordinary School (NYOS), Orenda Education, and Rapoport Academy (Waco). These schools, among others from across the state, coordinated a letter writing campaign beginning last fall to encourage families to reach out to their elected officials regarding the need for facilities funding.
Pricilla Cavazos, a parent whose child attends NYOS, shared her personal story on finding a school to best meet the needs of her child and her experience on a waiting list for a charter school. Additionally, Ms. Cavazos told legislators the need for facilities funding and what it would mean for her child to have access to a school library and large hallways in a brick and mortar building (as opposed to a portable classroom).
Larkin Tackett of IDEA Public Schools also delivered remarks describing their student success and tragically, the number of students on a waiting list to attend one of their campuses.
TCSA wants to thank these legislators for hearing the demand of Texas families and responding with filing SB 457 and HB 2337. This is the first time a House bill for charter school facilities funding has been filed by a set of joint authors representing both bipartisan and geographic diversity. This effort is led by legislators representing Dallas-Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Houston, and the Rio Grande Valley, where a majority of charter schools educate students.
We also want to thank the families from across the state who wrote letters to their elected officials advocating for public charter schools. Many of these letters were delivered to legislative offices later in the afternoon.
Click here to watch the full event in its entirety. (not compatible with Chrome).