On Monday, March 19, 2018 TCSA provided testimony at the Texas Commission on Public School Finance. Kathleen Zimmermann, superintendent of NYOS Charter School and Todd Ziebarth, senior vice president of the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools educated members of the commission about the importance of public charter schools and the need to identify a long term solution for the financing of charters. The legislature provided $60 million in state funding for charter facilities during the 2017 session, but a significant funding gap between traditional schools and public charters persists. Karalei Nunn, founder Meridian World Charter also appeared before the Expenditures Working Group.

The commission was created to develop recommendations for improvements to the current public school finance system and to consider new methods of financing public education. The group is examining the relationship between state and local school funding, the levels of funding required to meet constitutional standards, and any needed policy changes that reflect the geographic diversity of the state.

It’s important for public charter schools to be part of any funding solution crafted by state lawmakers, so please reach out to commission members in your area to ensure the needs of public charter students and their families are incorporated into a modern and fair funding system for all public schools. To learn more about the commission and its members, visit this link or the resources listed below.

The commission meets in Austin, and will finalize a report for the 86th Legislature in December of 2018.

Resources

Texas Public School Finance Overview 2017-2018 (Jan 2018) (PDF)
Texas Public School Finance Glossary Dec 2017 (PDF)
Rider 73 Charts Jan 2018 (PDF)