Key Elements of SB 2
Charter Schools Bill Conference Committee Report
QUICK CLOSURE OF LOW PERFORMING CHARTERS
SB 2 empowers the commissioner with the clear standards and new tools needed to shut down low performing charter schools quickly under an accelerated timetable.
GUARDRAILS ON CHARTER SCHOOL AUTHORIZATION
SB 2 for the first time establishes a check-and-balance system for state awards of charters. The commissioner is authorized to grant charters, but the State Board of Education has veto power. The bill also strengthens the standards for awarding charters and provides for clear reporting that will shine a public light on poor charter authorization practices.
MEASURED GROWTH OF CHARTER SCHOOLS
SB 2 is responsive to the 100,000 students on charter school waiting lists. It lifts the arbitrary 215 cap on the number of charters, allowing measured growth of new public charter schools – 10 in 2014 and 15 annually thereafter with an aggregate cap of 305. The bill also eases the way for the replication of Texas’ most successful charter campuses.
GIVES LOCAL DISTRICTS POWER TO FIX SCHOOLS
SB 2 gives school districts authority to manage low-performing schools with the same flexibility afforded charter schools. We must give local districts authority that is commensurate with their responsibilities.
STRENGTHENS CHARTER SCHOOL GOVERNANCE
SB 2 ensures that the non-profit board members of a charter school retain control over all aspects of operation and strengthens conflict-of-interest safeguards.