You are here

Charter schools

The charter school business has been booming since 1995 when the Texas Legislature authorized their creation.

Texas will shut down 14 charter school operators that failed to meet heightened financial and academic performance rules this year, state education officials announced Tuesday.

When Texas lawmakers come back to Austin in January, there will be a new governor who touts public schools as a top priority, and plenty of money in the state bank account. But that doesn’t mean everything will go smoothly as the 84th Legislature navigates public education policy.

The panel charged with charting a new course for the Dallas Independent School District is trying to figure out whether to fold its tent and go home.

No other options offer students in poorer urban districts such access to high-quality learning and such a chance to succeed

WASHINGTON, D.C. — At Center City public charter school Congress Heights, a group of about 25 first graders sit crossed-legged in front of Linda Kim as she reads to them about Ancient Egypt. Upstairs, Tamika Fernandez helps her fourth and fifth graders solve decimal problems on the whiteboard, while across the hall, Wendy Oftedahl’s class of seventh graders listen to author Karen Harrington talk about the writing process.

Upon his re-election in 2006, then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein offered the free use of underutilized school facilities to a bumper crop of charter schools opening that year—including my first. Fueled by this policy, charter-school enrollment in the city grew from 11,000 to almost 70,000 by the end of Mr. Bloomberg’s second term in 2013, and my one school grew to 22.

The group that launched the home-rule charter effort in Dallas ISD unveiled a draft constitution this week that would overhaul how the district operates and is governed.

The 2015 legislative session is likely to see a slew of such education legislation. Lt. Governor-Elect and current Education Chairman Dan Patrick told a Senate committee Monday that school choice already exists in Texas if you have the money to send your kid to private school.

Just a few years ago, the attendance rate at Davis Middle School was among the worst in the San Antonio Independent School District. Students were falling behind on course work and being held back a grade, saddling teachers with a population tougher to educate and more likely to lose hope that they could regain their academic footing.