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5 Million Reasons to Shut Down Failing Charters

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Failing charter schools fail Texas students and families. Texas doesn’t need more charters. It needs more high-performing charter schools. Acting swiftly to close failing charter schools protects Texas students and families while creating more opportunities for high-performing charter schools to serve students.

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5 Million Reasons to Shut Down Failing Charters

  1. 1. WHO EDUCATES 5 MILLION TEXAS STUDENTS? Failing charter schools fail Texas students and families. Texas doesn’t need more charters. It needs more high-performing PUBLIC SCHOOLS 91% Private Schools 6% charter schools. Acting swiftly to close failing charter schools protects Public Charters 3% Texas students and families while creating more opportunities for PUBLIC SCHOOLS PRIVATE SCHOOLS PUBLIC CHARTERS high-performing charter schools to serve students. 4,823,842 313,360 154,278 Why Can’t TEA Close Failing Charter Schools? It takes too long to revoke a charter for poor performance, putting According to the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission: students and taxpayers at risk. TEA does not act to revoke a charter • The percentage of charter school campuses rated until after four years of Academically Unacceptable performance. Academically Unacceptable was nearly twice that of Because a charter is considered to be a property right, charter revocations traditional public schools (11.2% vs. 5.9%). typically take 2-3 additional years, during which time students are • Charter schools educate 3% of the student population in left in a poor performing school. In one case, TEA has been working Texas, but account for 25% of the TEA’s workload. to revoke a charter for 12 years! • The percentage of charter school operators failing state TEA lacks the authority to suspend charter operations for imminent financial accountability standards in 2012 was more than six insolvency before a school term begins. If a charter runs out of funds times that of public school districts (13.1% vs. 2%). during the academic year, it puts students and families at risk of disruption, • Charter school campuses represent 71% of the campuses displacement and loss of academic progress. with sanctions but only 17% of total public school campuses. TEA lacks clear standards for charter renewal. As a result, poorly-run • Out of a total of 452 charters for 2010-2011, several had been rated Academically Unacceptable for multiple, charter schools are often allowed to continue to operate despite non-consecutive years: chronic performance problems. • 53 charter campuses = Academically Unacceptable for 3+ years TEA lacks the authority to address poor governance by charter • 1 charter campus = Academically Unacceptable for 7 years! schools. TEA does not have the authority to reconstitute a charter school board that is failing to carry out its obligations, or to address nepotism or conflicts of interest. TAKE ACTION Here’s what the Texas legislature can do to keep public schools strong: • Strengthen charter schools and charter school enforcement by Commissioner to reconstitute charter boards, applying adopting key recommendations of Texas Sunset Advisory nepotism and conflict of interest standards. Commission staff: • Issue a five-year provisional license to new charter - Require the Commissioner to revoke charters for failure to applicants so that those that fail to perform adequately meet fiscal or accountability standards for three years in a row; can be shut down without lengthy lawsuits. - Give the Commissioner authority to suspend operations and • Maintain existing TEA standards that allow revoke charter if the school is about to become insolvent; high-performing charters to open new campuses without - Strengthen the charter renewal process so that Commissioner obtaining a new charter (referred to as “replication”). has clear authority to not renew a charter for accountability, • Oppose significant expansion of the current cap on the fiscal, governance or other failure to comply with terms of number of charters until significant progress is made in charter; and revoking poor performing charters. - Strengthen charter schools governance by authorizing theCHARTER LEGISLATIVE ADVERTISING PAID FOR BY: David Anthony, CEO, Raise Your Hand Texas 3200 Southwest Freeway, Suite 2070 | Houston, TX 77027SCHOOLS P 713.993.7667 | F 713.993.7691 | www.RaiseYourHandTexas.org

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