Charter school “authorizer” and other proposals at the Education Committee hearing

On Friday, the Senate Committee on Education heard ideas about charter schools and school choice. “Senators hear charter school reform proposals”, Lindsay Kastner, San Antonio Express-News, August 24, 2012. Among the proposals:

  • Creation of an independent charter “authorizer” that would handle new charter school applications and oversee existing charter schools — duties currently held by the Texas Education Agency. (Speakers: Greg Richmond, National Association of Charter School Authorizers, and Lisa Grover, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools)
  • Offering parents a voucher for $5,000 (about 60% of what the state pays for public school students) to help pay for private school tuition (Speaker: Joseph Bast, Heartland Institute)
  • Lifting the cap on the number of charters, but weeding out unsuccessful charters by granting only a “provisional” license for the first three years. (Speaker: David Anthony, Raise Your Hand Texas) A provisional license, however, might hurt the credibility of a new charter school that is trying to raise capital and attract teachers and families. (Speaker: David Dunn, Texas Charter Schools Association)
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