Charter schools must measure up

02/10/2014 5:53 PM

02/10/2014 5:54 PM

The Texas Education Agency is expanding the number of charter schools as the Legislature instructed — and working to close schools that don’t meet academic or financial criteria.

Last year’s Senate Bill 2 raised the limit on charters from 215 this year to 305 by mid-2020. Supporters said more than 178,000 Texas students were attending charter schools, but another 101,000 remained on waiting lists.

Part of what persuaded some legislators to get on board was the provision for mandatory charter revocations at schools that failed to achieve academic or financial standards for three years running.

The relatively small number of schools that consistently fail to meet accountability criteria damage the charter movement.

In December, TEA told six schools that their charters would be revoked under the provisions of SB2. They are American Youthworks (Austin), Azleway Charter School (Tyler), Honors Academy (Farmers Branch), Jamie’s House Charter School (Houston), Koinonia Community Learning Academy (Houston) and Richard Milburn Academy’s suburban Houston campus.

Each of those schools received a formal review, but TEA has upheld its decisions to revoke.

If an administrative law judge upholds the revocations, they will take effect June 30, TEA said in a news release Monday.

This is an extensive process. Charter holders are being given every chance to show they should be allowed to continue operating.

In the end, charters that can’t meet state criteria must fall by the wayside.

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