Postcard from the Statehouse: Austin, Texas


Postcard from the Statehouse: Austin, Texas

“Postcard from the Statehouse” will provide occasional updates on the travels of NACSA’s Policy Team as they advocate for strong authorizer policies across the country.

Greetings from Texas!  Yesterday, the Senate Education Committee heard testimony on SB 2, a newly introduced bill that would improve oversight of–and access–to high quality charter schools.  NACSA President and CEO Greg Richmond was one of seven invited panelists and spoke to the Committee about lifting caps on the growth of charters, creating a new independent statewide chartering entity with the authority to do their job well, and default closure of the state’s worst-performing schools. Committee members were very interested in authorizing and peppered Richmond with questions about how other states find a balance between authorizer autonomy and authorizer accountability.  We know that states handle this issue in a variety of ways and Richmond outlined successful authorizer accountability measures, included approval of authorizing policies by an elected body (ie a State Board of Education or the Legislature) and annual reporting requirements.

NACSA is honored to be an active participant in the discussion as Texas considers significant reform of its authorizer policy and its charter accountability regulations.  We sincerely thank Senator Patrick and the Texas Association of Charter Schools for inviting us to participate in this process and share our Principles and Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing with the Senate Education Committee.

For more information on the SB 2 hearing, check out this interview with Caprice Young, Vice President of Education for the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in Houston.

The current version of the bill here.