January 2014 Committee on School Initiatives Item 4

Discussion on Information Regarding Open-Enrollment Charter Schools
By the Committee on School Initiatives

January 30, 2014

COMMITTEE ON SCHOOL INITIATIVES: DISCUSSION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: NO ACTION

SUMMARY:
This item provides the Committee on School Initiatives information and updates from the director of charter school administration, as well as providing the SBOE charter school designee and the CSI the opportunity to discuss open-enrollment charter related topics. The committee will discuss current agency open-enrollment charter applications and charter performance evaluations as they relate to the SBOE’s understanding of charter applicants who meet the open-enrollment charter application criteria.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Texas Education Code (TEC), §12.101.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION: At the request of a board member, the committee will review information related to open-enrollment charter schools which will enable board members to make informed decisions under the board’s authority.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES: From 1995 until September 1, 2013, the State Board of Education had the authority to adopt the charter guidelines and application document; additionally the board had the authority to grant open-enrollment charters. However, Senate Bill (SB) 2, 83rd Texas Legislature, 2013, granted the commissioner of education the authority to establish and approve the contents of the request for application and the criteria by which charter schools would be awarded. Additionally, SB 2 gave the commissioner the authority to award up to 305 open-enrollment charters on a graduated basis by the year 2019 to eligible entities that: are considered capable of carrying out the responsibilities of the charter, are likely to operate a school of high quality, have been nominated by the commissioner, and are not rejected by a majority of members of the board present and voting. SB 2 specifies that a member of the State Board of Education will work in coordination with the commissioner to investigate and evaluate charter applicant(s). TEC, §12.101 gives the SBOE the authority to veto or take no action on the charter(s) the commissioner of education has recommended for award.

FISCAL IMPACT: Not applicable.

PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS: Not applicable.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: Not applicable.

ALTERNATIVES: Not applicable.

OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES: None.

Staff Members Responsible:
Michael Berry, Deputy Commissioner
Policy and Programs

Sally Partridge, Associate Commissioner
Accreditation and School Improvement

Heather Mauzé, Director
Charter School Administration