Last week, charter school leaders from around the state gathered in the new auditorium at Harmony Public Schools in Houston, TX to take part in the first ever Statewide Charter School Legal Summit. Outside of the Annual Charter Schools Conference this was the first time charter schools had ever had two-day training exclusively dedicated to the unique legal needs of Charter Schools.
With classes having just started a few weeks ago for most Texas Charter Schools I was impressed to see so many of my charter friends in Houston for this event—nearly 80. We were all there on a quest for answers because charter schools face unique legal challenges especially when trying to successfully navigate the intersection of non-profit and governmental compliance. Together with expert presenters, charter leaders were able to gain clarification on key legal issues and proactively plan for the school year.
What I loved about the training were the questions asked by participants. Charter leaders were firing away question after question keeping presenters on their toes. What impresses me most is when you have a charter school finance officer, probably a CPA by trade, asking about very specific special education issues. This just continues to show how we all have to wear so many hats as charter school leaders and do everything in our power to continually better ourselves.
At the conclusion of the training, attendees toured Harmony Science Academy’s state of the art labs and were impressed by science demonstrations by AP physics students, including my favorite—the runaway hovercraft! Honestly, I only remember getting to dissect a worm or two in school, let alone figure out a way to send my buddy spinning across the classroom and not get in trouble.
Finally, thank you again to our sponsor Ziegler, attendees, presenters and staff that helped make this training a success and I look forward to doing it again next fall. Together, we all made this possible.
Matt Abbott, TCSA Director of Training Services