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Charters at Senate Hearing

January 26, 2017

This week, representatives from the Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) and member charter schools participated at a hearing held by the state Senate Committee on Finance. The Committee’s focus for this hearing was on public education funding.

TCSA wants to recognize Michael A. Horne, Superintendent of KIPP-DFW; Kathleen Zimmerman, Executive Director of NYOS Charter School; and Traci Berry, School Superintendent of the Goodwill Excel Center Free Public Charter High School for their commitment to students and quality charter schools.

These charter school leaders took out time from their campus and students to attend the hearing all day, patiently waiting to speak on behalf of their students. Each spoke before Vice-Chair Hinojosa and Committee Members and made their case for funding public charter schools. Committee members even asked these charter leaders some questions, which is a rarity when there’s a long line of witnesses wanting to provide public testimony.

TCSA’s Executive Director David Dunn also provided public testimony on behalf of all public charter schools and advocated for facilities funding. His testimony featured legislation filed by Senator Donna Campbell, SB 457 that would provide public charter schools $700 per student for facilities funding. This would help provide relief to charter schools that not only use operational funds for classroom instruction, materials, teacher salaries, but also for the rent/mortgage. Separately, SB 457 would also help provide additional seats in the classroom for the more than 140,000 students on a waiting list.

TCSA wants to thank charter school leaders for coming to the Texas Capitol and sharing how funding impacts their campuses and students. We also thank the Senate Committee on Finance for the opportunity to voice our concerns related to the equitable funding for students at public charter schools.

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