Over the last few months, Bruce Marchand and I have published a few blogs about our role in supporting charter operators to grow and expand. While Bruce most recently addressed the Expansion Process in his blog, I initially spent time discussing the frankly obscene waiting lists that we have statewide, with more than 141,000 students total. With National School Choice Week recently concluded, coupled with the fresh submission of charter-friendly legislation by Senator Donna Campbell, the topic of growth is yet again at top of mind.
As our titles might indicate, Bruce and I support the growth and expansion of charter schools within Texas. As such a part of that work, we are spearheading efforts to implement a statewide survey of charter holders to better understand growth efforts in the next seven years. This data will provide critical insight to drive efforts across a variety of sectors to better serve you, our members. With increased understanding of potential cities and sites, for example, we can channel information from real estate brokers and land developers to appropriate charter holders. Moreover, this data could be used to focus our lobbying efforts to new areas of the state or a particular part of a city where a charter seeks to expand. The opportunities are truly without limit.
Despite the fact that our largest networks are continuing to expand, the demand for high-quality seats increases every single year. As more families actively engage in educational choice, waiting lists grow longer and longer. While on Facebook recently, I read the comments of both jubilation and sadness as families posted about a charter school’s lottery that had taken place over a weekend. One mother noted that it had been the fourth year in which she had applied for her children to attend. She further lamented that it was the fourth year in which her children had been waitlisted. Stories like this can be found across the state at charters of all shapes and sizes.
As such, we cannot underscore enough the need for high-performing schools and networks alike to leverage their resources, grow, grow, grow, and ultimately do what’s best for students. If you are a charter operator interested in growth, whether this year or in the coming years, please reach out to Bruce Marchand immediately. The window to submit Expansion Amendments closes April 1, 2017.
Finally, in the coming weeks, we will be sending out a short survey to the senior leadership teams and lead administrators for all of the charter holders across the state. This survey seeks to understand your strategic plans as they pertain to growth in Texas through 2025. If you are launching new schools, new regions, new programs, or new initiatives, we want to know about it! Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and help us to help you.
As always, Bruce, myself, and the entire TCSA team are here to support you and your students.