State Representatives Harold Dutton, Dwayne Bohac, Jodie Laubenberg, Eddie Lucio, III, and Ron Simmons have joined Senator Donna Campbell in taking the lead to narrow the funding gap for students attending a public charter school and those at traditional school districts. These joint authors filed HB 2337 as companion legislation to Senator Campbell’s SB 457 for charter schools facilities funding.
This is the first time in state history that companion legislation specific to facilities funding for public charter schools has been filed in both chambers of the Texas Legislature. The Texas Charter Schools Association and its member schools are elated at potential aid for the 250,000 students currently enrolled at a public charter school and the additional 141,000 students on a waiting list to attend one.
Both HB 2337 and SB 457 propose providing charter schools with $700 per student, which would put them on par with low-wealth school districts.
As a result of the lack of facilities funding, charter schools currently receive on average $1400 less per pupil as compared to other public schools. Charters must use their operational funds meant for student instruction, materials, and teacher salaries to also pay the rent or mortgage for classrooms.
Adding to the momentum, Governor Greg Abbot has specifically identified facilities funding for public charter schools in his budget proposal, which is also a first for a sitting governor of Texas.
Texas Charter Schools Association thanks Representatives Dutton, Bohac, Laubenberg, Lucio, and Simmons, as well as Senator Donna Campbell for their leadership in the Legislature and their commitment to ensuring that all Texas children have access to a high quality, free public education.