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Students at Public Charter Schools Receive Facilities Funds for the First Time

August 16, 2017

It gives me great pleasure to share news of the historic passage of HB 21 by the Texas Legislature. As you know, securing facilities funding has been the primary legislative priority for the Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) since our inception in 2008, and this win has been a long time coming.

Under HB 21, students at public charter schools will receive $60 million in direct support from the state for facilities funding. Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 21 on Wednesday and charter facilities funding goes into effect for the 2018-19 academic year.

Only charters with an acceptable overall rating are eligible to access facilities funds under HB 21, though residential treatment charters are exempt from this performance criteria. This requirement coupled with SB 2 (83rd Legislative Session) make for stricter accountability for charters as compared to other public schools. SB 2 mandates the automatic closure of a charter school after three consecutive years of failing to meet academic or financial standards. I know you share our commitment to providing students with an excellent public education and support legislative efforts to ensure greater student outcomes.

Facilities funds provided by HB 21 will help provide relief to public charter schools by keeping instructional funds in the classroom for students and fewer operational dollars going towards the rent or mortgage.

TCSA appreciates Governor Abbott adding school finance to the call for special session allowing for this momentous victory. We also thank Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Chairman Larry Taylor, and Chairman Dan Huberty for their leadership ensuring that Texans have more options within public education.

I want to personally thank my team--the TCSA staff--for their hard work and long hours contributing to the passage of this bill. TCSA's Elected Advocacy Committee also deserves special recognition for their efforts.

Most importantly, thank you for providing students with an innovative, excellent public education and advocating for your students with your legislators. Together, we can celebrate this great win for students!

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