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TCSA Legal Weighs in on Two Important Charter Issues

January 11, 2018

TCSA files Amici Curiae Brief to Texas Supreme Court

On Friday, January 5th, TCSA submitted an Amici Curiae brief in support of the charter school petitioners in the case currently before the Texas Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the revocation procedures for charter revocations under the state’s “three strikes” law enacted by Senate Bill 2 of the 83rd Texas Legislature. Prepared on behalf of TCSA by Tommy Fuller of the Fuller Law Group, TCSA argued in support of the charter petitioners that the Commissioner did not provide the charter holders with any meaningful due process, as required by the Texas Constitution. TCSA highlighted for the high court that not once in the arc from the first negative performance rating to final revocation by the Commissioner and review by SOAH are the charter holders provided meaningful due process.  In particular, TCSA argued that the Court of Appeals erred in finding due process in the revocation procedures, as there is,  is no meaningful opportunity for the charter holder at the performance rating level (the Commissioner limits review to data or calculation errors on behalf of TEA or the Commissioner), and that the review of the Commissioner’s revocation decision by the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) should have included a review of the underlying evidence.  The Texas Supreme Court heard oral argument on the case on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.  The high court could issue a decision at any time, as it does not have any particular deadline by which to issue a decision in the matter. Stay tuned for this very important decision regarding charter school revocations and due process rights!

TCSA Comments on Proposed SB 1882 District-Partnership Rules

On behalf of our members, TCSA recently submitted public comments on the proposed rules concerning district-charter partnerships under Senate Bill 1882 enacted by the 85th Texas Legislature.  TCSA’s main comment regarding the proposed district partnership rules was that the Commissioner does not have the rule-making authority under SB 1882 to impose additional eligibility and performance requirements on partnerships between districts and open-enrollment charter schools. TCSA commented that the purpose and intent of SB 1882 was to incentivize and increase the occurrence of district-charter partnerships. By constraining the flexibility of ISDs and open-enrollment charter schools, the proposed rules will impose greater risk to charter schools considering a district-charter partnership and will likely limit the participation of charter schools in such partnerships. Instead, the Commissioner and TEA should be less prescriptive and create resources, guidance documents, or sample contracts for ISDs and open-enrollment charter schools to develop a partnership that meets their individual needs. Read TCSA’s comments to the Commissioner in full here.

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