June 2017 Committee on School Initiatives Item 1

Review of the Commissioner of Education’s Generation 22 Charter Proposals

June 23, 2017

COMMITTEE ON SCHOOL INITIATIVES: ACTION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: ACTION


SUMMARY: This item provides the committee and board an opportunity to review the commissioner’s list of proposed Subchapter D Open-Enrollment Charter Schools scheduled to open in school year 2018-2019. If awarded, the charters will have an initial five-year term with a July 31, 2023 contract end date.
 
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Texas Education Code (TEC), §12.101.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION:  At the July 2016 board meeting, the State Board of Education (SBOE) took into consideration the three applicants recommended by the Commissioner of Education for charter award. The SBOE voted to take no action on two charter applicants:  Compass Rose Academy (Bexar County) and Goodwater Montessori (Georgetown). The board voted to reject Athlos Academy (Dallas/Fort Worth).  

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES:  Texas Education Code (TEC), 12.101, amended in the 83rd Texas Legislative Session, 2013, grants the commissioner the authority to award up to 305 open-enrollment charters on a graduated basis by the year 2019 to eligible entities that: are considered capable of carrying out the responsibilities of the charter, are likely to operate a school of high quality, have been proposed by the commissioner, and are not vetoed by a majority of members of the SBOE. Prior to the charter school award cycle, the commissioner adopted the Generation 22 Open-Enrollment Charter Application, Guidelines and Request for Applications, establishing the timeline and procedures for the application cycle, the contents of the application, and the criteria by which charter schools would be awarded to eligible entities. Inclusive of the criteria, Generation 22 applications must have earned a cut score of 85% or higher to be granted an interview.

Twenty-seven of the applications submitted by the December 5, 2016 deadline were deemed to be complete after review by Texas Education Agency staff. The external reviewers, designated through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process, scored the 27 applications for charter. Nine of the applications that met the cut score of 85% were granted an interview. The commissioner’s designee conducted interviews along with agency representatives from Tuesday, May 9 through Thursday, May 11, 2017. State Board of Education members were invited to attend the interviews.

FISCAL IMPACT: A decrease in state revenue to local districts would occur as the result of students attending a new open-enrollment charter school instead of a traditional district school.

PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT:  In accordance with current statute, the approval of open-enrollment charters will provide new avenues for flexibility, innovation, local restructuring, and school choice options for parents and students. Charter schools are a public school choice option that enroll approximately 5% of our Texas public school students.

PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS:
  Open-Enrollment Charter Schools are subject to the public school accountability system under TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapters B, C, D, E, F, G, and J and reporting requirements referenced in TEC §12.104 which include, but are not limited to, PEIMS; criminal history records, Chapter 22, Subchapter C; Special Education, Chapter 29, Subchapter A; and Bilingual Education, Chapter 29, Subchapter B.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:  None.

OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES:  No other comments or related issues are presented.

MOTION TO BE CONSIDERED: The State Board of Education:

Take no action on the list of proposed Generation 22 Open-Enrollment Charter Schools submitted by the Commissioner of Education.

Staff Members Responsible:

A.J. Crabill, Deputy Commissioner
Governance
    
Heather Mauzé, Director
Charter School Administration

Attachment:
 
Commissioner of Education’s Generation 22 Open-Enrollment Charter Proposals (PDF,19KB)