SB 1897

84(R) - 2015
Senate Education
Senate Education

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral


Larry Taylor

Bill Caption

Relating to the powers and duties of the commissioner of education regarding open-enrollment charter schools.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State.

Local Government

Charter operators holding multiple charters would have additional administrative costs for duplicative reporting and oversight. These administrative costs would be voluntary based on the charter seeking additional charters.

Bill Analysis

SB 1897 would allow the commissioner to grant an additional charter to a charter holder if the charter is for electronic courses through the virtual school network or any other type of allowable open-enrollment charter. The bill would also, for purposes of renewal or revocation, not allow consideration of a charter holder's first assigned performance rating and would require the commissioner to allow representatives of the charter holder to meet with the commissioner prior to a revocation or reconstitution. If a district challenges a rating and demonstrates that inaccuracy or an error caused a lower rating, the commissioner must assign a corrected rating.

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill affirms the principle of limited government. SB 1897 would address an unintended consequence of SB 2 (which we supported) from the 83rd Legislative Session. That bill consolidated charters in cases where charter holders had multiple charters. The goal was to allow for more charter schools to be created under the cap.

Unfortunately, in some instances charters were consolidated but the the charters had different missions and needed to be on separate charters. This bill would fix that by allowing the grant of an additional charter if the charter is for a virtual school network or another population. It also strengthens charter holders concerning the performance ratings and financial accountability ratings.  For these reasons, we support SB 1897.