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Relating to certain contributions by an open-enrollment charter
school to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
A positive impact of $41,420,509 is expected to the state through the biennium.
HB 953 would require charter schools to pay the state's contribution on the portion of the member's salary that exceeds the statutory minimum salary. Currently public school districts have to pay this portion to TRS, while charter schools do not.
Open-enrollment charter schools are different from traditional public school districts in many ways. Significantly, charter schools do not have taxing authority like regular public schools do. This means that charter schools have significantly lower budgets and consequently have less ability to pay teachers competitive wages. In fact, many charter schools fundraise from among the parents of students in attendance to boost teacher salaries.
This legislation would hurt charter schools by making it extraordinarily difficult for them to compete for and retain high quality teachers, and could cause some charter schools to close entirely. This would further reduce school choice in Texas which is already in sad shape.
For these reasons we oppose HB 953