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Relating to the approval of open-enrollment charter schools and the
applicability of certain state and local laws to open-enrollment
No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 28 would require that public charter schools be treated the same as local district schools under zoning and land use ordinances, regulations, and fees. The bill would prevent local entities from prohibiting charter schools from being built on certain municipal properties. It would also eliminate the State Board of Education (SBOE) veto power over qualified charter school applications, while providing SBOE with additional power to petition the Texas Education Agency to reconsider charter applications if they fail within ten percentage points of meeting the minimum score necessary. Finally, SB 28 ensures that final authority in the location of charter schools lies with the TEA commissioner and that local governments may not prohibit charters from operating within their jurisdictions.
In its committee substitute, the bill added that for each new charter the commissioner proposes, the SBOE may only consider the following: 1) the staffing proposed under the charter for special education programs and bilingual education and special language programs, 2) correct alignment of curricula 3) and any prior issues with the proposed charter school or proposed administrators.
Texas Action supports SB 28 on the principles of limited government and individual liberty. SB 28 would prohibit government discrimination of charter schools which would enhance the individual liberty of students by promoting greater educational choice and opportunities.