Texas Senate Bill Would Lift Charter School Cap

AUSTIN (February 18, 2013)—State Sen. Dan Patrick R-Houston, the chairman of the Texas Senate Education Committee, has filed a bill that would lift the cap on the number of charter schools allowed to operate statewide, and would authorize the schools to receive public facilities funding.

Current state law restricts to 215 the number of charter school licenses but Patrick's measure would allow an unlimited number of charters.

Charter schools already receive state funding for operations and educate about 135,000 of Texas' more than 5 million public school students, but operators say that another 100,000 students are on wait-lists to attend charter schools.

Meanwhile, state rules prohibit charter schools from receiving state funding for facilities, or from seeking taxpayer permission to issue bonds for school construction as traditional public schools do.

Patrick's bill also seeks to change that.

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