State Senate Approves Dramatic Charter School Expansion

AUSTIN (April 11, 2013)--The Texas Senate gave overwhelming approval Thursday to a bill authorizing a dramatic expansion of the number of charter schools allowed to operate in in the state, but the measure wasn't nearly as ambitious as what was originally proposed.

The bill, authored by state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, would increase the cap on the number of licenses to operate charter schools statewide from the current 215 to 305 by September 2019.

It passed 30-1 on Thursday with surprisingly little debate.

Afterward Democrats and Republicans alike congratulated Patrick.

The measure now heads to the House, where it faces a tougher road.

Patrick originally pushed for lifting entirely the cap on licenses, and creating a special board to oversee a flood of new applications he expected would follow, but he said Thursday the bill that passed is "much, much better" than the original.

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