Archives for the month of: April, 2021

The Mind Trust in Indianapolis has been the central engine of charter creation in that city and holds itself up as a model charter authorizer.

Until it was “deceived” by a would-be charter operator with a rosy vision, according to this story by Stephanie Wang in Chalkbeat Indiana.

She begins:

To launch a “transformational” middle school in an overlooked eastside neighborhood, Indianapolis charter advocates turned to a man students call Coach T.

For two decades, Tariq Al-Nasir ran his Stemnasium enrichment programs with a mission of helping Black and brown students realize their “superpowers” in science, technology, engineering, and math. With a resume boasting advanced degrees from MIT and Stanford, Al-Nasir put forward a vision of education in which hands-on lessons in coding, flying drones, and tinkering with robots could change children’s lives.

Calling him “brilliant” at working with students, the influential charter incubator The Mind Trust gave Al-Nasir a two-year, $800,000 fellowship last summer to develop Stemnasium Science Math Engineering Middle School.

But a Chalkbeat investigation found that the rosy charter pitch painted over troubling details — lawsuits, financial troubles, questionable academic credentials — that escaped notice by city charter officials and The Mind Trust.

A bankruptcy filed six months before Al-Nasir won the prestigious fellowship showed that he had accumulated hundreds of thousands of dollars in debts while running the programs that inspired his charter proposal — including a nearly $500,000 judgment in a lawsuit that alleged Al-Nasir wrote bad checks to cover outstanding Stemnasium bills.

His resume lists a bachelor’s degree from New York University, a master’s from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a doctorate from Stanford University — each earned at times when the employment section of his resume placed him at jobs in other cities. All three of those institutions told Chalkbeat they had no records of Al-Nasir’s attendance.

The lawsuits and financial scandals did not deter The Mind Trust but lying about his academic credentials did.

The Mind Trust cancelled his fellowship.

What is even more shocking than the candidate’s misrepresentations was The Mind Trust’s failure to conduct a review of his background.

Without the inquiries from Chalkbeat, it’s unclear whether Al-Nasir’s money troubles or unsubstantiated educational claims would have come to light. The Indianapolis mayor’s office, which oversees more than 40 charter schools in the city, is often named among the strongest charter authorizers in the nation. But its director acknowledged that officials don’t vet new applicants’ financial histories or even run a simple free search on a public database of court records that would reveal lawsuits.

The Mind Trust displayed neither accountability nor transparency. Its naïveté and gullibility embarrassed the candidate as well as the organization. It failed to vet him or to conduct due diligence.

Jennifer Berkshire and Jack Schneider explore what happens when a state government is taken over by a combination of libertarians, who want to diminish government and taxes, and Republicans, who have spent decades attacking government as “the enemy.” It turns out they are indistinguishable. .

This is a don’t-miss edition of their reader-supported “Have You Heard” podcast (with transcript available).

Among the services cut were garbage collection and animal control. So people in the state are getting used to seeing bears ransacking their garbage.

The situation is growing dire for the state’s public schools. The libertarians want to eliminate public education. They want to replace it with charter schools, vouchers, home schooling, and pretty much anything that a parent wants to do.

Under the leadership of Governor Chris Sununu and Frank Edelblut, the home schooler he selected as state commissioner of education, the state is well on its way to its goal of privatizing and/or abolishing public schools.

Federal officials arrested Seth Andrew, founder of the Democracy Prep charter chain, accusing him of taking money from the schools’ bank account to lower his mortgage rate on a new home. Andrew launched Democracy Prep in 2005; he left in 2013 to work the Obama Department of Education but retained financial ties with the charter chain. He severed his ties with the chain in January 2017.

Federal officials say he withdrew more than $200,000 from one of the schools’ accounts in 2019.

He is accused of wire fraud, money laundering, and making false claims to a bank.

CNBC reported:

Andrew, 42, was busted in New York City, where he and his wife, CBS News anchor Lana Zak, have a residence valued at more than $2 million. 

The founder of Democracy Prep Public Schools is accused of using more than half of the allegedly stolen money from that network to maintain a bank account minimum that gave him a more favorable interest rate for a mortgage on his and Zak’s Manhattan residence. Zak was not charged in the case.

Prosecutors said Andrew in 2019 — more than two years after severing ties with Democracy Prep — looted a series of escrow accounts he had previously set up for individual schools within Democracy Prep’s network, and then used their funds to open a business account in the name of one of the schools at a bank...

Andrew’s criminal defense attorney, Michael Yaeger, told CNBC that Andrew “will be entering a plea of not guilty” in the case. He declined to comment further.

Arne Duncan, who as then-President Barack Obama’s Education secretary supervised Andrew, declined to comment on the criminal case.

Minnesota was the first state to pass a charter law in 1991. As blogger Sarah Lahm wrote in the Progressive in 2019, the new charters were exempt from most state regulations, including desegregation. A number of its charters are segregated by race and ethnicity, intentionally so, because the charter industry believes that segregation is culturally affirming. This situation led to a lawsuit to assure the rights of children of color in the state.

So now leading figures in the state charter lobby want to pass an amendment to the state constitution that would make segregated schools acceptable, while adding that school quality would be determined by standardized tests.

Blogger Rob Levine explains:

The Page Amendment is best understood if you recognize these foundations’ overall public education strategies. For 30 years the Minneapolis Foundation and its allies have been creating, funding, and persuading the legislature to loosen requirements on charter schools in the state. Over that same period, they have been pushing for data (test) driven education policies. The proposed Page Amendment would enshrine standardized test scores in the state constitution as measure of educational quality, and remove language courts have used to fight school segregation. So for the foundations the proposed amendment is a two-fer. But it’s even more than that…

One need only look at the two charter chains that get the most money from the foundations – Hiawatha Academies and KIPP Minnesota – to understand that threat. Hiawatha is a chain of five charter schools based in Minneapolis whose student population is about 88% Hispanic, in a city that is about 10% Hispanic…

It’s a similar story at the foundations’ second-most funded charter school chain, KIPP Minnesota, where the school population is 96% Black in a city that is less than 20% Black, and has been that way since it opened in 2008…

The proposed amendment both adds and removes language from the section of the Minnesota Constitution that involves public education. Currently, Article XIII, Section 1 of the Constitution provides, in part:

“…it is the duty of the legislature to establish a general and uniform system of public schools. The legislature shall make such provisions by taxation or otherwise as will secure a thorough and efficient system of public schools throughout the state” [emphasis added]

The Minnesota Supreme Court’s ruling in July, 2018, sending the Cruz-Guzman case back to the district court, said this when ruling for the plaintiff’s motion to proceed with the case, writing:

“It is self-evident that a segregated system of public schools is not ‘general,’ ‘uniform,’ ‘thorough,’ or ‘efficient.’” [emphasis added]

But the proposed Page Amendment removes the words general, thorough and efficient, and recasts “uniform” as the results of standardized tests.

So this is what corporate reform has wrought in Minnesota. A renewed belief in racial segregation and a determination to enshrine standardized testing in the state constitution.

PTC is joining with many parent groups and school boards to fight this direct assault on local control and democracy.

Pastors for Texas Children is a staunch ally of public schools and of separation of church and state. They have vigorously fought vouchers and now they are fighting an all-out attempt by the yet the aggressive charter industry to open wherever they want, without the approval of local elected officials. The lobbyists also want to slash the state board of education’s power to veto new charters.

PTC is working with parent groups and other activists to stop this direct assault on local control and democracy.



The public education advocacy community–which includes YOU–has had some great success despite this being a very difficult legislative session.

First of all, one piece of legislation that PTC is hoping to see made into law is the “community schools bill.” HB 81 by Eddie Rodriguez would give struggling schools the ability to partner with the community to improve educational outcomes for their students. HB 81 unanimously passed out of the House Public Education committee recently.

Second, you might have heard about the House of Representative’s budget debate this past Thursday. The House sent a clear message to us: they want to support public education. There were two big ways they did this on Thursday:

  1. They voted to ensure the legislature will appropriate the $18 billion in federal relief money to public schools, and to only spend that money on public schools.
  2. They overwhelmingly voted down a private schools voucher amendment.

Job well done, faithful servants! This is a huge celebration, but we still have work to do…

Tell the House Public Education Committee to reject unlimited charter school expansion.


Tomorrow, April 27, the House Public Education Committee will meet to consider SB 28. This bill makes it easier for the State Board of Education to approve new charter applications, and makes it easier for charter schools to locate anywhere they want without restriction.

SB 28 affords special privileges to charter schools. It unfairly disadvantages smaller cities from zoning restrictions to charter schools. And it prohibits school districts from providing information to the public about the impact of a new charter school.

SB 28 also changes the process for State Board of Education approval of a new charter school.Previously the SBOE was able to veto the commissioner of education’s approval of new charter school applications with a simple majority. SB 28 would require a larger majority of 3/5, or nine out of 15 members to veto. With a State Board of Education who is usually split down the middle on charter schools, this would make it significantly harder for the board to use their veto power. The SBOE has not abused this power; in fact, many public education advocates would like to see them use it more often. Since holding this privilege, the SBOE has only vetoed seven new charter school applications in eight years. 

Help us oppose this bill! Please call the members of the House Public Education committee

The Misssouri Times is a generally right of center newspaper, But it believes in the promise of public schools and recognizes that the latest push for charters and vouchers is rank privatization funded by wealthy elites. After thirty years of pouring billions into charters and vouchers, there is no reason to believe that privatized schools produce better outcomes. We know they don’t.

Opinion: Public Schools are Public Goods


As the parent of three children enrolled in St. LouisPublic Schools, I am deeply dismayed that so many in the Missouri House — including some Democrats — voted in favor of HB 137, which will shift up to $17 million dollars a year from traditional public schools (specifically SLPS) to charter schools, which will not be required to provide the same services as public schools. We must make sure that HB 137 dies in the Senate.

I am also deeply concerned about the statewide ramifications of SB 55, an omnibus bill with many different privatizing provisions — including the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) Program (aka vouchers), Charter School Funding modifications, establishing a Charter School Revolving Commission Fund to fund new charters, and changing provisions regarding public school accreditation, gifted education, and attendance standards. SB 55 sponsor, Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin let us know in The Missouri Times on April 1: “School choice will have little to no impact on rural schools.” So, in other words, the privatization Sen. O’Laughlin thinks is best for children and families in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia is so good that she definitely does not want it for her constituents or for other rural districts. This is paternalistic and racist thinking meant to further divide Missourians from one another, influenced by privateers such as the Show-Me Institute and the Opportunity Trust/City Fund. It should be noted that Sen. O’Laughlin was also the sponsor of legislation last year that exempted private and religious schools from Missouri’s minimum wage laws. Other pro-privatization bills to oppose right now (some of which may be rolled into SB 55) include HB 349, HB 439, HB 543, and HB 942.

We must reject privatizing education even further and remember that public schools are public goods. Public schools must be embraced and built up, rather than torn down. As Horace Mann, the educator my children’s school is named after, famously put it, “Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of [people].” We must continue to fight to make it so.

Tom Ultican has turned his talents to understanding the damage that a large number of billionaires has inflicted on American education and American society. He proposes that we tax them out of existence with their assets used to reduce poverty and inequality.

He names names and demands accountability for their vast wealth.

in a capitalist society, vast wealth controls vast power. This concentration of wealth and power contradicts the basic premise of our society as a democracy where each person gets only one vote, where there is equality of opportunity.

(I posted this yesterday but am reposting to correct errors introduced by auto-correct.)

Jan Resseger always writes widely and deeply about education, especially in Ohio, where she lives.

For 25 years, Ohio has spent billions of dollars on charters and vouchers while ignoring the needs of the states’s vast majority of schools and students. Legislators want more of the failed strategies. Ohio is akin to a carnival show where the card sharp distracts the crowd with tricks while ignoring the state constitution’s requirement of an equitably and adequately system of public schools. No matter how many times the public is fooled by empty promises, they come back for more and fall for the scam.

She begins:

For a quarter of a century, Ohio has pursued the accountability-based “education reform” strategy that was formalized in the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act.

Ohio holds schools accountable for raising students’ scores on high-stakes standardized tests by imposing sanctions on schools and school districts unable quickly to raise scores. Ohio identifies so-called “failing” public schools, ranks them on school district report cards, and locates privatized charter schools and voucher qualification within the boundaries of low-scoring districts. Additionally, the state takes over so-called failing school districts and imposes Academic Distress Commissions as overseers. Ohio’s students are held back in third grade if their reading scores are too low, and high school seniors must pass exit exams to graduate.

After more than two decades of this sort of school policy, student achievement hasn’t increased and test score gaps have not closed. Ohio is a state with eight big cities—Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Toledo, Youngstown, Akron, and Canton; lots of smaller cities and towns; Appalachian rural areas and Indiana-like rural areas; and myriad income-stratified suburbs. Just as they do across the United States, aggregate standardized test scores correlate most closely with family and neighborhood income, not with the characteristics of the public schools. In the fall of 2019, the Plain Dealer’s data wonk, Rich Exner, created a series of bar graphs to demonstrate the almost perfect correlation of school districts’ letter grades on the state school district report card with family income.

But while Ohio has punished so-called “failing” schools, it hasn’t done much to help the public schools in Ohio’s poorest communities. In profound testimony before the Ohio State Board of Education in early April, Policy Matters Ohio’s Wendy Patton described several decades of fiscal realities for Ohio’s 610 school districts, conditions that have accompanied the decades of punitive accountability: “(T)he state provided slightly more than half of the funding for Ohio schools, on average, in 1987, but since then local dollars have paid for the greater part of funding… Gov. Ted Strickland narrowed the gap over his 4 year term…. But Gov. John Kasich promptly reversed that effort with a $1.8 billion cut to school funding imposed over the two-year budget of 2012-13. School funding has lagged ever since. By 2020, the state share of school funding had fallen to its lowest point since 1985.

Why do the legislators and public in Ohio continue to fund failure? Is their goal to raise up a generation of citizen-leaders or just to keep taxes low?

Angie Sullivan teaches impoverished children in Las Vegas. She believes that restorative justice could help them, but only if it is funded.

How do you kill a bill without voting against it?
You take something important like restorative justice – which should be wraparound services and not give any funding. Wraparound services make a huge difference for students. This program is just buzzwords without the services and supplies. Restorative Justice requires money.
Folks need to talk about the wraparound services part of restorative justice.
364 campuses – one teacher to practice and train others = $29 million.
Double that for the basic need supplies you will need to stock up the pantries. Another $29 million
Many teachers keep snacks, bathroom supplies, deodorant, clothing etc in our classrooms for kids. This forces us to take from our own family money and time to address basic needs of students in our path. Nevada Legislators have zero problem demanding that of us and then everyone can complain because we did not give enough.
Nevada taxes folks to run Vegas schools – it taxes teachers everyday.
Restorative justice requires: – food pantry-clothing distribution – weekend supplies- community connections for housing, electricity, gas-help for the family -therapy- medical help (dental, vision, mental health, nutrition) – coordination with social workers, counselors, psychologists- whatever else a student needs help with to them feel safe and secure.
When you do not fund the wraparound services and just focus on expulsions – you make the problems worse.
Expulsions are the end result.
Restorative Justice is supposed to be about wraparound services.
Waving a wand and saying no one gets expulsed – will trap kids on campus.
Does trapping a violent kid on campus solve any of the issues that would have caused the expulsion?
Kids usually get expulsed for guns, knives, fighting and physical violence. If youth are at that point – a team of folks should be involved to try to actively prevent that behavior.
Violent youth or youth acting out in a manner to be expulse – are acting out with good reason. They are still young and could be helped. Trained professional help.
Maslow Hierarchy of needs – youth cannot learn if traumatized, angry, or mentally unwell. They need wraparound servives and professional help.
Teachers with 50 kids in a classroom cannot help the kid who needs an expulsion level of restorative justice. It is supposed to be a trained team with supplies and protocols everyone follows. Not a lonely overwhelmed inexperienced classroom teacher.
Forcing schools which are not equipped to support students to keep them on campus and possibly in the very situations that trigger them – is actually cruel.
The solution cannot be no expulsion and no services too. Just hang out and everyone will ignore the violent kid?
This bill requires a lot of money or it will allow cowardly politicians to:
-Say they did something when they did not do anything-Blame teachers for not caring about students when in reality we deal daily with too many things to name – Harm students and wonder why it did not work. – Complain loudly when disenfranchised communities still see their children headed from school to prison.
Restorative Justice is expensive because meeting youth needs is expensive.
Telling a mental health staff member who already has a caseload of 3,000 kids to train us all to be restorative will not lead to the results folks actually want.
I’ve had the CCSD restorative training. It did not help. It was a joke. The level of trauma some students are trying to process is difficult to describe.
We all know the kids in trauma. Staff do not want to teach kids who physcially attack them. Students do not want to be friends with violent peers. The acting out from trauma usually traumatizes others. If there is no help for that student, or teacher, it ends badly.
Staff will call the police and press charges. Or we will invoke contractual rights to not have to teach a violent student. The student will bounce from location to location ostracized. No one should be beat up physcially at their job (teaching or learning) even if the child is traumatized. Staff quit because they are told to endure physical violence from students. Until you have been punched in the face, kicked in the groin, and bit until you bleed and need stiches – it is difficult to describe.
Perhaps folks do not realize how violent and dangerous some CCSD elementary schools have become with large numbers of youth in trauma.
I assume middle schools and high schools are worse because the students are larger.

If you want restorative justice- send money.
If you do not send money – we will all sit through another useless professional development. We will use the buzzword restorative justice. We will not expulse kids – but they will not have what they need to overcome the issues. And kids will continue to be lost because we simply could not help. We wanted to – but did not have the resources we needed.
The Teacher,

She writes:

Texas has five million public school students. It has 356,000 charter school students. The latter matter far more to the Governor, the Legislature and the State Education Commissioner than the former.

This report came to me from Austin, where officials are trying to remove any “barriers” to charter. The local school board has no say in whether a new charter should open in their district. Local folks may be strong supporters of their public schools but they are not allowed to veto new charter schools.

To show how nutty this embrace of charters is, one legislator tried to slip in a proviso giving charters the power of eminent domain. Imagine the Jones family sitting down for their evening meal, and someone knocks at their door to inform them that a KIPP or IDEA charter needs their lot for a playground; they are given a few days or weeks to vacate their beloved home.

On the third reading of the bill—-SB 28– the eminent domain power was deleted, but the bill continues to be a direct assault on local control and democratic governance. When the big money comes calling in Texas, those ideas don’t matter any more.

From my friend in Texas:

Note amendment to allow charters eminent domain was defeated on third reading.
Bill now goes to House Public Ed Committee, chaired by Harold Dutton, D-Houston, who filed a companion bill to SB 28.  With a R dominated committee and House, we have some challenges ahead.


—–Original Message—–
Sent: Mon, Apr 19, 2021 3:56 pm
Subject: Summary of SB 28 

 THANKS to many of you who contacted your Senators on SB 28. 

I’ll keep you posted as SB 28 and similar bills move forward. The first section is a short summary of SB 28 – but see more detail in Section 2 if you’re interested. 

SB 28 Approved by Texas Senate 
Important: An amendment to give charter schools the power of 
eminent domain was corrected by Sen. West
Section 1:  Summary

  • The Texas Senate gave final approval to SB 28 on April 15, 2021 in a 16-14 vote with all Democrats except one, and two Republicans (Senators Seliger and Nichols), voting NO.(Sen. Lucio was absent for the final vote but voted in favor of SB 28 on earlier votes).
  • SB 28 is one of Lt. Governor Patrick’s priority bills and is strongly supported by the Texas Charter School Association. It limits state and local authority over charter school expansion including the requirement for a supermajority vote by the State Board of Education to veto new charter school applications. 
  • Sen. Bryan Hughes slipped in an amendment to give charter schools the power of eminent domain without ever stating what the amendment would do.  
  • Importantly, Sen. Royce West corrected this amendment the next day with an amendment that was passed by the full Senate stating clearly, “An open-enrollment charter school does not have the power of eminent domain.”
  • Please thank Senators who voted NO on SB 28. 
  • We’ll monitor SB 28 as it moves forward, along with the companion House bill – HB 3279 which still eliminates the SBOE from the charter approval process – and HB 1348 which now includes much of the language in SB 28 and includes eminent domain.

Section 2:  For the Record – Read More About SB 28

SB 28 (authored by Sen. Bettencourt) takes away the authority of state and local elected officials to approve new charter schools.  It originally eliminated the elected State Board of Education from the approval process for new charter applications and gave all authority to the appointed Commissioner.  A vote to suspend the rules which would allow consideration of the bill was opposed by all Democrats (except Sen. Lucio), and one Republican (Sen. Seliger). It was approved narrowly by only one vote.

Extensive concerns were raised by legislators and the public about the elimination of the SBOE role in charter approval. The Senate passed an amendment by Sen. Bettencourt that kept the SBOE in the approval process but changed the SBOE vote required for a veto from a simple majority to a supermajority (9 of 15 SBOE members). The amendment also added four additional considerations that the SBOE may use as a rationale to veto a charter application to the five that were included in the committee substitute (total of 9).  Many education organizations did not support the requirement for a supermajority.  They supported continuing the simple majority vote because it is a more democratic and inclusive process. In addition, Senate accepted only nine considerations that could be the rationale for the SBOE veto, excluding other important considerations submitted by the SBOE.  

An amendment proposed by Sen. Bryan Hughes to give charter schools the extraordinary power of eminent domain passed (17-14)His amendment would give eminent domain to the private organizations that operate charter schools which have self-selected governing Boards that are not elected by voters.  

Sen. Hughes did not mention the words “eminent domain” in his summary of the amendment to inform members of the Senate.  He stated that the amendment simply “covers these topics in more detail than the language in the bill.  The intent is the same.  The amendment gives more clarity to make sure that everyone knows what the rules are moving forward.”

Importantly, Sen. Royce West fixed this issue with an amendment the next day that ensured the charter schools do NOT have the power of eminent domain. Sen. West stated that Sen. Hughes told him that the amendment applied to TEC Sect. 12.103(c) which in fact, addresses charter exemptions from zoning laws in cities with 20,000 population or less – with no mention of eminent domain. Sen. West stated that he did know of a private corporation like a charter school that had the authority to exercise the power of eminent domain. Sen. West’s amendment was adopted by a voice vote with all members deemed to have voted YES (Sen. Lucio was absent).  The amendment clearly stated, “An open-enrollment charter school does not have the power of eminent domain.”

Amendment 2 is consistent with the purposed of this bill.

An important part of Senate Bill 28 of course is zoning equality provisions to make sure that political subdivisions, that is municipalities, counties, special purpose districts, among others, to make sure that they treat all the schools alike – the charter schools and our traditional public schools.The Education Committee heard testimony that this doesn’t always happen.So this amendment covers these topics in more detail than the language already in the bill.The intent is the same.

Public school supporter Patti Everitt summed up the advantageous state of charters compared public schools with elected boards:

Authority to approve new charter schools

School districts have no authority over the approval of charter schools.

For new charters that are seeking to operate in Texas, the Commissioner makes an initial approval and the State Board can veto his approval by a simple majority vote.
However, SB 28 seeks to change the majority vote to supermajority vote and limits the reasons that the SBOE can veto a new charter applicant.

For charters that are currently in operation and seek to open a new campus through the “amendment” process, the Commissioner has the sole approval authority.
Once an existing charter meets certain TEA criteria (which the Commissioner can waive and often does), the charter can apply for an unlimited number of new charter campuses anywhere in the state, expanding its geographic boundaries and maximum enrollment cap.  The Commissioner has approved over 500 new campuses through the amendment process in the last six years alone.  Charter amendments are an administrative process that do not require a public meeting or public notice.  Schools districts and legislators receive a notice of amendments proposed in their districts but usually only as the amendment is filed with the state.

School districts may submit a “Statement of Impact” form to TEA for both new applications and amendments that documents the impact of the new charter on the district.  The form allows only a small box for comments, but we have worked with districts to submit a comprehensive assessment to TEA that documents the fiscal, academic, and program impact of the new charter. However, TEA is not required to consider fiscal impact in its approval process.

School districts lose per student funding when a student transfers from the district to a charter school.  Districts cannot cut costs dollar-for-dollar to the loss of revenue because charters . Charters draw students from multiple district schools, grade levels, and classes which makes it difficult for districts to reduce variable costs, such as teachers, who are still needed in each classroom to serve remaining students.  In addition, fixed costs for expenses such as utilities, building maintenance, janitorial services, and transportation remain largely the same with little or no savings possible.  As a result, charter schools have a significant fiscal impact on school districts, draining resources from all district public schools and often requiring cuts in academics, programs, or staff.

In addition, charter schools receive an average of about $1,150 more per student from the state’s Foundation School Program than what the same student would have cost in their home school district – a total of $25,300 more per typical elementary classroom of 22 students on average.  This is because all charters – regardless of size – receive the average of the small-to-mid-size allotment even though this allotment is intended to help small districts with 5,000 and fewer students address costs related to economies of scale.

The Texas Legislative Budget Board estimated that the state would have saved $882 million over the prior FY 18-19 biennium if charter schools received the same per-student funding as the districts where charters have the highest enrollment (estimates based on pre- HB3 state funding).