Charter Schools en Austin Dropout Recovery School Faces Closure After 30 Years <p>The fate of an Austin charter school that has run a dropout recovery program for more than 30 years will be decided later this month.</p><p>American Youthworks faces closure under a new law that allows the Texas Education Agency to revoke licenses from underperforming charter schools, thus opening those licenses to other organizations.</p><p>TEA spokesperson Debbie Ratcliffe says Senate Bill 2 is pretty clear. That’s the law passed last year that, among other things, gave TEA teeth to revoke the licenses of failing charter schools. “If a school has received the state’s lowest, either academic or financial, rating for three straight years, it automatically is closed,” Ratcliffe says.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:01:18 +0000 Joy Diaz 10204 at Austin Dropout Recovery School Faces Closure After 30 Years Austin Charter Focuses on College Prep Despite New Grad Requirements <p>The charter school<a href=""> KIPP Austin </a>is announcing a partnership Thursday with St. Edward’s University, in an effort to promote the charter school’s mission to prepare students for college and help them receive a degree.</p><p>The private university in South Austin will join <a href="">more than 40 other colleges and universities</a> nationwide that partner with the nonprofit charter school - including UT Austin and the University of Pennsylvania.&nbsp;</p><p>The partnership comes as public school districts across the state begin implementing new state mandated high school graduation requirements. The requirements allow students to pursue a diploma that prepares them for college or a career. While charter schools like KIPP continue to focus on college, it's unclear what the new requirements that offer career or college preparation mean for low-income students at traditional public schools.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src=";color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 14:48:14 +0000 Kate McGee 9315 at Austin Charter Focuses on College Prep Despite New Grad Requirements Update: Austin Public Montessori School Gets Charter License <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong>Update: </strong>The Texas Education Commission granted a charter school license to the Magnolia Montessori school, which means Austin will have its first public Montessori school option next academic year on the city&#39;s east side. The Montessori school plans to open a second charter school in San Antonio in 2016.</p><p>Commissioner Michael Williams announced his decision to grant four charter school licenses Friday. They include three other schools outside of Austin, including Carpe Diem Schools, El Paso Leadership Academy and Great Hearts Academies Dallas.</p><p> Fri, 27 Sep 2013 20:18:28 +0000 Kate McGee & Kate McGee 8397 at Update: Austin Public Montessori School Gets Charter License How Travis Heights Elementary Could Change Schools in Austin <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p><p></p><p>More than 86,000 students in the Austin Independent School District returned to school this week. But at <a href="">Travis Heights Elementary School</a>, teachers, parents and students are starting a new chapter in the school’s history as the first <a href="">in-district charter school</a> in Austin.&nbsp;</p><p>If the model catches on, the school could also change how things in the district work, with teachers and administrators having more control over curriculum, scheduling, the budget and even what's served in the cafeteria.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 27 Aug 2013 15:57:09 +0000 Kate McGee 8542 at How Travis Heights Elementary Could Change Schools in Austin Texas House Passes Bill to Increase Charter Cap <p>The Texas House passed a <a href=";Bill=SB2">bill</a>&nbsp;Thursday that would increase the amount of charter schools across the state.</p><p>Right now, Texas caps the number of <a href="">charters</a>—or publicly funded, privately operated schools—to 215.&nbsp; Senate bill 2 would increase the number of charter licenses allowed to 305 by 2019.</p> Thu, 16 May 2013 23:11:12 +0000 Marissa Barnett 7773 at Texas House Passes Bill to Increase Charter Cap Patrick's Charter School Bill Faces Test in House <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.35; ">The state’s charter school system could move closer to its first expansion in nearly two decades on Thursday, as the House is set to take up an education reform measure that passed through the Senate earlier this session.</span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; "><a href=";Bill=SB2" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); ">Senate Bill 2</a>, authored by Senate Education Chairman&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/dan-patrick/quicklook/" href="" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); " title="">Dan Patrick</a>, R-Houston, would increase the number of available state contracts for the schools that are publicly funded but privately operated by nonprofit organizations.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 16 May 2013 15:00:19 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 7758 at Patrick's Charter School Bill Faces Test in House Teachers Groups Raise Concerns About Charter School Bill <p>Some teachers organizations are lobbying Texas House members to stop the progress of <a href=";Bill=SB2" target="_blank">Senate Bill 2</a>, a bill that would expand the number of charter school licenses in Texas. &nbsp;</p><p>SB-2 would <a href="" target="_blank">gradually add 90 charter school licenses</a> in Texas by the year 2019. &nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:02:12 +0000 Kate McGee & Kate McGee 7367 at Teachers Groups Raise Concerns About Charter School Bill AISD Won't Lease Allan Elementary to IDEA (Update) <p><strong>Update</strong>: The Austin Independent School District Board last night decided not to lease the Allan elementary school building to IDEA public schools. Allan is closing down at the end of the school year.</p><p>That’s because both Allan Elementary and Eastside Memorial High School were part of a plan involving charter school operator IDEA Public Schools. The board canceled the contract with IDEA in December.</p><p> Tue, 02 Apr 2013 11:22:18 +0000 Kate McGee & KUT Staff 7172 at AISD Won't Lease Allan Elementary to IDEA (Update) Changes Could Come for State's Charter School Cap <p>Thirty-five new charter school permits could be issued every year under the newest version of a bill that aims to improve accessibility to open enrollment charters. An earlier version of <a href="">Senate Bill 2</a> would have allowed for unlimited growth of charter schools.</p><p>The amendments to <a href="">Sen. Dan Patrick’s</a> (R-Houston) bill were offered during this morning’s senate hearing on education.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 21 Mar 2013 21:43:26 +0000 Marissa Barnett 7045 at Changes Could Come for State's Charter School Cap Jeb & George P. Bush Talk Texas Education Reform (Update) <p><strong>Update: </strong>This morning, Jeb Bush had much to say on education reform and potential strategies Texas can use to ensure student achievement. His main point was, basically, if you want success, you have to fund it.</p><p>“A lesson we learned is put money behind the reforms and you’ll get better results," Bush said. "There’s enough money in the system. This whole argument that somehow we’re not funding schools adequately and I know it’s a big debate here. I would argue that maybe we should be funding the first things first. Put the priorities where you want to see the results and you’ll get a significantly better result.” Wed, 27 Feb 2013 18:27:06 +0000 Austin Feldman 6762 at Jeb & George P. Bush Talk Texas Education Reform (Update) Education Chairman Aims to Expand Charter Schools <p></p><p>Broad changes to the state's charter school system, including the creation of a new state board to oversee the state contract process, would result from legislation filed Monday by&nbsp;Senate Education Committee Chairman&nbsp;<a href="">Dan Patrick</a>, R-Houston.</p><p>The State Board of Education currently oversees applications for charter school contracts, which state law caps at 215. Patrick's Senate Bill 2 would create a new state entity to authorize the contracts and lift that cap, allowing for an unlimited number of charter school operators in the state.</p><p> Mon, 18 Feb 2013 21:45:30 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 6641 at Education Chairman Aims to Expand Charter Schools Charter Schools 'Disappointed' With School Finance Ruling <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">State district Judge John Dietz's</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;ruling that <a href="">the Texas school finance system is unconstitutional</a> is being celebrated by many school district administrators, but one group involved the lawsuit is probably not popping champagne bottles tonight: charter school advocates.</span></p><p>“We are disappointed that Judge Dietz ruled against charter school students and their parents, denying them constitutional protections,” <a href="">Texas Charter Schools Association</a> executive director David Dunn said in a statement. He added, however, that they were pleased with the ruling that the overall education system is inadequate.</p><p> Tue, 05 Feb 2013 01:27:07 +0000 Nathan Bernier 6463 at Charter Schools 'Disappointed' With School Finance Ruling Texas School Districts, Charters Are Finalists in Federal Competition <p>By the end of the year, a few Texas school districts may have access to millions in funding that Gov. <a data-tooltip="/directory/rick-perry/quicklook/" href="">Rick Perry</a> had <a href="">passed on two years ago</a> because of concerns about federal intrusion into Texas classrooms.</p><p>Since Texas refused to participate in <a href="">Race to the Top</a> at the state level in 2010, the Obama administration has <a href="">rolled out a new version of its signature education program</a>&nbsp;to allow districts to apply individually for a separate pot of about $400 million in federal money. Administration officials announced the new round of competition that would emphasize data-driven personalized student learning plans in 2011, after three phases of the state-based contest. Wed, 28 Nov 2012 12:56:02 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 5738 at Texas School Districts, Charters Are Finalists in Federal Competition Mapping the Future of AISD <p>The <a href="">Austin Independent School District</a> is inviting <a href="">community input</a> at a public hearing tonight about the <a href="">2013–2014 Annual Academic and Facilities Recommendations</a> (AAFR) tonight at the <a href="">Carruth Administration Center</a> on West Sixth Street.</p><p>There are a several important issues on the AAFR, the most polarizing being <a href="">single-sex schools</a>, <a href="">improvements for athletic facilities</a> and <a href="">fine arts programs</a>, and the <a href="">expansion of the dual language program</a>.</p><p>Here's a roundup:</p><ul><li>The conversion of two middle schools to Single-Sex schools in northeast Austin were <a href="">talked about back in August</a>, but a School for Young Men was often left out of the headlines. The proposed School for Young Men would be college and career preparatory academy that develops a community of leadership and character centered young men. Enrollment could start as early as next school year.</li></ul><p></p><ul><li>The recommendation to improve athletic facilities has three potential proposals to throw out to community members with price ranges from $82 million to $179 million. <a href="">Increased pay and flexible schedules for coaches</a> are included within these proposals.</li></ul><p> Tue, 30 Oct 2012 19:05:00 +0000 Hady Karl Mawajdeh 5472 at Mapping the Future of AISD Analyst: School Choice Grant Program Could Save Texas Billions <p>The Texas Senate Committee on Education today <a href="" target="_blank">talked about possible funding options</a> to promote school choice.</p><p>Lawmakers want to know if having more school options will create competition and, in turn, <a href="" target="_blank">make all schools in the state better</a>. One option to encourage school choice is a so-called taxpayer savings grant program. The idea was proposed in the Texas Legislature last year as part of House Bill 33. It would pay up to 60 percent of the amount that <a href="" target="_blank">the state spends per pupil each year </a>on school maintenance and operations for private school tuition – that’d be about $5,200.</p><p>Joe Bast is the <a href="" target="_blank">President and CEO of the Heartland Institute</a> – a non-profit research center based in Chicago. He looked at the numbers and believes many Texas families would take advantage of the option and that it would save taxpayers a big chuck of money right away. Fri, 24 Aug 2012 17:42:30 +0000 Laura Rice 4947 at Analyst: School Choice Grant Program Could Save Texas Billions