Associations pull support for increased public education funding when charter schools get boost

Yesterday, the House Public Education Committee heard House Bill 21, the school finance reform package authored by Chairman Dan Huberty (R-Humble). The proposal closely resembles Huberty’s HB 21 from the legislature’s regular session with tweaks—one being new facilities funding for charter schools.

House Bill 21 received the support of the NAACP in the regular session, but yesterday the group voiced an inability to support the legislation due to added funding for charter schools’ facilities. The Texas NAACP chapter’s recent actions mirror the redoubling of efforts around the national organization’s moratorium on charter schools nationwide.

“This addition to the school finance debate is essential if we aim to support all public school options,” said Texas Aspires Chairman Michael Williams. “Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing divide between those who brand themselves ‘public school advocates’ and those who actually support all forms of public schooling: traditional, magnet, charter, etc. It saddens me to see the representatives of a civil rights group become so embattled in the national politics of education that they fail to see the promise of more funding for all public schools or the great work so many charters are doing with students of color.”

In the same manner, the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers and the Texas State Teachers Association (NEA’s Texas affiliate) also refused to support HB 21’s new language due to the addition of new funding for charter schools.

“I can’t say I’m surprised,” said Texas Aspires’ executive director, Courtney Boswell. “Any growth in Texas charter schools decreases the likelihood their ranks will grow. And if they represent less of the total number of Texas teachers (and collect fewer dues), their influence in Austin is diminished. That’s what all of this is really about. I think it’s high time they stop masquerading as champions for children, and show their true intentions: self-preservation and protecting adult interests at all costs.”


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