Student Safety, Charter Schools, and a Misguided Idea Gaining Steam in Austin

Sometimes bad ideas take root and grow. That's what appears to be happening now with a seemingly simply idea that might, in fact, create a more dangerous environment for public school students in Texas.The bad idea in question now is being put forward by Texas Rep. Gina Hinojosa, a Democrat who represents Austin in the state Legislature. She has argued for years that charter schools should not be allowed to exclude students with discipline histories from admission. And now she is introducing legislation and gaining support to repeal the law that allows charters to exclude such students.The problem is that while charters are public schools, they don't have the same resources or facilities as traditional public schools. So repealing this law would compel schools to grant these students admission to campuses where there aren't facilities to best serve them.Let's get some facts on the table. When the Legislature created public charter schools, they were exempted from some of the rules public schools must follow if those rules required dedicated physical space. This exemption is based on the facts that the Legislature did not fund buildings or facilities for charter schools, and charter schools do not get any local tax money to fund buildings.  Continue reading...

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