With just four days to go in the 2013 legislative session, private interests out to take over neighborhood schools have an army of well-connected lobbyists working overtime at the state capitol to salvage their agenda.
One piece of that agenda is embedded in SECTION 2 of the Senate version of SB 2. This provision would let school districts turn campuses rated low-performing into charter schools exempted from state safeguards for students, parents, and teachers. Safeguards such as class-size limits would no longer apply, and parents and teachers alike would have no right to opt out of one of these “charterized” campuses. This provision needs to come out of SB 2!
Another piece of the privatizers’ program is SB 1718, the so-called “achievement district” bill authorizing the state to take over neighborhood schools rated low-performing and turn them over to private charter operators. The private-interest lobbyists tried and failed once already to add SB 1718 to another bill still moving in the legislative process. More attempts can be expected. There’s talk of amending SB 1718 onto SB 2, the charter-expansion bill; there’s even talk that they will try to engraft their “charterization” schemes onto HB 5, the unrelated bill to reduce standardized testing!
Both of these latter two schemes would require a majority vote in the House and Senate to “go outside the bounds” of what representatives and senators already have passed in their chambers’ respective versions of SB 2 and HB 5.
You can help fight back against this last-minute attack on neighborhood schools by sending a new letter to your representative and senator from the Texas AFT Web site. Please send your new e-letter now so that lawmakers see a grass-roots army of supporters of public education arrayed against the army of lobbyists for the privateers.