NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


November 19, 2004

Texas needs sweeping education changes that greatly expand the number of charter schools, scrap the current teacher salary system and create financial incentives for schools, according to a report presented to Gov. Rick Perry.

The Governor's Business Council, whose preliminary report also recommends introduction of private-school vouchers, said the reforms are needed to build on changes to Texas education started in 1984.

Among the more volatile recommendations:

  • In cases where an appropriate charter school operator can't be found for a campus, the state would offer tax money students could use to attend the private school of their choice.
  • Increased funding to charter schools -- the panel estimates charters get $1,000 a year less per students than other public schools.
  • Facilities funding for charters; currently they receive none.
  • Stronger state action against charters that fail academically or financially.

A study by the Dallas Morning News last month found that only about 42 percent of charter students passed the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills last spring. That is well below the statewide passing rate of 67 percent and even below the 56 percent passing rate for low-income students. Proponents attribute this to the fact that many charter schools have large numbers of low-income, minority pupils.

Source: Terrence Stutz, "Gov. Considers Education Overhaul," Dallas Morning News, November 17, 2004.


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