Patrick bill seeks to lift charter school cap

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Associated Press

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 10:32 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The head of the Texas Senate Education Committee has filed a bill lifting the cap on the number of charter schools allowed to operate statewide, and authorizing them to receive public facilities funding.

Current state law restricts to 215 the number of charter school licenses. But Sen. Dan Patrick's measure would allow an unlimited number of charters.

Charter schools already receive state funding for operations and educate about 135,000 of Texas' more than 5 million public school students. But operators say that another 100,000 students are on waitlists to attend charter schools.

Meanwhile, state rules prohibit charter schools from receiving state funding for facilities, or from seeking taxpayer permission to issue bonds for school construction like traditional public schools. Patrick's bill also seeks to change that.

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