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September 10, 2020 Committee of the Full Board Item 1

Consideration of the Commissioner of Education’s Generation 25 Open-Enrollment Charter School Proposals

September 11, 2020


SUMMARY:  This item provides the committee and board an opportunity to review and take action or no action on the commissioner’s list of proposed Subchapter D Open-Enrollment Charter Schools scheduled to open in the 2021-2022 school year. If awarded, the charters will have an initial five-year term with a July 31, 2026 contract end date.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Texas Education Code (TEC), §12.101.

TEC, §12.101 requires the commissioner to notify the State Board of Education (SBOE) of each charter the commissioner proposes to grant. Unless, before the 90th day after the date on which the board receives the notice from the commissioner, a majority of the members of the board present and voting vote against the grant of that charter, the commissioner's proposal to grant the charter takes effect.

The full text of statutory citations can be found in the statutory authority section of this agenda.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION:  Annually, within 90 days of the commissioner’s notification of his intent to grant open-enrollment charter school(s), the SBOE has an opportunity to formally consider the commissioner’s proposals and to take action or no action. At the June 2019 board meeting, the SBOE took into consideration the five applicants recommended by the commissioner of education for charter award. The SBOE voted to take no action on the following four charter applicants: The Gathering Place (San Antonio), Elevate Collegiate Charter School (Houston), San Antonio Preparatory Charter School (San Antonio), and Houston Classical Charter School (Houston). The SBOE  vetoed one of the charter applicants, Royal Public Schools (Austin, Houston). 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND JUSTIFICATION: TEC, §12.101 grants the commissioner the authority to award up to 305 open-enrollment charters to eligible entities that are considered capable of carrying out the responsibilities of the charter, are likely to operate a school of high quality, have been proposed by the commissioner, and are not vetoed by a majority of the SBOE members present and voting. Prior to the charter school award cycle, the commissioner adopted the Generation 25 Open-Enrollment Charter Instructions and Guidance and Request for Application, establishing the timeline and procedures for the application cycle, the contents of the application, and the criteria by which charter schools would be awarded to eligible entities. Generation 25 applications must have earned a minimum cut score of 85% to be granted an interview.

Twenty-two applications were submitted by the January 21, 2020 deadline, and after eligibility, completion, and plagiarism checks by Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff, 16 applications advanced to external review. The external reviewers, designated through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process, scored the 16 applications for charter. Nine of the applications met the minimum cut score of 85% to advance to capacity interviews. The commissioner’s designee and TEA staff conducted interviews on Monday, July 27, Tuesday, July 28, and Wednesday, July 29, 2020. SBOE members were invited to attend the interviews.

MOTION TO BE CONSIDERED:  The State Board of Education:

Review and take no action on the commissioner’s list of proposed Generation 25 Subchapter D Open-Enrollment Charter Schools scheduled to open in the 2021-2022 school year.

Staff Members Responsible:
Kelvey Oeser, Deputy Commissioner, Educator Support
Joe Siedlecki, Associate Commissioner, System Support, Innovations, and Charters        
Heather Mauzé, Director, Charter School Authorizing and Administration

Separate Exhibit: 
Commissioner of Education’s Generation 25 Open-Enrollment Charter School Proposals
(to be provided at the September 2020 SBOE meeting)