Charter Schools

HB 1170
Applicability of Certain Laws to Open-Enrollment Schools

Amends the Education Code to provide that an open-enrollment charter school is a local government for purposes of the Government Code and a political subdivision and local governmental entity for purposes of the Local Government Code. Allows an open-enrollment charter school to extend workers’ compensation benefits to employees of a school through any method available to a political subdivision in the Labor Code. Provides that an open-enrollment charter school that self-insures is considered to be an insurance carrier under the Labor Code. Provides that an open-enrollment charter school operated by a tax-exempt entity is not considered to be a political subdivision, local government, or local governmental entity unless the applicable statute states that the statute applies to an open-enrollment charter school.

Earliest effective date: Immediately

HB 1171
Applicability of Certain Immunity and Liability Laws to Open-Enrollment Charter Schools

Provides that an open-enrollment charter school or charter holder is immune from suit, is a governmental entity for liability purposes under the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, and is a local governmental entity under the Local Government Code for contract liability.

Earliest effective date: Immediately

HB 1842
Expansion or Revocation of Certain Charters

Simplifies the ability of holders of high-performing charters to establish one or more new campuses under an existing charter. Mandates that to do so, a charter holder must not have received written notice from the commissioner of a determination that certain requirements have not been satisfied. Requires the commissioner to adopt informal procedures for denying the renewal of a charter that must allow charter holder representatives to meet with the commissioner to discuss the decision and submit additional information. Mandates that the commissioner provide a written response to any information submitted.

Earliest effective date: Immediately

Other provisions listed under Accountability.

HB 2251
Established Schedule of Payments for Certain Charter Schools

Provides that on request of an open-enrollment charter school, the commissioner must compare the student enrollment of the school for the current school year to the enrollment for the preceding year. If the number for the current year has increased by 10 percent or more from the prior year, the school may request that payments from the Foundation School Fund to the school for the following school year and each subsequent year be made according to a schedule prescribed by this Act. A school that qualifies to receive funding in this manner is entitled to do so for three school years, at which time the commissioner will determine the school’s continued eligibility to receive payments in this manner for an additional three years. Subsequently, the school must reestablish eligibility every three school years.

Earliest effective date: Immediately

HB 2851
Taylor, Van
Nonprofit Organizations Issuing Charter School Revenue Bonds

Requires the governor to approve the Texas Public Finance Authority’s appointment of directors of the nonprofit corporation established to issue revenue bonds to certain open-enrollment charter schools. Provides that a director, officer, or employee of the nonprofit corporation is not personally liable for damage, loss, or injury resulting from the performance of the person’s duties, or on any commitment or agreement executed on behalf of the corporation.

Earliest effective date: Immediately

SB 955
Locations of Open-Enrollment Charter Schools Created by Institutions of Higher Education

Allows the commissioner of education to grant a public senior college or university a charter to operate an open-enrollment charter school in any county of the state. Requires the commissioner to consider the locations of existing open-enrollment charter schools to avoid duplication of services and the need of the community in the area in which the applicant proposes to operate the school before issuing the charter.

Earliest effective date: Immediately

SB 2062
Authorizing Charter Holders to Provide Combined Services

Allows an open-enrollment charter school designated as a dropout recovery school and an adult education program provided under a high school diploma and industry certification charter school pilot program to place students, regardless of their age, at the same facility and in the same classroom setting or learning environment, the same cafeteria, or the same activity sanctioned by the school and the program for purposes of providing services to the students.

Earliest effective date: Immediately