Press

Statement from Bibi Yasmin Katsev, Executive Director, Texas District Charter Alliance on passage of House Bill 4205

May 24, 2019

 

“The District Charter Alliance celebrates the passage of House Bill 4205. This bill allows school districts to move forward with struggling campuses and find innovative models through partnerships to serve children well and keep students in the same campus location.”

 

The District Charter Alliance supports responsible and meaningful legislation that allows for district charter partnerships and provides students with opportunities for greater innovation and success.  

  • Without the passage of HB 4205 in the 86th Legislative Session, current law would have compelled a school district to go with one of two options when a school is in danger of being closed due to poor performance. If a campus is forced to close its doors, it cannot reopen and serve the same grade levels it did previously. The only two options: close the school entirely or serve different grade levels - which further disrupts learning for struggling students.
  • HB 4205 will now provide a third option: it will allow a school district to partner with a high performing non-profit with a track record of success for all student populations. In a similar manner to the guard rails put in place for partnerships within the 2017 law, SB 1882, districts are able to partner with an innovative, high-performing entity and non-profit for a school turn-around.
  • With this additional tool for school boards and districts to use, HB 4205 accomplishes the intent of current law: to ensure children are not stuck at a troubled school. Students can stay in their local school with a new partner with a proven track record of success.





Statement from Bibi Yasmin Katsev, Executive Director, Texas District Charter Alliance on final passage of House Bill 3, School Finance Reform in Texas

May 27, 2019

The Texas District Charter Alliance (DCA) praises the hard work and dedication of the 86th Legislature in passage of comprehensive school finance reform this session. One of three main legislative priorities for DCA this year was supporting a school finance bill that equally benefits traditional district and charter students and integrates an outcomes-based funding strategy that supports early literacy as well as college, career and military readiness.  DCA also promoted the need for more funding along with flexibility and innovation for districts and charters to reach outcomes.

The 86th Legislature passed the two-year state budget with an additional $11.5 billion to reduce school property taxes, increase teacher pay and increase state aid to schools; $2B to enhance compensation for teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses, prioritizing veteran educators with 6 or more years of service; and an increase of $230M for the Teacher Retirement System to maintain current health care benefits and premiums for retired teachers.

To support transformative and necessary collaborations in public education and to provide students with opportunities for greater innovation and success, DCA appreciates the inclusion of the following items in House Bill 3:

  • Increased funding for the basic allotment;
  • Outcomes-based funding for College, Career, and Military Readiness;
    • Though DCA also still supports 3rd grade outcomes funding.
  • Strategic teacher compensation designed by districts and charters if they choose, raises for teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses, incentive pay for rural and high poverty campuses, mentor teacher allotment;
    • Another DCA legislative priority this session we were pleased to see included, supports strategic teacher incentive pay proposals that allow a state-developed or rigorous locally-developed compensation and evaluation systems to be eligible for funding incentives for excelling teachers.
  • Funding for full-day Pre-K for all economically disadvantaged students along with English Language Learners and dyslexia identification program funds;
  • Tiered weighted funding across districts in terms of students’ poverty status to recognize that certain students have more challenging circumstances affecting their education;
  • Funding to improve literacy outcomes via professional development and phonics training in grades K-3, incentives for combatting summer slide incentives and funding to support dual language programs;
  • And more.



The Texas District Charter Alliance represents 14 organizations; Democracy Prep Charter School, El Paso ISD, El Paso Leadership Academy, Fort Worth ISD, Grand Prairie ISD, Great Hearts, KIPP Texas Public Schools, IDEA Public Schools, Midland ISD, Responsive Education Solutions, San Antonio ISD, Spring Branch ISD, Uplift Education, and YES Prep.


Statement from Bibi Yasmin Katsev, Executive Director, Texas District Charter Alliance on House Bill 3

Congratulations to Chairman Huberty, Vice Chairman Bernal and members of the Texas House of Representatives on today’s passage of comprehensive school finance reform with House Bill 3.  One of the three main legislative priorities of the Texas District Charter Alliance (DCA) for the 86thLegislative Session is supporting comprehensive school finance reform that equally benefits traditional district and charter students. The focus on transformative and necessary school finance reform has brought all sides together. On behalf of the members of the Texas District Charter Alliance, I thank you for the hours and hours of work. We are pleased to see this important legislation swiftly heading to the Texas Senate. 

The Texas District Charter Alliance (DCA) represents 14 organizations; Democracy Prep Charter School, El Paso ISD, El Paso Leadership Academy, Fort Worth ISD, Grand Prairie ISD, Great Hearts, KIPP Texas Public Schools, IDEA Public Schools, Midland ISD, Responsive Education Solutions, San Antonio ISD, Spring Branch ISD, Uplift Education, and YES Prep.

  • The DCA supports comprehensive school finance reform that equally benefits traditional district and charter students and integrates an outcomes-based funding strategy that supports early literacy, and college, career and military readiness.  Such reform must allow for flexibility and innovation for districts and charters to reach the outcomes.  We seek new revenue to support the reform.
  • The DCA supports strategic teacher incentive pay proposals that allow a state-developed or rigorous locally-developed compensation and evaluation systems to be eligible for funding incentives for excelling teachers.