Bill to Promote ISD-Charter Partnerships Passes Senate Unanimously 31-0

Austin – The Texas Senate unanimously passed SB 1882, authored by Senators Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) and Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) by a vote of 31-0.  SB 1882 encourages cooperation and innovation between school districts and charter schools to focus on collaboration and enhance educational opportunities for all Texas students.

In response to a question from Senator Bettencourt before passage, Senator Menéndez said, “These innovative partnerships have started showing up around the state and this bill would encourage more districts to partner with charters to encourage cooperation rather than competition.” Senator Menéndez also remarked that San Antonio ISD has interest in forming these partnerships as well to serve the unique needs of their students.

“This common sense legislation is a win-win for school districts and taxpayers,” continued Senator Bettencourt. “I first got this bill idea of promoting ISD-Charter partnerships by observing first-hand the Spring Branch ISD/KIPP/YES Academy cooperation at Landrum Middle School and Northbrook High School.  My only regret is that Shawn Hurwitz, founder of KIPP Charter Schools, who introduced me to this concept, wasn’t here to see the bill pass the Texas Senate unanimously due to his untimely death.”

Among other things, SB 1882 does the following:

  • Creates conditions that encourage cooperation and innovation between districts and open enrollment charter schools, and possibly share facilities and other educational resources.
  • Incentivizes partnership in two ways. In a partnership, the school district receives the higher of the
    maintenance and operations (M&O) funding amount that the district or charter school would be entitled to for each student in the partnership.
  • The district or charter in the partnership will also receive a two year reprieve in the accountability system, still receiving individual domain scores but pausing the intervention clock.

“These incentives will help ISD’s and charter schools to better work together for our school kids all around the state,” Senator Bettencourt concluded.

The bill will now go to the Texas House, where Representative Linda Koop (R-Dallas) has filed House Bill 3439, which is an identical bill.