Are we creating a National Security Threat here in Texas by transforming our Charter Schools?
Come Tuesday night, listen and you decide.
DENTON COUNTY REPUBLICAN ASSEMBLY MEETING
Learn about Gulen Charter Schools
When: TUESDAY APRIL 2nd
6:30pm Meet and Greet 7:00pm Program
Where: Lewisville Chamber of Commerce building
551 N. Valley Parkway Lewisville
Because we are taking on the public schools via #StopCSCOPE efforts parents are looking for other avenues to educate their children. Many who can’t afford private schools (even though private schools use CommonCore and CSCOPE) run to charter schools. Who by the way target the lower income hispanic and black community.
Just to be clear, I am not against all Charter Schools. Although I firmly believe we must have major safe guards in place to protect our citizens from organizations who seek access to our children to harm our nation. I also believe we should hold elected officials accountable for the legislation they put forward which may pose a National Security threat to our nation.
By promoting Charter School legislation some elected officials see a way to get votes and stay in their positions of power giving them the opportunity to move to higher office. It opens the door to raise huge campaign donations from charter school lobbies. An example of such organizations giving free all expense paid trips to legislators in Texas and across the country and whose consultant was former executive director of the Republican Party and trusted advisor to President George W. Bush, Karen Hughes Hughes.
If you are reading this an asking what are the Harmony Charter Schools? Below is a great video by Frank Gaffney founder of the (Center for Security Policy) as he works within his own community to stop the Gulen movment in Loudoun Virginia. Harmony is the name for the Gulen/Cosmos Foundation schools in Texas. In other states they go by different names. “
Below is a breakdown of Texas Senate Bill 2 currently working its way through the Texas Legislature. Some of the heroes on exposing CSCOPE are now pushing a bill that completely opens the door for the Gulen Charter Schools to come into Texas in mass numbers.
Senate bill 2 is a comprehensive overhaul of the laws that govern charter schools. Changes are made on the authorizing, governing, and establishing of charter schools in Texas.
Looking at the bill, there were a lot of areas of concern, given the recent experience on CScope in Texas.
- The current laws cap the number of charter schools in Texas at 215. The cap is entirely removed.
- A new governing board of 7 appointees will be the only oversight of these schools. The State Board of Education will have no authority to grant or revoke charter school privileges in this state. This puts us back in the position of non-elected officials in charge of the education.
- If there are any vacant or underutilized facilities in a school district, the ISD “shall” lease that taxpayer funded facility to any approved charter school that wants it. Note the word in the bill is shall (a mandate) rather than the word “may” (which is a choice).
- First time charter schools will be granted a license to operate for a term of 5 years. It will automatically renew at that point for 20 years. Most of the Harmony/ Gulen charter schools (currently under question) will fall in the 20 year category.
- The TEA will be required to post all vacant or underutilized facilities for all to see. For organized charter efforts underway, it will be easy to snap up these facilities all over the state.
- No new charter will have to pay rent or purchase the facility. They pay $1.
- The license of a charter school can be revoked by the newly formed commission only under the following circumstance:
a. The school performs badly in 3 out of 5 years
b. The school is not fiscally satisfactory on multiple reviews
Questions to ask…..
1. Why are non- elected officials being put in charge without public accountability?
2. Why a 20 year renewal?
3. Shouldn’t we worry about enormous expansion of schools of any type without input?
4. What if the curriculum is found to be offensive?
5. Why is our state funding for-profit enterprises?
The Education Committee on SB 2 (Senator Dan Patrick) concerning Charter Schools is considering what to do. They must hear from you. ASAP The committee members are:
|Chair:||Sen. Dan Patrick 512) 463-0107|
|Vice Chair:||Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. (512) 463-0127|
|Members:||Sen. Donna Campbell 512) 463-0125|
|Sen. Robert Duncan (512) 463-0128|
|Sen. Kel Seliger (512) 463-0131|
|Sen. Larry Taylor (512) 463-0111|
|Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (512) 463-0126|
|Sen. Royce West (512) 463-0123|
Below are charter school safeguards that have been proposed by various experts.
1. That a financial audit conducted under generally accepted accounting practices by an independent, reputable auditor be required – and publicly available – from any charter school operator applying for bond guarantees or other financial incentives;
2. That the name, address, and citizenship of all board members and key administrators applying for said guarantee(s) or other financial incentives issued by the state be recorded and made available to the public;
3. That the funds in the underlying bonds or other financial incentives to privately owned, publicly financed schools are to be used solely for schools within Texas;
4. Severe criminal penalties for fraudulent activities involving bond guarantees or other financial incentives issued by states – such as a Class 2 Felony for criminal or securities fraud violations.
Below Safeguards proposed in the 82nd Legislative Session in Texas but that the Texas Legislature did not pass:
1. Proof of U. S. citizenship for all charter school operator board members and top five highest-paid administrators. (Public ISD trustees must be U. S. citizens.)
2. Names, titles, and biographies posted online for all charter operator board members and top five highest-paid administrators.
3. Check registers posted online. (It is estimated that over 70 % of local ISD dollars are online.)
Why did these safeguards not pass? I believe some elected officials were beholden to the lobby groups in Austin vs the people who elected them as their Representatives.
Women On the Wall will be taking on this issue and sharing information and updates on our weekly radio show on Monday mornings at 10 am CST. You will not want to miss this show. We will have up to date information on CSCOPE and guests who are the experts on education and other issues that are effecting our children and grandchildren.
Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!