Monday, August 04, 2014

Charter schools gain ground in Austin

Charter schools in Austin are adversely impacting traditional public schools—as per this article—primarily in terms of enrollment numbers that connect, of course, to school funding in amounts that are truly staggering.  Key quotes:

"Enrollment in charter schools in Austin is expected to hit 14,227 when school starts this month — having more than quadrupled since the 2006-2007 school year — with hundreds more students on local waiting lists."

"The 85,355-student Austin district shrank by nearly 1,200 students in 2013-14, the first decline in enrollment in more than a decade, even as the area brings in newcomers by the hundreds each week. The loss surprised district officials, who had expected an enrollment gain. They expect another loss of at least 400 this year. While the majority of students who leave head for other Central Texas districts, according to Austin district data, about 20 percent enrolled in charter schools."

Opponents of charter schools say they are pulling away badly needed state funding from traditional school districts; at about $7,400 apiece, the more than 14,000 charter students will equate to more than $100 million in state education funding to be sapped from area districts, primarily Austin.


Charter schools gain ground in Austin

By Melissa B. Taboada - American-Statesman Staff

By the time he finished the fifth grade, Jose Emiliano Castelan heard the rumors of hallway fistfights and academic struggles at the East Austin middle school he was zoned to attend.
Jose and his mother, Angelica Ramirez, found an alternative nearby. A small charter school, Austin Achieve Public Schools, was opening less than a mile away from the middle school.

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