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Texas: Charter Schools Grow Rapidly Despite Inferior Performance Compared to Public Schools

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William Gumbert prepared a graphic portrayal of the dramatic growth of privately managed charter schools in Texas.

Two facts stand out from his presentation:

1) Charter schools are diverting billions of dollars from the state’s underfunded public schools.

2) Public schools perform better than charter schools.

Public officials are turning public money over to entrepreneurs at a furious pace without regard to the results.

Charter schools this year will take more than $3 Billion away from the state’s public schools, despite the poor performance of the charter schools. Since their inception, charters have diverted more than $23 Billion from the state’s public schools.

Public schools in Texas are underfunded and have been underfunded since 2011, when the state legislature recklessly cut $5.4 Billion from the schools’ budget. That cut was never fully restored.

Diverting money to charter schools adds more damage to the public schools that continue to enroll the vast majority of students in the state.

Texas has about 5.4 million students. More than half of all its students are Hispanic. About 12-13% are African American. About 28% are white. The majority (58.7%) are identified by the state as “economically disadvantaged.”

The legislature does not look like the people of Texas, most of whom are people of color. Almost two-thirds of the state legislature are white. More than three-quarters are men. Why does the legislature substitute charter schools for adequate funding?

Read the whole report here.

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