Jan 3, 2017
While traditional school officials fear change, research by many economists indicates that competition from charter schools improves traditional public education. Texans must insist on doing what is best for students and teachers rather than what is demanded by those stakeholders who primarily want to defend the status quo. We should remove all restrictions inhibiting student achievement and act in the best interest of the students, teachers, and taxpayers.
One way to increase the efficiency of the education system is through the strategic expansion of charter schools. Charters provide the choice and competition needed to drive improvements to better meet consumer demand. However, charter schools are greatly restricted from growing naturally, which has led to a significant disparity between high demand and low supply. Currently, according to the Texas Education Agency, 1,532 Texas public school campuses are rated as underperforming and over 930,000 students are assigned to these failing schools. At the same time, charter enrollment sits at only about 200,000, while another 105,000 students are on waiting lists to get into a charter school that may better fit their individual needs. The figure below illustrates this problem. The Texas Legislature can make several reforms to improve this situation.