Education committee weighs pros, cons of charter schools
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Friday, education was back on the agenda for some legislators who listened to the pros and cons of charter schools.
The House Public Education Committee heard testimony regarding the success and failure of publicly-funded charter schools.
Some testifiers at Friday’s meeting provided data to elected officials that showed how well some schools performed and at what cost to the taxpayer.
One study showed schools that cost more per student received academically unacceptable ratings, while others that cost less were rated exemplary.
Carolyn Holcomb with the nonprofit Children At Risk says there are charters with outstanding academic records, while others keep turning the page to consistent failure.
"The majority of charter schools in the state are under performing so when we look at the bottom of the school rankings list, that's actually where a lot of charter school fall," she said.
Premier High School in South Austin isn’t one of those schools at the bottom of the list. According to Principal Elizabeth Camarena, 98 percent of the school’s students complete the program, earn a diploma or stayed an extra year to finish.
"I think it comes down to paying individual attention to the students, we're able to sit down with them," she said. "We see a lot of students that come in and have some gaps and we're here to help fill those in to make to where they can succeed."
The public education committee is expected to render recommendations on the performance of charter schools.