May 2, 2014

Congressman Michael Burgess toured Founders Classical Academy of Lewisville on Thursday, April 24, 2014. Pictured left to right: Chuck Cook, CEO ResponsiveEd, Congressman Michael Burgess, Jason Caros, Headmaster Founders Classical Academy of Lewisville and Lathan Watts, Director Community Relations/School Development.
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Financial Accountability Survey
House Bill 5, 83rd Legislative Session, directs the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to develop a new financial accountability system for school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. TEA is currently in the process of evaluating potential financial accountability indicators to measure the financial stability and solvency of school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. The TEA is asking you for your input on how to determine whether a school district or open-enrollment charter school is financially stable and solvent. Thank you in advance for participating. Please submit your input by May 18, 2014. Take the survey.

image with white outlineMembers, join us for a discussion on May 14th about these critical issues regarding financial accountability. A focus group on this topic will be held during the afternoon portion of our Member Council meeting. REGISTER or Read the Draft Agenda

Only 12 Days Left to Save -- $100 off Regular Rates per Person 

The Texas Charter Schools Conference will be held at the Westin Galleria in Houston on December 10-12, 2014.

The pre-sale rates, available from April 15 to May 14, are the only discounted rates offered in 2014. Register your team early to save $100 off the regular rate on each registration. In addition, charter schools that calendar a Professional Development Day for their teaching staff can take advantage of our special $100 rate for each Teacher One-Day Pass to attend the workshop on Friday, December 12.* See the draft schedule.
register now  
charter news

Texas Legislature mandate aims to increase number of charter schools in state
By Enrique Rangel; April 25, 2014
David Dunn, executive director of the Texas Charter Schools Association, said: "We really want to work with school districts, to create partnerships with school districts to help educate kids," he said. "There are 200,000 kids attending failing traditional ISD schools, we think there is very much of an opportunity to partner with ISDs. "We're all in for the same reasons, to better educate the kids," ... he showed a chart showing the amounts received from the state. "Every year we are $1,000 below the average ISD." Read the article.

Neugebauer visits Lubbock charter school
By NATALIE GROSS; April 24, 2014
Just two days after the U.S. House of Representatives Education Committee discussed changes to charter school operations, U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Lubbock, took a tour of Lubbock's Rise Academy. The school's founder, Rick Baumgartner, took Neugebauer on a tour of the campus, starting in the kindergarten classroom where the students read the congressman the story of "The Three Little Pigs." Next was a stop in third grade where three students recited the school's pledge from memory. Read the article.

Houston a stronghold of school choice
In most communities, families send their children to the schools closest to their homes. But Houston is different. The city was among the first to embrace school choice, with hundreds of magnet and charter schools that enroll students through nail-biting lottery systems. Read the article.

Celebrate in Your Community May 4-10, 2014
Every year, National Charter Schools Week gives us an opportunity to raise awareness about our schools and movement. Whether it's highlighting the growth of our community, the amazing academic successes of our students, or the strong parental demand for more schools, we have a lot to share. To help, we have designed a toolkit you can use as a resource. Here's how you can get started:
  • Gather students, parents, teachers, and school leaders for a visit or rally at the state capitol to raise awareness.
  • Host a roundtable at your school for elected officials with parents, teachers, students, and school leaders.
  • Invite elected officials to visit charter schools in their area.
  • Ask the governor for a charter schools week proclamation.
  • Encourage your database and contacts to send letters to their representatives urging their continued support for charter schools.
  • Write an op-ed or letter to the editor on the forthcoming wait list numbers in your state or at your school.
  • Write and distribute a press release on the national wait list numbers (coming out during Charter Schools Week!) and the numbers in your state.
  • Promote your school, or charter schools in your state, on social media using the hashtag #CharterSchoolsWeek and using the toolkit, including the "I Stand With Charter Schools" badge.

Arts Festival State Competition
Bailey Middle School
4020 Lost Oasis Hollow, Austin
May 17, 2014; 9am-5pm
Save the Date for Charter Summer Summit!
The Network
is sponsoring a state-wide Summit June 16-17, 2014, "Charting the Course."   This 1-1/2 day event features keynote speaker Mark McLeod and more than 45 breakout sessions on the standards of Operations, Finance, Governance, and Education. Charter school experts from the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Charter School Association and Education Service Centers, as well as leaders of charters in Texas will provide timely and valuable professional development.  
Registration is $50 and includes a luncheon. REGISTER
Questions? Contact:  Melodie Wahlert. 
The Texas Charter Schools Association Charter School Business Officer Certification (CSBOC) program takes the diverse, complex and ever changing responsibilities of a Charter Business Officer and creates an environment where you learn the responsibilities, competencies and strategic vision to ensure your charter school is viable, stable, fiscally sound and has a foundation of continuous improvement and growth. The certification program is a combination of online courses, live training days, and documentation workshop days. All training classes are open to everyone and fulfill required credit hours. Trainings also count toward the program if you choose to pursue certification.   
Texas Interscholastic League Foundation Scholarship 
The 2014 TILF scholarship application is now open. All application items must be submitted by  May 30, 2014. Due to the late competition date of the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest (TSSEC), applicants competing in that contest must have all materials submitted by June 20, 2014.  Read the eligibility requirements. 

Book Festival
13th Annual Youth Fiction Writing Contest -- Texas Book Festival 
This year marks the 13th annual Fiction Writing Contest. The theme for this year is "The People Our Parents Warned Us About." The Fiction Writing Contest encourages and rewards creative writing in Texas schools. Junior and high school Texas students are invited to submit a piece of original fiction, no more than 2,000 words in length. The submissions are judged by Texas Book Festival authors, local educators, and leaders in the publishing industry. Each year the Festival provides a unique theme. Judges look for excellence in use of dialogue, character development, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution. Submitted entries are considered in three divisions: grades 7-8; grades 9-10; and grades 11-12. Deadline: June 2, 2014

Aggie STEM Teacher Professional Development Opportunity 
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) awarded Texas A&M University $256,000 to improve instruction in Texas middle school mathematics and algebra classrooms. The grant funds 110 hours of professional development over the course of one year for teachers who qualify to participate in the program.  More information.  

Help Us Thank A Million Teachers and Give A Million Dollars to Teachers 
Farmers Insurance is giving away $2,500 grants to America's teachers and you can help! Take this opportunity to say "Thank You" to an educator that's made a difference in your life and your community.Thank a teacher now.
job post of the week
NYOS Charter School
Austin, Texas
Job ID: 730832                 Application Deadline: Posted until Filled
Posted: April 29, 2014       Starting Date: July 17, 2014

Job ID: 731172                 Application Deadline: Posted until Filled
Posted: April 29, 2014       Starting Date: July 17, 2014

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Honor Graduate Certificate 2014

2013 Snapshot: School District Profiles now available on the TEA website

PSF is here! First Steps Toward Facilities Help for Texas Public Charter Schools
PSF Application