A local group is in Austin fighting for public schools on Monday. One of the issues is the growing number of charter schools, which they argue receive more funding per student than public schools.
Dr. Nancy Vera, the president of The Corpus Christi American Federation of Teachers, says funding for charter schools has doubled in the last five years, and “charter schools are anything but positive for our children in Texas.”
A charter school is like a public school and receives some state funding, but runs independently.
More than 400 new charter schools have been approved in Texas in the last six years.
Now, Dr. Vera and other Corpus Christi AFT members are pushing for legislation that will suspend the opening of new charter schools. She argues corporate-ran Charter schools hurt public schools financially.
“When a child leaves a public school, they take with them at least two to three thousand dollars.”
Dr. Vera also claims charter schools may not offer the same opportunity for its students.
Meanwhile, Dee Dee Bernal, the superintendent at Dr. M.L. Garza-Gonzalez Charter School says the environment is much the same.
Aside from smaller class sizes, students are still required to take the STAAR test like public school students, the state monitors the school’s grades and academics, and after-school activities and tutoring are offered.
“We’re all here for the same reason. We all have the same goal,” said Bernal. “And that is to work with children and get them where they need to be.”
During their march to the capital, the Corpus Christi AFT also addressed other ways schools are funded, doing away with standardized testing, equal pay for all staff, and changing the teacher retirement system.